21 Jul 2013

21st July 2013


Sunday, 21st 56-82F, 13-28C, still, misty. Houses 200 yards away are completely invisible at 7am. The forecast is warm and sunny again with light winds. A Great spotted woodpecker is attacking the birch trees in the garden. A sunny ride around the lanes looking for a white Golf. Lots of cyclists out training. I tried to sit on a small bunch which overtook me but they were too loose on the road against a headwind. Several hares sitting in the roads, meditating. 37 miles.

Congratulations to Chris Froome on winning the Tour de France the hard way. He defended the Yellow Jersey against all-comers for a fortnight. Often without massed team members to support him. He has proved himself a worthy winner and a modest, really decent, intelligent human being. I hope he can avoid injuries. Which seem to be a lottery without winners in racing.

Meanwhile, Cavendish's bike seemed to become a pothole magnet when he finally ran out of road. His famous second kick was always fun to watch, but being so closely matched by other sprinters certainly makes for exciting racing. I'm not convinced he really needs a private lead-out train when he can always choose the wheels of his fastest opponents.

Horne Kirke was originally built in 1100.

Monday, 22nd, 60-80F, 16-27C, sunny, still. Another very warm day forecast but with high cloud and even lighter winds. Even warmer in the afternoon when I finally went shopping. 15 miles.

Tuesday, 23rd, 64-77F, 18-25C, overcast, occasionally breezy. Warm and windy. A number of dead moles on the road recently. Probably pushed out of the nest by the adults. I am continuing to enjoy the NorthWave shoes. They do not seem to cause any damage that I can sense. My toe has healed nicely since I operated on it and I have completely given up wearing the Specialized shoes.

I was overtaken by the scruffy white car on the way home. Now I have his registration he is no longer completely anonymous. Not that I give him much chance of long term survival going on past form. Immature fools and their lives are soon parted. 19 miles.

Wednesday, 24th, 63-78F, 17-26C, light breeze, sunny. Another very warm day. I was busy on a project so I took a rest day.

Thursday, 25th, 63F, 17C, overcast. Supposedly some early rain but no sign of it yet. I've just been to see the quack about my near-constant, hip and shoulder pain. The good news is that I may have arthritis. The bad news is that I have to keep on cycling. An X-ray will no doubt confirm his diagnosis. He is a cyclist himself so he probably knows what he's talking about. ;-)

I have been devouring the Summer edition of the TA Gazette. John Arnold has died. One of the few tricyclists who could set records for time trials and P to P routes which competed with those strange machines with only two wheels. The name of which escapes me for the moment... 457 miles in 24 hours in 1953! He broke umpteen other records on both solo and tandem trike.

Assens harbour backstreet silos.

The garden is full of hover flies and one large, racing hedgehog. It did rain in the end. Then it stopped. So I went on dry roads to be quickly exchanged for very wet roads. A 6-axle lorry was going the other way at about 80mph and was almost invisible behind a huge ball of spray. I was invisible too, for a moment, as he passed. Leaving me soaked. But the sun came out again and I dried out quickly. The sky was dotted with angry dark clouds of rain storms but I wasn't caught out. I was going quite well apart from my occasionally aching hip.

Isn't it odd how one holds a clear sense of constantly changing direction for a familiar road? Only to be confronted by its true form when seen on a map. My route today was, in practice, a perfectly straight road from A to B. With a few meaningless wiggles along the way. Yet the bends between the long straights seem to make it meander all over the place while cycling or driving along it. For years I have been fooling myself that I would enjoy a more benign wind along the straight after taking a particular corner. The truth is that I was completely wrong. Every corner perfectly cancels the last. Or the next. I should have noticed that the direction of the sun remained unchanged. But never have. So it's "nul points" for observation. Only 13 miles today. (As the crow flies. Or otherwise)  ;-)

Friday 26th, 73-80F, 23-26C, breezy, hot and sunny. Went to Odense. Shops very busy. Hot and tired on the way back. Hip only occasionally noticeable. Consumed three bottles of water. Shoes still fine. Harvest in full swing. With bailers following on. A bald blob, with his phone hand welded to his ear, pulled out right in front of me in a huge tractor and trailer. It was a blind exit so I seriously doubt he would have stopped for anything. Tons of cyclists out and about today. 49 miles.

FĂ„borg from afar. 
Distance flattens the hills. 

Saturday 27th, 69-79F, 21-26C, light breeze, rather cloudy, but bright. Already warm and sticky. My left calf hurts when I walk. I wonder whether it was my walking quickly around the huge shops in Odense yesterday? Why only the left leg? Weird! The leg didn't bother me on the trike and seems to have responded to the exercise. As has my hip and shoulder. Much reduced pain after yesterday's longer ride. I have an appointment for my hip x-ray at the end of August.

There seems to be a new mental aberration doing the rounds recently. An elderly couple, of my own age, were killed when a driver uncountably crossed the central white line and hit them head on. This happened several times again this morning. Not the head on crashes; the white line crossing. Usually in villages with 50kph/30mph sped limits, very wide roads and very long straights. Very odd behaviour indeed. SMS-ing? An outbreak of rage virus? Boredom, or just more zombies? Take your pick and claim your consolation pot of ashes at the funeral parlour.

Again, the vast majority of drivers were completely ignoring the speed limits. Quite often by at least 100% in the villages. I have always said that a few speed cameras in Denmark could easily repay the entire European national debt within a fortnight. Nothing has changed my mind. In town, country or village, it makes no difference. Over 90% of all drivers are speeding. Including buses, dustbin lorries, juggernauts and local authority vehicles. Only 19 miles, risking life and limb to save the climate and the universe. Trike on! Now very hot and even stickier!

Sunday 28th, 67-77F, 19-25C, light breeze, the neighbour's dog is still crying in its prison/shed. The same neighbour who left the dog outside all winter including one day at -10C, with snow on the ground and blowing a gale. Overcast at the moment after a sticky warm night. My calf muscle is still painful. It was blowing  a gale later. So I limited myself to a short ride. Only 8 miles.

Monday 29th, 71-77F, 22-25C, sunny periods, hot and sticky again, but perfectly still. I pottered on a project in the garden all day so yet another short ride. Thanks to my wife's growing lots of wildflowers the garden is full of butterflies, hover flies and bees. I dropped a length of 4x4 timber on my foot. Ouch! Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 30th, 68-72F, 20-22C, windy, mostly sunny. Rain forecast for late morning and afternoon. I'm hoping to get out before it starts. It stayed dry so far. Very gusty wind but bright and warm. 14 miles. There were a couple of decent cloudbursts in the afternoon. So I saved up a ride to the shops for tomorrow.

Wednesday 31st, 61F, 16C, light breeze, sunny. Rode to Assens. Chased back home by black clouds. Sheltered under a tree during the first onslaught. Then got wet racing the next shower. My latest shopping bag is huge and shocking pink. I chose it for its high visibility. 19 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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