29 Sep 2011

September already 7


The fine art of farmhouse design.

Black and white is popular today but not exclusive. Many buildings were painted over the tops of the timber and the brick infill. The treatment is supposed to have kept the timber frame free from woodworm. The paint is referred to as "Kalk" in Denmark. "Kalkmaling" being painting with Kalk. It had the advantage of breathability. Unlike modern, synthetic paints. It is similar to lime wash, I suppose.  

26th September '11,  57F, 14C, overcast, windy. Just a gentle tour into town via the rural lanes. I discovered that the "bumping" wheel tyre had sunk into the rim on one particular spot. Lowering the pressure to try and drag it out to the marker rib didn't work. So I pumped it up hard and dragged the tyre out of the rim with finger pressure and thankfully it stayed there. I presume the increased pressure was aiding my efforts. It is my usual habit to check the moulded ribs are running parallel with the rim when I fit a tyre. Why the tyre should have changed I don't know.

I also trued the wheel while I was at it. Rear trike wheels don't easily lend themselves to the usual truing methods. You can't just use a brake block to watch the rim move from side to side and up and down as it spins. Nor can you turn the trike on its back like a bike. So I lifted the rear axle on that side with a length of 4" x 4" timber. Then stood a lab retort stand on the ground beside the wheel with a jaw rubber just grazing the rim. Tightening a couple of spoke nipples and loosening others soon produced a nicely true rim. Both wheels were still running nicely true. Until I tried to ride away from a supermarket with the cable lock still attached! Dogh. 22 miles.

It has been so wet this summer that Mr Higgins had to go into dry dock.
To have the barnacles scraped off his bottom bracket!

A large millpond in Hårby. 
A popular haunt for walkers and cyclists along the meandering paths.

The water wheels were removed pre-WW2 and replaced with a generating turbine in 1939. By another coincidence the maintenance chap was collecting some tools from the mill house. Not much to see inside apart from a black drum the size of a pedal bin. Several large electric motors were connected with V-belts. I presume these were the generators. The building was not worth a photo as it was a simple box. Lacking any sense of age.

The superb Løgismose tree avenue.

Autumn's abundant crop of Hornbeam (?)berries near Strandby.
Half a mile or a kilometre of them in one stretch! 

Pretty corner thatch at a rural junction.

The white plastic post in the foreground is the Danish version of a UK cat's eye.
  A necessity where snow is far more prevalent than in the UK.
Most Danish main roads have them spaced at intervals on either side.

The "stuhuset" of an edge-of-village smallholding.

I think this old farm is a museum or culture house.
It used to appear regularly in the local paper.

27th 43-58F, 6-15C, sunny, breezy. I decided to head for a village 20 miles away to force myself to do a longer ride. The first ten miles were deliberately hilly. Then I hit the main road and tried to go almost flat out for the next ten miles. Which was also a bit hilly but had huge lorries dragging me along. It was still silly to try so hard. When the lorries were going the other way it like being hit repeatedly with a giant pillow! 

I took another route back via the country lanes and hadn't really a clue where I was. So I just kept going using the sun as a guide and eventually found a road I knew. It was pleasant to find roads i hadn't travelled before. Lots more houses to photograph but I didn't bother today because it would have been out even longer. 

Here's one I did earlier.

It took me four hours total. Including visiting three shops and three supermarkets and dragging a load of shopping along. Going was easy with a tail/crosswind at 8 o'clock. Coming back felt as if the temperature had dropped 10 degrees with a cold headwind. Which was odd considering the temperature mist have been climbing all morning. The previously "bumpy" tyre ran smoothly today after my pressure fix. 42 miles.

A lone thatcher working on a rear extension.

28th  54-60F, 12-16C, grey overcast, misty, breezy. I put my powerful rear light on the seat pin before leaving early into a dismal morning. Then only one car overtook me in ten miles! Before long my jacket and glasses was covered in mist and the trike wet enough to have been out in the rain.  I took another route away from my usual area but was depressed by the greyness. There seemed to be nobody about and very little traffic. Lots of houses and business premises for sale but nobody buying. My legs were tired and aching a bit from yesterday's ride. So I just did the shopping and headed straight home instead of wandering. 26 miles.

Mr Higgins tries to enlist with Captain Pugwash.


29th 54-68F, 12-20C, sunny, light breeze. As the wind was so light I rode over to Fåborg. Going remarkably well both ways. Got lost on the way back. Which caused me to accidentally climb some of the steepest hills on Fyn! The Jordløse, Hårstrup, Trunderup area is quite lumpy for a wrong detour! Still the best I've felt after a fair mileage. (by my standards) 47 miles.

Mr Higgins is clapped in irons.

30th 55-68F, 13-20C, sunny, light breeze. The roads are shitted up to the eyeballs in farmer's mud! Rocks everywhere. Some as large as my fist. I punctured on one. So I had to walk home the last mile instead of going on to the shops. Just to add to the misery I was sprayed as a tractor passed close to the verge with no hedge to protect me! It stank like paraffin and chemicals. The driver hardly glanced at me. Now I have to mend the puncture before I can go out again to finish my shopping! 19 miles so far. Am I having fun yet?

And when you've cut down all the hedges and trees and left them for a while to dry out.. you send in one of these:

A garden shredder on steroids. The driver faces the wrong way to drive the thing. He stuffs whole trees, using the black arm, into the red thing on the front. This grinds everything into small pieces and it shoots over the top into the green container.

The container can be lifted well above the tractor roof height to tip the chippings into a much bigger container parked nearer the road. The shredder makes a constant racket but it does the job amazingly quickly.

Now I have even less shelter from the wind. If we have snow like the last two years it will cover the roads to a far greater depth. The high hedges kept the wind-blown stuff back from the roads. It only drifted where there were no hedges.

Virginia Creeper in full colour but the bright sunshine has washed out the building.

70F, sweaty and sunny later. The snake bite puncture couldn't be covered with one patch and overlapping two didn't seem to work. So I rescued another dead tube from the storage box and fixed the puncture on that. This one stayed up.

The roads are even worse now. This morning's mud has turned into a rash of baked clay mushrooms. With stone aggregate reinforcement! It will stay there until there is heavy rain. It's damned uncomfortable to ride over! The shocks feel like the tyres are bursting every time. There is no escape because the mud is spread completely across the road. 11 more miles. It's hell out there! :-)  

Click on any image for an enlargement.



  1. Thanks in part to information about trikes gleaned from your site I confidently purchased a pristine, refurbished, late '70s/early '80s Ken Rogers, shown in the photos in almost final form (am waiting for arrival of Carradice Camper Longflap to replace the hacked Timbuktu saddlebag surrogate.


  2. Hi Patrick

    Your Rogers is a very tasty trike indeed! You have some nice kit on there too.

    The only thing I would question is the use of a dynamo when modern diode lights are so incredibly bright and efficient and cheap? And safer too. Diodes stay on when you stop in the pitch darkness! You can even use them as a torch to check unexpected faults on your trike (or bike) when you are out riding in the dark.

    Loved the pictures of your heavily laden trike. Amazing carrying capacity!

    Do keep us informed of your progress.