18 Nov 2013

18th November 2013


Monday 18th 41F, 5C, heavy overcast, almost still. The forecast offers the risk of light rain. The risk was real and it drizzled while I went for my my walk. The boots and gaiters continue to offer complete protection from very long wet grass and marshy ground. This may sound terribly boring but it has transformed my ability to walk almost anywhere my curiosity takes me.

Walking on the local roads is no fun at all when traffic roars past drenching me in spray. Getting cross really doesn't help and merely spoils the walk. They have little choice but to use the roads. I have no choice but to walk alongside them to get to my exit points. At least they don't follow me along the forest tracks!

The point of walking is not just increased fitness but the psychological benefits as well. Not to mention escaping from wasting more hours on the computer instead of doing something real and far more worthwhile. I find the slower pace and lower perceived risk of walking (compared to cycling) increasingly valuable. Irritation with piss-poor drivers just tends to build up into yet another online rant. Which I am sure is even more boring for my readers unless you can find some hidden amusement in my empty tirades. Perhaps the rants are actually beneficial in safely letting off steam? It beats carrying a Hollywood-style, grenade launcher on my walks. ;-)

Given that this is a tricycling blog I am trying hard to balance the discussion of walking and cycling while my walking is still relatively novel for this area. It has been quite a  discovery how many potential off-road routes have presented themselves within a total of an hour's walk. Given a little more time I can extend the routes dramatically. I deliberately change my routes every day to avoid them getting stale. The autumn light (or lack of it) often presents real challenges to my photography. I persevere in the hope of capturing the sombre mood of the undulating, northern landscape from fresh perspectives.

I waited as long as possible before going out on the trike. What had been drizzle became real rain. Which continued throughout. Meaning that every car and truck sprayed me from head to foot. I couldn't face going further, as planned, since there was no great need. I remembered to wear the TA cap and was grateful for the protection offered by the peak.

I forgot to mention that the cheap clamp (intended to hold braze-on front changers) has completely cured derailing of the chain onto the bottom bracket. It merely needed to be aligned with the inner chainring diameter and then rotated so that the fixing "tongue" projected to the maximum towards the inner chainring. I could still add something to ensure longer rubbing life using the existing screw hole but it seems unnecessary at the moment.

The supermarkets are still cheating on special offers. They are supposed to last for a week but are often not available from the start. Nor even over the entire period of the special offer. Bored? I know I am with this continuing crooked behaviour. I ride for miles to take advantage of an advertised offer only to find they never had and will not have any stock during the advertised run of the offer. Then as soon as the offer ends the shelves are stuffed with full price stock! Another favourite trick is the "several varieties available" claim. NOT on your life! Lies, damned lies and supermarkets, eh? It's still raining. Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 19th 43F, 6C, heavy overcast, breezy, rain. It is supposed to rain all day again. The DMI's radar chart shows a large area of rain crossing the country likely to last until late afternoon. I'll use up some cabin fever time fitting the Cateye Cadence computer onto the Trykit. It has been sitting uselessly on the Higgins. First find the instructions leaflet! It is available online but I want a hard copy to squint at in the dimness of the shed. Found it. I moved the magnet up the spoke, nearer the rim to avoid contact with the Crud mudguard stay. I also shortened the brake cables while I was at it. Now they all come neatly together with the gear change cables. Still raining but brightening slowly. I think I'll take a chance..

It rained but eventually stopped at about halfway. The Cateye computer showed that my normal cadence was in the high 90s rpm with occasional bouts up to 105. Which rather surprised me since it is quite a time since I had a functioning cadence display. I wish Cateye wouldn't be so mean with the size of the screen and the digits as a consequence. Reading glasses should not be compulsory for a  bike computer!

I just made it home again as it was getting darker. I really ought to fit, or carry, my lights for the days where I put off a ride until the afternoon due to prolonged rain. The brakes are working well now as is the Crud front mudguard. It is so slim that it is hardly visible. Yet the unusual length keeps my feet almost dry even when riding through standing water. I just hope it lasts and stays firmly together. I once did a nasty somersault when a brittle plastic Bluemels mudguard broke up and locked the front wheel under the fork crown! 15 miles.

Did you spot the deliberate subterfuge in this image? The grass fringe is the clue.

Sony's PlayMemories software update has now cleared the hundreds of un-openable files despoiling my Pictures files. These pointless .modd files were placed there when PlayMemories was first installed with the arrival of the Sony AS-15 Action Camera. It made finding specific images almost impossible! I deleted hundreds of them longhand but then read online that Sony recommended leaving them in place! How was I supposed to know? It is taking literally ages to re-update the image database after taking even longer to mess it up in the first place!

Wednesday 20th 28-37F, -2+3C, white coating of frost, perfectly still, thin high cloud in feathered, contrail stripes, hope of watery sunshine later. At least it is dry! Low winds promised all day gusting to 10mph max. My hip is still hurting. Perhaps Sunday's longer ride was too much for it? I'll see how I feel after a walk. I need more photographs. First walk with cheapo fleece gloves. Plenty warm enough for walking but a nuisance trying to operate the camera shuttle wheel. I adjust the picture format regularly to suit the subject matter.

It took me 2 hours to do 5 miles wandering newly discovered, field-side tracks and stopping often for photography. (Over 80 images) Lots of dead end tracks required considerable backtracking. Stretches of black ice on the lanes. My hip didn't bother me while I was walking even on steep slopes. I climbed a local hill by the spray tracks and was rewarded with an incredible vista. I doubt the hill is more than 10 metres or 30' high! I can check on one of the free mapping services. Good guess! It was actually only 12 metres higher than the road and surrounding fields. That's the strange thing about the Danish countryside. It my be bumpy but it is so relatively flat that there isn't much to obscure a distant view.

Even at 2pm the frost clung on where the weak sunshine could not reach. I wore the GripGrab Polaris gloves on the trike and found them only just adequate as I left with 33F on the thermometer. I was grateful for the first shopping stop to warm my hands up again. After that I gradually stopped noticing them. I wore my warmest (charity shop) Aesse winter cycling jacket and was almost too warm at times when climbing. I didn't really need the cycling cardigan underneath. On the third day of trying I found some stock of the supermarket special offer. It was 4 months past its sell by of date!

I see lots more storm felled trees each time I ride a new route. The damage is often very localised. Suggesting a freak gust. Several fallen trees were large birches snapped off half way up the trunk where they were nearly 2' in diameter. Others were toppled despite having huge root plates over 6' across. Probably not enough root depth to resist the wind leverage on the tops. Several conifers in a row in the forest were snapped off. Yet all the surrounding trees survived. 21 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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