15 May 2017

15th May 2017 New gloves, please, Nurse!

Monday 15th 52-66F, 11-19C, calm, bright but overcast. A little overnight rain. More possible, but with sunshine later. Walked down the lanes to find the McLardy's litter zombie has spread its slime trail beyond the main roads.

For those unfamiliar with the bright, acid-yellow carpet this is a field of oil seed rape. It smells rather like it looks. Rather unpleasant [sickly sweet urine] and needs regular spraying and carpet bombing with pig's muck to make it into a very common food stuff additive. After it goes to seed and turns brown it is an impenetrable barrier to walkers. Talking of which, areas of Danish agricultural land are being turned into woods. This is to protect the deep well water supplies of cities from the burden of pesticides trickling ever downwards through the ground. No such luck with our private well. It even kills frogs!

No ride today as I was still busy with my project. It was calm and too warm to work hard and continuously in full sunshine at the height of the afternoon. I had to seek shade for a five minute rest! It was hell out there, but fortunately there were no mad dogs daft enough to be out and about.

Tuesday 16th 51F, 11C, overcast, windy and rain is forecast for all day. It did too! Rest day. The Danish news reports that robotic lawnmowers are doing terrible harm to hedgehogs during the night. The hedgehogs are not afraid of the machines because they do not smell dangerous. Perhaps robotic lawnmowers should not be allowed to run around at night?

Am I the only one who thinks everyone is becoming fat and lazy as a result of avoiding all physical labour? I'm 70 and never use a shopping trolley. I don't need a Zimmer frame with increased carrying capacity. The rain stopped at about 6pm. Too late to get to the shops.

Wednesday 17th 57-73F, 14-23C, heavy overcast with very light winds. An early ride will avoid black, morning coffee. The singing blackbirds never pause for breath around here. A bit like me, I suppose.

Afternoon ride to the shops though the gorgeous beech forest. 73F is hottest day this year with high humidity and bright sunshine. 10 miles.

Thursday 18th 65-73F, 18-23C, bright and breezy start. Walked to the village. We could see 25C, 77F this afternoon with 25mph gusts. It reached 73F, 23C on the house digital thermometer. 75F, 24C on the shed's digital thermometer. Both thermometer sensors are hanging in free air, in deep shade under roof overhangs facing north. No ride today.

Not sharp enough, for you?
It was moving rapidly!
I panned, so that's speed blur!

Friday 19th 57F, 14C, almost calm, overcast. Further warmth and sunshine is threatened. Nature is getting a bit over the top. With foliage bursting out everywhere and far more birds than strictly necessary. The verges are almost waist high in assorted grasses and weeds. All very delightful but ominous of the arrival of the local government's lawnmowers. The coots were absent from the church pond today. Perhaps they were disturbed by the constantly passing traffic. A hot and 'sticky' day with bright sunshine. Busy, so no ride today.

Saturday 20th 52-62F, 11-17C, heavy overcast, cooler with possible showers but brighter later. A cold wind caught me unprepared for the drop in temperature. After the recent 73F "heatwave" all the winter cycling and walking gear was being put away.

It was still cool and windy as I headed off. An early errand gave me a chance for a pleasant cross country ride via the quiet lanes in mostly bright sunshine. After I had finished the last of my shopping the rear gear cable broke inside the Chorus 11 speed lever. The chain dropped onto the smallest cog and promptly wrapped itself immovably into a tight figure of eight around the crank.

So I was forced to walk the heavily loaded trike home for the last couple of miles. While pulling the errant trike against the almost constant traffic by the scruff of its tri-bar extensions. I really can't remember the last time I had to walk a trike. It was hugely lucky that I wasn't miles from home. Now I'll have to search for another gear cable amongst the detritus in the shed. 23 miles.

Sunday 21st 60-68F, 16-20C, bright and breezy. In breaking news: Danish farmers are being offered crisis psychological help after certain pesticides were banned from being added to their children's corn flakes.


I found a new Campag cable in the trike shed after struggling to get the overlong nipple, of the broken cable, out of the side of the Chorus lever. The lever had to come off the 'bars to give me access. I am excused upside-down, tricycle surgery on account of my age. Beware of copycat "clones." All cables are not the same! The genuine "Campag Bag labelled" cable has a [very] slightly smaller, shorter and more rounded nipple. The rapid deterioration, without prior warning, of the older cable may well have been the cause of my problems. [Well, all right then, not all of them.] Moving swiftly on: I will probably have to take the crank off to "unscrew" the tangled chain! New surgical gloves, please, Nurse!

Removing the crank and rotating it backwards soon released the chain. Though not without some obvious cosmetic damage to the crank's shiny aluminium finish. I replaced the rear gear cable and was instantly rewarded with excellent indexing once the slack had been taken up. Proof of my optimism will have to wait for a ride. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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