1 Nov 2011

November 1st 2011


1st November 50F, 10C, still, overcast, dark. One of the cheap rear lights keeps losing its cover! I had to go back and find it in the dark after running over a rough patch. The other day I made the mistake of taking the lights off outside the supermarket. When it was light. The on/off buttons on the cheap lights are so exposed that the lights were flashing in the bag next day! At a fiver (£5GB) per light it wouldn't take many batteries to cost a new light. Besides, thanks to the way I have them fitted they don't come off without a real struggle anyway. If anyone is so desperate for free lights they can but try. The Danes don't seem to be born thieves like the British. Nothing is safe over there.

 Very short of breath again. The Smart diode front light is at its best on paler road gravel and probably not safe above 15mph on rough lanes. I descended at up to 23mph tonight and it was only safe because I knew the road well. My lightest cycling "sunglasses" reduce the brightness only very slightly. Not enough to make me want to remove them. Only 13 miles.

The ploughed field reminded me that I was tacking along the lanes to avoid the wind beside a very choppy sea.

Three more days and I shall be back on morning rides again. Or so I hope. Two women commuters had collided on the fast main road today. Debris all over the road just around a blind corner. Probably speeding and on their mobile phones at the same time.

Mobile phone use while driving easily exceeds 30%. Speeding easily exceeds 90%. Those who cannot stay on their own side of the road on corners, despite double white lines, easily exceeds 30%. This includes buses, lorries, vans and cars. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Danish trains cut every left hand corner and overshot every right hand one. Am I a moaning Minnie? Or just getting old and tired of it all? :-)

Yes, it is upright. I just doesn't look like it.
An active farm.

2nd 47F, 8C, light head winds, overcast, misty, getting dark. A late afternoon ride. I put a bit of effort into it today and managed to get hot and sweaty even in my thinnest jacket. I turned around to check behind me before crossing the road at a left turn. My left foot unclipped and I nearly fell off! Whoops! 21 miles.

3rd 48F, 9C, light winds, overcast, already getting darker as I left. I rode to a tree nursery. Then had to trot 1/4 mile across a steep, muddy field to find the examples I wanted. My cycling shoes were so full of mud I couldn't clip in as I set off down a 1 in 5, very rough gravel track! Which I had ridden up earlier. There was a moment of excitement. Where I ripped the knee of my tights on the mudguard. Then just avoided a large, and very shiny, new BMW, ascending the narrow twisting lane towards me. I was climbing well after that despite my usual, gurgling chest.

An unspoilt, old farmhouse in traditional Swedish red. With a rushing stream alongside. It could have been a mill or a smithy originally. I asked the owner if I could take a photograph of his home just as he was leaving in his car. He told me to carry on and drove away. I felt it my duty to  smooth out the gravel after Mr Higgins disgraced himself by leaving deep tracks.  :-)

After an inevitable visit to a supermarket, I rode home in the pitch dark with as many lights as I could muster. I discovered that having the front light flashing was by far the quickest way to get people to dip their headlights. On steady beam they quite often don't dip at all!. 24 miles.

4th 45F, 7C, stiff, cold breeze, weak sunshine. An earlier start. Back before it was dark. A large red blob set into murky, low cloud just before I arrived home.

I really discovered the Achilles heel of a trike today! They are very difficult to walk up steps! Too heavy for me to lift bodily. The rear wheels ran over my feet if I walked alongside. Couldn't drag it from the front when the front and rear wheels have to rise simultaneously. I should have retraced my route but wanted to see where the steps would lead. Exploring has its price. 20 miles.

You an never have enough pictures of avenues of oak trees. This one lies on the approach to Brahesborg palace. With its lake, impressive cobbled yards and ranges of vast, brick-built barns and outbuildings. What a beautiful light! It is almost like a painting.

5th 44-50F, 7-10C, cold wind, weak sunshine. My legs felt a bit tired today. Though it's nice to be out in the morning light again. My chest felt "wet" even before breakfast. My nose and eyes ran for most of the ride. It's not a common cold but I have to keep clearing my throat. Only 22 miles before morning coffee.

An old Assens mill pond. One of two of similar size. The mill wheel is still visible on the small orange house to the left. The church (right) hasn't changed in appearance since 1488! It is the second largest church on Fyn. Looking best with flags flying from poles jutting from skylights in the spire. Giving it an almost medieval flavour. 

An old, rural, brick factory sleeps peacefully on.

The dog and his walker kindly held back for me to take a first photograph. Though I kept snapping away as they walked on into the silence of the past. I usually prefer not to include figures or vehicles in such photographs. They intrude in deliberately timeless scenes. Even Mr Higgins can detract from an image. I usually take more images without the trike being present. Then decide before final publication whether to use an image including the trike. Or one without. In this case the figure quickly became a silhouette without obvious clues to dating.

 The factory buildings are clad in countless hanging panels. Presumably to allow air movement while still maintaining weatherproofing. It was in production from the early 20th century until 1983. 

The factory is now a museum, seems well maintained and enjoys a busy social life. It is only rarely that a number of cars are not to be found parked outside. I managed to block the early sun from falling on the camera lens by hiding in the shadow of a handy tree. It has never occurred to me to take a photograph of it before today. There was something very special about the light and haze. Not to mention the lack of vehicles cluttering up the view! :-)

Farmhouse and a stone standing at an entrance to the yard. The date on the stone is 1794 and the style distinctly naive. It could almost be a grave stone but I think it unlikely it would be placed beside the road. Even though the road is a narrow, quiet lane.

6th 44-47F, 4-8C, overcast, cold wind, misty. It really was uncomfortable riding into the wind. It was blowing through my Ventour jacket and even my hands felt cold in my gloves. Riding with the wind was a non-event. Cycling is like that. It adds at least 10mph to the local wind speed. Or subtracts it.

 I took a lot more photos of old houses and farms. So I only managed a 20 mile circle with a few stops for shopping. I'm not sure this one is inhabited.

My riding habits are slowly changing. From trying to ride as far and fast as possible. To keeping up a decent pace and a modest mileage every day. This suits my knees far better than suffering all the time I'm out. Last year I suppose I was trying to prove something to myself. Now I am fit and lean I can take it easier without feeling guilty.

Photography has more emphasis now. There is much to photograph within a ten mile radius thanks to my ideal location. Pushing my distance up only a little more brings in many more potential subjects. Far more than can be photographed in a year or two. I now take far more images than I can possibly post after each ride.

I do keep wondering whether the triking aspect of my blog is becoming too diluted. Should I greatly reduce the number of pretty images and stick to triking topics? Probably not. The sheer number of visitors suggest that I must be doing something right. It's odd how the emphasis of my blog keeps changing. At first it was purely technical. Sharing my interest in all things triking. Then my daily mileage and ride diary took over.

 Now it feels more like I'm sharing my fondness for the traditional Danish architecture and the corrugated Fyn(sk) landscape. Whose only connection to triking is that I ride to take photographs. Or, more accurately, that I am riding along when I am inspired to capture what I see. Well, I did warn you that I am a pedalling pedant. :-)

This barn is bent in the middle. Coincidentally, Bent is a popular Danish, first name. I am not sure that the building followed a once, much narrower road. Or whether it aided the farmer to gain access to his enclosed yard. This is Voldtofte looking back towards Assens. 

The matching farmhouse is shown on the right. (Carefully cropped to remove a parked car) The windows still have their original, slender glazing bars. The gable ends of the buildings may have had their original timber-framing replaced with later brick.

A prehistoric mound peers back at me through the mists of time.
The tree juts from the mound itself. It is not a line-of-sight illusion. The field was freshly ploughed just to the right of the frame. So I moved far enough to capture a much rougher look. One, more befitting the subject. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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