18 Jun 2012

15th June 2012


The gatehouse to Weddelsborg Slot A stately home on its own long drive with a vast, private estate. One of the decorative shields on the gatehouse façade is dated 1675. I'm not sure if this is the date of the building itself. I believe the wavy gable decoration is supposed to show Dutch influence.

 15th 55-66F, 13-19C, a light breeze but becoming windy, sunny periods. A bully in a hearse (my nickname for a black, oversized people carrier with an obese driver) tried to push me off the road at a junction! No indication either. So I undertook and then pulled out in front to hold him up as I waited to turn left across the traffic. That'll teach the barsteward! ;-)

Eventually I set off up the narrow coastal lanes towards Nr.Åby. With a very gentle tailwind helping me up the rises. I passed a field full of Romanians working on a low crop. Just in case you are wondering where I get my inside information: Their number plates are clearly marked RO.

I also saw a real cycle tourist! A girl with her bike completely laden with bags and panniers. I did some shopping at Nr.Åby and then headed north east towards Bogense on the north coast.

Mr Higgins poses pauses to admire the view from above Husby Strand. (Pron: Hoosebew. Strand = Beach) A vast  factory at Kolding is visible. (white on the left) The Middelfart-Fredericia motorway suspension bridge is sticking up either side of the white building over on the right in the distance. (Click on the picture for an enlargement. Then repeatedly on Ctrl and + together to view full screen)

The non-standard-issue water bottle is a nuisance because it rattles constantly and needs two hands to unscrew the top. My last 'proper' water bottle grew algae. So was deemed unfit! Or was it me SWMBO was talking about?

Just short of Bogense I turned a right angle and headed south towards Aarup. Just as a nasty headwind picked up. It was a real struggle making headway at times. Not least when a number of large lorries caught me on a series of violent switchbacks. I could only manage about 10mph pedalling my heart out on the steep ascents of our roller coaster ride! The main road was narrow and twisting just there and marked with continuous, double white lines. The lorries just would not overtake me! So I had to pull off three times to let them past. 53 rather tiring miles and I forgot some shopping. Now I'm grounded for the rest of the day! I could sneak out and break my daily mileage record... if I dared. :-)

BTW: The Bontrager MTB shoes are proving superbly comfortable. They are still just as noisy, off the trike, but who cares? 

Another memorial to a crashed RAF bomber crew. 
 This one is at Tanderup.
The inscription ends: "They died also for Denmark"

16th 55-65F, 13-19C, strong gusty wind, overcast with only a few sunny periods. I rode to Assens for a loaf of bread. It was strange to see so few people about. Not even at 10am. Though the high street was closed off and taken up by a couple of dozen, secondhand toy stalls. Manned by a lot of kids and a few parents. There weren't many customers though. 22 miles.

Going out again after coffee. Rain forecast pm with a countrywide cloudburst warning from the DMI. So I'd better get going! Plus 10 more miles before lunch. Have I mentioned I don't like the rough gravel resurfacing on the lanes? It takes forever to smooth itself out! Grrr. Or should that be G-g-g-g-r-r? It never did rain, at all, today.

On leg massage: I massage my legs several times a day now. Usually at idle  moments while I'm sitting in my computer chair. I found recently, quite by accident, that one sitting position for the legs does not find all the centres of pain. Particularly in the quads. I just happened to try massaging my quads while sitting on another, lower chair while watching TV. So then I tried it while standing up and found yet more painful "knots" of which I hadn't been aware. Then again while sitting on the floor with my legs out straight. So it pays to try different seat heights and leg positions to find where your legs are still painful after a hard ride. Massage certainly seems to help if you want to ride hard again the next day. The massage hurts  but the pain and lingering heaviness soon goes away.

17th 54F, 12C, blowing a gale, overcast, continuous rain. The rain was supposed to be much lighter than yesterday's. G-g-g-g-r-r! :-) All the plans of Tricyklists and men(?) do oft but go awry. 1pm and still periodically inclement. I'm still hoping to get a ride in without needing an umbrella and waders. The trees are still thrashing about. 1.30pm, lunch over and it is finally brightening up. Though the sky looks just as cloudy as before. I finally escaped about 2pm. It was blowing hard but stayed dry. A rip roaring wind! I made no effort to go fast today. I noticed some front of knee pain now and then. The experts say this means that the saddle is too low. Or it could just mean I'm tired from doing 1300 more miles since my last rest day five weeks ago. 28 miles.

18th 70-63F, 21-17C, windy, sunny becoming overcast. A pleasant day for a ride and I was feeling quite fit. The first ten hilly miles seemed almost effortless thanks to a gentle tailwind. The next ten were with a crosswind but no problem at all.

It turned very dark and breezy at 12am, just as the DMI had promised. Thunder started at 12.30 with heavy rain forecast this pm. So perfect timing to arrive home. I had taken a waterproof jacket, overshoes, cap etc but (fortunately) they only enjoyed a free ride. I'm getting quite used to the hard tyres now except for the cobbles.

I see the TA has just published the annual mileage figures to the end of September 2011. It was listed under Activities on the TA website for those who sent them in. (by snail mail!)

http://www.tricycleassociation.org.uk/Activities.html  (Scroll down)

I managed only 7825 miles. Two trikers recorded over 10k miles. One chap did 17k! So I was definitely slacking in (virtual) 4th place out of the 23 riders listed. 24 if you count me in. I prefer to measure my mileage from Jan 1st so didn't bother to send in my own mileage. I did 7319 in only nine months the previous year to the end of September 2010. I kept no proper records prior to that. Or I would probably have come close to 10k myself. Albeit in the wrong year! I must be getting lazier in my old age! Poor old devil. :-) 35 miles today.

19th 62-66F, 17-19C, breezy, sunny periods. Where shall we go today? Bogense!  On the north coast of Fyn. What again?!?

Having arrived at Bogense I discovered they had moved the infamous mermaid sculpture. From the busy, town end of the harbour. Right onto the very end of an almost inaccessible breakwater. It was quite good fun riding the narrow, very rough tarmac path along the very top of the breakwater. On the completely wrong side of the water! But I took a picture of the naughty lady anyway. Using lots of zoom. It was heavily overcast at the time as well. Though I think that I still caught her best side. :-)

After pottering about Bogense, for a while, I rode east along the main road through Særslev to Søndersø. The Dansk Autohjælp driver thoughtfully avoided trying to kill me this time. Simply by not being there at the same time as I was.

On my last ride through Særslev my blog nearly came to an abrupt and unexpected end. Was the driver drunk out of his tiny skull? Clinically insane? Registered blind? All of the above? Who can possibly say?

He certainly frightened the hell out of the poor oncoming driver. As he attempted to push us both right off the road in his haste to overtake me at high speed in a built up area. While simultaneously carrying two vehicles on his breakdown truck.

It seemed that today all was calm. Until I turned south at Søndersø and into the wind. Only to became very lost somewhere around Padesø. I had taken a wrong turning! After literally miles and miles of narrow, hilly lanes. With absolutely no landmarks or helpful signs. I eventually found myself again. Just time to do some shopping before finally heading home. To be met by some quite unnecessary accusations about the extreme length of my absence. I'm an old fart. I ride a 58-year old old trike. I shop. Therefore I am. Deal with it! ;-)

It's not all bad news! Now I have a completely new and unspoilt area to explore. One which is not a million miles from home for Mr Higgins. (strictly in the Danish sense of course) This time I shall finally remember to carry a map!

An impressively large, timber-framed (merchant's?) house in Bogense. 
Now a retailer of designer furniture and carpets in the enclosed yard.
Difficult to photograph uphill. Though I held the camera as high as possible. Ideally it needs a shift lens (or a tall stepladder) to do it proper justice. I suppose I could have climbed the nearest lamppost...? 

My knees were hurting, every now and then, but otherwise my legs were fine. I must be getting more used to these slightly higher mileages. Should I raise the saddle slightly to see if it helps the knees? I should have remembered earlier and also forgot to take the correct spanner. Which had been foolishly discarded in my mobile workshop clear out.

The spanner/wrench also fits the wheel nuts. So should really be considered essential and stored somewhere underneath the kitchen sink. In the cerise pink "saddle" bag. Having seriously overspent a non-existent income, of late, I am not even allowed to mention Carradice. Nor anything about a real saddle bag. The Danish pension office moves in mysterious ways. Its functions to perform.

Disused, old mill house at Harritslev Slot. It reeks of age. Note the thin, original bricks. The heavy, weathered timbers, in front, presumably supported a platform for loading sacks of flour onto horse-drawn carts. If they changed a thing it would never be the same again! The contrast is a bit excessive. So I have darkened it slightly. I have also dubbed out a hideous white postbox on the left. There was a large dog in the house which wanted me for breakfast. I waved and it was so shocked it became quiet. :-)

Unspoilt Harritslev Slot is hidden by trees. The white painted house on the right leans heavily away from the main building. There isn't any tarmac anywhere. The rough gravel drives, steep inclines (and no parked vehicles) give it all a wonderful sense of period. Like stepping back in time. There are several other beautiful, timber-framed buildings and barns off to the left. The house and grounds are open to the paying public.

 The i-gotU GPS logger fell asleep in the shops (again.) Then didn't wake up again all the way home. 57 (mostly uphill) miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

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