9 Feb 2015

9th February 2015 Generating problems...

Monday 9th 43-45F, 6-7C, breezy, overcast. Sunshine promised. No sign of it yet. Higher temperatures today but a cool wind while walking back. The usual tracks were flooded from field run-off. Saw two deer. One in the woods and another, smaller one, grazing a field. Several birds of prey. I'm leaving my ride until after lunch for brighter, less windy conditions.

It was blowing from the NW as I headed due north in bright sunshine. I was very short of breath again. Particularly when climbing. Not so bad coming back as I cruised at 19-20 mph in the aero position. Only 12 miles.

Tuesday 10th 45F, 7C, sunny, breezy. Feeling unwell.  Nausea and dizziness. Sinuses? 'Flu? I stayed "fuzzy" all day. Another rest day.

Wednesday 11th 37F, 3C, light breeze, heavy overcast. Feeling much better today. Walked briskly for an hour. Cleaned the trike of accumulated mud and grime. Removed the front mudguard as it is binding on the road mud again.

Went out on the trike after lunch. An approaching crash test dummy overtook a  tractor just as I reached them. Solid double white lines is no hindrance to such drunken, senile, drug abusing, sociopathic morons. It's only my life at stake after all. So that's all right then. A tramp asked me for money outside the Coop. He went on along the car park asking everybody he met. I've spent some miles on the aero bars again. I'm getting used to the slightly different handling. Cruising at 20 mph is becoming quite normal. I'm even climbing in the aero position on the way home into the prevailing S-Westerly. Climbing out of the saddle is becoming more and more routine. My saddle came loose for the first time ever. I had to stop and tighten the clamp! I wonder whether somebody has been fiddling in the hope of getting a nice free Brooks? 15 miles.

Thursday 12th 36F, 2C, quite still, heavy overcast. Walked my usual route up to the woods and back another way. Muddy boots again.It was one of those days that just feels cold despite the lack of wind. I rode a figure of weight in search of fictitious produce on special offer. Lots of felling in the woods has left large gaps. 23 miles.

Friday 13th 33F, 1C, heavy overcast,  light breeze. A potentially damp start is forecast but brightening later. I walked my longest route so far. Leaving earlier than usual I followed tracks just inside the edges of two woods. Probably six or seven miles over rough ground. Three deer were caught out on a ploughed field and unsure as to my intentions. While standing still they were very difficult to see thanks to their coats perfectly matching the rough soil. Only when they moved were they more visible. They stopped several times to stare back as I watched them through my binoculars. The air feels damp and it is very darkly overcast but it remains dry. The wind is increasing from the south east but is still quite light.

My planned afternoon ride became a more serious affair when the generator on my 20 year-old car seized and melted the drive belt in the drive. Friday the 13th? Huge clouds of smoke issued form under the bonnet. A ride to a distant scrap yard for a generator replacement suddenly took priority. I rode the first 17 miles there in an hour. With a lot of time in the aero position and cruising at 20mph. Though there was a fair bit of climbing to do too. I came back another way to do some shopping. A bitterly cold wind all the way home blowing from between 10 o'clock and a headwind.. I was overtaken by a banking person, on an electric bike. I tried to chase but even with the aero bars and climbing at 17mph I hadn't a chance. At least I overtook a young mountain biker on a long climb. Not enough miles in his legs despite the smart bike and all the right togs. 38 miles.

Saturday 14th 31-37F, -1+2C, very light winds, frosty start with thick mist. I spent the morning struggling with the new/old alternator/generator. The pivot bolt was completely hidden under the generator. Which in turn is under the inlet manifold and various pipes. There was no reasonable access to the concealed head of the bolt. I ended up lowering the spanner/wrench on a piece of string after dropping it right through onto the ground several times. Finally I was able to undo the pivot bolt and then the upper tension clamping bolt. Only to discover that the new belt needed to go behind the water pump belt. Of course the water pump was rusted to its mountings and the tension adjuster was immovable. Even with the bolts completely removed the pump wouldn't budge with a crowbar levering [carefully] in the hole provided. It took ages to finally free it. Once I had everything back together there was a loud click, the clock went out and the starter wouldn't run. So the battery went on charge for an hour before the engine started right away. Success with an aching back! The car seemed okay as I went round the block. Far too knackered to go out on the trike today.

Sunday 15th 36F, +2C, windy from the east with a heavy grey overcast. The forecast is raw cold and grey. So they have that right. After checking the car would start I walked briskly up to the woods. I was hoping to undo the damage I did to my legs and back yesterday. The backs of my thighs still feel tight after bending over the car engine for hours. No problem climbing up or down the slopes on the tracks though. I might go for a short ride to buy the essentials and loosen up a bit. But didn't. With a bitterly cold wind gusting to over 30mph I wimped out in deference to my aches and pains.

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