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.


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