28 Dec 2015

28th December 2015 300 miles short of a sjette?

Monday 28th 37F, 3C, a cloudy start but dry with light winds and some early sunshine threatened. I was going to go to Odense today, since I have been allowed out for normal behaviour. [Well, at least by my standards.] The problem is that parts of Odense are flooded on my intended route. The southerly Ring Road is not expected to drain until Thursday after heavy rain. There has been flooding in parts of Denmark as well as the worst in 70 years in the UK. Cameron is being criticized in the media and online for cutting flood defense spending. The Danish PM is also safely tucked up into a tax free, private palace. Perks of the job, it seems, but presumably well above the flood of criticism. Please god, he takes no more bike rides. Denmark can't afford it! All is [really] not well in Elysium. Meanwhile, back in my real world, I am still working hard on my annual mileage figures. "Must try harder" was an ironic foresight into abject failure to add up correctly! I feel so inadequate! By the way, sjette means sixth in Danish. As in: A [sixth] thousand miles for the year. It just had a nice ring to it. ;o)

Gave Odense a miss because of the flooding and shops likely to be packed with shoppers returning presents. Rode down to FĂ„borg on the coast road and back inland. Light headwind going. Crosswind coming back. Lots of flooding on the fields and the river banks were hidden by rushing brown water or lost in a lake as far as the eye could see. The birds seem to be enjoying it. Countless gulls and lots of swans were out on the new, extended, wetlands. I wore my best bibs and had no discomfort on the Vetta SL on the Higgins. Still no sign of the package from Wiggle ordered on the 15th. Still no response from Wiggle to my emails.

I was sweating for most of the day in the old Esse, my warmest, winter cycling jacket. The GripGrab winter cap was too warm too so I put the thinner one on. Then changed the cold and horribly sweaty, Dintex scooter gloves for the much thinner GripGrab. These felt cool at first but were soon fine and remained comfortable for the rest of the ride. The temperature didn't change from about 37F all day but became progressively more cloudy, depressing and dull after a bright start. I swapped my lightest  sunglasses for yellow before 12.00. Only 44 miles. I had planned to do more but decided that returning before dusk was the better part of valour.

Tuesday 29th 37-39F, 3-4C, 30mph roaring gales, very heavy overcast. Yesterday was quite comfortable at 37F in light winds. Today it was absolutely perishing just going for a walk! Even with [GripGrab] gloves my hands were soon aching with cold. Having disturbed four Buzzards on a field-sized lawn I turned round and was back at home just half an hour after leaving. I visited the shed a couple of times huddled into a thick duvet jacket but the will to go out on the trike was just not there today. Repeat after me children: Wind chill!! I see the Schwalbe Durano tyres on the Higgins have a blue center stripe from being worn down to the puncture resistant strip.

The Higgins feels very different to the Trykit. This is partly due to the narrower rear wheel track but the steering is more sensitive than the Trykit too. Though still very safe and perfectly stable on bends and roundabouts despite my misgivings when I first started triking again. The more backward bottom bracket feels slightly odd after riding only the Trykit for a while. The problem with the Trykit is being bashed [gently ] on the bum by the nose of the saddle when climbing out of the saddle or sprinting. The images show the difference in saddle position relative to a perpendicular raised from the BB. The saddle is about 2" further forwards on the Trykit than on the Higgins.

When I ordered my Trykit I was suffering from constant back pain. Geoff Booker did all he could to reduce my sense of being constantly stretched out. Which is what I blamed for my back pain. It seemed to work at the time but I had to keep shortening the A-head stem [extension] until I could reduce it no more. The back pain has subsided but I never followed up on adjusting my riding position or even thinking about it very much. Considering the hours I spend on the trike most days I should have thought harder.

There is far more weight on my hands on the Trykit. Though I think the bars are actually higher on the Trykit. I didn't suffer any pain [at all] in my hands on the Higgins yesterday. Unfortunately it is quite normal to have hand pain on the Trykit. I remember reading somewhere that a rearward saddle position actually relieves the hands of the rider's weight. The author suggested that the rider's rear end [BBBB bum behind the bottom bracket] helps to balance the forward lean of the torso. Whereas, with a forward saddle, the torso can only be supported by the hands because the BB is no longer supporting the rider's torso by reacting to pedal forces. If you treat the BB as a fulcrum the rider's weight all falls forward of the BB.

Weird, I just had a memory flashback of having experienced a similar and chronic hand pain problem when I was a teenager. I had read somewhere that a very forward saddle position was faster because it put the rider's weight over the BB. Our "hero" promptly adjusted his saddle right forwards to cause [inevitable] hand pain and has never really looked back.

I shall have to measure both machines side by side to see where the dimensional differences lie in reach and the relative height of the saddle and handlebars. I have collected a small range of handlebar extensions as I tried to shorten the reach on both machines. One of these might help. The main problem is the old fart upstairs doesn't like an upright position even when he should embrace one for greater comfort. He still thinks he's a teenager with absolutely no plans to grow up. Maturity beckons but is rarely acknowledged.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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