After removing the Trykit stainless steel rack and Carradice Camper I fitted the Junior saddle bag to carry my essentials. I then rode south to Helnæs peninsula at -2C after morning coffee.
I wore a set of long, thin, polyester skiing underwear under normal DHB racing shorts and a short-sleeved, racing jersey. Then the tightly knitted cycling cardigan went under the Asse jacket.[My warmest and most windproof] On my feet I had fairly thick loop pile socks and the Northwave MTB boots. I wore the edge sealed sunglasses but found then very dark. It was rather cloudy and got worse so it was like riding at dusk seen through the sunglasses. I wore the yellow lens glasses on the way back.
I was mostly warm apart from my toes. They felt occasionally cold as I pedaled hard against the light headwind on the way there. I was averaging 11-13 mph going along the viaduct. 16-20 mph on the way back. The pedaling action was pushing my toes forward in the shoes. Dropping my heels and deliberately ankling made the boots feel slightly sloppy. My toes would then warm up again quite quickly. A second pair of thin socks might have helped.
My hands were fine in the Dintex gloves. Though I noticed slight dampness when I removed them at natural stops my hands soon dried in the cold breeze. My crutch felt rather cold too at times and I really should wear thicker tights or a pair of briefs. Or even a second pair of shorts in the cold to stop icicles forming in my shorts! ;ø)
Lots of frozen ponds and icy, field run-off on many roads. Though it had no affect on adhesion or my speed. It was a bit rough in places where vehicles had broken up puddles which later refroze the chunks in the solid mass of ice. I deliberately rode uphill with one or both rear wheels on the ice but felt absolutely no difference in handling or grip. Probably thanks to the Tryklit 2WD.
Haring down one steep hill on a narrow lane at 24 mph I was confronted with a sharp 90 degree right hander at the bottom. Unfortunately the entire area near the bend proved to be covered in broken ice from field run-off. Thanks to the excellent brakes with Ultegra blocks I was able to brake safely on the few dry patches then belt around the corner hanging well off the side on some very rough ice.
Lots of birds of prey were perched in the roadside trees. I glimpsed a Red kite before it disappeared behind the tall hedge. Saw lots of cormorants, gulls, a few geese and huge numbers of coots on the sheltered sea. Swans were struggling to keep the ice open on the salt marshes.
I rode up behind two girls on ponies at the bottom of a hill. Without glancing behind they suddenly started galloping up the hill at about 13mph. I was struggling to stay with them at a very breathless 11-12mph. As soon as we crested the brow I went past and my speed shot up to 24mph on the descent. Leaving them quickly out of sight.
Two drunken, moronic drivers tried to kill me today. Both were in black cars. The first tried to overtake me at high speed into the teeth of an approaching car on a completely blind corner. They just managed to get alongside me. Then there was a huge squeal of tyres and they dropped back behind me again. I was given a one finger salute from the teenage passenger as they overtook again on the straight.
Later another drunken idiot raced down a narrow twisting lane towards me. He approached at such a speed that he was using all of the road and grounding his car on all of the bumps. Having just missed me, he had to do a four wheel lockup to stop in time for the junction only a few yards behind me! It was 18 miles at half way. So I thought the total distance would be more but it was only 33 miles thanks to taking a shorter, different route home.
Saturday 27th 30F, -1C, very light winds, rather cloudy without sunshine until mid afternoon. Though it remains below freezing everything was wetter today. I went for a walk and cut back across the fields on the spray tracks. Though the soil was mostly frozen there were plenty of puddles just below the surface ice. Later I rode north to the shops. Came back with a 3 meter length of 2x4 lashed to the top tube. Lots of birds of prey about. Some birds are conserving energy by staying put as I ride past. Giving me a better, though still brief, view of them. 14 miles.
Sunday 28th 23-31F, -5-0C. A hard, white overnight frost. Forecast is sunny, still and dry early on. Snow forecast for this evening. Walked up to the woods and back in bright sunshine from an almost cloudless sky. I think there may be an inversion layer because sounds were travelling much further than usual. The traffic was still very loud a long way from the road. I could hear church bells clearly from a 2 mile-distant village beyond the woods and intervening hills.
It felt five degrees colder coming back but it was actually slightly warmer... up around freezing point. I( had taken my cardigan off on the way but put it back on for the return journey. The Dintex gloves were damp inside at half way as I munched a cheese roll. The dampness made my hands feel cold most of the way home.
Disappointed to find the batteries in one of my Smart back lights were dead when I needed them. Particularly as I use my lights so very rarely. Even more disappointed to discover the expensive set off AAA alkaline batteries from the supermarket would not fit! The Smart uses the even more expensive, stumpy' 1/2 length AA size. Which are only available from specialist dealers. Grrr? Rode home in failing light with only two lights flashing for 43 miles total.