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.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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