9 Nov 2015

9th November 2015 Do you want water with it?

Monday 9th 49-51F, 9-11C, light winds, variable cloud. Sunny periods with occasional rain
promised. Bright start for my walk with a cool wind niggling at my hands and neck. Became steadily more cloudy and windy as I completed my loop through the woods. Rode away after coffee with a tailwind. Headwind coming home so I dropped onto the tri-bars to avoid a crawl. Only 10 miles.

The forest is protected by a low wall of corn for the pheasants. This is becoming a common sight in the area and provides welcome cover as well as grain. The Danish news was carrying a story that farmers struggling to make ends meet should open up their land to hunting.[i.e. Shooting] There are certainly serious and widespread financial problems within the agricultural industry. The annual payments achievable, for letting a hunting group use their land, suggest a serious wealth imbalance between some farmers and hunters. 

Tuesday 10th 56F, 13C, overcast, breezy. Incredibly mild for November! It is supposed to be gusting to nearly 40mph right now but does not seem nearly as windy as that.  The temperature in the forecast is almost a straight line for two days. All very weird. The wind became stronger when I left the shelter of our garden and it also began to rain lightly. Knowing I was never far away from dry clothes I continued and finished my loop through the woods in the usual hour and a half. By the last, exposed leg into the wind, the rain had all but petered out. So I returned as dry and comfortable as when I left thanks to breathable, but only shower-proof jacket. I was busy at home so no ride today.

Wednesday 11th 55F, 13C, heavy overcast, winds light. Walked an unusual loop for an hour and half.
Waited for half an hour hoping the rain would go off and then left with it still raining. I was wet through within a couple of miles from heavy drizzle. Major roadworks meant I had to walk for some distance as the hardcore and mud was completely unrideable. I became so fed up with the GripCrap gloves that I left them off for the last few miles. They soak up rain like a cold sponge and weigh a ton when wet. My bare, wet hands were perfectly comfortable at the unbelievably mild 55F, 13C. If people still used fountain pens they would prefer to use GripCrap gloves instead of blotting paper! Only 15 miles.

Thursday 12th 54F-49F, 12-9C, windy but mild start. Mostly sunny all day. Walked for an hour. Saw a deer chewing happily in the shelter of a hedge in warm sunshine near the village. It was only visible from a considerable distance so the image is a bit over-enlarged. It was perfectly placed behind a gentle rise so hidden from the nearby road.

The trike was so filthy after yesterday's rain and roadworks that my wife insisted on giving the frame a rub over with a clean rag! The chain which has seen regular lubrication with "techy" products was rusted on the rollers after only one wet day! My Northwave MTB boots were finally dry thanks to sitting in the sun and wind out of doors all day. My socks had been soaking wet yesterday when I returned home. As had been the latest sports bag and even the Carradice Camper. I may need to invest in some waterproofing if I don't return to the capacious goth bag. Having the original straps break on me rather put me off. I had given the whole bag a good soaking in saddle oil but it hadn't helped the badly cracked straps. Finding matching new straps [belts] proved impossible in any of the [many] charity shops I visited.

Left on the trike after lunch into a strong and gusty westerly crosswind. Riding on the main road feels iffy with a crosswind pushing me onto the strangely undulating shoulder. There are lots of dips along the edge of the asphalt which could take me into the fields if I wasn't so used to it. One nutter brushed past me at high speed on a long straight without any other vehicles in sight! Perhaps that's why they felt daring? Low risk to bully a cyclist when nobody else is about? Had I wavered around a sunken edge or fought a sudden gust, I, my trike and my blog, would have been no more. Nobody would have been any the wiser whatever the raving fuckwit had told the police. I ought to wear the helmet cam but can't post psychopathic driver abuse in Denmark without risk of prosecution for invasion of privacy.  Perhaps I should set a precedent? Show how daft the Danish law is when the criminally insane enjoy a free license to kill. I just hope my video isn't used posthumously!

Bought an inner tube in a new bike shop in a shopping village. Had a chat with the proprietor and seemed genuinely surprised at my average mileage. [13,000km.] Detoured along the lanes on the way home to add another mile or two as it was getting close to dusk. I found one short stretch with such extreme camber, over half the width, that I waited for a car to pass. Just so I could use the crown in greater safety. I really ought to go back and test it for trike "rideability." Still only 15 miles.

Friday 13th 50F, 10C, windy, heavy overcast and raining. What's not to like? Ridiculously mild November has already broken the Danish 2006 record for foolish warmth. By 3 whole degrees C! If we have passed the infamous climate "Tipping Point" I am certainly glad I ride a trike. No walk and no ride. Blowing a gale all day.

Saturday 14th 42-44F, 6-7C, variable winds, heavy overcast, showers. An overnight storm passed unnoticed except for heavy rain. Today is supposed to be showers with sunny periods and gusting to 30mph. The whole week ahead looks wet too. The drop in temperature is quite noticeable.

My walk up to the woods was a soggy affair. With standing water or puddles on the flat and rushing streams on the inclines. I progressed on the grassy central ridge of the track for much of the way. Several large birds of prey were perching within a hundred yards of home, complained at my presence and left for more privacy. A couple of colourful Jays flew off near the entrance to the forest. There was a two minute shower just as I left the shelter of the trees and into a cold headwind. A Heron flew across going in the opposite direction to hundreds of gulls. The cloud is thinning to bright sunshine now. Though the roads are still sopping wet with plumes of spray coming off every passing vehicle.

Enjoyed a tailwind going. Hitting 26mph at one point a I averaged 18+mph for five miles. [Stop sniggering at the back!] It was more like 8-14mph on the way back.  It stayed mostly dry though the roads were still wet with lots of puddles. The field drainage ditches were roaring brown torrents nearly four feet across in places. [Humour alert!] Plenty of local flooding in the fields too. Only 20 miles under constantly changing plates of cloud.

Sunday 15th 44F, 7C, almost perfectly still, heavy overcast. The forecast is a damp start followed by dry and calm weather later. I wonder whether I am allowed out? There is a potential place of interest 40 miles away but it would need to be a straight out and back. At my average speed of 10mph, including all stops, an 8 hour ride would have me coming back well after dark if I wait to leave. Any serious photography could easily add half an hour even if I eat at the same time. Which might seem unimportant to some cyclists [and most non-cyclists] but is a serious hurdle in selling the idea to my wife. According to a Danish website it gets legally dark enough for cycle lights at 4pm today. [16.00 CET.] If I had a puncture in the dark on typically unlit Danish roads it could make my return even later. Probably not a good idea, then, but I ought to do something today. Having it completely calm for most of the day is very unusual and makes for a much more enjoyable ride. Living on the bottom left of an island, with a prevailing s-westerly air-stream, means coming home against the wind on most journeys. 

So much for plans of trikes and men. It rained in the morning.  The sun sneaked out at 3-30 and disappeared again. I had to light up to get home legally. Half a dozen random cyclists going the other way and none of them had lights. Only a short shopping ride for 21 miles. The lanes were all but empty of traffic but a few souls were out walking in the still conditions. My ear started whistling at half way.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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