1 Dec 2011

December 1st 2011

A traditional, Danish windmill hunt.
Windmills are shy, retiring creatures and difficult to spot in their natural habitat.

1st 41F, C, heavy overcast, gales with up to 45mph gusts and rain forecast for all day. As the rain held of for a while I set off under a leaden sky with a gusty wind for company. The first two legs were okay but the final leg was a bottom gear crawl. It was horrible! Only 11 miles.

The repaired mirror is now much improved. No more vibration problems. It was fortunate that the original stalk was held by small screws. So I was able to adapt some plastic wall plugs to take care of the different diameters.

The mirror is now fully usable with all hand positions on the bars. It doesn't need constant readjustment for droop either. Being a fraction nearer it provides a slightly larger field of view. 

Having tried a variety of handlebar mirrors I now prefer plain, flat glass of sufficient size. This provides distortion-free, life-size views of what is approaching from the rear. An oblate spheroid surface with a very gentle curve would provide a wider field of view. Though it would still give a false sense of distance. Rather like the wing mirrors on a car. One gets used to it but the plane glass, inside mirror gives a much more accurate sense of distance. I rely on cars going out of the field of view in the mirror as the pass well outside of my own track. 

A large collection of Nobilis cuttings for Xmas decorations. 

Lying unattended on a deserted rural lane for several days without being stolen.

2nd 37F, 3C, light winds increasing, overcast, raining steadily. There was no rain forecast but it persisted all the time I was out. Towards the end my shoulders and arms were getting rather cold and wet in the Æsse jacket. Just another heavy shopping trip. I finally remembered to lubricate the chain. Sprayed everything with Basta lubricant. A very thin, clear liquid in a small spray can. It has an excellent, fixed short nozzle. The jet is very narrow and accurate for hitting the chain, pulleys, sprockets and changers. Reduces waste too. Fortunately it didn't make my head explode like WD40. The sun came out after lunch but I'm not allowed out again after getting wet. 19 miles.

Blogspot with the latest Firefox update 8.0.1 is giving problems.  I couldn't open any posts for editing and composing. Seems I am not alone. Cleared the dump with CCleaner and went over to Chrome. Luckily this seems to have done the trick. Though others complained it still didn't work for them. I had to repeat the CCleaner purge to continue composing after only one Update in Chrome. I can now compose again in Firefox.

I have cancelled the gallery view of enlarged post images. (Lightbox) You may disagree but I still prefer the single image enlargement. Viewers on a slow connection may hesitate to enlarge a single image if they think they'll have every image land in their lap. The startling white background to single enlargements is a trifle "sudden". Offering a choice of background colour to single enlargements would be an obvious improvement.

 3rd 40F, 4C, severe gales, overcast, raining. Forecast to rain all day and blow to 45+mph. A window presented itself mid-afternoon. So I set off expecting a drenching.  The roads were sopping wet but the rain stayed off. I was really glad for the mudguards. No point in dragging it out. So I did the shopping and returned in the dark lit up like a Christmas tree. Only one large Mercedes driver decided that his 2 seconds saved was well worth my remaining years lost. He brushed past me just as the only car in several miles passed me going the other way. I expect he was rushing to perform emergency brain surgery.  Hopefully, on himself. Perhaps he was an eye surgeon in a hurry to practice some DIY? 15 miles.

Drive-in, trike wash. It was 6" deep! You should have seen it when two cars went through! I didn't have my camera ready and no more came along.

4th 35F, 2C, squally gusts, rain, snow and sleet showers. It was supposed to be rain showers and and sunny periods! Occasionally it gets so dark we have to put the lights back on. The ground is coated with white ice crystals. The greenhouse has about an inch of snow lying on the roof. One glimpse of the watery sun. Where do I queue for my refund?

View across the rolling Danish landscape towards Vissenbjerg tower.

Having lazed over morning coffee the sky finally teased me with a sudden clear up. There was even an imitation of sunshine for while. I pottered off to do a loop bringing me to the shops towards the end. The idea being that the frozen stuff wouldn't thaw out  before I reached home. The sunshine was short lived before the sky tuned the colour of school ink. Then it rained on me, hailed, snowed and repeated the exercise several times. Until it finally gave up trying to impress and rained steadily.

I put on and took off hats, jackets, gloves and capes by turns. I sheltered from two nasty showers in weekend flea-markets. Hail is fine. If it is dry and one owns a hat. Rain is insidiously depressing.

Having sweated through three supermarket queues I could plod home. Oddly enough, the Æsse jacket felt bone dry upon arrival indoors. Only the toes of my socks were wet. Which doesn't make sense because I have mudguards and neoprene overshoes. 22 miles.

Denmark is so rich every village can afford its own Olympic standard, downhill, water skiing slope.

5th 35-38F, 2-4C, light winds, snow at first but clearing up. The drive is being dug up again to fix the telephone cables which were broken by the fibre-net contractors. So I can't get out until they move the digger! Now the sun is coming out!

Well, I finally escaped. Not a bad day for a ride. I was given a free sports bag (by a bank) to use as a saddle bag on the trike. They were having a publicity day in the car park and started chatting about the trike. When I told them how far I rode they suggested I might advertise for them with a free bag. They old bag was on its last legs and advertising another bank. A cheerful lot and very polite they were. Getting a smile out of my own bank's staff is like getting blood out of a stone! "We're local, you know." (A tag line from a British TV comedy series) Only 16 miles.

 6th 35-37F, 2-3C, getting windy, heavy overcast, sleety showers. It felt rather cold today with a knife sharp wind and ice on top of the puddles. My nose was streaming at times.

I still haven't found a reasonable balance between a hat too warm and a bare head under my helmet. I take the Thinsulate hat off when I get too warm and then my ears get cold. The rain comes in through the ventilation slots too. I wore two pairs of thinner gloves instead of my winter gloves. My hands weren't really warm enough. The last leg was into the wind with wet sleet! Yuk! I have been enjoying riding through the big puddles where the roads are flooded. I used to avoid them but now it's great fun. Thanks again, Steve.

A chap, out training on his racing bike, passed me like I was going backwards. I was carrying a load of shopping and doing 12 mph uphill, at the time, but it's really no excuse. :-) 24 miles.

7th 36F, 2C, breezy becoming windy, heavy overcast, constant rain even before it is forecast to start. Then it sleeted. I seem to be getting spam disguised as comments on my blogs. I don't know why they bother. They will all be deleted without hesitation.

I was aching all over from yesterday's exercise in loading and then unloading a stack of 10kg (20lbs) fuel blocks for the stove. The rain didn't help so I spent the day on roundtoit chores in and out. I'd hoped for a clear up in the afternoon but it never happened. I did put the new bag on Mr Higgins. It isn't so voluminous as the last but is slightly wider. It has lots of useful inside pockets. The plastic mirror stalk is proving to be a weak point. The old Rawlplug keeps breaking off at the fixing screw. I'll have to find something tougher but still flexible.

I have purchased some Plastic Padding 'Chemical Metal' to repair the lower head (fork) bearing seating. Every so often the head bearings work loose and everything starts shaking. Like an idiot I filed away the orginal attempt at a repair. Probably 'Araldite'. It was far too soft to support the bearing properly. I read that the PP stuff has metal powder filling. (or so I hope) I'll post pictures of the problem and results of my repair. I've put it off for far too long while thinking about it. Rest day. 0 miles. Oh, the shame! :-)

BTW: Check out velogogo. A picture-orientated cycling blog with an emphasis on racing. Lots of bike "porn" and even a few muscular legs. "Porn" in this instance meaning pretty metal and/or paintwork. Nothing much to interest amateur gynaecologists. Lots of cycling related humour and the odd swear word. Far more pictures than talk. Is this a good thing? It kept my interest for a good couple of hours. Perhaps it's trying to tell me something?

I cloned out an ugly road sign for this one.

8th 33-38F, 1-3C, light winds, low sun, overnight frost. I am making a habit of wearing the Æsse jacket with the thin day-glo one over the top. As soon as I warm up I take off the thin jacket and may swap hats. The roads were wet with ice on top of the puddles. I got very sideways in one village which has a sharp turn at the bottom of a hill. The sun finally rose at 8.45 and became a nuisance in my rear view  mirror. The third leg was into the breeze with a low, blinding sun straight ahead and reflected off the road. It is hell out there! :-) 23 miles.

Another storm is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Very high winds and rain are over Scotland today. Hopefully it will head further north or weaken before it reaches us. No doubt it will be a sleepless night.

9th  41F, 5F, gales, overcast. Slept well. No obvious damage from overnight winds. Rain and gusts to 50mph forecast. I do have to go out but will check to see if it feels ride-able. The longer I leave it the better the chance of the winds having died down. I left after coffee clinging on for dear life! The gusts from the side were ferocious! I as hanging right over the upwind wheel at times. Riding downwind was without drama. Though the fields were badly flooded in places and the roar of the wind in the woods and hedges was exhausting!

Coming back,  heavily laden with shopping, was awful. I was in bottom gear (28") and completely unable to move forwards at one point. I had to put my Thinsulate hat back on. Just to stop my brain from becoming supercooled by the turbo freezer, helmet slots!

Luckily there was more shelter to be had, further on and I was able to use the middle chainwheel. When I arrived home I found I'd lost my mirror and had to backtrack. I was certain about using it at one point but there was no sign of it anywhere on the road. Having given up after retracing my route by a couple of miles I found the mirror lying in the drive! Dogh! Only 12 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. Hi Chrisbee

    I am very impressed your hobby and village views.
    Do you have post about you?

  2. Hi dimmodd

    Thank you. I am really not sure what your question means. My entire blog is all about me and my activities. :-)