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.

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