6 Dec 2015

1st December 2015 Fixing hedgehogs? Surely not?

Tuesday 1st December 36F, 2C, fern frost on the car, light winds, clear sky with some thin cloud moving
rapidly over. It is quite pleasant at the moment so I had better get going for a walk. I woke with deafening tinnitus again but a bit of background noise from traffic and the wind helps to mask it. I had underestimated the cold wind once I was clear of the shelter of the trees and hedges. Some of the leaves in the woods were sugar coated and crunched under my boots but it was mostly very wet underfoot.  The weeds have been knocked back by the cold so most of the paths are open again apart from the brambles.

A few Chaffinches pottered in the tree tops but I didn't see any birds of prey until almost home again. One passed overhead while another circled over the scruffy fields. The sky had changed from delicate brush strokes to cotton wool javelins running west to east. A shower intervened so by the time I decided it was safe to get the camera out the bars of cloud had softened considerably.

The hedgehogs must have been fixing again because they had discarded their syringes on the verge.  More likely to be rubbish blown out of an open trailer on its way to the recycling station. I had no desire to handle them with bare hands. Nor to carry them home for safer disposal. Fortunately they were capped so unlikely to injure the wildlife. You never see children walking the verge these days so there is [hopefully] little risk to them either.

The forecast has it brightest around lunchtime with the wind falling steadily all day. The sky has now turned to stripey dark overcast so I may leave my ride until this afternoon.

Left mid-afternoon with a crosswind providing cruising at 18-20mph. Had a good gander at a 36T cassette on an MTB in a bike shop while I was buying a new inner tube. It really does look large compared with my piddly little 32T. The MTB changers don't half look strange on someone brought up on road changers.

The image shows clear water bubbling up in the middle of a very large puddle/flood in a field.

I have ordered a set of Durano Plus in 25mm online to see how I get on puncture wise. I vaguely remember trying them in 23mm [I think] and not avoiding punctures quite as well as the 25mm Duranos which followed. The Duranos are showing lots of small cuts cuts which collect flinty sand and make me feel as if I am inviting punctures on the wintry roads. Changing an inner tube in the dark when the tyre is wet and literally covered in sticky sand is not conducive to a long and happy life. The Duranos have lasted a full year and well over 5k miles so I can't really complain. 15 miles today, returning in the dark with three Smart light flashing in a large triangle. One on the seat pillar and one far out on each axle fixed to the widely splayed seat stays. It's interesting how cars now dip their headlights before they overtake. I doubt if many of them have seen a lightweight trike lit up on the open road.

Wednesday 2nd 48F, 9C, breezy, heavy overcast. 20mph gusts and overcast but dry day promised. An hour's walk along the lanes to watch the huge flock of gulls but rather fewer Fieldfares. My late afternoon ride was short and I returned, yet again, in the deep dusk clutching my new tyres and gear components to my bosom. Well not quite, but it took some imagination to be able to return safely with the assorted boxes dangling in equally assorted bags. 7 miles.

Thursday 3rd 47F, 8C, very heavy overcast, breezy and raining. The forecast is for rain for most of the day but possibly drying up this afternoon. It didn't clear up so another rest day.

Friday 4th 44F, 7C, gales, rain, overcast. Another storm passes north of us. Hopefully the winds will drop later with some brightness possible. It remained gusty all day but I went out anyway. Only 10 miles. The whole weekend looks very unlikely with 45mph gusts on a 20 mph base.

Saturday 5th 48F, 9C, roaring wind, very dark overcast with rain. 25mph base with gusts to 50mph for the next 18 hours according to the Danish weather prophet's iSeaweed. The roaring wind was even unpleasant in the trike shed. I kept expecting the wildly rocking birch to fall across the roof! Rest day.

Sunday 6th 48F, 9C, heavy overcast with gales as the mild and wild weather continues unabated. The wind can still be heard roaring and will continue to do so until late this afternoon. We might see 10C, 50F today. Too early and dark at the moment to see if there has been any damage. Neighbours' panel fencing and greenhouses were already damaged or blown down yesterday. Lots of roads closed by flooding in Jylland. The UK is suffering serious flooding [again] despite a fortune being spent on "once in a century" flood defenses in Cumbria. Tens of thousands without power at this time of year and appeals for food and clothing for those made homeless (again.) Ah, the thin veneer of civilization. Let us pray the pampered delegates at the climate conference are comfortable in their 7 star hotels and suites in their "borrowed" stately homes of their oil money sponsors. Will they be donating their top international chef's tasty delicacies at the Cumbrian soup kitchens? Nope. Keep taking the money!

My Ventus anemometer rotor blew away and lost a cup overnight! Went for a walk to avoid another day of cabin fever. Buffeted around as much as the Fieldfares. At least 20 cars passed, individually, carrying up to four mountain bikes each. That was only in the short time I was on the road. Obviously on their way to a competition. Very soggy underfoot but not much sign of damage to any trees on the edge of the woods. The ducks were riding white horses on their brown and ruffled pond. While the Herons were pretending to be shy as usual. Did their turn round the pond and then settled back into cover again. You can't blame them really judging by all the spent cartridge cases lying along the banks. The wind was still roaring as it became dark outside. So I pottered on in the shed. Rest day. 32  miles for the whole week is the lowest ever, I think.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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