8 Mar 2015

7th March 2015 Hot and cold

Saturday 7th 40-45F, 4-7C, windy, heavy overcast. Supposed to stay dry, windy to 30mph gusts and cloudy. Still no emails. Another hour and a half expended on rural walking. Several Shelducks were sharing the village lake with the jovial Mallards. I left my ride until after lunch as it was brightening up. It was blowing so hard that I was cruising at 20-22mph while sitting bolt upright. Saw a few MTB'ers out training and having fun. Only 10 miles for me.

A mysterious track-way which cuts deep into the hillside suggest great age. Except that it doesn't really lead anywhere as it meanders between two very quiet country lanes past a retired farmhouse. The Danes call farms which are no longer used for agriculture nedlagt. Google translate suggests closed but ned means down in Danish and lagt means laid. Unfortunately laid down farmhouse doesn't really mean much in English. So many rural houses are ex-farms that I keep trying to find a better English word for them. How about downgraded? No. That sounds like it is less than it was. Many are smarter now and often gentrified. In an odd turn of events I heard that the demolition fund has been subverted to repairing old, half-timbered and thatched farmhouses. The problem is usually the original layout of many small rooms. Sometimes with low ceilings. Not to mention the great expense of heating them well enough to stay dry and healthy inside.

Sunday 8th 41-50F, 5-10C, bright sunshine but already windy. It is expected to gust to 30+mph again. I wanted to do a reasonable ride today but will have to avoid a nasty headwind coming home. It is all very well managing 20 miles in the first hour but the hours consumed in getting back again is ridiculous! Walked in blinding sunshine, being buffeted by the wind, up to the woods and back by the small lake. A couple of Mute swans were cruising amongst 30-odd Mallards. Discouraged by my presence they took off and joined the Herons in circling behind the enclosing trees.

A bird of prey was enjoying the up-draft too. Medium sized, with smooth, tapered, but slightly curved wings made it slightly unusual. At least compared with the usual soaring planks of Buzzards. Probably a Peregrine falcon. Light body but largely unmarked beneath with darker upper wing surfaces. Still trying to decide on a ride which will avoid a constant headwind.

All the plans of tricyclists and men do long but go astray. Before I had my second wind I was overtaken by an untidy gaggle of a local bike club's weekend warriors. I sat on the back because they were going so slowly. When they dropped to 16mph on a short rise I'd had enough. I climbed out of the saddle nipped up to 22mph and rode away from them. Putting half a mile on them by the time another mile had passed. I was parked, unpacked, locked up and on my way into a supermarket by the time they finally cruised past. A larger bunch passed going the opposite way.

Things settled down after that as I headed for Korinth. Where I was joined by a young chap on his MTB. Who chatted in perfect English as we rode along together towards Arroskov lake and the palace. He turned off along the gravel track which runs tight around the lake while I pressed on by road.

The Trykit has a lunch break.

I have never seen so many falcons in one day! A pair of Peregrines were wave riding on the roadside trees while I munched a chicken sandwich and a banana. Then I drank one of the four boxes of apple juice which I had purchased earlier and carried for a foolish number of miles. The drink had warmed up nicely in the balmy temperatures. Normally I find drinks far too cold to enjoy until summer arrives.

I was seriously overdressed for the first delve into double figures C this year. With only the Junior saddlebag for storage I had to lash the unwanted clothing on top. I could easily have worn fingerless mitts today.

The leg home could have been very hard work and would have taken ages riding on the hoods. Thanks to the aero bars I could add an extra four-five mph quite effortlessly. Four hours exactly to do 41 miles including the lunch stop. Three and half hours travelling time with half an hour due to stops according to the GPS logger. Not bad considering the gusty gales.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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