23 Nov 2015

23rd November 2015 Do you want ice with it?

Monday 23rd 25-36F, -4+2C, calm, clear blue sky after a clear night. The sun is still dozing but is expected shortly. A couple of inches of wet snow still lying. What an incredible difference from yesterday's fierce gales and virtual white out! I'll definitely need my gaiters for my walk. It was an incredibly noisy affair as I followed the tractor trails on refrozen snow. Some of the time it bore my weight but mostly I crunched through on an icy under surface. Lots of animal tracks must have been made before the hard frost. They would not have made so much of a mark this morning. Bright sunshine throughout with an almost cloudless sky as I completed my usual loop up over the hill with the woods starting at the top.  The roads were very icy with black ice and refrozen slush despite being scraped and salted. I alternated between walking on the clear tarmac and the snowy verge to avoid anyone having to brake or detour around me. Quite a good work-out walking on snow and ice compared with the usual surfaces.

Another good work-out just reaching the road on hard frozen slush and water filled potholes. The usual cycle lanes were similarly equipped. I doubt that 1/5th of pavements in the villages have been cleared of snow and ice by their homeowners as demanded by Danish law. Car parked in their drive, TV on, sit back and relax. Gud and the Kommune must help the elderly with Zimmer frames, walkers, shopping bags, wheelchairs and prams. Survival of the fittest at its best. Which is also how many of them drive. The thin skin of civilization is only a shabby veneer. Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 24th 38F, 3C, heavy overcast, gales and rain, possibly with sleet. At least it has washed a lot of the snow away. Not looking very positive for a ride. The gales increased and the rain grew heavier all morning. In the absence of enough wood for an ark I thought I'd better look at the the gear friction problem. I found that one of the [brake] noodles had snapped in the nose section where it joins the down tube, gear cable adjuster. Once that problem was removed I had more slack on the inner and lower friction. Further fiddling resulted in much snappier changes. Still not satisfied 100% but working in a refrigerator is not conducive to a dry nose and I was afraid of rust. I don't have enough outer cable to replace the last noodle back at the changer. The awful weather continued so I took yet another rest day. It's becoming a habit but at least I have broken the OCD empty feeling when haven't had a ride.

A snow plowing lorry struggling to clear a junction with heavy traffic passing constantly.

Wednesday 25th 40F, 4C, heavy overcast, rain just stopped, winds lighter. It should remain dry this morning though with occasional showers possible.Walked around a local village under grey skies, with fine drizzle in the air amid light winds. Strips and patches of snow still left in the hollows along with lots of large puddles and ponds. It started raining more seriously in the last few hundred yards but I returned unscathed in just over an hour. My hip and knees are hurting again. Probably from too much inactivity yesterday. Just a short ride for 7 miles.

Thursday 26th 34-37F, 1-3C, still and sunny. A pleasant walk up to the woods on crunchy white frost. The low sun soon burnt off much of the whiteness despite my 20' shadow on the flat.

One gear noodle gone and one to go.

Rode to Odense late morning in almost still conditions and bright sunshine. The new cycle path between Tommerup and Brylle is coming along well though still in need of a good clean. The surrounding work isn't finished so the machines are crisscrossing the path. Adding to the fallen leaves, twigs and scattered gravel.

Bought an Abus chain lock to add to my MiniU. I could lock the front wheel to the frame securely but had nothing to secure the trike itself to something immovable. It's not likely that anyone would be daft enough to steal the trike with the U-lock fitted. Though it could be easily lifted into a pickup or van for later release with an angle grinder. The chain will help to discourage against bodily removal.

The odd thing is that the insurance company is quite satisfied with an immobilizer lock. I used to take a thin cable lock to Odense to fix the trike down while the approved U-lock secured it against casual theft. Cable locks can be chewed through with just a good set of teeth. I have removed the odd cable lock on recycled bikes with just ordinary electrical pliers or a blunt junior hacksaw. Not ideal for securing anything one values! An oddity, which I really don't like, is that the lock can be snapped shut without a key! Getting the key into place past the shutter is hard work too.

Abus lock acting as a cosy scarf for the seat post. This lock is not insurance approved despite its considerable cost, weight and girth. Photo taken in overcast and rain.

I also bought a meter of outer cable to get rid of the rear noodle. This outer feels much stiffer than anything I have ever used before. I just hope the dimensions suits the Campag 11 speed indexing system. They seemed in some doubt in the shop.
A light headwind coming back just before dusk. My knees were aching a bit at times. Probably sprinting away from all those red lights to avoid being stuck behind the snails! There is a terrible inertia about many cyclists. The city is a great place to practice right angle bends with masses of opposite camber. The cycle path designers never seem to think about trikes or mobility scooters having to negotiate some junctions. Or even transitions between the end of a proper cycle path and an unprotected, marked off cycle lane right beside the traffic lane. One can really hone one's skills on the cycle paths of Odense. I just wouldn't want to live there with all that traffic and countless red traffic lights. 44 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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