1 Jun 2015

1st June 2015 June's first cycling rant.

Monday 1st May 53F, 12C, windy with bright sunshine. Showers possible. Had another dizzy spell before bedtime. Gargled with salty water. Woke with a sore throat. Happy days are here again.

The Reynolds R931 stainless steel Trykit stripped down for the Sunday run. Carradice Junior saddlebag hanging from the Brooks B17. The tri-bar elbow pads and extensions offer some relief from headwinds even for an old fart  elderly tourist like me.

According to the news Denmark grows better dandelions than it does corn. Danish corn is now so low in protein that many countries will not buy it unless it is sold very cheaply. Countries importing "EU corn" actually have exclusion clauses for Denmark! So Danish pig farmers are having to buy corn from right around the world to feed their animals to achieve "normal" industrial growth rates. It's nice to know that all that spraying and muck spreading is doing so much good!

Time for a walk! I have been watching and listening to YT videos to positively identify the bird song which fill my days when walking, cycling or even being out in the garden. With so many mixed trees, marshes, pond, lakes, fields, lawns, overgrown verges, set-aside, hedges and woods the habitats are incredibly varied. Just riding along a country lane is to be bombarded by different bird songs and glimpses of birds and wild animals. It adds another layer of interest trying to spot the different birds as I ride along. Skylarks offer a constant background chorus.

 Birds and animals sometimes treat cyclists, and tricyclists in particular, differently from a walker. Ponies and horses will often jump out of their eating trance, veer away or even bolt when a trike passes. Yet will completely ignore any number of bicycles whether singly or in bunches. There must be something about the double rear wheels which disturbs or upsets them. Meeting road-going pheasants is a very common occurrence. They really can't be trusted to behave sensibly and will often dash across in front of me. Even when there is perfectly adequate cover on their own verge. Hares are also as daft as a brush and equally unpredictable. Feeling unwell all day with swollen neck glands. Rest day.

Tuesday 2nd 51F, 11C, cold, wet and windy all day gusting to over 40mph later. It was too! Still under the weather. Another rest day.

I was just reading in the Danish news about the cycle route from Berlin to Copenhagen. Germany shares a border with Denmark in South Jutland. [Syd Jylland]

Nu kan du trygt cykle Berlin-København langs Præstø Fjord | Sjælland | DR 
"Now you can safely cycle the Berlin to Copenhagen route along the Præsto fjord."

 [In Danish with a cheating library picture of a real cycle path well away from any traffic because DR TV News is far too busy with the general election to get their [mutually parasitical] brown noses out of Copenhagen despite Danish TV licenses costing £240 a year!! Most of which goes on only half a dozen millionaire celebs. 

Last time round, the politic-ooze immediately forgot all their empty election promises and massively raised cycling fines! Then they had the nerve to send out huge numbers of those incredibly rare Danish policemen. i.e. Those who don't have time to even attend to 9/10 of the plague of house break-ins by organised teams of East Europeans [allegedly.] All this just to fine loads of errant cyclists. While 90%+ of all drivers in Denmark travel at well above the legal speed limits with impunity. 

But I have digressed. Apparently the Berlin-Copenhagen route is quite popular with the Germans. Except, that is, for the Danish part. Which is downright live-threatening in places according to the German Cycling Federation.


I'll post a link to the Danish government's plans and figures [in Danish] for encouraging cycle tourism. But the English language button drags the visitor away to a generalised tourism website. Which just goes to how how much "they" really care about encouraging international cycle tourism! Much of rural Denmark is unspoilt, corrugated and gorgeous. Fyn, in particular, but not exclusively. Away from the main roads the rural areas are lightly trafficked compared with some countries. There are countless thatched and half timbered houses, palaces, village ponds, copses and woods. You see what I'm doing here? I'm doing their paid job for them without receiving a penny. Most of my pictures on my blog celebrate Denmark's beauty. I'm an unpaid, English speaking, tourist ambassador. ;ø]

Cykelturisme i Danmark
Cycle Tourism in Denmark.

Fully 30% of German tourists in Denmark are cyclists and they spend quite a bit of money locally along their rides. This in areas where there is an acute demand for jobs and income! It seems a stretch of the route has just been modified to provide two cycle lanes with a single central traffic lane. The idea is that vehicles will have to temporarily use the cycle lane to pass each other in opposite directions. This will allegedly [desperately-hopefully] bring traffic speed down since they will have to match that of any cyclists present to be able to pass oncoming vehicles safely. The grand, unified theory is that traffic must temporarily leave the central "traffic" lane and partially use the cycle lanes due to the limited width of the central lane.

Well, guess what? I know of exactly the same idea used in a popular shopping village here on West Fyn. Where a truly idyllic, minor road, leading out through the forest is used as a rat run in both directions. Despite the speed limits being normal for built up areas [50kph/30mph] the traffic often races along there provided there is no oncoming traffic. With cyclists having to stick to the narrow, marked-off cycle lanes on either side. The council has erected a number of posts at intervals to act as chicanes but all this does is force cyclists behind the posts. The chance of a vehicle actually being held up by them is rare indeed. If an oncoming vehicle risks a pause they will simply floor the pedal to get past the posts first!

What is missing, of course, are a series of those wonderfully democratic speed bumps, or ramps, to rip the sumps off the maniac's vehicles. i.e.Those who show so little respect for the schools, daytime child care facilities, public services and institutions, old peoples home, child cyclists and child pedestrians along this "quiet stretch" of road. But no ramps or bumps are present, of course. This is Denmark, after all, and ramps might inhibit the speeding traffic from exercising their basic human rights to travel at any speed of their own choosing!

The road surface is super smooth on the traffic lane but rough out on the cycle lanes. This because they resurfaced the road first before the contractors [or the council engineers] totally screwed up. So they had to grind away the first set of cycle lane markings for 3/4 of a mile. Leaving countless rough dimples in their place. Then replace the lines all over again with thick dotted stripes which are very unpleasant to ride on.

This beautiful stretch of road is dead straight too. Which only encourages the driving psychopaths to put their foot down. And, by golly, they do! You'd think there was nowhere to put any of the [usually] illegally parked, police speed trap vans which are making the Danish headlines. The road is forest edge on one side and tree lined shade with mature private homes on the other. I presume the luxury home owners are unwilling to put up with the potential noise from any serious traffic calming measures.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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