1 Nov 2013

November 1st 2013

Friday 1st 50F, 10C, heavy overcast, breezy, rain or showers forecast. Walkies! Nope. No walkies. It started tipping down just as I headed for the door.

No point in wasting the entire day indoors.  So, after much research online, I went into town, in the car, in search of some decent, but lightweight, waterproof walking boots.

I ended up with a pair of Salomon Discovery GTX at a nice discount. They have a Gore-tex membrane to keep the damp out while still allowing them to breathe and are surprisingly light. It was recommended I buy a bottle of Grangers water repellent spray to ensure they didn't get too wet to breathe.

Tying off the laces at the base of the ankle, with a simple overhand not, before continuing lacing, allows the cuff to flex more easily when new. I discovered this years ago with my heavy mountain boots. They were so rigid that no ankle movement was possible without a little help. My impression of a cross between a matchstick man and a zombie was thus safely averted. Despite their weight and stiffness I ended up wearing them all day for gardening, landscaping, building work and racing up and down Snowdon. I still have them but can hardly believe their weight now!

My present, all leather boots were literally wearing the skin off my toes and about as waterproof as blotting paper. I seem to have gained considerably from my walks. So it was not in vain. The pain in my hip had almost subsided until I lifted the Higgins trike onto the workstand. The first day I went for a proper [brisk] walk I thought I'd have to give up after only a few hundred yards. My feet and ankles were hurting like hell! Perhaps it was just the boots I was wearing but I kept going and ended up doing about three miles across some wet and sticky fields as well as some tarmac. The original pain just shows how little walking I have been doing lately. Apart from strolling around the supermarkets in my MTB shoes of course. My shoulder is also massively improved since I lowered the mouse mat to keyboard height.

I had to wear the Shimano MTB shoes yesterday because my Northwave MTB shoes were still wet from the previous day's drenching. The Shimanos were certainly snug but not uncomfortable. Today was another dark and miserable day with frequent showers, some heavy. Another rest day.

Saturday 2nd 48-50F, 9-10C, quite still, overcast with heavy rain falling. So I fitted the Higgins front mudguard to finish the rebuild instead of going out. I had a look at the Crud mudguards online because I don't have more than a few millimetres of fork crown/tyre clearance on the Trykit. The choice of 25mm tyres probably doesn't help. I thought I could cut down a normal mudguard around the crown to allow it to be lifted tight under the fork crown with a tie wrap fitted through a couple of drilled holes around the brake pivot. My R953 forks have mudguard eyes so there is still hope that I can fit a mudguard to the front of the Trykit. Though, perhaps rather oddly, the Crud doesn't use eyelets even if present.

It's odd how uninviting the Higgins seems since I bought the Trykit. I travelled tens of thousands of miles on the Higgins even on winter snow and ice and usually heavily loaded. Having a full set of mudguards on the Higgins should make it the obvious choice in wet weather. Yet, completely illogically, I still I insist on riding the Trykit. I hope I have now overcome the problem of the loose headset race on the Higgins. It hasn't been ridden since I fixed it with Liquid Metal. So hopefully the filler has hardened even further. Increasing the chance of success. I have to get a ride in today because tomorrow is forecast to be stormy again. Today's rain should peter out by lunchtime.

I did a twenty minute walk in the rain to get a feel for the new boots before risking a longer trial. They seem fine but I need better (smoother and seam free) socks. I don't want a repeat of the problems caused by the smashed nail from wearing the Shimano shoes.

When the rain finally stopped I left late on the Trykit trike to ride a circular route taking in several village supermarkets. The wind was so light that the turbines were standing still. 23 miles with a huge haul of shopping carried in two large sports bags and the Carradice Camper saddle bag. All stuffed full to the brim and hanging off the back.

Sunday 3rd 48F, 9C, overcast, already windy, all day rain forecast with winds gusting to 40mph. It looks like being wet for the week ahead. I'd better go for a walk before the rain becomes too serious. It stayed dry but windy as I looped through the woods and back by another road. Two pairs of socks were unnecessary and only caused hotspots on my toes. Once I'd taken a pair off the boots were fine. I deliberately walked through the grass where it was available and even through puddles but noticed no dampness at all. Good grip on slopes and traversing on muddy camber.

I hadn't gone far on the trike before the sky turned black and it tipped down. Just to add to the fun it was blowing a gale with vicious gusts. I even managed to lift a wheel at one point as I passed a gap in the field hedge. Coming back it was sheeting onto standing water into a headwind. The woods were roaring. Soaked from head to foot in only 8 miles! Grrr.

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