Later, there was a really cold headwind on my way to the shops. Limiting my cruising speed on the flat to 10-12mph. I wore the thicker and softer GripGrab Pilot scull cap under my helmet for the first time this winter. It covers my ears better and the wind doesn't roar in my ears quite so much as the lighter GG scull caps. I usually take off the caps in the shops to avoid overheating. The new NW MTB boots are very comfortable and neutrally warm without overheating. I have just discovered that there is also a thermal lining model in bright green but haven't seen them locally. I also wore my newer pair of Dintex gloves. They were a bit stiff at first but I soon forgot them as I enjoyed their warmth. They will take on a more curved hand shape after a few wears and washes.
The new Durano tyres have arrived in very quick time from Germany. [bike-components.de] In 700x25C. Nb. NOT the Plus model. I should clean some of the crud of the trike. The roads are filthy from the farmer's usual activities plus the major Christmas tree harvesting at the moment. My front mudguard kept rubbing on the thick mud sticking to the tyre. So I have taken it [the mudguard] off. Christmas tree plantations seem to require a lot of vehicle activity which plasters the roads with thick mud. Of course the tree owners feel no compulsion to clean up after themselves. That would eat into the easy profits.
Seeing a farm tractor with a rotary brush is as rare as seeing one from the local council. They rely on rain and traffic to clean the roads eventually. Leaving behind moraines of the stones and gravel originally trapped in the mud. If there is no rain the mud turns to concrete-hard mushrooms, or worse. Which causes huge brown clouds of dust as the traffic bumps over it. Riding a trike is not much fun over such rough surfaces. I usually lift of the saddle and hope for the best.
I have been far too close to agricultural sprayers twice in the last week! It smelt strongly of oil paint thinners both times. Not a clue what it might be but one tractor had a child aboard. So it must be safe to put the stuff on your breakfast cereal. Or not. We had a local weekend farmer with one small field who told us the stuff was perfectly safe. He had a bunch of kids with all sorts of health problems but would still spray even when they were playing outside. I'd see them deliberately running through his spray cloud as if it was a game! You wouldn't believe the contortions of the young oaks after we planted as a hedge against his field. Fortunately, for all concerned, he moved on to pastures new. The oaks recovered after several years of being horribly stunted and twisted.
There's a wonderful irony that we choose organic produce options wherever possible. Only to be constantly bombarded by toxic chemicals due to our rural location completely surrounded in fields. A Danish scientist was sounding warning bells only today about the growing pandemic due to chemical toxicity in our modern lifestyle products and agriculture. 19 miles.
Friday 28th 35F, 2C, white overnight frost, breezy, forecast to become windy with 30mph+ gusts. Clear sky with promise of -6C wind chill equivalent. Spent an hour in the shed changing the Continental GPS 4000S tyres to Schwalbe Durano. I noticed over a week ago that the Continentals had already gone flat on the tread since being fitted in August. Which seems remarkably quick despite them being on a trike.
Two of the brand new Continental inner tubes had loose valves. They literally fell out as I loosened the [tight] valve locking nuts! The Schwalbe tyres are a slightly tighter fit on the rims than the Continentals. Very rubbery too so that they have high friction when fitting. Though I managed to do without tyre levers, getting the last bit of bead onto the rim took some patience. Using an old spring scale I made the Schwalbe 5oz to the Continental's 4oz. [The manufactures claim 290 & 225g respectively in 25-622 or 700x25C] Though it is impossible to judge the difference in weight by hand alone. Going on previous form I can safely forget about punctures for a while. Famous last words? We shall see. The graphics have changed with the new tyres.
I shall be running them at 90psi as usual. Easily achieved and checked using my faithful track pump.[Topeak Joe Blow Sport II] I am still amazed how low my tyre pressures often are when only using a frame fit or mini-pump and guessing. Even when the tyre feels rock hard to my MkI thumb I may still have only 50psi. Without a pressure gauge you haven't clue what tyre pressures you are running. It's no wonder I used to suffer so many pinch flats on road debris! Attaching the track pump to check my pressures is usually an eye-opener. I ought to have a set day of the week to check my tyre pressures but it tends to be rather random at about weekly intervals. Losing 10psi per week is quite normal using "normal" Continental inner tubes but varies a bit.
I was utterly amazed how well Duranos rolled compared to the total deadness of the Continental GP4000S. Just riding down our long and rough gravel drive was enough to expose the urgency and smoothness of the Durano. Many drain covers aren't very level with the tarmac. I was so sick of the jarring with the GP4000S that I was taking a wider and more dangerous line just to avoid them! The Duranos sail over such hurdles and are easily worth an extra 2mph at 10mph cruising speeds over the GP4000S. The thick "dotted" demarcation lines on the main roads are a pain on a trike. Can't quite bridge them and can't ride on them. They mark the cycle lane boundary but are more formally used to wake up drunken/dozing drivers who wander off the road. The Duranos made light work of one stretch which I rode today.
Why would anybody ride the Continentals when they can buy the much cheaper, much faster and much smoother Duranos? The GP4000S are a puncture magnet compared with the thousands of miles I've ridden on the Duranos without a single puncture. The GP4000S just feel so dead even at the same pressure of 90psi. The difference in rolling resistance means being able to use the next higher gear on a 10-speed block.
The Duranos feel so wonderfully "rubbery" that they are almost like having rear suspension on rough surfaces. The Tarmac contractors have used very coarse gravel to resurface a lot of local roads this year. This has meant a loss of at least 2 mph cruising speed on the Continentals. The moment I hit the rough gravel section I lost no speed at all on the Duranos! On descents the trike was now running away from me on the Duranos. While the Continentals felt like they had a centrifugal brake and wouldn't go much over 25mph even on the steepest hills. Not even with a tailwind! In fact the Duranos feel like a constant 5mph tailwind compared with the GP4000S.
It was blowing a cold headwind gale on the way to the shops limiting me to only 10-14mph. The crooks at the supermarket had no stock of a heavily advertised 2-day special offer. [But played the default supplier problems.] My Asse jacket is superbly opaque to the wind yet still breathes well. It cost me about £5 [equiv.] at a local charity shop. I feel I am really well equipped for cold conditions now. It rained on the way back as I took a hilly detour to further enjoy the new Duranos. Nose still running with slight but constant headache. Just passed the 10,000 km barrier for the year. 19 miles.