17 Feb 2014

17th February 2014

Monday 17th 36F, 2C, breezy, clear, sun rising. My walk took place in bright sunshine under a cloudless sky. Rather a brisk breeze with the last vestiges of frost clinging on here and there. The cars were dragging plumes of spray. While the fields were back to clinging mud again. I'm using a stiff, plastic, washing up brush and a bowl of rainwater to get the worst off when I come home each day. So I could become quite domesticated over time.
A heavily laden Mr T pauses briefly in historical surroundings.

Went shopping on the trike in bright sunshine. All the special offers were in stock! Came back the long way via a hilly route. A headwind to finish again with a peak of 17 mph on a normally 30 mph descent in still air. Hard work on the hills with 12 kilos of shopping. I think the chain is now completely knackered because the gear change is getting worse going both up and down the cassette. I shall have to check it with the measuring tool tomorrow. My cold seems to be finally getting bored with me after all these weeks. 20 miles. 

Tuesday 18th 37-43F, 3-6C, modest winds, thin cloud clearing to possible sunshine. Not long after I left home I could see my shadow. The sunshine remained watery and eventually gave way to cloud, then overcast.

Ruffled village pond.

After coffee I was cruising at 18-20 mph on my way to the first shops. Tailwinds are like that. The next leg was into the wind. Despite the higher temperature it felt strangely cold.  The final leg was aided and abetted by the wind again.

I passed right underneath a bird of prey in an over-sized brown coat. By which I mean that it had overlong, floppy feathers. I've seen one before so it must be a distinct kind of eagle. It was perched in a tree beside the road but made no attempt to fly away. Later I saw soaring buzzards, Hooper swans, Shelducks and geese. The crows, magpies and rooks are getting a bit territorial. Performing extreme aerial combat displays as they try to chase each other away. Lots of minor flooding in the fields and woods. 21 hilly miles.

Wednesday 19th 40-42F, 4-5C, light winds, misty, heavy overcast. Back to the grey. With showers forecast for this morning. It rained steadily all the time I was walking. It is surprising how noisy broad leaved crops can become in rain. I disturbed the resident heron on the small lake. It circled and disappeared behind the trees. You'd think it would be used to me by now. Though it doesn't go off in a beeline like it once did. I heard skylarks clearly for the first time this year. It may be due to the light winds. Normally the wind is roaring in my ears.

Having left my ride until the afternoon it had stopped raining and the roads were almost dry. Lots of trees being felled in the woods. Presumably for firewood. The mist finally cleared and the sun came out for a few seconds at 4 pm. One of my Smart E-Line back lights has stopped working already. The batteries are fine. First it wouldn't come on then it wouldn't go off. Nor can I get it to flash. Bøøger! They have only been used a couple of times in the mist. The switch has stopped working. As a trike I am required to have two rear lights after dark. So now I'm illegal if I go out at night. I hope I can still find the receipt. Ahah! Bought on 12.12.2013. Just over two months ago. Only 10 miles today.

Thursday 20th 41-44F, 5-7C, heavy overcast, misty, breezy becoming quite windy.  An hour's walk first. Mud very sticky in places. After coffee I rode to Assens to shop. The dealer gave me a new Smart rear light light to replace the broken one. Quite a cold side wind despite the measured temperature. There was a hell of a racket in some woods that I passed through. It sound vaguely like a fox but was high up in the conifers. Presumably another jay or jays. The lake was still partially frozen.

I'm going to have to make a simple rack for the Trykit. I managed to saw right through the pink bag and an organic apple juice carton with the bottom gear sprocket. The inside of the bag and all my shopping was covered in sticky juice. There are two horizontal bars to support the saddlebag but they don't do anything for the pink bag. Which hangs by the straps over the saddle pin over the top of the saddlebag. Grrr! 19 miles.

Friday 21st 42F, 6C, light SW winds, cloudy with blue patches. It could reach 10C, 50F today with some sunshine. It brightened for a while but quickly turned grey again. The ground was very sticky or just very wet. I usually walk on the roughest grass beside or between the tracks to try and clean my boots. The soil around here has a very high clay content and a high water table.

It was overcast almost continuously throughout my ride. The supposed 50 degrees managed only 43F. Instead of sunshine we had showers. At least the DMI managed to get the date right. It is a good year for Jays and woodpeckers. I have never seen or heard so many.  22 miles.

Saturday 22nd 38-41F, 3-5C, heavy overcast, hazy, windy and cold. My right walking boot has developed a very annoying squeak on every heel strike. Fortunately it is silent on the soft stuff. Though completely avoiding roads and firm tracks is not a luxury I enjoy. I tried loosening the laces and even removed my gaiter but it made no difference. 4.5 miles in an hour and three quarters. All on tarmac along the country lanes. I came within a few feet of a female Yellowhammer before it flew off.

It started spitting with rain before I left on the trike. So on went the Aldi rainproof jacket on top of everything else. It was blowing a gale by now but was soon dry again.

I rode a loop between villages for a total of 22 miles with rain falling again just before I arrived home. One is never sure whether to be miffed because it didn't let me get home first. Or grateful that it didn't rain all the way around. A scruffy, dark brown, bird of prey wasn't perturbed by my passing by. I told you tricyclists present no real danger to man or beast.

I saw a headline on a popular Danish magazine suggesting that there were nearly 1/4 million psychopaths in Denmark. That's an awful lot given the population of just under 6 million. I wondered how they knew? Did they count the traffic in the high street passing at twice the legal speed limit and make a rough extrapolation?

I told my wife that I saw an Audi being driven at just below the speed limit in the village. She called me a liar. When I told her a bus was keeping to the speed limit she said I needed help. I didn't dare tell her about the 5 and 6 axle juggernauts being held up by a BMW driver who had apparently lost the will to live. He was (unaccountably) driving at the speed limit too. It was all getting a bit too "Twilight Zone!"  

So, to regain my rapidly failing credibility, I told her about all the delivery postmen racing along the town and village pavements on their scooters. Exactly as they were expected to do when the new law required the postbox for every house should be easily accessible from the pavement. Cyclists would be breaking the law if they behaved like that and heavily fined. And, guess what? They often are! Only in today's Denmark. Spooky!  

Sunday 23rd 37F, 3C, breezy, overcast but threatening to brighten. Spring must be in the air. A couple of Skylarks were chasing each other all over a field. Then a pair of Herons were flying together. The right boot is still squeaking.

It was blowing a gale by the time I left on the trike. A straight-on headwind going. A crosswind coming back. 19 miles and a ton of shopping. Plus six more. Still blowing hard. I was overtaken in a 50kph village at an indicated 83kph buy a large car with a tiny driver. He probably couldn't see the frequent speed signs through the steering wheel. And, obviously hasn't heard that cushions are cheap these days. That's a triple fail in YouTube parlance.

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