10 Dec 2011

10th December 2011

Dec 10th 34F, 1C, light snow showers, clearing to full sun, windy to 30mph gusts. Must take some more photos! A nasty, hard, cold headwind going. Roads wet with slush, snow and ice in patches. Fields white and patchy even after lunch time. Useful tailwind coming back. 20 miles. Still have to go out again. Plus ten miles later. Returned at dusk after fighting a freezing cold wind. 37F now and clouding over.

11th 34-37F, 1-2C, clear, becoming heavy overcast, light wind becoming windy. Damp and spitting rain. The sun never had a chance to come out before it clouded over. The drainage streams are still swollen from the storm.

Rather amazingly, I managed to repair my cheap CSI cadence computer. First I carefully dismantled the case. Using a fairly narrow screwdriver blade with a twisting action and working my way around the edges. Behind the stuck-in plastic buttons there were small, thin, dished plates. These had pins reaching inside the case. So I removed both the buttons and the plates to break the permanent contact. The computer sensed the buttons were permanently engaged. So it was constantly resetting itself.

I could then use a piece of stiff wire through the button pin- holes in the casing to reset the computer. With the crank magnet and sensor carefully aligned the self-start operated normally and the revs came up as usual. Whoopee! I carefully taped the top and bottom of the case back together to exclude rain. It's good to have the rpm readings back again. My cadence had fallen to the low 80s in the interim. 

The usual vast flocks of restless crows and rooks were absent over the last few days. Those that are left seem to be at war with each other. Making a racket and attacking each other in aerial combat.

There are still small flocks of shy, transit birds. Which I cannot recognise at a distance. Some of them are probably Redwings. Similar to thrushes in size and colour. There are other grey birds too. Both the same size as Redwings and much smaller. A number of mid-sized birds of prey were floating about too. Larger than Kestrels but smaller than Buzzards. A heavy load of shopping today. Bought at half way then dragged up and downhill. It seemed like mostly uphill. 26 miles.

12th 36F, 2C, winds light, very heavy overcast. 8.30am and it is almost too  dark to read by outside. It started to drizzle lightly, increasing steadily, as did the wind. The day-glo jacket was damp but the Æsse jacket felt dry. I found a pretty cycle mirror with an egg shape called a Cyclops. Sadly it seems impossible to mount it using my present clamp. As the Cyclops seems designed only for handlebar end fitting. I have a gear lever fitted just there. 20 miles.

 13th 37F, 3C Another low with gales and gusts to 45mph. With continuous heavy rain forecast. It doesn't look like it's worth going anywhere today. It never cleared up. Nor stopped blowing. 0 miles. Rest day.

Koga Miyata  suspension tourer. If you have to ask you can't afford it!

14th 37-40F, 3-4C, windy but reducing, heavy grey overcast. It started raining as I reached home though it wasn't forecast. I may be allowed out again after lunch. The cadence computer is still working. 17 miles.

 Plus 19 more miles later. So I made up for yesterday's rest day. Came back in the dark in the rush hour on a busy road. Not one driver failed to dip their headlights thanks to the Smart front light flashing away. Yet again one of the £5, ½W rear lights had flattened its batteries in the bag. I might as well leave them in place on the trike. Where they won't eat batteries. Or find a way to shield the protruding on/off buttons.

This one is a bit special: A 19" lady's Longstaff trike in Reynolds 531 with 2WD. The vendor talks about a differential but it may be Longstaff's, double freewheel 2WD. Well equipped machine which would suit a range of riders. See seller's amendment: 

Adults Tricycle,Ladies Frame,Light Weight & Hand Built by George Longstaff Bikes Adults Tricycle,Ladies Frame,Light Weight & Hand Built by George Longstaff Bikes on eBay (end time 18-Dec-11 22:11:35 GMT

22 bids to £374 failed to meet the hidden reserve.

This one looks like great fun for those with a good sense of balance on the rough stuff: Or would make a handy "shopping trolley" or runabout.

A different approach to trike conversions. http://www.bikecare.co.uk/tribike.html

mountain tricycle trike with detachable conversion 26inch wheels mountain tricycle trike with detachable conversion 26inch wheels on eBay (end time 12-Jan-12 18:22:32 GMT)

Re-listed at £600 after no bids.

A scruffy trike conversion set with 20" wheels. The starting price is a bit silly IMO. Unless you are desperate to convert a small wheel shopper. May be a Rogers rather than Higgins. I think Rogers used galvanised removable seat stays. These look galvanised.

higgins tricycle conversion 5 speed higgins tricycle conversion 5 speed on eBay (end time 18-Dec-11 20:58:55 GMT)

Ended with no bids at £145.

15th 39F, 4C, windy, heavy overcast. It was horrible! Blowing a steady gale. The lanes were flooded in many places. Everything was wet, dull, muddy and bedraggled. Once I'd found a loaf I gave up the struggle and came home with only 17 miles to show for it.

Assens Museum dedicated to a young naval hero. (Peter Willemoes)

16th 38F, 3C, heavy overcast, winds starting light but increasing. Rode to Assens to do some shopping. They were going to have another try at blowing up the silo at the old sugar factory at 12.00. So I hung about and took some snaps and videos. There were hundreds of people there and traffic chaos after the event. It was fun to ride up the long hill between the slow-moving, opposing traffic. 20 miles.


17th 36F, 2C, overcast with sunshine promised for later. That'll make a change then! The sun did come out and now it's a beautiful but cold day. Only a quick tootle before we go out. My legs were tired. My toes were cold but I was too warm. Can't win. My own fault for not putting the rubber over-bootees on. 15 miles. At this rate it doesn't look as if I'll reach 7500 miles this year.

18th 32-35F, 0-2C, overcast, very dark, wind light. A cold start. My computers and mirrors kept icing over and had to be cleared every minute or so. The sun came out and stayed out. Blindly bright and low. Any water on the roads was icy. The verges were white.

My hip soon started complaining so I never reached the 20 mile-distant shops. Rather than limp straight home I just pottered the lanes and villages taking pictures. I still managed 30 miles. Holding the camera was cold on the hands. My feet were cold despite eventually putting on the over-boots. There were far more hunters out than cyclists today.

I have a new computer keyboard. A cheap Snappy. The back-lighting went on the Zippy I had before. I preferred the Zippy except for the delete key being alongside the left cursor key. I was always accidentally deleting text. The Snappy has rather strong springs on the keys but quite modest travel.

 Last time I needed a new keyboard I could not find one with white keys. Not anywhere! I tried every computer shop in the area and in several cities. There was a total monopoly on black keyboards. Black is crap! IMO. Without good lighting it is impossible to read the keys. I can type quickly with two sets of two fingers but could never learn to "touch" type. I tried several times over the years without success. Some laptops have nice keyboards. I'll just have to get used to the Snappy now I've bought it. £15 is very cheap by today's standards.

Another 8 miles after lunch. The grass was still crunchy underfoot. I was sprayed with salt by a passing gritting lorry!

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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