18 May 2015

18th May 2015 Toxic overload II

Monday 18th 48F, 9C, grey and breezy. Rain forecast for most of the day. Still feeling weak and weird. Best to stay indoors I think.

Tuesday 19th 48F, 9C, breezy and bright. Forecast to rain all day from about 9am. Feeling stronger today and the pressure in my head with resulting dizziness has gone. My ears don't feel so blocked up either and the tinnitus has lessened. The problem is finding somewhere to walk [and ride!] which doesn't involve being close to universally sprayed fields. Hopefully the rain will have helped to lower the airborne toxins. I can't say I noticed any smell from the sprayed fields as I tootled gently down the busy road in a cold and stiff wind. The birds didn't seem to care as many were singing or attending to their young. A pair of Blackcaps were flying to and fro at very short intervals to their nest in the ivy at the base of a roadside tree. A ragged, grey, sky lid soon slid over from the SW and it rained on cue as I walked back.

I was just reading that Odense Kommune [Kommune = City Council] has been named Cycling City of the Year by the Danish Cycle Club for the first time. The Club had been awarding their accolade since 2005. Odense has won this year for its special efforts to make the city centre more cycle friendly. An increase of 10% in the number of cyclists is claimed. Would you believe that 3000 cycle parking places have now been achieved at Odense Bus/Railway Station alone? I wonder if there are that many cycle parking places in the whole of London?

Odense's population is only 173,000 yet has 500 km of cycle paths! London's population is over 8.3 million. Chelmsford and York, among the UK cities, have similar populations to Odense. What are they doing to encourage cycling? Odense claims that 1000s of human life years are added for every investment in new cycle paths. While every investment in cycling is repaid twice in health treatment savings alone. Obesity levels for Denmark, the UK and the US are quoted as: 18%, 26% and 33% respectively.

Here is how seriously a Danish city like Odense takes cycling: Don't panic! This is the English version and its brief and precisely to the point:

Odense cycling Troels Andersen .pdf

Less desirable news is that over one third of all packs of Danish pork products now contain MRSA. So don't fall off your bike after eating Danish bacon!

I rode off into sunshine and a crosswind to the local shops. Coming back there was a loud bang, two "piffts" and the front tyre went completely flat in only two revolutions. Somebody [or something] had smashed a flint in the high street leaving a string of razor sharp prisms right where cyclists and cars tyres would run along. I spent a couple of minutes kicking all the shards to the gutter before changing the inner tube. The Lezyne mini-pump hose wouldn't unscrew yet again. After a real struggle I finally managed to get it loose and could pump up the tyre.  The grease I had applied was still visible on the hose adaptor threads. Meanwhile it started spitting with rain and then light hail on the way home with a clap of thunder. Fortunately, for my mood, it passed over so quickly I stayed almost dry. Hail dumped itself to rolls of thunder after I arrived home safely again. Only 7 miles.

Wednesday 20th 52-53F, 11-12C, bright and breezy start. Walked for an hour and half. Still suffering headaches but the dizziness is all but gone. Saw three hares and a few pheasants. Hedges full of birdsong. The Dk news suggests that the publicity surrounding the new fleet of police camera cars has reduced average speeds.

The promised showers timed themselves for my supermarket wandering. Luckily I had remembered to throw a carrier bag over the Brooks. The large leather bag has regained its rightful place on the rack to provide the necessary carrying capacity. Only 15 miles on wet roads.

Here's something really interesting:

The Alinker | We Move Differently

A walking, tadpole trike with the ability to stride freely under the right circumstances. No doubt a bit of practice will go a long way. Still in late development, the middle size will soon be available.[2015]  Not intended for downhill racing the rear brake will eventually give way to drum brakes on both front wheels. The idea seems so obvious but I haven't seen anything quite like it before.

Love the exuberant curves! It reminds me of the Viktor/Viktoria but this thing weighs only 12kg. It brings the user up to normal eye level while allowing them to relax tired or weak legs. That should break down barriers between the walking wounded and former wheelchair user. Intended as a mobility aid for those who cannot manage pedals or cranks on a conventional trike. I'd argue for a much wider audience. It could easily become a modern craze for commuting! Makes far more sense than sweaty jogging wrecking your knees or finding somewhere to park the people carrier. Certainly beats a walking frame for outdoor use. Though it is intended for all the usual indoor resources with wheelchair access. I like it a lot and hope it does really well. My only niggle is the rather small rear wheel and lack of proper footrests. That rear wheel would slow me down too much on those long descents. And I'd want decent disk brakes for the hairpin at the bottom! ;ø))

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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