28 Oct 2011

21st October 2011


21st 37-48F, 3-9C, light winds, mostly sunny. I left the lights fitted while I took a normal, daylight  ride to see if any problems would crop up. I may bring the rear lights inboard on brackets. I tended to clip the lights with my feet when dismounting. I also knocked one light cover off on a very tight, bike path chicane. Enjoyed the quiet, morning sunshine taking pictures in another village.

I noticed the rear changer was looking very slightly odd as I rode along. The lower rear gears were being a bit silly too. Never sure which gear they wanted to be in. Which was what drew my attention to the changer alignment. So I gently loosened the hanger and reset it nice and tight with a decent ring spanner. The gear change has now improved considerably. 23 miles.

22nd  47-49F, 8-9C, sunny, breezy. Only 13 miles. Broke the 10,000km barrier but well down on last year's mileage.

23rd 49F, 10C, windy, cool and sunny. It feels cold in the wind though the temperature is not all that low. Chores all morning. A gentle but hilly 15 miles after lunch.

24th 46F, 8C, blowing a gale, cold and overcast. Very hard work into the wind so I kept today's ride to a minimum. I was mixing tile cement and angle grinding floor tiles yesterday so my chest was bunged up at first. The cold weather makes my nose run like a tap. Only 10 miles.

I was driving along a very long, very straight, gently undulating, main road early this morning. This was before it was properly light. Though no longer fully dark. It was amazing how far away I could see cyclists coming towards me with their flashing, diode, front lights. They were clearly seen probably as much as two, or more, miles away. This was even though the were on the opposite side of a very wide road with a grass bank between the road and their cycle path. The flashing was clearly visible over a wide angle as the approached. This would have considerable safety value when passing a junction or negotiating a roundabout. 

Others were using bicycle lights with a steady beam. Though still very bright, when finally recognised as a bicycle, these were very much less visible until within only a hundred yards or so. It seems obvious, to me, that if one wants to be noticed at night then a flashing light has a huge advantage. Not only is it highly visible, but the flashing catches the eye where a steady beam goes completely noticed. A steady beam could be a house number light. Or even or reflection from a shiny surface from passing cars. A flashing diode light is instantly recognisable as a bicycle even some miles away.

25th 46F, 8C, blowing a gale, cold, late sun. I made the effort but it was no fun because of the wind. It was a struggle to remain on the road with a side wind and steep camber. I've just realised that I haven't had the slightest knee pain for some time.

The tyre which I'd had problems with has now punctured.  Hardly surprising considering how much debris there is on the road. Mud, twigs, stones as big as my fist, potholes and who knows what else.  So now I'm back to hop-a-long Higgins! Only a 12 miles circle of the lanes. It took me 1 1/2 hour without a pause! The Autumn TA Gazette arrived today. IT always makes me feel inadequate when I read about tricyclists riding further in a day than I ride in a couple of weeks. Which reminds me that I haven't even noticed the Brooks saddle, at all, for quite some time. For a saddle this is glowing praise indeed.

I had a look at my blogs on an IT course laptop today. It was surprising how different they look on a much smaller screen. I usually scribble away using my Philips 23" wide screen with excellent picture quality, brightness and very natural colours. The laptop did the images no good at all. It also chopped off the left hand side of the screen completely!

Even the larger images, now offered by blogspot's latest image gallery, are not a patch on seeing the original images full size. Full screen goes some way towards capturing the size and grandeur of buildings in the landscape. Which is completely lost on smaller images. All sense of perspective and depth is lost.

26th 49F, 9C, overcast, breezy, cool. Just another wobbly circle on the map. I had to use my lights on the way back as it got dark. I'd almost forgotten about street lamps and the cyclist who tries to sprint past me every time I pass under a light. My own lights were very bright and everybody gave me a wide berth. I was feeling stronger and stronger. Hardly surprising when the wind was finally behind me on the last leg. Hop-along Bontrager is really getting on my nerves. 23 miles.

27th 46F, 8C, breezy, overcast, dusk to pitch black. Roads very quiet. Helmet and lights working well. I discovered there is a visual component to riding a trike at night. If I can't see the camber I can't allow for it. So I rode mostly nearly the centre of the lanes. With only 3 cars in about ten miles there isn't much danger. I have ordered a pair of 25mm Race Lites for the winter. Can't find 25mm in any of the shops and the online discount for two helps to pay for their P&P charges. 14 miles.

I was driving along a main road in a major town at lunchtime glancing across at the disgusting state of the cycle path. It was part of the road but rougher and marked off by a white line. There were drifts of large gravel, litter, twigs, leaves, debris and ample potholes to satisfy any hardened mountain biker.

I was just wondering how many years since it was last machine brushed. Then talk of the devil! There was a mini-tractor with a roller brush on the front. Sweeping: Cycle paths for the use of.

Was the driver sweeping the elongated pig sty? Nope. He was sitting in the middle of the cycle path having a nice chat on his mobile phone! Obviously on his way to do something much more important. Like having another telephone chat in the park. Or in a school yard. Or a public car park. Or the grounds of an old people's home.

 Which is where I have seen the last four sweeping machines sitting motionless. With their taxpayer-employed drivers chatting on their mobile phones. Makes yer weep, dunnit?

By the way, I have discovered the worst cycle lanes and road surfaces anywhere on Fyn are in Hårby. Though Nr. Åby comes a very close second. Which explains why the traffic moves at twice the legal speed limit in both villages. They are all desperately trying to get away from the place!

28th 52F, 11C, light breeze dying, mostly overcast. The tyres arrived but I wasn't there to accept them. Will have to wait until tomorrow to collect them. A huge deer just missed my bonnet as it dashed across the road in front of me while I was on the way to IT school.

I went out late afternoon and took a lot of photos in the dusk. I was quite surprised to see that I had managed to do 18 miles. It didn't seem that far at all.

29th 43-48F, 6-9C, light breeze, patchy fog, overcast, cool. I was soon "frosted" with dew and constantly wiping my glasses to be able to see the fog properly. Visibility of passing cars was down below 100 yards in places. Then they just vanished. Including their lights.

All my lights were set to flashing in case the rat runners were still legless from last night. The Danish police are always catching driving drunks who have been banned multiple times. One drunk drove home from the court hearing after being banned yet again! He was caught on his way home still drunk driving. No license, no tax, no insurance. Why aren't their cars confiscated and crushed? Preferably with them still in them!
I picked up my two new tyres. Standard Bontrager Race Lite 700x25 in blue. But I had to keep pumping up one of my old tyres just to get home!

I will have to repair a couple of inner tubes from my storage box full of wounded examples. Otherwise I shan't have any spares! But first, I have to finish the tiling in the bathroom. Only 13 miles today. I was too tired to go for a later ride after working on the bathroom floor for several hours. Tiling is a young person's game. It is hard on the knees even with knee pads. I don't want to trigger another bout of knee trouble on the trike.

I managed to repair three inner tubes and rechecked them afterwards in water. Snake bites can catch you out if you miss the smaller hole with the patch. Often the larger hole shows itself under the water test but the smaller one doesn't. At least not until the larger one is patched.

The rest of the narrow tubes were beyond help. Only suitable for tree ties now. I can hardly believe how huge those old 27 x 1.25" inner tubes seem.

I only had time to fit one new tyre. Though it certainly took some finger strength and patience it needed no tyre levers. It popped into place on the rim perfectly as I pumped.

The clocks go back tonight. Last week of my IT course next week. Evening rides really aren't the same as my usual mornings.

30th 51F, 10C, grey, becoming windy. I'm aching all over but have to ride twenty miles to get more tile cement. One 5kg bag (about 10lbs) plus shopping. Fortunately I had a tail wind back. Which helped on the hills. I fitted th second rear tyre before leaving.

The new tyres don't really feel any slower. Though they don't seem to feed back the road surface they still ride more harshly. They feel much safer from stones and potholes but the "tubular tyre sound" has gone. 20 miles. Plus seven more after coffee and rolls. Much windier than earlier.

31st 54F, 12C, hardly a breeze, overcast, light drizzle, dark and warm. Only 11miles. It must be the humidity because I was sweating in my thinnest jacket. I had to keep it on because of the drizzle. The lights kept me safe in the darkness of the rush hour. I put all three 1/W rear lights on fast, flickering, flash mode. No excuse for a "bumper sniffer" to miss seeing me. 13 miles.

I drove through thick mist this morning. Unbelievable how some people will overtake into the invisible darkness. Obviously relying on an absence of headlights approaching. Nuts! I hate commuting! Especially in the dark.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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