1 Apr 2016

April 1st 2016 A fool and his energy are soon parted.


Friday April 1st, 28F,, -2C, hard white frost with a clear blue sky and completely calm. This is the day I should have gone for a longer ride. Much lighter winds from a much better direction. Yesterday's foolishness was a clear lesson in stupidity: Not carrying enough food. Not buying more food when it was still easily available. The desire to enjoy a beneficial tailwind should have been a lesson in the strong likelihood of a headwind on the return leg. I was so short of energy towards the end that I could no longer turn the pedals with a 33x36t gear. Had I not consumed the two bananas I might still be pushing the trike uphill. I arrived home weak and exhausted. A shower and a cup of tea was all I could manage. After a short nap I woke feeling extremely nauseous and could not manage to eat dinner despite a glass of sodium bicarbonate.

The likely problems should have been all too obvious. I had little mileage in my legs this year and only two longer rides of about half the planned distance. I ignored the wind forecast and had to fight a 20-25mph headwind all the way back. The only thing I did right was taking plenty of stops for photography.

Glorup Slot ice house from 1778 forces the tiny steep lane to go around it.  I had the appearance of a prehistoric mound with dry stone walling still visible around the top. The twisted trees added considerable atmosphere. The great house itself is seen in the top image on this page and has a vast estate and extensive red brick farm buildings. A pretty little church stands just to the north of the great house.

The collapse of energy levels is well known in cycling but still I ignored the warning signs. I could easily have bought food at half way home even if I had ignored the opportunity on my way to my goal. Perhaps the lack of blood sugar causes such foolishness but I was in no fit state to be cycling for the last 20 miles. It was more determination than wisdom which got me home. I was chasing two different chaps on their bikes at times on the way back and these should have given me a true measure of my weakness. Perhaps they helped me continue by giving me a target while trying to catch them? Under normal circumstances I would have overtaken both and left them well behind.

I'm not feeling too bad this morning though my knees are still tender when descending the stairs. I had a pain in my right knee from 20 miles onwards yesterday as if I had hit myself on the side of the kneecap. It didn't seem to get any worse nor hinder me from pedaling so I continued.

After Glorup Slot the small road approaches Svindinge. Parents were picking up their excited children from the school just beside the prominent church. All very atmospheric in a timeless sort of way.
Yesterday my shoulders were aching badly from leaning on the 'bars for so many hours. I kept trying to push myself back on the saddle but it didn't really help. My shoulders are still aching slightly. I suffered from saddle soreness from about 50 miles onwards but it was too cold to go without tights and pants under my best bibs yesterday. No problem sitting down today.

The problem with a trike is that you are supported, however badly, by the machine. On foot you would probably just want to lie down on the verge and die. On a trike you just keep turning the pedals out of habit and suffer endlessly. You don't even have the luxury of falling off a like two wheel bike through exhaustion and then lying on the verge to die. Probably every cyclist who has ever tried to push their distances and speeds will know the awful misery of trying to finish a ride when they no longer have anything left in the tank. Carrying a heavy rucksack on a long walk is not nearly so bad. The ground is much nearer and you can easily just lie down and die. The bi-cyclist must continue to the bitter end even when they can hardly steer in a straight line any more due to a lack of forward velocity.

It's not about distance so much as elapsed time to complete the ride without remotely enough energy to continue. One's vital senses contract so that small irritations become magnified. Potholes jar out of all proportion of their dimensions yet go completely unseen until far too late to avoid them. Flinty gravel seeks out the unwary rider to risk punctures and further discomfort.

Note the jarring litter bin installed by later Philistines. Another Philistine has left his modern tricycle in the picture to complete this utterly tasteless "selfie." Hopefully time will eventually forgive the intrusions to make the additions interesting in themselves.

There was so much sand and gravel on Ringe's cycle paths yesterday that one might have assumed the council was subcontracting to the Five Gorges dam project. Enough smashed glass and other debris to cover a vast landfill site if anyone could be arsed to clear it up. Every private, public and farm drive, which crosses the cycle path, distributes their own load onto the supposedly smooth asphalt. Never to be cleaned up again until the Sun grows old and dies. Yet a glance at the roadway running alongside shows an absolutely pristine surface. The road must be swept regularly while the low priority cycle paths would still have exposed fossils and 18th century horse droppings. If the former weren't soon picked up by curious pedestrians and the latter have long gone to revive 19th century rose gardens.

The unusually extensive, five chamber, burial mound between Ringe and Ørbæk. Not so much semi-detached as a complete terrace. Its situation makes is extraordinarily difficult to photograph. The traffic passes constantly in both directions at well over 60 mph. The only way to get all the stone sin, even with a wide angle lens and 16:9 format, is to stand in the middle of the road! There are lots of prehistoric remains in this area with a fortified village in the woods on the other side of the busy main road. I have added a screen shot from Google Earth to give the exact location and show the strange positioning of the road.

My brisk, morning walk down to the village started well but I soon ran out of energy on the return journey. I must still have an energy deficit from yesterday's ride and missing dinner last night. I shall have to learn to monitor traffic coming from behind given the sheer number who cross to the opposite lane on corners! The broken windmill has already been repaired and the blackened rear doors have been replaced. How did I miss that?

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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