Wednesday 17th, 37F, 3C, breezy, overcast. The forecast is for rain or showers all day.
The trike and my wearing my usual "serious" cycling gear is often an ice breaker outside supermarkets. Many try to quickly establish [diplomatically, or otherwise] whether I am actually handicapped. They see me regularly, usually pedaling furiously and often many miles from home. Mounted on what must surely be a handicap tricycle. [since there are really no other kinds of trike in Denmark]
I am always wearing racing shorts and jersey plus a cycling jacket and tights in winter. This unique combination is not a logical exemption certificate for normalcy to most Danish people. Not even keen cyclists can make the leap of faith and allow me to ride a trike for the sheer fun of it.I usually just say I am English and therefore eccentric by default. I may refer to the Tricycle Association as having about 500 members who also ride similar machines entirely for fun and sport.
One chap showed great insight last week in suggesting I just wanted a racer which avoided a wet stripe up my back. Until I pointed out that in the slightest crosswind, or even the draught from a passing vehicle, caused the twin stripes, from the trike's back wheels, to find their intended target. Leaning in on corners, in the wet, is always a sharp reminder that having two tires does not leave me completely free of the risk of an icy cold shower!
So I continue to plough my three, lonely furrows along the quiet lanes and roads of Denmark. The number of other sporting trikes in Denmark can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. Many must ask: Is he clown or athlete? A highly subjective choice determined largely by the observer. Most would cheerfully allude to the former and who am I to argue?
An hour's walk up through the woods ending in light drizzle before I reached home. Everything is unusually soggy at the moment. It rained or drizzled all day so I spent some time tidying the shed. Another rest day. It has been a poor year for mileage. Having only just passed 6,500 miles, with 10,500 km in sight, it is far too late to make much difference to the totals now. Denmark is heading for another record warmest year a full half a degree higher than the last record in 2007. Most new records are set with much smaller fractions of a degree. Norway is also following suit.
Thursday 18th 45-50F, 7-10C, breezy, raining, heavy overcast. Went for an hour and half walk up to the woods. Did a loop through the fire breaks and back by another way. It started raining at half way so my outer clothes were wet. I stayed dry and warm though. It is unusually mild and could hit 10C/50F at midnight tonight when it will also be rather windy. I must make a note not to go out at 12.00! Norway is matching Denmark towards a record warm year. Europe is also expected to set a new warm record. It may be a new record globally but it will be next year before all the data is crunched. I still hope to get out on the trike before steady rain sets in. It remained horribly wet all day. Another rest day. It hit 50F, 10C at bedtime.
Left on the trike after coffee. Despite the dire forecast it turned out to be quite a nice day with plenty of sunshine. A great load of shopping to catch up on. Headwind coming home. 17 miles.
Saturday 20th 38F, 3C, windy, heavy overcast, occasional heavy showers. There was lightning to the north and a starry sky to the south during the night. The forecast is for more wintry showers and gusts to 30+mph. I set off late morning in short-lived sunshine. It started raining as I reached the shops and kept redoubling its efforts, including sleet on the way back until the air was nearly opaque. The gusts were fierce with a high pitched roar in the hedges and trees at times. I was struggling to stay on the road in the crosswind. At a guess it must easily have hit 50mph. The roads were heavily littered with twigs and debris blown out of the field hedges. It remained windy but the rain almost gave up eventually. 15 miles.
Sunday 21st 38-43F, 3-6C, light breeze with broad, pink brush strokes all over the sky. Rain and wind promised for after lunch. I had better make the most of it. In the absence of hunting, an hour and a half walk to more distant woods. I heard an owl and Jays but could not see them. Rather a sad and damp day with a niggling wind to keep me cool on the way back. Only a short ride. 7 miles under a leaden sky with the wind building. Quite a number of dead rats on the roads recently.
A light coloured, medium large, bird of prey, with short, pointy wings, was arguing with a crow as I returned. [A Falcon?] I see many birds of prey but am still unable to positively identify many of them. Big ones tend to become default "buzzards." Or Red kites if clearly seen and close enough to spot the clear markings and long wings. Many defy my limited skills at identification. I often see large, shaggy birds of prey with floppy feathers. On my walks most birds of prey are are seen from a distance or concealed by foliage. I do not carry binoculars on my trike but always do so on my morning walks.
When I walk the birds are far more wary. They will leave their perch well before I am close enough to see properly with the naked eye. On the trike I am not seen as remotely the same level of threat. They will often stay seated while I ride beneath them in their roadside trees. Or they will remain on the fields as I pass. Which is quite odd because most animals see the trike as a potential threat. Hares certainly don't like me on my trike but will watch me when I walk. Pheasants can't make up their tiny minds about anything!
Horses quite often panic momentarily as I pop into view from behind a roadside hedge. Eventually they become used to me if I pass them often enough. Though they will often still look up at me as I ride past. While cyclists on two wheels seem to pass quite unnoticed. It used to be said that tricyclists upset the horses far more than cyclists when horse drawn carriages were still commonplace. Presumably back in the late 19th century. The "bulky" appearance of the twin rear wheels must trigger some auto-flight instinct. Perhaps they have a race memory of being harnessed to chariots of war? Cattle will sometime stare at me but sheep don't seem to care much about trikes and tricyclists. They show far more interest if I walk past their field.
Click on any image for an enlargement.