19 Sep 2014

19th September 2014

Friday 19th 59F, 15C, a bit cloudy, windy and sunny periods. Fine weather forecast again. Just another day in tricycling paradise. The same holds true for walking. A walk seems to fix my odd aches and pains. Probably because it uses different muscles. Which confuses my tiny brain and it forgets to feel the damage caused by the tri-cycling. I started the day with what I call my sciatic pain and my knees were a bit tender too. A couple of miles on foot and I feel fine already. Where shall we go today?

I saw this huge tractor on what passes for a main road in these here parts. It was using the cycle lane for its nearside wheels but still reached the middle of the road. I'm not very sure of the legality of deliberately driving along a cycle lane. Even if it does improve traffic flow. What would they say if a cyclist was foolish enough to ride along the road in the traffic lane? Sadly the beast was moving too fast for me to stop to take a head-on picture. I had just exited the nearby junction so had no chance for a decent picture. For all my criticism of the misdemeanors of the farming community I still have a child-like admiration for their over-sized toys. 

Note the unusually generous width and surface quality of the cycle lane. A cynic would say this was to cater for the farming traffic. It's still not much fun riding along here despite the pretty trees along both sides. Traffic noise is absolutely horrendous and there are almost always drivers intimidating the few cyclists by driving close to, or even over the white line. I presume they were bullies in infant's school and retained a taste for it. This road runs almost parallel with the Fynsk motorway for many miles. Giving the residents the best of both worlds.

Here is a picture of a pig's muck spreader on a very long 4" hose. The hose leads back to a huge shipping container with a large diesel-engined pump at the far end of the field. The container was being refilled at 10 minute intervals by large, tractor-drawn tankers from the farms around. The smell was awful but the technology fascinating. The hose on the drum must have been over half a mile long and was reeled in and out automatically as the machine moved. The cab could be power rotated 180 degrees to allow the driver to travel comfortably both backwards and forwards. Fortunately the wind was carrying the worst of the stink away. I had to wait ages to capture the beast in silhouette at the top of the hill. Fire breathing dragon and predatory dinosaur all rolled into one.     

My ride was accompanied at first by a cross tailwind. At times it felt like a 20mph headwind as my speed dropped to 15mph and at others I was doing 25mph and could still feel a strong headwind. Coming back I was brushed on a long straight by an infant moron on an illegally tuned scooter. Later a woman driver tried to run me over on a mini-roundabout. Let me know when I start having fun and I'll put on a party hat. Only 15 miles.

Saturday 20th 53-68F, 12-20C, brightening to another sunny day. Very low wind speeds are a rare offering from the weather gods. I spent over an hour wielding a very heavy, extended hedge clipper before coffee.

It was 11.30 before I finally left. Since it looked so promising I headed east for a goal 25 miles away covered mostly on rural lanes. It actually felt like a headwind going despite the majority of windmills standing still. It was slightly misty and the sun quite weak at first. Providing an almost autumnal feel. A noisy group of clubmen were catching me along one straight into a village as I cruised along at 15mph. So I accelerated up through 5 gears to 22 mph and dropped them. One of them tried to close the gap but gave up. I presume they were nursing a weaker rider.

I reached my goal in the silence of perfect, rural calm in 2 hours exactly. Having munched my way though a cheese roll and banana and taken some photographs I set off back again. I paused half way home to scoff another roll, a couple of digestives and drink some apple juice. The return leg took one hour and 50 minutes.

I keep thinking I ought to investigate clip-on, triathlon arm rests. They would make a lot of sense in this rather windy climate. I have a set of full TT bars which are bit lumpy and absolutely useless for normal rides. The cheapo clip-ons in the shed don't fit the A-head, over-sized 'bar centres.

I have caught the sun on my arms and legs again but felt physically comfortable riding this distance. Averaging 12 mph doesn't sound much but I was trying all the way as usual. With long periods of 16-20 mph going both ways. A high cadence helps. I was being bombarded by small, black flies all the way back. They were sticking to my suntan lotion and constantly tickling my face. A small price to pay for an almost windless day. 51 miles.

Sunday 21st 54F, 12C, breezy, heavy overcast. Overnight rain may continue for a while as showers. My knees had become painful later in the evening. Still slightly painful this morning when I go down stairs. I'll try a walk to see if that helps. One, rather outspoken, distance rider on YouTube suggests that lack of fluids can be a problem. I hardly touched my water bottle yesterday. I just don't enjoy drinking water from a bottle unless the weather is hot and my mouth is dry.

The Japanese Knotweed is in flower on quite a a few uncultivated sites and field edges. I see it everywhere on my rides and walks. Classified as the world's most invasive weed its march towards world domination continues even in Denmark.

I do enjoy pure apple juice and drank two small boxes on my ride yesterday. Probably not enough liquids for four hours of physical activity plus breaks. Though I made up for it with cups of tea when I got home it hardly helps. The fruit juice boxes aren't very user friendly for a cyclist. Peeling away and stripping the straw of its protective plastic, before stabbing the box, needs both hands and concentration. The roads are rarely smooth enough to manage that at anything above walking pace. I don't really fancy watering the pure apple juice down to put in the bottle.

Perhaps I should look at concentrated juice to make a watery mix for my longer rides? Though I'll probably end up as a target for wasps. Plus there is a greater potential for damage if it goes down the wrong way! Taking a swig from a water bottle often results in a bout of coughing. It isn't easy being me. A four mile walk through the woods as the sky slowly brightened. It was very quiet on the forest tracks despite the waves crashing overhead in the treetops. I disturbed two colourful Jays. Too tired and aching knees for much of a ride. Only 10 miles.

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