1 Apr 2013

1st April 2013

1st 33-38F, +1+4C, full sun, a cold breeze slowly dying away. I was busy on a project all day so decided to have a rest day from the trike. There was no pressure to shop on the Bank Holiday. So I paddled about in melting permafrost instead. I may even have a little sunburn. There are now only a few streaks of snow left where the sun can't reach.

Rather inexplicably my right calf had been hurting slightly over the last few days as it slowly returned to a normally relaxed state. For as long as I can remember it has been almost as if it was swollen. There was very poor muscle definition and massaging it was rather pointless. I couldn't penetrate the muscle mass with my fingers. There was never any pain though. Now it has become much the same as my left calf. Angular, with well defined muscles. It is now floppy enough to massage easily.

I read somewhere that this condition can be caused by a clot. (I donæt think they meant the owner of the leg) By an odd coincidence I had a couple of days of mild headaches. Which is extremely rare for me. I just don't get headaches usually. I had also been standing about and walking backwards and forwards while working on my project. Normally I just sit at the computer while not actually asleep or actively triking. It is usually too cold to do anything else. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We shall see. And no, this was not an April Fool joke. :-)

A roadside cottage in Gummerup from the first years of the 1700s which was once the home of a Danish classical poet of that period. [Ambrosius Stub] There is a large engraved stone out of sight to the left of the buildings. I imagine an elderly occupant was no longer able to keep the place together. It has looked unoccupied for at least a couple of years. The cobbled front yard is already full of self-seeded Birch saplings. A rare oddity is the painted imitation of timber framing on the roadside facades of the sheds. All the rest is real. I haven't seen another example of such imitation on my travels. The heavy traffic passing so very close to the facades is sandblasting the paint away. It is a shame to see such an otherwise unspoilt and historic house being left to slowly decay. 

2nd 24F, -4C, clear and sunny, stinking of pigshit. I was just reading about the collapse of the wild bird population in Denmark. This started in the 1970s when extreme farming took off. They must mean the prairies and the constant spraying. It has been a bad time for hedges over the last couple of years. They have machines which can clear literally miles of hedge over a working week. The lanes I travel were always full of different birds thanks to the overgrown hedges. Now only gulls and rooks are to be seen foraging on the WW1 lookalike scenery. The woods are being constantly thinned and look a terrible mess at the moment. It's  nice to know the weekend farmers are being paid twice (thanks to the virtually unelected MEPets) for their environmental contribution!

We have already had the start of the pigshit spraying year but that suddenly stopped for the bad weather. Now we can look forwards to months of daily pigshit spraying. With the unmarked poisons sprayer following closely behind in the same tracks. And they wonder why everybody is moving to the city?

Still a fair bit of snow in the shade. My legs were aching today. Perhaps it's the fruit juice contamination of the organic milk? I'm sick of tasting fruit instead of milk. I was told once that they use grape juice to clean the tanks. I wish they'd use water instead. We stopped buying Arla organic milk because it always tasted of fruit. Now Thise milk is just as bad! I wonder what the ordinary milk tastes of these days. Horsemeat? 26 miles.

3rd 33F, +1C, still, but becoming breezy, full sun in a cloudless sky. Another white overnight frost. The long term forecast is the night frosts to end within a week. Except that they keep changing the forecast. There were Greenfinches in the garden this morning. I am determined to make the most of the fine weather today. I just have to travel East early enough to avoid the worst of the wind. Then I can raise the spinnaker on the way home. Fat chance! The freezing cold headwind kept up all the way around.

There was the aftermath of a collision in a village I passed through. Cars damaged, traffic held up. The idiots never learn. Illegal speed occasionally has its dire consequences. Right outside a kindergarten as well! Legs tired again today. Rest days usually make me feel stronger. I shall be expecting a refund! All I need is to find the right queue. I was just reading that Serbian gypsies are queuing  to come to Denmark to ask for asylum. They hope to make a quick killing when they are sent straight back with pocket money. Which is odd. I always thought this was the asylum. A tax asylum where they take money away. Not give it out. ;ø) 24 miles.

4th 37F, +3C, sunny at first, cloud promised, stinking of pigshit. Breezy becoming windy with 30mph gusts form the NW. This morning it is Magpies, Wood Pigeons and Blue tits lumbering about in our trees.The sprayers have been out already. Not pigshit so far but some evil smelling poison. I was going to play in the garden for an hour but decided against it. The wind is straight off the sprayed fields. I'll wait until after coffee now before I go out on the trike.

I slackened the Brooks B17 "Select" saddle tension slightly. I had tightened it because it became all floppy again. The tensioning made it rather uncomfortable. I keep wondering when I will run out of thread on the tension bolt. The leather is so soft it keeps stretching. I ought to find a hole punch and lace the skirts. That might help. Brooks ought to fit laces from new to these pre-softened saddles. At least it would offer a choice of whether to use the lacing. Perhaps the leather is too soft to resist the pull?

I've just noticed Blogspot is underlining in blue as well as red as I type. Red shows misspelling. Blue where two words should be contracted to one or suggesting substitutes. I really ought to take some more photos. All text is boring. Even for me. Perhaps an in depth series of potholes? A spread on mud on the road from farming activities? Where's the beauty? Or the interest? Cold wind but it stayed bright. 14 miles.

5th 40F,+4C, windy, cold, sunny periods, stinking of pigshit. Heavily laden with shopping. 15 miles.

6th 40-46F, +4+8C, overcast but clearing slowly, stinking of pigshit. The wind picked up from the SW as the morning wore on. It was cold too in a headwind despite the temperature on the thermometer. Only 13 miles.

7th 34-45F, +1+7C. A Westerly breezy, overcast, stinking of pigshit. Rain and sleet are forecast for later. I had better go out early today. The wind will do a complete somersault tomorrow bringing it back to Easterly. It rained, snowed and sleeted a bit but dried and brightened up towards the end. I saw and overtook a gaggle of 30-odd club persons dawdling on racing bikes while out training. The wind was gusting to about 20mph for one leg of my triangle. The birds think it is spring. Chasing each other all over the place. I heard my first Woodpecker and saw my first Wagtail of the year. Only 16 miles before morning coffee.

April 7th? It certainly doesn't look like it!
I waited ages for the sun to come out from behind a strip of cloud.
It never did. WYSIWYG!

Plus 13 more before lunch. The threatened bad weather must have arrived earlier or is late. I wore my overshoes this time because my feet were cold on the first ride. The Sealkinz gloves caught me out again. I put them on because it seemed warmer at nearly 45F. In the strong side wind they weren't remotely warm enough. So I wore a thin pair of liner gloves inside them. One Sealskinz finger liner pulled out when I took them off. It took me 1/4 of an hour to get it back in again! This is a major handicap with these Sealskinz pretend "winter" gloves. If the temperatures had been much lower I could easily have got frostbite before I was able to put them on normally! What an utter waste of money these gloves have proven to be! A total con. Particularly at their overpriced, Asian slave trader, retail price. Don't touch this crap with a very long bargepole! Whatever hype they may spout on their website!

Olympic Gold Medals no protection against car drivers!
Olympic Cyclist Joanna Rowsell Knocked Off Bike

8th 30-43F, -1+6C, sunny, winds promised lighter today, stinking of pigshit. Another white, overnight frost. I headed for a 15 mile distant shop. Going well in bright sunshine. Coming back the wind picked up steadily. Though I still managed to maintain my usual 11mph average crawl with my legs flailing in the high 90s. 34 miles.

Five days after my wife bought me a Diims tracker I have received an email from their support team. They asked whether the battery was inserted incorrectly or the device was housed in a metal enclosure. I have ridden over a hundred miles in the last week and seen a few post office vans at very close quarters. I have deliberately ridden to the nearest mail distribution centre (twice) and rode daily to the various post offices housed in supermarkets. So, quite naturally, I was very disappointed by the total lack of response from the Diims system.

This remarkably small and light device works by sending out a brief signal at intervals which is [supposedly] registered by the Danish postal system vehicles, postboxes and offices. Given that the postman often can't be bothered to deliver to my home I had deliberately placed myself in view of the claimed Diims sensors.

A true GPS device would have to be much larger and have a considerable battery drain. Though my GPS loggers do well enough per daily charge they are passive rather than active transmitters. This saves enormously on battery size and power consumption. Vehicle GPS trackers have the advantage of a very large, built-in battery. The Diims must rely on an oversized "watch" battery. I have just checked and the battery voltage reads exactly 3V on my DMM. [Digital Multi Meter]

I have responded to their email and will report progress. If any. The opinions online suggest that the system is handicapped by remoteness from any major city and the severe time lag. If all taxis and busses were geared up for the system it would be far more sensitive, "live" and accurate. Who knows if the postal workers can be arsed to download their daily Diims log from their vans on return to base? Who knows how many post offices, vehicles and post boxes actually have sensors? It could all be a complete con if the post office isn't holding up its end of the system. Or coverage is sketchy at best outside the metropolis. Not to mention that the thieving scum of the earth aren't well aware of the system and would find and rip the device out of its cosy hiding place. Where could you hide it on a bicycle anyway? Under the saddle? Yeah, right! Why didn't I think of that? :-)

9th 34F, +2C, windy, rather overcast, stinking of pigshit. Diims Day 6, and counting. 40mph easterly winds forecast for later. So I am leaving early. Rain was also forecast today but has been postponed until tomorrow due to Danish governmental financial restraints. They are spending the money on chasing dangerously illegal cyclists instead. Some say the only Danish police mobile radar speed trap unit in existence is being mothballed.

Apparently, the specialist unit personnel are being employed in retraining ordinary police-persons in stopping repeat offender cyclists. They will  be using highly advanced (top secret but leaked on YouTube) long range tasers with telescopic sights mounted on unmarked, tracked, armoured personnel carriers.

Their weapon of choice may work on approaching lycra-clad baddies. However they might have a bit of a struggle against the latest cyclist's Kevlar body armour. Now said to be favoured by the real cycling terrorists while on their way to an anonymous purple rinse and perm. Kevlar clothing is [allegedly] readily available in some of the seedier backstreet markets. Where armed Kevlar pushers are said to hang around on corners. They say, where there is a market there is always a provider!

It was blowing an absolute gale! I was down to 6mph in bottom gear at times and barely able to turn the pedals. I paused briefly at a layby on a downhill stretch and was nearly blown back uphill again! It was lucky I was in a low gear or I could have lost all the ground I had made. I disturbed my first Skylark of the year. By the time it had settled again it was half way to the UK.

Diims support got in touch again. Said I might have a duff unit and should return it to the dealer. I was deliberately riding around in circles outside the local post distribution centre again. I saw a couple of post vans on my travels too. 21 miles and still not out. (according to Diims) A five shopping bag day.

Click on any image for an enlargement-

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