22 Apr 2014

22nd April 2014

Tuesday 22nd 50-62F, 10-17C, early cloud cleared to sunshine. The Easterly wind is picking up again. A 3 mile stroll to start the day. My attempt to capture the weird sound in the woods was a barely audible failure. I used my camera's video function expecting something on the soundtrack. It could be a deer, or a fox. It sounds like a deep but sharp bark. Nothing like any dog I've ever heard though. Quite menacing, in a strangely alien way.

Three hares were pottering about together on the track leading to the woods. Too far away for a photograph. Every time I advanced a few steps, they retreated more. Plovers gave me a nice flying display on a newly tilled field. As did the skylarks. I knew Skylarks could climb fairly quickly but it was a shock to see them literally drop like a stone from a hundred feet and "flare out" just above the ground! An amazing feat of flying! A medium sized, all brown, bird of prey sailed low over my head with long, narrow wings extended to 'fingers.' It quickly disappeared over the tops of the trees. I am enjoying the way the oil seed rape is changing the landscape before it becomes too smelly.

It was windy but mostly sunny for my ride. Going quite well. Only 19 miles.

Wednesday 23rd 46F, 8C, heavy grey overcast, light rain and a light breeze. Showers or rain forecast until after lunch. No walk. A mid afternoon ride coincided with renewed rain. I managed to get quite soggy in a short time despite the Aldi rain jacket. I'm getting quite good at removing and refitting the Crud mudguard. I don't know why I bother to take it off because it weighs almost nothing, is almost invisible and offers very little drag. 7 miles. Much better weather promised for tomorrow.

Thursday 24th 42F, 6C, overcast, light breeze. Showers possible? Where is the promised sunshine? It didn't brighten up for my 3 mile walk. I was walking towards home when a pigshit spreader entered the field. So I had to make a serious detour to avoid it. Arrived home to enjoy the full bouquet! Yeuk! The whole area now stinks of weapons grade pig shit! As if that wasn't bad enough 173 pig farmers have been reported to the police for punishing pigs. With 7500 suspected attacks which caused sores and wounds very likely to have been inflicted by humans. Many wounds suggest that pigs have been beaten with chains, spanners and hammers. A huge fraction of all pigs die prematurely. You'll never guess what they have written on the side of the huge, slaughterhouse transporters? Thriving (animals) means healthy (animals). Yeah right! Enjoy your bacon!

Left mid afternoon for Assens. No sign of sunshine but I was cruising at 20mph + going. Rather slower coming back into the wind by another route. Finding stock in the supermarkets is a complete lottery! Only 19 miles.

Friday 25th 46-60(?)F, 8-16(?)C, windy, sunny. A 3 mile walk. A hare ran almost right up to me. Sat down, stared for quite a few seconds, then ran like hell!

I left after morning coffee for Middelfart. As I rode at speed, close to the salt marshes, I was being sandblasted by flies. I couldn't find what I wanted in Middelfart so rode on to Fredericia. Where they obviously haven't resurfaced the cycle paths since the Old Bridge was built! [1935] I seemed to be fighting the wind all day long. My plan was to ride back via the main road but it was far too noisy with constant traffic and an exhausting head/crosswind. It always irritates me that the road surface is absolutely perfect. While the cycle path is all lumps and holes! So I turned off and detoured through several villages to gather shopping as I went. Each village has different supermarkets amongst the small number of national chains.

Like a fool I didn't eat until 3pm and then only had a cheese roll and small box of orange juice. So I was getting a bit tired by then. I bought some bananas and ate one. I looked at the vast sweet racks in several supermarkets but nothing appealed. So I bought some digestives but they were like eating sawdust without a drink. All my own fault. I could easily have bought something. My moral sense will not bring me to drink sugar-loaded, fizzy crap. Though I could have bought some apple or orange juice nobody sells small boxes of the organic. I would have had to buy a litre but had no storage space left in the pint-sized Carradice Camper.

65 miles, pushing hard all the time, particularly into the wind, is only a test of stamina if you eat correctly. I was starving by the time I got home and stuffed my face with assorted sandwiches. With lots of tea to help it down. Then a good soak in the bath followed by a half hour nap and I was almost back to what passes as normal for me. Drinking tap water during the evening helped me to rehydrate. I was given some free rehydration salts by a bike shop once but they gave me leg pain each time I tried them. 

Saturday 26th, 45-65(?)F, 7-18(?)C, windy, full sun. The easterly wind already looks stronger than the peak forecast for later. Temperatures are supposed to rise rapidly to the high 60s. No (obvious) ill effects from yesterday's foolishness. I'll start with a walk. Warm sunshine and lots of birdsong. A hare came quite close again. My Lumix TZ7 camera isn't very sharp when hand held at full zoom. It really needs a DSLR with a long lens to do these more distant subjects proper justice. This is a beautiful time of year to live in the countryside. [Pigshit notwithstanding.]

It felt almost summery as I rode to the shops. Climbing quite well. So I did an extra climbing detour while still loaded with shopping. The first ride this year wearing only a cycling jersey and shorts. 19 miles.

Sunday 27th 46-65(?)F, 8-18(?)C, windy, full sun. Same forecast as yesterday but windier. My 3.5 mile walk in an hour and half seemed much warmer than the indicated temperature [58F] even though I was just ambling along. The oil seed rape has reached shoulder height and firmly closed the spray tracks.  I saw a Jay and a Blackcap today but no hares. I have also seen several cyclists out training already.

We are having an amazing run of fine weather. Except that it is slightly too windy.  Cycling into a headwind, while I am still fresh, doesn't make it any easier until I turn around and come back. Which is a bit like stating the obvious unless it is a major part of one's daily cycling experience. Doing it the other way around is even sillier. A sin of which I seem frequently guilty.

I ought to go out after the morning ritual of coffee and marmalade covered rolls. Just to celebrate the sunshine. I have caught some sun on my forearms but my legs are still very pale brown. Probably from last year. I still have a phobia about having white legs from kids shouting at me as I raced past them as a teenager. I still haven't decided whether I dare defy the wrath of SWMBO about shaving my legs. I'd better wait until they are toasty brown to reduce the chance of discovery.

I managed two rides today without going very far. Chased a couple of riders for a couple of miles but had to turn off to the shops just before I caught them. I doubt they were really trying.

Later I attached a Sony Action Cam to the seat tube to capture the gear change and my flailing feet. The Sony handlebar clamp is not very suitable for such activities due to its fixed lateral angle. So I have now added a right angle bracket and a steady bar and mounted the camera just behind the saddle. I shall hopefully have a more useful video tomorrow than those I have captured so far.

The 16:9 format wants to run along the length of the trike rather than across the track. The camera also needs to be raised to somewhere around the saddle height. Otherwise the camera does not capture the correct area of interest or enough of it. It was the continuing bright sunshine which inspired me to try this. The Sony's video performance in overcast conditions is very poor indeed.

My thinking is that a firmly fixed camera should capture any flexure of the rear axle relative to the diamond "bike" part of the frame. (If any!) Unfortunately there isn't anywhere suitable to dangle the camera except behind the saddle. Though it has a wide angle of view it still needs to point at the right area. Avoiding my flailing feet and the trike frame completely filling the screen has been difficult so far.

This is the first time I have ridden my Trykit trike stripped of all the usual ballast of saddlebag, tool kit, rack and heavy U-lock and I still only managed 16 miles today. Though I was trying really hard most of the time. Cruising at 20-26mph  on the 46t chainwheel uphill and down dale riding with the wind. Only 12-16mph coming back into a headwind but I was climbing well when out of the saddle. Something I have been practising a lot lately.

I keep pushing my pain tolerance in the hope of more effortless range on longer hills. My quads seem to have developed more as a result. They say you should remain seated on a trike but I actually enjoy the feeling of standing up on the pedals despite the pain. Now I attack every slight rise to try and improve my range before I have to sit down again and twiddle to the top. My hip pain seems to have receded again. It is usually brought on by lifting heavy weights. Probably the sciatic nerve complaining.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

No comments:

Post a Comment