7 Apr 2014

7th April 2014

Monday 7th 50-53F, 10-12C, light winds, damp with occasional drizzle and a bit misty. I rode the Brooks 'Professional' today and regretted it. It has all the qualities of one of those rocks you find on on the beach. They always look as if they will offer a perch to rest on. Then prove to be as uncomfortable as a.. bike saddle. It drizzled on the last leg. 21 miles. The B17 'Special' is going back on tomorrow! It was a strange day for lack of windmills. I use them all the time to check wind direction. Today they were largely hidden in low cloud.

Tuesday 8th 52-50F, 11-10C, windy, overcast, drizzle. High winds (40mph) and rain forecast for today. Will see if it improves later. I have re-fitted the B17 'Special' saddle to save myself further suffering.

The Danish police in Sealand [Sjælland] were open to public requests for sites for their radar vans to try and reduce speeding. They received 150 requests in a very short time! The majority of requests were from villagers plagued by speeding vehicles. And there I was thinking there was no interest in controlling speeding in Denmark. I have been saying for years that nobody bothers to stay within the speed limits. Neither in town or country. To drive at the speed limit is to be routinely overtaken by buses and articulated lorries. As well as cars, vans and official council vehicles.

My walk was interesting if only for the sheer quantity of water involved. It had started raining steadily by the time I reached the woods. In a rare flash of common sense I decided to head for home by the slightly more direct, spray tracks. Though I was plodding steadily through continuous standing water on sticky bare mud. Or splashing along swiftly running streams on the really steep bits.

The rain soon chose to stop messing about and became proper stair rods in great abundance. It was raining so hard that visibility was much reduced. I arrived home having managed to soak every bit of clothing, and myself, quite thoroughly. Being able to squeeze huge quantities of water from my totally inadequate wardrobe is not the most enjoyable of pastimes. It was fortunate that it was quite mild out there. Though it has now dropped five degrees F. I remained fairly comfortable throughout. Had I not been quite so near home it could have been far more serious. Going into the proper wilds protected only by a short, shower-proof jacket is a recipe for disaster.

I rode away after lunch in sunshine but expecting rain. It stayed dry but very windy. Only 10 miles. I stopped noticing the B17 'Special' seconds after I sat down. I had feared I might have "sensitised" myself by riding poor saddles for two days but was completely pain free today. Except for a niggling toenail. It pretends to be ingrowing until I attack it with sharp nail scissors.

Wednesday 8th 46-53F, 8-12C, rather windy, sunny periods between heavy cloud. I wrapped up better today for my walk but it stayed dry. There were white horses on the puddles on the track to the woods.

I have been soaking the Brooks 'Professional' in clean water for a couple of days to make it fully pliable again. I could then mould the thick leather with my fingers to the desired form. Removing the forward-sloping, delta grooves was the main priority. It is now flat again across the seating area. I've propped it up to dry naturally in the open air and will ensure it is completely dry before I  ride it again.

Completely slackening off the tension nut is important to avoid the leather stretching out of shape as it dries. The marking on the top from unnecessary G-cramping (via shaped plywood offcuts) will soon disappear. The leather proved to be easily pliable enough not to need any tools.

I'll go out on my trike after lunch now despite it gusting up to 40mph. I tightened the laces on the B17 'Special' to see how it responded. Firm and narrower but still comfortable. It was fun cruising at 20+mph with a tailwind except that the Catseye computer kept dying on me. Shopped and then fought my way back again into the gale.  Several cyclists were out training and making a much better job of it than I was. 20 miles.

Thursday 10th 34-47F, 1-8C, still, sunny at first but slowly clouding over. My toe was still hurting so I walked more slowly, pausing regularly to listen for and spot birds.

I'll probably go out on the trike after lunch. It gives me more time than having to be back by lunch time. The 'Professional' has dried out and is stiff again. Though I shan't rush to inflict myself on it, nor vice versa. Rode to Assens. 20 miles.

Friday 11th 46-48F, 8-9C, almost still, heavy overcast. Four mile two hour walk.

A council tractor cleaning road furniture. Despite the high cost of investment it only takes a few seconds to clean each item and then onto the next. Denmark uses meter high, plastic posts with reflectors at regular intervals rather than the British system of cats eyes. This may be due to the far greater quantities of snow over here in most winters. The regular snow ploughing would probably rip up cats eyes. Not to mention the far greater chance of the reflector posts remaining exposed to car headlights on the (usually) unlit rural roads. Only a tiny minority of road signs are lit compared with Britain. Why rural roads would need street lamps is a mystery when all vehicles have headlights. 

Cleaned the trike and re-adjusted the rear indexing. The cable had wrapped itself around the ShiftMate in the wrong place. It is supposed to cross over between the two, different sized pulleys on the flat machined section. It seems to jump over the flanges when left to its own devices for a while. The cable really needs to held in place on the flat area. Though it wouldn't be easy without altering the pull ratios. Or perhaps the flat machined area could be reduced. To leave raised pulley edges to the flat area to help resist the cable jumping over the pulley flanges.

I rode to a rural garden centre and back via the shops. 27 hilly miles in bright sunshine. My toe is feeling better after I performed surgery on the damaged cuticle with sharp nail scissors. Applying a cream with added oil will help to keep my nails and cuticles soft so they don't crack. I am still unsure whether the damage is due to walking or cycling. When it first occurred I blamed narrow cycling shoes.

Saturday 12th 41-52F, 5-11C, rather cloudy but with splodges of blue and a light breeze. It was cold again overnight but is warming rapidly. Becoming sunny and windy later. I had a walk but took a rest day from the trike.

Sunday 13th 44F, 7C, cloudy, almost still. Sunshine and showers with strong winds increasing later. A pleasant walk in bright sunshine but increasingly windy. I added a solitary Grebe to my tally of birds on the local ponds.

A hilly ride to the shops with the wind roaring in the trees. I was cruising at 28mph for a while! Then I was caught up in a cycle race and was catching the tail enders on a long, uphill drag. Whereupon they decided to get serious and formed a tight bunch to head off down the road on their carbon steeds. Coming back was into a gusting gale. With occasional cross winds trying to put me on the verge. A few cyclists out training despite everything. 23 miles.

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