2 Mar 2013

March 1st 2013

1st 30-43F, -1+6C, sunny, frosty, still. Light winds and full sunshine promised. A cold headwind but bright sunshine and even milder. Rode to Assens going the wrong way for a change of scenery. The snow is all but gone but the lakes and ponds are still solid with ice. The saddle is too high after changing the broken saddle pin. Suddenly have knee pain again after completely forgetting about it. It's only a matter of having the correct saddle height. Idiot! I shall have to double check how high I had the saddle on the old pin. I usually stick a bit of tape on the pin as a marker. It may still be attached. 24 miles.

Longstaff long barrow on eBay: 

George Longstaff Tandem Tricycle | eBay

You're looking at a beautifully hand built tandem trike by George Longstaff, the Reynolds 531 frame is 22.5" front and rear, it was built for two 5'9" height riders.

It comes with a Brooks Professional leather saddle, a ladies gel saddle, bottle carriers, pump, basic cycle computer and lights.  This is a 2 wheel drive trike with rear hub braking and twin brakes on the front.  It has a TA triple chain-set with Shimano gearing.
Wheel size is 700c with a 40 spoke front wheel, 36 spoke rear wheels, a removable carrier is at the rear.

2nd 30-40F, -1+4C, windy turning to westerly gales, heavy overcast. I managed to avoid a headwind until the last leg. Which was a freezing, eye watering struggle to exceed 8mph. I saw a bunch of clubmen out training. They were going the opposite way, downhill with a tailwind. Dropping the saddle by half an inch solved the knee problem. 26 miles.

3rd 33-41F, 1+5C, breezy, full sun. An overnight frost had left the roads wet. Still some strips of snow where it cannot be reached by the sunshine. Ponds beginning to melt. I am getting back my desire to go faster. It is shame my legs aren't up to it. I was overtaken by a girl on a mountain bike and could make no impression on her speed.  Going up a long hill she just rode away from me. 38 miles. Plus 10 more miles after lunch.

4th 28-41F, -2+5C, still, full sun. The early mist cleared quickly but the white frost is hanging on. It stayed sunny with a fairly gentle wind picking up a bit later. The loose gravel drives, laybys and car parks are turning to wet mush as the permafrost melts. It is like riding through thick treacle! 19 miles.

5th 45-41F, 7-5C, bright sunshine, light winds. Just a mid afternoon tootle for 10 miles. The first two vehicle I met were, quite inexplicably, more than half their width across the double white lines on a perfectly straight road. Weird!

6th 53F, 12C, still and mostly sunny. A warmer day for a change but I was too busy to go out on my trike. Time for a rest day anyway. My last rest day was 8th February which is rather silly. I am still ignoring the need for proper rest and recuperation. It is no wonder my average speeds are so low. It may even explain my endless rants and constant irritation with idiot drivers. Not to mention the lack of photographic inspiration.

I am really trying to get re-involved in my other lifelong hobbies. This will help to fill the large holes in my days when I don't ride. It really does feel like a vacuum (sometimes) on rest days. Part of the problem was my deliberate use of tri-cycling to regain some of my sense of lost status when I was made redundant. I used a number of reinforcement strategies to ensure a daily ride of sufficient length to have real meaning. Even if it was only for myself.

Now I am officially retired I really ought to re-assess my reasons for cycling. Not to give up all the health benefits and savings over daily motoring. But to adapt psychologically to the new lack of imperative. I no longer have to search endlessly for possible employment by "getting on my trike". This at a time of severe economic downturn when I was already close to retirement age. While simultaneously watching the industrial estates turning into employment deserts.

What now? I'll let you know if I discover anything useful. Though I'm certainly not giving up tricycling. It will become just one of the many things I do regularly. And, I still have that target of 100 miles on a trike in one day. ;-)

7th 40F, 4C, severe gales, cloudy with brighter moments. Wind base of 20 mph with 40 mph gusts. Nice! <sigh> Rest day.

8th 34-36F, +1+2C, overcast but brightening, 40mph winds again! Forecast to blow continuously from the east for at least 2 more days. My back is feeling better today after the bout of unaccustomed alternative hobby activity. I'll see how I feel after coffee whether I want to go out.

After coffee I rode with the wind and struggled to stay under 20mph uphill and down. On the way back it was  more of a 7mph crawl with moments of 5mph while hiding under the top tube and pedalling foolishly slowly on the small chainring! Photo Tagger has lost its Google Maps Key(again). So I can't download today's route map. 20 miles by bike computer. Later it proved possible to download the mileage from the GPS logger.

9th 32-35F, 0+2C, cloudy but bright, windy. Slowly climbing above an overnight frost. A horrible day for  a ride. With a ridiculously strong, bitterly cold, blustery wind. 23 miles, but it felt as if I travelled twice that distance.

10th 25-29F, -4-2C, gales, cloudy, but distinct threat of brightening up. The forecast was for 4" of snow and drifting. There are a few flakes in the air but that is about all. Let us hope it stays that way! There were a few flurries but the fierce and gusty wind made life far more difficult. Every time I was riding sideways to the wind I was having to lean over. At one point the only way to stay on the road was to hold the drops on on side and the stem with the other hand. It was almost impossible to pedal. I wore a balaclava under the GripGrab Aviator cap and my face and ears were still cold. 17 miles.

This village pond has been frozen for so long it is covered in debris and vegetation.  Making it look almost solid. A number of ponds have signs warning of a fine for walking on the ice.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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