I spent an hour running all over some steep, wet and very muddy fields at a large, specialist tree nursery. My Tahoe shoes were literally caked in mud! It was good fun riding the tracks between the fields though. The roughest I've ever attempted. The secret is to be prepared to get out of the saddle when things get too laterally vertiginous. 2WD makes an awful lot of difference to keeping going. Coming to a standstill on a steep, heavily cambered, tractor-rutted track, with one's feet firmly clipped in, is not a good idea!
My wife insisted on washing my (Abus) helmet for me. Probably because I was going to do it myself. It's daft the way the helmet is designed. It is impossible to remove most of the dangly bits to wash them separately. It looks as if the black strap anchors should lift out but they don't. The helmet didn't smell, or anything like that. I just thought I'd better give it a spring clean. To freshen up the straps and the very thin, foam pads.
Shame I never had any instructions with it. Couldn't find any online either. They have a website but no cleaning or maintenance instructions? A bit silly. I might send them an email. :-) The Lane-U is a great helmet BTW. Incredibly light and comfortable. I often forget to put it on when I'm already wearing a Thinsulate hat. I had to ride back a whole mile the last time I forgot it. It all helps to keep up the mileage. Why do I so resent repeating a leg of the journey? 23 miles.
12th 43F, 6C, gales, horizontal rain, overcast. Steady winds building to over 30mph with gusts over 50mph. Should decrease and brighten up this afternoon. I'll wait. Left at 3pm. Wore my Easse jacket on my wife's advice: Wind chill factor in the strong winds. I stayed comfortable despite being blown about by a 4 o'clock wind on the way.
A member of the electrician's Mafia overtook me in the high street of a village. Then jammed his breaks on with a swerve to the right to ensure I couldn't get past. I was doing 17 mph and the speed limit is only 25. El-Price-Fixing Ltd knew he was turning sharp left into his yard. What a stupid plonker! I had to brake hard not to hit him!
The plastic post with reflectors marks the edge of the road. Handy when snow is too deep to see the correct route. These posts are a familiar sight on most Danish roads, large and small. In the UK they have cats-eyes to serve a similar purpose.There are none, that I know of, over here. I would imagine cats-eyes have a slight traffic calming effect.
13th 36-38F, 2-3C, blowing a gale, sunny periods. A cold headwind had me struggling to reach 10mph. The wind did not make me want to go far. I did my shopping and then headed home. 13 miles on Friday the 13th? What can possibly go wrong? :-)
A bit sweaty in the Aesse jacket despite the cold wind. Gloves too cold at first but my hands soon warmed up. I'm not sure if there is some drag somewhere. Or I'm just getting tired. I don't seem to be moving very fast recently. Not even with a tail wind. No obvious pain in my leg muscles. I just feel slow. I'll check to see if there's some bearing stiffness. The brakes and mudguards are certainly not dragging. I barely hit 30mph on a big hill and couldn't maintain it on the flat. The tyres are as hard as usual. Perhaps the chain is getting stiff despite frequent oiling. The gear pulleys are well oiled too.
14th 29-37F, -2C+3C, bright, winds light. A frost! I left rather late because I'd lost my 5 year-old mobile phone. The cheapest Nokia, half paving slab. I only use it for emergencies when out on the trike. Don't have any use for a mobile phone otherwise. Fortunately my wife thought to ring the number while I was out. It was in the jacket I had worn yesterday. In the pocket we had both checked several times in the search! Talk about parallel universes!
I managed to raise my speed a bit today. Probably because I oiled the chain well before leaving. Found nothing untoward or causing drag. Apart from the rear changer being a bit noisy in low gears. I oiled the pulleys again and it seemed to help. I still managed 26 miles despite not having a phone. ;-)
15th 26F, -3C, still, full sun promised. The grass and the car are white with frost. The blinding sun won't get above 14 degrees altitude here at 55N. A slightly corpulent, half moon ducked for cover behind the trees at the clamour of church bells. Few will answer the call on a day of icy roads and glassy ponds.
I wore the thin, day-glo jacket over the Aesse and stayed comfortable for a couple of hours. Then I took off the thinner jacket when I started warming up on a long drag.
The thicker Thinsulate gloves kept my hands warm but were wet inside. I tried the thinner gloves but my fingers started aching with cold. So it was back to the heavy pair again. They are far too stiff for comfort on a bike.
It was a gorgeous day, despite the cold. So still, even the wind turbines forgot to wake up. Lots of geese complaining overhead as I ploughed my lonely furrow between fields off rooks and crows. They rose and fell like oily rags. With their rough voices carrying across the jumbled landscape. I think I glimpsed a Bullfinch in a hedge. It was too bright to have been anything else. A superb red with a hint of orange. A few buzzards moved lazily away from the verges as I passed. Or glared back from a safe distance.
Trout could often be seen resting under the muddy banks of tiny, roadside streams.
There were more walkers and joggers than cyclists until getting on for mid day. A few waved or called. All of them were going the other way. I'm glad I don't live near the galloping railways. I couldn't be doing with their racket every few minutes. A lot of my journey was within earshot. Without the roar of the wind to drown them out they seemed amplified. Perhaps there was an inversion layer. Chainsaws, shooting and shouting could be heard for miles.
My cheap bike computer failed to record anything and then went blank. Probably a half-flat battery and the cold. I hate not knowing how far I've been. You don't miss these things until they are gone. My head was full of things to talk about as I rode along. All have been wiped clean now. 30 miles as the GPS flies.