20 Sep 2019

200919 Friday too. What goes around, comes around.


Googleadvertising.com is to build five new solar farms in Denmark. They will be using their negative taxation rebates for funds. The advertising company promises not to use their vast megadatacenters at night in case they break Denmark. The datacenters would not even be necessary. If it were not for the intolerable burden of placing advertising crap in every dark nook and cranny. Still, it's nice to know that even the educationally challenged have the whole advertising industry entirely aimed at looking after their special interests.

The Facebookadvertising.com and Rottenappleadvertising.com are also building megadatacenters again using their trillions in negative tax refunds. But have no immediate plans for "alternative" energy resources. Relying instead, on globally imported, unregulated firewood [from protected forests?] and imported coal fired power stations. To the tune of no less than 17% of Denmark's total power production.

So don't believe any of the bullshit by these advertising companies about renewable energy. I can guarantee that these advertising companies will not be paying the 17 <cough> green taxes the Danes must pay on top of every single watt of their quarterly bills for their electricity at home.

A rare, spotted Zebra has been <cough> spotted in Africa. Rich and thereby automatically "entitled" US dentists are [allegedly] queuing up to take point blank, pot shots at it for only $50,000US per pot. Like shooting goldfish in a barrel some say. Or a white whale in an aquarium?

Cecil, the black maned lion, was not available for comment. He'd been swimming in a barrel, while wearing his Lion King's golden crown, when he met his end to an "entitled" US dentist. One can but hope none of his patients wears a black beard and golden Speedos while simultaneously enjoying a dip in the hot tub...


20.09.19 Nice tax-free handout if you can get it?


Friday 20th 53F, uniform grey overcast. A walk to the lanes in fine drizzle under grey skies. The prairie was having a spray by a huge machine. So I altered my route. Not that it will reduce the symptoms we both have after every, post harvest spraying going back for years.

    Lazy dragonfly taking a break from keeping the mosquitoes down.

A short ride to the shops. The tailwind allowed me to cruise at 19mph into the village. Coming home I paid the interest for the earlier journey. With rain to add to the fun. Only 7 miles. The sky is now leaden with sun shining through the holes.

Most of the houses in Copenhagen have been bought by foreign speculators and/or money launderers. So the city is planning to build more houses [for foreign speculators.] On an exclusive artificial island, no less.

The entire project will be built by imported economic slaves [as usual.] Probably a mix of North Koreans and trafficked, Eastern Europeans living on the bare floor of the building site for negative wages maintained by threats against their families back at home. The usual arrangement. This is only going on past form. Where most, major, Danish, public building projects are involved.

No cycle paths will be needed to connect the island because oligarchs don't ride bicycles. We are probably looking at an exclusive, private toll bridge. Most likely built to an open, international competition winning design for a bit of free, extra sales promotion. Though it is hardly needed on what is an absolutely guaranteed, obscenely high return, absolutely safe, tax-free investment for mere pocket money for a billionaire, entirely at taxpayer's expense.

Typically low paid, armed, private security guards will keep any Danish riff-raff out. No doubt a marina for mega-yachts will be incorporated. For when an oligarch pops in for an odd weekend to gloat over his tax-free, taxpayer-built and subsidized, handout.

The island is deliberately being built higher than most of Copenhagen. So they will need a yacht to reach their private island within a couple of years anyway.

It would be bad form to arrive in a noisy, jet powered, private helicopter. Not with so many fellow billionaires maintaining the standards of their exclusive investment. Nobody has yet explained how they will import the vast quantities of priceless marble so desperately needed to smarten up their latest properties. Again using slave labour.

Can you have a Servant's Entrance on an island for all those articulated lorries? Having them rolling in convoys over the exclusive [international architect designed] toll bridge is not quite the look one might be hoping for. Is it?

The only major worry now, is finding enough unpaid, masochistic servants. Well, Somebody has to live in a broom cupboard and dust the original, Louis 14th furniture while the Master or Mistress is absent. Then accept the brutal beatings. For not living up to "the expected standards" of a raving, sadistic, "entitled" psychopath. Probably with pretensions to royalty.

Does all this sound sickeningly familiar from countless news stories from every other major city right around the globe? Thought so. Welcome to today's reality. Slavery is not dead. It just invented new names for itself. A slave driver is now any and every "entitled" person [of wealth.] πŸ˜‰

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19 Sep 2019

19th September 2019 Abandon hope? No problem!


Thursday 19th 40-57F, bright and calm. You have to laugh: The latest crop of musical chairs players [politic-ooze] are demanding an absolutely paltry increase in cigarette prices... PROVIDED social security payments are increased to match! Dugh? Say what?

Nobody has yet explained when cigarettes became essential to survival of the underclasses. Is it simply a matter of maintaining street cred for the vulnerable? Doubling the price is still just chickenfeed. Though it would probably make a slight dent in the next generation of educationally challenged smokers.

Then they wouldn't be able to afford their weekend fixes and wacky baccy as well. So would have to make a choice between their filthy habits. Then there is the cost of sugar bomb drinks and takeaways. How could they possibly afford those, all day, every day, if cigarettes were more expensive? What an awful choice! But never mind. The taxpayer will always pick up the tab for the latest football supporter's strip. Changed twice in one month, you say? Season ticket to the rich boy's, money laundering game? No problem!

Denmark's vacuous plans to cut CO2 by 70%, within ten years, have just been given another scientific thrashing. This on top of the CO2 burden of importing firewood from right around the globe to make electricity. Clear felling endangered forests? No problem. Denmark's oil production in the North Sea promises to make a complete mockery of any feeble drop in Denmark's proud history of National CO2 Production. Nothing changes as a result of fiddling around the edges of human society's survival strategies.Ask the farmers to stop cultivating marshland? Nah.

Getting LOTS OF self-driving, electric cars onto the roads would be a huge bonus in health, accident prevention and lowered noise levels for most. Yet nobody seems to mention the indescribable CO2 burden in their manufacture, advertising and global distribution. As always, a few posh cars never made a revolution. You have to get the masses on board any <cough> sea change to make the slightest REAL change. Every car will need automatic floats by the time electric cars are affordable for all. Should the billions, who have no car now, want an electric car... what then?

Why the Hell are most cars designed to carry more than one or two people? Why is there no market for practical smaller vehicles? Most car journeys are taken entirely alone. If taxis didn't cost an arm and a leg and two kidneys it would be a VALID alternative for MASS transport. MASS being the operative word. We can't afford, nor can we find the resources to build electric cars for all. Not with the present technology and infinite demand for finite resources of [very] rare earths and metals. Not to mention the vast CO2 burden of obtaining. smelting and distributing them.

Cycling is super efficient and needs far less space than some drooling commuter's place on the micro-hierarchy of mass produced Euroboxes, styling accessories and wide alloy wheels. The downside of cycling is discomfort when it is not balmy, calm and level. Boxing cycles into a slippery clog is a hopeless cul-de-sac for most. It would also cause traffic jams!

So we need to box in the cyclist with easily affordable, practical and comfortable weather proofing. Why does it cost literally hundreds of pounds/dollars for a square meter of breathable/shower proof cloth? To pay for the advertising?

Most of this kit is made in China. Or similar forced labour/slave economy countries. The mark-up must be astronomical! Literally giving away efficient cycle clothing to all would be far more useful, both nationally and globally, than pretending to cut taxes for those who pay none at all anyway.

Why are the taxpayers paying for cigarettes for the poor? When they could be cycling to properly paid work. We need a revolution in transport. Let the rich have their empty pride in their robot-produced, tin-pot, luxury, battery boxes. They really don't matter a damn in the grand scheme of things. Provided they don't want to share our new cycle paths.

There have been no recent, public statements on Denmark's millions of cancer causing woodburning stoves. They are a burden on those who still need to breathe. Many stoves are old fashioned and far less efficient than they should be. What is the REAL alternative?

Subsidise air-to-air heat pumps? The Grid cannot manage its task if millions of electric cars need charging. How could it possibly cope with millions of heat pumps blasting away all night? Windmills? Nope. Solar panels on every roof? Nope. You'd need a National Battery Bank to even out the load. Even local electricity production and use is limited in what it could achieve.

The latests round of self-serving politicooze demanded our votes to solve the climate crisis. Just making one tiny country, like Denmark, more CO2 efficient, is going to be very painful. Never mind. They can easily afford a couple of dozen of Chump jets at a billion a pot in REAL costs.

Now you [the politic-ooze] can [allegedly] afford to mix it with the big boys on every war front around the globe. Imagine the increased risk back at home from hundreds of thousands of imported, fighting age zealots! Besides, what's a few hundred more homeless ex-soldiers with PTSD and lifelong problems?

The Powers That Be can easily afford to hand over tens of billions in taxation as imaginary and illegal refunds to foreign and domestic crooks. It's certainly not a lack of taxpayer's cash then. In fact it seems [almost] disposable when you are really deep in the politic-ooze.

Just dealing with the obesity epidemic, with a few % taxes on sugar and fat bombs is still an assault on basic human rights it seems. Well, they can always raise the social security payments to match the intolerable burden on the poor, fat, chain smoking, drug abusing, hospital bed abusing, masses. 


18 Sep 2019

18th September 2019 Reeling from the muck spreading.


Wednesday 18th 46F, bright and clear but rather breezy. Walked to the lanes where the mobile reel, muck spreader was covering another field.

Tankers kept arriving to refill the tall, shipping container housing the diesel driven pump. It was rather time consuming hanging about waiting for the machine to return from the far end. So that I could capture some more pictures.

Even close up the smell wasn't too overpowering. So I snapped away as the driver rotated his cab and started another slow stroll, back across the field. The cab both rotates and slides sideways to allow a clear view regardless of direction of travel.

I know I have often complained about the smell but that doesn't detract from my interest in the technology. The major advantage is the absence of mud on the roads from having to collect more muck from the distant farm. The tankers remain on the road while the pump container rests on the verge. The reel device never has to return to the road until a field is completely finished.

Young Greta Thunberg [Thunderbug?] is in the USA campaigning for action on climate change. Her work will be cut out for her. You can take an ass to knowledge but you can't [ever] make it think.

We had a small hedgehog pottering in the drive this afternoon. By the time we had found it some worms, during an unexpectedly heavy shower, it had vanished. Never turn your back on a hedgehog. Or, have your worms at the ready. Just in case. It is years since we saw a hedgehog despite the garden having lots of ideal accommodation. And, yes, I do know they are nocturnal.

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16 Sep 2019

16th September 2019


Monday 16th 51-57F, quite bright but rather cloudy. With occasional gusts. A hint of a chill on the fingers as I started my walk. Though the headwind soon dropped. I took snaps of the gulls as they moved about restlessly on the newly sewn or ploughed fields.

Then I walked on up the hill to capture some shots of ploughing. The most amazing cloud pattern took ages to move away. To finally let the sun through. No excuse for a ride today.

Tuesday 17th 49-51F, bright as thin cloud clears but breezy from NW. Already blowing hard as I walked to the lanes. Where I captured lots of snaps of a mobile, hose reel, muck spreader. The system uses a large and noisy diesel engine to pump the pig's waste along a 4" hose. The spreader carries a huge reel. On which it winds and unwinds miles of hose as it travels the fields at a walking pace. The entire cab on the machine rotates to avoid having to make a turn at each end of a run. Which would put an unwanted twist in the hose.

Not a day for a ride with gusts to 50mph and light showers. It is already clouding over at 10am. Rain started at 10.20. Still no rain on the TV forecast. The DMI has rain from 11.00-1400. Shopped in the car. Tree debris, brought down by the weather, on the road all through the forest.

Let me know if I miss the end of the world news. I will no longer click "Accept" [cookies] on every single news item by every publisher on Google News.

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13 Sep 2019

13.09.19 Unlucky for some?


Friday 13th 55-64F, bright sunshine with a good breeze from the north west. A very unusual wind direction. Walked to the lanes. Not one of the five lorry or bus drivers acknowledged my taking to the verge to let them pass unhindered against oncoming traffic. I may return to standing my ground at this rate! A few, small fluffy clouds went over but not the rapid overcast of yesterday.

Don't forget the Comma!

Today's news is that it took 7 million Danish kroner to collect four million Danish kroner from patients who needed help with translation. There is no mention of the countless hours wasted by medical staff in administering the translation service. Nor of the quality of the translators following news headlines about gross inadequacies over the last year.

They should have used the British system of universal translation proven over many centuries. Available, free of charge, from any available, British bod in the area. They just shout loudly: "Parlay voo the inglayzi?" Repeat, as necessary, with increasing volume. They say it works a treat.  πŸ˜‰

Denmark's drivers continue to amaze the police. They set up a speed control in Aarhus from 2pm to 20.30. Resulting in 261 fines for speeding with 33 clips on driving licenses. One instant removal of a driving license and another conditional. The speed record for the day was 121kph [75mph] in a 50kph [31mph] zone.

28 drivers were abusing mobile telephones and 17 drove without a seat belt or drove through a red light. The sooner they have self-driving cars the better. Though I fear a huge increase in rear-enders from the driving <cough> experts and drunks. Who will automatically switch off the smart car controls.

Can you even imagine traffic which always drives within its safe braking distance? No. I cant either! I have been rear-ended twice by habitual "mint chewers" when I stopped at red lights. Both offered me cash not to report the collision in their "wife's cars!" Coincidence? Probably not. Driving while banned for drink driving much more likely.

To add to the misery a Danish TV station set up a camera at a light controlled crossing. They soon had film of 21 drivers going straight through on red. Like lemmings to the slaughter. I see this same behaviour every time I go to Odense. The waits for the red lights are so long that lots of drivers get impatient and chance their luck. A crossing is not just a simple case of two way traffic changes. There are usually filters for those crossing the traffic stream in each of four directions. The lights always change even if there is nobody waiting.

Denmark is still waiting for a pure bred Dane to independently invent the major traffic roundabout under strict Janteloven rules. Until that <cough> genius comes along Denmark can't have big roundabouts. Mind you, the cost and disruption of fitting roundabouts on busy roads is probably astronomically high. There always has to be drainage and power cables and all the other services to attend to.

My least favourite route is the multi-lane, multi-crossing, through route to Nyborg in east Odense. It also leads to the vast shopping malls and big shed outlets and motorway connections. I often have to stop at every single red light which are every few hundred yards. You may well imagine how long that takes to cover a single kilometre!

There are no parallel, minor roads for cyclists to use either which wouldn't involve waiting at more lights or making a major detour. Cycle friendly Denmark? Yeah, right! I had a look at Google Earth to check for alternative cycle routes but nothing presented itself. Presumably the whole area west and south of the roads involved was designed to avoid becoming a rat run for vehicles.

Saturday 14th 47-60F, clear, bright and still. Walked to the lanes in bright sunshine. Saturday morning traffic very quiet. Strong smell of chemicals coming from one field. A late morning ride to the shops. Crosswind going. Headwind coming home. Going well. Only 14 miles.

Sunday 15th 58F, overcast with gales all day. A grey start turned to fine drizzle despite it not being mentioned on either forecasts service. I walked clockwise up to the woods and back down by the steep track. About an hour and twenty minutes in total. A Roe deer was caught out in the middle of a clear felled clearing. It surprised me by dashing towards me before launching itself into the prickly undergrowth.

A second deer was grazing by a gap in the hedge and seemed quite reluctant to miss breakfast. By the time I had reached the road again a buzzard was being mobbed by crows. They went off into the distance still performing wild, aerial acrobatics. After a proper shower there was a clearing around lunch time with brief sunshine between the clouds. Fortunately the storm was much further north. The Faeroe Islands [north of Scotland] measured a gust of 71m/s or 158mph! The wind eventually dropped here after lunch but there was no excuse for a shopping ride.

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12 Sep 2019

12.09.19. Comparisons are odious?

Thursday 12th 52-61F. Sunny period promised but it was often dark and heavily overcast during the day. Walked to the lanes.

I have been watching lots of YT videos, in English, about Dutch cycling facilities. They were so advanced 5 years ago they make Denmark's cycling facilities, in 2019, look like a third world country. One where cycling hasn't yet been invented. Don't believe a word about Denmark being cycling friendly. It might have been in the past but lost its way to the motor car decades ago.

Many major, Danish, roads have no cycle lanes at all. Let alone segregated cycle paths. Nor do they bother with cycle paths on major bridges between the three main landmasses. Meaning cyclists must travel long distances to find a suitable bridge crossing. If there is one.

Or must take the costly train just to cross the bridge. When the station ticket machines are actually working. You'd think they could have a bridge going transporter just for commuter cyclists. Something like a low loader with lots of bike racks and simple but spartan human accommodation for the crossing. Or find room to build a proper cycle lane on either side.

Dutch cities compete every year to be the Cycling City of Holland. While Denmark competes on how many decades they can go between sweeping the cycle lanes free of compost, fallen branches, fossils and loose gravel. Holland has lots of concentric cycle lanes around specially designed roundabouts. It has lots of cycle bridges, vast protected cycle parks and universal, red cycle route tarmac. Denmark has thousands of red, traffic lights.

Most Dutch cyclists don't wear helmets. Yet they have the lowest number of head injuries in the entire world. The secret is segregation of cyclists from motor traffic and always giving the cyclist the right of way. Even down to the design of the roads to drive the lazy motorist onto a bicycle.

Watch a video of the Dutch cyclists in action and you see a truly advanced level of relaxed skill. There is no sign of aggression because they all know they make the same mistakes at times. It is quite mesmerising to watch how they mingle and endlessly cross each other's complex paths without coming into contact. I feel I would really struggle to survive on my trike in these incredibly busy conditions. Yet you see lots of trikes and cargo bikes mixing effortlessly in the cycle traffic.

Countless children safely ride to school as they practice their riding skills from a very young age. The school's cycle parking facilities are unbelievably vast and efficient. Finding a single, obese person in any of these videos is remarkably difficult. The nation's health benefits from having so many cyclist is mind blowing and improving every day. Shops sales are booming because cyclists can park right outside. Instead of fighting for a space for the car and walking back and forth.

Outside Holland, the car has killed many independent shops. Leaving the towns and villages exposed to the ravages of the centralised, monopolistic, supermarket and big shed, money printers. Meanwhile, the Dutch are deliberately closing their city centres to cars. Making for a quiet and healthy environment for all. The streets are filled with relaxed pedestrians and cyclists. Their behaviour is sophisticated, tolerant and calm. Born of long practice and endless experience.

Outside Holland there are token pedestrianised streets full of the wrong kinds of chains. If every high street is identical why would you bother which town it is? They all look just the same. So you might as well buy your stuff online. Instead of waiting anxiously in a queue. While you worry about overstaying your distant parking spot.

Even where Denmark has pedestrianised city streets, motorised traffic is allowed but NOT cycles. You can be heavily fined for cycling there but cars pass back and forth with total impunity! They even have police deliberately targetting the cyclists and publicising it! Whoo-o-o-oh! Twilight Zone Alert! Holland is able to cater for both cyclist and pedestrians in the same street in vast numbers. Often in narrow historical streets. While the car takes the very long way around the outside.

An Audi, school mini-bus sized, people carrier passed me on the road. It was sporting expensive wheels and very low profile tyres. I wondered at the severe delusional psychology of the proud owner as he travelled alone. The German government is about to ban these vehicles from their city centres.

I expect the Danish government will give them special parking privileges and tax breaks. It's always fun to watch the idiot owners trying to park them in cramped supermarket car parks. Many Danish supermarkets have the parking lines painted too close together. So it seems as if they have lots of spaces. Only there isn't room for a small car between the lines. Let alone a blΓΈΓΈdy great mini-bus!

Did I tell you how a woman driver of a very large, German, luxury saloon was embarrassed by my presence? I was loading my trike's bright, new, yellow saddlebag with carrier bags full of heavy shopping. She had deliberately taken the only disabled parking space. Which is nearest the supermarket door and right in front of me as I was busy at the cycle rack.

I glanced up a couple of times just to see if she had a disabled parking card in the windscreen. Of course she hadn't. That was enough for her to struggle to reverse out and take another spot further away. Perhaps she thought I was disabled because I was riding a trike?

Isn't the cold psychopathy of wealth entitlement wonderful? Until you embarrass yourself in the public eye. Like some Lady Godiva. Hidden from view only by her luxury vehicle. That disabled parking spot is very popular with large, luxury vehicles. Even when the car park is almost empty. There is a large blue disabled sign on a post at driver's eye level so they would have to be registered blind not to see it. πŸ™ˆ

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10 Sep 2019

10.9.19 Ark? What ark?


Tuesday 10th 54-59F, heavy overcast but calm start to the day. A low, travelling north, is supposed to bring 24 hours of rain and one month's average rainfall in one day to Denmark. We are west of the low's, supposed soggy track, but likely to get rain anyway. And did, just as I reached my half way point. Not bad enough to be problem though. It rained on and off all day.

Mother deer at full zoom and further cropped. I discovered that I was standing between it and its young. A pair of youngsters were hidden in the hedge beside me. They were soon reunited and dashed for the woods.

I tripped over a bramble hidden in the long grass and went arse over tit. Well, more like a headlong dive onto my hands and knees without the full inversion. The landing site was soft but muddy. So I was able to continue with a just a few aches as a reward for my rather inferior, gymnastic performance. I shall have to be more careful!

Wednesday 11th 53-61F bright and breezy but rain expected later. [pm] A ride is inevitable if we are not to starve. A brisk walk to the lanes first. Where I spotted a cat about 200  yards ahead. With one giant pjoing it leapt high into the air and vanished into the grass verge. The early sun was soon squashed behind the fast moving cloud cover as the wind picked up. It started raining just after 2pm.

I have mentioned that the Danish law has now changed to a "clip" on the driving licenses for mobile phone users behind the wheel. 6 clips lead to a driving ban. 120 caught in one day so far. 22,500 caught last year [450 per day] only paid a £200 fine.

Gravely Blighted has penalty points on driving licenses for traffic violations. 12 points maximum before a person's driving license is revoked. The US has 4x as many road deaths per 100,00 inhabitants as Denmark, Holland, the UK and many other, far more advanced nations.

A driving psychopath took the most dangerous, blind bend at over 70mph just as I avoided the linear flood caused by poor roadworks and a misplaced drain. This is the same bend, with a tall hedge, which is only 2' from the asphalt. There is only room for a ribbed concrete kerb with a 45° slope between hedge and road. 

There are several houses, close beside each other, starting just beyond this lethal corner. Each with their own blind exit and small children crossing the road to catch the morning bus to school. Driving psychopaths aren't clever. They are murderous scum. Gambling with the lives of others entirely for their own entertainment. With modern airbags the risk of injury to themselves if they should hit a pedestrian or cyclist is paltry. The Danish national speed limit is 80kph or 50mph.

Shopped in the car for the equivalent of six large carrier bags full and more. Starvation is staved off for yet another day. Went to check my tyres in the garage to find the dial was completely illegible. It went years before the cheapskates replaced the worthless rubber ring in the valve nozzle.

So I had to drive to another garage where everything worked exactly as it should. Shouldn't the original garage be prosecuted for public endangerment? Years of inadequacy is surely grounds for something?

An earthen tsunami breaks across the landscape. The farmer's ability to add precise, geometric lines to any slope is always a surprise. On a flat field straight lines it would go largely unnoticed. These lines are the markings of a huge, seed drill being towed behind an equally large tractor.

Like many conifer forests, the crops retain these artificial lines when seen from particular angles. Only ploughing after the harvest finally erases the lines.

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9 Sep 2019

090919 Buddy can you spare a log?


Monday 9th 52F, overcast but calm. All the wind turbines are at a standstill. Walked up to the woods under grey, misty skies. Thousands of gulls were following the ploughs.

Talking of green energy: Denmark is accused by its own scientists of blatant cheating when it claims it burns wood in its power stations. Unlike other countries, Denmark imports the vast majority of its timber from abroad. Including from the USA! Shipping and chipping the logs for burning consumes huge quantities of energy and releases vast quantities of CO2. Which is NOT included in the claimed CO2 savings from burning wood. 

Even worse, any newly planted trees will take a century to reclaim all the CO2 from the immediate burning of existing trees. Which means the CO2 must be directly added to Denmark's national burden on Global Warming. Must try harder? Ask the environment minister. Who denies that Denmark will be the very last country in Europe to ban Glyphosate or Round-up. Farmers rule in Denmark. Whichever shade of government pretends to be in power to their adoring, mutually-parasitic, national TV station.

The environment Minister is flying off to stir the pot at the latest climate meeting. "Do as I say. Not as I do?" Denmark has stated it wants to slash CO2 within 10 years. It's called "slash and burn" in some circles.

Most existing, Danish homes are poorly insulated and there seems to be no public plans to insulate them. Only new builds are energy efficient and there's serious doubt about that claim. Foreign investors seem to own most of the city housing stock these days. So only they would reap the benefits of insulation strategies in increased rents.  

Larger cars, with higher fuel consumption, are popular here because of Right Wing taxation strategies. The number of electric vehicles sold in Denmark is absolutely derisory. All due to Right Wing market interference by doubling import taxes. 

So how Denmark actually intends to make a REAL dent in its CO2 burden on the world is entirely up in the air. The economics of existing plans don't even add up. There was talk of subsidies for new wood burning stoves to replace the old. All that did was stagnate the stove market while everybody waited for the tax handout. It certainly didn't reduce the airborne, particle count.

Heat pumps aren't being subsidized because they are inefficient and costly to run in [typically] poorly insulated homes. Most owners just use them for greater comfort and who can blame them?

There are still homes being built with two storey, glass walls facing north. How do the builders get away with it? There seems to be no strategy to use passive solar. No plans to reduce the overheating burden from solar gain in summer. No strategy to stop solar shadowing of other properties.

A light coloured, southern roof slope can remove the need for heat pumps to be used for Air Conditioning in summer. Expanding into the loft, rather than buying a new home, is hideously expensive in energy costs. For both heating and cooling. Human comfort must be completely ignored except in Autumn and Spring. Affordable, external, louvred blinds, to reduce heat gain through acres of glass in summer, are simply not available. Fixed louvres on roofs could block unwanted summer heat gain. While allowing some beneficial heat gain in winter. 

The only really green form of transport is the cycle. Every cyclist is one commuter less. Which means one space more on the overcrowded roads. There is precious little sign of any greater investment in cycle paths. Not outside the cities. Where costly, cycling superhighways are boasted about and can be opened by this week's environment minister. Many official cycle routes offer zero protection to cyclists. They are lucky if there is even a white line 4" from the overgrown brambles on the verge. I know this because that is usually where I place my nearside wheel.

Any former, sheltering hedge was subsidized by the taxpayer for its earlier removal. Disused railways could offer direct cycling routes across country. But remain the province of occasional private hire of pedal driven trolleys in summer. These are slow, heavy, noisy, uncomfortable, inefficient and all rather pointless.

When a real bicycle could easily triple the average speed if the gaps between the rails and sleepers were filled with self-compacting gravel. Thereby vastly increasing the number of potential cyclists using the route. Assuming, of course, that the cycle track is made wide enough for cyclists to pass safely in opposite directions without a major blood bath making global headlines! πŸ™ˆ


8 Sep 2019

8th September 2019 Total ignorance is bliss?


Sunday 8th 48-62F, cloudy with a risk of rain later. As usual, the competing Danish weather services don't agree. When do they ever? A walk to the lanes in weak sunshine. I was much too warm despite having only reached 57F so far. The wildlife total for this morning was a large and very dead, brown rat on the road.

Oh, and I also risked the planet [via the butterfly effect] by directing a large black beetle towards the edge of the tarmac. It was marching cheerfully down the middle of the road before that. If every action produces new branches in the timeline I may have irrevocably changed the future.

We have new neighbours [again!] Possibly "townies" but who can tell apart from their idiotic behaviour?

Lopping off hedges, outside of the clipping season, with a chainsaw, at waist height? Sound familiar? Throwing the debris across the collective drive where access is required by all. Including the postman's and other delivery vans? Check. Starting a fire with the freshly cut, green branches, on their lawn under an overhanging veranda? Dugh? Say what? πŸ˜†

It was pure luck that the smoke drifted straight at our home only a few [illegal] yards away. <sniff-cough-splutter-cough!> There are hard and fast rules about all such behaviour. They are enshrined in the law to protect the greater good. Rather than to favour deep, private ignorance, laying waste to the entire countryside.

Garden fires have strict rules about distances to hedges and buildings. All depending largely on the size of the intended [or final?] conflagration.  The safe distances to thatched buildings are enshrined in the law to avoid hideous tragedy. There are still a lot of thatched buildings in rural Denmark.

Read my lips: Garden bonfires may only be lit between December and March to protect the growing crops and inevitable hay which follows the harvest.

The safe distances required, by law, are not remotely insignificant. 15 meters to any building, inflammable structure, agricultural field or living growth. This is only with the tiniest, outdoor fire.

30 meters is the rule for still conditions for any bonfire over a yard/meter wide. The distances double with any wind. 60 meters is nearly 200 feet in Olde Money! Are you feeling lucky, punk?

These distances strongly suggest that the council run recycling yards, where garden waste may be safely dumped, free of charge, 24x7, make excellent sense. The cost of the facility is included in the rates.[local taxes.] You paid, so why not use them? The garden waste dumping yards are extremely popular, year round. Most rural Danes own a trailer and know their way to the recycling yard. Usually while driving with their eyes closed. This avoids them seeing the debris trail of hedge clippings which leads all the way back home. Real Danes don't use trailer nets! πŸ‘±

Hedge heights are also enshrined in the law to avoid neighbourly conflicts. Shared, boundary hedges are limited to 1.8 meters minimum height where disagreement exists. They may be up to 3.5 meters high with shared agreement. Or 5 meters where the hedge shares a field boundary. Hedges are usually clipped only in high summer. This avoids die-back in sensitive hedging plants and trees. Whadaya mean you've never heard of die back? C'mon! Everybody's heard of die-back!!

Why do newcomers always behave like the drooling idiots they despise in others they see all around them?  The Danes call them Landsby tossers. Village idiots. Ironically, the term is usually reserved for established country dwellers. Moi? Not for the morons bringing their pre-packed ignorance with them in the furniture lorry!

No ride today as it became steadily cloudier and rained later. No bonfires today. Except for the one left smouldering, unattended, overnight...

Click on any image for an enlargement.


7th September 2019 See me. See my mirror, Jimmy.


Saturday 7th 53F, cool, but bright and sunny start. Walk first. Ride later. A Red kit was soaring over a copse but moved away as I stared through my binoculars. I walked to the lanes where I spotted a trio of dwarf deer. They were  sunbathing at the foot of a hedge on the other side of a field.

The low sun was almost right behind me so they had little chance of seeing me clearly. Sadly, they were too far away for a close-up. So I snapped away at full zoom on my TZ7 and hoped for a clear shot. It is years since I last saw dwarf deer. They were grazing on the lawns of a summer house area down by the coast. Back then I didn't even know they existed. So it seemed almost surreal seeing these dog-sized deer scampering about in the open.

A little online research later and they appear to be Roe deer. I usually see the much larger [Red?] deer at least once a week in the wild.

Interestingly, Wikipedia suggests that Roe deer bark when disturbed. I often hear barking in the forest. The sound is usually very loud and quite terrifying when you fear wolves are present! Though highly unlikely. Because wolves haven't spread to Fyn as far as I know. They would have to cross long and busy bridges to reach Fyn from Jylland.

The news is that finally, using a mobile telephone while driving will cost a clip on ones license as well as a fine. There has been quite a delay until the introduction of the new law while the police fixed a computer software problem. Last year 22,500 drivers preferred to pay a £200 fine for handheld phone use in Denmark. The lack of rural police suggests that those caught represented a tiny fraction of the total in mobile phone abusers and probably city dwellers.

Cyclists are also subject to the same law while in motion or waiting for a red light. I shall have to watch out.[sic] I use my phone to check the time since I no longer own a wristwatch. I wonder how the law stands on cycle computers? Dare one press a button while in motion?

It is further reported that six out of ten Danish children have their mobile telephones switched on, beside their beds, while they sleep. There is no sane reason, that I can think of, for allowing this.

An afternoon ride to the shops. Returning heavily laden. Going well. Wind on a diagonal to my route. 16-17mph going. Headwind and 10mph on the way home. Hardly any drivers keeping to the speed limits. Particularly in the villages. Though a number held back before overtaking when there was oncoming traffic.

I always give them a brief wave of thanks as they pass. Just as I ALWAYS hold as close as possible to the verge when I see a car approaching from the rear in my mirror. I'd happily make rear view mirrors compulsory on every cycle and wouldn't be without mine. Having near silent, high speed electric vehicles and bikes coming up behind you is a damned good reason to fit one now. Too snobby to have a 60g mirror on your carbon fibre, weekend chariot? Well, fool you! Lose 60g in body weight to compensate! Or spend thousands on the next groupset you can't possibly live without. A fool and his money are soon parted.

A Zefal Cyclop bar end with lightweight, fully adjustable elbow, works just as well on dropped [racing] handlebars as straight ones. It is made of chromed, unbreakable plastic so is incredibly light and safe in an accident. The mirror is also flat. So does not give a completely false impression of distance from an overtaking vehicle. Being so light and compact the Zefal doesn't shake with a low frequency vibration. The view is rock solid.

Zefal has a whole range of mirrors to suit different viewing distances and tastes. I tried their tiny "Spy" for a few years but it was just too small on the bottom end of dropped bars when I was sitting upright on the hoods. Then I spotted the Cyclop[ in a shop and have used them ever since. A trike is a special case because the rear tyre sprays the mirror with grit in the wet. So I only get about 3 years before the mirror is rather pitted but still usable. A bike wouldn't have such problems.

If I was in charge of the world I would make all the managing directors of convex, glass, cycle mirror factories eat a whole one of their products in public and online. It would only take one such meal to stop making such lethal contraptions worldwide!

 Trikes and (odd) bikes.: 15th December 2014 Reflecting on Zefal mirrors

I saw a female Kestrel hovering effortlessly beside the road while I was struggling with the headwind. 14 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


5 Sep 2019

5th September 2019 The Deluge! [Director's Cut.]


Thursday 5th, 54F, overcast with a few small holes. The forecast is a mixture of sunshine and showers. With a split over timing.

"Top Gear" has been reported to the police for driving several 4WDs on a protected coastal dune around a lighthouse in North Jylland. [Eng:Jutland]

Dansk Top Gear-optagelse bliver meldt til politiet | Nordjylland | DR

My morning walk reached only as far as the neighbour's carport. Less than a 100 yards. Where I waited [and waited] for the rain to stop lashing down so I could safely return home. The picture tells most of the story. A morning of heavy showers and sunny periods.

Ever the optimist, I went shopping in the afternoon. In the village I was overtaken by a gaggle of about a dozen, school, cycling club members. Later, I was within 50 yards of the drive when it absolutely bucketed down! The fields vanished behind a solid white wall of rain as I cowered under a leaky tree. Only 7 miles. Some of it wet. Am I having fun yet? THG swears that the weather is rough whenever the USA has a hurricane. It does seem to be true.

Friday 6th 53-?F, bright but rather cloudy start. Rain expected all day. Walked across the prairie to the woods. I was going to tour the firebreaks but it started raining hard. So I retreated back the way I had come as the rain eased and then stopped. Later in the day there were torrential downpours with strong winds. Image: Linaria [Toadflax] all alone beside the track to the woods.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


3 Sep 2019

3rd September 2019 Wet + hedge clipping.


Tuesday 3rd September 55F, wet and windy. Continuous rain expected to last until lunchtime. As it says on the tin: Wet! She made me do it! I was sent off during a microsecond's delay between downpours. To become thoroughly drenched from head to toe before reaching my familiar exit to the lanes.

Every lorry provided additional moisture. Just in case there was anywhere left which I'd somehow missed myself. I'm taking a bit of a chance and keeping my socks on. All the rest has gone into the wash. With a thorough pre-rinse, at no extra expense, in either water or electricity bills. Have I gone self-sufficient or off-grid? One can only hope.

Wednesday 4th 60F, heavy overcast and breezy. We kept hearing a racket yesterday afternoon but couldn't see anything. Today I spotted a hedging tractor, way off, across the fields. So I used that as my target for today's walk.

They have a huge and equally noisy, branch chipping machine too. To eat up all the fallen foliage. The noise is a small price to pay for keeping the field hedges. All too many have been lost in the past. Often roadside hedges too. Which cyclists greatly value for their protection from the wind and driven rain. They hold back the snow drifts from the fields too. Often only gaps in the hedges cause snowdrifts on the roads.

These hedges are favourite nesting spaces for birds. Perhaps they sense that they offer greater safety from predators. Which might be deterred by the traffic movement and noise.

The hedge clipper uses a long, thin, spinning cutter. Rather than the typical domestic, scissor action or a large, circular saw. Very sharp the cutter is too judging by the quality of cuts of felled branches and stumps left on the hedge itself. Not much debris spread.

The debris falls onto the field at the foot of the hedge and is then chipped later by the other machine following on behind. All highly efficient. With clipping carried out at a good walking pace. With regular interruptions as the cutter chews noisily through thicker branches. Even the chips have value and are piled up in vast mounds for later collection. Presumably for suitable heating systems. Or garden bed coverage to deny light to the weeds.

I wouldn't mind the tractor clipper having a go at the overgrown hedges around Chez Hovel. They trimmed back the neighbour's field hedge one year but didn't lower the height. So it just went on growing [and growing.] It's not my hedge so I'm not allowed to cut it any lower. None of the rotation of neighbours have touched a hedge in over 20 years. While I have been scrambling up 15' ladders every year to trim shared hedges myself.

There is supposed to be a 2.2m maximum [shared] hedge height but nobody cares out in the countryside. Once a hedge gets away it is no longer just twigs for loppers and domestic hedge clippers. It develops massive trunks and branches. They are all horribly spiny, plums, cherries, elders and Hawthorns. The blackbirds eat the fruits and then crap all over the place in colour. You can probably tell that I haven't been allowed out for a ride again. πŸ˜’

Click on any image for an enlargement.


2 Sep 2019

2nd September 2019 Totally new Overboard Pro-Sport PVC Saddlebag.


Monday 2nd 51F, clear and bright. After going missing since the 28th my new saddlebag is in the hands of a Danish delivery firm. Hopefully I shall see it today.

A walk to the lanes where I caught a dozen pheasants red handed out on the stubble fields. They discussed it amongst themselves as I drew nearer. Until they finally panicked and flew off noisily towards the nearest copse.

I skirted the edge of the harvested field to avoid the raving lunacy of morning commuter traffic. Another cat has died on the road. The third this year. Perhaps it was distracted by the big scary monster in the sky? Grr?

Guess what? After four days off the tracking radar the delivery firm took it upon themselves to take the bag 10 miles away from my home address and leave it a packet collection point.

After waiting 23 minutes for Bring to answer their customer services number they kindly offered to deliver it to another, nearer packet collection point instead of my home address. But it would be a couple of days more before they could get around to it. 32 kilometres later I had collected the bag myself and returned home. No thanks to Bring! Who will always go the extra 20 miles [sic] for a paying customer.

The new bag was heavier and much more detailed than the last one. More importantly it was made entirely of reinforced PVC inside and out. The last one was PVC coated only on the inside. The new bag weighs 2.6 lbs or 1.2 kg.

Vastly more useful than a pair of panniers for shopping. Because nothing gets crushed when you can arrange and rearrange the contents as new stuff arrives. I have been cycle shopping for nearly a decade now and know a bag of organic potatoes from a carton of organic eggs and where each should both go.

The rain was beading off the PVC nicely as I fiddled between showers. I stuffed a huge, lightweight tarpaulin in it to take a few pictures as if it were loaded. Even that wasn't enough to fill the huge 40 litres capacity.

I need to find another PVC covered baseboard to go inside. The last one was years old when it was borrowed from a charity shop sports bag and no longer useful. A baseboard inside helps to keep the boxy shape of the bag, protects the base and dampens rattles from hard objects. 

I have already fixed the new bag to the Trykit rack. So that I am ready for the next shopping trip. I added longer Pex plumping pipe extensions to the rack crossbar to avoid wear on the bag from the ends of the pipes. Though I still rounded them off well with a sanding disk. These extensions pass through fixed bag mouldings to ensure the bag cannot come free without a lot of extra work. The hose extensions are so tight I had to tap them gently onto the top rack pipe. Only pliers will get the extensions off again. Which is exactly what I had to do with the shorter originals.

The new bag is slightly stiffer than the old one but that doesn't hinder loading and unloading. Very pleased so far. I'd say it was even better value than the old bag given the serious upgrade in waterproofing. Remember to order the Pro-Sports 40L model if you want the external, rubberised and Velcro sealed, net pocket for your 70kg ABUS Mini U-lock. No more excuses not to lock your trike because the lock is in the bottom of your bag! The OB "Classic" bag has only a small zipped pocket. As has the Pro-Sports too. Just above the big net pocket.

You'll need a tricycle rack to support such a large bag properly from beneath. I added a shortened, lightweight, black plastic, corrugated, washing up, draining tray from the local Coop for even better base support. The tray is simply zip tied to the rack to ensure no movement. The tray was also well rounded along all the edges to avoid all risk of cutting through the bag material. It never did with the old bag.

Some trike tracks may be too narrow to allow the bag to sit between the rear wheels. I find it perfect with my own trike. The bag does become narrower with filling to its basic box shape but you can't rely on it for safety if clearance is too tight.

It's a shame the bag is too big for most bikes even if they do have a rear luggage rack fitted. Though it might be possible to have the bag arranged lengthways if a stiff platform was fixed securely on top of the rear rack. Don't take any chances with bag slippage though. If it happens in traffic it could easily cost you your life! But then, the same thing goes for swinging carrier bags from the handlebars. 50 years since we went to the moon but most bikes still have no carrying capacity. How's that for an engineering cul-de-sac?

The UK supplier of my new saddlebag has apologised and given a generous discount on my postal charges as compensation. 

Click on any image for an enlargement.


1 Sep 2019

1st September 2019 Tentative triking.


Sunday 1st September, 62F, overcast and calm. Overnight, thundery rain should be over for morning walks and rides. I used the stubble fields to loop up to the woods as the cloud thinned. Turning back to photograph the view and the western sky had gone black. Even the nearest wind turbines appeared soft as if engulfed by heavy rain. The overcast became much heavier but it stayed dry as I took a short cut across the fields in a hurry for home. Countless crane flies low down. While flocks of small birds foraged or moved away along the hedgerows.

If it clears up a bit I might try for some Sunday shopping on the trike. An outlet is open every day about 10 miles away. Or not, as a heavy shower passes over. The idiot passed up another chance to call it off when the radar showed a band of rain crossing his intended target.

Half way there it absolutely tipped down with a headwind to boot. The lanes were awash. Streams running downhill, floods on the flats. I turned in to shelter in a shop doorway and discovered an English, lady cyclist doing Germany and Denmark in a fortnight. It stopped raining almost immediately after that so I did my shopping.

A gentle tailwind on the way back helped me to feel stronger than I was. A psychopath in an illegally speeding convoy of Sunday drivers tried to close the gap as I crossed through the chain to take my rural exit. You missed me! Only 20 miles but everything I was wearing was still sopping wet on my return after two hours away.


31 Aug 2019

28th August 2019 Warm!


Wednesday 28th 70F, rather overcast but brightening steadily. Almost no wind. Walked to the village. Saw the second pedestrian in two days! This is becoming a habit and probably only due to the fine, warm weather. Over one hundred swallows were milling around a small stand of birches in the village.

Drove to the traffic jams in the city to buy some bulky stuff. It was awful! I could easily have walked across town faster than I drove. Queues everywhere and massive building and roadworks. Lots of electric scooters around. Only one idiot showing off [badly] to the traffic queues.
Thursday 29th 67-78F, overcast and showers. Some heavy. A dreadful night with the temperature indoors over 80F and writhing in a sweat bath even without bedclothes. I got up at 3.0am and put on an office fan to blow gently into the bedroom. One window was left open and the temperature had dropped by 2F overnight. It was far more comfortable after that and I slept well until 7.0am.

It remained dry for my walk to the lanes and then back over the highest humps in the field. New viewpoints are rarely available.

Friday 30th 65-73?F, bright but rather cloudy. Walked to the lanes and back along the edge of the stubble field to avoid the traffic. My new, Overboard "saddlebag" has vanished into the ether. No tracking updates for two whole days. No weekend delivery service. Shall we say September?

Saturday 31st 61-78F, bright but milky sky. My new Overboard bag has passed into/through the hands of a transport company with a 75% score of negative online reviews on its way from the UK. A walk around the block did not cure my bad back. It is warm, bright, misty and very muggy at 67F at 10am. Saw several birds of prey including a Red kite on my walk. Hundreds of sparrows are congregating.

Late morning ride to more distant shops. Headwind going. Chased by a mutt resembling a terrier. When it couldn't catch me it walked off into the illegally fast moving traffic and caused general mayhem. Fortunately the owner didn't miss working on her tan and continued undeterred despite the vicious barking right outside the garden.

Breezy coming back. Saw several more birds of prey in the air. A Goshawk, a Buzzard and something in beige in between. 15 miles, going remarkably well considering my recent, self-imposed  back pain. Lots of people and cyclists enjoying the fine weather. The cloud has relinquished its hold to provide clear, blue skies.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


27 Aug 2019

27th August 2019 Baling woes.


Tuesday 27th 66-82F, overcast clearing to sunshine. More hot weather forecast but now with the potential for cloudbursts and thunder. It was "snowing" yesterday as they harvested oil seed rape in the fields all around us. You would not believe the vast clouds of dust!

A baler was trundling around the harvested fields. So I snapped away at a distance. Then decided to walk briskly around the block to catch him the other side. Only to discover he had broken down. The journey is the thing. 

I had better finish rebuilding the trike. I found the bearing covers for the rear, gear changer pulleys in the bottom of the rinsing tub. Those will only take a few minutes extra to fit. Because I had already cleaned the mechanism. The pulleys were almost locked up and the central bearing surfaces appeared rusty.

I tend to spray chain lubricant liberally at the pulleys whenever I oil the chain. The chain lubricant obviously isn't getting into the pulley [plain] bearings thanks to the metal covers. Ordinary bicycle oil is probably better at finding its way in there. Or grease packing?

The pressed metal covers sit in narrow, concentric grooves in the pulleys. So there is a difficult route for fluids both in and out. Perhaps Campag greases them in the factory and then expects regular maintenance? Could that be the reason for the over-fussy mouldings of the plastic pulleys? They want the end-user to keep everything clean. Or to keep replacing the pulleys. I need a better degreasant. I have just used up  the last of a spray can of engine cleaner. Several applications, leaving it to soak in, brushing well and then rinsing thoroughly still leaves a lot of dirt behind.

After a ride to confirm all was well I set off for a short shopping trip.  Only 7 miles plus one. I really missed my big, yellow bag! Had to make to do with the tiny, Carradice, Camper Longflap. With two other bags sliding about on top.

There was very localized rain while I was out. Every time I came out of a supermarket [all with AC] it felt like a sauna outside. The baler was busy again on my return. A long, hot afternoon tidying the garden and trying to stay in the shade.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


26 Aug 2019

26th August 2019 And there it was, gone.


Monday 26th 66-83F, overcast but sunny periods promised. Are we really headed for a 32C [90F] record breaking heatwave? Or just a 27C, unusually warm, early autumn day? DMI or TV2? Take your pick.

A walk to the lanes and then a meandering wander back over the harvested fields. Trying to capture some different viewpoints but badly. The flattened, crop-filled fields, which had looked all but abandoned only yesterday, are now suddenly bare.

A tracked, stealth Claas harvester was hiding in a hedgerow to avoid being nuked by Chump over the non-Greenland sale spat. The Head Gardener asked why they are all called Claas. I suppose it does show a lack of imagination. Particularly when one has reached Claas 760! Perhaps it is to confuse Chump's cruise missiles?

Apologies for going off-topic but yellow saddlebags are in temporary short supply. I'm pedalling as hard as I can. Instead of a ride I decided to clean the rear axle assembly, transmission and Trykit 2WD components. I have a new chain waiting in the shed.

The supermarket sourced, disposable gloves, both latex and nitrile are hopeless. No strength at all. They barely last a minute or two. I suppose that's why they are called "disposable." Presumably they have much better quality gloves in hospitals.

It was warm working out of doors at 83F. I eventually moved into the shade. I stripped the chainset, 11 speed cassette and the whole rear axles assembly to get everything properly clean. Cassettes are easy to rebuild if you keep the thinnest groove/ridge towards you. I could hardly believe how light the trike felt without the lock, bag and rack. It also looked very smart with clean rear legs. [Seat stays.]

I ended up ordering a new Overboard bag from the UK. I just hope it is the one with the outside net pocket for my 70kg Dreadnought Class Abus mini-U lock or I shall be very cross. The description exactly matches my expectations. It seems odd that only Overboard ticks all the boxes at once.

Avoid any bags with zips. They die all too soon in my years of experience as a shopper with a whole series of sports bags. Straight zips mean very poor access and it only gets worse as the load increases. A U-zip puts heavy loads on the zip to keep the bag's shape together.

A roll top is absolutely perfect for a saddle bag. The rear of the saddle overhangs the bag so you need a trunk to guide things safely and quickly into whole area of the bag. The trunk also allows an easy doubling of capacity. While simultaneously allowing the minimum frontal area and wind drag as the bag is rolled down tight at other times.

Cloth strap handles are great if the bag sits naturally on its base. Because you can slip one handle over the saddle to support any load and provide extra security. The other can be used down below the bag for extra security. Either fold the other handle out of the way. Or cut it off if you have a permanently fixed bag and lots of other means of securing the bag to the rack. Most shoulder straps are easily removable with clips these days. So they don't get in the way of a fixed bag. I like a fixed bag because my trike is rarely left alone for long. Those who park their trike unattended for lengthy periods may consider this too much of a risk.

Perhaps Denmark is low risk or perhaps I have just been very lucky. All the standard straps and fixings I deliberately use on the Overboard do make it almost impossible to remove the bag without a sharp knife. Zip ties are not quick release for most people. I don't leave valuables in the bag and flatten it as much as possible when I visit the city.

The image shows the dramatic loss of area let alone capacity. This is the largest conventional saddlebag by Carradice. The 40 liter, Overboard bag covers the entire tray well enough to make the tray invisible.

Then I carry an Abus security chain as well as the U-lock. Front wheel security with the U-lock. The chain fixes the trike to the bike rack or something immovable. Never a bollard! City visits are rare. I am usually parked outside supermarkets in rural villages.

Common sense suggests placing the trike somewhere highly visible. Preferably where it can be monitored from inside the shop. Though not all shop architects give a shit for bike security. They will allow their Audi to be parked with the bumper literally inside the sliding doors but the bike rack is often hidden out of sight.

Click on any image for a big one.


25 Aug 2019

23rd August 2019 Pleasantly warm and dry.


Saturday 24th 60-77F, bright start after early mist. Warm and sunny forecast. Just my usual, 40 minute walk to the lanes. The health news is that athletes are destroying their teeth with sugar loaded energy drinks, gels and bars. Despite being far more dental hygiene orientated, than the average person, they are providing a perfect environment for tooth decay.

Woodwork in the morning. Loading a trailer full of gravel by shovel in the afternoon. Then distributed the gravel again by shovel.I hope I don't have a bad back tomorrow!

Sunday 25th 61-82F, easterly breeze. Not feeling too bad after yesterday's exercise. I'm hoping for a ride later. I seem to have got away with the gravel foolishness. An hour and half walk up to the woods in just a T-shirt. Up and down the steep tracks. Then back along the road helped to untie a few tight knots.

My trousers were saturated up to the knees from the heavy dew and covered in grass seeds and sticky burrs. I may have become an accidental green terror-wotsit if any of these seeds hatch! If The Head Gardner spots the problem I could be banished from Chez Hovel.

Already 71F before 10am. It is supposed to reach 80F today. A darkly tanned cyclist on a racing bike went past, without a helmet and ignored my greeting. Perhaps I was invisible without my trike under me? 82F by 13.20pm. Expected to reach 30C in the next two days. Too tired for a ride after the gravel fiasco.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


22 Aug 2019

22nd August 2019. Overboard duffle/saddlebag replacement?


Thursday 22nd 56-73F but warming quickly. Bright but rather cloudy. It has reached 68F as I finish morning coffee at 11.00. A walk to the lanes being followed by the easterly wind. A slightly cooling headwind on the way back. It reached a warm 73F as I worked on a project at home.

Friday 23rd 61-73F, bright overcast and breezy. A flock of about a hundred small birds raced around as I walked along the drive. Gold finches and Great tits amongst them. From the road I spotted a tractor ploughing the prairie. So I walked to the village to capture some pictures from the main track.

A wheel rake for turning hay rows went past behind a typically huge tractor. It was on a scale I have never seen before. The rotors must have been 8' in diameter and stored vertically and inline when in transit. There were probably 200 gulls out on the field. With just as many white feathers littering the track. Where the grass banks had paused their progress in the breeze. I wonder if I can sneak out for a ride today? The overcast is breaking up to hazy sunshine. A crosswind going both ways often felt like a headwind. 20 hilly miles going quite well.

Have I mentioned that the Overboard 40L Duffel bag is reaching the end of its useful life? Made worse by a split milk carton adding a horrible pong!  The first accident compared with the almost weekly accidents with the Camper Longflap.

The 40L Overboard Duffle has been amazing for its remarkable carrying capacity and lightness. Sadly, the waterproof lining has been disintegrating for quite some time. Flaking off and making a bit of a mess inside the bag.

Which suggests a realistic lifetime of only about a year and a half. I bought mine in August 2017 just as my mileage dropped. I still consider that great value compared with traditional canvas bags. A 40L canvas saddlebag would weigh a ton!

I have the Carradice "Longflap Camper" and found it to hold much less than the claimed capacity. Barely 6 x 1 Liter cartons and it is literally full to the brim! Which was incredibly limiting for serious cycle shopping. [Right]

The Overboard bag could carry four complete rows of cartons x six wide with ease! That is 24 x 1 liter cartons and still lots of room for shopping on top. Assuming, of course, I wanted to become a full time, milk delivery man.

The Overboard was also far easier to load and could be strapped up tight in all dimensions. Asking for greater longevity would inevitably add to the weight. To little real purpose.

There are several makes of these "waterproof" duffel bags so I ought to see if there are any differences between them. I had chosen bright yellow for high viz. So I'll have to keep that in mind. There is also the option to go for a PVC bag made of tarpaulin material. Heavier but longer lived?

Further research quickly eliminated the Ortlieb 40L Duffle because it has a straight zip and is too long for the trike's track. The zip means packing becomes a chore and the greater length means the end panels get chewed off by the rear wheels.

The open maw of the Overboard was a complete revelation compared with traditional saddle bags with foolish, gravity powered lids. Which always dropped down behind the saddle to make loading and emptying a real 3-handed pain in the saddle department. Then there were the awkward and cracked, leather straps and constantly rusting buckles. What sort of outdoor bag making company uses rusting buckles?

The security of the shopping was always taken care of by hooking the upper strap handle over the saddle nose. This also ensured minimum frontal area of the bag in use by self adjusting to the volume of the items inside the bag. The strap tension also restrained the 70Kg Abus Mini U-lock from rearward movement. Which would almost certainly have lifted the trike's front wheel right off the ground!

The Overboard has a neat, fold/roll over top but the side and F/R clips and straps can be instantly released to obtain a huge square hole in the top to stuff with shopping. Or equally, easily unload it at home. When folded or rolled the bag instantly flattens down to minimum height and wind drag.

The Head Gardner never liked the silver end panels but they were supposed to be reflective for high visibility at night time. The silver never bothered me, was tough and didn't show the dirt.

The rear net pocket was rubberized and Velcro sealed. Which ensured a perfectly silent and secure resting place for the 70Kg ABUS, Dreadnought Class, Mini U-lock. Which was always highly accessible. [No matter how often I wished the damned thing wasn't there!] Being so visible it reminded me to lock the trike every single time.

So, apart from the poor longevity of the waterproof lining the Overboard ticked all of my boxes and probably still does. The strap handles were very easily arranged as security fixing for the bag to remain on the rack. In retrospect could have trimmed the lower one but never bothered because it was out of sight. Not unless you crawled on your knees to peer underneath the overhanging rack. Up-skirting? Suit yourselves.

The lower strap handle could have been completely removed and the bag held to the rack with short straps or even zip ties. This would have saved a few ounces/grams without spending any money at all. There are two large, plastic mouldings which could easily have been used for fixing. I clipped them over plumbing hose extensions. Which need not have been fitted if I had done it right first time around.

The only thing I really wasn't keen on was the side straps dangling in the spokes of the trike's rear wheels. I would make a neat knot of the straps but they rarely stayed in place for long. Perhaps I should simply have put more thought into securing these straps and overcome the problem? A bit of Velcro? Why didn't I think of that ages ago?

The straps were merely noisy as they pinged in the spokes. They never [ever] tried to lock the back wheels. A side wind would push the downwind straps straight into the spokes.

BTW: The spacing from the spokes/rims/tyres always sets the maximum allowable width of such a "saddlebag" conversion. So don't go thinking you can fit just any old bag you like back there. Height and depth are good. Length [or breadth when fitted] is critical. Leave yourself plenty of room.

I fitted a cut to size, plastic, draining board tray on the rack under the bag. The square corrugations provided excellent support without much weight. While the black tray and was completely invisible to all intents and purposes. The holes I drilled in the tray for zip tie attachment to the Trykit rack ensured no puddles for the bag to rest in.

Duly ordered an identical Overboard 40L for about ~60 Euros. And then cancelled because it was for a simpler and cheaper bag called the Classic. The correct one is Pro Sport with the black net on the front for the 70Kg Abus Mini-U lock. The Classic bag only has a zipped pocket. Which would be hopeless for the heavy lock. A number of previous stockists no longer have Overboard  bags.

Click on any image for an enlargement.