15th 46F, 8C, heavy grey overcast, winds light. The grey skies continue. Shopping in Assens. Only 19 miles so far. I had to smile smugly to myself today. I was in a supermarket looking for suitable bread to replace the discontinued stuff we had enjoyed for years. The replacement, aerated cardboard crap was obviously not selling! It had all been reduced to small change to clear the shelf of old stock. This never happened with the original loaves! Customer ½ Supermarkets Ø!
In case you were wondering what relevance bread has to cycling you must have missed the point of cycling for improved health. (rather than an excuse for drug abuse) Real bread is a valuable source of fibre and nutrients. It reaches the parts that the fat and salt takeaway merchants and sugar recyclers haven't even dreamed of using in their false advertising.
Bread can be used for a whole variety of things other than sandwiches. Toast, doorstops, winter bird fodder, Frisbee throwing at ducks, puddings... It is very light and has even been known to be transported by cyclists as a filling snack. All without having to throw sandbags out to compensate for its extra weight as they float away into the sky on their bloated, carbon fibre monstrosities.
Plus 12 more miles pm to finish the shopping and collect my new Class10 SanDisk Ultra micro SDHC card for my Medion inaction camera. The SanDisk card reader turned out to be as small as the end of my finger! I seriously doubt the new card will make the camera any more sensitive. Which means it is still useless unless the sun is actually shining. Though not directly into the lens! If the card can remove the endless zebra artefacts it will be something.
I bought the memory card online. With free freight and no card charges for a third of the price of local shops. I will no longer deal with any online company which charges for using debit and credit cards. Why can't these crooks add their fixed charges directly to their online prices? Why does the customer have to wait until the very last stage of purchase to see how much they have been fleeced? In my opinion they have dug their own graves, shot themselves in the head and fallen face down into the hole!
The Brooks B17 'Select' with a central line drawn on the image. At least the left skirt has now dropped to a more normal position. It was sticking out sideways for most of its short life. Perhaps the increased tension is pulling the leather straight? It is still a thing of great beauty.
We used to have only three or four postal deliveries per week. You could tell what day it was by the absence of post. The online service was two working days from ordering for stock items and three for remote-stock. So far they have kept their word and left me in complete control of my own choices and actions. I like that a lot. I have given them top marks on the online review service. Praise due where it is earned.
16th 44F, 7C, grey overcast, light winds. There is a promise of a glimpse of sun later. I'm not sure whether to be grateful or start worrying about the temporarily delayed winter. I may not have mentioned that I have been wearing the Sealskinz gloves for over a week. Their lack of insulation was compensated for by their high level of dexterity and the continuing very mild conditions. The lack of any padding has been of little concern with the new handlebars well padded with gel strips. I doubt the clingy rubber is any softer than taped alloy bar but it increases the area on which the hands normally rest. Though sold by bike outlets the Sealskinz have no padding of their own and a rather limited low temperature range. Moisture inside the gloves must be strictly avoided!
Just another shopping loop for 20 miles. Today I could more easily see that the flocks of nervous birds were Fieldfares. There are also incredible numbers of gulls hanging around in flocks. They were swarming around a mink farm like bees around a honey pot. The faster memory card had little or no effect on the Medion camera's 'zebra stripe' artefacts.
17th 36-38F, 2-3C, a cold, grey, raw day. We have been promised some sunshine but it looks as if I shall be queueing for another refund. Going out after coffee as it drizzled earlier. I had an idea to rotate the saddle slightly to the left to see if it will help it straighten itself out. Nothing ventured...Only 14 miles so far. I have to go out again after lunch. Plus another 13 miles later. I was glad for the warmer GripGrab scull cap today. The SealSkinz gloves were okay this morning. However, the slight damp from this morning's ride made them feel cold this afternoon. Fortunately they soon warmed up.
18th 42F, 6C, quite still, overcast, grey with light rain or drizzle forecast for this morning. If I am to reach 10k this year I need to maintain an average of 30 miles per day with no rest days. More easily done in summer than winter. It doesn't help when Sunday mornings aren't very promising for a longer ride. It has been continuously windy this year which has often limited potential routes. As I sit at my computer I often look out of the window at the trees in the garden. The Birches, in particular, are only rarely completely still. Today they are, but the sky remains grey and brooding. I don't even enjoy photography when there is no colour or sharpness to the light.
At least the damage done by the Nidd saddle has subsided. I think it must be the lamination on the underside which has killed any potential flexibility or comfort. The leather is easily thick enough for any saddle to hold its form. The Brooks 'Select' hardly transmits the lumps and bumps of the road. The Nidd offered no such suspension and would hammer the sit bones relentlessly. Which is a great shame. The Nidd saddle has so much potential for a long and comfortable life on a serious touring machine.
I was trying to think of a way of exercising the Nidd without my being actively involved. I thought a hinged, weighted arm, pressing two sit bone spaced lumps accurately and repeatedly might work. The weight being lifted and lowered by the constantly rocking trees. The problem was weatherproofing the apparatus so that leather did not become soaked and damaged. I didn't fancy making holes in the shed to allow a rope to pass. An electric motor would do as well but the cost of electricity and potential fire risk, while absent on a ride, put me off that idea. You can tell how serious the Nidd comfort problem is that I should waste any time on such endeavours! :-)
The Durano Plus tyres also do their bit for riding comfort. I regularly have to cross brick-sized cobbles but can hardly believe the improvement in comfort over the GP4000. The selfish farmer's lumpy mud pats used to be almost unrideable and unbearable. They would jar me horribly! Throwing the trike viciously in all directions. Now I hardly bother to avoid many of these former irritations. The perennial moraines, of loose stones and gravel found on many corners and junctions, would always force me out into the passing traffic. As would the countless sunken drains and manhole covers. Now I hardly notice their presence. Even ride over them to see how much I can still tolerate. There were times, with the GP4000, when I really feared for my teeth falling out and my eyeballs rattling onto my cheeks!
The odd thing is how lively the Duranos feel. Provided they have over 80psi in them they have a magical ability to roll seemingly effortlessly. This may be an illusion produced by their greater comfort of course. Yet they don't feel slow as a result of their construction and ride quality. As soon as I leave the house to roll down our rutted, gravelled drive I can feel their willingness to get going. The GP4000s felt as if they had to stop and examine every single piece of gravel along the drive. Why anyone would use them for serious racing on cobbles I have absolutely no idea. They shake the rider so much that all forward motion is forgotten!
Well, now it is finally brightening up. So I can stop boring all my readers to death and get ready for a ride. Which recycled jacket shall I wear today? Eeeny, meeny, miney.. I left very late as the sun came out for a few moments to taunt us and then disappeared for the test of the day. With so little time to play I just rode a roughly circular route. The bib shorts were very comfortable but caused the usual problems at nature stops. By the time I reached home I was ready to play the boy soprano part. Interestingly (?) I had to tip the saddle back a little to cope with the slippery shorts. I already had about 12 kilos of shopping on by half way. Fortunately the wind was very light so I hardly noticed the extra weight. Now, as the sun sets at 4pm, the sky is covered in orange fluffy stripes. Only 36 miles.
I looked at my mileage page again and worked out that I had averaged 28 miles per day for the entire year so far. 196 miles average per week. With 6 weeks left and maintaining my present averages I should easily manage 10k. Weather permitting of course. My wife said that I didn't have to reach 10,000 at all. That I was in charge and that it was a personal choice whether to ride or not. Isn't that a bit like putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum? :-)
19th 36-41F, 2-5C, an overnight, white frost. With clear skies at the moment. Cloudy and windy is promised by the DMI. The wind was light at first but increased. The sun turned to overcast and cleared again. I had a ton of shopping on board today. 30 miles.
Higgins Ultralight Tandem Trike | eBay
Presently sporting 3 gears and a rear drum brake.
The seller hasn't mentioned it but, unless I'm very mistaken, it has 2WD via a Higgins differential. Which probably means finding a screw-on block to get more gears.
Isn't it delightful to see large flange hubs? They have rather gone out of favour in recent times but were absolutely de rigueur in my youth.
Click on any image for an enlargement.