3 Feb 2015

3rd February 2015 And a bit more snow.

Tuesday 3rd 28-30F, -2-1C, almost still, heavy overcast. Promise of possible light snow showers. About an inch
of new snow lying from overnight showers. Enjoyed a walk up to the woods as a huge sun struggled against the breaking cloud. Having walked the length of the woods I returned by the road. Where I was sprayed by every passing vehicle.

The sun eventually lost the battle with the cloud but at least the sky isn't uniformly grey. It felt remarkably cold in an increasing northerly breeze. I was sensible enough to wear glasses with yellow lenses to avoid my eyes watering. Though the glasses do make use of the binoculars considerably more difficult. I saw four deer in the woods. All running away from me after I had cleared my throat. There was up to 6" of snow in a few places where the sun and wind could not reach. Though the frost made light work of the usually marshy areas walking is a rather noisy affair at times.

It was bitterly cold at first riding north into the wind. It took several hill climbs to finally stop my hands aching with cold. Then it started to drop frozen rain mixed with occasional sleet. The roads were mostly clear but very wet. With only an occasional stripe of slush between the wheel tracks. Coming home it seemed more like a crosswind but warmer. Lots of birds of prey lurking in the trees or moving away from me. 18 miles.

Wednesday 4th 25-30F, -4-1C, almost still, rather cloudy. I was just reading about a survey which suggests that gentle jogging for more than 2.5 hours a week shortens life. Intense, prolonged exercise affects the heart and arteries as detrimentally as complete inactivity. At least it does statistically.

Whoops! I walk briskly up and downhill, over very rough ground, for far longer than that over a couple of days. Sometimes as long as that in only one day. Add in the tricycling and I should have died before my great-grandfather was born! Am I enjoying myself yet? Statistically? Not allowed! I wonder how many people have died from being crushed by falling statistics? ;ΓΈ)

I walked in a rural loop and was aggravated by two Pointers on a footpath. They were guarding an isolated, ex-farmhouse but obviously had delusions of grandeur involving a foolishly large territory. Eventually the owner gave up shouting from afar and came to collect them. Of course they completely ignored him and kept barking. So I cut off across a field to continue my walk. The number of ducks on the small, frozen lake had shrunk to half a dozen in a last small area clear of ice. They were hardly outnumbered by Coots. Normally there are dozens of ducks laughing their heads off on the water.

As it was quite cold again I did not make the same mistake as yesterday. I put on a thin pair of polyester gloves under the Dintex scooterist's gloves. These worked perfectly and I was warm and comfortable from the start. I was quite warm after the shopping so didn't need the thin gloves on the way home.

I passed an old  farmhouse where the 3-lengths, thatched barns had burnt down. Fortunately the thatched house looked unscathed. I'm sure I posted a picture of the place a couple of years ago. It had a pretty doorway seen across the enclosed yard through the old barn access port. Now all the framing buildings are gone. It will be interesting to see how [or if] they rebuild the missing structure. It oozed with atmosphere with its chestnut avenue to the drive, the large pretty pond and all the thatched buildings. 18 miles.

Thursday 5th 32F, 0C, light breeze, heavy cloud clearing with increasing periods of sunshine. Light overnight snow cover. I changed my walking route again to enjoy new views.  The tens of thousands of fresh tracks in the snow snow gave an interesting insight into one night's wildlife activity. Apart from several sizes of deer prints there were countless others in all sizes. From tiny voles to dog-like prints over 3" long. Some of them must have been hares but there were many with a distinct 5 point star impressed between the pads in several sizes. There were tiny bird tracks and 3-toed monsters four inch long! Some with, and some without webs. Cats cover a surprising amount of ground. Often travelling miles from the nearest house. I often see them out on the fields.

Only a short ride today in bright sunshine. Roads clear and almost dry. Saw a Blackcap and a Bullfinch on the way home. Under certain circumstances the aero bars are good for an extra 4-5mph. Sitting up, onto the hoods, feels like a serious headwind. I was cruising at a steady 14 mph on the flat. Shot up to 20.5 in the aero position. Then right back down to 14mph sitting up with my hands on the hoods.

Anyone time trialling without aero bars is seriously handicapping themselves because speeds are likely to be higher. With an even more serious rise in air drag as a consequence. The downside is reduced comfort and slight loss of control over rough roads. I haven't had enough practice yet to stay on the aero bars for miles on end. The strange thing is that it actually looks more comfortable in the aero position. The truth is that it is not. Perhaps I should watch TV while resting on my elbows? It could catch on... Only 7 miles.

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