22 Sep 2011

September already 4


The great house overlooking the lake and wooded grounds.

22nd September 2011 50-58F, 10-14C, overcast clearing to sunny. breezy building to windy. Rain forecast all day. I looked at the sky and saw a long stripe of turquoise across the northern horizon. So I headed north. There were a lot of birds on the ploughed, chocolate fields. A  flock of at least 50 Plovers is not a common sight.

Putting my day-glo jacket over the Belstaff soon had me warm. It wasn't long before I was stripped down to my racing jersey (and shorts). I seemed to have gained something from my rest day. Because my legs felt stronger and pain free. Even on climbs.

I wandered the hilly lanes above the motorway taking lots of photographs. It was really too dark and overcast for photography but I persisted anyway. Then, as I was ready to leave this beautiful area, the sun came out. There is another large, historic house nearby but they had the builders in the grounds. So it was hideously unphotogenic behind huge mounds of mud. 32 easy miles.

Lake and grounds with arboretum.


Another tandem trike on eBay:

A 531 Longstaff.

Trike racing in Antwerp:


23rd 55-59F, 13-15C, overcast but clearing to sunny periods, breezy becoming windier. The 23rd pretended to be the 13th today. First, my last pair of usable, cheap sunglasses fell in half at the bridge as I put them on. Chinese plastic yet again proving itself no better than garbage. Or, exactly the same, nasty and dangerous quality as once produced by Hong Kong. Specifically for toys in my childhood. That was some 55-plus years ago!

Then the left tyre was flat when I went to collect the trike from the shed. So I wasted quarter of an hour treating it as a rehearsal for a roadside puncture. There was a very small rough hole in the sidewall of the tyre. I roughened the inner tube with the supplied cheese grater. Then applied one of the new, small, acne plasters over the tiny hole. Once inflated it stayed up! I was slightly surprised. Because the moulding rib/flashing was rather deep and ignored my attack with the abrasive plate.

It wasn't all bad news. Yet again the promised rain stayed away. It was actually quite sunny at times. The earlier breeze became a bit strong for comfort as a head wind later on. The roads and cycle lanes really are a mess of leaves, twigs, mud and stones.

I had some fun leading a racing cyclist up a long steep hill. I kept looking in the mirror expecting him to go past but he kept the same distance. I thought he might be afraid to overtake my wide vehicle. So I pulled into a gateway to let him pass. He did so but said a familiar "cor blimey" (in Danish) about the difficulty of climbing the hill as he passed. I then followed him to the top without too much trouble.

A little later my pride was punctured as another cyclist went past on another hill. This time I had nothing left and watched him disappear into the distance. I was carrying the same amount of shopping both times. The bigger hill was used by the Tour of Denmark one year. I watched a YT video of the peloton cresting it at an incredible speed!

The trike is shimmying again when I let go of the handlebars. At any speed from a crawl upwards! I keep wondering what to do about the half-missing seating for the bottom bearing cup on the fork steerer tube. I obviously want to avoid using any heat. So brazing and silver soldering are completely out.

Soft soldering is probably a complete waste of time and would still damage the paintwork. It would virtually impossible to clean the steerer tube properly. Or well enough for the flux to work on steel anyway.

I thought I might try a narrow wrap of shaped brass or copper shim. Then push the bearing ring down over it with a suitable steel tube. The bearing ring would rest half on the remaining seating and half on the shim. Not ideal. I might try the previous method of using epoxy. Something with a tough filler would be ideal to avoid indentation. Only 22 miles. Half of it into the wind.

The old mill sits across the lane from the drive entrance to the great house. 

I was already trespassing on a very steep, weed-covered bank to get this shot. Only just catching the waterflow. And a car! I hate cars in photos of old buildings! It completely destroys the atmosphere and illusion of indeterminate age. I could have lowered the camera viewpoint. (to hide the car behind the railings) But then I would have lost the water tumbling out from under the road. Grrr?

It looks as if it once had tandem, overshot wheels.  Sadly, only one decrepit wheel survives covered in moss. The feed pond is a large lake and the flow prodigious but with only a relatively low head. Presumably the sluice gates are in similarly poor condition to the remaining wheel. The more modern, roadside, timber handrail is of wonderful quality in massive oak. 


The rather modest, miller's cottage. The mill is housed in the white building at the far end. The timber-framed cottage is delightfully bent and twisted by time. Though the brickwork infill may be rather too "tidy" to be original. Old bricks tend to be handmade, thinner and usually stand proud when the timbers move and shrink with time.

The surviving wheel and second wheel shaft beyond. 

The water is allowed to flow harmlessly below the wheel. There must once have a flume to carry the water over the tops of the wheels. The power available was much greater from overshot wheels. The small but relatively wide wheels suggest this form. The water flowing beneath the road is certainly high enough at the exit to be carried over the wheel with a suitable flume (or trough). A breast shot, or undershot wheel, would have the wheel blades facing the other way. It is possible the missing second wheel could have been undershot. Or a second flume extended over the first wheel to provide a second overshot wheel.

24th 52F, 12C, overcast, light breeze. Forecast warmer and sunny.

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