21 Nov 2011

19th November 2011


Helnæs causeway from half way across.

The "standing stone" silhouetted on the left of the road is yet another memorial to a crashed bomber crew from WW2.  One of half a dozen stones that I know of locally. Most were raised by grateful locals in the 1950s. Most stones have a list of crew member's names and their nationalities. Though not this one. Denmark shares its southern border with Germany. Often losing and taking new areas of land from each other over the past centuries.
19th 44F, 7C, breezy, heavy overcast, misty at times. After mending yet another puncture, I rode to Odense. In the forlorn hope of finding things not available locally. The snaking, narrow cycle paths in the centre of Odense demanded some hairy acrobatics on the trike! There were some seriously opposite camber moments but nothing too hairy for an experienced tricyclist.

I was a bit worried about Mr Higgins being stolen. Particularly after watching too many YouTube videos about how easy it is/was to break cycle locks. Most locks are far too easy to break. While the manufacturers claim otherwise and keep taking the money. I suppose it depends whether you consider bolt croppers as everyday city wear. The Danish police have been accused of ignoring calls from the public. Reporting professional (East European) bike thieves actively clearing whole racks full of bikes into lorries!

I won't pretend it was easy coming back into the wind. Yet again I did not have enough food with me. One banana and a small bag of biscuits is not enough for 6 hours continuous exertion. Well over eight hours since breakfast. Though I made up for it when I arrived home I could have done with something earlier. There were no shops until I was almost home.

I was an idiot not to buy something before I was hungry. Last year I did longer mileages when I went out twice. Though those rides were not nearly so tiring as a single journey without a proper break.  At least I wasn't saddle sore but my quadriceps were really burning on the long, main road hills. 52 miles, but it felt like a lot more.

The cheap CSI computer with (wired) cadence has died! (better red than dead on the left) The left button is stuck fast! I tried gently waggling it with parrot bill pliers but it wont move in or out. I have gladly tolerated this computer's presence despite the wireless speedometer not working from new. Cadence is a rarity in affordable computers. I'm feeling quite lost without a constant cadence readout. I have used it to avoid low revs and knee problems.  I look at it more often than speed or mileage on the other clock!

I emailed the Danish importers as soon as the wireless speedo gave up but they didn't even bother to reply.

I'm wondering whether I can get a cadence reading out of a normal bike computer. It should just be a matter of choosing the correct wheel circumference setting. I don't care if it reads in km or mph. As long as it registers rpm. There is a discussion of just this subject online if you search for "cadence bike computer". Allegedly, the bike computer needs to be set to 1667 with one crank magnet.

PS. It seems that the red CSI computer, with cadence, is still listed on their website. Now I just need to find a stockist. PPS. Discontinued. :-(

20th Nov  36-46F, 2-8C, bright overcast, mist patchy but clearing, still, occasional weak attempts at sunshine. No obvious effects from yesterday's ride but not feeling very strong today. I kept the Æsse jacket on but removed hats and changed gloves as it steadily warmed up. Took lots of photos in a new area. 30 miles.

21st 32-36F, 0-2C, no wind, started misty but sun breaking through.  It felt very cold. 13 miles. I had to double up on the gloves and put my day-glo windproof jacket over the Æsse jacket. Even so I could still feel the infiltration. Even on the climbs I wasn't getting too warm. On the descents it felt like it was blowing right through me! As the thaw set in, big ice crystals were falling on me out of the trees. The mist keeps coming and going. Only 13 miles. I may have to go out later.

 A four-sided farm which is slowly going to rack and ruin.
The cost of a total re-thatch would be ruinous! 

The annual winter problem with dry, sore heels has suddenly cropped up. This only happens when it gets much colder. The rest of the year my feet are fine. I have thicker socks to try and have applied a special heel cream. Though it didn't seem to make any difference last winter. Perhaps I should double up on socks. The neoprene overshoes are also still wearable. It's odd because my feet have only felt slightly cold on one ride. It hasn't been cold enough to do any harm yet. Nor have my feet been wet this year because the weather has been unusually dry. Plus I now have mudguards. My cycling shoes are a perfect size so they don't cramp my feet at all. The Tahoes are incredibly comfortable. Being very well ventilated they may be cooling my feet as air is pumped through on each pedal stroke.

The house façade seen from the public side.
This is the opposite face to the picture above.

Plus 13 more miles later. Patchy mist moving across the landscape like low cloud. I crested a hill and could see it moving across the fields like smoke. I came back in the dark, along the main roads, with all my lights flashing. Most drivers were giving me a wide berth.

It's a tragedy to see a fine old farmhouse in this condition.

22nd 33F-38F, 1-3C, mostly overcast, overnight frost, misty and still. I put on a heavier sports vest along with my usual attire. Overheating became a problem which became steadily worse. I removed the double insulate hat first, then the thinner one which replaced it. So I ended up bare headed under the helmet with the jacket and vest open to the waist and was still too warm. It's much easier to wear things over the jacket. So they can be quickly removed. Stripping off on the side of the road, when already wet, just to remove a vest, is plain daft.

 It was surprising how the weather changed over quite a short distance. It started off with low bright sun but as I reached the highest point on my ride I could see the fog descending over my target shopping village. There, the grass was still white with frost. 20 miles.

A lakeside country home. The lean is quite real. This may explain the many buttresses and restraining ironwork crosses. It actually looks as if the house is sliding down the hill into the lake. The crosses mark the ends of long iron rods. These are threaded right through the house. Heated into expansion and then the nuts tightened on the outer ends. As the bars cool down again they shrink and apply enormous external pressure to pull the building back together. The iron crosses just help to spread the loads. So next time you see "decorative" ironwork on an old building you'll know why it's there. They are a common sight on old churches. Particularly on towers.

Early morning mist.
Three wind turbines greet the Sun.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. Just for interest's sake, the names missing from the memorial are F/Lt John Morgan RCAF (Pilot); F/O Jacques Clerc RCAF (Bomb Aimer); F/Sgt John Moffat RCAF (Air Gunner); Sgt Robert Young RAF (Flight Engineer) and P/O Courtney Steward RCAF (Wireless Op). They are all buried in Sønderby cemetary, nearby.
    As it happens, the memorial stone also gives an incorrect date, the aircraft was shot down on 16th August 1944 rather than the 14th inscribed on the stone.
    The aircraft was a Halifax MkIII belonging to 433 Sqdn RCAF and operating from Skipton on Swale. It was on a mission to drop mines in Kiel Bay but was intercepted on it's outward trip by a German night fighter flown by Oberleutenant Herbert Koch. His attack caused the Halifax to burst into flames and explode in mid air. Danish civilians later heard cries for help coming from the sea and launched a boat which rescued the Navigator and an Air Gunner who were relatively unhurt and spent the remainder of the war as prisoners of war. The bodies of Morgan, Young, Clerc and Moffat were washed up on the beach the following day. The body of Steward was found tangled in wreckage a week later. I hope that might be of some interest.

  2. Hi Alan

    Many thanks for filling in the missing details. By coincidence I have just found another memorial stone at Gamtofte. Complete with a prop blade standing alongside. The stone was lost behind some shrubbery which has just been cleared.(opposite the church)

    Best regards