3 Sep 2013

Sunday 1st September 2013

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Sunday 1st 58-62F, 14-17C, breezy, bright but becoming overcast. Rain forecast for all day and tomorrow. Still dry at 10am. Left after morning coffee. Caught in heavy rain. So I put the rain hat on the Brooks and dived into a supermarket for shelter. There seemed to be a meeting of mostly 1960-70s rally/racing cars of some sort. With noisy dinky toys covered in large numbers driving in convoy in the lanes. I checked online and it was a hillclimb based on Krengerup. Some of them did sound very crisp.

It soon stopped raining but was a bit blowy with sunny periods. I put on the Aldi jacket and TA cap. Some trees are beginning to shed their leaves already. My hip is is still improving. I wish I could say the same for my shoulder. It's fine until I try and lift something or reach up. I suppose it could be worse. My reduced  mileage seems to be helping. Though it could be just coincidence. I've run out of photos again. Normal service will be resumed ASAP. 14 miles.

Monday 2nd 56F, 13C, overcast and windy with the trees waving about. Continuous heavy drizzle. The forecast is rain all day (again). It really might be a good day for a rest. Yesterday's rain was short lived and fell as showers. Today's looks much more determined. Though rainfall on the DMI radar seems to be petering out. If I should decide to go out you will be the first to know. Probably before I do. ;-)

Well it never did give up raining properly so I took a rest day. While adhering to the speed limit (in the car) through a local village I was overtaken by a local builder on his way home from a hard day ripping off the naive and innocent. Then by a women rushing to pick the next generation of lawbreakers from school. There are 50kph lollipops every few hundred yards. Nul points, all round, I think.

I broke open (literally) the dead i-GotU GPS logger to see what was involved in a battery swap. Unfortunately it isn't quite as simple as  buying a new a watch type battery from the supermarket. It has a flat packed Lithium-Ion in a bag. Supposedly 10V maximum charge but reading only 3.38V now.  My guess is that the flat plate is the antenna. The multiple fingerprints are not mine!  


The battery fills most of the case above the electronics. When I entered the serial number of the battery into Google I had only two hits! So we aren't looking at ready availability and discounts.

Ample warning about buying anything hermetically sealed, I think. You are looking at guaranteed redundancy within a couple of years of purchase. Sorry about the poor photography. It was much too wet to work out of doors. Too overcast to try again today.

Tuesday 3rd 59F, 15C, light breeze at 8am, overcast. It is supposed to be dry but rather cloudy and gusting up to "only" 20mph later from the NW. I'm supposed to be heading that way for 20 miles. So it should be plain sailing coming back. I'd better remember my spinnaker. Hang on, though. It has just misted over and started drizzling! Surely the DMI knows I'm not very waterproof? Grrr? For some reason I decided to push my saddle back and it ended up very slightly nose down. This threw my weight onto my hands and wrists. I spent a lot of the time pushing myself backwards. I had left after coffee under a grey, folded sky but it stayed dry. Roads very muddy in places. Almost a tailwind coming home but I was so heavily laden it didn't make much difference. 42 miles.

Wednesday 4th 62F, 17C, light wind, overcast. I returned my saddle to its original position and level before leaving. It is comfortable again. To Assens shopping. Lots of road works and coarse gravel resurfacing. Another heavy load of shopping. 21 miles.

Thursday 5th 60-66F, 16-19C, light breeze, overcast. It turned bright, and sunny but very windy. A light day. Only 8 miles.

Friday 6th 60-73F, 16-23C, sunny and windy. It is supposed to reach 23C, 73F later. Spot on, but very windy. It was good fun coming home despite the weight of the shopping. 18 miles.

Saturday 7th 60-71F, 16-22C, bright, clear, quite windy. It became more cloudy and warmer. 20 miles.

Sunday 8th 62-68-72F, 17-20-22C, very windy, rather overcast. 13 miles. Going out again. Plus 8 more miles. Blowing harder than ever. Rain is forecast.

Monday 9th 55-51F, 13-11C, heavy overcast, still, raining. It is supposed to be much cooler and rain all day. It was and it did. So I didn't. Rest day.

Tuesday 10th 50F, 10C, still, misty start.  Doctors appointment then shopping in the car all day. The mist cleared early on and it became quite warm in town. Comfortable T-shirt weather. It started raining on the way home so no ride today. It seems I do not have arthritis of the hip according to the x-rays. Which should be good news for the cycling. I had a lot of blood tests for calcium and vitamin deficiencies and will know in a week or so if I'm likely to survive. We have a very sensible diet with lots of fish, organic veg, fruit, wholemeal bread,  and organic dairy products every day. Only a little organic meat but we take vitamins every day. So I've no idea why I'd be short of anything. Perhaps it's all the farm spraying? I was caught by spray drift more than half a dozen times while out of my trike earlier in the year.

I'm due for an ultrasound scan of my right shoulder in a week's time too. I can live with the hip but the shoulder is agony if I move my arm even slightly backwards or upwards. The odd thing is that I don't feel it in the shoulder. It feels as if I am literally tearing the muscles of my right, upper arm. I had RSI for years so it may be a recurrence of that. Though that felt like the joint rather than phantom pains I'm getting elsewhere. Getting in and out of the bath is very painful.

I shall be making an appointment with a physiotherapist for the first time in my life. A local clinic has specialists in sports injuries. So I'll see where that leads. Probably to more pain and abject poverty. I suppose it's normal to have to pay for a bit of S&M. After all, I've been paying (dearly) for my Brooks saddle fetish. Though at least I don't (yet) have a weakness for rubber. Whoops! A Brooks Cambium and well tightened toe straps, anybody?

I have sleepless nights worrying about the lack of ventilation holes in the Cambium. ;-) I'm presuming holes would lead to local weakening and eventual cracking despite the potential risk of severe sweating in the nether regions in untoward climes. Cracking with which the organic cotton reinforcement could not cope in the long term. This is the difficulty of centuries of selling the leather product with endless talk of the comfort offered by natural materials and healthy  breathability, etc. Change your basic material and you (basically) have to reinvent yourselves.

Perhaps they should have used Egyptian cotton? It was the stuff of legend in camping and climbing circles before trendy, new, polyurethane coated nylon came along. Then everything suddenly became totally unbreathable. Mobile sauna, survival threatening in the wilds, lots of kids dying on the British hills unbreathable. Soaking all their clothing to the skin unbreathable. Even in the bitter cold of a sudden winter blizzard unbreathable. All staggering along in single file in their newly fashionable, approved, knee length, guaranteed taped seams, wind flapping you right off the ridge, cagoules. AKA: Brightly coloured, airtight and sweat tight, stylish, imitation polythene, body/bin bags ready for the morgue.

I too was a sacrificial victim of Blacks of Greenock trendy coated nylon anoraks on the Welsh mountains in winter. And as my mobile sauna on my bike/trike year round. Once wet, how the hell do you dry out without central heating style, indoor warmth and a complete change of clothing and a hot shower or warming bath?

Answer: You don't if you are camping in the wilds. You suffer intensely and  miserably until you finally get home. Or die of hypothermia if you are really lucky. Fortunately, newly wealthy, outdoorsy mankind was saved by new technology like Gore-Tex. I've heard it said that it breathes through the noughts they added to the price of everything to which they apply their labels. Having never owned any of their garments I haven't checked to see if they are made by slave labour in Asia.

Chorus:
For he's a cynical barsteward.
For he's a cynical barsteward
For he's a cynical bar-steward  
And, so say all of us.

Wednesday 11th 52-59F, 11-15C, breezy, sunny periods but rather cloudy. Showers possible. Rode to Odense. It stayed dry but wasn't very warm. Particularly on the way with a light head wind. Going quite well after two rest days. Roads very muddy in places. 43 miles.

There is a move by politicians to put up speed cameras in Denmark. The idea is to clearly mark their position This will reduce income from fines but should have a greater effect on driving behaviour. The problem in the UK was that many drivers were convinced that the cameras were only there to make money. With almost no effect on speeding because only the locals would know where the cameras were sited. Signposting the cameras should avoid such accusations. Albeit that speeding anywhere is still breaking the law.

Unusually, for me,  I have been out in the car a bit more recently. I continue to be the slowest car on the road because I will not exceed the speed limit. Which makes me a minority of one in several million. Though I will happily drive at the speed limit when it is safe to do so. I quite often leave speeders well behind on the corners after they have usually travelled through a long village straight at 60mph to just to sit on my tail.

I was overtaken by several drivers today where they were travelling at over twice the speed limit for a built up area. One idiot started to overtook a lorry coming uphill towards me despite continuous double white lines and a blind brow to the hill. I flashed my headlights but he still insisted on overtaking which took him several hundred yards before he could return to his own lane. Forcing me to halve my own initial speed to avoid a certain  head-on collision.

Half an hour later, as I returned form the shops two cars were having a very high speed race up the same hill. They passed me at well over 80 mph throwing up clouds of dust. The national speed limit is 80kpgh/50mph in Denmark. Only a vanishingly small minority of drivers adhere to the speed limits.

They are finally fixing a severe chicane in a local village high street where the sped limit is 40kph/25mph. The vast majority, including buses, lorries, vans, taxis and council vehicles travel at 40mph despite the narrow high street being lined from top to bottom with busy shops on both sides of the road. With pedestrians old and young frequently wanting to cross. There are no road traffic accidents. There are only sociopaths making life difficult for everybody including themselves.

Thursday 11th 53F, 12C, overcast, still and misty start. One of those rare days when the windmills are all still. Shopping 22 miles.

It seems my words do hold some truth. A car was seen travelling at high speed on a road where every tree in the avenue of oaks has some damage near the base. It seems, yet again,  that the driver's ambitions greatly exceeded his skills. He hit three trees, on a long straight, before going into a spin, leaving the road and dying in the roadside ditch. Trees 3. Motorist 0? The speed limit on the entire road is 50kph or 31mph! With large, 50kph lollipops every few hundred yards.

I often travel this way and seriously doubt that one in 1000 drivers adheres to the speed limit. I ride this route regularly on my trike because I love the beauty of the canopy of trees and the scenery. Such long views are actually quite rare. I also enjoy climbing the long hill. It is also the only useful route going north which makes any sense for me. Though it often feels very unsafe and there are no marked cycle lanes. As usual, the double white lines in the centre of the road were often worn away completely before recent resurfacing and remarking.

Now all we need is a call from some do-gooder to have these beautiful old oaks cleared to stop them stepping out into the road in front of speeding and drunken motorists. Perhaps they should put up steel trash crash barriers along the entire length of the road? It's only taxpayer's money after all. The behaviour of the trees on the straights is obviously no more predictable than those on the corners! Where are you when you can't even trust the trees? They could have put down some speed bumps but this is a feeder road to the motorway at the top of the hill. So the emergency services are probably attending to motorway "accidents" via this route. Which rather limits the traffic calming possibilities.

I avoid using the motorway in the car because nobody remotely adheres to the speed limits whatever the weather or traffic conditions. From the bridge of the same motorway junction I watched as a young woman climbed out of half a car with a baby clutched in her arms. She had hit the central crash barriers and completely ripped off one side of her car. Not one single passing car slowed down from their illegal speeding as she stood there in shock in the overtaking lane wondering how to escape from her dilemma. Fortunately her car was neatly parked tight against the central reservation barriers. So no passing driver was even slightly inconvenienced by having to lift their foot off the speeding pedal.

Friday 13th 55F, 13C, are you feeling lucky, punks? :-) Overcast and very misty. Whoops! The garden is full of small birds again. All bombing around like lunatics. Perhaps they are drunk on the plums? The mist soon cleared and it became almost bright. I'd gone about two miles when my wife rang to say that I'd forgotten my bike lock keys. Back home again and then cover the same ground all over again. Why is it so boring to have to do that? Shopping for 18 miles.

Saturday 14th 65F, 18C, sunny and windy. Assens. A Morris Minor club was having an outing so I followed them down the high street to the harbour. While the cars were neatly arranged there were people all over the place.Which made it very difficult to get a clean shot of their cars. Rode home with a heavy 5' long parcel  tied across the back of the trike. 20 miles.

Sunday 15th 57F, 14C, breezy becoming windy, overcast with light showers. Late afternoon ride for 9 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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