1 Jul 2013

1st July 2013


Not Monet enough?

1st 60-57F, 16-14C grey overcast, light winds. Toe slightly better today despite yesterday's ride. Probably the result of removing some of the broken nail debris and wearing my old cycling shoes. The difference in width between the well worn Bontragers and the new Specialized shoes is quite startling! I'd like to try on a pair of Sidi Mega in EU45 to see if I can avoid buying oversized shoes for comfort. (i.e.No more EU46. Much too long but not wide enough in the toe!) Seeing the quack tomorrow. Hoping they can speed up recovery somehow.

Another fiasco from the DMI! I set off to the shops (in my old shoes) expecting dry but cool weather and suitably dressed for it. It started raining heavily only a mile from home. Being an optimist I kept going. Within four miles I was literally soaked to the skin! Twice as wet after a U-turn and riding back on sopping wet roads with loads of spray being thrown up. I'll have to shower and go shopping in the car.(again) The DMI is still showing no rain at all on the local chart. But mention showers and even rain on the verbal description for the Fyn area on another web page! So that's all right then.

I passed a farmer burning plastic furniture and chipboard shelving units in his yard. He was producing great clouds of stinking, jet black smoke which drifted across the road. He obviously hasn't had this year's, EU taxpayer's backhander for his environmental care and protection efforts. I expect he'll put the fire out when the big fat, cheque arrives. Or maybe not? Only 9 soggy miles.

I went out in the car two hours later and the fire was still burning! Now it was a huge pile of ash from all the crap which had been thrown onto it. It looked like they were having a barn clear-out.

I'm not certain this is a Carradice Junior.
The badge was already gone when I bought it.

2nd 60-63F, 16-17C, sunny periods, light showers early on, then dry and breezy. My toe seems to be healing itself. Still tender on the edge of the nail but improving daily. Wearing sandals probably helped. I went out this afternoon to test my toe and it hurt like hell for the first half. Though I was cruising at 20-22mph!  Coming back into the wind the toe felt better. Probably because my cadence had dropped a bit and I was also dropping my heels more with the increased effort.

Now I can't add any new pictures because my Seagate add-on drive is misbehaving! Or perhaps it's blogger? Or both. I can't see my latest snaps. It's blogger, I think. It can see the 'Pictures' file but not the results of search terms. No, it's Winders. It's not showing the results of search terms within Pictures. Grrr. 19 miles.

3rd 57-64F, 14-18C, windy, cloudy. It's supposed to be a wet day. I may take another rest day to help my toe to heal. It stayed dry all morning then drizzled as I left after lunch. Though it stopped raining after a quarter of an hour. The toe is still sore so I limited myself to 13 miles. I've just passed 4,000 miles for the year at the halfway mark. Not a great mileage year so far! That's probably down to a greater willingness to take rest days.

4th 57-63F, 14-17C, overcast light winds. It's suppose to stay dry and reach 20C, 68F with 20 mph SW winds this afternoon. My toe is still tender where my slipper presses on the nail. My old Bontrager cycling shoes offer a little more clearance for the sore toenail when I can keep the velcro straps tight enough. Which is not guaranteed while pedalling. I keep wondering how to accelerate a bit of give in the toe area of the Specialized shoes. They owe me a lot more miles before they are discarded in disgrace. They are also considerably better than the Bontragers for stiffness and SPD attachment. I can really pull up on them when needed. Without any slop or free movement between my feet and the pedals. Conversely the Bontragers are so loose they often rattle when I'm pedalling hard.

I saw some North Wave MTB shoes with a broad toe box and ratchet on the top strap the other day. Not particularly pricey either. Nothing in my size though.  I'll have to find another stockist to try some on. Though I'm not very keen on the open mesh toes. Too cool, except in tropical heat and quickly fill with rain or tyre spray.

I rode to Odense to see if I could find some wider MTB shoes. There aren't any. Bontrager, Specialized, Shimano and .... are all much the same. Long and narrow, with pointed toes and showy styling. In other words: No real choice! My toe hurt on and off during the ride but I think the trend is towards survival. Probably as an endangered species. 43 miles.

5th 60F, 16C overcast with occasional breezes. It is supposed to brighten up but it will gust to 26 mph on a 15 mph westerly base wind. The sun has just come out at 10am and the wind is already picking up. Why are there never any still days any more? Assens shopping, wearing the Specialized shoes. No real problems. I saw a Lamborghini, several groups of young cyclists, with heavily laden machines, and two middle aged recumbent trike tourists. Caught a tail wind home. So took the hilliest route for a change of scenery. 20 miles.

6th 52-60F, 11-16C, a misty, cool start. The wind turbines were cut off at half way up the towers by the low cloud base. This soon vanished as it quickly turned sunny. I raced to a supermarket to ensure I caught a special offer. One can never tell how many they have in stock. I need not have worried though. I was the only one there when they opened at 8am. I was being chased by a chap out training on his posh carbon fibre racing bike. He waited for ages to catch me.  Then overtook me when I was doing 22mph. Don't you hate it when they do that? :-)

Luckily I turned off soon after that so I didn't need to turn myself inside out trying to stay with him. 16 miles. I still have to go out to do the the real shopping. 7 miles later on.

I think it is an awful shame that the European mental health services have, yet again, emptied the entire continent's lunatic asylums for the summer. The real disappointment is that the weather has been so kind to them. Otherwise they might not have bothered to turn up at the T de F. As if there was any need to prove their precarious mental state to any remaining doubters. If only they could get the parasitic photo-motorcyclists to arms themselves with lethal HT wands they could sweep the hills free of this tragic human waste of 5 million years of progress. 98% of them appear to be only there to be seen on camera. Cycling is just a backdrop to their insults to normality and reason. How expensive would it be to set up electric fences to cage these animals? Perhaps the organisers should approve a suitable (titanium?) knuckle duster for the cyclists to wear in the hills?

Stegø Pumpemølle and coastal defences east of Bogense. 
The windmill was used for draining the marshes. 

7th 60-72F, 16-22C, light breeze, sunny. I should be a good day for a ride with full sun and the north-westerly winds fairly light. I was trying to protect my toe yesterday. So I limited myself to two shorter rides. The toe feels much less painful today after further (careful) toenail trimming with a new and sharper pair of scissors. I could probably have saved myself considerable discomfort if I hadn't always used a dirt cheap pair of nail scissors. The Specialized shoes are actually more comfortable than the Bontragers now thanks to their slightly greater length. Giving greater toe clearance for my nail to repair itself.

I headed north to Bogense, then turned right to Otterup via the north coast road and then finally headed for home across country. It felt like a headwind regardless of my direction of travel. Though I sat on the back of a peloton of local clubmen at an effortless 19-22 mph for a few miles. I could have kept it up all day. After they turned off I could only manage 16mph. Which was my target speed for the day to have on my computer screen. Though the final tally was only 12 mph average.

Nørreby Strand looking towards Juelsminde and Æbelø in the foreground.
The flat calm and perfect silence was broken by a dog objecting to my passing his cottage.

I rode through a huge swarm of bees in a lane between open fields of crops. I had about 20 of them stuck to me as I brushed frantically! Luckily I wasn't stung.My toe was fine too. 73 miles in just under 6 hours including shopping, snacks and photography. I still feel good now and have never felt so comfortable over this distance before.The right  combination of riding position, shorts and  saddle helped enormously.  I dropped in at home and stuffed down some honey sandwiches and a bowl of fruit and yogurt and then went straight out again.

9 more miles makes 82 miles and my one day PB on a trike. I was carrying a bag of spuds, two litres of milk and a 16 pack of toilet rolls for some of the way. I wondered why it felt like hard work on the hills. Now I am confident I can manage a 100 mile ride in one day. I could easily go out now and do another twenty miles. Doing a century would depend on my carrying sufficient food to keep me going for about 8 hours total.

I only had a small cheese roll, a banana and a tiny bags of mixed seeds and nuts with me today. It wasn't really enough. I would probably have eaten more than that just sitting at the computer at home! I have read that jelly babies are good for maintaining energy levels on a ride. Though carrying them so that they were easily accessible would need thinking about. A handlebar bag?

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. Have you considered Exustar shoes? They fit much more like a normal high street shoe. When buying Shimano shoes I find them so narrow, I need them to go two full sizes up on what I normaly wear.

  2. Hi

    Thanks for the Exustar suggestion. I'll have to try and find a stockist.

    I tried a pair of Shimano MTB shoes in 47 yesterday. They were only just wide enough but too long by half an inch.