14 Jul 2012

15th July 2012


15th. 58F, 14C, light winds, showers forecast all day. I needed an excuse for a ride so I went back to Ringe. The chap in the bike shop couldn't tell me much more about the cheap saddle I had bought. He said it came off a bike they sold. The buyer had selected another saddle. I'm still coming to terms with the new saddle. Most of the time it's fine. But when it's not, it's not. 273 miles in the week since I bought it suggests that it can't be too awful. Or, I am adjusting to it.

The wind was at 2 o'clock all the way there. I found I could place my palms on top of the brake hoods to get a nice low position. Then I could cruise at 19-20mph on the flat. Though it was beginning to hurt my legs to keep it up for ten miles of gentle undulations. Twenty four miles in an hour and half isn't bad for me. Particularly considering the wind and a couple of stops to take off my jacket, look around a shop and find something to eat in the bag. I saw yet another Marsh Harrier hunting over a field. That's four different birds this week alone. 

On the way back the wind was at 10 o'clock! Only now it felt much stronger but so did I. Then I became lost on the way back again. Trying to use a short cut. Which wasn't remotely. I have come to that same village before without a clue how to escape.

After that I got caught in a cloudburst! I whipped out the Aldi jacket and pedalled on for a couple of miles desperately looking for a tree under which to hide. The rain was pouring through my helmet and into my eyes. Making the suntan lotion sting my eyes horribly. My pale sunglasses were soaked too. I couldn't see a thing by the time I found a big chestnut tree at a minor junction. Only to have a string of traffic all wanting to turn right just there!

Almost immediately the rain redoubled its efforts and the tree was leaking all over me. So I dashed across the road and into a farm entrance archway. Where I sat on the trike under wormy boards. While a river of rainwater collected in the yard behind me. Before pooling all around me. Finally gushing past me in a deep torrent out onto the road. Where the rain was continuing to lash down in massive drops. Bouncing back up in huge splashes on the standing surface water. Like an over-the-top,  film version of a Piranha attack.

Finally it slowed and I pressed on. Only for it to start tipping down again! I dived into a perfectly placed bus shelter and managed to get Mr Higgins in too. I must have lost about 20 minutes, in all, after waiting for the rain to subside for a second time. It gave me a chance to relax and enjoy a carton of apple juice and a biscuit or two.

Back on the road there was a loud clap of thunder and then suddenly the road was completely dry beneath my tyres. The cloudbursts must have been extremely localised. A couple of cyclists went past going the other way in their normal cycling kit. Despite the sunshine, I was still wrapped up and pretty well soaked! My mitts were far too wet to wipe the glasses.

I added a few silly miles by heading north instead of west. Though I was climbing incredibly well thanks to the tail wind. Eventually I found a turning to a village I knew. Then on to the shops and home. Still in good time. 49 miles. The i-gotU GPS device died half way again. Its days are definitely numbered! 

The Carradice 'Camper' saddlebag is proving to be embarrassingly undersized for shopping. I am having to carry an ultra-lightweight sports bag to carry the fragile stuff home. One large, sliced loaf and the Carradice is full. Two litres of milk and there is no room for the bread! And what do you do with the eggs? Pulling down the Longflap assumes the stacked items are indestructible! The Camper is becoming a decorative toy. Fine for a day out to carry a light jacket and snacks. Camping? You really have to be joking! Unless your idea of camping is B&B with a credit card.  

15th 57-64F, 14-18C, light winds to start, overcast with brighter moments. The i-gotU GPS logger wouldn't wake up so was left behind! I decided to push the boundaries even more and headed for Otterup. A town in the north east of Fyn. With an over-the-shoulder wind I was cruising at 20mph on and off. The traffic was so light I kept to the main roads some of the time. I got right up to 26mph for a while. Then had a clubman go past me like I was going backwards! Grr.

The shops were closed in Otterup so I turned back into the wind. This wasn't half as much fun! It was a constant struggle. The saddle became my enemy after 30 miles. It was agony on and off. I climbed out of the saddle as much as possible and stretched my legs to give my nether regions a rest. Some of the time the saddle was fine. The sun came out quite a lot. It was one of those very clear days as well.

Uggerslev Mill.

Major bindingsværk repairs. Replacement of old, oak timber-framing. The intervening spaces will be filled with brick using lime mortar. 

I managed to get lost despite having a list of villages which I was meant to pass through. Except there were no road signs to my next goal in some of the villages! When will I learn to carry a map of Fyn?  I used the forests for shelter as much as possible on  the way back. Though they are very much hillier than the exposed roads. Despite having enough food I was getting really tired by the end. It has been a hard week! 59 miles today.

Tacks on the road in the Tour de France? I said the raving loonies had been let out! One of the riders crashed after puncturing and has a broken collar bone. That raises the crime above mindless vandalism. The guillotine may be far too good for the perp. A lynching is much more apt. 

On a happier note: Google Maps now has cycle routes marked: You need to activate the service by ticking the drop down box in options under Satellite/Traffic etc. at top right. (Still in beta as of today!) 

I think this service is also available as an App on some mobile phones. One point of confusion is that the Danish motorways are show in green as if they had cycle lanes running along each side. I really must try that! ;ø)  

Google maps will also draw a route for you. I'm not sure if this is new. I have always relied on the Danish Krak mapping service for route finding. In fact I shall continue to use Krak. Because Google Map wont allow insertion of points along the way. Krak allows multiple "via" points which is absolutely essential for a cycle route! I wouldn't be without it. Google Maps take note.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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