16 Dec 2013

December 16th 2013

Monday 16th 44F, 7C, windy, overcast. The forecast is for 30mph gusts and odd showers. A little sunshine wouldn't go amiss to provide opportunities for more images. I woke up feeling dizzy with a headache. Almost as if I was drugged or drunk. Very odd. I'd better get some fresh air. I thought I'd better stay on the road in case I fell over but felt better after I started my walk. It stayed dry but rather windy. Only starting to drizzle on my return. Sunday will be the shortest day but the continuous heavy cloud is making it much darker than necessary.

Once it had started it didn't stop raining until after 3pm. Armed with multiple flashing lights and my Aldi day-glo rain jacket I set off into the gloom. I am fast coming to the conclusion that commuting is a form of mental illness. Any risk being worthwhile provided they can stay on the bumper of the car in front. Or, even better, overtake the bumper in front to gain a car length on the road. Seen from the viewpoint of the cyclist or pedestrian it is absolutely crackers. Completely nuts. Delusional hierarchy amongst a troupe of clowns. Only 7 miles as the 'Smart' lights blink. It still hasn't been light enough yet to take a picture of them. While attempting to capture the bright, red glow was just as pointless. You will just have to be patient. ;ΓΈ))

Tuesday 17th 40F, 5C, heavy overcast, spitting with rain, light breeze. It was  bit cold on the hands when I walked into the wind but it stayed dry again. It was supposed to rain all morning but didn't. Off to the shops after coffee. 17 miles. I'm hoping to go out again this afternoon, if I'm allowed. The promised sunshine came to nothing.

Another ten miles after lunch. Just as I was sorting out my shopping bags on the trike outside a supermarket a car pulled up with a trailer in tow. A teenage lad got out of the far side and tried to hop over the tow bar to go into the shop. His mother had paused as if to allow him time to jump over but then floored the pedal and shot to the far end of the car park! I was so shocked at his narrow escape and her poor driving skills that I rode over to talk to her. Explaining how she had nearly lost her son for Christmas but she really wasn't very interested. Let's just say that she was not working with a full set and not expecting a lecture from a mere cyclist with a very odd Danish accent. I expect the poor kid will get the blame now. When it was entirely her own stupidity which had nearly cost her son potentially serious injuries, or worse. Fortunately he was very quick witted and pulled back from the brink of disaster as she shot away.

Wednesday 18th 41F, 5C, breezy, heavy overcast. A cool headwind on the first half of my walk made my eyes water. Fine with the wind at my back later on. Everything is incredibly wet, muddy and sticky. It is almost impossible to wipe the mud off as it builds up into snow-shoe sized plates! It is easiest to push it off with a stick. Somebody forgot to turn the lights on again. It has been getting steadily darker all day! At least it was dry. I was cruising at around 20mph going to the shops. Though there was a cold headwind coming home. Only 14 miles.

Thursday 19th 41F, 5C, raining, windy, overcast. Promised to be wet and windy all day. It is after lunch and the rain seems to be giving up for the moment. So it's now or never. I managed 6 miles before it started tipping down again. I was climbing a long hill with an inch of water rushing under my wheels. Then I surfed down the other side.

The GripGrab Polaris gloves were wet through within minutes.My bath sponge is more waterproof than they are! I could feel them squelching between my fingers on the handlebars.  This meant that the felt lining was now welded to my wet fingers. No matter how careful I was it was almost impossible to take them off and then get my hands fully back in after removing them. So I rode home after the shops with my hands like two blocks of ice and my fingers bent and crippled with pain from struggling to get my fingers back in and failing miserably. Avoid this rip-off trash like the plague! You will get far better performance and years of wear out of a pair of £5 Thinsulate gloves from the local supermarket!

Don't even get me started on [illegally] speeding "drivers" in villages. Those who haven't the basic intelligence to give cyclists a wide berth. Not even when the road is completely flooded and there is no oncoming traffic.(At all!) 19 miles.

Friday 20th 39-41F, 4-5C, heavy grey overcast, breezy. Showers promised. Went for a (soggy underfoot) walk for an hour. Despite the negative forecast it stayed dry and even brightened up towards lunch time. With weak sunshine from a very low sun after 2pm. The sun doesn't rise much above 10 degrees at 55N at this time of year. That means it is much easier for cloud to obscure the already reduced light. 20 miles.

Saturday 21st 41F, 5C, overcast, raining, very windy. It is supposed to gust to 40mph, or more, for the next couple of days. Add in rain or showers and it doesn't look too promising for much cycling to be done. There wasn't much hope of reaching 7500 miles this year anyway. It is horrible out there with no sign of the rain letting up! I don't even want to go for a walk in these conditions. Another rest day. It might as well be the shortest day to get it over with.

Sunday 22nd 43F, 6C, windy, dark grey overcast. It looks dry at the moment but showers are forecast. Winds gusting to over 30mph today but 40+mph tomorrow. It's 8.30 but still quite dark. I'd better start walking if I'm going to get out today. And now its raining! An hour of walking on the spray tracks and my boots were incredibly muddy.

I left on the trike after late coffee. It was certainly windy but not too bad. At least it stayed dry! I was riding along a country lane when I saw a barn had its roof covering taken off. Stored up between the rafter was an old delivery trike with a large front tray. I'm not convinced that rear wheel is original. These trikes must have been quite popular at one time because I have seen at least three others locally in the last few years. The flat tray design suggests they were originally for display of goods. Otherwise they could have used a smaller but deeper tray. Perhaps I am mistaken. They must weigh "a ton." Imagine having to carry a heavy load with a single gear!

Another chap came over to ask me my annual mileage. He said he'd seen me all over the place as he drove about. That's two enquirers in one week. 18 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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