29 Sep 2016

Thursday 29th September. Woodburning us into our early graves!

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Thursday 29th 62-64F, 17-18C, gales, rain and heavy overcast.  The dark and threatening sky is literally flying over. Gusts possible to well over 35mph. September has been close to an equal record for temperature, sunshine and low rainfall so far. All spoilt by a little [secondhand] storm.

10' high x 30' wide Japanese knotweed in flower, on an abandoned , roadside, demolition site, running wild and rapidly spreading to neighborhood properties. Is that green enough for you?

I see the Danish news is finally and fairly blaming my neighbour for producing toxic smoke. Countless Danes die early due to poor air quality and most of it is HIS fault for burning demolition timber for water heating.  [Even during heatwaves!] The ludicrous irony is that the Danes think of firewood as cheap and <cough> environmentally <wheeze> friendly <cough> because of the 17 Danish taxes on electricity bills.

What the manual wood burners completely ignore is their unpaid wages while they are annoying their neighbors with their chainsaws and circular saws. Plus the felling and the transport of said timber from the distant woods back to their wood splinter littered yards and gardens. Not to mention the time spent lopping, handling and stacking and splitting the countless logs. Most of this goes on for countless hours and consumes oil, petrol and electricity over decades.

A people-trafficked, immigrant, Eastern-European slave worker would not work for the wood burner's quarterly savings from burning wood instead of [imported coal]-fired electricity!

Yes, Denmark make lots of electricity from coal and oil. Then gives away its wind power electricity to the European grid when it exceeds national demand.

Myths about Danish Wind Power: Why 39% Wind Is Not Enough | Worldwatch Institute Europe

Every Danish tax is a double-edged sword. Add umpteen taxes to electricity bills and what do you get? Rural air and noise pollution, literally thousands of early deaths and the need for many more, long stay, hospital beds.

Welcome to "a greener" Denmark! Where your <wheeze> taxes are working for the <cough> environ-mental <cough> delusion of a safe place <wheeze> to live and bring up your children. <cough>  Don't even get me started on the 180% Danish tax they add to electric car prices. Then reduce taxes and drop city center restrictions on diesel fueled vehicles and pollute the air with toxic black dust particles. More early deaths.

Terrorism is back in the news: The police are appealing [?] for witnesses to a possible, elderly grey Volvo 240 estate car seen in the vicinity of the motorway  bridge. This was where the infamous, 65lb concrete block attack and murder [and attempted mass murder] on the local motorway took place, now well over a month ago. My morning walk was interrupted by rain. Not a great day for a ride even when there was a glimpse of sunshine at 17.00 gales were still bending the trees.

Friday 30th 52F, 11C, already breezy but still a threat of early brightness. Showers throughout the day with 30mph gusts promised. I really ought to make an effort to get a ride in on the last day of an already poor month for mileage. I had a 20+ mile ride planned but it kept bucketing down between longer sunny intervals. In the end I went in the car and was treated to a free power car wash for 5-6 miles. It stopped dead on the road just as I neared home. Nul points all around.


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26 Sep 2016

26th September 2016 Last day of the Indian Summer?

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Monday 26th 57F, 14C, calm, heavy overcast. Possible early showers should brighten to another warm and sunny day. My legs are aching a little after yesterday's foolishness. A long swig from my quart pot of steroids should easily solve that little problem. I fixed a nice little TUE deal with The Head Gardner for a multiple TUE provided I eat plenty of organic broccoli and spinach on my whole grain sandwiches to cure my silicone glue, lung problems.

Dwarf deer silhouetted against a pheasant feeder.

With the weather about to change the long summer of constant toxic smoke from our easterly neighbour's water heater [even during heat waves] should finally end for this year. It will make a nice change not coughing, clearing my throat and sneezing all day while I am at home.

I wrote a whole page of text about my morning walk only for Google to lose it between updating and viewing. Late afternoon ride for 20 miles.

I spotted thatching beside the road and stopped to take a photograph to the bemusement of the two young men involved. I haven't seen thatch laid with the heads downwards before. Most thatch materials are imported from Poland. Though I have seen harvesting on the wetland, Danish coasts.

Tuesday 27th 45-65F, 7-18C, clear, still and bright. A little mist earlier when I looked out. Sirius was a huge fuzzy blob, flashing on and off like a car indicator. Early walk in dead calm conditions with the wind turbines motionless. Lots of agriculture going on. With huge trailers taking away chopped corn and ploughing and sewing going on. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Short afternoon ride for 7 miles. I nipped into several farm entrances to let tractors, buses and articulated lorries pass unimpeded.

Wednesday 28th 62-64F, 17-18C, very windy, heavy cloud, rain possible. Though it could clear up later. Short walk interrupted by several large drops of rain. The only drops which fell all day and they landed on me! Spent the day working on a project in the garden. It brightened up nicely but was still blowing hard at times. Rest day.



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25 Sep 2016

25th September 2016 One day at a time.

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Sunday 25th 53-68F, 12-20C, bright start, a light wind fidgets in the bushes and trees, impatient to run free. It is expected to be rather windy but mild and sunny again.

A great wave rears up, ready to break over the sandy, stubbled foreshore.

It was a still, quiet morning walk along the lanes and my views largely peopled only by birds. The occasional jackdaw sounded the alarm before launching into another peaceful day. Eight geese passed swiftly and silently over. Obviously intent on reaching some goal further to the southwest. Gulls stood out brightly on a brown, almost featureless desert dune. Skylarks still abound in some numbers. Coming out of the stubble to chase each other in some ritual which disturbed and bemused their quieter fellows.

The Sunday morning traffic was fortunately light as tabby cats skulked along behind long, over-tired and scruffy hedges. A thin, chill wind wicks between gaps in the hedges. There are still butterflies and dragonflies on the wing. Perhaps made clumsy by the slight overnight chill, a Red admiral needed to be carried gently from the foot of the shadowy gate to the budlias to recover its composure.

Many leaves still hang on in expectation of next week's storm. All longing to be rid of their already thinned burden for this year. The colours are fading to autumnal at an almost glacial melting rate of motion. Another record warm month passes. To be ticked off by meteorologists and climatologists as another brick in their heavily graffitied, wailing wall of evidence in support of AGW. The garden trees have grown listless as the breeze rises. Almost as if they resented the growing pace of change.

Will our hero risk a tricycle ride in 25-30mph gusts? Did I mention that my front wheel Q/R had been loosened again? Some oaf has it in for me. I noticed the front wheel twitching on the way back from the shops and feared it might suddenly collapse to pitch me over the handlebars. Much as I hate stopping I eventually had to pull off and check the skewer. The lever had been returned to normal but there was no tension. Had I lifted the front wheel it could easily have fallen out. Probably one of the teenage school kids who were milling about outside the shops on Friday. As I am not averse to pulling the occasional wheely when sprinting away from a stop I shall have to keep an eye on the problem.

I foolishly chose to ride into the headwind to reach the end of Helnæs peninsula. I was having an unofficial race with two others on the causeway crossing. A chap on a carbon racer  eventually went past and I tried my best to stay with him by using the tri-bars. Meanwhile, a younger chap on an MTB was slowly catching me. Both paused soon after cresting the approach hill to the Helnæs "island" while I kept going. We each crossed each other's paths later on. I was down on the tri-bars and continuing to fight the wind and a painful quad right across Helnæs. One might have hoped for tailwind coming back but it was more often a crosswind. Later I was about to stop and photograph some tractors when a gorgeously marked bird of prey flew over. Its shallow V-tail and light coloured head were clearly visible as it rode the wave above a farm's long avenue of trees. I'm going to have to call it a Red kite until proven otherwise but it really didn't look large enough. The Marsh harrier is similar but has a squarish tail without the V. A rather exhausting 35 miles.

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24 Sep 2016

24th September 2016 "He never inhaled!"

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Saturday 24th 50F, 10C, calm and bright. 19 miles.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Obituary

Since I am having such a problem keeping up with other pensioners on their [electric] bikes I'm just going to have to develop asthma symptoms. A few injections of steroids before major "races" should easily fix their speed margin. Glory will be mine again! Provided I stick to organic honey on my sandwiches I can still claim I'm riding "clean." Not much chance of any gold medals, but hey, winning is the best fix there is! Just ask St. Bradley Wanker. <spit>


Cycling RIP. †


No bløødy flowers!






21 Sep 2016

21st September 2016 One month on.

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Wednesday 21st 56-64F, 13-16C, rather cloudy with a light breeze. Showers possible along with some sunshine. Not necessarily simultaneously.

The driver of this huge tractor and seed drill was hurling it around the field as if it were a go-kart. Showing remarkable skill and obviously enjoying the machine's small turning circle in the narrow, wedge-shaped field.

A month after the terrorist hurled concrete blocks over a quiet motorway bridge the father of the German occupants of the car is out of his coma. He has been taken to a hospital in Germany. He is not expected to be able to help the police due to the extensive head injuries he suffered. His wife died in the terrorist attack while a child in the back of the car avoided serious injury. The police say they are not pinning their hopes of an identification of any suspect on the latest DNA testing. They still believe that the massive concrete blocks were stolen from a building site 8 miles away to be used as weapons of mass destruction. The police have been given hundreds of tips but nothing has led to any arrests.

No walk but an early ride for 13 miles to buy some jigsaw blades.

Thursday 22nd, 52-62F, 11-17C, cool with a light breeze, brightening to sunshine. Half an hour brisk walk followed by an early ride to Assens. Cross tailwind on the way helped me to cruise at 16-18mph with a short stint at 24mph on the tri-bars before I turned straight into the wind.

I was following an old boy [of about my own age] up the long cycle path on the way back. I thought I'd catch him easily, despite the shopping load, but he stayed at about the same speed, as I turned myself inside out just to reach a breathless 13mph. Eventually I caught him when he was baulked by two fat ladies walking side by side across the cycle path. Then it was obvious why he was able to stay ahead. A battery on the rack and a front hub motor. I am definitely not as fit as I used to be with my considerably reduced mileage. Passed a kestrel hovering near the road. It seemed not to care and did not move away. Lots of agriculture going on along my route. A little less cross headwind would have helped. 18 miles today.

Friday 23rd 55F, 13C, calm to light breeze, rather cloudy but a bright glow is rising. The forecast is for some long-awaited rain. The dry conditions have kept the roads largely clear of farmer's mud. Though the dryness hasn't stopped the newly sewn crops from sprouting and growing rapidly. It has also allowed me considerable freedom to roam the empty fields without collecting huge boots of mud. I have only worn my winter gaiters once, that I can recall, and that was for the tall, wet weeds in the woods. Altering my route avoided that situation.

A brisk walk around the three mile, rural block. It was one of those days when a hush seemed to have fallen over the landscape. Somebody had also been around smudging the distant views. It was slightly misty but strangely patchy in the low sunlight. I came across several groups of chickens foraging beside the lanes. I even stepped onto the verge to let a tractor pass fearing for the chicks on the other side. Fortunately they scattered and dashed headlong back into their yard.

A chimney sweep crossed the village square to demand to know why I was taking pictures of his colleague working up on the roof. He turned and walked away when I reminded him he [himself] was a bullying vandal of previous acquaintance. Late afternoon ride for 7 miles. Rather breezy.

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19 Sep 2016

19th September 2016 Grey and cool. [Like me?]

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Monday 19th 56F, 13C, heavy overcast and breezy. Expected to remain so. An hour and a half walk under very grey skies. Skirting the edges of field and crossing the few remaining stubble fields. Upset the laughing ducks. If only I had taken out my camera before 200+ ducks all flew away across the pond in unison.

An elderly bulldozer with an even older driver working on landscaping a worked-out sand quarry. Taken from several hundred yards away.

The water birds like the lake left behind out of view on the left. The houses which had suffered years of quarrying activities and frequent lorry movements can now enjoy the peace of the countryside with a lake to improve the view. It is amazing to see how rapidly the land recovers once the saved heaps of topsoil are replaced. Though what they intend to do with the really deep quarries is unknown. Most are more of a surface scrape than a massive crater. The sand is passed through rolling drums with screens of different mask sizes to remove stones and segregate them by size. These machines are very noisy and go on all day, every day, for literally years in some cases. Which sounds exactly like me.

Continuing the tracked machinery theme: Another large Case II tractor towing a huge seed drill. Again, this picture was taken from the road a very long way from the activity. I was standing patiently waiting for it to return to the road and it stopped halfway and turned around.

I heard two shots as I walked towards the woods but continued on as they seemed to be well off to the SE. It is always interesting to see my small world from different viewpoints. The previously untrodden fields rise and fall revealing new vistas. I even saw the sea channel and Jylland today from the usually inaccessible, top of a hill. Only a very light breeze so far and definitely cooler of late.

After coffee I rode NW for 15 miles.  Failed to obtain that which I went for. Then rode 16 miles back again by a different route, against a light, head crosswind. Saw buzzards and kestrels, swans and coots, several bulls, a few sheep and lots of cows, heifers and bullocks enjoying the great outdoors. Do animals which are kept indoors suffer from agoraphobia? Perhaps we should be be told? More Danish news headlines about government agencies ignoring the continuing massive build up of antibiotics in farming and simultaneously ignoring MRSA in the stock. 12,000 Danes carry a pig MRSA and seven have died while the ministry ignored expert advice and failed to pass the messages upwards to their masters.

Just a small part of a huge Hawthorn showing the masses of fruit this year.

Tuesday 20th 50-55F, 10-13C, heavy grey overcast with darker clouds visible with a hint of falling damp in the air. Almost dead calm though the wind turbines are turning. A walk up to the woods and back over the fields. It was cool but the lack of air movement made it comfortable enough in my thinnest jacket and t-shirt. The first bird I noticed was a buzzard mewing its complaints to anyone who would listen. The pheasant garrison was guarding the entrance to the woods but went all guerilla on me when I tried to photograph them. There was a huge area spread across the approach track with hundreds of what looked like gull feathers and down. No sign of any corpses so they may simply have been preening in a very large group overnight. Or, a bird of prey which removed the body? There seemed to be no epicenter for the widespread plumage. Rest day working on my project.


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18 Sep 2016

18th September 2016 New and old vistas.

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Sunday 18th 56-64F, 13-18C, light breezy, full sunshine. They were right about it being cooler.

A stealth excavator hiding from Putinnia's threatening invaders as it waits to bury itself in glory beside a hunter's overgrown, field pond.

I wore my thinnest [and leakiest] jacket for most of yesterday's rides. I find it handy for just taking the edge off the coolth and it is vividly florescent. So if any of the sociopathic drivers does run me over they can't claim it was my fault for wearing [Danish sporting cyclists regulation] "Sky black" while they were sexting into a low, but blinding, Danish sun. The driving sociopaths. Not the sporting cyclists. [But you never know.]

I had better go for a walk before I get myself into any further trouble. I have read that Denmark is the 'pinch point' for all the Internet optical fibers so makes an ideal 'back door' to all global communications for the big boys like the NSA, CIA and Britex MI93 whatever.. I must be "undermining democracy" at the very least, with my endless complaints about Danish drivers. Though I still haven't been tempted to post any videos of illegal activity just in case I am sent back to Brexit as a semi-illegal immigrant. Posting videos of illegal behavior is strictly against the law in Denmark. I could easily end up stateless if I was rejected by Gravely Blighted as I bobbed up to the Dover beach in my rubber dingy with a long train of other dinghies bobbing along behind carrying 60 years of accumulated junk. Isn't it lucky that bastion of democracy [Putinnia] still allows YT dash-cam videos? No so in Denmark.


Just a half hour walk in bright sunshine when I had the most amazing visual experience. Not earth shattering, but close enough. The wind was just right to make the leaves on a whole row of poplars tremble simultaneously. At first I thought I'd completely lost the plot. Then I put it down to my inner ear problems. We only very rarely get northeasterly winds so this must have been largely responsible. Every single leaf was shaking at exactly the same frequency and in phase with each other. Giving the impression that whole copse was visibly and violently shaking. Very odd indeed. Hollywood would have been proud. Rest day standing at the workbench in the bright but cooler sunshine.

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16 Sep 2016

16th September 2016 Last really warm day?

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Friday 16th 60-65F, 16-18C, breezy. After a bright, sunny start it suddenly misted over and then cleared just as quickly. Very odd. Time for a walk. The top halves of the wind turbine blades were lost in cloud for a while but cleared again. Several large tractors were busy ploughing and sewing. It has taken several days to cultivate all the local "prairies." A buzzard flew off  between the trees of a field island copse as I passed.

This little electric scooter is absolute genius! Very nippy too! Girder front fork, swinging arm rear suspension and balloon tyres. He left me standing going downhill and went over the ridiculously high kerb into the supermarket car park far faster than I have ever dared to. Lack of a shopping rack is its only obvious downside. The Trykit looks on imperiously with its stacked, multiple, shopping bags akimbo. No doubt asking itself: "Does my bum look big in all these bags?" My sincere apologies for the bright blue "Athletic injury" binding tape on the handlebars. I don't know what I was thinking! I have never had an athletic injury.

The Brittex news covered motorists failing to give cyclists a legal minimum of 5' or 1.5m clearance when overtaking. The police were cheating really badly here by putting a camera and a real policeman on a bicycle. Then having a car up the road to stop offenders. Some drivers are fined and others are treated to a course of driving re-education. How do you treat the countless sociopaths and village idiots who think they can get away with vehicular murder?

Despite having around the lowest numbers of cyclists of all 28 EU countries, Brittex can still brag about having over 100 cycle deaths per year, every year. That said, the number of injuries from cycling per hour of exercise are lower than for tennis, indoor rowing or gardening. No doubt a lot of bad drivers will be very disappointed by this information. I shall have to warn The Head Gardner to wear a hard hat and industrial safety shoes with steel toe caps when she is supervising my outdoor activities.

Late morning ride for 17 miles. Headwind going. Tailwind coming home. Good fun pedaling at a steady 110rpm+ with the wind behind me. I keep climbing and sprinting out of the saddle to build stamina and leg muscles. I never had quadriceps when all if did was spin for over 10k miles per year. You really have to stand up if you want those trendy "hanging over the knee" muscles.
  
Flashing more shiny stainless steel than my Trykit, a huge Kenworth parked near a village truck workshop. I wonder if they'd polish the Trykit for me?

I can't help thinking I would look more sporting if I was leaning forwards more but the trike's geometry is what it is. I feel as if my nose is on the front tyre until I glance in a shop window. I do a lot of that. There are a lot of empty shop windows in the villages again. My back is only at 45 degree when I am going downhill. I am more upright when climbing even with my hands on the hoods riding both ways. Odd that.

Saturday 17th My weather details have vanished. No walk, but an early, hilly ride for 17 miles. Rather too breezy for ideal comfort on the way back. Going shopping after coffee. Another 15 miles dodging drivers doing 70mph in a 30mph [113kph >50kph] zone on narrowed roads for long term roadworks and a very ragged edge to the asphalt.  The [completely imaginary] national speed limit in the countryside is only 50mph.

The Guinness Book of Records maintains a constant hotline. Just waiting for anybody in Denmark who can report a car passing one of the countless speed indicator boards at below the actual speed limit. The flashing lights to indicate illegal speeding fire constantly and these routinely indicate at up to 10kph slow. Many of these boards are badly sited or pointed completely awry. So that vehicles have long passed before the lights flash. It would not take a genius lawyer to claim that a driver appearing in court was lulled into a completely false sense of speed by all of these badly under-indicating  <cough> "road safety" speed indicator boards.

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12 Sep 2016

12th September 2016 Gotta sew a priairie or two.

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Monday 12th 60-77F, 16-25C, very cloudy, light breeze, acrid smoke from next door.  Promise of brightness later. Early walk for an hour and a half through the forest. A quiet strip of sunflowers beside a huge field had attracted large numbers of early birds. Mostly mixed finches with a few sparrows. I heard jays but could not see them up in  the beech canopy. The sun broke through as I reached the road for the long, warm walk back. Not a single bird of prey or wild animal spotted so far. Only a single chevron of noisy geese being led by a much larger bird than all the rest. I thought it must be an optical illusion but stared hard through my binoculars to confirm it. I have a goal for my trike ride as soon as morning coffee is over.

Quite a helpful wind going but increasing headwind on the second half. Hot and dry fighting my way home while heavily laden. Several close shaves with nodding drivers swerving away just before they reached me.

I was just reading that Denmark councils intend to research the use birds of prey to catch rats. The rats are increasing in numbers to plague proportions thanks to so many mild winters. Having checked 100km of ditches the council found 43 rat colonies. The councils are being inundated with calls from home owners after rat invasions. 21 miles of hilly, rural lanes and forest.


Tuesday 13th 63F, 17C, light breeze, just waiting for sun up for another even warmer day. We should see 27C or 80F. And so we did.  I started with a 3 mile, clockwise walk around the rural block. Later I moved around the garden looking for shade and the hope of a breeze as I worked on a project. Noisy tractors worked the fields all around us adding to heat stress. No ride today.

Wednesday 14th 64-78F, 18-25C, breezy, cloudless sky.  The temperature is rising rapidly but should top out below yesterday's 80F. It was already warm as I walked up to the woods to capture a large tractor sewing the prairie. 500kg bags of seed had been dropped at intervals along the edges of the track. With a little, old tractor sporting a crane jib on the front waiting patiently to lift the bags above the hungry seed hopper.

The big tractor had doubled wheels all round to offer grip and lower the ground pressure to protect the soil structure. I hung about in the shade of the single tree until he finished a row and returned to the track to turn around. The pictures aren't very exciting but help to capture the scale of the machine. All my "artistic" images straight into the sun, with clouds of dust and the machine in dramatic silhouette, were largely a waste of effort. As can be seen alongside.

A couple of the neighbour's pretty chickens had escaped into the drive and pottered steadily ahead of me as I walked very slowly to avoid a panic. The moment the drive widened they turned around, nipped past and then walked together all the way back again.

Late afternoon ride in baking 78F heat with quite an easterly headwind. I rode up the hill and then back down through the beech forest to add a couple of extra miles. Several cyclists out training at twice the speed I was going. Only 10 miles.

Thursday 15th 60F, 16C, clear sky, bright sunshine. Another day on the tropical island of Denmark. Another hour and half walk to capture more farming activity. Rest day from the trike.



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10 Sep 2016

10th September 2016 Free-falling electric car sales in 'Green' Denmark.

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Saturday 10th 58-65-72F, 15-18-22C, quite breezy, sunny and warm. Yet again there were patches of ground frost on the lawns. I enjoyed another loop out over the stubble fields. cutting through the woods and diagonally across more fields. My winter gaiters would have been handy to keep my trousers from becoming sopping wet up to the knees! It is a tremendous year for fruit and berries. Saw several large birds of prey and one very large hare in the forest. The wind was noticeable on my back as I walked back along the road.

I shall be going out on the trike after coffee and toasted rolls with marmalade. Probably to Assens via the rural lanes. Always a delightful run regardless of my route. Riding past the lake and the stately home with its water lily dappled moat, under a canopy of shady beeches, is a personal favourite. The ranks of unspoilt farm buildings are dwarfed by the vast old barns of pastry-coloured brick and dark, wooden planking.

I saw a convoy of at least 30 Morris Minors in every colour and style under the sun including some showroom quality, original restorations. Assens was busy with shoppers and presumably holidaymakers in summer clothing. Somebody had slacked off my front wheel QR while I was in one supermarket. I lifted my trike to clear a mobility scooter which has blocked my exit and the front wheel fell out! I was blocked in at Aldi too and had to wave an elderly driver with his engine running to reverse to let me escape.  It reached only 72F by the time I returned home but felt far warmer under the blazing sun. With quite a stiff breeze and a cloudless sky you could not ask for better weekend weather in near mid-September. Lots of cyclists out training and a few MTBs on boot racks. Only 21 miles.

Sunday 11th 62F, 17C, breezy and rather cloudy but promising to be brighter. My walk was savagely curtailed, mid-field by a sudden shower. By the time I had hurried back to the shelter of the roadside trees it had stopped. Grrr. No ride today.

You have to laugh. Green Denmark's reintroduction of its standard 180% tax on electric car imports has killed sales stone dead. Sales dropped from 1716 the year before to an absolutely derisory 414 last year. Woohoo! To make up for the deliberate trashing of the fledgling electric car movement the politicooze are going to subsidize each electric car sale [of the first 1000 only] to the tune of £4000 each! Tee hee! Forgive me while I wipe the tears of laughter from my cheeks.

Do you want to know the funniest part of this total farce? Copenhagen intends to install far more, exclusive, electric car parking/charging spaces than the total number of electric cars sold last year. It's no wonder Denmark hasn't signed the Climate Agreement! Their faces would be as red as the Danish flag. I suppose it would be a be rather hypocritical to charge electric cars with coal, oil or gas power. Which is presently 70% of Danish energy production despite the flag waving, Danish wind industry.

There is a move to reduce Danish coal power but that would just mean Denmark would import far more coal-produced electricity from Germany. So much for the perfect green energy cycle of wind power charging the huge and ever expanding, Danish electric car fleet overnight. Tesla has [allegedly] failed to invest in repair and service infrastructure in Denmark. Absolutely no need to ask why. Is there?

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9 Sep 2016

9th September 2016 The Grim Reaper's little helpers:

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Friday 9th 61-76F, 16-24C, light breeze and heavy overcast. The neighbour filled our house with diesel tractor fumes yesterday. He was sitting in his tractor with the engine running but blamed the distant farmers. When we complained he lit a stinking fire and filled the house and garden with toxic fumes from demolition timber. Every morning I sit here and cough repeatedly and blow my running nose while I write my blog. Only a walk carries me far enough away that I can clear my lungs.

In breaking news. A copycat throwback was arrested after a witness saw a youth throwing a spray can at traffic from a bridge on the motorway. Three youths were parked on the bridge and the witness recorded their number plate and reported it to the police. The youth was remanded into custody for  a fortnight.

The heavy triangular concrete blocks used by terrorist[s] in the motorway murder of a German women have been shown in a video by police. They hope that showing the blocks will jog somebody's memory at the busy building site area or overlooking it.

The image is a still from the Danish Radio news website video showing the Police Commissioner struggling to lift one heavy block onto another.

The murdering terrorist is alleged to have stolen these specialized triangular blocks weighing 30kg, 66lbs each from a shopping center building site 11.8 km away. That is over 7 miles to carry two murder weapons by the shortest route and suggests premeditation. As does the very early hour and the choice of a little-used bridge to carry out the acts of terrorism while carefully avoiding [living] witnesses or leaving evidence. The only spontaneity involved was whether the terrorist[s] grinned at the carnage they caused.

VIDEO Here are the concrete blocks that killed a woman on the motorway. [Examples.] Danish Radio.


While on the subject of unnecessary road deaths and keeping it on topic:

A driver, with eight 8 previous counts of using a mobile phone while driving, killed a cyclist while sending SMS messages. The killer [finally] received 9 years in jail. Let's see now: Out after 9 months for good behaviour and verbally expressing remorse for his actions. [i.e. Being caught eight times.]

Sadly the innocent cyclist did not enjoy 9 more years of freedom to use the road system without the judicial system being completely against his survival. Eight 8 previous counts of using a mobile telephone while driving?  What does that say about the leniency of the courts? What does it say about how little magistrates know about attention spans of the throwbacks who appear before them? I bet they'd be absolutely livid if the killer had the temerity to use their phone in court! But not out the roads where lives, rather than mere human pride, matters more? What does it say about the driver's mental state to continue driving and texting after eight counts? Driving [badly] is a basic human right? While Survival Cycling is an unregulated, dangerous sport and enjoyed entirely at the discretion of the courts? Why are cyclists treated with the same [lack of] respect as black people under apartheid? 

 'Texting driver had nine seconds to see my brother' - BBC News

More driving at the very limit of 6 million years of [backwards] evolution:  

 Footage shows car using path to undertake cyclists - BBC News

Why was a car responsible for driving on the path? It was the DRIVER who chose to break the law. The car was completely innocent. Has the driver been prosecuted? Such behaviour suggests the driver is unfit to enjoy the basic human right to drive [badly.] 


8.30am: The sun has finally broken through. Time to stop coughing, wiping my eyes and nose and to have a walk. I strode off across the stubble fields to see what a huge tipper lorry was doing. He seemed to be dumping the anaerobic, sticky mud from the bottom of a sewage treatment works.

Later, I was skirting the woods, when I heard loud, metallic rattling like a tracked vehicle. This needed further investigation so I walked back down to the entrance and on through the forest listening attentively. There was nothing to be heard so I set off across another stubble field in the opposite direction. Where three large deer were grazing as I walked into the breeze. I could have approached much closer had a tractor not raced past on the lane and woken them from their dream time.  I returned via the marsh track but climbed the steeply sloping field to take a more direct route home and to avoid disturbing the ducks.

Late afternoon ride for seven miles. Three full, stacked bags. There has to be a better way.

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7 Sep 2016

7th September 2016 A seaside outing.

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Wednesday 7th 63-68?F, 17-20C, almost dead calm, heavy overcast with some sun promised for later. Lighter winds offer the chance of a longer ride but where should I go? I haven't had a ride with the trike stripped of its rack and multiple bags for longer than I can remember. I rode north just before ten armed with one rack but only 1.5 shopping bags. It stayed grey for most of the day with variable winds.

I became lost, yet again, just outside Bogense, on the way home. Without any sign of the sun in the grey gloom I could not be sure of my true direction. So I did a five mile pointless loop before returning back to my foolish exit. The wind was fairly light but noticeable for its greater resistance as I headed back south. I carefully avoided main roads, as best I could, but still had to take to the verge several times  to let large vehicles pass.

Token image of Bogense harbour showing hideous waterfront buildings. I tried my best to exclude them from the background but would have needed a drone or a life jacket.

A specialized muck spreader, tanker and plough buries the animal waste to avoid odour. It works too! The tyres were equally massive and the whole machine had the family characteristics of a combine harvester.

I watched as a tractor with a verge mower arm sticking out became larger and larger in my rear view mirror on a very long straight. Luckily a gravel forecourt presented itself just before he <cough> "mowed me down." He veered around me with his overhanging mace still closely menacing. Having gained a mile on me, along with all those who overtook me, I caught them all at a set of lights at red for major roadworks. As the tractor took off I paced him to avoid balking the traffic. Luckily I still had just enough breath and speed to reach the end of the narrow roadworks before he began to pull away.

Sunshine, at last, just as I reached within ten miles of home. Though it was never less than warm all day. I seemed to have managed the food intake and drinks quite well this time. I shall be sipping water for most of the evening. Only 58 miles. For 3rd equal, longest mileage this year.

Thursday 8th 57F, 24C, light breeze and a clear sky with the sun yet to rise. Legs a little tired after yesterday's 6 hour ride. A walk should help. Leaving half an hour earlier than usual provided new insights. I chatted with the pheasant feeder about a large stag with huge antlers which had seen in the evening. Though the tracks were very wet I managed to avoid setting too high a tide mark. Shafts of sunlight stood out starkly against the darker forest. Though it was hard to capture without some editing to bring out the contrast.

A wibbly-wobbly cycle path beside a straight road. The traffic was completely ignoring the 50kph [30mph] signs and then jamming on the brakes just as they reached the constantly flashing, speed indicator board at the infant school, 

A farmer was burning off a large stack of hay or silage. Presumably from last year's crop. The smoke drifted for miles without lifting as my eyes and nose watered steadily. Visibility was still reduced two miles downwind and my clothes stank of it. It is no wonder the Danes and Vikings went on global raids. They were just trying to get away from their neighbour's bløødy smoke!

A buzzard took umbrage at my arrival and circled back to the woods. With its plaintive mewing carrying on the still air. Then a huge tractor roared up the hill to sew the field which I had just left. The farmers had obviously been hacking back the forest edges to gain another couple of meters. This has left a just manageable path on the new boundary but it was a shame to see large branches just hacked off mature oaks. No doubt the EU dictators would be proud.

Three large herons were sitting at the bottom of the track down from the woods. I only managed to get within one hundred yards of them before they took off. Just beyond them were half a dozen pheasants. As I walked back along the road I was almost run over from behind by a double-decker coach on a school outing! The driver had swung very wide to overtake a scooter into the teeth of oncoming traffic and missed me by only two feet. The oncoming cars had to slow to a walking pace to let him pass! Then I was asked by a driver for directions to a large local farm. I was shocked to discover that I could actually guide him straight there [in Danish] without my causing my usual confusion. Another rest day working in the garden.

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6 Sep 2016

6th September 2016 Copycat terrorist throwbacks oop north.

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Tuesday 6th 56F, 13C, breezy and bright with a fine day forecast.Time for a walk to undo yesterday's exertions. Another loop out on the stubble fields. It can't last much longer before it is all raked or ploughed. The superbly overgrown verges have been levelled by a tractor with a cylinder mower on a hydraulic arm. The wildlife must think they are under attack from all sides now that their cover is gone. A grumpy cat flattened itself on a box as I passed. Just as another ginger cat walked over a pitched house roof via the builder's scaffolding.

Yesterday there was a pitched battle overhead as many hundreds of crows, or rooks, or even jackdaws had a major scrap with an equal number of circling gulls on a thermal. It was too late by the time I had collected my camera from indoors most of the huge flocks had dispersed in opposite directions.

I don't ever remember seeing the two kinds of birds competing with each other over air space. Nor even on the ground. Perhaps both had gathered large numbers of young from successful breeding in the much milder climate over the last few years? There is a large rookery nearby which must conflict with the huge flock of gulls which gather at feeding time at the nearby mink farm. It is also slightly odd to have large numbers of rooks or crows moving together. This is usually a sight reserved for the evenings as they return to their roosts.

Yet another case of terrorists throwing stones at traffic from a motorway bridge. This time the throwback were in north Jylland and aiming at an emergency ambulance carrying a heart attack victim. A second incident involved a woman in a car who luckily escaped with only damage to the vehicle. The police are appealing for witnesses after several young people were spotted on the same bridge. Attempts to trace the terrorists via a sniffer dog and the fallen missiles failed.

 The timeless peace of the rural village. A stone age site probably existed on the small hump where the later 12th century church now stands in place of a much earlier wooden one.

As I said before: It's such a shame there wasn't an upmarket jeweller's on the bridge or the case would be solved several times over by now and the medals passed around. While the terrorists would be enjoying all the hospitality and paid holidays Denmark can offer.

It seems the Danish lorry driver's association is now suggesting security cameras on bridges crossing the motorways. Tragically the politicooze would have to find the money from the multi-party promises to reduce taxation for multi-billionaires at the expense of the poor. The latest long term political plans are guaranteed to increase inequality yet further.

Only 7 miles, with no overhead bridges. Catching up on the shopping meant squashed tomatoes. I really must come up with a better system than 3 stacked bags behind the saddle!

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5 Sep 2016

5th September 2016 Confessions of an untidy 'doer.'

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Monday 5th. 58-69F, 14-21C, misty start soon burnt off when the sun rose. Walked a pleasant loop via lanes and a rare public footpath. Spent the rest of the day dragging junk off the old shelves and setting up new. There still seems to be an awful lot of junk to store. Though I found quite a lot of useful stuff I had mislaid over the years. I tried setting up the shelves closer together [vertically] but the considerably greater depth makes access much more difficult. So I went back to the standard spacing.

After reading the instructions properly I realised that they suggest two people are supposed to erect the shelving units. What doesn't kill you can still hurt! In fact I managed to stab my forearm on a sharp corner of the old shelving. But survived relatively unscathed as the Head Gardner applied tea-tree oil and a plaster. Along with the usual admonishments against semi-deliberate, self harm in the name of vanity and attention seeking.

As a morbidly untidy "junk" collector my lifelong trick was to endlessly search for things. This was [and still is] how I refreshed my limited memory banks of all the crap which fills every single corner of my life. I can identify the source of almost everything I own going back to my teens. Including several tubs full to the brim with small parts from terminal dismantling spread over decades. Only tunnel vision on the next project helps to keep me [fairly] sane. 

You would not believe how often I have struggled to fit the trike into my relatively huge [entirely home made] shed. 8'6" x 22' x 12'6 = 2.6m wide x 6.6m long x 3.8m high in new money. Bolted together almost entirely of 2x4s with star lock washers and clad in grooved plywood as a stressed skin reinforcement. 

I was going to have a half height bench with the new shelving until I discovered a top shelf and frame would fit over the top of my rarely used band saw. It was only rarely used because it was trapped against the original shelving on top of the useless chest of drawers. Now I have plenty of open bench space for the band saw and dirt cheap, decades old, Chinese pillar drill. The drawers are now on open shelves below. So now I finally have access to my [minimum of] 100+ different screwdrivers and 50 plus different pairs of pliers and a hundred different spanners not including several sockets sets.

When any job needed doing I could have paid somebody else to do it but could never afford it. Instead of which I bought the correct tools and did the job myself. So I needed to become plumber, car mechanic, carpenter, telescope maker and optician, electrician, audio equipment builder, furniture and kitchen maker, cycle mechanic, antique clock restorer, satellite dish erector, machinist, gardener, white goods repairer, etc.etc.etc.

The trike shed framing nears completion. The huge concrete pipe was used as a roller to compress the foundation gravel. The Head Gardener laid the foundations from found stones, boulders and gravel from the garden and then practiced her remarkable skills at dry stone walling on the retaining banks at left and rear.

I needed the correct tools and enough information not to be dangerous. This usually involved libraries and secondhand bookshops. Which meant that hundreds of text books were accumulated over the long years.

I highly tuned and rebuilt the engine and fitted a close ratio gearbox and new differential and flywheel on my first, rusty old car. That needed a piston ring compressor and valve spring lifter tools and huge sockets which I still have. I sold the car for the engine alone s a MOT failure. My second car was a complete rebuild of a small, GRP Mini-based sports kit car.  I did everything except body welding and my own MOTs over decades. Always on a tight budget I collected tools and spent literally man-years searching scrap yards and reading. I have never needed a bicycle shop's expensive skills for well over fifty years and counting. Much the same with cars until I grew too old and tired to crawl under them any more. Though I still have the several jacks and ramps of course.

Rebuilding our last two houses and repairing others required yet more tools.  I have wood planes from a few inches to nearly a yard long. Plough planes which helped to triple glaze a former home via secondary glazing window units made from bare wood. Two new roofs, lots of new floors, ceilings, windows, doors, plumbing, heating, heavy insulation, landscaping and building several sheds all required their own kit and ladders so I could always work alone. Often with the aid of the diminutive Head Gardener.

Landscaping involved literally digging our rural cottage out of a steep hillside to provide a large flat, outdoor area.  Before that sheep could walk straight onto the roof. The "opencast quarrying" took me several years of backbreaking work with two picks, several shovels and several wheelbarrows. All of them died a slow and horrible death from being completely worn out. Not one single teaspoon full of highly compressed gravel was removed without a fight. The same went for the parking area at the end of the house.

I moved literally hundreds of boulders up to the size of a mini. Many of which could only be persuaded with a ten foot scaffolding pole as a lever. With myself dangling from the far end like monkey on a stick. I used lengths of narrow gauge railway line as shorter levers in cramped spaces. These days I'd struggle to lift the shortest. The materials won from this colossal endeavour became a large, flat lawn area and firm and level standing for the car. I landscaped a wet marsh with several large ponds all dug by hand with hundreds of trees planted on the resulting banks of spoil. I added a long bank of recycled stones and gravel to keep the stream from flooding our land every winter.

I cleared the surface stones and boulders from a 20 acre field in exchange for the farmer's plot of unusable marsh next to the house. I modified wheelbarrows to carry eight huge tipper lorry loads of 8' long tree trunks from a closed timber yard. The wheelbarrows were needed to bring it all down our steeply sloping, 1-in-6, rough, gravel drive from the road one hundred yards away in another world. It was all sawn up with a hand bow saw and split with a splitting maul like an axe on a sledge hammer. It all kept our woodburning stove going for several winters.

The trike shed provides support for the superhero to pose. Or was it a poser pretending to be a superhero? Central vertical struts were added to the roof before covering.  I wore glasses back then before my chronic OCD tricycling cured my shortsightedness.

The tools and memories of my life's work all reared their ugly heads as I steadily excavated my way through disintegrating cardboard boxes on the former, crap shelving units. I had quite forgotten how I had screwed it all together and to the shed itself, just to keep it all upright as the shelves sagged and crumpled from day one. The new stuff will easily outlast me. I now have only three longer, wider and higher units instead of the previous four. I just need more boxes or shallow tubs to reduce the amount of fresh air by stacking. Not an easy task to fetch boxes from the supermarket on a trike. Nor tubs from the DIY superstore ten miles away. My 20-year old car may yet enjoy a second journey inside one calendar month.

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Sunday 4th September 2016. Taking the afternoon ferry to Odense.

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Sunday 4th 55F, 13C, very heavy overcast, windy and wet. The DMI forecast is a warning of heavy rain and thundery cloudbursts. Not a promising day for anything much except scuba diving and white water kayaking. I don't think putting cork tape on the handlebars counts as a proper flotation device. Life would be so much easier with a carport to shelter under. I can't swing a trimaran in the trike shed.

As it was regularly tipping down I exiled myself to make another dent in the shed's clutter. Never invest in cheap steel shelving! The flimsy shelves can't support any weight without buckling. If you are going to add some kind of reinforcing boards you might as well have them to start with. It depends how much you value your own time in fetching the materials cutting and fitting them. And you still end up with an undersized arrangement!

My shelving tends to collect shallow cardboard [supermarket fruit and veg] boxes rather than plastic tubs. I don't need the depth that most tubs provide. Deep tubs tend to become far too heavy or waste valuable storage space by being only half full. The cardboard "trays"  are much larger than the ridiculously mean 12" shelving depth. Minus the flexible angle iron uprights of course. So they tend to hang over the front and back of the shelving and jammed between the sharp uprights. 15" is probably the minimum useful shelf depth. At least, IMO.

Then the shed's 2x4 wall studs push the shelving out so that there are gaps behind. Gaps which are guaranteed to attract unnoticed, falling items never to be seen again. If I wasn't such a skinflint I'd go in search of some decent shelving.  Taller too, so I can leave a proper space on the floor underneath for heavier or bulkier items. Though a strong shelf would do just as well to provide extra stability.

I'm trying to use [well padded] ladder supporting wall S-hooks to hang bikes and trikes from the open ceiling joists. Bikes and trikes in particular, are mostly fresh air and quickly use up lots of valuable space. Trikes can have their wheels taken off and hung by the rear axle stretched across the open ceiling joists. Though this is not remotely handy for a regularly used machine.

Having talked myself into buying some better shelving racks I headed to town in the car. The downpours continued to increase in length and ferocity as I approached Odense. There was up to four inches of standing water on the roads at times with the car being dragged left and right by deeper water. Naturally I reduced my speed as visibility dropped, but I was the only one to do so. Time and again I had drivers sitting right on my tail when conditions were simply too foul to maintain the legal speed limit.

After a quick dash into the shop in heavy rain to pay for my racks I found the rain had actually stopped on my exit. What I hadn't counted on was a sociopathically selfish driver had parked with his nose in the heavy goods collection portal. So I had to maneuver the heavy trolley, loaded with heavier racks, around him. While this fuckwit used his mobile phone and waited his turn in the queue to collect something. I was getting into serious oxygen debt by the time I had detoured around his car, unloaded the trolley into the boot and returned it to the portal.

On the way back the weather was, quite unbelievably, even worse. Lightening added a bit of extra drama to the stair rods and fast moving windscreen wipers. I dropped from 80kph to 60 and then 40 [50-25mph] and the car was still swerving dangerously as I hit massively deep, invisible puddles. It had become so dark, still in early afternoon, that I had to switch on my dash lights just to read my speedometer.

Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse and I had decided to pull off to wait for a lull, I was actually overtaken! A white van [what else?] covered in the graphics of a car sales and repair workshop went past at high speed. Somehow he managed to make my visibility even worse. The wipers could no longer cut through the sheer thickness of the water on the screen at its fastest setting. I could see the headlights of fast approaching cars as I let the car slow even more. Only to be immediately overtaken by a large car. It was completely impossible to identify the make through the deluge as the rain battered the car's roof and water roared in the wheel wells. I clung onto the steering wheel to try and keep the car straight as these two raving nutters rapidly vanished into the distance.

Half way back the road was lined for hundreds of yards on both sides by badly parked cars. Some sort of roadside garden center was holding a sale. The busy main road was marked with double white lines, the sky was black and it was still bucketing down. Despite all of this there were families moving down the outside of the parked cars in the roadway, against the speeding traffic, just to avoid walking on the wet grass of the verge! I had to slow and indicate and then wait for them to allow me to continue around them against the oncoming traffic. Despite the awful conditions the traffic was often speeding well above the legal speed limit and often careering along nose to tail. All desperately waiting for a chance to overtake. It is Sunday afternoon, lunacy is alive and well on Fyn and going about its business as usual.   

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1 Sep 2016

1st September 2016 Ramping up against the opposition.

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Thursday 1st 56F, 13C, very light breeze, lots of thin clouds, brightening. I walked another route on the stubble fields. A flock of perhaps 100 swallows was still there from the day before. They seemed to delight in shooting back and forth under a large oak tree with occasional rests on a nearby roof.

I had early coffee in anticipation of a ride but it became darker and rained. The DMI radar shows a long strip of rain passing right over us. It should brighten up by lunch time. Short, late afternoon ride. Returned, heavily laden, into the wind. Only 7 miles.

Friday 2nd 62F, 17C, cloudy with bright sunny periods. Light breeze. Went looking for the fire which choked us yesterday in the early evening but no sign. Saw several birds of prey. Saved a large black beetle determined to forage on the road. Spoke briefly to a hen. Nothing newsworthy to report. Returned in time to avoid a heavy shower. More rain forecast. Showers and gales with no reason to go out for  ride.

Saturday 3rd 56-65F, 13-18C, calm and bright with thin high cloud. Another tour of wet stubble fields walking in circles. The swallows continue to patrol under the radar. A sudden arrival of millions of daddy-long-legs should help to keep them from becoming peckish. Quite breezy and overcast now but I'm going out on the trike anyway. Two days of continuous heavy rain are forecast for tomorrow and Monday. I wish I'd had more notice to buy in enough wood for a decent sized ark.

A local 'mountain' with a 'Mohican.'

Late morning ride. I caught an elderly "racing" cyclist [of about my own age] on the cycle path and had to overtake by using the house on/off ramps. He promptly sat on my tail at 16mph into a cross headwind. So I shifted up a couple of cogs and shot straight up to 20mph. He eventually caught me again and overtook me just as the cycle lane ended. Only to jam on his brakes and block my path to take a left turn across the traffic! Grrr! It's not all bad news. I gained one place in the long queues in the coop when an oblate spheroid woman stopped to buy a sack full of pick 'n' mix sweets. I'd have offered to drag the bag to the checkouts but she might have thought I was taking the mickey.

A gale headwind under heavy threatening cloud coming home.  After further shopping I was overtaken by another, younger "racing" cyclist. Even on the tri-bars and doing an occasional 19mph I couldn't catch him. What was really weird was that he was only pedalling occasionally. With regular periods of freewheeling. With the shopping and the weight of the trike and umpteen bags I was probably pushing along 20kg more than he was, but even so. I'm not suggesting his carbon bike had twin outboard motors but it does make you think. At least my knees don't point backwards! So that's all right then. 15 miles.

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