25 Aug 2014

25th August 2014

Monday 25th 52F, 11C, overcast, light breeze. More showers forecast but with lighter winds.

My clenched hand is still like a boxing glove days after the hornet sting. Though the redness and burning sensation have gone. Just itchy now.

I walked to the woods. A tractor arrived and started raking/cultivating. He ignored my wave but his activities interested a large flock of swallows. It is unusual for me to see anybody at all on my walks. There were well over 100 ducks on the pond in the marsh. All of them brown females or immature. Several large birds of prey flew away over the woods. Female pheasants are remarkably good at gliding. You'd think they were too heavy to glide with their large bodies and undersized wings.

I rode to Assens. Caught twice in torrential downpours! Torso stayed dry but arms and feet wet. 22 miles.

Tuesday 26th 52-64F, 11-18C, light breeze, rather cloudy but a threat of sunshine. Possible showers are more likely pm. With light winds forecast it is probably a good day for a slightly longer ride.

The back of my hand is still swollen but improving slowly. Dr Wikipedia suggests 2-5 days to recover from a hornet sting. I have just realised that my abnormal tiredness may be a symptom of the sting or the antihistamines I have been taking. I have been dropping off at the computer. No doubt the same is probably true of my readers.

After checking the Continental 4000S tire pressures [90PSI] I rode NW into the steadily increasing wind. I can definitely feel the lower axle resistance when freewheeling. I don't think there is much between the worn out Duranos and the new Continentals. Though the Continentals are much more noisy. It stayed dry and mostly sunny with fluffy cumulus, cotton wool blobs decorating the sky all day.

My wife rang me when I was miles from home to tell me a snake was decorating the compost heap. No doubt it was enjoying the warmth. She took a picture to prove it. It's an odd colour but probably a grass snake with the distinctive white blobs behind the ears. The orientation of the stick in front of its head is just coincidence.

I was lucky and able to pick up a new Ventus GPS logger at a discount in a distant supermarket. I have had it on charge for an hour now but the LED is still red. I hope it wasn't a returned item! My other Ventus has served me well but is now losing the plot sometimes when I stop. It recorded 462 miles yesterday in a vertical swoop into Germany! I swear I never left the country. 42 miles by bike computer. 49 miles by Ventus with an extra squiggle. Close, but no cigar.

Wednesday 27th 50-64F, 10-18C, almost still, sunny. The forecast is for another sunny day with lighter winds.[20mph]  The new Ventus GPS logger won't charge! Bøøger! A pleasant but warm walk for 4 miles. The jumper was overkill after a cool start.

I rode to another set of shops after coffee. Also in pleasantly warm weather and light winds. If only every day's weather was like today's!

The sense of new speed and acceleration, when freewheeling, seems to be increasing. I wonder whether some of this is due to the new tyres? They didn't feel particularly fast when I first rode on them. Same pressure as before and as on the Duranos. [90psi] The Continentals feel a bit more "rubbery" [bouncier] but are still harsher and noisier. They roar quite well even at my modest speeds. I'm just waiting for the first puncture. 19 miles.

Thursday 28th 48-66F, 8-19C, fairly light winds, sunny and warm. Rode to Odense to look in the cycle shops. Light tailwind going. Cruising at 17-20mph. Harder work coming home despite the wind turbines standing still. Forgot to eat again until I was getting rather tired. 3pm? [Idiot!] I had twisted my neck a couple of days ago and it has been impossible to turn my head. Which made junctions a bit nerve racking. It was lucky I had my rear view mirror.

I went looking for a breathable rain jacket. Only bought another pair of autumn/spring GripGrab gloves. In a tight fitting XXL [12] to use up some birthday gift coupons which were becoming yellow at the edges with age. I was afraid the sports chain would go out of business or the coupons expire. It has been a struggle to find anything in an Orangutan size.

None of the jackets really tempted me except the Assos at £150 [equiv.] Which is very silly money indeed for what looks like a translucent, white polythene bag. Looked in a branch of NorthFace and saw a superbly made, general purpose Goretex jacket for £300! It absolutely oozed quality and would have done nicely for my morning walks as well. Then I imagined how it would stand up to the frequent brambles and thorn hedges through which I often have to fight my way. Not a clever idea even if I could remotely afford it.

One day the manufacturers will have to explain why so many cycling jackets are black or drab colours. I hope they can live with their collective consciences as the owners drop like flies before the flails of motorized traffic. Any black jacket on a cyclist after dark has an idiot for an owner! The same goes for a cyclist's jacket riding into a low sun. 48 miles.

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