20 Apr 2015

20th April 2015 The Sun has got his hat off.

Monday 20th 47-62F, 8-17C, clear and sunny with a light breeze. It should be a good day with 10m/s gusts. [20mph] on a 10mph N-NE base and 60F this afternoon. It's only  matter of deciding where to go. Walking down the road in the rush hour is no fun. So I came back via the 1-5 meter wide spray tracks. I came over all domesticated and scrubbed the dried mud off the tyres and rims. Even brushed the thick, black dust off the brakes.

The Trykit sunbathing without the usual Camper, rack and heavy U-lock.
Junior is dangling from the Brooks saddle loops to save some more weight.
I think the trike looks taller and sleeker without a large bag on a rack. 

Coffee and toast safely consumed, I headed Northwest with the trike suitably lightened of its usual load. [Except me of course.] Going well despite the feeling that I was fighting a  headwind. Coming back was easier with [mostly] a tailwind. A superb day for a ride! Chatted to a couple of people about the trike outside supermarkets. It was their fault. Not mine. The woman became quite vociferous on the subject of heavy trikes and became an instant advocate for lightweights. 43 miles to fetch one small bottle of Ecover washing-up liquid? Well it was 10% extra free! I drew the line at bringing back a bag of cheap, organic potatoes. I can get those just down the road.

Tuesday 21st 42-60F, 6-16C, full sunshine, windy. Walked my usual loop through the woods. Watched a Greater Spotted woodpecker for a while  as it attacked a moss-covered tree stump. A colossal squid turned onto the field just as I was about to take a short cut along the spray tracks.

After coffee I managed a crosswind on the first leg. A tailwind on the second leg down to the sea and then  paid for it all the way home! I was struggling to maintain 12mph on the flat on the last bit! Another colossal squid was spraying muck right up to the verge as I climbed a steep hill. I could smell it on my clothes as I queued in the supermarket. Yeuk! 27 miles.

Wednesday 21st 41-56F, 5-14C, light wind. It went from full sun to overcast and back to full sun again as I left for my walk. Over two hours working my way through both woods. A Nuthatch, Fieldfares and  Chiffchaff all drew my attention. I may have seen my first [ever] Whinchat perching on top of oil seed rape plants. An even better day for a ride with very little wind and warm sunshine. There were vast swathes of pure white Wood anemones with gently brushed, violet water colours on the backs of their petals. The hedges are finally coming into leaf. With the white blossom of the Blackthorn in showy clouds against their dense, dark stems.

Rode a clockwise, rural triangle in warm sunshine. Breezy but not too bad compared with most days. Yet another person came over to chat about the trike. Said they'd seen me all over Fyn. The fields and woods are covered in yellow Lesser celandine flowers. There must be many square miles of them altogether. Passed some lambs amongst the sheep. 24 miles.

Thursday 22nd 46-51F, 8-11C, breezy and overcast. It was decidedly chilly on my walk thanks to the westerly wind and lack of sunshine. Saw a large brown hare and lots of Mallard ducks. Have you ever noticed how alike a didgeridoo and ducks on a pond can sound? I wonder which inspired which?

Just another shopping trip on the trike. A chap came out of a supermarket dressed like a pro to ride away on his posh carbon fibre steed and completely ignored me. Obviously not a paid up member of the cycling brotherhood. Later I saw half a dozen clubmen out training. Every hand went up in greeting as I rode the other way on the tri-bars into the wind. 21 miles.

Friday 23rd 46-57F, 8-14C, overcast, breezy. It is supposed to brighten up later. I have just spotted a tiny blue opening in the clouds! I'd better go and disturb the birds in the woods. You'd think they'd know I wasn't dangerous by now. Sometimes you just have to smile. A Goldfinch was singing on a tree beside the road. The traffic was so heavy that he was completely inaudible. So he was twisting from side to side on his twig like some frustrated, animated cartoon character. I saw my first Swallows of this year. Though the cloud is still very heavy there were some pleasant warm periods of bright sunshine. Almost everything seemed to have suddenly turned green within the last couple of days. Still lots of mature trees waiting to come into leaf. Oaks are probably the last roundtoits.

I went a different way today by a route which I rarely take. Nicely hilly with almost no traffic at all and lots of sunshine. The pig's muck spreading continues unabated. The roads are covered in baked on mud. Which is causing problems with the clouds of brown dust getting into my lungs. I'm coughing and clearing my throat a lot! Not to mention being bumped about by the mud mushrooms and gravel  bigger than my thumb. Though I may just be allergic to the ammonia content of the slurry. The Danish parliament has just agreed a few more billions on top of inflated EU subsidies to further subsidise the farmers for their <cough> environmental work <cough.> Lies, damned lies and the deluded politic-ooze. They should get off their arses and visit a few of these <cough> environmentally friendly farms <cough.>  They could always get the army to lend them a tank or tracked armoured personnel carrier to reach the farms by road. Though being so important they will probably want to use a helicopter or executive jet on "environmental grounds." 18 miles.

Saturday 24th 50F, 10C, breezy and overcast. Rain forecast for late morning and continuing for the rest of the day. I was reading somewhere that 75% of all road users in Copenhagen have been threatened by cyclists or have been on the receiving end of rude words or gestures. The figure is 50% for the rest of the country. This suggests that many cyclists have been made short-tempered by their riding experiences. Competing with motorised traffic does not empower the cycling "crash test dummy." The battle is as one-sided as jungle natives being mown down by armed soldiers in battle tanks.

The whole "cyclists on the roads" thing often reminds me of organised racism in Apartheid South Africa. Drivers expect [nay demand] that absolutely nothing impedes their [often illegal] progress. They demand the right to travel at illegal speeds in order to shorten their journey times. Often after leaving deliberately late or speeding simply because they can with almost no chance of sanction. This [habitual] behaviour instantly increases death rates amongst soft bodied cyclists and pedestrians by 500%. Can you even imagine drivers putting up with  computers in their vehicles which reduced their speeds to no more than the local speed limit?

If only most drivers had remotely the level of driving skills which they carry around in their unquestioned fantasies. [Until something goes horribly wrong.] If only road designers had the skills which their carry around in their wildest fantasies. If only cycle paths were designed and maintained with cyclists in mind. Rather than as a means to exclude "the blacks" cyclists from limiting rapid [and often illegal] vehicle progress.

How often as a driver do you feel threatened by a speeding cyclist or pedestrian who completely trashes any chance of your survival in a crash? How often can a cyclist "chop off" a car or lorry driver simply because they can't [or won't] be caught afterwards? Far too many drivers drive as if their masculinity was a constant issue. Why else would there be BMW/Audi drivers? Why would they drive them in a city where average road speeds are lower than an overweight jogger can manage after a binge on sponge cake?

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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