1 Sep 2014

1st September 2014

Monday 1st 57F, 14C, breezy, heavy overcast, showers forecast. 2014 has been the 4th sunniest summer since Danish meteorological records began in 1857 with 736 hours of sunshine. 1959, which was 55 years ago, was the previous sunniest summer.

I found a waterproof florescent cover for my Camper Longflap saddlebag in a supermarket. It fits perfectly and has an elasticated hem to keep everything snug. Only 25DKK or £2.50. It even has a wide reflective stripe to add to the glare in following car headlights. Brilliant! :-)

I also found the X-flash, rechargeable bike light on special offer too. Though that was 200DKK or £20 it claims a Cree diode. Excellent value for such a bright light in a compact format! For scale, the head is about 42mm in diameter at the silver end. Interestingly, it is not registered as a cycle light for use in Denmark. So would have to be additional to lawfully acceptable lights. In fact it says not for use in traffic. Which is odd.

It offers main, cruise and flashing beams to taste. With coloured diodes on the charger and lamp to indicate battery condition in use and and during recharging. A 3 hour recharge for a two hour main beam battery life. It has strong rubber O-rings in two sizes for mounting on the bars via the attached hooks. Or a 3-strap headlamp band to fit a helmet. Not a bad bit of kit at all!

The image above shows the saddle bag cover illuminated by the LED light from 15' away. The reflection was so bright it made everything else in the image dark despite it being [overcast] daylight!

I know it's only a pretty bag but it makes a huge difference in visibility over the olive drab Carradice. Even more so if fitted over a black saddle bag. The reflective panels fitted by Carradice are very short lived. Though the cotton duck canvas is very long lasting. The florescent cover was being sold for kids to put over their school rucksacks. To make them more visible in winter traffic. They start school very early in the morning. I might buy another cover to have a spare. Since they are unlikely to make it a stock item.

It stayed dry, but very grey, all day. Going well but only time for 14 miles.

Tuesday 2nd 64-67F, 18-20C, light easterly breeze, warm and sunny. Is summer back? Too warm in my jacket on my walk to the woods. Saw a single deer then three more. Several large birds of prey. I rode to Assens, detouring through the rural villages and along the shore. 26 miles.

Wednesday 3rd 62F, 17C, still and sunny. Heavy overnight dew. An early start. 7 miles. Going well. While I was out we had an early visitor on the doorstep. Duly captured by my wife with her camera. She quipped that it might have been more comfortable in open toad sandals. Well, it made me laugh! :-)

Added another ten miles. Still have to go out again later. 7 more miles for 24 total. That's twice this week I have cycled past a field being sprayed.

Thursday 4th 62-69F, 17-21C, sunny and breezy with slight mist. Cool, early start but soon warmed up. 7 miles so far. Plus another 21 miles. Chose a hilly route. Warm but rather windy from the east. Large branches swaying. Still lots of butterflies, dragonflies and bees about. The birds are still gathering in large numbers. Many flocks of sparrows must number one hundred more. The fields are home to dozens of wagtails. Which fan out away form me as I walk the track to the woods. They seem to enjoy playing tag and vertical acrobatics with each other.

The farmers are busy cultivating and sewing endlessly at the moment. Leaving their "droppings" on the roads to be battered by the passing traffic into rock hard mushrooms up to two feet across! I stopped to let a farmer reach his field with a seed drill today and had a cheery wave for my trouble. He waved again when I returned the same way. A contact remarked that I must be infamous by now. Complete strangers do stop outside the supermarkets to say that they have seen me everywhere they go in their cars. Given the incredible rarity of trikes, with any sporting pretensions, I suppose I do get easily noticed and remembered. A vanishingly small number of tricyclists in Denmark must wear racing shorts and jerseys .

I must seem as rare and exotic as this hot air balloon panting slowly across the Danish skies this week. They used to be almost a daily occurrence in warm weather in the English West Country. Often in large numbers and very weird shapes. 

I have begun to see it as my duty to pull into junctions and drives to let people go past rather than hold up queues of traffic. It seems to be appreciated and I often catch a subliminal wave from drivers passing the opposite way. Though I rarely have the slightest idea who they might be. I remember commuting and seeing the same cyclists every day. So that one developed a sense of knowing them. Though our paths never crossed otherwise. I have just retied my Brooks B17 'Special' saddle. The lace had come undone due to a lack of length to tether it securely. I also added a turn on the tension nut to take some of the sway back out of it. The subtleties of the leather saddle are indeed complex. I actually find the floppy state of a B17 more uncomfortable now. Preferring the more rigid, flat backed condition for comfort and pedaling efficiency.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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