24 Aug 2015

24th August 2015 The worm did not turn!

Monday 24th 61-69F, 16-21C, highly variable, gusty wind. The promised showers came to nothing with mostly bright sunshine. Enjoyed a long walk around the woods by road and back along the track through the middle. Lots of dragonflies about again. Sometimes whole clouds of them. Swallows, sparrows, rooks and wagtails around in great abundance. I passed a slow worm on the track lying in a pool of sunshine. A large bird of prey took umbrage at my disturbance of his sentry duties at the entrance to the woods. It flew up and down the face of the woods making loud mewing noises.

I was fighting a headwind going but had it easy coming back. Only 7 miles. The sky is finally darkening for some much needed rain. Though nothing yet.

Tuesday 25th 64-61F, 18-16C, breezy becoming gales. Sunny turned to heavy showers. Cool turning to very cool in the gusty wind. First proper rain for ages.The Head Gardener was delighted that her exhaustion from endlessly watering the garden and potted plants was [briefly] over. No walk and early plans for a morning ride were dashed by pouring rain. No ride in these gales with heavy showers. Rest day.

Wednesday 26th 57F, 14C, windy, overcast, damp with showers forecast. I'm still hoping to go out for a ride this morning. But didn't. Windy and too busy for a ride.

The burnt out Claas combine harvester now only harvests firefighting "snow."

Thursday 27th 61F, 16C, very heavy showers, overcast, breezy. The forecast is for more of the same. A lull after lunch persuaded me to risk life and limb in the continuing gales. It wasn't too bad while it was blowing over my left shoulder and I was maintaining a painless 18-20mph. Having shopped [at length] the tables were turned and I needed the aero bars to hide from the nasty gusts.  It tipped down just as I headed for home but it lost interest after a while. The traffic seemed to be driven by lunatics today. Only 14 miles. A much better forecast for tomorrow.

Friday 28th 53-64F, 12-18C, sunny with a light breeze. I set off after coffee and toast to spot a Marsh harrier hovering on the wind just  above the road. It seemed not to care as I passed right under.

Having reached my goal I promptly punctured on the lumpy, gravel forecourt. I took the tire off and inspected it thoroughly, finding a single, small sharp flint embedded in the tread. I had obviously been pushing my luck with the treads worn completely flat and full of small holes. Though still not worn through to the protective strip or the canvas.

My last inner tube wouldn't hold air! The valve leaked like no valve at all. I rode a couple of miles with the valve banging on the road before I stopped and took out the inner tube. I still had ten miles ahead just to get home as the sky became dark and threatening and thunder rumbled overhead. The bare tire rolled remarkably well on the rim. Though rather noisy it did no damage nor threatened to fall off. I have replacements waiting but had been putting it off.

About five miles from home I saw a solid cloudburst coming across the fields to drown me. The rain drops were white and massive and wind driven. So my pathetically open shelter tree offered very little respite. I remained on the trike in the vague hope of some protection from a lightning strike as thunder crashed overhead. Unfortunately there were no arks handy in which to take shelter as I huddled under my empty-headed tree. 

Now my [compulsory] suntan cream was running into my eyes and stinging like mad. I was blind! Oh the drama of it all! Not helped by every psychopath in the area wanting to set a simultaneous land and water speed record on the now-flooded lane. I was not only soaked right through but getting even wetter from every passing sociopath! Guess who didn't take his [sweaty] supermarket bought, rain jacket with him today? Having reached home I took off my sopping wet clothes and dived straight into the bath to warm up. [And eventually to dry out.] 26 miles. Am I having fun yet? ;ΓΈ]

Saturday 29th 57-64F, 14-18C, breezy, with sunshine. Forecast to stay dry today. I just found a second inner tube when I checked my Goth saddle bag. There was a story in the news yesterday which said that that Goths risked depression. Been there. Done that. It happened yesterday.

I had better put the new tires on before I do anything else! Which I did, but used up my last, spare inner tube. Along with giving the Brooks Cambium saddle another try. Ever the optimist! A fool and his saddle are soon parted.

It stayed dry and mostly sunny today but was often windier than expected. Had a long chat outside a supermarket with a fellow cyclist who was very interested in the trike. Ate a muesli & chocolate bar and another sports energy bar. The C17 saddle wasn't so bad without having anything particularly positive to say about it. I stuck my hand underneath and felt no movement [at all] as my 12 stone bod pedaled away. Though at least the C17 didn't leave me sore like it did last time. I have just passed the 4k mile mark for the year so far. There are no good excuses for this dismal failure to perform to my usual standard. I have been taking far more rest days than in previous years. The compulsion to go out and that empty feeling from having had no ride that day has been broken.

Some of the Danish supermarkets stock bike bits. Including the co-op which also stocks inner tubes. Except that the only 700 size they stock is 32-40mm. Ignorance is bliss? Or are they deliberately trying to exclude all of those weekend warriors who ride on racing tires? A new bike shop with compulsory workshop has opened in a shopping village I frequent. Not open on Saturdays? Really? Still no spare tubes! Am I feeling a lucky punk? 28 miles.

Sunday 30th 56F, 13C, rather overcast with small blue bits, almost still. The forecast is for a grey day with rain later this afternoon. My usual loop up to the woods was under rather grey skies. Dead calm with the wind turbines standing still. Saw three deer and several pheasants. The brand new pair of recycled Ecco walking boots were fine. Who's complaining for a £iver? They were lighter and very much quieter than my Salomon boots. Walking on tarmac made me feel strangely deaf because I couldn't hear the usual loud clomping. My ears finally seem to have returned to normal too. So I can hear the Swallows which pass constantly overhead. Rest day.

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