18 Apr 2016

18th April 2016 Getting the hump.


Monday 18th 42F, 6C, very heavy overcast, already windy with showers and higher winds forecast. 

Is it selfish to ride two-breast on a busy main road with blind corners and double white lines? Just because one can does not mean that one should. Perhaps they thought they were taking a commanding road position to avoid being overtaken on a blind corner? 

Defensive riding? That works for me where overtaking would be extremely dangerous but is endlessly practiced by foolish drivers. Given the [driving] Danes habit of cutting and overshooting every single corner this often places them directly in each other's paths. Cyclists merely add to the burden of brain fudge in those without the intellectual capacity to drive with even the slightest modicum of intelligence or common sense. Many cannot even manage a shopping trolley in the supermarket. Why, on earth, should we expect any greater skill behind the wheel once they leave the car park?

It became steadily windier and greyer as I walked the bare soil and tracks on the fields. I wanted to photograph and examine a long, raised mound recently exposed by the hedge clearances. No recognized burial mound is registered there on old maps of the area. I thought it might be an old farmhouse demolition but no buildings are shown on the maps either. Moreover building materials had value for new buildings or walls.

It was obviously known to be there because it appears as a blob on every map going back to the middle 1800s. On the earliest map it was the highest point of a small, rectangular copse ending at the raised mound. The far side is sunken in one place as if it might have had a protective ditch. Though the scale is rather small for an early fortified site. No  protruding rocks are visible. The mound is on the shoulder of the high point crowned by the forest and clearly visible from three sides for miles. High winds kept up with rain later and it felt horribly cold despite reaching 50F. I could have done with gloves when I was busy outside! No ride today.

Tuesday 19th 44-52F, 7-11C, bright and sunny start but with lots of racing clouds. POO 6.5. The wind is supposed to reach 40mph again later with possible showers. I have to go shopping anyway so I had better make it early to avoid the worst of the winds.

It was already blowing a gale by the time I reached the hump via different spray tracks from yesterday's. The sky was far more interesting and the view completely different in sunshine. So I have swapped the earlier image for one I took today. Waves raced across the shiny, grass-like crop as I was buffeted back and forth on the climb. While simultaneously trying to maintain my balance as I tip-toed on the giant zig-zags of the balloon tyre tracks left by the departed forestry machine.

Gulls rested on the fields all facing the same way like living wind vanes. Lifting off occasionally as a scare monger's rumour went around the flock. Bright sunshine made everything appear sharper as Shelducks pottered in HD, as seen through my binoculars, beside their large, but shrinking puddle. The huge stack of felled hedging proved to be the perfect foil for the wind. Stepping behind it was like throwing  a switch on a huge fan. The birds seemed interested too with lots of Wagtails, Chaffinches and Sparrows bouncing about in the lee. A Brilliant Yellowhammer shot across the ploughed surface and hid, in plain sight, in a 3' high bush beside the road as I walked back trying to keep my hat on. Muck spreaders roared past in both directions taking up 3/4 of the width of the road. With their filthy, squid-like arms dangling and swaying noisesomely.

They were still rumbling backwards and forwards on my ride. I was cruising at 20-22mph with the tailwind but struggling to get over 6.5mph on the way back. The locals seemed to be having a cross Denmark race today. I heard one car accelerating hard all down the shopping high street and he must have gone past me at 100kph into the 40kph speed limit. [60mph into 25mph.] It wasn't until he was baulked by another [speeding] car that he finally had to slow down. He was then followed by two more kids revving hard with noisy exhausts at least 20kph over the speed limit. Shame the police car wasn't there again today. No speed cameras = no crime. Only 7miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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