13 May 2015

13th May 2015 Let us spray!

Wednesday 13th  53F, 12C, overcast, windy with spots of rain in the air. Just the usual birds on my walk. I was glad for the yellow sunglasses in the stiff, westerly wind. The forecast is sunshine and showers with gusts to over 35mph. I found some broken Song thrush eggs on the track through the woods. There were no overhead trees so presumably the work of a predator.

Notice the remarkable colour uniformity of the fresh, spring growth. 

I'd hoped the weather would improve by this afternoon but it didn't. Just a short ride under a grey, spitting sky in a gale. The Vetta saddle felt uncomfortable even on such a short ride. 7 miles.

I have been suffering from headaches and dizziness for the last few days. I have noticed that I am also unusually short of breath on the trike. All three are typical symptoms of crop spraying. This afternoon I had to lie down to avoid falling over after my ride. I felt incredibly wobbly and almost nauseous. This is not remotely normal for me. My wife also spends hours out of doors gardening whenever it is dry and has complained of headaches. There has been lots of spraying recently and we are literally surrounded by fields for mile after mile. The spraying continues in all wind conditions and it is only rarely still. My walks are probably adding to the exposure.

Most years I am aware of having passed through spray drift or have seen spraying occurring upwind as I passed on my trike or on foot. It is quite common for crop sprayers to work, quite literally, right up to the verge. Which occurred only yesterday morning as I passed on foot. [See image.] I have even returned home with my skin still sticky from passing close to a machine spraying right beside the road. There is never any means to identify what is actually being sprayed. It often smells something like paint thinners. I can remember the local children running back and forth along the drive through the spray as if it was a game! Some of them suffered health issues afterwards. Probably just coincidence? Of course.

On another occasion a farmer was spraying right next to a popular camp site on the coast, mid morning in summer, while everybody was outside enjoying the sunshine. There were crowds of children around the pool.Was the spray so completely harmless that the elderly farmer was willing to risk the health of so many adults and children? Fortunately I was able to cycle away before the drift reached the road. My previous neighbour owned a couple of fields and used to say quite regularly that Roundup was harmless enough to put on your breakfast. He would often spray when his and the local children were playing outside right beside the field between the houses. We would [and still do] go indoors whenever there is crop spraying locally.

Thursday 14th 50F, 10C, bright overcast, light breeze. Hope of some sunshine with "only" 20mph gusts today. I was feeling a lot better so left early for a two hour walk. Saw lots of birds including a Tree creeper, lots of warblers and several thrushes. Don't laugh, because thrushes are as secretive in Denmark as the Robin with his tinkling laugh. It is a bank holiday so traffic was light as I walked along the lanes and then back through the entire length of the local forest. Three sprayers were busy in the fields within only about two miles of lane. I took 56 pictures. The wind is picking up now so I had better go north or south on the trike to avoid a headwind.

Instead of which I rode a double oval, figure-of-eight, with strong but variable wind directions all the way around. Most of the shops were closed even when they said they were open on their interactive websites! Lies damned lies and Danish supermarkets. At least the sun was shining most of the time. Lots of cyclists out training. All of them going the other way. They'd probably discovered the shops were shut where they came from. I was climbing quite impressively at 18-19mph [with a tailwind] as several groups went past. 24 miles.

Friday 15th 55F, 13C, bright sunshine, almost still. A perfect day for a ride! Brooks 'Special' further tensioned and the remaining Proofide polished off before refitting. Plastered myself in 50PF sun cream, best bibs on and early coffee. First shopping stop at 17 miles to NW. Winds remaining light and variable from W and SW.

It didn't start very sensibly. Three crop sprayers were working right against the verge as I passed. At one point I was being slowly caught by a young chap on his racing bike so I tried harder. Cruising at 20mph and climbing at 16 in the crosswind seemed to be at his limit.  When he couldn't catch me on the steep bit he lost the will to live and turned off. I spent the rest of the day fighting my own headwind and avoiding crop sprayers. Warm sunshine all day despite reaching only 62F. Three hares were playing 'tag' on a field in the middle of a village. 40 miles so far. I couldn't get some essentials so I'll have to go out again. The Brooks proved to be much more comfortable after its session "on the rack." The rear VIP lounge reception area was newly flat and accommodating.  Oh, the irony! The crop sprayers followed me home! We had to go indoors while they "worked" the fields around us.  Plus 7 more miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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