30 Aug 2013

Monday 26th August 2013

Monday 26th 70F, 21C, windy, sunny. Late afternoon ride for 12 miles. Still taking it easy to keep the joint pain under control. The supermarkets are worse than ever. Endless queues, no stock of basic items and rotten fruit and veg! What do they expect from employing young teenagers without supervision or training? Clear packed soft fruit with white "furry" mould has been sitting on the shelf for weeks! Tomatoes well beyond ripeness awash with liquid in the clear plastic tub! The entire contents of my shopping bag had to be rinsed of watery tomato juice yesterday! Half of the tomatoes had to be thrown away.

Every time they run out of organic milk and wholegrain bread they blame their computer ordering system. Organic bananas are almost always unusable due to handling damage or sold while still bright green. Meanwhile the political hype machine is trying to get people to eat more wisely? The supermarkets never run out of fags, sweets, fizzy drinks and booze! As I am writing this a medical specialist, on morning TV news, is saying that poor food choices are the main reason that hospitals have any patients at all!

My Brooks B17 'Special' after nearly 3,000 miles. Strange markings but it must be just the grain of the leather. This saddle seems to be mellowing far more gracefully than the honey 'Select'. Leather saddles are strangely difficult to photograph well. To the naked eye they have very little shine but the camera thinks otherwise. This is the best of a number of shots under a cloudless, early morning sky and deliberately out of direct sunshine. Perhaps I need a polarising filter? Or sunshine? 

Tuesday 27th 57F,14C breezy, sunny start but forecast to cloud over. Stinking of pig shit and industrial strength perfume! My hip is feeling less painful today. It had been aching continuously with the pain spreading down into my thigh. Now, if I can only stop my coughing and clearing my throat. Perhaps the end of harvesting will help. The combination of strong easterly winds, the farming machinery raising the dust and exposed soil is an unfortunate combination. The car is often filthy with the dust which sticks to the overnight dew. Rainfall is and has been almost non-existent. Every drop forecast never arrives. Rode to Assens to shop. Wind lighter than it has been. 22 miles.

Wednesday 28th 67-73F, 19-23C, still and sunny. The pig shit and ammonia scented perfume seems to have subsided for the moment. They have been raking the fields at 30mph. The huge tractor, with a tennis court sized rake behind, is belching black smoke every time it accelerates. The dust he is raising is unbelievable! No doubt we can now look forward to last year's crop residue being sprayed off. Though logic suggests that such vicious raking in dry soil should kill off most of the old roots. It became quite warm and breezy later.

My hip is still in relative remission. Probably because I have been deliberately avoiding lifting heavy things. The Head Gardener wouldn't even let me help with her escape tunnel to Australia. At least that is what she claims it is. I have hidden all the sharp implements. Just in case. :-) Only 21 miles.

Thursday 29th 58-66F, 15-19C, light breeze, overcast, it feels a bit cold outside. A hilly route to the shops. Carrying 8 litres of organic orange juice back. 18 lbs + other shopping. Yet again a supermarket chain is advertising and even showing pictures of special offers without having any stock on the first day of the offer. This is fraudulent advertising IMO. It happens almost weekly. It isn't a case of selling out of limited stocks. They just don't have any stock at all! Headwind coming home. Some would say I can always find a headwind. They probably don't ride 20 miles to be disappointed somewhere in the middle. Another 19 miles.

Friday 30th 59-65F, 15-18C, breezy, overcast. A cool start with showers or rain promised. Though it stayed mostly dry all morning. Another branch of the same supermarket with no stock of their special offer. Lies, damned lies and supermarkets! I've hardly noticed my hip today. The first signs of leaf colour is suggesting that autumn is almost upon us. I read somewhere that it has been the driest summer for 17 years. I wouldn't be surprised. Though it has been a very windy year. Hardly a still day. Only 9 miles.

Saturday 31st 63F, 17C, a strong, gusty wind, sunny periods with occasional showers. Hardly a single driver was keeping to the speed limit. Many were driving at twice the speed limit in the villages. A huge juggernaut was coming at me on the wrong side of the road in one village. He was using up even more of my side of the road as he raced towards me with absolutely no reason to be in the middle of the road on a long straight.

I started waving my arms to get his attention just as he took a sheaf of papers out of his mouth in time to shout "Idiot" out of the window. Obviously a paid up member of Sociopaths R'US. I really must get a decent helmet cam to have evidence of the mayhem these barstewards are causing.

A raggedy wind was pushing me all over the place. Or impeding my progress. Still no organic apple juice in the third branch of the supermarket chain with the special offer. Lies, damned lies and Danish supermarkets! I guarantee they'll have stock on Monday when the offer is over! 20 miles and the end of August 2013 as we know it.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

20 Aug 2013

19th August 2013

Monday 19th 63F, 17C, overcast, humid and only a light breeze. No ill effects from yesterday's silliness. Off we, jolly well, go. A pleasant ride in light winds. It seems that white van man has made the genetic jump backwards to fully fledged ape. I base my thesis on a shrieking example which passed me in a village. The garden is full of butterflies, bees and hover flies again. My email service is broken to addresses in the UK. Somebody tell the NSA/CIA/GCHQ/MI5.1 (whatever) that they are only supposed to read them. Not stop them completely! 19 miles.

Tuesday 20th 56-67F, 13-19C, still, rather cloudy. A delightful ride down to the outskirts of Faaborg via the bjergevej "mountain roads" of Håstrup. I took a few pictures along the way for the blog. The countryside really is beautiful, and very hilly, on this route. The steep, heavily patched lanes make no allowance for mere mortals as the tarmac rears up and falls away again in quick succession. High hedges and dense woods give way to stunning glimpses out over the distant, glittering sea and strips of offshore islands far below. (Well, by Danish standards anyway)

Those fortunate enough to live in the area enjoy a degree of peace often missing from this crazy world in its headlong dash to be nowhere in particular. A bit of a headwind had sprung up on the way back uphill from Svanninge's famous, black-spired church. I saw fewer cars on the roads than there were harvesters in the heavily corrugated and toppling fields. Vaughan Williams would definitely have approved of today's "pastoral" scenery.

Despite my endless moaning I am incredibly grateful to be able to enjoy the quiet pleasures of the Danish countryside at such close quarters. Much of it is so unspoilt compared with the endless din and rush of traffic in Gravely Blighted. In comparison Denmark's south Fyn is still much like I remember the 1950s of rural England.

As children we cycled , walked and rollerskated the roads and lanes without fear of the hideously roaring monster which traffic has now become. No child who lived later than the early 1960s will have the slightest inkling of the utter peace which had lain over rural England for countless centuries.

The sound of a distant church clock striking. A fence post being smacked home rang clear across the gently waving fields as we watched movement without sound. A cow expressing her delight in the flower rich meadow from miles away.  Hedges full of busy birds and noisy insects enjoying the wild flowers in profusion.

Age had softly mellowed the unspoilt villages before new money laid waste to tradition in their haste to "improve their investment." Consigning centuries of quiet and passive generation change to the council estates of the city. As agriculture became a one man band and then a cooperative and finally a foreign hedge fund investment. The clatter and roar of machinery replacing bent backs and the practised toil of sinewy, chestnut brown forearms and twitching and lopsided, greasy tweed caps through the ever-changing seasons.

The old gentleman tends his decorative Box mushrooms with a ready twinkle in his eye for a passing cyclist. He too knows the futility of it all and is comfortably resigned to the inevitable.

The car brought noisy newcomers from the city and destroyed the peace forever. They had no idea how to behave with respect for those who really worked "for a living." Traffic has done far more harm to the countryside and its former society than all the wars combined. Now it has sucked the last remaining life from the villages. The thriving village shop, butchers and post office have all long gone. Along with the meeting places for all. Where every name was known and exchanged for a dollop of respect and small change and serving in a shop was a finely honed skill. Usually involving men in aprons, a well polished comedy routine, a quickness of wit and a constant twinkle in the eye.

All to be replaced by the distant supermarket staffed by indifferent teenagers on the rat-run commute "home" to the gentrified, temporary dormitory. Where the occupants without geographical roots or loyalty move steadily "upmarket" as annual bonuses, funds and the markets allow. The only time they get together is when their "property" values are threatened by an even worse menace than themselves.

Is there a village left in England where a roadside bench makes any sense at all? Where are their former occupants now? The low voices, the surprised laughter and the gesticulating of gnarled walking sticks driven back by the endlessly passing, supermarket juggernauts. Even the erratic bustle and rattle of the ubiquitous branch line railway has long deserted the village. It could never compete with the endless roar of  the traffic on the bypass. As vast fortunes of taxpayer's hard earned were poured into road building, demolition and building soul destroying concrete structures. 38 thoroughly enjoyable miles.

Wednesday 21st 55F,13C, still, bright with high cloud. Sunny and windy later. Not a good day. I still can't send emails to specific addresses in England. The moment I stuck my head out of the door it was nearly blown off by industrial strength perfume trying disguise a bouquet of pig shit with an after-taste of choking mink food and retch-worthy mink shit. I hate Danish supermarket chains for their incompetence and ignorance. Let's throw in fraudulent advertising for good measure.  At least the dog wasn't loose, this time, at the Ebberup Machine Station. 21 miles.

Thursday 22nd 58F, 19C, light winds, cloudy. It is supposed to brighten up.

Rant/You really have to laugh: The Bag Lady (PM of Denmark) has decided to tax those who use woodburning stoves. Apparently it would be too difficult to check if anybody actually has a stove. Despite the mandatory, annual chimney sweep's visit to every home. So she (The Bag Lady) is putting a tax on the fuel when it is purchased commercially. Logs, blocks, pellets etc. (all green energy) will now be taxed at the sales point.

The idea (allegedly) is to make the wood burner pay for their particle release into the atmosphere. Let's completely ignore the huge masses of Danish drivers who went over to chip-tuned, diesel cars when the gov't decided to meddle in fuel pricing. The result of which is an increasing smog of diesel carbon particles in every town and city. <cough-cough-cough>

The fabled Danish district heating is horribly expensive and only available in towns and cities. Denmark is mostly rural with countless detached homes and tiny scattered hamlets. All of which haven't a hope in hell of "enjoying" the expensive, gas fired (fossil CO2 releasing!) district heating. There is also a lot of imported East European timber going into the district heating systems. It's enough to make you hot under the collar! ;-)

Now here's the really funny part in all of this: Demolition contractors offer lorry loads of waste, mostly painted timber. Those daft enough to take "advantage" of this "generous free offer" can then heat their homes and water practically free of charge. This, very obviously, highly toxic mix of materials may include plywood, coated chipboard, Formica and MDF etc. As well as having heavy metal paints and plastic finishes from a time when toxicity was largely ignored and house painters died young. Presumably this ready source of woodburning fuel and highly toxic carcinogens will remain tax free? <cough>

I have just been down the drive to park the wheely dustbin so that the lorry can easily reach it. A few minutes outside the house and my clothes now stink of burning! So, Watson, how do we know your neighbours are burning these free painted planks and board materials? Because they have huge demolition contractors lorries dumping their loads in broad daylight. Their carports are full of rough and broken painted planks. AND the lucky free fuel owners still use their knackered chainsaws and circular saws to cut it all up! Cutting logs takes far longer than zipping through thin, painted planks. Even a fool can tell the difference in the sound! <cough>

So who is really as thick as two short planks? The painted wood burners? Or The Bag Lady? <cough>

I went to the local council to ask whether it was allowed to burn these highly toxic materials when our house filled repeatedly with the smell of burning paint. We are both suffering from constant coughs and endlessly clearing our throats. <cough> Nothing happened! The burning goes on uninterrupted! Black smoke still belches from their chimneys. Even in a 80+F heat wave the three car family still needs to heat its free hot water! <cough>

Y'all couldn't make it up! <cough>  LOL.<cough>

<cough> /rant. <cough>

Went for a ride through the Gelsted forest to cheer myself up and get some fresh air. A lady pheasant refused to leave the road as I passed slowly by. They have a naughty habit of crossing your path if they panic. The harvesting is still in full swing. With harvesters blowing clouds of dust and hay bails of all shapes and sizes now dotting the landscape. Tractors and trailers toil back and forth with the drivers all welded to their mobile phones. A good day for insects. The swallows were out in huge numbers today. Yellowhammers foraging on the road. The tarmac chaps were busy on some stretches. 24 miles.

Uspolerede stråtækt bindingsværk stuehus > Unspoilt, thatched and half-timbered farmhouse.

Friday 23rd 56F,13C, light breeze, sunny. I'm expecting trouble on the streets. Carlsberg has run out of stocks of fizzy sugar bombs due to a strike. If the sugar addicts can't get their heavily subsidised "gas bottles" at the supermarket it might get very ugly. People could get crushed to death! Or something.

Talking of deliberately causing your own ill health: The government has put only 3Kr (30p) on a 39DKK (£3.90) packets of fags. In a recent poll half the population want the price doubled or more. The government says that will just lead to border smuggling. Historically, large numbers of Danes have driven down to Germany to buy their fags, booze and sugar bombs in border hypermarkets. Which might suggest that it is petrol and diesel which aren't remotely expensive enough! Or they place no value on their own time as they might if they were working. I have an appointment for a hip scan today. So only 10 miles. Two choruses of; "Your leg bones are connected to your hip bone?" 

Saturday 24th 58-68F, 14-20C, windy, sunny with of a cloudless sky. It was blowing a gale by the time I escaped. Even in the forest there was a strong wind. 19 miles. Plus 8 miles later. Still a strong and gusty easterly.

Sunday 25th 70F, 21C, very windy, warm and sunny. Just a gentle, afternoon tootle for 13 miles. Lots of classic cars about in the lanes.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

17 Aug 2013

14th August 2013

Wednesday 14th 60F, 15C, breezy and overcast. Went for a haircut and narrowly missed being rammed by a moron in a Volvo estate reversing straight out into the traffic without looking. What was worse is that he didn't bother to stop when I tooted the horn! Luckily I was travelling at well below the speed limit at the time. Coming back home afterwards a moron in a tarted up Golf came round a blind corner into the village at 60mph on completely the wrong side of the road! I had no idea having a haircut was so dangerous in Denmark! 23 miles fighting a fierce, gusty wind in bright sunshine. 5000 miles for the year so far.

Here's a link to images from several UK HPV race meetings including a few of Geoff Booker and his stainless steel TT trike: Geoff is in a yellow top.

Thursday 15th 61F, 16C, very windy and cloudy but sunny. It was blowing  a gale when I finally left. Going quite well with a tail crosswind until Brenderup where they were resurfacing the road. There was so much sticky tar that my tyres quickly grew a thick tread of welded-on gravel! I used up several twigs and bits of scrap wood as scrapers before I was able to ride with clean tyres. I saw a Jay in some woods. Later a Buzzard came out of the forest without looking and had a hell of struggle to get away. It was stuck under a low canopy of beech trees over the narrow road with nowhere to go except lead the way. Coming back home was into a cross headwind. Very hard work! 40 miles.

Friday 16th 64-70F, 18-21C, overcast, rather breezy. A grey day with occasional showers forecast.

I have just discovered that my blog is (sometimes) not rendered properly in IE. After years of using Firefox I now use Chrome. All seems to be well in this browser. I checked in the local library and my blog looks fine on their computer with IE. OS unknown. When I try IE at home the clouds behind a translucent border suddenly become greyed out. My brother can't see the archived post list on the right. Neither of us can see the Members list and thumbnail portraits in IE. Nor the invitation to follow my blog. I have just downloaded Firefox and it renders correctly but oversized. Fixed with Ctrl - but it insists on using and spelling checking in Danish even after I chose English UK. Guess what? Still no British English pack after all this time. The reason I gave up using Firefox in the first place. That, and the countless updates. So the text as I type is all underlined in red. A good enough reason to uninstall it again! 11 miles.

Saturday 17th 63-66F, 17-19C, light wind, overcast with occasional rain. It is supposed to clear up so I'll go out later. I had an early morning visit to the hospital to have my painful joints looked at. My shoulder has been killing me lately. It seems I probably have inflammation rather than osteoarthritis. I will be going for an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.

The multilingual plaque describes that boys were sacrificed on this mound in the bronze age. While their mothers stood on a nearby mound to watch.  The other mound has since been lost to ploughing. 

While I was there I saw a very sad sight. A forlorn, deep rim aero front wheel sitting in a bike rack with a hefty lock still around it. Somebody had obviously lost their machine to a thief who noticed that only the front wheel was secured. They should bring back hanging for bike theft. You wouldn't need many willing volunteers for the trapdoor before bike theft was massively reduced. Bike theft is not a victimless crime. Let's be careful out there!

I took a meandering route to the shops. The nasty dog at the machine station was out again and chased after me growling like a rabid wolf! Despite the headwind I wound it up to 24mph but it was still with me and even trying to overtake me. After 200 yards it gave up when it caught the scent of something on the road. Later I saw deer and a hare in the fields and several pairs of buzzards circling over woods and copses.

Typically robust Danish rural humour usually intended to mark an important birthday. This "sculpture" is sitting on the front lawn of a farm, beside a busy main road, in the middle of a village. It's not great art but shows considerable creativity in its choice of available materials.

Then, as I as was riding through a village, a little voice shouted a loud hello. I looked up to see a tiny girl of about four years of age had climbed out of the upstairs window! She was perched on a small platform on top of a high bowed window with a peaked roof! I kept her talking (loudly) while I tried to see if anyone else was in to attract their attention. She had a fifteen foot fall if she slipped! After what seemed like an age of dire warnings and questioning I heard a man's voice in the room behind her and she finally climbed back in. 19 miles.

Sunday 18th 62-67F, 17-19C, heavy overcast, very windy. The strong wind is surprising given the forecast of 20mph gusts on a 10mph base for later after a quieter start. Showers or rain are expected this morning.

After morning coffee and marmalade covered rolls and safely kitted out in my supermarket £5 orange sunglasses, to cope with the gloom, I set off for a distant garden centre.

Soon I found myself mixed in with vast numbers of racing cyclists all going the same way. It was the annual Fyn cycle ride for anybody fit enough to own a proper racing bike. Including a surprising number of girls and women. I didn't want to get in the way nor change my decided route so I chased the next group ahead up a long drag. Solitary riders tried overtake me on the next descent. Then I found myself leading a large group up the next long hill.

Nobody seemed very keen to overtake and when they did they usually had something nice to say. "Flot cykel" and "Respect" were aimed at me as I struggled to maintain their fast average pace on their lightweight carbon bikes. Each probably weighing less than my already full saddle bag. I grinned back and panted on up the next long climb with the loud roar of tyres somewhere behind me. They all seemed much faster on the descents and I was sweating heavily in my Aldi jacket and TA cap under my helmet for the expected rain. The majority were wearing only racing jerseys and shorts despite the threatening sky. They were also much more confident at riding in groups than I am. Always a solitary cyclist I have only ever enjoyed one club run in my entire life and that was when I was still in my mid teens. Probably exactly 50 years ago give or take a week or two.

I was soon lost in another huge peloton of flailing legs on another climb. I was overheating badly and beginning to tire but there were no side roads at all. Fortunately I was finally able to turn off up an even longer and steeper hill at the next village. A quick stop to strip off and then I rode on feeling very hot and rather silly. The wind was now in my favour and I was easily climbing at 24mph up one long drag. Spits and spots of rain fell on my bare arms and legs throughout the rest of the ride to my destination but I felt no need to replace the jacket again.

I had a funny moment when two cars found me on a steep, downhill, double hairpin, S-bend. The road was so narrow just there I couldn't lean out into their path. I was looking forwards to some fun acrobatics but had to brake hard instead and use as much road as I dared.

Having bought three Buddleias at the planteskole (nursery) I had to find a way of getting them the 15 miles home again without damage. Particularly into a very strong headwind. I slid the large polythene sack of bushes into my huge pink shopping bag and lashed it all to the saddle with the yard long pieces of cord I carry everywhere.

Before long it was raining hard and I had to stop for my waterproof jacket and TA cap again. Unable to dismount, by swinging my leg over the tall bushes behind me, I attempted to swing my leg over the handlebars. My heel caught the brake lever hood and I rolled into a heap on the wet road! Putting all my weight on my arm with the poorly shoulder to save myself! It was agony for about five minutes and then I recovered my dignity and rode on as the pain slowly subsided. It finally stopped raining but I wasn't taking any chances with a repeat of the acrobatics until I was safely home!

A rather busy, 30 mile Sunday morning ride. It makes a change from riding against the flow and having to wave back at hundreds of grinning cyclists as I have done in previous years. Again, finding myself on the official route quite by accident.

Here is a list of sports cycle rides on Fyn for this year alone: Some of the rides are enkelt (single) start or time trials. That would explain why I see TT bikes (and their riders) all over the place in a country with no obvious history of TT as does the UK.


I wonder if the triking forum on3wheels has been hacked? I keep getting "Not available" and then  my antivirus warns me not to proceed. False alarm. It's back up again.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

1 Aug 2013

1st August 2013

Thursday 1st 60-70F, 16-21C, light breezes, overcast, steady rain. Promises to be dry and brighter later. I'll go out after lunch unless it dries up earlier. It didn't so I left late on a short ride. Only 7 miles. I'm hoping the pain in my hip will go away if I take it easy for a while. I have been seriously overdoing everything lately.

Friday 2nd 65-86F, 18-30C, breezy, sunny. It is forecast to be very hot and sunny with winds gusting to 25mph. Today's max was 30.5C or 87F! These temperatures may be quite normal for some parts of the world but seem extreme to those unused to them.

I rode to Assens again. Had a gentle tailwind going.  Then I enjoyed a very pleasant ride along the coastal lanes in a hilly loop from Saltofte to Ebberup. There were far more cyclists along the way than cars, just for a change. Saltofte village pond was packed with goldfish up to about 6" long and some larger, dark grey fish I could not identify. No problems with my hip or shoulder while I was out. Though I deliberately avoided pushing too hard there are some long hills in that area and on the way home. All quite effortless at my high cadence pace of 9-12 mph. The Northwave shoes are proving perfect for comfort. They are completely unnoticeable in use.

My water bottle was soon as warm as bathwater from sitting in the cage. It might be more sensible to put it in the saddlebag to stay cooler. Coming back I was almost grateful for the headwind. It kept the temperatures down while I was moving. As soon as I stopped I felt I was roasting. The last short leg was with the wind and the sun boring down right through my jersey. Which had turned black with tiny storm flies. As had my arms. No wonder my face was itching for most of the ride! The lanes were full of butterflies, Swallows, Sparrows and dragonflies. 27 miles.

Saturday 3rd 73-74F, 23-24C, rather windy, cloudy with some sun. Rather sticky and warm. The sky darkened on the way home and it started to drizzle. So I increased my speed only for the rain to stop. A Red kite sailed over the house as I prepared to leave. Probably after rodents coming out of the harvested crops. The machines have been running with lights late into the night. 17 miles. Plus 7 more later.

Sunday 4th 60-75F, 16-24C, hardly a breath of air movement, full sun. I rode up to Bogense via the country lanes. Very pleasant going but the headwind had picked up to 20 mph all the way back. Still, it helped to keep me cool. My hip was okay but my knees are aching slightly again. Anyone planning a cycle tour of Denmark should look out for the toilets found in many rural churchyards. Handy for refreshing the water bottle at the sink as well as performing the usual chores. The Brugsen (Coop) supermarkets often have a public toilet. City and town, public toilets, as they are known in the UK, are almost completely absent. 56 miles.

Monday 5th 78F, 26C, blowing a gale, warm and sticky with hazy sunshine. Just a short ride with my hip hurting and being blown about. 13 miles.

Tuesday 6th 70F, 21C, quite windy and sunny at 9am.. We were woken just before 6am by a strange thunderstorm with absolutely torrential rain.  The thunder was continuous rather than individual rumbles but not particularly loud. When we looked out of the window the flashes were strangely orangey-brown and probably jumping from cloud to cloud. The windows on all four sides of the house were still wet when we got up at 7am. Very odd indeed! I wonder whether the crops still standing in the fields have suffered? Apparently not. They all looked untouched. Probably thanks to the straw shortener. Blowing a gale today! 21 miles.

Wednesday 7th 61-66F, 16-19C, light breeze, sunny. A cooler start today with only 53F when I got up. Just a gentle tootle. I lowered the saddle by a few millimetres to see if it helps my knees. 10 miles.

Thursday 8th Rain on and off all morning. Rest day.

Friday 9th 56-70F, 14-21C, light breeze, sunny. Feeling better today after a rest day. Rode to Assens to shop. I hopped off and pushed the trike onto the verge to let a vast combine harvester pass in  a narrow lane. The goods advertised in the special offers comic were unavailable. Now there is a surprise! A pleasant day for a ride. 20 miles in bright sunshine with modest winds.  The vicious golden retriever was tied up today. Not to protect cyclists. The owner was having a do. It barked and tugged at its rope but I passed safely today.

A SWB recumbent bike was going the other way. A drunken/moronic/sociopathic/homicidal/drug abusing builder, in a van with a trailer in tow, nearly wiped me off the road. How do I know about all his afflictions? Just the usual: His need to speed, in a busy shopping village with a number of schools, completely outweighed our human right to survival. So that's alright then. How else can you explain such driving behaviour? Does a normal human being behave like this? Thought not. Plus 10 more miles later.

Saturday 10th 62F, 17C, breezy, rain. The forecast is rain for most of the day. I'll see if there's a break after the main rain band passes over. A drunk driver in a metallic blue Volvo estate clipped the wrong side of a village junction as I approached. Then ran along the grass verge for over a hundred yards before he finally managed to get it back under control! Fortunately I was a few seconds late getting to the junction so wasn't in immediate danger. Otherwise you'd probably be looking for alternative reading matter! Only 11 miles.

Sunday 11th 57-62F, 14-17C, becoming breezy, sunny, but lots of cloud. Rain or showers forecast for this afternoon. Rode to Odense by the scenic route with a cross then gentle tailwind. Then crawled all the way back straight into the building wind. Arrived home just before it started raining. Loads of cyclists out training. Singly and in large and small groups. Another SWB recumbent, this time with a home made tail fairing, passed me at speed going the other way. Mind you, he had the wind behind him. 45 miles.

The Danish online papers are full of stories how the (stinking) Danish mink farmers have never had it so good. Apparently the Chinese new money, middle classes can't get enough of the (stinking) mink. I suppose it makes a change from seeing our own high class prostitutes, mayor's wives and gangster's molls showing off their class to our acute embarrassment. The stench of mink farms should be bottled and supplied with every live-skinned coat. Living within two kilometres of a mink farm, in a decent wind, nobody is safe from chronic nausea! Never mind, the Chinese will soon start their own mink farms and the European mink farmers (and live skinners) will be right back to being the opportunistic pariahs they always have been. Burp! Retch!

Monday 12th 60F, 16C breezy, sunny. The forecast is for showers all day but not much to see so far. It rained very heavily a couple of times but I managed to avoid the showers. I was fine today after yesterday's longer ride. 7 miles.

Rant/There is a story on the British TV news about the Grievously Blighted taxpayer "investing" in cycling. £94 million dead squid distributed across the entire country, minus the usual massive London bias, is less than they spend on one mile of motorway. It's nice to know the sound-bite chattering classes are making a token nod to the reality that city traffic speeds are still far lower than bicycles despite gutting all the towns and cities to build new roads. You'd think they would encourage cycling for its commuting efficiency, but no.

Every commuting cyclist is one less car blocking the road. Nobody ever sees it from that point of view. A bicycle isn't a hindrance to traffic when the cars are sitting completely still. Strictly speaking each bicycle is one whole extra car length missing in the gridlock. A single car length on the road which most drivers would risk their entire family (and ours) to gain at any price!

Just to put £94m into context: This is, quite arguably, less than the annual expenditure by British Premier League footballers on their cars.

Tuesday 13th 50F, 10C, sunny, completely still and breezy at short intervals. It's a lovely morning right now but thundery showers are forecast. Now there is a beautiful rainbow to the south west as a short shower passes over and the trees suddenly become animated. Rode to Assens to shop. Bought some more Gripgrab overshoes and gloves.

Pretty in pink? Does my bum(bag) look big on this trike? ;-)

Caught by a heavy shower on the way home. Hid under a large roadside Hazel until it went off. Dragged the Aldi waterproof jacket out of the saddle bag to continue in gently falling rain. Put the overshoes on while sitting on an inverted supermarket shopping basket. Far easier than balancing on one leg! The Swallows are still zooming about in large numbers. Saw a couple of Buzzards circling around each other in the stiff wind. One was all dark and the other almost white underneath. Kept being buzzed by large bumble bees in the lanes between open fields. Perhaps they liked the bright pink bag? Hip, knees and shoulder seem to be in remission for the last two days. 23 miles. 8000 km for the year so far.

A busy corner in a small, Danish, rural village. There are obvious Danish roots in many English words.  The farm (landbrug land-use) offers "Selv pluk blomster": Pick (pluck) your own flowers.(blooms) 

The digger and backfilled trench are part of the national, high speed, fibre optic cable, telephone/internet installation which has just reached this village. 30/30, 50/50 and 100/100MBbit/s is usually provided by the area electricity supply authority. Rapidly replacing the very much slower, asymmetric national telephone/internet network which still uses copper. 

A road sign points to Aarup some 5km away. Pron:"Awroop". The street/road sign Aarupvej (Aarup Way) shares a pole with an official cycle route sign. Every country seems to have its own traditions and colours for road signs. The UK uses blue for motorway signs and green for main roads. The complete opposite of those used by Denmark. 

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