27 Dec 2017

26th December 2017 A martyr to wind.

Tuesday 26th Boxing Day. 40F, 5C, heavy overcast and very windy. Expected to gust to 45mph later on a 25mph base from the SW. Not our best wind direction because we have least shelter from trees and bushes. More rain expected too. True to form it started raining as soon as I reached the road. With the roadside hedge shielding me from the weather I proceeded until I ran out of hedge. Whereupon I retreated. To be buffeted by the wind and fewer raindrops thanks to my now walking on the wrong side of the road from the tall hedge.

A fierce dragon belches smoky fire out over the forest.

Never underestimate hedges for their ability to shelter. Only half an hour's walk but it all helps to burn off some of yesterday's Christmas chocolates. I was unusually well behaved and consumed only one, small tin of organic beer all day. Today was a horribly wet and windy day.

Wednesday 27th 38-40F, 3-4C, supposed to be a quieter day after the recent gales but still, with rain forecast for later. A rather dull, grey walk in a niggling wind. Not improved by spots of rain. Small, familiar birds moved along the hedgerows. A few gulls and crows sailed overhead. I was just looking at the ten most likely symptoms for dementia and obtained a perfect score! It didn't say where to collect my prize. So now I am even more confused.

Silkeborg City Council is reminding the forgetful to switch on their bike lights with new road markings. The irony is that it is mostly teenagers and schoolkids who ride without lights. Kids who have money coming out of their ears for sweets and drinks and constant mobile phone usage. While most supermarkets are selling bright LED back and front , bike light sets for less than a £iver equivalent. [Image borrowed for educational safety purposes from DR News website.]

Late morning ride to the shops with a hilly detour back home. Only 10 miles but it all counts towards maintaining fitness. Vast flocks of perhaps a thousand Fieldfares constantly on the move. They chirrup and fly very fast.

I was stuck in only two gears. Well, the same gear on the cassette but on two different chainwheels. As soon as I arrived home I inverted the trike and tried to let some oil run inside the rear flexible loop of outer cable cover. Then it was up on the stand and changing up and down through the gears as I turned the pedals. Better, but still not great. There is so much crap on the roads the trike often looks like a sand sculpture!

Thursday 28th 34F, +1C, much cooler, light winds, looking quite clear  with a risk of sunshine. I wonder if there are any indoor sports at the Winter Olympics? With a little more training I could be quite useful in the mixed geriatrics.

Interesting story in the Danish news on Gurgle's search algorithms. They are now so clever that they can provide the [legally] hidden names of pedophiles appearing in court by applying AI to clues in the press and online. I just hope there aren't any lynchings based on false information provided by searches. There is a parallel privacy argument going on about a Danish national DNA register. This is related to the unsolved, motorway, rock throwing cases.

A stealthy, pale dragon races across the blazing sky.
[At mid right above the tree.]

Do [we] innocents have anything to fear from a universal database? Or, rather, do we really have nothing to fear? A corrupted or hacked database could damage the reputation of countless innocents. A corrupt police force, or government, could easily use it for its own ends. How can you argue against the absolute proof of guilt by science? It's no wonder many governments try to control the internet. Imagine typing in the names of the Chinese top brass and getting a very long list of their obscene wealth safely stashed in secret bank accounts and offshore, seashell companies.

A quiet walk in almost dead calm conditions until I turned into the gentle southerly wind on an exposed lane. The traffic was very light. So quiet was it that I could clearly hear aircraft flying high overhead. That is really quite unusual despite the near constant, vapour trails. Too busy making sawdust for The Head Gardener to manage a ride today. Earning house points takes priority over pretty well, everything else. Compound interest, isn't it?  😎

Friday 29th 36F, 2C.  Light winds and some sunshine again. Let us hope that those suffering from colds make a rapid recovery. Our rural isolation must help us to avoid such problems. Surgical gloves or a wet wipe of the hands after supermarket visits might help further. For now, I just need to cure the silly old tricyclist of lifting heavy weights. Walked to the village in a thin, cold wind. Returning was a delight of orange clouds as the sun rose. I took forty three images where the last few days have been a famine of dulled inspiration. Late morning rain turned to a blizzard of huge snow flakes just after 1pm. No ride today.

Saturday 30th 38-39F, 3-4C, very heavy overcast with rain. Unbroken rain later will add to the general sogginess of everything. It's no wonder people put down paving slabs, concrete and asphalt! The rain has softened every gravel and grass surface to near liquid with standing water or puddles everywhere. No ride today.

Sunday 31st 40-45F, 4-7C. Mild but breezy, heavy overcast and wet. New Year's Eve. I only managed half an mile before the rain became heavy enough to warrant a return. Small, mixed groups of birds were moving ahead of me along the roadside hedgerows. A white/pale bird of prey moved on to another tree to distance itself. Later I drove to the city in wet weather. Even wetter coming home again. With lane-wide puddles in many places. Many shops were open to sell fireworks for New Year.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


25 Dec 2017

25th December 2017 Was I there?


Monday 25th Christmas Day, 45F, 7C, continuing mild, windy and wet. Nearly 8.30am and it is just beginning to get light! Only four times in 144 years has Christmas enjoyed such mild temperatures in Denmark.

Half hour walk in roaring wind but no rain yet. A single bird of prey flew off from a roadside tree.

Merry Christmas to my remaining, regulars readers and those who arrived  here by accident.

Rather than wait for the New Year I had better explain 2017 if only to myself. The year I became 70 but still felt and acted like a foolishly active teenager. Fears of a descent into senility were warded off by continued physical and mental exertion building a large and foolishly difficult project in the garden.
I have deliberately, with The Head Gardener's aid, greatly reduced my tricycling mileage. As my average speed slowed to 10mph [and beyond] my elapsed times away from home, had been stretching beyond the merely foolish. I hate camping so longer rides would soon need a B&B. I don't like other beds so not returning home at night was not really a serious option.

I have not stuck very firmly to my supposed subject matter of past years and have become angrier and more overtly political. Though hopefully couched in just enough [probably opaque] humour not to be a complete boor nor boring. The Head Gardener and I spend every day joking about something or other. Humour is our only real defense against the indefensible.

The World has not improved to match any reasonable expectations but becomes increasingly worse as a direct result of top-down idiocy. I keep wondering why anybody would encourage them by actually going out and voting. The blatant lies are the same lies of my own childhood. The empty promises are the same ones which bought them a seat on the self-fulfilling, musical chairs of the gravy train. Cut taxes and increase services? Sounds familiar? Why would anyone be taken in?

I hope my photography has continued to give pleasure to those who like my efforts. It may not be great art but it was never intended to be more than my sharing my love of the local countryside. I no longer have the will nor the strength to drag a DSLR and a bag of lenses around with me just to capture small birds on distant hills or trees.

I seem to have worn out all the local architecture so have settled largely on landscapes. My Lumix TZ7 continues to function from a very wobbly start with a suicidal screen. I have had to clean the sensor a few times from new. No big deal with quality YT videos to show the way and enough screwdrivers to sink a battleship. How big is your screwdriver drawer?

My weird sense of humour probably continues to be too obscure for many to follow.  It was ever thus. Given that I cannot remember more than one, single, childhood joke [sic] it is highly unlikely my readers will ever be rolling off their computer chairs with tears [of laughter] running down their faces. At least not because of any deliberate effort on my part.

I find humour everywhere. Most of it is usually accidental or inadvertent. Though I get no pleasure from watching people get physically hurt as a result of their own folly. I've been there myself. Though it doesn't stop me from stating the blindingly obvious.

Okay, lecture over. Let's get started on the beer and chocolates! Cheers! 😏


22 Dec 2017

21st December 2017 Two NDEs due to WVMs.

Thursday 21st 39-42F, 4-6C, more of the same except the mist. It was a mild 43F at bedtime last night. Longest night tonight and shortest day. I was a day early in my optimism for more daylight. Wishing my life away!

The sky started off clear blue with persistent vapour trails but became progressively more cloudy. It was very pretty for a while with mackerel patches of cloud brushed with flick-outs by the wind. Then it all became rippled like a sandy beach. Even a brief moment when the prairie in front of the the forest misted over just as the sun broke free. Alas, it was almost over by the time I reached home again and it had become a grey overcast. A large bird of prey took off from the field pond in the image above. I may be allowed out on the trike after morning coffee. And was, for thirteen miles. Rather grey with a crosswind.

It seems the government has had enough of international terrorism on the motorway bridges. Cameras are finally to be fitted to a number of bridges.

Friday 22nd 39-40F, 4 and a bit C, a calm start with a slight risk of sunshine.

The Danish news has an update on the rock throwing caveman in the form of DNA traces. It seems random rock throwing is a fairly commonplace pastime in the Tarup area of NW Odense. From whence the large kerb stone was taken 7 miles to kill a German lady and to permanently cripple her husband while they were driving under a bridge across the motorway. The DNA is said to match the same vandal given to hurling stones through innocent people's windows locally.

Sadly there is no punishment where a guilty sentence can be passed to suspend such evil characters from a rope tied to the railings of said motorway bridge. It only needs one example to be made to put an end to such murderous pastimes. Not to mention a warning to the educationally challenged who consider copycat behaviour is perfectly acceptable. Is there a more cowardly and pointless act than to drop large rocks on completely random and innocent motorists for one's own entertainment? Thought not.

An update: A Dane has kindly offered a 10,000DKK, £1200GB, $1600US reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the rock throwing caveman. The philanthropist's generosity was triggered by the unease caused by regular motorway driving in the affected area. A perfect definition of terrorism IMO.

Walked the lanes in weak sunshine which chose to break through only after I returned home. Disturbed a couple of birds of prey on the fields and saw more geese and Whooper swans flying in formation. Though not together I should hastily add. That would be just, well, so wrong!

Cleaned the trike with a brush and rainwater because it was getting loaded with sand from all the road salting. My chain still goes rusty even when I oil it before every outing.

Rode to more distant shops in weak sunshine. Two NDEs. Both due to white van men[?] brushing very closely past me with only a single car approaching. They obviously lacked the brains and morals to manage even the most basic skills of driving but had still managed to buy their licenses somewhere. The first waved back when gave "it" a "helpful" hand signal. I couldn't see whether the driver was male, female, demonic or just an alien. With luck the new cycle paths will be finished this decade. But I'm afraid I can't hold my breath that long. Not at my age!

I thought I might corner the market in 1.5m [5'] long, red, plastic warning "stalks" for cyclists to bolt to their rear ends. Then realised that it might be impractical parking more than one in the cycle racks outside supermarkets. So then I thought of having megawatt lasers marking the legal minimum overtaking distance from cycles. Come within that range a you'll suffer the consequences! A genius ahead of his time? Probably not. 😉

A local supermarket had stuck their typed A4 of Christmas opening hours on their sliding door. Every time I was was perfectly lined up to read the small print, the sensor above me would open the door. Whereupon the sign would promptly vanish, stage left. Perhaps they thought I needed the [mental] exercise? Just another YouTube troll? Whatever. The trike was just as filthy, as before its premature, spring clean, when I put it away later. I checked the mileage and had exceeded my own expectations. 15, wholemeal, organic miles.

Saturday 23rd 44-48F, 7-9C, breezy becoming very windy. Forecast to be stormy tomorrow. Still quite dark at 8.30am. Had a longer walk up to the far woods and back along the marsh for 90 minutes. There was an unusual wildness to the woods with the wind roaring in my ears and the tops. One white duck and several Mallards on the pond. No ride today. It is incredibly mild for this time of year, even at night.

Sunday 24th 46F, 8C. Mild, heavy overcast with light winds. Gusts to over 40mph expected later. The wind was building during my walk but eased off again. Small clouds of finches were moving along the hedgerows. With the larger Fieldfares moving in nervous flocks above them. Fine drizzle and headwind forced a premature about-turn. A miserably dark, grey day with rain and wind.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

19 Dec 2017

19th December 2017 Cavemen drop more rocks onto Danish motorway.


Tuesday 19th and feeling slightly milder at 35-38F, 2-3C. There was vertically segregated mist when I started my walk. The background trees were softened. While pale white stripes ran across the fields and followed the folds. An early sun was soon squashed by brown cloud. Providing its own, magical, sepia filter for a while.

I reached the woods and then cut back along the side of the marsh. Parts of the rough track were frozen solid. While others were wet and very soft. Still some patches of snow lurking in the deeper shadows. The large pond was partially frozen with a few nervous Mallards skulking on the far side. Or flying off in a panic as I passed. The sky has now turned to uniform grey after a gorgeous start of unbroken blue.

Wednesday 20th 40-43F, 4-6C, light winds and distant car headlights show it is a bit misty. Still pitch black out there at 8am. Walked to the lanes in thicker mist. Later I had a short ride to the shops, in drizzle, but with the mist thin enough not to be a serious hazard. The roads are filthy and so were my tires. Which made the U-lock filthy and my hands black in turn. The filth was also spraying up on the yellow of the saddlebag from my back tires. I'm not sure whether it will come clean again. Or even whether it is worthwhile trying to clean it. 7 miles.

The Danish news reports that motorists ran into massive natural stones deliberately dropped from a motorway bridge. This follows the earlier murder of a German visitor when a huge paving block directly hit the family's windscreen. On that occasion the father suffered such critical injuries that he was placed in a coma. Their child in the rear of the car escaped serious injury.

Thankfully, the cowardly cavemen's basic human rights to privacy are still being fully protected. By the Danish authority's failure to put up cameras on the bridge[s] used for these repeated terrorist offences. There was more stone throwing back in September. No culprit has ever been found for any of these offences. 

This motorway is the only East-West route across Scandinavia. Its closure makes it impossible for vehicles to and from Germany and Holland [and further south] from connecting with eastern Denmark and the capital Copenhagen, Sweden, Norway, Finland and beyond. The only "alternative" route is to drive all the way around the Baltic and then through Russia! A Femern crossing is yet to be built between Germany and eastern Denmark after years of consideration. A series of sunken, cast tunnel sections is the planned means of spanning the intervening sea. The present Danish sea bridges are often vulnerable to high winds.

Every time stones are thrown the motorway is closed for hours while police examine the scene. Then further hours are lost while the entire road surface is thoroughly cleared of debris. It seems very odd to me that this vital artery is placed at such risk just to protect the guilty from being caught in action on security cameras. One dead and others seriously injured but still no cameras nor security lights? Copycat criminals have also been throwing things onto the  motorway in other areas of Denmark.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

18 Dec 2017

18th December 2017 DFW 2WD V Diff trikes:

Monday 18th 35F, calm and rather cloudy. Walked the lanes and back again. An orange sun broke free from a bank of cloud for an while but it was short lived. I walked briskly on the frozen grass of the verge to avoid the traffic. Not much else to report for 40 minutes of moderate exercise. 

I spent some time yesterday wallowing in the nostalgia of former haunts and homes on Google Earth Street view. It was miserably cold in the shed and worse out of doors. It's odd how one's memory plays tricks when the only witnesses to past exploits were our own, more youthful eyes. Google Earth updates so rarely in some places that it is almost a local history lesson. So it was a shock to see demolition and renewal at the very place one once called "home."

Google is not the all-seeing, universal responder to all searches. Many requests go completely unanswered through lack of any useful context. Particularly Image Search which is all but useless in very many areas of [my own] interests.  Pinterest is an absolute pain in the arse. Because it never [ever] shows the image one clicked on and access is about as friendly as a North Korean border guard. The ignorance and arrogance of online monopolies is equally boundless.

YouTube has similar problems. Probably due to an over-emphasis on commercial exploitation. Rather than some philanthropic desire to house the visual detritus of a visually orientated species of extroverts and attention seekers. Myself included, of course. The number of viewers of specific content is apt to give one the willies where the human race is concerned. The tawdry and ill-defined ramblings of extroverts attract literally millions of viewers while the "better" stuff is all but ignored.

A late afternoon ride in wintry weather to the shops. It tried to snow but settled on fine rain for the return journey in the dark. God help any children trying to cross the road with all these raving psychopaths racing around! Only seven, damp miles. The GripGrab Nordic gloves and Aviator hat continue to give vital warmth and comfort.

The lack of thick padding on the Nordic gloves is wonderful! I haven't suffered any hand pain since I started wearing them. The thinner GripGrab gloves and mitts are horrendous for causing me sore hands even on the shortest ride! I kept adding gel padding and layers of tape on the 'bars but it didn't help. It was the glove/mitt gel padding which was doing all the damage.

One of my YouTube videos has generated an interesting discussion on turning with a double freewheel, two wheel drive. [DFW 2WD] The gear ratio of the driven inner wheel effectively approaches infinity with the front wheel at 90 degree to the line of travel. While at only slightly smaller steering angles, a low [climbing] gear will easily drive the trike through a tightly barred chicane.

Kynast mobility trike with adjustable wheelbase and hub gear with differential.

Such chicane bars are often a feature of Danish cycle paths to prevent scooters and motorcycles illegally entering the path system. The rear wheels are often the arbiter of how easily I can get through rather than the effective gear ratio. They barely scrape past the bars on each tight turn.

I have an old 'mobility' trike with an exposed differential which has never seen the road with myself aboard. So I have promised to drag the trike out and compare Trykit's DFW with a Diff. Reaching the [probably rather heavy] trike at the back of the shed is the main problem. I bought it for small change at a flea market in desperation when I had no trike at all. Soon afterwards my brother sent me a Longstaff axle conversion so I never needed to ride the Kynast.

These images are so old I had to save them as downloads from my own blog! The files had obviously been overwritten somehow over the years. It took me hours of searching through my vast collection of images to eventually find these on my blog. According to my latest Jpeg number I have 1.3 million images on three hard drives. Only the last two cameras are saved as Jpegs. It would take several lifetimes to sort them all into categories. So I still keep them in date order. Perhaps AI can help?

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

14 Dec 2017

14th Decembrrr 2017: "He never inhaled 2." [UCI Director's Cut.]


Thursday 14th 34F, +1C. Very, very dark at 8.15am.

Somebody called Froome has joined that other benighted, TDF cycling bloke and bingo caller, with a dodgy drugs dispute. News only now being released to the media long after the event. Did I miss the stream of obscenities from this one? Is Sky's "Innocente" Froome far too big a payday for the UCI to publicly suspend, pending formal enquiries?

Seasons Greetings?
Well it was [probably] red once upon a time!

Can professional cycling survive this latest denial of reality? Does anybody care any more except for the clinically insane who dance semi-naked on mountain tops? As a lifelong, cycling obsessive-depressive I don't even bother to watch the Sky Tours pro-cessions any more.  

The chain of Danish, Red Cross charity shops is paying serious money to local councils to rid themselves of unsalable stock at recycling yards. I hope the Kommunes appreciate their charitable support! I wonder if the "donations" are taxable as well? Probably. Everything else is.

Friday 15th 37F, 3C, cloudy with light winds and a risk of sunshine between wintry showers. I might be allowed out for a shopping ride. But first I must survive my morning walk. 8.30am and it's still struggling to get light.

Talking of which; I wonder if I should put a flashing red diode light on top of my fleece cap? It might wake up the somnambulant commuters with a nasty, iPhoney, road rash. The verge is your friend when such lunacy abounds. The snow has, thankfully, been all but washed away by overnight rain.

Rain pushed my departure time forwards so that I returned after dark @ ~4.40pm. Fortunately I was prepared with my brilliantly flashing, Smart lights already in the bag. Finally caught up with all the out of stock items from earlier shopping trips. 13 miles.

Saturday 16th 28-35F, -2+2C,. white frost but the puddles still have only a thin skin of ice. Clear sky with bright sunshine for my brisk, 40 minute walk. Going out of the trike after the ritual morning coffee. Hardly any sign of snow now and the roads are much drier.

Enjoyed a longer ride in bright sunshine taking in several villages. The GripGrab Nordic gloves were comfortable throughout. As was the soft Aviator [medieval] cap. Lots of ice on the lanes from field run-off. Returned well loaded. 23 miles. Saw only one cyclist out training but I couldn't catch him.

Sunday 17th 30F, -1C,  calm and clear with a white frost. Probably a replay of yesterday's weather with lots of sunshine.

Janteloven [Jante's Law] has kicked in [the teeth] with a vengeance. A foreign, orchestral horn player has been heavily fined for playing a single gig with another Danish classical orchestra. Her permission to stay listed only one orchestra. The second orchestra had lost its horn player to illness and she was invited to stand in. I know, I know. You couldn't make it up! 

It's not all bad news though. Britain's impregnable wall against funda-mental-ist terrorism has denied entry to an Indian lady with far too highly advanced skills at English. Had she been able to mutter a few words with a broad Scottish accent and throw in the odd expletive, she could have been allowed to live with her Scottish husband. See me, Jimmy!

Glad to hear Gravely Blighted is now completely safe from educated, English speaking Indians. Some British bank's call centers could do with her linguistic skills! No names, no pack drill!

Walked up to the woods and then back across the fields via the icy spray tracks. Stepped into an invisible,  wet sump and thoroughly plastered my boots! Watched several large herons circling the marsh. They are the most amazing gliders. Lighter than they look, too, because they can alight effortlessly on the very tops of birches.

A chap was refilling the pheasant feeders from an SUV as I watched from the top of the hill. He couldn't be arsed to reverse along the track so used the cropped field to turn round. A small mixed flock of pretty Bullfinches and Goldfinches were foraging in the hedgerows. They looked gorgeous in the brilliant sunlight as the sun scrapes the very bottom of our northerly barrel.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

11 Dec 2017

11th Decembrrr 2017 Excused batteries in my sandals.

Monday 11th 25-32F, -4-0C, 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 fragile crust. The leaf litter in the forest was crunchy underfoot.

Rode to the shops. The roads were still frozen slush in places but there was a mostly clear track. The GripGrab Nordic 'lobster claw' gloves were barely adequate into the wind at 32F/0C. I really do need a nose warmer! Fine coming home at the same temperature. The roads were much clearer in the afternoon when I ran an errand in the car. Only 7 miles.

Tuesday 12th 34F, +1C,  almost uniform grey with light wintry showers. More overnight snow of about 2". Just the miserable side of freezing now. Which means puddles, slippery surfaces, slush, road spray and a cold northerly wind. I walked with my hands behind my back, like royalty, to avoid chilled gloves. Not the best day for shorts, sandals and a t-shirt!

Nor a visit to any Danish supermarket expecting to find the advertised special offers. Even finding the regular stock is a complete lottery these days. Never any shortage of sweets, fags, booze and sugar bomb drinks in supposedly, post-Soviet Denmark.

Wednesday13th 34F, 01C, windy and dark at 8am. Half an hour braving the cold wind in my balaclava.

In a breaking(?) news story, which shocked even me, the electric car detesting government is legalizing electric skateboards, scooters and "hover-boards." They are apparently to be approved for "normal" road going going use next year.

Speeds will be limited to 20kph or about 13mph in Olde Money. [Unlucky for some?] I can only hope that billions of kroner will be invested in [more local] ERs and ambulances to treat the injured and dying. I'm really looking forwards to seeing skateboards on the cobbled high streets. Even with my tall 25x700C wheels I can barely keep things together at a walking pace on my trike! 

Statistics already show that electric bicycle riders hold a disproportionately high place in cyclist's deaths and injuries. The increased speed is the most likely cause where the elderly suddenly enjoy the average pace of hardened, professional road racers. Without ever having trained for countless miles at those higher speeds. Cornering at these raised speeds must invite adhesion and reaction time problems when things go badly wrong. Will hand signals suddenly become a requirement? This may need to be installed as a chip from birth because few Danes have mastered the concept as of this writing.

The general public is hardly expecting a normally dressed pensioner to be approaching at pro Tour racing speeds. The rider is usually sitting bolt upright on a city "garden gate." With few or no signs of "sportiness" to warn the more astute amongst us.

Helmets are still not compulsory. While the average iPed [suicidal, mobile phone wearing pedestrian] is far more interested in reading their [slave produced] iPhoney. Rather than looking out for a road burning granny or grandpa. With the wind in their perm and their eyes watering in abject fear and from the raging headwind wherever they go. And that's only the  blokes.

Perhaps the "battery assisted" should be required to wear E-plates in the absence of registration plates? No doubt the tax obsessed vampires, playing their endless musical chairs on their private, gilded, gravy train, can see an electric license fee in the offing. With umpteen taxes on taxes + VAT on top of everything else of course. We don't want any upstart, Danish electric bicycle manufacturing companies trying their luck against the slave wage, Chinese 'robots,' do we? The [offshore, coal fired] energy companies have just raised the price of electricity. So they must be more far sighted than I give them credit for.

A horribly wet and wintry day was best avoided by staying mostly indoors. I don't have a pair of waders for managing the flooded drive.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

9 Dec 2017

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

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.

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.


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.]


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.


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!


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?

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.

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.


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?


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!


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?

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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