28 Dec 2011

19th December 2011

19th 36F, 3C, mostly sunny, cold wind, ground frozen.  My hip is hurting a lot. I'm hoping it is just strained from heavy lifting. We went Christmas shopping in the car. Another rest day. 0 miles.

Mr Higgins surveys the Vest-Fynsk landscape. Gelsted lies in the distance. The retaining wall of Ørslev Kirke (church) is on the left.

20th 33F, 1C, heavy overcast, cold wind. My feet were soon cold despite wearing two pairs of socks. I have just bought some thick woolly socks with loop pile. They came highly recommended from a farm supply shop. At 69 Kroner or £7(equiv) I was rather hesitant. They might fall to pieces in no time with the endlessly repetitive foot movements of cycling. If they last they will save me some pain. 

 Ørslev, hilltop church is from the middle ages. 
The bell is younger from only 1426. The hilltop is almost certainly the site of an even more ancient place of worship. Note the use of shrubs, trees and conifers to decorate the graveyard. Graveyards are always well tended in Denmark. Unlike many in Britain today.

 My hip/buttock is still hurting but not so badly as yesterday. It is impossible to locate the pain despite it aching continuously.  I might just squeeze past 7,500 miles this year if I can avoid more rest days. Failing that I will just have to settle for 12,000 km. It's been an odd year of mostly short, morning rides but with fewer rest days than last year. Touch wood, my knees haven't bothered me for ages. Not so much as a twinge.  A hilly 19 mile loop today.

The owner of this bike has given it a bath. The sight of an equally scruffy MrHiggins was obviously too much to bear.I keep riding through puddles but it hasn't helped.

A bindingsværk hus (timber framed house) perched right on the end of a muddy lane to nowhere. I leave no lane unturned.

21st 32-36F, 0-3C, blindingly sunny, only a light breeze. The lanes were covered in black ice. I was even able to get some very brief moments of wheelspin on one ascent. Then the salting lorry overtook me on another hill and it all turned wet.

Another beautiful, unmodernised, four-sided farm. The flaky bark suggests Plane trees on the right. The Christmas tree stands almost defiantly by the portal.

My hip is still aching but I tried not to let it limit my ride. It is mostly on the hills that I notice it. Or when standing up from sitting down. Though it doesn't hurt (much) when I get out of the saddle to reduce the pain from normal climbing. I still managed 20 miles without too much effort. Got to keep up the average. :-) My heavier winter underwear was far too warm despite the freezing temperatures. Sweaty then chilled. My heavier Thinsulate gloves were literally wet inside!

Later I disgraced myself by digging another 5' of trench through solid hardcore for my fibre optics, broadband connection.

Thatched cottages nestling in the landscape. The fields have been flooded in many places by the recent storms. The relatively flat, corrugated nature of the Fynsk landscape makes it difficult to find lower ground for drainage. Heavy clay is commonplace below the topsoil. Denmark was ground flat and weighed down by the ice ages.

22nd 38-39F, 3C, overcast, breezy and raining.  Forecast dry but cloudy this afternoon. I think I'll wait until later to go out.

It was still spitting when I left and soon commenced to drizzle all the way round. I was dry enough in my Æsse jacket and a little too warm on the hills. I was able to dry out a bit in the shops at half way. It became steadily mistier as time passed. Giving a "Hollywood aftermath" tobacco cast to the murk as seen through my yellow glasses. 20 miles.

A solar roof x 2 going on. Producing more power is not the problem It is saving power which really matters. Where is the paint-on super-insulation for the existing housing stock which cannot be conventionally insulated? Pensioners are freezing to death while the rich are getting tax handouts for producing yet more electricity. The total carbon debt which Chinese panels owe the world is never taken into consideration. A tiny handful of hybrid cars get tax breaks when their total carbon debt is massive. While keeping vast numbers of small, existing, petrol-driven cars running is totally ignored. As is the massive carbon savings of cycling. Windmills, hybrid cars and solar electric panels are sexy. Cycling and the existing fleet of conventional cars are not. Where do I queue for my free electric car? I want to save the planet! ;-)

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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