15 Apr 2017

15th April 2017 The late "Tricycling Clown."


Saturday 15th 43F, 6C, dark grey, light rain and quickly becoming windier. The forecast is for rain or showers with gusts to 35mph. The Easter weather is being unkind to those who only enjoy a few public holidays. Today is the only day some shops are open in several days. A light shower and roaring wind had me turning back from my intended walk. A large lawn had perhaps fifty Fieldfares mixed in with the usual Starlings and Blackbirds. By the time I returned they had all moved on. I am trying to get permission, without success, to ride my normal Saturday shopping run in the face of gales and rain. It wasn't to be and I was catapulted into a local shopping run by a gusty tailwind.

Okay. It is official! I can confirm that I have been upgraded from "the only tricycling clown in the village." I have now been dubbed "The CycleMan!" I heard it from two Danish boys waiting outside a supermarket. They wanted to know about my strange "racer." So now they are probably spreading the word that I own an "English racer." 

The sun came out when I arrived in the village so I took off my rain jacket. Having shopped, it started tipping down on the way back. It kept it up until I turned into the drive. It was blowing so hard I had to lower my head to avoid the feeling of being repeatedly cut by the rain drops. I looked out across the empty fields to see solid white stripes of rain hovering over the bare earth.

Then a bus passed me so closely there was hardly room for my elbow. There was only one oncoming car but the driver deliberately committed to overtaking me just as the car arrived. I'm not keen on such intimacy with complete strangers! Danish bus drivers usually set very much higher standards than this! I will often pull off, when I can, to allow buses to pass me easily. I always ride hard against the ragged edge of the asphalt. Where there is often a 12" drop where traffic has cut deeply into the verge on corners because most of them cut every single corner going both ways.

This particular idiot had absolutely no idea how steadily I could ride with no room to avoid the usual hedging debris and/or potholes or crumbling asphalt. Quite seriously, a less experienced rider would probably not have survived. Apart from the many tens of thousands of miles I have ridden my trike I regularly practice riding with my inside wheel behind the white line when there is often only 50-75mm [2-3"] of ragged tarmac left. I make it a point of pride not to impede the traffic. Several drivers have stopped to thanks me for my thoughtful road positioning. I often have to lift my inside wheel over sunken drains where the asphalt contractors couldn't be bothered to lift them. It all becomes second nature with practice. A timely twitch of the handlebars to lift a wheel can avoid many obstacles.

I seriously doubt a two wheel cyclist could have stayed upright in that narrow gap between the rough grass verge and the passing bus. 1.5m [5'] clearance is supposed to be the minimum distance when overtaking a cyclist. This psychopath gave me about 30cm [12"] or less! Just to save themselves lifting their foot, however briefly, off the pedal. Just to let the approaching car pass safely. It was also raining hard so I had a free shower from the wheels.

Tragically I am not allowed to show videos [in Denmark] of such piss poor driving. I would be actively prosecuted for showing this kind of driver behaviour on my blog or on YouTube. Criminals and bad drivers, in Denmark, rely on this law to avoid prosecution. So I stopped using my action cams on my trike to avoid any risk of capturing criminal behaviour. Those who have shared videos of criminality online received far heavier sentences than the criminals! Their right to privacy exceeded other's right to life. The temptation to share my footage would probably have been too much. So, unlike Russia, I cannot protect myself with action cameras. Not even posthumously. Only 7 miles. Only in Denmark.

Sunday 16th 37F, 3C, grey, damp and breezy. Wintry showers forecast. Including hail, sleet and snow. Nice! It was cool and bright, but with hardy a breeze, as I walked to the village. A male Kestrel watched me from afar as I peered back through my binoculars. A bunch of seven or eight clubmen went past at a good pace with their tyres roaring loudly. While a similar number of Fieldfares stood around as starlings hogged a field puddle for their energetic morning ablutions.

Fieldfares always dress smartly. Reminding me of English, formal morning suits, beloved of working class, wedding hire attirees and heirs to the crown. The Coots on the church pond rowed about looking bored. Then I spotted what I took to be a common blackbird but which flared out to reveal completely white undersides as it landed in a tiny beck. Not a dipper, I don't think. Dippers were very commonplace on the streams and rivers of Snowdonia. It has become quite sunny now. A chance for a ride? Not today.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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