9 Mar 2015

9th March 2015 Season uncompacted tarmac.

Monday 9th 40-50F, 5-10C, light breeze, clear sunny start rapidly ended in overcast. Did my usual walk but anticlockwise. A hare came racing down the track towards me and reached within 10 feet before it realised I was standing directly in its path. It stopped, paused for several seconds and then raced back the way it came. Even managing to collide with another hare which was following as they both dived through the hedge. Something was shrieking loudly in the woods but I have no idea what. It sounded like a bird but may have been an animal being attacked.

The verges are becoming populated with snowdrops and Winter aconites. A dead fox [road kill] had been joined by quite a large fire extinguisher this morning. The number of tracks from vehicles falling off the road on corners is growing more ridiculous by the day. One idiot had even managed a "wall of death" on a 45 degree grass slope and still regained the tarmac afterwards.

I have been given a chore to collect something  17 miles away to the north west. The wind is still south westerly so I should not be too troubled except, perhaps, on the way back. It is expected to reach 50F, 10C again, so I shan't be overdressing today. It will be interesting to see if yesterday's shenanigans will affect me today. I haven't been doing many miles this year.

Left after coffee as it brightened up. I wore my thinner jacket, scull cap and gloves and was cool but not too uncomfortable. Not as energetic as yesterday with an occasional ache in the knees and hips. The windmills couldn't decide whether to turn or stand still but I felt a cool headwind all the time I was out. I took 5 hours to do 40 miles with 40 minutes stopped time today for shopping and eating sandwiches. A little tired by the time I arrived home but not too bad considering.

Tuesday 10th 46-50F, 8-10C, bright start but becoming cloudier. Breeze building to an eye-watering wind. Walked my usual route and saw a Nuthatch, Serin and Long-tailed tit within a few yards of each other. I started the day feeling achy but the walk sorted me out.

Sunny, but blowing a hard crosswind as I rode north. I was having to hang over the upwind wheel to stay in a straight line.  Coming back, with the wind now a couple of degrees behind me, made a beneficial difference. I keep practising my aero position to get used to steering over bumpy surfaces, mud and loose gravel.

The state of the roads only ever gets worse. Even when the kommune [local authority] sends workers out to fill the potholes they always leave an overfilled, projecting lump. Sometimes it's just a smack of the shovel and on to the next.  Others may get a quick going over with a small diameter [garden type] roller. Neither technique compacts the resulting hump enough to level it with the road surface. No doubt they rely on passing lorries to finish the job. Except that they don't! If I had a penny for every sunken drain cover in my path I'd be a rich man! I'm sick of the double standards of expecting people to become cyclists. Only for them to be put at risk on the crappy roads, bumpy cycle paths and endless debris. Only 15 miles today.

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