7 May 2018

7th May 2018 Mudwash!

Monday 7th 61-72F, 16-22C, still sunny, breezier and even warmer. I ought to do my walk in shorts and sandals but I'm not sure my commuting audience is remotely ready for this. Many complete strangers wave as they pass. Except for the lorry drivers, of course. They, who have no hands left to wave as they drive their vast 7-axle  container lorries around the blind hairpin bends with their mobile phones constantly welded between their hands and ears. I presume the iPhoney is today's CB radio.  

Breaker, breaker... got your ears on? Genocidal Idiot calling! I'm hauling 30 tons of petrol and heading  for the school bus convoy coming the other way. And, I've only got one hand left to hold my iPhoney! Dugh! What should I do?

Artificial intelligence is the wrong term for a vehicle's automatic pilot. Normal, human intelligence would do. But is almost impossible to find amongst human drivers.


I couldn't stand the trike looking so scruffy, with thick mud baked onto its tyres and rims. So I gave it a good scrub with a washing up brush and plenty of collected rainwater. Danish tap water is far too expensive to misuse for such frivolity due to all the additional taxes. I'm also pretty sure it must be illegal to wash a bicycle by yourself. You wouldn't want to use the electricity for pressure washing either. For exactly the same reasons.

Once the wheels were clean I had to complete the rest of the trike to match. I even re-greased the front hub bearings in a fit of utter madness. Probably the first time some of my cone spanners had actually been used in anger.

I still have a black, Campag cone spanner which I bought when I was 15 or 16. That was back in the last century before colour TV, computers and mobile phones. It's probably worth a fortune by now but it cost me at least that much in hire purchase repayments over the decades. The original hub grease was fine and the hard chromed Shimano cones unmarked. So that'll teach me to get overexcited with the spring cleaning!

With the trike now probably a couple of pounds lighter [of crud] it badly needed a test ride if only to to dry it off. So I was let out by the under-gardener's gate on An Errand. 8 miles later I had confirmed it was really quite warm out at 72F, 22C. I stopped for a few minutes to watch crows mobbing a bird of prey over a distant copse. After much dive bombing and squawking they gave up. With the BoP still happily soaring with wings outstretched like two short planks.  

I can't say I'd noticed the trike was any lighter due to the sheer weight of the medieval, Dreadnought Class, Coal Fired, Blacksmith Forged, Solid Wrought Iron, pre-WW1-era, Abus, Mini U-lock Anchor and General Purpose Ship's ballast.

I tried hiding the lock in the saddle bag but it didn't feel any lighter. "Out of sight, out of mind," obviously doesn't work on trikes. The image [down below] shows the Overboard bag crushed completely flat by the Abus [Gravitas] U-lock in its back pocket. I wonder whether Abus makes road rollers as well? And, are they still steam driven?

Talking of saddlebags: The Overboard duffel bag's inner waterproof coating is flaking badly inside. It doesn't bother me much but anyone using one on the water ought to keep this in mind. The nylon sleeve of the Carradice saddlebags soon used to flake too.

Not that anybody would be daft enough to take a Carradice on the water. Except, perhaps, while fording a known stream. Anything involving a snorkel is probably just asking too much in the waterproof department.

There is a rumour going around the huts that I may be allowed out again. I had better oil the hinges on the under-gardener's gate! It wasn't to be. I was promptly demoted from Head Shopper to under gardener again and my gate pass and all its privileges withdrawn.

I haven't mentioned the Vetta saddle is behaving itself apart from looking a bit tatty around the edges. My run of Brookes B17s is obviously at an end unless I increase my mileage significantly. I still have a B17 "Special" in reserve which has never been ridden. It was set aside to replace the last one in case of any untowardness in the comfort department. I probably extended that one's life significantly by lacing its skirts. This made it harder but not so likely to stretch or sag.

A mixed blessing in retrospect. I soon resented the eventual saddle-back [sag] when it came to getting down low. My <cough> "anatomy" got in the way of the relatively raised nose. The much flatter Vetta offers no such resistance at the nose and saves a couple of pounds in weight. Which I can now pretend to use up [as a freeby] on the [now completely weightless] Abus ASBO Mini-U. It's a bit like filling your tyres with helium and has almost identical effects. Imitating The Bee Gees at the checkouts in the local supermarkets lacked a certain charm. Particularly when dressed as the only tricycling clown in the village!

I had already removed the tri-bar extensions from the trike because of the <cough> forward discomfort on the Brookes. I found I hardly ever used the extensions due to the falsetto voice which immediately resulted from their use. I'm far too old to consider a career in opera now.

My Vetta saddle is unusual. Endless research suggests it is an MTB model and may even be a lady's example of the type. It being both shorter and flatter across the back than the many road SLs to be found illustrated online. The vinyl cover hides a series of deep pockets of foam. It still felt like a rock after 50 miles! It came free on the Higgins "Ultralite" and I was very grateful for it at the time.

When I started tricycling seriously again this was the only saddle I could bear to ride of the 24 or so road saddles I had at the time. I used to collect "recycled" bikes from recycling yards for small change. The saddles almost always belonged to a family of strongly curved benches.

Tuesday 8th 60F, 15C, clear, calm, bright and sunny [again.] Yet more perfect weather for those who like sunburn and sweat, in no particular order.

The Danish police are having a blitz on speeding motorists this week. 1600 caught on the first day. Meanwhile Britain is using less expensive volunteers with speed guns to deter speeding motorists. They have no right to prosecute but a third report of speeding will usually require a visit from a real policeman. As always, the raving psychopaths hurl abuse at those simply trying to bring safety to our roads.

The Danish speeding psychopaths used to attack civilians in police camera cars. So they had to put armed officers in them to stop such psychopathic behaviour. Though at much higher expense, of course. An officer manning a camera car is obviously unavailable for dealing with other crime. Am I the only one who thinks that someone who speeds, then blames the camera car operative, is a raving nutter? A lunatic who should never be allowed to drive again? Why is causing death by dangerous, or drink driving, not a reason for a lifetime ban on ever owning another license? How can any drunk driver be allowed to commit a second or third offense? How is it even possible?

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