Going well on the way there. Fighting a cold headwind coming back by a wandering, hilly route. Industrial quantities of pigshit are being moved onto the fields. Huge tankers are filling vast, modified 40' shipping containers for local distribution. The stench cannot be avoided even in the towns. 21 miles.
The search for new MTB shoes goes on. I still have to balance my walking comfort against riding efficiency. Though I'm not at all sure a full carbon sole would be an ideal choice for my use. My shoe choice last year (Bontrager 'Race') was a revelation in comfort, lightness and cycling efficiency over the former 'Tahoe'. Toes clips and straps, used with thin, flat soled trainers, are now but a distant, fading nightmare of regular foot ache.
I have even become quite used to clattering my SPDs around the supermarkets. So a slightly more extreme shoe is a possibility provided it suits my needs for comfortable indoor perambulation. Searching online is providing some candidates. Which can then be subjected to review searches and potential Danish stockists. I'm not sure I want to follow the safe black/grey route again this year. I have officially "come out" as an unashamed and unabashed cyclist. See me, see my trike, Pal! I no longer feel apologetic for my chosen footwear. Though an all-white shoe would seem a poor choice for daily use, year-round in all weathers I am not completely averse to a nice bit of bling.
Would going upmarket provide greater quality and longevity? The "entry level" models are often very clumsily finished despite the high asking price. Though I am not particularly enamoured of fancy tightening systems involving silly cords. Will anybody stock EU46? Or even a <cough> a 47(!) where the shoe "manufacturers" (Chinese slave labellers) make shoes for a wholly fictitious, pygmy-sized audience? Should I choose a road shoe instead? Then spend some months learning to lean on a supermarket
My old Abus commuter helmet looks absolutely filthy and won't respond to gentle cleaning. The picture I borrowed of the Orbea makes it look even worse than the Abus! My wife said it looked just like the old one. But at least it has the racing pedigree DA (duck's arse). So there!
Only later, when I was admiring the Orbea at home, did I discover one of the glued pads on the harness had come unstuck and was lost. The glue on the other pad did not inspire much confidence and that pad would soon be lost too. Thank you Orbea! Now I have to return it to the shop in the hope of a replacement helmet over a damned, fraction of a penny, stuck on pad. Or go without. That will teach me to have one off the display stand without a box. I haven't even worn it in anger yet! It came home in a supplied carrier bag so the pad was missing before it even left the shop! I also bought a new pair of GripGrab mitts. Pricey at about £30 but well padded with gel and make my Orangutan appendages look almost petite and feminine. In the image below the gloves have had a wash and then done 45 miles. Next time I might even pull my finger out and take a better snap.
much brighter colour!
I don't buy the idea that cycling shoes should be uncomfortable because that makes them faster or more efficient. They often have to be ridden for many hours every day. A long walk back from a mechanical failure should not require a visit to the A&E. Nor cripple you for the rest of the season. Searching online for "wider fitting" shoes produced variable opinions on the forums. I'll see what Odense has to offer tomorrow. There are loads of bike shops over there and the sun is promised to shine on my already tea-stain coloured knees. Even my calves are pink today! That must be the Danish Ozone Hole at work. The accelerated "Tour de France look" can be yours at no extra charge. I don't suppose it could be spray drift from the constant pigshit spreading, could it? Not so much the black economy as a brown one. I was also sprayed with poison by a farmer today. It hardly affected me at AT ALL!! 21 miles.
3rd 55F, 13C, breeze, full sun. 15C/59F with 20 mph southerly gusts forecast for later. The first bike shop in Odense had a pair of Specialized 'Sport' MTB 2013 shoes @ £80 equivalent which fitted nicely. I was almost disappointed because I was ready to do the complete tour of all the shops. The young chaps in the bike shop were very interested in my trike. They are reaching the end of a college training course to become qualified bicycle mechanics. They told me they will be expected to braze a bicycle frame together themselves. They were snapping away and going on about the special qualities of steel bicycle frames.
It all started with my sister telling me I was pigeon-toed as we walked past a girl's school. Thereby completely destroying my already fragile teenage confidence. It took me months of intense training to perfect my new, cartoon-like, "bobby on the beat" gait. The intervening years have only amplified my involuntary affliction to something more akin to "keep on truckin!"
Having fitted new shoe cleats I found I could not unclip! It was only because I had not tightened the SPD cleats hard enough and they were rotating on the shoe. So I remembered to add some copper grease to the screw threads and cranked well on the allen key next time around. Then went round again and tightened the slack as the cleats bit slowly into the soles. I just hope the new shoes last. And if they don't? Then you will the first to know!
4th 57-62F, 14-17C, breezy, sunny. Yesterday's forecast has been upgraded to brighter and less windy. So I will only have to face 30mph headwinds instead of 40+.
My being sprayed with poison by farmers has reached the headlines. Apparently, 99% of Danish children have such quantities of organophosphates in their bloodstream that it can be measured in their urine. This nasty insecticide affects their brains and reduces their communication skills. So the young are being sacrificed so that farmers can enjoy their newly EU-subsidised "environmentally friendly" status in this "environmentally friendly" country. At least the mud plastered on the roads and the stench of pigshit being spread is highly visible. I know why I'm coughing all night because I can see the brown dust clouds as I ride through them! Diims has failed to register my several hours presence in both Assens and Odense. I saw umpteen PO vans but none saw me on the Diims network.
5th 46-58F, 8-15C, misty, overcast, already windy. It is supposed to brighten up but blow to 35mph from the SW. So I ought to be heading SE or NW. Having spent a few minutes outside I can confirm it is rather cold with spots of rain in the air. Where's my sunshine? It took until 11am before the first glimpse of sun. Only then did it start to warm up a bit. I ride down to Korinth. There are some spectacular historic houses there. With several large lakes there and on the way. Though always at some distance from the roads. Traffic was quite light. I saw my first swallows of this year in the narrow, winding lanes between tall hedges. Greenfinches are suddenly everywhere. A gaudy Yellowhammer lay dead beside the road.
I checked my tyres very carefully as I returned to the road in Korinth. Absolutely no sign of damage from the flinty sand. So it must have been the substandard Continental 4000S which caused the puncture problems on their first ride. It was weeks before the dealer responded to my email requesting an update on the returned tyres. Weeks later now and I have still heard nothing! The new shoes were fine again today. They have even changed my riding style. I spend much more time out of the saddle. 46 miles.