28 Jul 2014

28th July 2014

Monday 28th 68F, 20C, almost still, bright overcast. The winds are forecast to be light today. Yet again
thundery showers are possible while the heatwave continues. I was just reading that it is a bumper harvest but prices are lower than five years ago.

Thanks to the harvest I was able to enjoy the firm perimeter of a huge field. Battling my way effortlessly through the untidy stubble of the recently departed, oil seed rape in my big walking boots. The trekking sandals were reserved for walking on roads. I was enjoying new vistas, out across the local landscape, thanks to the steep slope up to the top of the field. A farmer in large, wellington boots and shorts was eying me from across the field as I trudged back down the much gentler slope to the main track. Minutes later a 4wd arrived with a loaded trailer and sailed straight off across the field. Quickly becoming lost from sight in the rolling contours. Once I leave the road it is extremely rare for me to see anybody, at all, on my walks. The air felt sticky and hot again today with just a hint of mist. Sunny periods between large splodges of thinning cloud bode well for another sweaty ride today.

And, hot and sweaty it was. Despite the heat I detoured up a couple of hills just for the fun of it. 16 miles. Thank goodness for lukewarm showers!

Tuesday 29th 68-77F, 20-25C, breezy, sunny out of a cloudless sky. It became steadily warmer on my walk. Thanks to the forestry work in clearing the fire breaks I was able to access a whole new area I never knew existed. There were several large birds of prey circling. One complained at my presence in its territory.

The picture is of two massive Beech trees on the edge of the forest. Both trunks must be five-six feet in diameter at the base.

A hare seemed to find me amusing and played his own game of tag. Stopping at intervals to stand sideways before bounding away again in a jolly rocking motion from side to side. This went on for several hundred yards. It was lucky the sun was out because I hadn't a clue where I was when I finally emerged from the shady tunnels beneath the trees.

Though quite breezy it was another warm ride. The new Shimano SPD cleats have made a great improvement in foot security for climbing and sprinting out of the saddle. 20 miles.

Wednesday 30th 62-74F, 17-23C, still, cloud clearing to sunny. A little cooler this morning but the heatwave is expected to continue later.

I was just reading a warning from the police that they can trace hash consumption for three weeks after consumption. There is nil tolerance for drivers affected by hash. With guilty drivers facing a three year driving ban. The police advice is not to drive for three weeks after abusing "wacky baccy." There is a huge quantity of empty beer packaging lying on rural Danish verges. Drunks continue to drive after being banned repeatedly. Can one assume that advice against drug abuse and driving will be taken equally seriously?

My walk looped around the perimeter track of an unharvested field and through some more distant woods. Walking back along the main road showed a severe lack of concentration by some drivers. With incredibly slow reaction times to my presence even on the clear straights. Only my swift action in jumping onto the verge saved me from one elderly woman's total inability to react to a pedestrian beside the road. She actually swerved towards me instead of away! Just as did the old man who has twice nearly run me down on the same road.

I still find it interesting that so few small birds I see are sparrows. In fact I rarely see sparrows except near rural homes. The majority of small birds are Chaffinches, warblers, wagtails, Greenfinches and Yellowhammers. Goldfinches seem much rarer this year after some previous years when I saw lots of them. July 2014 is already the 5th warmest since records began. A nationwide drought is reported. Hazel and Elder bushes in the hedges seem to be the worst affected with large numbers of yellow and falling leaves.

I deliberately chose a hilly route for my ride. I was overtaken by a mountain biker wearing jeans on the longest and steepest drag. Oh, the terrible shame of it! Grr. The heatwave has been affecting the roads. With a glossy black appearing on the surfaces of many roads. particularly where heavy agricultural vehicles run. Tractor tire tracks are increasingly visible on the  road surface.

I was overtaken today, on a completely blind bend, in a village with a built up area speed limit. The 'perp' was a county council, small truck driver with a matching, large trailer in tow. The consequences of a head on crash with the (normally, illegally speeding) oncoming traffic are far too horrible to imagine. Last week I was overtaken, on a completely blind bend, by a young driver towing a large caravan behind his car. Both drivers were using the entire width of the opposite lane with zero braking distance. Leaving no room (at all) for oncoming traffic approaching around these sharp, blind corners. Only the lack of oncoming traffic, on these normally busy roads, has denied these drivers national (or even international) headline status.

Their raving insanity marks them as totally unfit to be in charge of any vehicle, at any time, anywhere. Not even a toy, push-along, plastic lawn mower! These roads routinely carry buses, intercontinental lorries and countless cars and other vehicles. What are the chances of their survival next time they choose to behave in exactly the same, insane way again? What are the chances of several school buses and a petrol tanker NOT coming along the other way, in tandem, next time? 

It seems that robotic cars are not far off now. Car lobbyists suggest that the majority of drivers will not trust the technology to relinquish their own, terrifyingly inadequate, control of their vehicle. I'm wondering how the car driving computers will be programmed to cope with the high percentage of white line crossers on every single corner in Denmark. Do the completely worn-out, double white lines offer any clues as to the frequency of this illegal driving behaviour? Thought not.

How will the robot cars cope with aggressive tailgaters? With 90%+ of drivers in Denmark completely ignoring every speed limit they will need to program the autonomous cars to cope with that 90% carrying out illegal overtaking. Doing so in every imaginable and terrifyingly unimaginable situation! On blind corners, outside schools with hundreds of children milling around their buses and in heavily congested, narrow shopping streets with lots of pedestrians criss-crossing the road. The robotic cars will need to cope totally regardless of whether the illegally overtaking vehicles are buses, taxis, articulated lorries, scooters or cars. 19 miles, still not quite out.

July 31st 67-76F, 20-25C, still, sunny periods. A short, lazy walk to stretch my legs before morning coffee. I watched birds on a large area of mown grass. Lots of wagtails on the ground or preening on handy perches. With Swallows zooming constantly back and forth. I saw a bright ginger, sparrow-like bird with a grey head, foraging. Best guess is a bunting but it was hard to see even with the binoculars. It flew off as soon as I tried to get closer. A large, green dragonfly circled me as I walked back. It clouded over and rained briefly after my return.

I left on the trike after lunch headed for yet another duel with a faster rider. This time it was with a woman  of about my own age on a racing bike. She was very slim and very tanned and annoyingly fast! After she passed me the auto-mutt instinct kicked in and I lifted my speed from cruising at 15mph to a steady 20. That wasn't nearly enough so I upped my game to my limit of 23-25mph and still she drew away! There was soon several hundred yards between us before she turned off.  I seemed shorter of wind than usual but that's not an excuse. Merely a fact of life this year. Probably an allergy according to the doctor after having my forearm repeatedly punctured by the surgery nurse. Hopefully it will pass with the changing seasons and the irritant dies down. 

I was buttonholed by several different cyclists outside several supermarkets today demanding to know how far I rode. When I told them that I had covered 55,000km km in the last four years they seemed suitably impressed. I wish I was too but this year's mileage is much worse than 2013. I was already 1500 miles up at this time last year and that was a poor year at 7400m/12,000km. There is no real excuse. Previous years have been hampered by constant saddle pain, leg pain, hip pain, shoulder pain and an uncomfortable, stretched out, riding position on the Higgins. I must be getting soft! Only 23 hilly miles fighting the wind and the temptation to chase anything going in my direction.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

26 Jul 2014

26th July 2014

Saturday 26th 66-76F, 19-25C, overcast with light rain. The forecast is for possible cloudbursts almost anywhere in the country. Rain likely pm.

Talking of water: Yet another case of Danish Cyclists constant struggle for equality with their driving "betters." The new wavy cycle bridge in Copenhagen has been highjacked by high divers seeking cheap thrills. Can you imagine if these same youths jumped from a motorway bridge into water below? Their feet would never touch the ground before the police arrested them. Jumping from a cycle path bridge? You get national TV interviewing "the perps." Further encouraging others to join them despite it being illegal to bathe in the harbour waters below.

The cycle bridge has been nicknamed "The Snake" for its weaving course. Bridges are well known for causing local frost on their surfaces since they are supercooled by thermal radiation to the night sky from above and uninsulated by the ground below. A wavy bridge will be subject to increased cooling by virtue of its greater length compared with a straight one. But more importantly, the deliberate curves may well test the adhesive qualities of the best of bicycle tyres. Let us pray that, in more inclement conditions, that genuine cyclist users of the bridge do not end up being inadvertently cast into the drink! Note the standing water of the bridge surface in the video above. My apologies for YT's corruption in allowing other (crappy) videos to be shown despite being told not to! Thereby making my chosen [embedded] video cover image a complete toss up.

Note also how the camera wielding dervish crosses the cycle paths and pavements and then "mingles" dangerously with head-on cycle traffic on the far side of the older bridge!! Total insanity! Can you imagine that being remotely possible on a "real" road with motorized traffic? A pedestrian can also be seen exiting the end of the new cycle bridge. The bridge is exclusively for cyclists use unless a pedestrian doesn't give a shit for the rules. Or doesn't understand them in a multicultural, urban society.

The scale of cycling in Copenhagen is absolutely astonishing. 44,500 cyclists per day pass one particular point in town. 2 million cycle km are ridden per day in the city as a whole. 7.5 million km per day spread over Denmark and the numbers are climbing rapidly. The transport "experts" are at a loss to explain or even predict the increasing use of cycles. Yet cycle parking is actually being demolished so that their "betters" can park their cars more easily. How many bicycles can be parked in the space required for just one [increasingly large] car? Ask the Danish Transport Minister with his supposedly "greener" vows.

The image borrowed from "Politiken" showing the Copenhagen Council's demolition of city cycle parking racks to make more room for cars.

What is even more astonishing is that all this cycling usually takes place on a thin strip of [often very rough] track segregated from the real [motorized] traffic like second [or even third class] citizens!

Note that passengers alighting from buses must usually cross the busy cycle lanes. Can you imagine pedestrians being allowed to cross the road without the permission of formal, light controlled crossings? Pedestrians must wait at the designated road crossings for the lights to allow them to cross. Not so on the cycle paths. In many cases the cyclist must share their allotted and already cramped space with pedestrians. The difference in traveling speeds and the relative silence of cyclists almost inevitably leads to collisions with often "undisciplined" walkers. Particularly those walking dogs on ridiculously long retractable leads! Or those wearing headphones, or practicing their debilitating spinal curvature, while using their mobile phones.

I rode west, while being hotly chased by an inky sky, dragging dark underskirts of heavy rain. It wasn't quite as warm as on previous days but was incredibly "steamy." Being clearly visible as thin mist in the cooler lanes and woods. I was most fortunate in avoiding the worst of the rain. With lots of puddles on the  roads when I returned the same way I had come. The weather seemed to veer south out over the sea. Leaving me almost unscathed.

Only breezy today after the strong winds of the last few days. I was constantly bombarded with small flies going both ways. The first thunder is rumbling, and getting worse by the minute. Meanwhile, the village church is making a racket with its bells. Let us pray they do not foretell some unwanted drama. Probably just a Saturday wedding. With divorce rates at 46% in Denmark you'd think the church was missing a perfect opportunity to undo their earlier work. Congregations are vanishingly small in most churches. Bums on seats at any price? Probably not.

Now dogs are barking and and a fire brigade leader's siren is drawing ever closer. The rain is suddenly falling as stair rods and the trees are thrashing wildly. At least the car is getting its annual wash. Just another [Satur]day in paradise! 23 miles today. The new shoe cleats were a great improvement on the cheaper ersatz copies. The genuine Shimano SPD plates are well worth the slight extra. Just remember to grease the fixing screws!

Sunday 27th 72-80F, 22-27C, bright but overcast, almost still and very humid. Thundery showers are forecast. Particularly for this afternoon. The air hung heavy this morning. Dampening every sound like a thick blanket. I felt strangely deaf as if trudged the tracks across the newly bare fields. They presented a scene of total devastation after the harvest and subsequent raking. I disturbed solitary hares sitting out on the bare fields as if in shock. Two deer were resting in a hollow and took off to hide in the woods. They looked very ginger against the dark earth. Unlike the hares which were now superbly camouflaged and easily mistaken for protruding boulders.

Several large birds of prey hung on as long as they dared on their treetop perches before flying off to hide. The woods are suddenly easy to navigate after the fire breaks had been cleared and flattened by the forestry machine's broad tyres. Flocks of birds moved ahead of me down the hedges until they ran out of cover. I was bitten several times by horse flies. Shorts are fine until one pauses too long. Then the flies move in without warning. Many trees are showing signs of stress after the long drought. Yellow leaves sometimes outnumbering the green. Prompting a memory of the leaves falling like snow in the recent, blowy days.

I had better go out this morning if I am to have  ride. I have been weighing up the chances of dragging a new wheelbarrow home behind the trike. I'm not sure the wheelbarrow's bearings would cope with any distance at cycling speeds. I resent using the car for such a trivial task. I rode a loop on quiet roads for 22 miles. It was hot and sticky and I was dripping wet when I arrived home. Still no sign of the promised, thundery showers.

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23 Jul 2014

23rd July 2014

Wednesday 23rd 62-82F, 17-28C, still and sunny. The "heat wave" continues. Let us remain grateful that temperatures have not soared above the barely tolerable. A 3 mile walk. Left very early to avoid the heat.

Rode to the north coast of Fyn. Going well but it was very hot. I drank 2 litres of water and a couple of small cartons of apple juice in five hours but still my mouth was dry. I have discovered that most village churches have a tap for watering flowers. Very handy for refilling the bottle!

Rather typical Danish beach. There was one elderly woman looking after 4 children just out of shot. That was the total occupation of the beach, just after lunch, in the middle of the annual holidays, during a perfect run of low 80s F/ 28C summer weather.

The road signing was very poor in places and I went miles out of my way despite having a list of villages I needed to pass through. One stretch, of about 2 miles, was a gravel track which should not have shown up on the official route guide. Fortunately the surface was in almost perfect condition for cruising at ~10mph so I didn't lose much time. I imagined I was heading for a remote farm but the track eventually joined the main road.

Earlier I was overtaken by a young chap on a racing bike on a fast main road. I was doing about 19mph at the time he went past. He ignored my greeting as he passed so I sprinted after him and sat on his back wheel. He went up to 27mph on one gentle descent but I stuck like glue until the following rise. I was heavily laden, as usual, so couldn't hold his wheel.  He must have tired himself out because he turned off soon afterwards. 61 miles.

Thursday 24th 80-82F, 27-28C, hot, sunny and breezy. It was too warm for a proper walk. So I watched a vast combine harvester setting up for another day's work in the fields. I wonder where all the birds and animals go once they can no longer hide in the crops? Do they wait for the harvester to arrive? Or do they migrate to the hedges when they hear the first roar of machinery? Even the driver would not be able to see animals fleeing before their giant lawn mower drum.

I rode north again to get a new chain made up for the saw. SWMBO does like using her toys.

Then I had my first crash on my trike in four years. A small Asian girl of about 7 or 8 came sailing round a blind corner in a railway underpass on completely the wrong side of the cycle path. She made no attempt to brake. Hit my hand with her handlebars and took a chunk out of one of my fingers. I am used to the local, village idiots haring round that blind U-bend on their scooters. So luckily I was only creeping along at the time. Both ramps are furnished with quite severe speed bumps but they don't seem to help. It just goes to show that no matter how light an object, when it is traveling fast enough, it carries a lot of momentum! I thought she'd broken my finger it went so blue at the time. Luckily there was no team car to climb into or I might not have fished the stage. 21 miles.

Friday 25th 72-83F, 22-28C, still and sunny. Denmark is proving, yet again, that cyclists have been singled out for special treatment. Those parking their bikes in non-approved situations have their bike "stolen" by a private "protection racket" company. The "maffia" will only return the bike on payment of 180DKK. That's about £20 dead squid in real money.

All joking aside there are those who completely ignore signs forbidding cycle parking. There are also far too few parking places for the vast number of bikes in Copenhagen and other large Danish cities. The police are said to be looking into the situation. Until then I suggest that anybody who has their bike impounded or are charged for illegal parking that they demand photographic evidence of wrongdoing. Then report the loss to the police if such evidence is not immediately forthcoming. The police may find
themselves overwhelmed by long queues of irate cyclists if this goes on. Provision of a digital camera and proper training in its use may force the cycle parking enforcers to think again. Or raise their protection racket demands.

The busy area around the train and bus station in Odense used to be packed with bikes despite lots of signs forbidding such parking. The parking spaces provided were always full to overflowing on my occasional visits to the city centre. The central library is in the same building as the train station! Where are commuters and library users to park their bikes when they are desperate to catch their train, bus or library opening time? They are avoiding the wasteful use of a car with all that entails in increased parking demands, traffic jams and global warming. Then the cyclist's thoughtfulness is thrown right back in their faces by uncaring city authorities.  

We are suffering the slings and arrows of incredibly noisy harvesters in every direction almost around the clock. There is DMI talk of potential thundery showers after a long, hot drought. So, I assume, that they need to get the crops in quite sharpish now to avoid having to use too much energy on drying the grain. Crop removal is a bit of a mixed blessing. It opens up some of my familiar walking routes. Though this obviously depends on whether the fields are heavily ploughed after the harvest. It will all seem very bare after the months of thickly carpeting crops. The morning walk was curtailed to 3/4 hour due to unpleasant heat and wind-blown dust. It will be another hot one.

I  noticed that the battery in my heavily-used Panasonic TZ7 was getting very short of breath recently. So I ordered a [genuine] new Panasonic battery online. At about £45 equivalent it worked out at about £10 a year over 4 years. No real complaints there except for the rather high retail price of new Panasonic batteries. The camera was firmware protected against non-genuine batteries by Panasonic. Which most cynics agreed at the time was a rip-off. I have the new battery on charge and will report any problems. At least I didn't have to buy a new camera.

SWMBO has just informed me that the wheelbarrow has punctured yet again. Just don't get me started on the rip-off prices of wheelbarrow inner tubes and new wheels at the DIY stores! Why is it cheaper to buy a whole new wheelbarrow than an inner tube? Not to mention the struggle to fit it to the already, worn out tire.

I'm really not a warm weather person. So I'm leaving my ride, if I go out at all, until later, in the forlorn hope of cooler conditions. In the end I left after six pm for only 10 miles. Then spent an hour trying to remove the screws holding the worn cleats to my Northwave MTB shoes. I ended up using penetrating oil and managed to loosen three screws. The fourth would not budge. So I drilled it out and broke one stud extractor before the screw started turning without coming undone. Another drill and a new extractor and the cleat came away. I always grease the screws before fixing new cleats and have never had such a problem before. It is fortunate I have a reasonable toolkit and lots of experience built up from decades of trial and error and copious blood loss.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


21 Jul 2014

21st July 2014

An old and impressive water mill looked positively medieval before restoration when it was still painted overall in Swedish red. Now it looks just like a modern block of flats!

Monday 21st 71-82F, 22-28C, windy, warm and sunny. Early cloud has cleared and the easterly wind is already gusting strongly. Just another [warm] day in paradise. My hip was hurting this morning and I am deaf from riding in yesterday's crosswind.

I watched large birds of prey having a scrap over the woods. The lower bird kept turning on its back to protect itself from each attack. Eventually one of them gave up and left the scene.

The harvest is well under way with bailing following on closely behind the exit of the grain transporters. The level of mechanisation is quite incredible and no doubt very costly. Except in manpower. It's odd how my early morning walks have increased my interest in the activities of the farmers. Cycling is more removed from direct exposure to everything but spray drift. Four miles where the buzzards fly.

Later, I rode straight into the wind to the shops then looped back by another, equally hilly route. I went into one supermarket with a list of six stock items and came back out empty handed. No stock! The "fresh" loaf of bread is already stale despite four days left of "best before" on the packaging. Alongside, was organic milk which was badly tainted by fruit juice. It was being "offered" for just over half price despite today's sell by date. A large, yellow sticker demanded "less food waste." 20 miles.

Tuesday 22nd 70-80F, 21-27C, light breeze, full sun and already warm at 7.30am. The summer weather continues. The wind should be slightly weaker today. Though not for long. It had already picked up within 20 minutes of starting my walk around the block. Which, contrary to usual meaning of the term, is almost all delightfully rural with fields stretching away into the distance on both sides of the road.

The few cottages and disused farmhouses, clustered around the ancient church and village pond, were enjoying an exuberant flying display by a couple of dozen swifts. Their extended, scimitar-like wings and greater size distinguishing them from the smaller and much "busier" swallows. The latter flap their wings almost constantly between violent twitches and changes of direction to capture their aerial prey.

These three miles, which I enjoyed on foot today, were once my normal daily route when I first started cycling "seriously" again. Though I ought to use the term loosely. A few short years ago I would thrash once around the triangle and return exhausted and in pain. My legs would then hurt for the rest of the day. Yet still I fooled myself that I was a real cyclist. If I was feeling really strong I would ride a longer, circular route of 5 miles. Headwinds would reduce me to a painful, 5mph crawl. It seems a long time ago now but my legs ached constantly back then.

I thought I was ordinarily fit, getting plenty of exercise at work, a couple of stone overweight and a non-smoker. I was drinking milk in litres per day [instead of black coffee] and eating far too many free Danish pastries in the canteen. My blood pressure bothered the doctor but I would not accept the offer of taking pills every day.

I was collecting old sports bikes and very dated racing bikes and MTBs at a fiver [£5 equiv] each from recycling stations and flea markets. The shed was packed with over 20 machines which were supposedly waiting for cannibalisation. Anything to build an even better "racing" bike. [Which I could not really afford new] I must have been tragically deluded to think that I was well on my way back to some teenage level of fitness in the saddle.

Suddenly I yearned for another tricycle. Like the vintage lightweight which I had once ridden with such enthusiasm in my youth. Fortunately and rather amazingly my brother in the UK quickly found me a Longstaff axle conversion set. I would never have found anything like a "proper" racing trike over here.

Now all my energy went into building a better trike from the untidy heap in the shed. Rather less energy went into slowly improving my fitness. Though I did ride the few, hilly miles to work now and then. Usually when the car was in for repairs. Most of my colleagues must have thought me mad to be riding a trike. Even one with slight pretensions to "racing" grandeur. The number of racing trikes in Denmark can probably be counted on one hand. Though one does see occasional recumbents.

Then all my elderly colleagues and I were sacked and our jobs sent straight to China and Russia. Or anywhere else where wages were low enough to improve the bottom line of the multinational which had just taken us over. Primarily to bleed us dry of decades of know-how in a uniquely specialised field. While I was forced to try and find new work at 63. With limited useful skills and even more limited Danish.

Rather than drive all over the countryside in the car I chose to ride my trike everywhere to seek employment. That was four years and 55,000 km ago. I seem to have settled on 11 stone, eat properly these days and my legs no longer ache all the time. I was fortunate to escape at 65 but have continued to ride most days. 

Another warm and windy ride for 10 miles. Several large birds of prey were soaring over the newly harvested fields. Seemingly oblivious to the roaring harvesters below but wary of an old fart on a tricycle passing over half a mile away. We must have had one hundred butterflies in the garden over the last few days. Echinacea, Oregano and Teazle seem to be most popular, flowering, food plants.

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18 Jul 2014

18th July 2014

Friday 18th 65-80F, 18-27C, almost still, bright but cloudy. The forecast is for continuing warmth and lots of sunshine. Let's not forget the suntan cream, people! Saw a Nuthatch and Greater spotted woodpecker as well as several birds of prey. A large eagle- like bird with black wing tips was unusual. I was trying to make it into a Red kite but it was too light in colour.

Another view of yesterday evening's gorgeous sky.

After the morning coffee and rolls ritual was over the wind was light enough to keep the windmills mostly still. Though there was still a good onshore breeze blowing on the way to Assens to shop. Very warm and sunny all day! Going well with lots of cyclist out an about. Including quite a number of loaded tourists. 21 miles.

Saturday 19th 70-83F, 21-28C, breezy, sunny. Another hot and sunny day forecast with light, easterly winds. It feels cooler on the trike than standing in the sunshine. The same goes for walking when it is into a cooler breeze. Then as soon as the sun comes out from behind the clouds it is unpleasantly hot again. I took some pictures of the harvested fields on my walk. I still haven't come across a large harvester in action this year.

It was even warmer on my late morning ride. I've had cooler cups of tea than the contents of my water bottle! I still couldn't resist a longish climb as a pleasant detour despite the weight of the shopping in the bags. 16 miles.

I thought I'd better update on the steady progress of the Brooks B17 "Special" saddle. Having worried about increased sagging I punched four neat holes (with a pair of good quality leather punch pliers) and laced the skirts together. The B17 immediately became harder and stiffer despite having been slacked right off on the tension nut under the nose. There was a short period when I actually resented the change. However, continued riding has made the saddle more comfortable than before the lacing. I am now a very happy bunny with easily the most comfortable saddle I have owned in 60 years of cycling.

The leather has continued to darken through sweat absorption and presumably exposure to sunshine when parked. Repeated exposure to rain has not occurred thanks to a relatively dry climate and a proper Brooks saddle cover when parked in rainy weather. A trike does not spray the underside of the saddle in wet weather as does a bike without mudguards. Reserving that pleasure for the rider's thighs when they hang off the side on sharp or fast corners.

A storm-damaged windmill under restoration and reconstruction.

I now only rarely apply Brook's own Proofide and have avoided alternatives like horse saddle oil and other "snake oil" recommendations you may read about online. [Including here!] They are only required when impatient for more comfort. Or to rescue a badly dried out old saddle. A protected, active saddle doesn't need it and the leather continues to darken and gain in beauty with age. A leather saddle must remain stiff enough to supprt the rider without getting out of shape. Special oils may dramatically shorten the useful life of a good leather saddle and will require constant re-tension. Brooks claim the leather should be fed [sparingly] but softness is certainly not the target. After several failed saddle treatments on NOS saddles I agree with them.

A well used leather saddle is never an easy subject for photography due to the high surface shine. The B17 "Special" [as seen here] now has 8,200 miles on it since May 5th last year. Always ridden while wearing decent racing shorts or bibs. My Tactic bibs remain the automatic choice for longer rides but the Wiggle dhb "Race" shorts have proved themselves perfectly comfortable beyond 40 miles. They are now my standard tricycling wear and gently machine washed at 30C immediately after each outing. I bought a second pair in another colour to avoid confusion in the wear and wash cycle.

They stay in place superbly, thanks to the superbly stretchy material. Without that awful "sagging baby's nappy" effect common to cheap and nasty shorts. Shorts have the advantage of not needing to strip to the buff to sit on the toilet or to remove a sweat soaked, winter vest. Shoulder straps, on race bib braces, can become uncomfortable if not stretchy enough. Or the joints in the shoulder strap seams are badly placed or sewn. Quality racing bibs still remain the obvious choice for longer rides. Due to the support they offer in or out of the saddle.

Sunday 20th 68F, 20C, sunny but windy. A sticky 25C and 30mph easterly gusts expected. That usually means continuous strong winds in my own experience. I could ride north, I suppose, but a strong crosswind can often seem like an equally powerful headwind. A very familiar experience on one of my regular N-S routes. Where there is almost no shelter [at all] from hedges. I'll see how I feel after a walk.

Three miles in an hour under a hot sun with plenty of dawdling to stare at the view. A large bird of prey was climbing on thermals and stiff wings over the waiting fields. Quite possibly a Honey buzzard. I passed one field where there were strangely flattened patches. With the stalks all laid neatly in one direction within each depression. With each patch arranged at completely different angles and seemingly quite unconnected. Not man made vandalism due to the uniformity of the smoothly flattened stalks. No other fields were similarly affected. Possibly caused by down drafts but there have been no storms locally. It was not easy to capture well due to my low vantage point and pointing the camera straight into the sun. The wind is quite strong now with the trees swaying. I have already seen half a dozen cyclists out training.

I decided to head north east in the hope of an easier ride home. It worked except for the very last leg. I was tiring towards the end due to lack of food. Only a banana, a cheese roll and a small box of apple juice wasn't really enough to keep me going. My mouth was constantly dry from the start and I kept taking sips from my [warm] water bottle. 46 miles.

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14 Jul 2014

14th July 2014

Monday 14th 61-70F, 16-21C, occasionally windy, heavy overcast with rain. The forecast torrential rain seems to have avoided us. Though it certainly doesn't look like a cycling day at the moment! The weather system seemed to rotate around Fyn using it as an axis. With the "eye" on the rainfall radar leaving us almost untouched. The centre is now heading away so we may well get a soaking from the trailing skirts. The sky was still dark in the afternoon. With a strong, very gusty wind making life difficult. Thankfully it remained dry. Only 8 miles.

A pretty cottage, once hemmed in by overgrown trees. The Danish flag [Dannebrog pr.Dann-eh-bro] is freely used for attracting attention in Denmark. Many homes, with a large enough lawn or yard, have a flag pole. The flag is raised for important days. Many fly a long wimple [pennant] at other times. Which I often use to check wind direction. 

Supermarkets sell the Danish flags in much smaller sizes to mark the site of a family birthday party. Or to show that items, flowers, fruit or vegetables are for sale there or in the farm yard. Often contained in a bod or small stall. A simple wooden structure to protect the goods for sale from the weather. A money box is usually situated there too. The home owner trusting passers-by to pay for what they take. It is commonplace to see a car stopped beside the road to buy flowers, strawberries or new potatoes.

Tuesday 15th 61-70F, 16-21C, bright with blue skies but rather cloudy. Light breeze. It should be a much better day today. Though still with the the threat of showers or rain later. The weekend rain did indeed skirt Fyn but dumped up to 3" [73mm] further north in Jylland [Jutland]. A month's rain fell in only a couple of days.

Today's early walk was very pleasant. A lean cyclist passed the end of the drive as I approached the road. A small, solitary harvester trundled patiently around the undulating fields in bright sunshine. Hares watched me pass with their large bright eyes. Birds of prey mewed overhead. I watched flocks of mink gulls dodging the windmills. The hedgerows were crammed with singing birds. The verges were full of butterflies. All seemed well with my little world. Except for the farm dog which objected to my presence and the wind really picking up towards the end. 4 miles of gentle, summer plodding.

The trike is faster but can be hard work in such windy conditions. It became gradually more overcast and more windy. 25 miles.

Wednesday 16th 61-70F, 16-21C, light, variable winds, mostly sunny with variable cloud. Rode down to FĂ„borg and back by another route. A superb day for a ride despite occasional headwinds. I was still going well at the end without any discomfort or excessive tiredness. Though I seriously doubt that a couple of cheese rolls add up to enough energy for a six hour [total] ride and dragging my trike through a wood. 61 miles.

Thursday 17th 64-74F, 18-23C, almost still. It looks like being another perfect day. It was already t-shirt warm for my walk. The only problem was battling my way through the aerial dogfights between butterflies and dragonflies. Not necessarily in that order. 3 miles and I feel as if my throat has been cut. I want my coffee and rolls and I want it now! :-)

They have been using wet weather tires in a number of sports for half a century. Probably far longer. The ridiculously expensive bicycle racing tyres (relative to the price of vehicle tyres) seem completely unable to keep even billionaire-owned riders upright. There doesn't even seem to be data (or agreement) over the rolling resistance of racing cycle tyres.

How very odd, considering the extraordinary emphasis on foolishly expensive power meters, wind tunnel testing and low aerodynamic drag, multi-thousand pound/dollar/euro bikes. How many times have we seen tour riders with their silly little rain jackets flapping furiously in the breeze?  What about having real mudguards on bikes and the press parasites' motorbikes in particular?

It was said on TV that Contador's bike frame literally broke on a descent! Perhaps he was literally sitting on the wimpy little top tubes so popular on "emperor's clothes" CF frames. Many bikes are now having to be mass loaded to match the Utterly Corrupt Unicycle's minimum weight rules. This really is the stuff of Bedlam! Bicycle science? Or just more advertising, before, during and after, bouts of slapstick, S-M entertainment on the road? Don't get me started on the exodus from the asylums for the annual expression of raving lunacy on the tour routes. 

Never mind how big (or small) a saddle you are allowed under the UCI's mickey mouse rules. What about setting some simple rules for improving the bicycle as a breed? You puncture? You're out of the race. Your bike breaks? You're out of the race. No appeals, no arm waving or backhanders allowed. No mechanics hanging out of the window while adjustments are made on the road. If they didn't get it right before the start then why give them a second chance to prove their incompetence?

The retail price of racing accessories at tour level is on a par with the tasteless bling dangling from some of the cycling star's own bodies. Have they never heard of weight saving? You can buy a very decent, multi-cylinder sports motorcycle for the price of a racing bicycle. A few simple changes to the rules could concentrate some very corrupt minds quite wonderfully!

It stayed warm and sunny all day. I see that drivers are taking the Danish national holiday seriously. They are taking a break from sticking to the legal speed limits as well. Not that there's anything new in that. The petty needs of the psychopath always outweigh the basic human rights of everybody else on the planet. 16 miles. The image above is from the gorgeous skies we enjoyed in the early evening.


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10 Jul 2014

10th July 2014

Thursday 10th 71-82F, 22-28C, full sun, breezy. It was still 70F outside when I checked before breakfast. Winds should remain below 25mph gusts mostly north easterly. Temperatures expected to reach the same as yesterday. Somewhere around 80-82F, 27-28C. Thundery showers possible this afternoon.

The 'clean' floor of a mature beech wood is thanks to light exclusion and a thick carpet of weed suppressing leaves.

The Wiggle/dhb Race shorts are proving to be better than my initial assessment. I now find them perfectly comfortable over a 40 mile range. The braces on 'bibs' can be irritating when it is this hot. The dhb are such a good, elasticated fit that they don't slide down. Rode straight into the wind for 19 miles. Somebody tried to chase me but I dropped him on a long drag. Bought what I went for and then headed back home again. Hot and sweaty both ways for 39 miles.

Friday 11th 76F, 25C, breezy, sunny. Another warm day for a walk. I had stripped down to shorts, t-shirt and boots. Common sense suggested I avoid too much undergrowth. I now have a cyclist's typical pale stripe between mahogany knees and casual shorts.

I left my ride until mid afternoon. It was more windy but this helped it to feel cooler. Despite the short mileage today I still drank most of the contents of my water bottle.  Caught a fly in my eye on the way home despite my wearing the usual, wrap-around cycling sunglasses. Fielding flies is a rare event, for me, fortunately. I squirted the last of my water bottle into my eye to stop the stinging but, by then, I had already done my worst rubbing at my eye with typically grubby fingers.

A poor shot, badly timed and framed, as a trio of girl racers came home. There seemed to be no interest in watching, let alone cheering anybody home. TV2 is a [scrambled] Danish, commercial TV station with several channels. The huge screen on the building was very impressive but I have no idea of the technology. I looked for a projector but could see none from my vantage point outside the fence of barriers.

Saturday 12th 71F, 21C, mostly sunny but becoming cloudier and breezier. It stayed dry. Shopping trip in the morning. Assens in the afternoon to see the cycling. Except that the information available was wrong. I thought I'd have plenty of time to catch the first riders home. The published times were wrong by half an hour. 34 miles.

I discovered a serious limitation of cloth lined walking boots when worn with shorts. Grass seeds and sticky burrs! They stick firmly to the cloth lining, and my socks, and then behave like vicious thorns! It took me over half an hour to remove only a fraction of the debris after I came home. The socks are probably beyond saving. 

Sunday 13th 60F, 16C, almost still, overcast. Very heavy rain is forecast for later. Up to 2" 50mm is possible. I saw two large birds of prey, hares and several warblers including a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap. Still lots of Ringlet butterflies about. I heard a fox barking in a copse but couldn't see anything. More grizzly animal remains on the track to the woods. Presumably the fox family enjoying lunch. They are incredibly efficient and leave nothing but a few bones and the fur of their prey. Yet again it was almost impossible to recognise the remains of the meal. Perhaps a small cat in size but the tail was strangely short and smooth. Some kind of ginger coated mammal, but what?

I'm not sure it is worth risking a ride before the rain arrives. It didn't rain so I went out before lunch. Still dry at 2pm. The bad weather seems to be passing north of us for the moment. 13 miles.


7 Jul 2014

July 7 2014

Monday 7th 64F, 18C, very cloudy and overcast by turns. Threat of thundery showers but promises to brighten later. I went for a walk to the woods and saw a deer and several warblers. It started spitting so I turned back for home. Hundreds of large slugs everywhere. Rode to the shops late afternoon. Warm but breezy, 18 miles. Overtaken by several cars travelling at very high speeds in built up areas.

The trike is creaking when I climb out of the saddle. Now I'm wondering whether the Shimano pedal spindles were too small or the Stronglight crank threads too large. They were very sloppy when they went together! I used a torque wrench to Shimano's spec. to avoid overloading the loose threads. If I end up, miles from home, with a wobbly pedal I shall be very cross indeed! It is inexcusable to have incorrect tolerances in the CNC age!

Tuesday 8th 61-65F, 16-18C, heavy overcast, quite windy. Threat of thundery showers again. Busy start, so no walk. Going out on the trike after coffee and rolls.

On average, the Danish police discover 50 drivers without valid licenses every single day. Twelve thousand per year. Some drivers have been repeatedly banned and their licenses taken away. Some for repeated drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. Others have never sought a license nor ever taken a driving test. There is [apparently] no statistical evidence for unlicensed drivers causing any more mayhem on the roads than those with a license. Make of that what you will. These numbers must be only the tip of the iceberg. They are, presumably, only discovered in roadside checks following moving traffic offences or accidents. Perhaps it is time for facial tattoos for repeat drunk drivers? I wonder if there is enough ink to go around?

A pleasant ride through open countryside and forests for 29 miles. It felt warmer than the thermometer suggested. 5,000 km, for the year so far, is bordering on tragic.

Wednesday 9th 66-82F, 19-28C, very cloudy and windy. Possible thundery showers. It is supposed to get quite hot later  [28C/82F] with light winds. As they say there should be no wind at the moment perhaps I'd better find a duvet jacket, thick gloves and a windproof shell! It rapidly became sunny, warm and humid on my walk through the forest. Flies were queuing to bite me every time I paused.

I increased my pace but then it became very dark and deafening cracks of thunder followed. I had only just escaped from the woods when torrential rain began to fall. There was now no shelter except for a single 8' Lilac bush beside the road. So there I cowered, trying to balance on one foot, as the thunderstorm flashed and crashed viciously, right overhead. I was soon wetter than blotting paper floating in a bath.

Eventually it stopped raining and I began to jog the two miles towards home. While trying to avoid the roadside trees in case they conducted the lightning. I amused myself, at intervals, by diving into the soggy, overgrown verge to escape from the psychopaths. Who seemed determined to drown me with their spray as they sped past at well above the speed limit. [As they do.] Before I had left, my wife and I had been having a conversation about the absence of thundery showers locally. This despite endless, daily forecasts to the contrary. Do you think the NSA were listening and sent a storm over to teach us a lesson? A glance at the DMI website showed that the lightning was concentrated right over us and nowhere else! Sometimes, it just isn't easy being me. :-)

It was very warm, with a strong headwind and very bright sunshine on the trike. I was gently chasing a couple on their heavily laden touring bikes but had to make a couple of stops. When I finally caught them in a village they waved me down for directions. I tried to suggest an alternative route to avoid the main roads into Odense. Which are absolutely no fun at all on a bike. Though there are forced detours in places where cycling isn't allowed. The continuous roar of the heavy traffic is bad enough to make it exhausting. Fortunately the leader of the two had a road map on his handlebars. Though the scale was rather small to see the names of best villages to effortlessly follow a route. The problem with signs is that they already assume that you know where you are going! Fortunately he seemed to know about Danish Cycle Routes. While I am aware of them, of course, I have rarely bothered to use the signs to stay on a particular route.

I was working my way around a loop to reach several shops so eventually the headwind turned tail. My water bottle was soon warmer than a bath but still better than nothing. Putting the bottle in the bag might have helped but would need me to climb off just to take a drink. Running a flexible tube to the handlebars would only leave me wondering about chemical residues and the hygiene levels of the tubing itself. 20 miles. I've just heard that Froome has fallen off twice and abandoned the T de F.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

4 Jul 2014

Friday the 4th of July!

Friday 4th 64F, 18C, sunny and breezy. It is supposed to be warm and sunny today with lighter winds. Cut! Can somebody stop the trees swaying!?!  Warm and sunny but rather windy! 34 miles.

Cycling in "Cycling Friendly" Denmark has fallen 10% over recent years. Really? I cannot imagine why! Now the government says it will be doing something about it. So far there is no mention of new money. [Of course not! That would be just silly!] Cars are a nice little earner in extortion taxation. "Buy one car. Pay for two!" is a very common Danish expression. Yet an increasing number of Danes drop the bike and use the car instead? Does not compute!

Perhaps an annual run of the vintage rusting road sweeper fleet would help to clear the moraines of dangerous litter, glass and debris, in the gutters designated cycle lanes, along both sides of many roads? Particularly outside town halls. They could make it "Annual Road Sweeping Day" and invite a top Danish cycling hero to cut a tape, or something.

Perhaps they should get rid of the so-called council "workers" and get some professional work done on the appalling state of many cycle paths? Ban council "workers" use of mobile phones, for private use, in works time? Nah. That would be a violation of basic human rights to be fat and lazy as they sit completely stationary. Yacking away for hours in very public places instead of "working" [Excuse my French.] 

It will take a new ice age to level the raised drains and vicious corrugations on many cycle paths. Many of these obstacles have been making life dangerous/ downright uncomfortable for cyclists for well over a decade in my own personal experience. Every hole and drain cover is a potential pinch puncture. Or the very last straw before taking the car to work, the local supermarket, the pub, the local bakery or the gym! Though they won't need a car to reach the regional super-hospital with their first stroke/heart attack of course. So that's all right then.

What about tackling the thorny problem of roadside hedge trimming. Take it away from council "workers" and employ private businesses. Businesses who will not leave the debris scattered right across both carriageways, on pain of loss of the contract. Nah. Probably not. The money will always be far better spent on yet another new town hall, new suites of Danish designer furniture and yet more Danish modern daubs art. 

The Danish Government is also [slightly desperately] looking for new ideas to reduce the massive toll of cycle theft in Denmark. The figures are absolutely staggering! [Though not the prizes for solving it] How many cyclists look for yet another smart new bike after having theirs repeatedly stolen? That couldn't possibly have anything to do with the 10% drop in cycling, could it? Nah.

Extremely modest prizes are being offered to any member of the public who can come up with a novel idea to secure cycles against theft. Particularly for commuters who must leave their bikes at train and bus stations all day. The cycle parking facilities are often nothing more than free cycle takeaways. They hope that architects an engineers will have good ideas. For a £1000 bike, first prize? Yeah, right.

I know! What about employing snipers and posh decoy bikes? Problem solved overnight. Would anyone be daft enough to volunteer to be the second victim of crippling gunshot wounds to the knees amidst blaring national headlines? Where do I queue for my [extremely modest] 1st prize? No doubt the minister's limo/helicopter/security and clothing allowance for the prize giving will have cost an order of magnitude more than all the [taxable?] cycling-orientated prizes put together!

Slightly more seriously(?) What about a compulsory GPS/ tracking system for all cycles. That should make the entire world's security services extremely happy! Have a small, sealed, lightweight, mounted GPS sender fitted to every bike. Mass produced in any of the many  Chinese/N.Korean child/slave/forced labour camps it could be cheaper than a face full of McLardy's and a super-sized Croke. B-u-u-u-rp! [Pardonnez moi!]

I have been using a tiny GPS logger for years for my rides and, more lately, my walks. It cost very little indeed. It ought to be cheap as chips to have a mass produced, GPS sender [for smart phone app/home computer tracking] to monitor your bike's exact position to within only a few yards. The mobile telephone system could act as local repeaters. To save battery drain on the GPS trackers. Cycle shops could have a special tool for fitting and removing the device, switch on, registration, etc, for quite a small charge and without damaging the cycle. Place the GPS device between the seat stays to avoid attacks by the usual hand cutting devices. Harden the exposed surfaces or hide the whole thing (and glue it) inside the frame tubes.

Have a heavy fine for attempted removal of the device. There are already heavy fines for everything else to do with cycling. Fines are lower [in Denmark] for causing multiple [child] deaths by dangerous driving than many cycling infringements. But let's not call speeding and simultaneous mobile phone use "dangerous". That would be a violation of the [Danish] driver's basic human right to "express themselves freely" behind the wheel!

Diims local/national tracking is already working in Denmark. Except that it still hasn't enough tracking devices to accurately register cycle position often enough or accurately enough. They mainly use sensors on post office vans as trackers for the small transmitters fitted to the bike/boat or vehicle. What about putting a tracking sensor on every council vehicle? Every bus? Every taxi? Every supermarket? At all border crossings to Eastern Europe? I wouldn't be the least surprised if the NSA doesn't have direct access to the Diims database to continuously monitor terrorist suspects ordinary Danes.

Nah. Increasing the chance of being caught thieving would be a gross violation of basic human rights for [the scum of the earth] cycle thieves! So don't you dare film a gang of Eastern European bike thieves loading a lorry with literally £$DKthousands in  posh bikes from the high street cycle parking racks as you ring the police. They would put you in jail and throw away the key! Then make up as many massive cycling fines as they could to warn others against "taking the law into your own hands".

Besides, the police just don't have the time to attend to humble cycle theft. Not even when it is organised on an international scale and the turnover might even exceed [say] a few micro-seconds worth of EU corruption. A [highly] conservative 120 billion Euros per year? You do the maths! They can build hundred of miles of pointless motorways, to absolutely nowhere, over much of Southern and Eastern Europe, but can't fix that raised drain cover on the local bike path?  

I still prefer the snipers idea. They could farm the jobs out to the private parking warden companies. Gizza job, mate! I could do that! Would I get a smart uniform and real cap badge with a tin Swastika? Would I be rewarded financially for my number of "kills?"

I hereby humbly promise never to get pregnant. So I, and my multiple partners, wouldn't need 6 months of paid maternity leave [each and] every year for the next decade. With weeks of paid foreign holidays on top of that. Not to mention the cost of caring for our multiple, dysfunctional offspring. Just imagine how many narrow gauge, cycling superhighways you could have for the cost of "repairing/supervising/punishing" just one parent-damaged child in social service costs alone, over a lifetime! I hear it can easily run into millions of kroner, per dysfunctional "family" per year. They could each have their own  private, narrow gauge, cycle superhighway instead! These people just have absolutely no sense of priority!    

No cycle thieves, council "workers" or politicians were intentionally injured in the making of this monologue.  Just don't mention the massed, compulsory forced feeding of pthalates to children, in polite EU/Danish political circles! There are [far] too many backhanders and tasty, top EU "jobs" at stake! Some of the Danish insider jokes above may go over the heads of some readers. Though not the NSA.  [Who have had more than a little help from their Danish friends over the decades.] 

Saturday 5th 78F, 26C, hot, sticky, sunny periods but rather breezy in the evening with squally showers. A rest day, gallivanting to the unspoilt coast in the car just for a change. I heard the Danish government wants to free up the Danish coast for development. [Eeek! Do they mean developers?] Few outsiders would understand the absolute peace which can be enjoyed on many humble, Danish beaches. Though many stretches are safely cut off from day visitors by private summer house estates with carefully organised lawnmower rotas.

There we were on a hot Saturday on the first weekend of the national holidays, in early July. Midway between two coastal cities and the view was perfect out across the still waters. There were three other cars in the tiny car park with room for possibly eight if they were reasonably well disciplined. Perhaps it is the lack of broad swathes of sand? A distant speedboat did its best to outdo the nearer bird calls. An image of a sniper rifle flashed into my head but they were much too far away for a clean shot below the waterline. Even the usually raucous gulls were absent. With few visitors there was no rubbish to pick over. No doubt they had all moved inland to congregate around the countless mink farms. [The gulls, not the visitors] Cormorants easily outnumbered the gulls today. A family of cormorants on the sea protested loudly at the arrival of another overhead and were allowed to continue their paddling in peace.

Perhaps the obtrusive sign didn't help visitor numbers? Private area reserved for occupants and guests of xxxxx. A small, private island, only a couple of hundred metres offshore. Which was put up for sale, with few potential buyers, in 2009/10. Rather oddly, there was a very large army lorry clearly visible on the island. Perhaps it offers rides to paying members of the public. An invisible causeway had already allowed one enterprising teenager to reach the island simply by wading out. We did not outstay our welcome beyond the time it took for our tea to cool off and to consume a deliciously fresh, Danish cake. To get swiftly back on topic: There were lots of cyclists out training in the quiet, hilly lanes.

Sunday 6th 64-78F, 18-25C, a light breeze quickly building to windy, bright overcast. Just a short ride late afternoon. Hot, sticky and blowing a gale for 7 miles.

An absolute tragedy that Cavendish has fallen off. There's no tension or drama to look forward to. Now all it needs is for Contador to get the yellow jersey and I won't bother to follow the TdeF for this year.


1 Jul 2014

1st July 2014 It's all downhill from here.

Tuesday Ist 60F, 16C, sunny with a light breeze. Thundery showers forecast [again.] By sheer luck we have missed all of the previously forecast, local, thundery showers. While some other places, not very far away, have had local flooding from cloudbursts. With giant hail to add some extra spice!

Four miles walk through the woods in an hour and a half. It stayed sunny, almost until the end, when it started to rain. I made a dash for it in case it tipped down. Fortunately it went off again. I had no idea I could still run. There were several hares on the tracks in the woods.

It was occasionally like being downwind of  a lawn sprinkler on my (deliberately hilly) way across country to the shops at Vissenbjerg. Bjerg means mountain in Danish and is very apt. All routes to the village of Vissenbjerg require a fairly decent climb. There is a high concrete [antenna] tower there which can be seen for many miles around. As I headed for my distant goal the sky was piling up with mashed potato and cauliflower mountains likely to rival the Himalayas in scale. Somehow I stayed dry and was going and climbing well again today. 19 miles.

Wednesday 2nd 61F, 16C, almost still, brief sunshine from a very cloudy sky. Just for once there are no heavy showers forecast. I'd better take a rain jacket! My 4.5 mile walk was punctuated by hares and a fox cub. (One who sneaked out of the crop after I had passed)

Oh, and a senile, old, registered blind, sociopathic drunk who tried to mow me down for the second time. Both times, when I have seen him, he has headed straight for me on the verge. Where I had quickly retreated on seeing him making a beeline for me on a dead straight road! You think my description of him too harsh? I only survived by waving my arms wildly. Just as I did last time he was on a direct coarse to kill me! Both times I saw his hands on the wheel wrench the car away at the last moment as if he were driving while half asleep. So that's all right then. His absolute right to drive outweighs a humble pedestrian's right to survival. How would he cope with a tricyclist going the same way? Don't ask!

A strong crosswind on my ride. Only 14 miles. White van man, from a famous business carpet and towel cleaning company, cut right across my path at a roundabout. Registered blind or couldn't give a toss? Suit yourselves. He looked straight in my direction but I was [allegedly] completely invisible in a blindingly bright yellow jacket while riding a tricycle? The day-glo jacket might become invisible to somebody who didn't care. Missing somebody riding a trike? Not very likely! You see more Unicorns than racing trikes in Denmark. He wasn't even in a hurry. Merely taking a leisurely tour right around the roundabout and then following my own route.

Interestingly (?) I am not allowed to clearly identify a bad driver in words, picture or video. Because this might violate his human rights in Denmark. I would not even be allowed to show a bad driver on a YT video which identified him/her clearly. Nor their registration/number plate! As is perfectly commonplace elsewhere. (Particularly on YT from cyclists in the UK)

I'm not allowed to do so even if I was actually hurt by a driver's deliberately poor driving behaviour. So the video evidence of poor driving behaviour would not be acceptable. Cuckoo!

A young chap was recently prosecuted and fined (in Denmark) for showing violent bullies in a video which allowed them to be clearly identified as attacking him. Cuckoo-cuckoo!

Thursday 3rd 59-69F, 15-21C, heavy overcast, rather windy. Possible showers this morning. My walk was rather chilly in the strong wind! Only saw a few hares and a family of six Hooded crows messing about on the lane. These birds are very common over here but I'm sure I don't remember ever seeing them in the west of England or Wales. A quick check of the RSPB website shows them as only resident in northern Scotland and IOM (and Ireland). With visitors from Scandinavia. Elsewhere in the UK only the all black Carrion crow is commonplace.

I'm leaving my ride until after lunch. When it is promised to brighten up with reducing wind later. No chance! It was blowing a gale! I was down to 15mph on a normally 30+mph descent. Then 6mph climbing back up. Only 10 miles. I wasn't in the mood for going any further in this wind!

Click on any image for an enlargement.