27 Aug 2018

27th August 2018 Autumnal routine.


Monday 27th 56-66F, dark grey overcast, with showers and blowing a gale. No walk but cycled to the shops. Only 7 miles.

A day of very heavy showers even when it brightened up in the afternoon.

Tuesday 28th 57-67F, patchy clouds but brighter today. The garden trees are full of small, over-excited birds. A longer walk to the far woods. Hundreds of crows were gathering on the fields. It was a pleasant day but I was too busy for a ride.

Wednesday 29th 56-72F, overcast and calm but dry. An early shopping ride is promised. And completed. An elderly women asked where she could buy a trike like mine. I had to point out how unstable they were compared with 'mobility' trikes. She gave the Trykit a good shake just to be sure. Only 7 miles.

Thursday 30th 60F, heavy overcast and becoming breezy. Which part of "wet" don't you understand?
Not much chance of a ride today. Rain and more rain.

Friday 31st 55F, cool, overcast and slightly misty. The distant mist was glowing at intervals as the sun tried to break through. There was an acrid smell on the air after several verge clippings. Too busy for a ride.

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20 Aug 2018

20th August 2018 Autumn already?


Monday 20th 62F, heavy overcast with a light breeze after overnight rain. Just a brisk walk to the lanes and back for 40 minutes of exercise. There are about 100 sparrows moving around the local hedges. I spotted two tabby kittens. No ride today.

Tuesday 21st 50F, bright and calm after a cooler night. A pleasant morning for a walk. Or to lime every field for miles as the breeze picked up. From the top of the rise leading into the woods I watched a small deer grazing on the strip of corn.

Late morning ride to the shops. A couple of clubmen out training waved. Only 7 miles.

Wednesday 22nd 62-78F, a warm one! No ride today.

Thursday 23rd 64-68?F, bright overcast with a breeze. I'm promised an early ride to the shops. There were a few bright moments but mostly a headwind. I detoured on the way back just to make a ride of it.  A dozen pheasants were poking abut opposite a junction. I'm not sure who was more surprised. Only 10 miles. I rode a couple of miles at lunch time looking for the postman after receiving an email falsely confirming a delivery. They finally turned up an hour later.

Friday 24th 61/65?F, overcast and breezy. No walk today. A windy day with heavy showers in the afternoon as I tried to work outside. No ride today.

I discovered my front brake was jammed on when I went to put the trike away. Rotating the whole brake and repeated application of the lever freed it. I added some more oil to the pivots, of course. Modern brakes aren't made like they once were. At least, not for those who don't clean and maintain their machines like they once did. Winter salting and repeated rain must eventually take their toll. I wish they'd use stainless steel fasteners for the pivot bolts. Mine are positively "furry" with corrosion. The pivots do get oiled whenever I remember to do so. I'll try to remember to check the brake's freedom from the rims while I'm at it.

Saturday 25th 58F, cool, grey and windy. Showers forecast but dry so far. A 40 minute walk. A Sparrowhawk left a roadside tree like a rocket aiming for a conifer several hundred yards away across a field. It was still there on my return. The traffic was almost non-existent on the way out but recovered on my way back. I was too busy for a ride and getting plenty of exercise anyway. A red deer and two young were grazing on the large front lawn. It is our neighbours' lawn. Not ours. What they call "borrowed landscape."

Sunday 26th 51-65F, bright but cool, with a light breeze. Showers possible. 40 minute walk. Lots of pheasants on the fields. Hundreds of swallows gathering too. Early ride to the shops. Fist cool morning so far. The hedgerows are laden with wild fruits. Only 7 miles.

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14 Aug 2018

14th August 2018 Sneaking up on autumn.


Tuesday 14th 62F, grey, calm, misty and damp. It was a very wet night according to the media. I pottered along to the rural lanes and cut back across the fields. An excavator was trying to improve the drainage of one field. The driver and helper were enjoying breakfast as is the habit of the Danes. They go to work very early and then stop for half an an hour. Rather quiet today with a soft glow to distant mist. No ride today.

Wednesday 15th 62-76F, grey overcast with a very light breeze. No walk today because I went shopping on the trike instead. Light rain on the way back. Brightened up at times with showers and a gusty wind. Only 7 miles.

Thursday 16th 65-76F, dark, grey and quite windy. It was far too warm for a jacket until I turned into the wind. Still able to use the stubble fields to avoid the traffic. It wont be long before they start working the fields again and it will become impossible to enjoy new viewpoints.  It brightened up later.

Friday 17th 63-71?F, grey, still and damp. An early ride home from delivering the car to the garage followed by shopping. It soon turned to bright sunshine. Car collected again by trike. I even printed out a new number plate to hang on the trike because the car's rear registration plate was hidden. 7 miles total.

Saturday 18th 61-?F, rather windy but bright. Walked a loop on the fields as it quickly clouded over. It looks and feels like it will rain any moment but none is forecast until this afternoon. Which was then cancelled as it brightened up again before becoming cloudy. Some large trees are already showing autumnal colours. No ride today.

Sunday 19th 64F, another grey day but without the strong, gusty wind of yesterday. It felt too warm in my jacket so I took it off for the climb up to the forest. It was there I disturbed a pair of deer resting under a hedge. They dashed off but stopped to pose mid field before continuing into the woods. After that I was able to cross the stubbled fields which had not yet been harrowed. It has remained grey but dry with increasing wind. No ride today.

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13 Aug 2018

13th August 2018 Zombie classes road wars!


Monday 13th 61F, overcast and damp with a light breeze. It seems too obvious to suggest that the rain is determined to end the drought ASAP. The number of slugs is so low as to be truly memorable. In previous years there were brown tide marks along the roads as millions took to the asphalt for their ridiculously popular, drag racing meets against passing traffic. 

There is renewed speculation that the UK will soon introduce new laws about "cycling furiously." Cyclists have been an "enemy of the people" for well over a century and a half in Gravely Blighted. So make a natural target for the gravy train, musical chairs, stag hunting, tax free bonuses and shooting expenses classes.

There is absolutely no mention [so far] of the likely fines for stepping under the front wheel of a bicycle while texting furiously. Causing a cyclist's death by texting should cause global headlines but doesn't. Humans kill literally millions of other humans on the roads every year. While a single paint scrape in a supermarket car park makes a Tesla easy prey for a hostile global media owned by Big Carbon.

The self-harming, spinal curvature classes greatly outnumber the peds. [Cyclists] So the mobile phone, amateur ear welders form a very much larger, but completely invisible group of potential public offenders. SMIDSY has become the new walking [brain] dead's vocal dismissal of choice following a collision. Remember, children, a zombie lurks behind every iPhoney. Absolutely everybody's doing it, Darling!

The arrival of faster, electric, 'sports' bicycles seems to have gone completely unnoticed by the BBC correspondent responsible for the "furious cycling" story. No doubt they were covering something more important like cricketer's wives and girlfriends last week. So we must make some allowance.

How will they train all those phone abusing zombies to summon their last two brain cells to watch out for speeding cyclists with a powerful new battery up their bum?

Well, on the rear rack, to be more precise, but you get the gist. The obvious answer is that they can't. So they [quite simply] wont. They will only legislate against cyclists because they are such an easy target and always have been. Walking iPhoney zombies are voters. Cyclist don't pay road taxes so they can't vote.

Logic suggests that the mobile phone will just have to become the eyes and ears of the stooping, zombie classes. The all singing, all dancing iTricorder for the walking, virtual iComatose. With a plethora of sensors to gather data about the zombie's immediate environment. Plus a range of [user-selectable] buzzers to warn the abuser of impending suicidal behaviour at the pavement's edge. 

I'm all for VR headsets and Smart iGlasses as long as they don't end up in ER territory. It's not much use being told by Google or iRottenApple that there are 73 fast food outlets within one hundred feet of their present location. Not if it causes great loss of blood to the zombie trying to reach any of them alive. 

Particularly when the roads are newly swarming with battery-driven, cruise missiles. Often with a slightly terrified but sociopathically aggressive, white knuckled granny aboard. Whom are often on the way back from the supermarket off-license with the day's fix. All of them eagerly searching for their next zombie, iPhoney victim. Just so they can compare notes on tactics and personal scores on Facebook. Which is the new form of polite society in the absence of all human contact now that supermarkets are the norm. Have you ever tried opening a conversation with a pre-pubescent checkout operator on the state of anything? 'Nuff said.

Of course this means sports electric bikes need to become largely "self-driving" too. If only to ensure survival to the end of the purchase repayments/ end of useful battery life. Whichever comes later. All this just to avoid serious mayhem on the roads. I'm glad I'm not Lord Boris de Fat-Bar-Steward and having to make up silly new rules for the No Man's Land of the zombie classes, road wars!

Walked to the village and back in spitting rain. A few slugs were trying their chances on the corner near the marsh. The church pond, which was dark and very low last week, had exploded into a thick, green carpet of pond weed.

Talking of which: Jylland's second largest lake has had a catastrophe when 80 TONS of native fish died from oxygen depletion. This occurred  after masses of organic matter were dumped straight into their living accommodation by heavy rain. Farmers are denying their drains running into the lake are in any way responsible. The experts disagree. So it is a severe dent in public confidence after the massive public handouts being given to the farmers following "their" uniquely private drought. Nobody is offering The Head Gardner generous compensation for her straw coloured lawn!

A solitary [decoy?] duck was leaving dark tracks in the pond weed and pretending not to notice me. The graveyard was suffering a landslide of its dry stone walling. So somebody can look forwards to a nice, big, fat cheque at taxpayer's no expense spared. I'm sure the usual congregation of 4-5 elderly souls will be suitably grateful.

Several car computers were set to "Self-Driving: Extreme Sociopath Mode III" today. So the inhuman drivers felt no need to avoid me. As I repeatedly dived headlong onto the wet verge to avoid certain death. Last week it would all have been completely different but we mustn't complain. Thanks goodness global warming is now safely over.

Not that it ever happened according to a neo-intellectual, environmental spokesperson for an extreme right wing, Danish political party. His towering wisdom obviously exceeds that of the collective understanding of the vast majority of scientists. i.e. Those who are actively working in the countless, multi-layered, cross-discipline fields of climate study.

I wonder if he has checked how far above sea level his extensive property portfolio sits? Will it be insider trading if he soon unloads his seaside properties on the truly gullible? Just in case all those experts are right and he wasn't. BTW: Why are the politicooze free from the commandments of Janteloven? [Jante's Law] Perhaps we should be told? No ride today.

 Jante Law: How Janteloven rules in Scandinavia - BBC Ideas

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8 Aug 2018

8th August 2018 The haves and the have no clue.


Wednesday 8th 70-86F, breezy, warm and rather cloudy. Expected to reach 30-32C, 90F later but reached only 86F. I walked the stubble fields looking for new viewpoints.

The alpine pistes are looking rather bereft of snow for the expected winter visitors.

Following my note on the very rich, open shirted, foreigner's interest in coming to Denmark to pay the fines of mask wearing bank robbers: Populist political parties are now considering introducing prison terms instead of, or in addition to paltry fines. Which might well scupper the self-important, open shirted, very rich man's plans to toss very small, pocket change into the Danish political arena.

I'm not sure even wealthy, open shirted, attention seeking, foreign persons can volunteer to serve prison sentences for those women who [allegedly] choose to wear strange face masks in public. Whether open-shirted, or not, I just hope these masked persons are not cyclists trying to make a getaway. Imagine the limitations on peripheral vision while trying to look through their personal, "Boris letterbox?" Mind you, cycling is a distinctly Danish pastime. So those who choose to wear these masks are probably not trying very hard to integrate with the modern, native Danish, women, [cycling] bank robbers. When in Rome...?

In more breaking news:  Wealthy Danes [and probably a few others] are buying up all the available properties in Copenhagen and other university cities to house their student offspring during their studies. Not only is this causing hyper inflation in property values but the wealthy buyers enjoy generous tax perks into the bargain. With a guaranteed, inflation proofed investment to boot.

One can but hope that these supposed students are all keen cyclists. Or they will be causing another form of mayhem on the already overcrowded streets. We don't want the place littered with tax-payer funded, abandoned Lambos and Ferraris in disabled parking spots and on the cycle lanes after every drunken and cocaine fueled, night out. Do we?

It's all such a far cry from the earlier, benign, Scandinavian socialism. Only 20 years ago many government office workers wielded absolute power over their inferiors. I was surprised there weren't mass produced, standard printed signs on public service doorways saying: BEWARE! HERE BE DRAGONS!

Late morning ride to the shops. It feels very warm and oppressive today with a grey overcast. Only 15 miles. A headwind was blowing, going both ways, even though the wind turbines were standing still. I have dashed off a terse letter to the DMI, of course. Though by the time they get it, via PostNord, they will probably be discussing the lack of snow on the Danish pistes this year.

Talking of weather: We had a quarter of an hour cloudburst around 6pm. A very welcome dampening down of the fields and gardens. The Head Gardener has been imitating The Disney "Fantasia" Sorcerer's Apprentice for weeks now.

Thursday 9th 64-76F, almost dead calm, bright and sunny. A few clouds bubbled up as I walked a large loop on the stubbled fields. Even the wind turbines on the shores of distant Jylland were quite still. After the first rain in ages the pig's muck spreaders were doing turns on the local fields. I can't tell whether my sense of smell is completely broken. Or they have reduced the industrial strength perfume they usually add to the mix. No ride today.

Friday 10th 65-76F, bright with gales after a rough night as a storm worked its way up the west coast of Jylland. [Eng. Jutland.] There was lots of debris on the tracks and roads to kick into the verge. The crab apples and spiky, wild plums had unleashed their burden of fruit. It is no wonder there are so many in the hedges! No ride today.

Saturday 11th 58F, overcast and windy. A day of gales and thundery showers is forecast. I was hoping for my usual Saturday ride along the new cycle paths and lanes. First I walked across the stubbled fields for a look at the marsh pond from above. Only a couple of dozen timid Mallards were visible and soon retreated to the cover of the tangled willows on the far side. A large heron circled slowly while it waited for me to move on.

A slightly scruffy, Red kite was looking for breakfast while soaring on the stiff breeze with equally stiff wings. The day continued with gales and cloudbursts. Not an ideal one for trike riding.

Sunday 12th 60F, rather cloudy with a south westerly wind. A heavy bank of dark cloud was passing south east of us. So I took to the stubble fields to try and capture it as it dumped a load of rain. Then I walked on to climb a local hill to take some more pictures. My wife took a picture of me, from home, while I was standing on top. Which completely destroyed any sense of scale. I literally looked like a giant! Distant Jylland was clearly visible from up there. With tiny white yachts sitting on the intervening, dark water. The forecast is for  continuous rain this afternoon. I had better get a ride in this morning or not at all.
Late morning ride under a gently dripping sky. The roads were wet and dry at intervals. I was overtaken by a young chap and chased him for a couple of miles. It was mostly uphill and I was carrying at least 20 more kilos of baggage and trike than he was. Only 21 miles.

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6 Aug 2018

6th August 2018 And there it was, gone.


Monday 6th 60-80F, still, becoming hot, sunny and breezy. Walked to the village and back. A bird of prey was circling low overhead. Seemingly unperturbed by my presence. Perhaps I simply didn't look appetizing enough for breakfast?

The Danish news suggests that 10-15 people have ended up in intensive care for drinking too much tap water in the heat. You need to consume enough salt to match what is lost. Otherwise you dilute your system. No ride today.

In the evening I made an emergency phone call. To be told by the operator that they would wait until someone else [Danish?] reported it. The air and our clothes stank of burning as huge clouds of dark smoke were visible across the intervening field. Trees were blocking the direct view but the exact location was easily surmised. Having seen the rapid spread of fires on open fields in a good breeze I could well imagine the dangers of it getting completely out of control. 

Tuesday 7th 62-87F, light breeze, cloud clearing. Two more days with at least 30C are promised. Though it seems the Danish maximum temperature record, promised for tomorrow, is unlikely to be broken.

Denmark's new "face concealment" laws are being undermined by an open-shirted, foreign person of great wealth. A reportedly, very rich, open-shirted, foreign person is promising to come to Denmark to personally pay the fines. Of all those women caught wearing black ski masks [and open shirts?] during bank robberies. The story is in Danish but Google Translate is your fiend. [sic] I think the open-shirted picture says it all:

https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/home news/rich man-comes to-Denmark-to pay-women's-fines

This morning, a shortcut across the stubble fields brought me to the scene of yesterday's voluminous smoke but offered no clue to its origins. Perhaps they were burning waste in an oil drum? Or a barbecue got out of control? Open fires are still banned during this seemingly endless drought. The DMI is spreading [probably false] rumours of rain on Thursday night.

I could not help noticing the row of hay bales stacked nearby was already being removed early this morning. With the acute shortage of animal feed, due to the drought and resulting poor harvests, I imagine stacks of bales are a tempting target. Not to mention a precious resource. Last year's stack was several times the size and lay under plastic for ages before finally being removed. Perhaps the farmer simply didn't want his cows eating hay spoilt by the stench of burning?

The means of bale transport is quite interesting. A flat bed, "rigid" lorry is close-coupled to a similar sized trailer. So that the huge bales can overlap the gap between them without needing a vast, articulated lorry of similar, overall size. Though I would imagine the closeness of the two units would rather limit the minimum cornering radius. I was hoping for a ride but it never happened.

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1 Aug 2018

1st August 2018 Coming out of the woodwork.


Wednesday 1st August 65-78F, bright, cloudy and calm.  Yet again the air stinks of our neighbours burning demolition waste.

Enjoyed my longest walk this year thanks to a cooler start with a pleasant breeze. Reached the far wood. Where I came across several hares on harvested fields beside the rough track. Then through the woods and across the road to another swathe of forest. Saw lots of deer including young.  Small brown frogs were hopping along the tracks. A Nuthatch caught my attention with its call almost overhead.

The final leg was across stubbled fields where a solitary deer bounded right across the prairie. Which was a bit daft because it started off quite close to the concealing marsh. 2.25 hours of mostly rough walking. But no ride today.

Thursday 2nd 62-81F, calm and sunny. Just a short walk on the stubble fields. I spotted a bird of prey sitting on a low tree branch about half a mile away. Regular practice at bird watching hones the visual skills remarkably. The tiniest unnatural shape or movement, even in the most complex foliage or at any distance, seems to pop into view. There was  no need for acute visions to see hundreds of mink gulls resting on the wrong field. They soon moved on as I walked past, while pretending they weren't there.

It already feels much warmer than the modest 73F @ 9.30 would suggest. Another hot day is forecast. It eventually climbed to a sweaty 81F. While Spain and Portugal face soaring temperatures in the high 40s C = 115F+! No ride again.

It is only a few days after I mentioned the world's experts saying that the US can never compete with electric car manufacture. Their petrol is simply maintained too artificially low to allow electric cars to make economic sense for the vast majority of US motorists.

The wonderful irony is that Herr Trumpet wants to turn The Disunited States of America into a second Cuba by dropping all rules on vehicle fuel consumption. Thereby ensuring US cars really do become the last of the dinosaurs. All it needs then is for OPEC to hike prices and the idiocracy will be complete.

Friday 3rd  60-81F, sunny and calm again. No hope of rain for at least another week. Walked a loop on the stubble fields to get a bird's eye view of the marsh pond. Lots of mallards wandering in a flock. The wind turbines are standing still again. Harvesting and baling completed on local fields. The headlines say the worst harvest in 100 years.

Late morning ride to the shops. Warm with a breeze going both ways. Overtaken by two drunken psychopaths having a game. Where they see how close to a cyclist they can pass without damaging their paintwork. Nothing coming the other way and a straight road for half a mile ahead. 7 miles not out.

Saturday 4th 65-78F, bright and calm. Another warm one in prospect but some cloud and possibly thundery showers later. I was greeted by dramatic clouds as I wandered the recently harvested fields looking for pictures. There was only the briefest of sunshine to provide contrast against the dark and threatening skies.

Had my usual Saturday ride to the more distant shops with barely a few drops of the promised rain. Lots of "Specially Entitled People" were parking on the brand new cycle paths. So I had to detour out into the illegally speeding traffic. Caught up with a touring couple on the way back with the bloke leading on his recumbent bike. The road was packed nose to tail so I had to take to the pavement to overtake them on the cycle lane. Then a fellow silver-back went past on his racing bike with a cheery; "God tur!" He was soon out of sight despite the headwind. Only 15 miles. The ratio of speed differences between cyclists is often remarkable. 4, 5 and even 6:1 between fastest and slowest is commonplace. I still seem to lie somewhere in the middle of the range.

Sunday 5th 62-73F, calm start but breezy later. Sun turned to cloud turned clear and then back again. We even had a tiny drop of fine drizzle for a few seconds at lunch time. Walked a large circle around home on the stubble fields. No ride today.

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