18 Mar 2012

18th March 2012

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18th 42-47F, 6-9C, light breeze, heavy overcast and slightly misty. Overnight rain had left the roads wet. There were lots of slugs, snails and dead toads on the roads. First time this year. It was supposed to rain on and off all day but hasn't so far. I tootled the quiet lanes for a couple of hours. The Aldi jacket came off after a long gentle climb. Then I braved the slightly chill air until I arrived home. The SS "Activity" gloves were comfortably warm today. My legs were rather tired so I only did 18 miles. So much for a rest day! :-)

19th 42.45F, 6-7C, very windy, sunny after a wet and grey start. Leaving late, I headed straight into the wind for the first eight miles. So I was grateful for the Aldi jacket.

After turning north at my first stop I wore the equally day-glo Giordano. (image) Going quite well but my legs are still feeling tired. So it had better rain soon so I can have a proper rest!

I had to take a wheel off to tighten a mudguard nut and bolt. It had worked loose then rusted. So it was rattling on rough surfaces. Lucky I checked it because the wheel nut was only finger tight! Eek!

Waddya mean I have a distorted view of life? ;-)

I have another serious problem. My calf muscles seem to be growing. So my skiing tights feel tight on the knees when I bend my legs. (as you do) I bet it's too much pushing and not enough twiddling. All due to a lack of a cadence readout! Or it might just be that huge 42 chainwheel. :-)

I have just found a new wheel circumference multiplier [1667mm] which gives cadence readout in kmh as decimal 1/10ths of the actual rpm. So, for example, 11.5kmh =115rpm. Most computers won't display over 100kmh so some people use silly multipliers. I like the simplicity of this one and it means I can pedal right up to 1000rpm if I like. :o)

 The Recumbent Bicycle and Human Powered Vehicle Information Center

I still have my cadence crank magnet and sensor. So I just need to rig up an old £5 computer to try it out. If I need to extend the cable to reach the computer bracket on the bars I have had practice at that too. 25 miles.

20th 48F, 9C, windy, heavy overcast. I left after morning coffee because it was supposed to rain earlier. Still a cool wind despite the rising temperatures.  The SealSkinz 'Activity' gloves actually feel wet and cold inside now. I am going to have to try and wash them without any useful laundry instruction supplied. 

I was overtaken and baulked by a car driver on a downhill approach to a tight mini roundabout. The retard then flashed he was going right and went straight on with a left indication on the exit. It should have been a right indicator of course.

 There was already a queue in front of me and I was matching their speed while leaving a decent breaking distance. Let's be charitable and suggest he was dropped on his head as a baby and never recovered. There are no other explanations for such behaviour which do not involve permanent incarceration.

Despite having a bag full of shopping I had to tie a large bag of seed compost on the back. What are you supposed to do about rusty blade-style spokes?  I may have to go back to a 'proper' front wheel. 20 miles.

I have fixed my old bike computer onto the DIY bar bracket. Then strapped the sensor to the chainstay with tie-wraps as usual. I had to splice, solder and tape the cable joint. The secret to stripping the tiny twin wires is a screw adjustable pair of electricians, wire stripping pliers.

Fitting the magnet was more of a problem. Due to the hollow back to the crank and the very wide spacing. So I cut a thick piece of rubber to go behind the crank. The magnet was then strapped over this with more zip ties.

Guess what? It works an absolute treat! More so, since the speed reading digits (in kmh) are much larger than the previous cadence reading in rpm.  Now I can work on reducing my calves so I can get my tights back on again. "Happy days are here again... tra-la-la." {:o))

21st  42-55F, 6-13C, sunny and windy. Warmest day this year so far. Though the head wind still felt cold.

The DIY cadence computer works perfectly! Nice big digits and rapid response to changes. I have found another matching computer head but it didn't fit the shoe I used. I shall have to plough through my cycling storage boxes to see where the correct one is hiding. Just my luck that there were no computers in the supermarket where I usually get them for a fiver.(£5)

Going rather well but my legs are still tired most of the time. No rain forecast!

Saw my first hare this year. It was odd the way a Yellowhammer crossed the road in front of me and stared from a fence right beside the road. It may have been blinded by my matching day-glo jacket in the bright sunshine.

A small hawk also shot across the road in front of me, gliding along the disused railway into a village at about 40mph. Long, narrow wings, brown. Body much smaller than a blackbird. I used to think these small birds of prey were Sparrowhawks but the latter's wings are far too broad in pictures. The bird I see quite often is always travelling very fast and straight. Usually over or right through the hedges lining fields and roads. Wings outstretched as if they aren't visibly flapping despite their great speed. The Hobby seems to match the wing shape better than most.

 On a larger scale there were lots of calling buzzards circling on updraughts over the various woods. Their plaintive calls are a regular feature of my rides. The lanes are full of birdsong at the moment. Many of which i don't recognise at all! The black swans above are tame, captive birds on a farm pond beside the road. They have a rapid, high-pitched, piping call. Not at all what you'd expect from such a large bird. I really struggled to capture them sharply because they kept bobbing frantically. Sadly, I had no bread for them. 25 miles.

Seeing the bigger picture

22nd 43-53F, 6-12C, windy, sunny. Wind at 1-2 o'clock on the way out. 8 o'clock coming back. First time this year without tights. Came back with fingerless mitts and no hat. Cadence meter still working well. I managed 115rpm for a while. I seem to average 90-95 most of the time and climb in the mid 80s rpm. The 42T chainwheel is the most used now. I hardly seem to need the 22T. 20 miles.

Kevin has asked me to share admin duties on the new, upright Triking forum:

 on3wheels.myfastforum.org :: Index

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