1 Aug 2014

Ist August 2014

Friday 1st 67-78F, 19-26C, breezy with sunny periods. The forecast is possible early showers then warm and sunny. The long term forecast is for another warm month much like the long, warm July we have just "enjoyed".

I'm calling this a Brimstone unless I hear different. Very shy of movement.

I don't like to blow my own trumpet [Yeah-right!] but every time I write about something to do with Danish roads and cycling it seems to pop up in the Danish media.

I recently mentioned the problem of bus passengers stepping off buses straight into the busy cycle lane. The results should be hideously obvious to everybody. The passengers have to reach the relative safety of the pavement beyond the cycle lane. Most bikes are silent and are travelling at relatively high speed compared with pedestrians. The cyclists can't see if anybody is alighting until right alongside the bus. The boxy body of the bus blocks the view. There are no flashing lights to warn cyclists of "skittles" being dumped into their path.  The pedestrians have their minds on everything else except fast approaching cyclists.

Should the cyclist slow and stop at every bus parked at a stop just in case? This would make a serious dent in travel times. Setting a suitably low speed limit for cyclists would be a disaster for average travel times and seriously inhibit cycling! There are very many buses and many more cyclists in the bigger cities. Nobody asks bus passengers to get off into the road. The dangers are equally obvious.

Even if the bus driver was given a button to a flashing light, to warn cyclists of alighting passengers, they might get bored with using it. Many bus drivers can't even be arsed to park in the pull-in space provided! They often leave the rear end of the bus sticking out in the road. Perhaps they think it will improve their chances of being allowed to rejoin the traffic if they inhibit the following traffic?

The answer is probably automatic flashing red lights and even a sound for the central door to warn cyclists of the impending danger. Not to mention concentrating the minds of alighting passengers. Passengers only allowed to alight from that central door. Make it law that buses indicating to pull out have absolute priority over all other traffic. [Except emergency vehicles using their sirens and warning lights.] 

The problem of wannabe bus passengers crossing the cycle path from the pavement remains. Many will completely block the cycle lane as they wait to board the bus. I have lost count of the times I have been blocked by idiot students hovering on the cycle path at the bus stops outside schools as they "socialise" with their friends. An air horn would he very handy! 

The cycle "protection money" racket has been deemed illegal. A company had set itself up to remove bicycles illegally parked in front of shops. Then asked for about £20 equiv. for the errant owners to have their bikes back. The "self service" practice has been quickly stopped. So now the lazy, selfish arses, who don't give a shit where they park their bikes, can [probably] continue to park [illegally] with total peace of mind. It was ever thus.

A 2.3 mile, hour's walk enjoying the SW breeze in bright sunshine. Disturbed the mink gulls. Which rose in a huge cloud and settled slightly further away. A very large bird of prey landed in the stubble on a field but was quickly lost to view behind the tall hedge. I did not want to disturb it by trying to get closer and there were no gaps to allow a furtive peek further on. Much larger and heavier than a buzzard with a thick coat of floppy feathers.   

The wind had turned easterly by the time I left for my ride after lunch. It was very warm and rather breezy allowing me to cruise at 20mph but with a headwind coming home. I had a shopping list for several items but came home empty handed. . An excellent cycle path is coming together between Gelsted and Ejby. Two-way, in places, but of very generous width and a superbly smooth tarmac surface. It is being built in stages and even has its own street lighting.

We are surrounded in combine harvesters at the moment which have finally started seriously on the grain crops. The dust [and noise] is unbelievable! 30 miles exactly today.

Saturday 2nd 64-80F, 18-27C, breezy and sunny. It's official: July 2014 was the second hottest on record since 1857. [That's 157 years] Only 2006 was slightly higher, by 0.3C, averaged over the entire month. The DMI had to use a new colour scale on their maps to make sense of the high average temperatures spread almost evenly across the entire country. The average temperature ended up at 19.5C.

The drought continues. As it does in the USA where reservoirs are reaching record lows. One man's perfect holiday weather is another's nightmare. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of aviation fuel wasn't completely wasted carrying families to worse weather and lower temperatures than those being "enjoyed" back at home.

A four mile walk in two hours doesn't sound much. Most of it was on rough forest tracks. I disturbed several hares and sneaked up within 10 yards of two deer. Had they been facing my way I couldn't have got close enough. So you'll have to make do with the rear end of a young buck.

Left on the trike after lunch. Blowing a gale with the trees bending and roaring. A cross tailwind going so not quite so bad on the way back. Loaded to the gunwales with shopping.  I was overtaken at high speed by a huge 4wd in a built up area. He'd actually had the nerve to toot me as I pulled out around an illegally parked car as we approached the lights at red. So I nipped out round him and took the lead space at the lights. I was in the supermarket car park half a mile away and on my way to the door before he was. 15 miles. Just passed 6000 km for the year. Must try harder!

Sunday 3rd 71-75F, 22-24C, overcast, light breeze. Thundery showers with cloudbursts possible all day. I risked a short ride before the bad weather arrived. The sky was dark but I could have stayed out much longer. Only now is there the first rain and occasional rumbles of thunder at 11.00 am. The wind is picking up too. 8 miles.

The rain didn't last long as the storm divided and left Fyn alone. It was warm, humid and bright mid-afternoon so I went out again. Another 26 miles enjoying the empty, country lanes down by the south coast. I found some excellent hills to climb. The breeze wasn't too much of a problem today.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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