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. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.


  1. I've sold my late '80s Ken Rogers, alas, but still dip into your blog from time to time so that I can get a good dose of envy from the number of miles you put on.

    Living as I do in Albuquerque, NM, USA, I have to laugh when I hear of "Heat Wave!" banner headlines from UK papers announcing that the temps may break 30C. Of course, you have humidity: we routinely get %s lower than the Sahara (5% is not uncommon, mid day, June, before the rains), but mid '90s F is normal and 100+ not uncommon -- and we are much cooler than sea level SW states like Arizona, where, in Phoenix, the temperature norms are 10* higher (F).

    We are now in our "monsoon", July through August, when we get most of our annual 9 inches (it varies across the city from 17" at the foot of the eastern Sandia Mountains to 5" or so at the west edge of town 15 miles away). The temperatures have moderated -- mid 80s for the last week or so -- but the humidity has soared to, Gad! -- 40% or even higher! And of course, most of our rainfall is in short, intense downpours: we saw 2" plus in an hour last Friday.

    Oh, and we are cold, too: Copenhagen's average low of 28F in Feb is about 10*F higher than Albuquerque's at that time of year.

    I pity those in middle America, in the Plains where temperatures routinely break 100F in summer and dip well below 0F in winter -- *with* humidity.

    It is very hard to imagine a "summer" where highs routinely remain well below 75*F!

    1. Hi again and thanks for sharing your weather observations. :-)

      All things are relative but some are obviously more relative than others. I hate the heat! Much above 80F and I start wilting. I occasionally had to work in 95F temperatures before I retíred. The walls of the pre-cast concrete building absorbed heat and made it unbearably hot most summers. I don't know how you can stand such temperatures on a regular basis!

      I'm sorry to hear you have sold your trike. My mileages are dropping but I'll keep at it as long as I can.