11 Dec 2017

11th Decembrrr 2017

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Monday 11th 25F, -4C, mostly clear with light winds. Wintry showers possible. At first I thought it was overcast but it was just struggling to get light. Walked on icy roads to the exit point up to the woods.

Took lots of photographs of the snowy scenes with rather menacing clouds as a backdrop. Birds of prey were sitting about in trees and sometimes moving away. Ten Whooper swans went over noisily.

I gave the traffic plenty of room by wearing my gaiters and taking to the snowy verges each time a vehicle approached. The puddles were iced over but there was not much depth to the ice. The leaf litter in the forest was crunchy underfoot.

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9 Dec 2017

8th December 2017 And don't call me a snowman!

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Friday 8th 38F, 3C, breezy with a risk of sunshine. Denmark has set its lowest maximum daily temperature since records began back in the 1870s. There was talk of being the wettest year too. It stayed dry for my walk except for a sprinkle of slow rain falling out of a blue sky long after the cloud had passed. Disturbed two deer which dashed off across a vast field. Only a few small flocks of mixed birds in the hedgerows. It look as if it will take another day to clear the vast pile of big bales.

I was allowed out for a shopping run. My Sigma 16-16 STS Cadence computer has been complaining about its battery since it turned cooler. So I changed the battery only to discover it had no memory for the old settings. So I have to start from scratch. Only 7 miles. Correction: The settings reloaded automatically after a time but I couldn't get the docking station or online software to work. Once registered it wouldn't let me update to a later model. And, I still don't know how to change between Summer and Winter times.

Saturday 9th 35F, 2C, breezy and rather cloudy. The wind was too keen for my hands as I wandered the lanes looking for a photographic opportunity. The mink gulls didn't mind my going past once but my return spooked them into flight. I have to go out shopping but the distance is still up for debate.

The Head Gardener eventually allowed me out for a ride. But five days after claiming delivery at what passes for the local post office they still can't find my packet! The special offers on offer from the next lying supermarket chain were as non-existent as usual. When does repeated false advertising become fraud? Or are they too big [and offshore owned] to prosecute? 15 miles.

One of the blind bends which overtax the skills of a great many drivers. Site of many NDEs. 80% of all drivers cut this corner. Including buses, lorries, vans and cars. Probably 5% overshoot the corner well beyond the double white lines. Some end up with all of their wheels on the wrong side of the road. Including vast, articulated lorries. Placing themselves on a direct collision course with oncoming vehicles. Several vehicles per year, every year, leave the road completely beyond this corner. Those who overshoot may be responsible for innocent drivers going off-road just to avoid them! Though excess speed is probably to blame for most excursions into the deep ditch just out of sight.

On an unusually optimistic note: The GripGrab 'Nordic' lobster claw gloves are really excellent so far. Though I have yet to rely them below freezing nor in the rain/snow. I have ordered another pair so they can be rotated and washed regularly. The only major problem, so far, is re-educating the daft, old, tricycling clown to blow his nose with one finger while riding along. 😎

Sunday 10th 32F, 0C, overcast with 2" of overnight snow? I don't remember ordering snow and THG certainly didn't. She hates the stuff! Fortunately we have suitable implements to tackle it these days. So clearing a track to the gate isn't too taxing whatever the snow depth. A suitably large, commercial plastic scoop on a long handle makes an excellent snow plow. Using a steel builder's shovel is the work of the devil. Pointless and completely exhausting. The shovel is too tiny and far heavier than the snow to be shifted. A garden spade even worse!

The curved plywood, commercial snow plows aren't ideal either. No lifting and carrying power for the light stuff. You can shovel loads of snow with a nice big plastic plow with a proper, shovel-shaped head. The snow slides off effortlessly. A metal blade along the front edge is handy for longer life when scraped along concrete or paving slabs.

I have spent my entire life clearing snow while neighbours didn't. The worst was when we came to Denmark and had to clear 100 yards of our shared drive covered in a minimum of 40cm [16"] of drifting overnight snow.

It took us several days while our young and legally responsible neighbour watched, ponced around on his mobile phone outside and grew fatter. As soon as we had finished he drove down to his outbuilding to collect crates of beer! We only needed to get out to buy food because we were down to nothing by the time we were finished!

Walked for half an hour along snow and slush tracked roads. It's really not worth staying on the road in these conditions if vehicles are approaching. If the cars want to avoid you they will have to drive through the uncleared tracks. Which are probably very slippery and dangerous not to mention the likelihood of my being sprayed with wet slush. So everybody loses. I retreat to the back of the verge so the traffic can remain safely on course. Then I don't get splashed or sprayed. I even get a friendly wave from some drivers for my thoughtfulness. It started snowing again soon after I returned.

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4 Dec 2017

4th December 2017 Dark, wet and dismal.

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Monday 4th 36-38F, 2-3C, calm and clear. A sunny morning is promised. Enjoyed a walk along the marsh track under a cloudless sky with a blinding sun just rising. Very wet underfoot so it was lucky my boots are still waterproof.

Disturbed a large heron which did a circle and landed at the duck pond. Just as I reached the end of the marsh I noticed drainage work ahead. So I did an about turn and retraced my steps.

Late afternoon ride to the shops. Too many driving psychopaths to count. How ironic that we must wait for AI to replace apes behind the wheel. [Insert whatever the PC term is suitable for those without enough brains to drive like a human being rather than a hairy cousin.] Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 5th 44F, 7C, heavy overcast and breezy. A run of several windy and cloudy days is forecast. My recycled Helly Hansen jacket proved to be less waterproof than blotting paper as my walk started with misty drizzle. It wasn't long before the rain was smoking across the road to add to the plumes of traffic spray. I doubt the jacket has been reproofed from new so it might be worth a shot.

Had the most amazing service from DAO365 delivery at 5am in a neat sealed polythene bag. The local GLS Pakkeshop takes upwards of 2.5 hours to confirm what is already shown as delivered to their collection point on track and trace. While Postnord never [ever] gets around to confirming a packet is already available for collection. It's track and trace or nothing. God help you if you need a code number to punch into the parcel machine.

Wednesday 6th 44-47F, 7-8C, very heavy overcast, very windy with showers. Managed half a mile walk before it started raining properly. Returned home. No ride.

Thursday 7th 42F, 6C, very heavy overcast, gales and rain forecast. I'll need a chin strap on my fleece, bobble hat for my walk. Well  almost.  The trees were roaring so loudly they were competing with the traffic. There is one spot at the top of a rise where the SW wind is funneled. Just there I could almost lean on the wind this morning. The big bale lorry was almost alongside before I heard it. The huge stack of several hundred bales should be completely gone by today.

I wore my wrap around, yellow safety glasses to protect my eyes form windblown dust and debris. Very good they were too. Who cares what I look like as a solitary pedestrian? I had to collect more stove fuel in the car and drove through clouds of hundreds of nervous Fieldfares struggling with the gales.


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1 Dec 2017

1st December 2017 As if through a glass, brightly.

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Friday 1st 33-38F, 1-3C, calm with heavy cloud. Another overnight frost with early hail and sleet showers. 

A distant view of a landmark catching the early morning sunshine.  An 80m [260'] high, concrete tower, built in 1953 on a local high point near the crossroads at Vissenbjerg, has been used for years as a TV aerial mast.

Full zoom and cropping, with typical misty haze, has done my image no good at all. It looked far sharper through my binoculars. The tower usually appears rather dark and much more distant. So it was interesting to see the landmark standing out so clearly from the familiar, undulating landscape.

The tower's appearance has changed over time as different antennae are attached or removed.  Most recently the emphasis is on mobile telephony. I have just discovered, for the first time, that there is a lift inside for the public to reach the observation galleries.

At 111 meters [364'] Vissenbjerg is already the highest inhabited village on Fyn and has a long history going back to 8300BC and the earliest archaeological remains of human beings in Denmark. It was once the hideout of notorious robbers who lived in the surrounding woods in the 1100s.

Reaching the village by road involves some of the best cycling climbs around. There is a video online of The Tour of Denmark leaders coming over the summit faster than I can easily manage on the flat!

The local hills were apparently formed by the land rising when the ice burden was removed from once, deeply buried lakes. Since the rest of the landscape had already been scraped flat the lakes rose into unexpected prominence as a range of low hills.

I have often been grateful for a sight of the familiar tower while riding the sparse rural lanes when approaching the area from the north on my trike. It was very handy to have a clear idea of location and orientation and the remaining distance to reach home. A bypass and motorway now run past Vissenbjerg to reduce the burden of traffic. The cycle shop finally closed a couple of years ago.

Hundreds of new drivers banned for mobile phone use - BBC News

Cold, wet and grey with icy surfaces on my walk. It soon began to rain but I plodded on, while trying to avoid the heavy tyre spray. Returned after half an hour as the rain petered out. It is now brightening to weak sunshine with light, wintry showers. Rode to the shops in changeable weather under a heavy sky with blue and some sunshine. There were a few thin patches of snow in the deep shadows near the woods. Only 7 miles.

Saturday 2nd 32-38F, 0-3C, calm with a white frost. Ice on the puddles and ponds and the grass was crisp and noisy underfoot. Bright, early sunshine and pretty clouds tempted me to take a few pictures. Though they didn't have the sharpness I was hoping for.

A flock of Redwings was moving between berry laden hedges. These winter visitors are similar to thrushes and have 'fierce' eyes. The low sun, breaking over the more distant trees, made them almost appear to glow with reddish-orange chests. Though it was only an illusion.

A farmer was moving a vast stack of big hay bales with a special, hydraulic attachment on the arms of a digger. I thought it would have made better sense to have loaded them straight onto a trailer to avoid double handling. Rather than placing them on the ground beside the road. I had previously imagined it would have taken a telescopic loader but the machine was quite capable of reaching the top layer.

Rode into a cold headwind to Assens. My hands were getting sweaty again in the scooterist's gloves. So I bought a pair Grip Grab 'lobster' winter gloves at a nice discount. Wearing them home proved they worked without getting sweaty though temperatures had risen to 38F by then. Claimed to work best between 0C and -10C. I'll report further on my experiences at different temperatures. Nicely light and flexible in use for gear changing and braking. Only 20 miles as early sun turned to heavy grey overcast. Still going quite well considering my reduced mileage. I passed the big bale moving exercise to see a large lorry had arrived and was being loaded.

Sunday 3rd 40-43F, 4.6C, light winds, wet start and cloudy. Late walk to avoid early rain. Treated to an airshow by swirling gulls mixed with jackdaws. Then well over a thousand Redwings moving around the local landscape. Busy, so no ride today.

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29 Nov 2017

29th November 2017 A bit damp underfoot [again.]

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Wednesday 29th 35F, 2C, calm, grey and suddenly misty. Threat of some sunshine. Enjoyed a proper walk up to the woods and back along the road in thick mist with blue skies overhead. There was a flock of at least one hundred Chaffinches foraging on the fields and in the hedges. A solitary deer dashed off along the forest track as I approached.

I seriously doubt that more than 1-in-4 drivers were using their fog lights. The difference in visibility was dramatic! This is probably just laziness. The outside lights usually come on automatically in Danish cars. But it needs the full lighting to be selected for the fog lights to come on. Very wet underfoot everywhere I went. Wettest autumn in 27 years and I can well believe it.The DMI is a talking about a record wet year going right back to 1874. Though 1999 was still the wettest. That was the year of the 'Storm of the Century' when there was massive damage to houses and conifer forests.

The mist stayed all day without a glimpse of the promised sunshine. No ride today.

Thursday 30th 32-36F, 0+2C, frost on the grass, calm. It was pleasant enough on my walk thanks to the lack of wind. Though huge mounds of sunlit 'mashed potato' were building in the south and west. Before long they were overhead and it started drizzling from a grey overcast. Contractors working on field drainage were enjoying breakfast in their van. A pair of cormorants went over with a heron going the opposite way.

It was full sun again when I left for more distant shops on my trike. Though it didn't take long before it was grey again. I could feel the cold on my face and pressing against my chest despite the layers. The faster I went the more obvious the cold became. Above 20mph it was increasingly unpleasant. I was going well and frequently climbing out of the saddle,

I am catching up on the long shopping list which was out of stock by going further afield. This doesn't always work because out of stock is the stock-in-trade of the Danish [offshore owned] supermarket chain monopolies and child employers.

I'd prosecute supermarkets which list special offers to drag the customers in from afar and then [repeatedly] have no stock. It happens so often it is plain advertising fraud IMO. Unfortunately Denmark doesn't have any consumer protection. Other than what falls off the back of an Eastern European, slave driven, EU lorry. With built-in, compulsory extra smog thanks to a cartel of heavy lorry manufacturers. 

The thick, scooterist's gloves were becoming damp by my final stop. So I changed to GripGrab which are only good for 2 seasons or well above 40F. At 36F they certainly weren't warm enough by a long and chilly couple of miles. Twenty, mostly grey miles.

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27 Nov 2017

27th November 2017 A [saddle] bag by any other name.

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Monday 27th 38F, 4C, heavy overcast and windy with rain promised. I managed a walk with hardly a drop of rain. Then rode to the shops to catch up on missing trips. 

The Overboard  40L duffel bag is absolutely amazing the way it swallows shopping. Provided the side buckles are undone [or loosened off] the bag can expand to its full height, breadth and width. It has at least four times the useful volume of my former Carradice 'Camper Longflap' without the slightest risk of the loss of any contents. It remains completely waterproof as far as falling rain or spray is concerned. Only full submergence would require the top be Velcro, roll sealed and strapped up tight.

Those with a suitable rack should forget about overpriced and undersized saddlebags with their usual cycling markup. I wish I had discovered these bags years ago. Spring daffodil coloured and nice and light too! Can be seen for  miles compared with black or olive drab. Lots of reflective detail which doesn't fade to nothing within a year like a Carradice.

There is no heavy, doubled canvas lid to constantly fall back down as one tries to load or unload under the back of the protruding saddle. The full size, gaping neck just needs to be pulled out for the full area of the bag to become available for loading, unloading or sorting the contents. The full width Velcro strips provide just the right amount of stiffness to keep the top wide open.

It is not unlike working with an open box and just as easy to deal with. I really must take some new pictures to show what I mean. I always seem to have my camera at the bottom of the bag when I do remember to to take some more pictures.

It finally rained after morning coffee and toast and then forgot to stop. If the drive gets any wetter it will take a tracked, amphibious vehicle to get in or out. Watching the postman's van negotiating the bottomless sumps is a real, nail-biting experience. I have been throwing rocks into the puddles but it hasn't helped very much. Riding my trike in and out collects so much mud it looks like one of those fat wheeled  trikes. I have to look for puddles to ride through on the way to the shops. Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 28th 40F, 4C, breezy with a heavy overcast with more rain, or showers, promised. Becoming windier and wetter as the day progressed. With the trees rocking and the wind vanes struggling to settle on a southerly direction. It dried up  by late morning but was incredibly dark all day. Too busy for a ride.

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25 Nov 2017

25th November 2017. Not my coal fired battleship!

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Saturday 25th 32-42F, 0-6C, sky clearing, thin mist, with some sunshine threatened. It was quite slippery where the road salting hadn't quite reached. I passed a few pheasants at close quarters but they seemed unmoved by my presence. The first flying bird I saw was a large, brown, bird of prey. Followed by five geese in a perfectly staggered row, then a Yellowhammer and a tiny wren. Which was bouncing around in a roadside tree like it was in a pinball machine. The sun waited until I was returning home before burning through the clouds to blind me to oncoming traffic. A normal Saturday shopping ride is indicated.

Strange weather. The early sun soon vanished. To be replaced by much thicker mist and a heavy overcast.

Some sort of Christmas decoration sale had the new cycle path littered with moron's cars. I limited myself to folding one rear view mirror.

Nobody was observing the speed limits [as usual] along the stretch where the new cycle path is still being laid with glacial haste. The earliest sections are now so deep in leaf liter that they will soon need a forest harvester to clear the pioneering growth of birch trees.

One village idiot is enjoying his revenge for losing a narrow strip of his vast estate by raking decorative gravel onto the new cycle path. Not only that but he gets his revenge with compound interest. By offering to rake the verge gravel from half a dozen homes in series, onto the new cycle path. 

By some miracle, or somebody local reading my blog, the years-old cardboard cover over a bottomless pit in the cycle path has finally been tarmacked. I wonder if they found any fossils or cave art down there?

Talking of cardboard cut-outs: The musical chairs election to the gravy train has been held but the election placards are still composting on the lamp-posts. Some of the parties have had decades to do something [anything] right [but haven't yet] yet are still demanding yet another chance to fail to fulfill any of their promises.

Probably desperate to spend more taxpayer's money on private parties in their latest, palatial, Louis 14th inspired, town halls. Not to mention lavish trips abroad to check out top restaurants, rack up huge booze tabs and enjoy the best seats at the top baseball and basketball matches. I call that theft. Transparency International just calls it corruption.



Still, it's only a drop in the ocean compared with the expenditure on a fleet of coal-fired battleships. Even when built by starving, worm-ridden, North Korean slaves. Plus the cost of vast squadrons of fighter aircraft matched only by Putin the Truly Awful. It seems the taxpayer is going to have to buy up and demolish every house in South Jutland [Jylland] because of the racket these new planes will make at their 'private' airfield.

The sun had fought its way back out again as I headed for home. By which time I had warmed up and had to remove my cardigan and scull cap despite a chilly headwind. The heavy winter [scooterist's] gloves were comfortable without becoming sweaty on their first outing this year. 15 miles.

Sunday 26th 38F, 3C, very heavy overcast. First, of three days of continuous rain! We already need a rubber dinghy to get down the drive!

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21 Nov 2017

21st November 2017 Only on Tuesdays?

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Tuesday 21st 39F, 4C, calm, slightly misty, heavy overcast. Promise of showers.

I was just reading about a street in Bristol where they close the road to traffic on Tuesdays. The road becomes a playground and meeting place for the residents and their children who are normally isolated in their homes.

The isolated, and elderly in particular, suffer from mental problems due to an almost complete lack of social contact. The supermarket may be their only social life and a hideously meager one at that. Once there was a corner shop where the owner knew every name and family history in the village. Now there is a pre-teenager rushing to empty the checkout belt to make room for more cola cylinders and chocolate bars.

My own rural childhood, back in the 1950s, was almost bereft of traffic. There must have been some but I wasn't really aware of it. The roads were our playgrounds, football stadiums, marbles courts and race tracks for our cycles, pedal cars, sledges and soapbox trolleys. It is a real shock to go back via Google Earth Street View to see cars parked nose to tail. Where once there was only the highly mobile, butcher's van, rare glimpses of the district nurse's Morris Minor or the occasional coal lorry.

The freedom to roam in an affordable car has had a devastating impact on society. Our children suffer from chronic inactivity, respiratory disease and obesity. So that their morbidly obese neighbours can drive the 100 yards to the local supermarket to buy fags, cola and sweets. One might even argue that the car has become a powered wheelchair for many. Without a car, their mobility would be so drastically reduced that they could no longer "enjoy" the lifestyle they have chosen for themselves.

If they decided to make the walk to the shops they would suffer the noise, exhausts fumes, tyre spray and very real dangers of the sociopathic traffic racing to be anywhere else but right there. Drivers are de-facto warders for the countless, involuntary prisoners in their own homes.

Even 'lifers' do not suffer extended solitary confinement. American, death row prisoners have more of a social life than many innocent, elderly people. What was their crime against humanity that the old should suffer such harsh treatment?

Walked to the village. Only three NDEs today. By which I man near death experiences had I not taken to the verge to save my own life from blind-corner-cutting drivers. Is this what they mean by around the bend? Seven cormorants went over in a dead straight line. I hope they are keeping an eye out for aerial commuters and drones. No ride today.

Wednesday 22nd 49F, 10C, very heavy overcast, rain and breezy. A pause in the rain brought out the optimist in me and I toddled off down the flooded drive.

The wind turbines were doing their party trick of the wings disappearing into the mist above the nacelle. A Goshawk, or similar with pointy wings, flew over. Followed by sightings of two more birds of prey within a hundred yards.

I only managed about three quarters of a mile before it started drizzling heavily. I was soon very wet around the edges. Not helped by all the spray from the traffic. Let me know when I start having fun and I'll start celebrating.

Thursday 23rd 49F, 10C, mild, heavy overcast with rain and strong winds again. No walk or ride today. Shopped in the car! Eek.

Friday 24th 43F, 6C, heavy overcast with all day rain forecast again. A grey, 40 minute walk to the village and back. It stayed dry until the last 1/4 of a mile. By 10.30 it was tipping down! I was sent out on a fool's errand in the afternoon. Which is probably an appropriate description. Then  I had to retrace my route and take a detour to another shop. Quite hilly too. Unlucky for some but a pleasant rural ride for most of the way.  I think I need a shorter handlebar extension/stem. The handlebars are hurting my hands despite the gel padding and in the gloves. Though it could be the change of saddle from Brooks B17 to Vetta SL. I'm probably sitting further forwards which throws the weight onto my hands. A rearward seating position better balances the rider by shifting their C of G rearwards too. 13 miles.

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20 Nov 2017

20th November 2017 More mink gull nonsense.

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Monday 20th 33-40F, 1-4C, calm, light frost on the grass and sunny. The Danish news website was discussing road rage. It seems that cyclists are more likely to want a fight. While drivers are apt to give a rude gesture. Perhaps I'd better sign up for a martial arts class! They say it is never too late.

Two Whooper swans flew noisily overhead as I headed to the village. At the same moment a huge, DSV, articulated lorry came around the first blind bend completely on the wrong side of the road! I jumped onto the verge as he snaked back onto the correct side with another wild 'twitch' further along the straight.

Later I scattered a clutch of small, buff, field birds [Grey Partridges?]  and then had some fun with the mink gulls. They are always reliable scaredy cats even from 200 yards away. All it takes is a rumour for them all to take off into a spin. Plenty of Fieldfares and Redwings about at the moment. Some flocks must be well over 200 and an exciting sight as they move between the trees. Lots of pheasants too.

I was allowed out for a ride to the village. Quite cool despite a lack of wind. Only 7 miles. No ill effects from yesterday's ride. Going well without obvious fatigue.

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13 Nov 2017

13th November 2017 A robin isn't just for Christmas.

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Monday 13th 29-41F, -1+5C, white frost, clear sky with sunshine. Enjoyed over an hour in bright sunshine walking to the distant woods by track and lane. Took lots of pictures of the sharply lit landscape under a feathery sky.

I walked back with a cold, northerly wind on my right cheek with the warmth of the low sun on my left. 'Steam' was rising from thickets of weeds as crows harassed a buzzard up on the hill. I haven't seen a hare for what seems like ages.

As I had to collect heavy materials in the trailer again I shopped in the car. It was a a beautiful day with almost constant sunshine but rather cool.

Tuesday 14th 40F, 4C, heavy overcast, drizzle and breezy. With rain and wind forecast for this morning. Possible brightening later. A horribly wet, cold and miserable morning. No walk but I was able to work outside for a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Wednesday 15th 41-48F, 5-9C, misty and overcast but with brightness promised. The mist was clearing rapidly as I walked towards the village. As I glanced across towards the woods I could clearly see a well defined top to the mist. I hovered to catch the early morning light through misty trees. However, clouds soon came across and the mist descended thicker than before. A pheasant crossed the lane in front of me and toddled off across a large, bare field. When it had perfect cover only yards away behind a hedge.

The mist remained under a heavy overcast until mid afternoon and then some sunshine. Too busy for a ride.

Thursday 16th 43F, 6C, light winds, very heavy overcast, slightly misty. Rain or showers forecast. Rain and showers duly supplied in abundance.

Friday 17th 36-45F, 2-7C, calm, smudgy clouds, brightening. A cool but pleasant walk in bright sunshine. A small bird of prey, not much larger than a blackbird, went low and fast along the verge before landing again. Then an immaculately dressed, Hooded crow landed nearby and strutted about on the lane. Too busy for a ride on an otherwise perfect day for one.

Saturday 18th 42F, 6C, breezy with a heavy overcast, wind and and rain, or showers, on the menu. Walked into drizzle on the way to the village. It stopped on the way back. Everything is saturated with puddles on the roads and the drive thinly flooded from end to end. Too busy for a ride.

Sunday 19th 40F, 4C, overcast with pouring rain. Expected to brighten later. Quite a keen north-westerly wind as I took an early walk. The sun was struggling to make headway through the mixed, fast-moving clouds. Conditions remain extremely soggy underfoot. A robin perched briefly on my handlebars after I parked the trike outside to tidy the shed. In Gravely Blighted a robin would pass almost unnoticed. Here in Denmark robins are very shy and rarely seen in my own experience. I doubt I see one in several years of active bird watching on my walks and rides.

I was allowed out for a ride in bright sunshine but strong north-westerly winds. Saw lots of birds of prey. Flying, perching and wandering the fields. Going well. 20 miles.

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12 Nov 2017

12th November 2017 Them clouds, eh?

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Sunday 12th 37F, 3C, pinkish clouds with a bit of blue and dead calm. There was ice on the car yesterday evening but no frost on the grass today. Supposedly dry but more cloudy than yesterday. I looked out of the window in the afternoon to see the most amazing, anvil shaped clouds following each other. They were soft focus as if fiercely brushed by the wind.

Another, huge, arched cloud looked as if it were produced by smoke. With dark trails of convoluted cloud twisted grotesquely down below. Even the trace of a comic superhero going supersonic in a splatter of condensate. Don't expect a scientific description of clouds from me. I was deliberately dummed down by the BBC, for several decades, before escaping their dark, satanic mind control.

India and China are competing for filthiest air on the planet. With India winning easily by density but losing out badly on mask availability on the grounds of deliberate, long term poverty for those who work very long hours in the open <cough> air.

What sort of collective, global insanity is it which allows farmers to illegally burn their harvested fields?  Or for ordinary people to consider sitting nose-to-tail in traffic, for hours on end, every single day, is a useful pastime in an increasingly limited lifespan?

Gravely Blighted was the same in my youth. I could cycle, or tricycle, the distance between Bath and Bristol faster than the traffic from center to center. I would see the same vehicles every single day at both ends of the journey. As I wound my way past the often deliberately obstructing traffic.

Raving lunatics would risk their own and other's lives, by desperately overtaking each other to claim one car length in the daily gridlock. Woohooo! Spot the loonies! The offspring of these same nutters are doing exactly the same today! Shame they closed all the big asylums. It's all "care in the community" these days and they are all allowed to drive. It's a basic human right. Which is just wrong on so many level but does at least keep the A&E factories busy and nobody likes unemployment.

A cool walk in modest sunshine. The mink gulls were being noisy but not enjoying their usual tornado, debris field antics. A convoy of 4WDs were looking for something to shoot. As the melancholy village church bell called pointlessly to a non-existent congregation.

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11 Nov 2017

10th November 2017 R.A.W. and hansom cab droppings!

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Friday 10th 44F, 7C,  very heavy overcast, light winds. A wet and stormy day for many in Denmark. We seem to be luckier, this time, with only 30 mph gusts but all day rain. I managed 3/4 mile under a ragged, mixed up sky before I heard the patter of rain on my jacket. It soon stopped but I was heading home by then.

I'm definitely going to register RAW [Rural Asphalt Walking] as a Dangerous Sport. Walking on mud-plastered roads, while dodging NDEs [Near Death Experiences] by ZDs [Zombie Drivers] totally eclipses any Everest climb in winter. Or even hopping, with one pink sock and one red sock, across Antarctica, to capture their latest GBR "proficiency badge" and a brief moment of fame.

I'm amazed nobody has picked up on the thrills and spills of a quiet, rural morning walk for an exciting computer game for immature psychopaths. Perhaps it could be included in the next Olympics if the selection jury can be presented with enough <cough> artificial sweeteners? Keep death off the roads. Go Waymo! 😉

I had to collect some fuel blocks for the stove so went shopping in the car. There were several cloudbursts. Leaving the roads very wet and heavily puddled. Even streams running across from one verge to the other in a couple of places.

Saturday 11th 38-42F,  3-6C, the wet day which was promised looks much less threatening now. A mixture of pink clouds and blue sky and even a threat of sunshine.

I was just thinking yesterday how many car makers are heading for the dinosaur's graveyard. Just like steam locomotives and horse drawn carriages before them. Meanwhile the Chinese are going to become the new transport hope for the masses. Just as Japan was in the 1960s with affordable cars, high performance motorcycles and a whole range of exciting and affordable, new technology.

Many of my parent's generation still remembered the Japanese war atrocities and nobody could pronounce the strange new names in the shops and showrooms. Yet still the Japanese sold lots of product and dragged itself up by its own bootstraps. Many European business are still wondering whether they should introduce manufacturing methods already practiced by the Japanese over half a century ago.

Every time it seems the dinosaurs are caught napping. As a new raft of technology sweeps away the proud names of yesteryear. The writing is on the wall for the filthy, oil-fired, car makers. As China spends billions on electric vehicle research. Add in robotics and AI and the guys who presently pay themselves big, fat bonuses can soon retire to an early, booze-sodden grave. To leave vast fossils of empty factories on the ever-changing, consumer landscape.

Anybody want to buy some hansom cab, horse droppings, for their roses? Going cheap, in our closing down sale! No reasonable offer refused!

Somebody had really messed up this morning's cloud arrangements! Probably put out to tender and the low bidder had used worn out, pre-teens, discarded by the offshore-owned, monopolistic, Danish supermarket chains.

Phozzy, the itinerant pheasant, was hanging around outside the gate again. Probably hoping for a free pass from The Head Gardener to avoid certain death at the hands of the local shooting parties. The Head Gardener is a soft touch for such wildlife, sob stories.

I pretended I hadn't seen him and walked on into the wind past the swirling McSlob's debris and rolling beer cans. My eyes watering and my hands aching from the unexpected drop in temperature. Old pharts, like myself, suffer from considerable inertia and it can take a while to adapt to climate change.

Once again I was treated to the patter of tiny drops on my jacket but I am becoming quite adept at pulling 1-80s on the mud-caked roads. To plod homewards with only half a decent walk to my name.

I returned to find Phozzy had gone to an even higher authority. He was standing defiantly on the ridge of the trike shed in full dress uniform and complaining bitterly about his treatment as a refugee. To which I pointed out that he wouldn't exist if he hadn't been bred by the shooting crowd in the first place. He muttered something about Soylent Green and flew off to scrap with other, pompous, deluded males in the back fields.

I was allowed out for a Saturday ride in bright sunshine but a rather cool crosswind. One of the supermarkets was having a serious huff and ignoring the discounts they themselves had advertised in their own, special offers comic. This is illegal, as far as I know, but customer service has always been at the [very] bottom of the agenda in there. As in: Never dare to get in the way of the shelf filling staff. Who's work is infinitely more important than your right to be there. And, don't dare to ask where in their apparently random collection of detritus one might find some particular delicacy. If they didn't stock unique items, not found at the other offshore monopolies, I wouldn't bother with them at all except for amusement.

Queues, miles long down the aisles and ridiculously few and surly checkout staff is the norm. Now they have some major competition, right next door, they may have to buck up their ideas. Though I'm not holding my breath. Their always heavily littered car park is usually packed on Saturday's but now it was quite literally empty! Except for the scattered, fallen branches from the boundary trees. Which have been there so long they are beginning to fossilize into the concrete blocks. Oh, dear, never mind. 😊

There were a few predatory psychopaths driving around this morning looking for victims . Sadly they had to make do with me. As they brushed closely past on wide main roads, at more than twice the 30mph [50kph] speed limit with no oncoming traffic. Perhaps they aren't really predatory psychopaths after all? But merely very ordinary, retarded, inadequate, registered blind, senile, drug-addled old drunks, driving without a license, car tax, MOT or insurance? Whatever. There's plenty of them about. 14 miles.


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6 Nov 2017

6th November 2017 A proper ride?

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Monday 6th 34-45F, 1-6C, clear sky, white frost on the grass, calm and brightening to full sunshine. No walk, so I left about nine am. on the trike. Hint of a tailwind as I cruised comfortably at 14mph. The center of Odense is being dug up and it completely messed up all the cycle routes straight though the middle.

Shopped and then returned into a cold headwind to average about 10mph overall. The Vetta saddle wasn't too bad. Not too tired after a four hour ride with an hour for shopping and countless traffic lights. I made sure I ate my mature cheddar sandwich, two muesli choccy bars and a banana washed down with pure apple juice. 42 miles. I felt tired and headachy later so sipped water in case  I was dehydrated. It seemed to help.

Tuesday 7th 35-47F, 2-8C, white frost, clear skies and calm. It should be another pleasant day though remaining cool. The long range forecast is for a cold winter. It was quite chilly on my hands on my walk to the village. A gentle mist hung over the church pond but the sun was confusing the camera at the best angles. There were bullfinches in the hedge. A shopping ride for 7 miles. No ill effects from yesterday's ride.

Wednesday 8th 34-46F, 1-8C, white frost, calm but rather cloudy. Walked to the village and back. No ride today.

Thursday 9th 42F, 6C, heavy overcast, calm with wind and rain later. A 15 year old boy has been prosecuted for throwing chewing gum at motorway traffic. He was given a two weeks suspended prison sentence while his younger brother was beneath the age of criminal responsibility.

A terrorist, who threw a huge concrete block onto a German tourist's car, killing the mother and very seriously injuring the father, is still at large. Further stones have been thrown from bridges in the same area without identification of the perpetrators.

Danish bridges remain free of the potential dangers of security cameras. Cyclists or pedestrians should not take the law into their own hands by employing any cameras while crossing motorway bridges and should ideally turn them off. Otherwise they face the distinct risk of prosecution for disturbing the right to privacy of all terrorists.

Ironically, should a serious incident take place, the police will canvas camera owners who might <cough> "accidentally" have recorded a terrorist incident. Should the owner of these same images share them publicly they will still be prosecuted for a breach of all terrorist's basic human rights to absolute privacy while committing an act of terrorism.

A Danish council is being prosecuted for killing an 81-year-old when one of its signs blew down. I have had a couple of nasty moments when first, a temporary traffic light blew over right in front of my trike as I was riding along a main road. One second later and I would have been flattened! The crash suggested the top part weighed a ton. Last week, some deluded idiots who were setting up election placards and lost control and the placards blew down onto the road right in front of me.


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5 Nov 2017

4th November 2017 Autumnal melancholy.

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Saturday 4th 48-50F, 9-10C, heavy overcast, light winds. There was shooting around local copses so I stopped to watch. The several dogs present were wildly enthusiastic but rather erratic. Perhaps it was because their ears were stuffed with ear protection? Several pheasants were brought down but one escaped numerous  wasted shots. I am always surprised by the huge variation in the noise made by the guns. Some seem almost slow while others make are very short 'crack.' A large bird of prey was watching from a local mound and seemed to be moving steadily closer. Fortunately it changed its mind and flew off in the opposite direction over the village.

Enjoyed my usual Saturday ride to more distant shops. Only 16 miles. Going well.

Sunday 5th 48-50F, 9-10C, heavy overcast, light winds, showers or rain are forecast. Though it stayed dry for a longer walk up through the woods and back long the quiet road. A couple of small deer dashed away as a female kestrel hovered busily. Until shooed away by a U-turn crow. The sodden ground squelched beneath my darkly wet boots. My flapping trouser legs blackened to the knees from brushing through unkempt reed on grassy, brambled, lumpy ways.

There is a delicious melancholy about the somber and muted tones of autumn. It is easy to become lost in nostalgia as the wind itself carries a forlorn mood under ragged skies. The dimly remembered chill cuts through thinning trees and straggly hedges and across sparsely cropped fields. Known landmarks sneak back into clear view in the absence of crops with the trees suddenly bereft of leaves.

Temporary field ponds reflect distant woods and dismal farms. Distant, newly naked, tree-lined lanes appear unexpectedly as the light is finally able to reach damp asphalt again. Small, mixed flocks of birds move nervously along hedgerows or scatter untidily across the wide spaces. Solitary crows flap like oily rags through the drab landscape under untidy, leaden clouds. On endless, unknown errands to be somewhere other than just here, right now.

No ride today but I may be allowed out for a longer ride tomorrow. Sunshine promised all day with light winds and a trip to the city in prospect. 40-45 miles should still be well within my capacity despite tailing off my mileage this year. The Vetta SL saddle hasn't been a pain yet. At least, not on shorter rides.

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4 Nov 2017

3rd November 2017: Bags I, going Overboard.

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Friday 3rd 45F, 7C, overcast but dry. A short, grey walk counting McSlob's McMulti-Litter.

The Danish news tells us that, on average, a stone is thrown at traffic every four days by fuckwitted copycats in Denmark. The latest 'victim' worthy of the headlines, was a stone breaking the roof window of a bus. I wonder how that score's on the fuckwitted, young cave person's register of success? Does it score as highly as [say] a stone through the windscreen which kills the driver? As one did the poor German women and which left her husband in a coma and a child without parents. No cameras? No crime. No results. The perfect terrorist murder is as close as the nearest motorway bridge!

In Denmark, the fuckwit terrorist's basic human rights to privacy exceed all other's right to life. So no security cameras are allowed on motorway footbridges. That's alright then. I'd dangle the fuckwits by a rope from the same motorway bridge on which they were caught.[If ever!] Then let articulated lorries play 'conkers' with them.

The serial McSlobs litterer is continuing its campaign. I counted five items within a couple of square yards/meters from one simpleton's lardy, face filler.

You only need one graphic example to put the fear of maturity into these brain dead, plagiarist, rock throwing scum. What part of "terrorism" don't the politicooze understand? If it's carrying a loaded gun in a public space then it's a bløødy terrorist. Not just another brain dead, drooling gang member. If its hurling large rocks off bridges onto oncoming traffic then its a bløødy terrorist. Not some immature, human excrement playing silly boy's games to impress their fellow morons.

The election placards, demanding another free pass to the corruption of the gravy train, are littering the lampposts and verges at the moment. To be left to rot in the winter rain once the 'musical chairs' results are handed out. Democracy? Isn't that where individual elected members of an assembly get a vote in making decisions based on their conscience? I don't know they they bother with elections. What the party leader says is Law. Disagree and the member is no longer a loyal, party drone. So they might as well print cardboard cutouts of the party leader to place on all the plush, musical chairs.

The sky was black to the north as I set off in golden, afternoon sunshine. With the autumn woods lit up with an LSD color pallet against the blue-black sky. It remained dry until just after I returned seven miles later. A crosswind going both ways.

Still enjoying the big, yellow "Overboard" saddlebag. I can hardly believe the years of using recycled [charity shop] sports bags hooked and swinging freely over the saddle pin. Then the sports bags hanging over the "shrunken head" Carradice "Bijou" Camper Longflap. With too little room for even a single row of 1L milk cartons!

The "floor space" of the Overboard duffel bag allows two full rows, plus loads of other stuff. There is so much room the shopping can be sorted and resorted, at will, without damage. The Super Dreadnought Abus Mini-U Ship's Ballast lock sits silently, immovably and readily available in the rubberized, external, net pocket on top of the bag with Velcro security top closure.

Lots of reflective surfaces and bright yellow is as high visibility as you could ever hope for to defend you against White Van Man and deluded Audi driving psychopaths. There are black and blue options of the Overboard Duffel Bag if you are feeling suicidally "Sky Team" over the winter. Though you'll probably end up black and blue yourself if you're really that daft!

The image left shows the bag fully raised for loading. The mouth of the bag is wide open for feeding its hungry maw. In theory it could be used stuffed right to the top, just like this, but the top straps are too short to allow secure closure. The side straps are supposed to pull the rolled top down tight to make it fully waterproof but they just flap in the spokes unless I tuck them away around the buckles. The length of the unwanted side straps would have been much better used to extend the top straps to make them much more useful.

This is about the only criticism I have of the 40L Overboard Duffel bag. Every touring tricyclist should have one! You do need a proper trike luggage rack and I have extended my Trykit rack with a a cut-off draining board tray for more even support.

I use the cloth carrying strap over the saddle pin to keep the bag securely on the tray. Without a rack the bag is probably too soft to avoid the whirling circular saws of the cassette just below. I know from long experience that you can't rely on the trike's top axle loop to keep a loaded, soft bag safe from a chainsaw massacre!

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1 Nov 2017

1st November 2017 Butt ugly does as only butt-uggly can?

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Wednesday 1st 52F, 11C, mild, grey, misty and wet. Just a short walk in fine drizzle while trying to avoid the road spray from cars and lorries.

Another of those butt-ugly, cowardly terrorists has tried to boost his failed manhood by running down innocent cyclists, on a cycle path, in Manhattan, New York. I suppose all terrorists, abusers and other criminals are cowardly, infant school bullies who never grew up. Every new mug shot seems to get uglier than the last. If that now-infamous film producer had cast himself as an alien slug, people would have run screaming from the cinema because it was too, hideously real!  

Thursday 2nd 48F, 9C, bright sunshine with a cool wind. Walked to the village and back under a cloudless sky in light traffic. It steadily clouded over all morning and then began to drizzle mid-afternoon. No ride today.

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30 Oct 2017

30th October 2017 Practice makes perfect?

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Monday 30th 33-43F, 1-6C, calm and bright with white frost on the grass. Fortunately the massive flooding over north Fyn never quite reached the heights of the dire forecasts. Better to be prepared than not.

A gorgeous sunny morning though a little cool on bare hands. I walked up to a local high point to capture the unusually clear views of the landscape. The green blush of the immature crops provides a nicely decorative touch to the drab earth. Autumn colours lift the normally dark uniformity of the trees and woods. Another beautiful day without a ride.

Tuesday 31st 45-49F, 7-9C,  rather grey at times with rare sunny periods. Almost no wind. Had a longer walk up to the woods for an hour and half. The first bird I saw, apart from the dozen or more nutty blackbirds was a large bird of prey. Then I saw a very large heron land beyond a hump in a field and thought it was a stork. I never saw it again so could not confirm its identity.

A small robin lay dead by the verge. I doubt we see one robin per year over here. Back in Gravely Blighted we had robins feeding from our hands in the garden and standing on our gardening tools. Their tinkling song was constantly in the background in the countryside.

While I was up on the ridge this morning a whining tractor went along the road at the bottom of the hill. It was odd to hear it at intervals where there were breaks in the hedges or landscape until it was probably a good couple of miles away. The autumn leaf fall and bare fields have revealed new vistas and alignments.

The Head Gardener and the tricycling clown have now been officially married for 50 years. Nobody gave us a chance of ever staying together because we never stopped arguing right from the very beginning. We are still arguing and still together. Practice makes perfect?

A tour to the more distant shops. Gentle crosswind going at 16mph. More of a headwind building on the way back. Rather cool on the way. Overdressed on the way back. Progress is happening on the new stretches of cycle path but still no asphalt. I'm wondering if the powers that be are reading my blog. They have been filling in the potholes I complained about last week. The regular ponds on the new road and cycle path have now been drained.  Still no progress on the excavation on the new cycle path. It must be two years since they put down a plastic mat and two marker poles over the hole. Let's see if they are gone next time. Only 14 miles.



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28 Oct 2017

27 October 2017 Cash cows to fund major navy expansion!

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Friday 27th, 48-54F, dark. Very, very dark. Walked for an hour and half through the very damp woods. Not a bad forecast today, though windy. A storm is promised for the weekend. Today wasn't a bad day but I was too busy for a ride.

McSlobs have spent billions perfecting their litter and it shows.[Everywhere!]

Saturday 28th 50-54F, 10-12C, overcast with a storm on the way for the early hours of Sunday. We could see gusts of 30m/s or 65mph from the north west. This is our most sheltered wind direction provided the trees stay standing. It has been very wet of late and that makes them vulnerable. Our largest tree, a vast, multi-stemmed willow is still in leaf. Today is less windy with showers and gusting to nearly 40mph.

The Danish government has announced that 11 speed cameras are to be erected on known, dangerous, main roads. I think it is safe to assume that orders for a further two Dreadnought class, coal-fired battleships have already been placed on the expectation of rich pickings from the countless <cough> cash cow victims.

As the vast profits become  regularly available [from more helpless victims] I would expect a full nuclear deterrent to be next on the Gov.dk shopping list. News of orders for several, coal-fired, nuclear-armed submarines are very likely to follow. This is provided, of course, that enough North Korean slaves can still be mustered for the Polish shipyards. Should be no problem following more idle threats of sanctions against the Kim cult's ugly leader.

Halloween cat, trick-or-treating field mice. Though strictly speaking it doesn't exist until a Dane independently invents Halloween under Janteloven rules.

The rigid Jante's Law prevents Denmark from having a cocaine-powered nuclear deterrent. Unlike the UK which has no such qualms. Do you suppose they all had to snort simultaneously in the interests of security? Denmark must wait until a pure bred Dane independently invents the technology. However, all of this assumes that the entire wealth of the country is not simply handed over to some offshore crook in the form of completely false, VAT repayments.

A sudden sharp shower delayed my walk by moments but it stopped just as abruptly. Rather cool in the gusty wind under grey and threatening skies. Much the same for my afternoon ride but, yet again, it stayed dry. Only 7 miles.

Sunday 29th 44F, 7C, dark, cloudy with showers and strong gusts. Thanks to its unusual, NW-northerly orientation the overnight storm went all but unnoticed. It is just getting light enough now at 7.50 CET [6.50 Winter Time] to see the trees against the leaden sky. We seem to have avoided any visible damage.

A good day for proving the reality of wind chill as I pressed against the headwind on my way to the village, eyes watering and my hands deep in my jacket pockets. It felt rather like reaching 30mph when descending a local hill. Unfortunately I forgot to take my pocket anemometer so have no solid data on wind speeds. A large, grey shrew dashed across the lane in front of me. With its legs moving too fast to see clearly.

Coming home provided a little extra impetus on the climb as the trees roared overhead with a distinct chill at my back. There was plenty of evidence of the storm in small twigs and leaves lying everywhere but no obvious structural damage. It is clearing to sunshine now with the wind slowly dying down. The leaf rake will get some serious exercise this morning. Provided, that is, the Head Gardener allows it to be booked out against my signature and duplicate proof of identity. Which were subsequently denied.

Far too windy for cycling today despite glorious sunshine. There is talk of very serious flooding due to the huge water mass being pressed onto North Fyn coasts and estuaries by this morning's storm Ingolf. 1.8 meters [6'] is being called a once in a century flood. Thanks to comprehensive online mapping I was able to select the effects of 1.8 meters flooding due to climate change. A shockingly large area could be affected including parts of Odense, Bogense and Nyborg. Odense is the major city on mid-north Fyn and has an estuary, ship canal and harbour.  

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23 Oct 2017

23rd October 2017 Flower power.

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Monday 23rd 49F, 9C, heavy grey overcast with light winds. Rain promised for this morning but brightening later. A grey walk expecting rain. It never did. So I could have gone out. Any mention of sunshine was a complete exaggeration.

Just for a change: Here's one from the Head Gardener.
For Dave, my gardening brother:


Tuesday 24th 51F, 11C, light winds and heavy overcast. I was already spitting with rain as I left the house and continued to increase as I walked the quiet lanes. The forecast is for two days of rain or showers. I worked outside all morning before it turned very wet after lunch.

Wednesday 25th 56F, 13C. Heavy overcast, windy and wet. Copenhagen cyclists are complaining about the lack of cycle parking facilities. It was so wet I went shopping in the car.

Thursday 26th 51F, heavy overcast, breezy from the west. The cloud was breaking up enough to show blue patches but still no sunshine. Walked to the village and back. A large bird of prey went low overhead in a beeline for the church trees but became tangled in restless mink gulls and aggressive jackdaws. A small black cat was hunting on an overgrown lawn. It drew itself up and pounced but was disappointed.

Wot's your empty lane like for your morning walk?

The BBC News has a short video about the police monitoring the 1.5m [5'] minimum overtaking clearance from cyclists. Yeah, right! Most drivers thought the minimum distance was less than 6" provided it did not involve damage to their precious paint. Besides the mirrors fold back when you hit cyclists hard enough.

I can well remember posts on one online discussion forum. Where the cavemen drivers objected to the projecting, orange 'lollipops' some cyclists used to warn drivers against getting too close. Some drivers saw these as a direct affront to their basic human rights to own the road. Red rags to a bull, it was!

Can you even imagine if driver-free cars become the norm? One should never use the term driver-less because it suggests that drivers are somehow as remotely as good at driving as the machines. They'd definitely have to have an override button for the robot drivers. Just to avoid many drivers having a complete meltdown if the car would not immediately overtake to push every impeding cyclist right off the road.

It has never failed to amaze me how many human beings are still being allowed to drive. In "real life" they can barely function adequately. Yet they are still allowed behind the wheel of a car to perform  parallel processing, multitasking, have lightning reaction times, show constant high levels of concentration and terrifyingly acute observation skills.

Driving is, quite literally, one of the most demanding tests of human performance if done properly. Yet, almost anybody can get and keep a driving license to perform this supremely advanced skill,  almost at will.

So astonishingly competent are they at these incredibly demanding and taxing tests of ability that they can even smoke, eat, text, talk and read. While simultaneously and completely safely, exceeding local speed limits, often by 50-100%. The human race really is utterly amazing! We are so incredibly lucky there are no deaths or injuries on the roads. All because the entire human population is able to drive with such absolute levels of perfection. Even when drunk, drugged, registered blind, tired and totally, doolally senile. Mind that BIKE!

Just rode into town to collect a parcel. It was there yesterday according to Track and Trace but, as usual, no message from the Post Office. Unfortunately it went via what passes for the terminally ill and dying, Danish Post Office instead of the excellent GLS parcels service. So my journey was completely wasted.  Having spent another 12 minutes waiting, yet again, for Post Office customer services to answer their phone, they confirmed the parcel really was there. So now I get a a second ride. And did. 13 miles.


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21 Oct 2017

21st August: Puncturing psycho's egos.

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Saturday 21st 52F, 11C, almost calm, heavy overcast. Walkies! A grey and miserable start with misty drizzle as I tried to capture the rather drab mood of the landscape. I watched in amusement as a jackdaw paddled bow-legged in a field pond beside an immature gull. They both eyed each other as the jackdaw pushed the gull's social boundaries.

Then, just as I thought it was a quiet start to the shooting season, rapid gunfire erupted from the woods ahead. I decided to do an about-turn rather than entangle myself in a potential conflict of interests. The farmers and landowners tolerate my muddying my boots all over their property. So a bit of give and take is obviously desirable.

I had punctured by the time I reached the village. Probably small flints carried freely onto the roads with their generous quantities of mud by the farmers. There has also been a lot of broken bottles on the cycle paths recently. So a local psycho may be expressing their artistic talent for glass arranging.

On the way back an evil, registered blind, senile, drug addled, drunken, psychopathic bully brushed my elbow with his wing mirror. Then accelerated away on a straight road. Shame action cameras are illegal in Denmark or I'd have his registration plate and the police could have a word with the raving lunatic.

Perhaps they'd also do something about pushing cyclists straight off a raised pavement cycle path into the traffic just as the road is narrowed by bollards outside the school. Further spoilt by broad asphalt ramps for several private drives. They'll easily recognise the spot by the huge, scattered potholes which have been there for longer than living memory. Several cave divers have gone missing down there but nobody cared. They couldn't hear their desperate calls above the roar of 7-axle, rat-running articulated lorries and speeding Audi and Mercedes drivers being self-important. What price a single traffic camera pointing in each direction to curb the folly?

Ironically, the immigrant drug gangs in the cities have been painting over the lenses of literally hundreds of security cameras to hide their illegal activities. You can well imagine what that has cost the ratepayers/taxpayers! I didn't even know these cameras existed.

Only 7 miles, limped home on the flat tyre. It's daft to get filthy from gritty tires mending a puncture so close to home. I have had new tyres and tubes resting in a box in the shed for about a year now. They were just waiting for en excuse for an airing. The old tyres are worn flat across the treads like a steam roller. So their days were numbered even with my present low mileages. I can't remember puncturing this year but have probably forgotten.

There were a few tiny pale blue dots where the tread was showing the protective under-strip through very small holes. There were no cuts though. So they can't be what passes for Continental "rubber."  I'm still using the Schwalbe Durano Plus in 700x25C. A recommendation from a bike shop, wheel builder in the UK a few years back and very reliable. These tyres still have a liveliness about them despite their excellent puncture protection.

 Though smooth on the treads they are too heavy for a racing tyre. I run mine at about 90psi after some experimentation. Quite an attractive tyre it doesn't look odd, at all, on a racing bike or trike for commuting or touring. Still unsure about the Vetta saddle. I was shifting about more than usual. Still trying to find the sweet spot. A good saddle should be easily forgotten. Not draw attention to itself.

Brand new and already muddy!

Sunday 22nd 59F, 10C, heavy overcast, light winds. Possible sunshine this morning. Rain this afternoon. There were a few brief flashes of sunshine but not many. Walked to the village and back. No ride today.

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