20 Jul 2012

20th July 2012

20th 56-66F, 14-19C, windy, sunny periods. Showers forecast all day but mostly dry. An errand before going out again. Only 7 miles. Time for toast and rolls. 10am is a long way from breakfast at 6.45! Another shopping trip for 26 miles total today. I was feeling quite strong. Even into the wind. With another large, banana box on the back acting as a huge air scoop! :-)

Talking of which:

I was thinking about the cycle rider's torso angle again and noticed that a line through the hip joints is very near the saddle. This reduces the possible variations in the angle of the pelvic girdle and of the Ischial tuberosities in particular. Which are the bony protrusions upon which the body rests on the saddle.  This may explain why one gets so little relief from an uncomfortable saddle from changing one's hand position on the handlebars. The pelvis hardly rotates while the torso changes from bolt upright to a fully prone TT torso position. Which is unfortunate for the saddle plagued rider but handy for sponsors advertising on the backs of the rider's shorts.

It never ceases to amaze me how many TT riders completely fail to achieve a low torso angle despite the considerable investment in a multi-thousand Pound/Dollar/Euro specialist TT machine. Or even bother with the rather less expensive, but still pricey, carbon TT "Triathlon" handlebar sets. Many riders seem to completely miss the whole point of giving the torso a minimum frontal area. Which means it must be low enough to hide behind the shoulders/head of the rider.

Having a large belly does not help of course. Depending on one's proportions the knees can hammer the sagging belly when pedalling. A very uncomfortable experience. Tried that. Didn't like it!

Some riders have the fortunate proportions to allow a low position without the knees contacting their unsupported stomach. A case of having your cake and eating it, so to speak. Others cannot obtain a low position without knee contact. So must raise the bars/arm rests to achieve some clearance. Taller riders like Wiggins and Froome seem to have loads of clearance between their knees and their torso/belly.

Having somebody photograph one on one's bike/trike, in the fully prone TT position, ought to be be an absolute must for anybody seriously competing in a TT.

A glance at any of the galleries of online images will show that many amateur riders don't get low enough. Many are more upright than normal riders with their hands on the brake hoods on road bikes. Why even bother with a low drag bike/trike, skin suits and disk wheels if your own body is the largest object  causing drag? Often at a ridiculous 45 degrees into a self-made headwind!


In the Tour de France, Wiggins helped Mark Cavendish reach the dying remnants of the breakaway. Edvald Boassun Hagen finished the lead out. Cavendish looked baulked for a while and had to ride right around several other riders. He had to go very early indeed but still showed how incredibly fast he is.  He looked to be in a completely different league to the sprinters Goss and Sagan. (2nd and 3rd) Cavendish winning easily by several lengths!

21st 54F, 12C, overcast, grey, windy. Forecast is dry and brightening later. It stayed dry but was very windy with powerful gusts. Four people this week have stopped to chat about the trike. I'm also getting waves from strangers in cars.

Lots of dead moles on the roads. Probably young,  forced out of their runs on the road verges by the adults. I saw a dead owl too. The most common road kill is the blackbird. But there are sparrows, swallows, goldfinches, greenfinches, amongst others. I saw a thrush in the garden the other morning. Who would have thought thrushes were so rare? I don't think I've seen one in several years. 

I didn't intend to go far today as I am trying to rest my legs. Unfortunately, Mr Higgins has a mind of his own. ;-) 31 miles.


Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome proved to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field in the Tour de France. Wiggins allowed himself the first sign of emotion so far by punching the air. Well he might, considering he is the first British rider to wear the Yellow Jersey for so long. And, he has almost guaranteed himself the first British winner of the Tour de France. (In 99 years!)

With World Champion, Mark Cavendish showing such superb form and the Tour de France British duo so dominating the race, the Olympics should be more than interesting. 

Hopefully this will give British cycling a boost. Perhaps reducing the number of totally unnecessary cyclist's deaths on the roads. This would be rather amazing. Though Britain has a very long way to go before cyclists enjoys the same respect as in other European countries. The ignorance of the law, psychopathic selfishness and lethal aggression, shown by drivers in Britain towards cyclists, is appalling. Not helped by the overcrowding on Britain's roads and lax attitudes of the British courts to vehicular murder and mayhem. When will they accept that cars are licensed weapons of mass destruction?

Can you imagine three and four year-olds riding their tiny bikes alongside their bike riding parents, on busy public roads, in any British city? This is a fairly common sight in Denmark. Whole school classes routinely ride together along busy roads. Vast numbers of cyclists, of all ages and classes, routinely ride to work in much colder conditions than is typical in Britain. Danish car drivers wait patiently at their exits for cyclists to trundle past on roundabouts. Danish car drivers wait patiently for cyclists to pass before turning at a junction.  

22nd 56-70F, 13-21C, breezy with a bright start. I rode up to Bogense, turned right along the north coast and then rode back via the lanes. Taking lots of pictures along the way. Coming back was mostly into the building wind. Which made it rather tiring. I relied on only a few biscuits and a box of apple juice. It's no wonder I'm getting thinner! 

Not far from home, with some shopping in the bag, a couple of young club persons were bombing down a big hill, crouched low on their triathlon bars to catch me up. I thought I'd better give them a run for their money. So I belted up the following hill at 115 rpm leaving them well behind. They only managed to catch me at the bottom of the next big hill by using their TT bars. I said 'hi' as they finally struggled past but they completely ignored me!

So I promptly overtook them again going up the next hill. At which point they decided to turn left without looking. They obviously couldn't hear me above their panting! Are they having fun yet? :-) It was lucky (for them) I had just done 55 fairly hard miles. Or I would have left them well behind. 


23rd 60-70F, 16-21C, very windy, full sun. It was so windy I had to drop onto the smallest chainring at one point. That was during a detour to put me upwind so I could work my way across country with the wind over my shoulder.

It seems the monopoly on goods in Danish supermarkets extends to organic produce. I visited all the supermarkets in three different villages. (9 large shops from four different chains) All in the forlorn hope of finally finding carrots and spuds which were not from Klokkehøj. I wish this company would go bust. So that organic produce wasn't given a bad name! I shudder to think how many people have tried their stuff and turned up their noses. Would you eat carrots which are already turning black before leaving the shop? Or potatoes which stink through the ventilation holes on the bag? Probably not. Neither will we.

Why is that those who speed in built up areas always have enough time to slow down, wind down their windows and should obscenities at cyclists. If they were speeding one assumes they must have been in a hurry at some point! (?)

My wife made me laugh today. Apparently, Wiggins has flown straight from the Tour de France to a "secret location" in Surrey to train for the Olympics.

My wife asked: "Won't people notice a tall, thin bloke, in a yellow helmet, dressed entirely in yellow, riding a yellow bike with a yellow lion tied to his handlebars?" :-))

The Brooks saddle hasn't bothered me since I refitted it. I expect it's terrified of ending up with all the other junk in the bike shed. So it's on best behaviour from now on. Both GPS loggers died half way round today. I had to rely on the bike computer for my mileage. 32 miles. I'm a martyr to wind.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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