1 Jun 2013

June 1st 2013

Ist 65-70F, 18-22C, bright but rather cloudy. A light breeze. I'm a bit bunged up today. Runny nose, sticky eyes and thick  in the chest. My left ear is almost deaf. A blooming allergy to the many square miles of oil seed rape crop? Or an overaccumulation of agricultural poisons? Will I survive? Probably.

These organic cattle took umbrage at my sudden arrival in their own dimension as I tried to frame the shot. I hoped to avoid the ugly, roadside railings for the brook on the right. Clearly defensive of their young, the adults glared at first. Then seemed to quickly melt away.

A later start but I enjoyed a loop through several woods and along the lanes before I started shopping. The wind was much stronger than forecast but the bright sunshine made up for it.  A peloton of 30-odd, orange-clad riders passed me going the opposite way. I now carry a large, ultralight sports bag in the Carradice 'Junior.' So I can shop without requiring a large saddlebag at all times. The reduction in weight and drag over the 'Camper' is worth having. The loss of convenience trivial. 30 miles.

A striking window on a rural country pub. The premises closed some time in the 80s. There being, presumably, no local habitation to support enough trade after the arrival of the breathalyzer. Like countless others the local Brugs (Coop) went the same way. Monitoring rural change is a heavy burden reserved for the elderly. I cropped the image from a plain, whitewashed wall. At a guess the window is at least 5' or 1.5m in diameter. I may now carry a compass to cope with overcast skies in unknown surroundings. But have yet to routinely carry a tape measure for such occasions. I find the window immensely satisfying on so many levels. Not least its subdued colour, it's perfect symmetry and its unlikely location. The trees submerged in its watery depths add an unlikely air of mystery. One almost expects a shoal of fish to swim across inside.

2nd 51-66F, 11C, a heavy, grey overcast with strong winds.  It is difficult to believe that the forecast is for sunshine later. Yesterday's forecast had the wind gusting up to 20m/s or 45mph. This has now been reduced but a 35mph N'Westerly is possible for much of the day. It started off cold and northerly as I headed for Ringe. Sometimes it helped and I could cruise just above 20mph. At other times it seemed to be blowing from all directions. It took me an hour and half, including a couple of stops, to do 22 miles.

It was warmer but the wind had turned more easterly for the return journey. So it was a straight-on headwind with all the trees, grass and crops in motion.. Two hours to get back including a couple of shopping stops and slightly longer route. I was struggling to reach 10-12mph at times. Away from the main roads the traffic was almost non-existent. As an experiment I replaced my saddle 1/4" higher after the latest Proofide treatment. No knee pain but it threw surprisingly more weight onto my hands. The saddle will go back down again. I was much more comfortable and relaxed before the height change. 46 miles.

A strange concrete tower near Bogense and ugly street furniture set tight up against a beautiful old farm. The vast majority of drivers in Denmark seem to be analphabet. So speed limit signs are just a waste of taxpayer's money. The marking is in kph for those in any doubt. Most prefer to read them in mph and then add 10mph. Just to be on the safe side.  

3rd 50-66F, 10-19C, bright sunshine but quite breezy. It feels rather cold in the shade. Too cold for just a T-shirt. The winds are supposed to be lighter today but the trees are already swaying at intervals. The promised cloud has yet to arrive. With only a few, high brushstrokes so far.  I have to return a pair of bib shorts to a bike shop in Odense. The shorts reek like Chinese wheelbarrow tyres. Or those hideous rubber sandals which stink out so many discount shops these days. The wind should be over my left shoulder on the way. Off my right shoulder on the way back. At least that's the theory.

What's that old blues song? "Nobody knows the trouble I've had." Yesterday I noticed a broken chain link and had to remove it. Today I thought I was still on the middle ring when I selected the bottom gear sprocket for a sharp corner. Whoops! The chain was too short to fit both largest gears. Total lock up and no way to move the chain! I had the idea to remove the rear changer from the hanger to free the chain slightly without damage. Somehow I could not find the right allen key. I knew there was a bike shop about half a mile away. So I walked there pushing the trike and borrowed one. Only to discover the correct allen key was hiding in the tool kit. I managed to free the chain and rode on into Odense.

Needs new sills.

While I was getting a refund on the shorts I bought an Sram chain just for backup. Half a mile later I left the old chain lying on the road as I pulled away! I wrapped the old chain in Dock leaves to avoid getting my hands too dirty. Then I had to fit the new chain crouched beside the busy main road. I wrapped the new chain over the largest sprocket and chainwheel and through the changers. Then broke the chain with my mini Park Tool extractor. Then the quick link wouldn't lock by hand pressure alone. I ended up standing on the pedals with the brakes on to get the link to close properly. The gears were fine after that.

I'm still hoping I have made the chain exactly the right length. I would have much preferred to have the trike on the workstand. All this means that I'm never going to try repairing a 10 speed chain with a rivet extractor again. I shall only use a matching quick link.  My hands were all greasy so I used more Dock leaves to remove the worst of it. Arriving later at a bike shop they let me wash my hands properly. The rag I removed from the toolkit as excess baggage is going back.

It seemed far windier than the forecast yet again. To make things worse the wind has turned much more westerly. Instead of the promised northerly direction. So coming home was much harder than expected. At least I have new bib shorts to add to my tiny collection of two. Which means that the pressure is off to wash and dry the same pair for next day. There is a downside to obsessive cycling. Nothing in my wardrobe older than 5 years fits me any more! I've been doing the Wiggins on my Higgins. <groan> The local charity shops will have to expand to make room for all my old stuff! 44 miles.

4th 57-65F, 14-18C, sunny and windy. Forecast max of 63F/ 17C with 35mph gusts promised. A clear, sunny day but very windy. Diims found me all over Odense yesterday and once in Assens today. Does this mean they are expanding their total number of post van sensors? A week ago they missed me entirely for five whole days. Only 18 miles. The wind put me off having an afternoon ride.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

No comments:

Post a Comment