6 Jan 2014

6th January 2014

Monday 6th 38F, 4C, windy, overcast, raining. The early rain is supposed to peter out to showers. Possible clearing up in the afternoon. Gusting to over 30mph all day. I'd better wait a while to see what happens. It let up mid afternoon so, finally,  I headed off into the fading light. Only for it to start tipping down again. Only 7 miles, with lights, no walk.

Tuesday 7th 47F, 8C, incredibly mild, very windy, overcast but dry so far. Had an hour's walk around waterlogged fields. Rain forecast for all afternoon. Went shopping and punctured on the way back. Couldn't be bothered to change the tube beside the main road so kept pumping the tyre at intervals to get home. The Lezyne alloy mini pump works remarkably well using an overhand motion. Though one would need to be careful where one did this to avoid a case of road rage amongst the guilty paranoid!

With the wind  blowing a gale at 45 degrees it was very hard work coming home. 15 miles. It is still dry at 4.30pm but let's not complain.

I repaired the flat tyre with a new tube. There were a lot of small flints buried deep in the tread surface. I patiently picked them all out with an awl just in case they decided to bury themselves more deeply. But (yet again) I could find none that had actually penetrated.  Not even when I could accurately locate the puncture in the tube relative to the tyre. It helps to always place specific tyre labels beside the valve to ensure the inner tube and tyre positions can be compared. It is possible to have two punctures simultaneously. With a second going unnoticed even in a water bath once the first one is found.

I don't remember the last set of Durano tyres showing remotely so much damage even after far greater mileages. So perhaps Schwalbe suffer from major material variations as much as Continental do with their 4000S? The rubber really does seem to soften in wet weather. So comparing them with tyres run only over a dry summer may offer completely different results.

Wednesday 8th 45-46F, 7-8C, breezy, overcast. Showers possible. I went for a walk after an early shower. Still grey and windy but dry at coffee time. Still dry at lunchtime after a ride to Assens. Headwind going tailwind coming back. 19 miles.

Thursday 9th 42F, 6C, very windy, raining and overcast. Rain forecast for most of the day with the wind gusting to 40mph. It doesn't look very promising. Winter arrives next week. It blew and rained hard for my hour's walk. I wasn't very waterproof but remained comfortable in some recycled waterproofs which I had originally bought for cycling. Hardly a problem when I was still near home. It's blowing harder and tipping down now. Windier and wetter still! A rest day.

Friday 10th 42F, 6C, cloudy and windy with showers and brighter periods. It stayed dry but windy for my walk. The fields, woods and tracks are getting wetter and wetter with minor flooding in places. Two shopping rides today for a total of 23 miles. Still very windy with the trees and hedges roaring. I keep hearing Jays in the woods but don't usually see them.

Saturday 11th 43F, 6C, overcast, breezy. Rain forecast for most of the day. It was already spitting when I left for my walk and slowly increased without becoming silly. I cut through the woods to avoid being exposed to the wind and the rain. There I caught sight of a Jay in flight as it squawked raucously just above me on its way to hide in some conifers.

The first ShiftMate has just been dropped into my postbox. The reason it didn't turn up? It took its summer holidays in Australia! How on earth does a registered packet get sent so far off course? Why did it never register in the British Post Office track and trace system? Why did it take six weeks to be delivered? Now I'll have to return it and I bet it is a flawless example. Without all the dents like the one which came last. Bøøger!

The light was fading as the rain died out.  I was overtaken by a convicted drunk/ registered blind/ incurably insane/ banned  driver with advanced dementia at the end of a long wide straight. The old fart brushed past only two feet from my handlebars with no oncoming traffic anywhere to be seen. I had three 1/2W 'Smart' flashing red lights showing. One on the seat tube and one on each rear axle. I was wearing a bright green-yellow, day-glo Aldi jacket with highly reflective safety strips and a large bright pink sports bag hanging at the rear. It wasn't even properly dark yet.

As usual I was monitoring overtaking traffic on their approach in my Zefal Cyclop mirror. This old clown completely failed to change direction as he caught up with me.

Fortunately I was passing a wide farm entrance and was able to avoid being mown down by using their concrete drainage channel. Only 7 miles. Nearly my last. How unfortunate that my HDR-15 Sony Action Cam is complete crap in anything but bright sunlight. Nor when it is steamed up in its diving case. Otherwise I could have had a number plate to share on YouTube.

Sunday 12th 37F, 3C, breezy, clear sky. The forecast is windy at first with a few showers. Bright but cool in the wind for my walk. Three young deer and an adult were approaching the same corner of a field as I sneaked along the hedge at right angles hoping for some pictures. The hedge was far too dense to take a picture through it but I was downwind with the sun behind me. First one, and then another young deer popped out of the corner, stared at me and then vanished. At full zoom on my Lumix TZ7 I wasn't really expecting much. This was the best shot despite the daft thing pretending to be a three legged stool. It had four legs in all the other pictures. Perhaps it was surprised I only wanted a picture instead of blowing its head off with a double barrelled cannon.

It stayed dry and bright but windy for my ride to the shops.I was cruising at 16-20 mph going. There I was robbed by the Coop/Super Brugsen. Two special offers but they tried to charge me much more. I had to queue four times to get a refund and that was like getting blood out of a stone! What a shame Denmark has no consumer protection laws. I remember shops in the UK being massively fined for charging more at the till than the displayed price. That was decades ago. It happens all the time over here. To visit a Danish supermarket is to be robbed. Or denied the advertised goods. Hard work coming home uphill, fully laden and into a cold headwind. The ShiftMate is performing better now. It seems to respond to smaller variations on the cable adjuster than without the device. Only 16 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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