10 Sep 2014

10th September 2014 Born to be wild!

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Wednesday 10th 65F, 18C. sunny and becoming windy from the north. Started with a 3 mile walk.
Then rode to Assens. Where I obtained a refund on the old-aged GPS logger.

I met an ex-colleague who had just been enjoying a sports centre. She asked me if I rode a trike because I was infirm. Saying that people noticed my trike and asked her what was wrong with me. I told her my only real handicaps were being English and slightly eccentric. She laughed. A cross headwind going and a cross headwind coming back. These things are sent to try us. I have been sprayed twice this week already. 21 miles.

Thursday 11th 63-67F, 17-20C. rather windy, mostly sunny. 5 mile walk exploring new areas of the woods. Where I had good views of a rather tame Nuthatch and a Jay. Still plenty of swallows, dragonflies and butterflies about.

A 22 mile ride. Cross headwind going. Tail crosswind coming back. Going quite well. I saw two enormous, double-tracked tractors today several miles apart. They travel at a remarkable rate of knots and draw huge implements at the same time. So they can cover a "prairie" in no time at all. The problem is that they need a prairie to make economic sense. So the hedges, copses and field ponds rapidly disappear in the name of efficiency. It is rare to see a small machine trundling round a small field these days.

Even rarer to see a horse on the road these days. Odd to think how many horses once pulled the implements now used as decorative objects on the manicured lawns of countless, small, ex-farmhouses. The modest ex-stables are often still standing as useful housing for the car and usually several bicycles. I can just about remember working horses in my childhood in Britain back in the 1950s. Their sheer size and the sheen on their coats and the noise of their hooves as they moved around on cobbles. Farms were exciting places with rusting old machinery and even older motorbikes and all the strange smells and general untidiness everywhere. There were no cranes back then. So most things just lay where they finally came to a halt.

Friday 12th 55-66F,[?] 13-19C[?] misty, still and sunny. It was warm on my walk with hardly any wind. It looks promising for a ride if I can decide on a suitable goal. The wind is supposed to be mainly northerly all day so that might affect my choice. I'll stay away from the motorway. The police stopped nearly 2 thousand vehicles yesterday and recorded 10% with an offense.

I chose to ride east to Ringe. It felt more like a headwind all the way there but was occasionally a crosswind. Coming back felt more like a crosswind with a hint of a tail. I was cruising at 18-20mph almost effortlessly for some miles. I remained comfortably energetic until the end. Caught the sun on my forearms and neck again despite the SPF30 and previous tan. I wasn't at home to record the day's highest temperature. 51 miles.

Saturday 13th 58, 14C, breezy, misty start but clearing to sunshine. No ill effects from yesterday's ride. I'll start with a walk. I was able to use recently harvested fields to reach new viewpoints. The hedges are full of berries and fruit. The woods full of literally 100s of intensively reared pheasants. Hunting pheasants in these woods must be like shooting goldfish in their own bowl!

Quite windy by the time I went out on the trike. Hit 24 mph going but slower coming back. The libraries are open all hours these days provided one has a card to get in. I cannot imagine this being remotely possible in Britain. When there are no staff present they would probably ransack the village libraries, steal all the computers and then burn the libraries down!

The Danes are consistently called the happiest nation on earth. Perhaps they should also be called the most relaxed. Most Danes do not suffer the constant threat of violence, robbery or vandalism. Most are relatively comfortable, despite the heavy tax burden and sky high prices.

I read a news headline recently about Danish homes being wide open to burglary. It would be shame if trust was lost and the Danes had to start closing their doors while they are out at work. Particularly when their garages are full of highly visible garden tools. Or they had to wire off the industrial estates and building sites. Most home building goes on without any security at all. Brand new windows, doors, timber and roofing material are just left lying outside (usually wrapped in clear plastic against the weather) until required. Sometimes it lies there for months on end. Right beside rural roads and often without any oversight by neighbours.

All of which has nothing to do with tri-cycling but gives you an insight into how it feels to live here. Let there be no doubt, that I would not swap the delights of Danish roads and drivers for another minute on British roads at any price. I may moan about the speed at which most Danes drive and the occasional conflict. But, I wouldn't give myself a year [on my trike] on British roads before I was hospitalised, or dead.

I can hardly imagine the shock to their system of a Dane going for a cycling [or walking] holiday in Britain. It might as well be a holiday in a war zone! The toxic mix of aggression, impatience, arrogance, drooling idiocy, incompetence, colossal selfishness and sheer bloody-mindedness of many British drivers has to be experienced first hand. Otherwise one has no clue as to their sociopathic, anarchistic mentality behind the wheel. I speak as one who drove all sorts of vehicles for decades on ever-busier British roads.

The rules to which the Danes adhere, without so much as a second thought, are fiercely ignored in the UK. As if it were a basic human right inscribed in granite. While cyclists have unquestioned right of way under many circumstances in Denmark, as do pedestrians, it would be a very sharp awakening for any Dane going to Britain. If they somehow managed to survive the first hour! Right of way across a junction? Forget it! In Britain, even their own World Champion, Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic gold medal winner is as vulnerable as the next white van man or deluded, Audi thug. 17 miles.

Sunday 14th 58F, 15C, very heavy overcast and windy with continuous heavy rain. Rather unusually our north facing windows are wet with rain. While the south facing windows are still dry. The forecast is more of the same all day. I don't think any of us should be holding our breath in anticipation of a ride today. A rest day.

Click on any image for an enlargement.   

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