28 Feb 2016

28th February 2016 Visibility impaired.


Sunday 28th 32-38F, 0+3C, dead calm, thick mist. Yet again the nearest buildings are completely invisible. The promise of sunshine has yet to be fulfilled by a wide margin. But yet, the sky has suddenly turned pink and it is snowing monochromatically into our misty, garden trees!

The high humidity adds another layer of discomfort to the cold. I tried to work in the shed at 40F, with 36F outside, yesterday. My hands were soon aching from handling cold metal despite wearing "thermal" rubber, mechanic's gloves. Now the mist has cleared remarkably rapidly so I had better take the binoculars after all.

I walked an equilateral triangle via two quiet lanes joined by a main road. The mist was very patchy and seemed to come and go without having visibly moved. I took thirty-three photos in nearly two hours as I tried to capture the moody lighting and lack of colour. At times the distant woods were lit with a magical white glow. And, in a few moments more, were lost to view again. Walking entirely on asphalt is hard work and my legs were aching towards the end. I have walked further and longer on rough ground and returned refreshed. The wind is still almost nonexistent so a ride is indicated. But first, I had to dismantle and clean the sensor of fluff on my Lumix TZ7 camera. Another roundtoit, I'm afraid, I have been putting it off for months. 

My brother has kindly sent me some fur-lined, handlebar mitts/muffs. Mitts for cycles and muffs for motorcycles according to Google image search. Obviously intended for straight-ish handlebars I wasn't sure they would fit my compact, dropped bars. But fit, they did, with a little experimentation. I was able to insert my hands effortlessly and apply the brakes and change gear. The webbing straps kept the mitts secure.

Ideal for those 5F, -15C rides when cabin fever has long set in. I'm sure they will be very cozy indeed. This reminded me of the agonies I went through on my first tricycling winters. Back then I was wearing only £5 supermarket "skiing" gloves. Usually marked 'Thinsulate' anyone wearing those on icy mountain slopes would soon be hospitalized with frostbite!

I seem to remember these handlebar mitts from my childhood. Were they a feature of Scott or LE Velocette motorbikes? Did police motorcyclists or telegram postmen use them? A Google image search shows that they are still far more popular than I would ever have imagined. Which is a popular vote of dissatisfaction with glove manufacturers.

Mid-afternoon ride chasing the sun's shadow uphill. No wind to speak of but still quite chilly. It finally cleared up late afternoon. Only 10 hilly miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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