8 Mar 2018

8th March 2018 Winter unplugged into ripe old age!

Thursday 8th 32F, overcast, calm, everything plastered in an inch of sticky, overnight snow. It is snowing steadily now. Grr? It carried on snowing as I walked down the road to explore the sound of chainsawing and the distant crack of falling trees.
All the mature trees around a narrow field were being felled to extend the vast "prairie" behind it. This will make the new field 950 yards x 800 yards. It may not sound much but it is a very big, empty space worked by huge agricultural equipment already.

I'm wondering how they will clear the tree stumps of some rather huge trees. Some are 60 feet high and perhaps 6' in diameter at the base. The tree removal will completely alter the nature of this area. The former, parallel rows of mature trees had an enclosing effect. Being so sheltered and low grass it was a natural foraging ground for countless birds. Including nesting sites for birds of prey in the background trees.

A minor headline in today's Danish news demanded drivers turn on their fog lights in poor visibility conditions. Tell me about it. Only a tiny fraction of drivers, I see, switch on their fog lights even in the densest fog and blizzards. Though I blame the constantly lit lighting rules for this to some extent. Danish law insists on vehicle lights being lit during the day. My own fog lights switch doesn't work unless the lights are set to normal night time driving. With the dash lit up as well. Most drivers are too lazy, or bored, to think about anything [at all!]

I watched a van vanish rapidly into the 100 yard mist earlier this week. His normal rear lights were extinguished by the mist long before his dark outline faded from sight. The car following had a fog light lit and this was still clearly visible when the car's outline and rear lights no longer were.

Bring on the self driving cars! Separate humanity from all responsibility for their daily game of fairground fantasy dodgems! You would not believe the number of vehicles travelling literally nose to tail on this blind humped and sharply winding road in foul weather. Nor the number who literally cannot stay on their own side of the road.

No single day passes, on my walks or rides, when I don't see a vehicle completely in the opposite lane after overshooting a blind corner. Or a bus, lorry or car in the opposite lane when cutting exactly the same corners. The entire length of the road is marked with double white lines. Much like speed limit signs, these double white lines have no obvious meaning in Denmark. Perhaps they are seen as Nazca lines from Viking prehistory? Or are merely decorative. In an attempt to break up the, otherwise boring, asphalt?

"Ancient" endurance cyclists have the health of 20-year-olds:


I'd better get back on my trike! I wonder if I'd qualify for a gate pass from The Head Gardener? It's not old age that gets the cyclist <cough> in the end .. it's the saddle sores and being run over by Audi/BMW drivers on the their iPhoneys.

Friday 9th 35-41F, 2-5C, calm with thick mist. A caterpillar excavator was clearing the felled trees into long and neat rows. Seeing 30 foot, mature trees being swept effortlessly into the air only emphasized the sheer power of modern machinery. I had missed seeing the largest tree come down. It must have been 80 feet high to the tips of the upward facing branches and five feet across the bole. Now it lay in massive logs scattered around.

Rode to more distant shops. Going quite well with a gentle tail to crosswind. Coming back with a light headwind I really noticed my lack of miles. I was still maintaining a high cadence but it meant I was traveling quite slowly. The new cycle lane is still under construction and still deep in gravel carried on from the surrounding drainage works and road. The tractor with the large roller brush is still sitting there but still not being used.  The moron who rakes the gravel verges of several gardens, using a ride-on, garden tractor, is still scattering the new cycle lane with loose gravel. 18 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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