22 Sep 2017

22nd September 2017 Words, not indeed.

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Friday 22nd 49F, 9C, slightly misty, very light breeze and bright. It should be a better day today . 

Continuing on yesterday's green theme: Y'all couldn't make it up! The Danish, right wing, coalition government is decreasing registration taxes on large and luxury cars by roughly £5000-6000 [equivalent] but increasing taxes on small cars. The smaller the car the more it will cost extra. No mention of electric cars or hybrids in the news article. Woohoo! Abandon hope of any CO2 reduction from this lot. 

They were only elected in a desperate bid to end the socialist's open door immigration policy. But have assumed the mantle of having a mandate for building inequality. Owners of homes in the major cities are enjoying a massive boom and have built wine cellars with tax breaks on home improvements. Normal people's homes are unsaleable, uninsulated, unheatable and falling down in the countryside. 

Meanwhile immigrant gangs are having cowboy shooting matches in major Danish city streets over their drugs sales turfs. And, there are hundreds of sentenced, immigrant criminals with prison records and deportation notices, but still no ticket home.

The winding track across the half sewn prairie seen from the ridge above.

When I came to Denmark I was told by a wise man that one should always judge a person on their actions. Rather than their words. Welcome to The Dark Green Climate Friendly Asylum  Elysium. It could be worse. I could still be living in Gravely Blighted! And nobody wants that. 😊

My walk in warm autumn sunshine took an anticlockwise turn around the edges of stubble fields.  I watched several large birds of prey going about their business.

It seems some lunatic used a long banned agricultural chemical to kill a family of Red Kites in Jutland. A harmless but impressive bird which clears up the countryside of animal corpses apparently. It is protected in Denmark, except from brain dead fuckwits. The latest news is that many long-banned chemicals are pouring out of the horticultural grower's greenhouses into the Danish water courses.

A smart little warbler was looking for snacks in a hedge and came within a few feet of me. Just as I thought I might get a quick snap with my camera it went off to find another hedge. Several groups of deer were relaxing in the fields and enjoying the sunshine. A pair of young kept their heads down in a dip only a few yards away, as the mother dashed off. Presumably to draw my attention away. Later, all three were watching me intently, from afar, before bounding back into the forest. No ride today.

Saturday 23rd 53F, 12C, calm, bright and sunny.  The wind turbines were struggling to get started on flat batteries. Today was practice day for a driving 'dotard' who really ought not to be doing so any more. He approached along the straight with his inside wheels only a foot from the verge. With no obvious intention on his part to go out around me I jumped into the long grass to save my own life. His expression and fixed g[l]aze never altered. As he continued on his way like some cruise missile with broken guidance.

Further on, the roads were plastered in mud. The local farmer obviously thinks the public highways is where one turns one's tractor at the end of each furrow when ploughing the chocolate stuff.

Later still, the 'nutter' in his Mercedes two-seater came around a blind corner with what is usually described as "considerable enthusiasm." It can only be a matter of time before something vulnerable, or immovable, is blocking his path. In the interests of fairness one can only hope for the latter.

A dozen or more pheasants were tentatively crossing the field between two copses. At the sight of my good self they scattered in assorted directions. They really ought to elect a strong leader to keep things under control at times like these.

I was allowed out for my familiar Saturday morning ride. Going quite well. A couple of fit young chaps on their carbon steeds went past. Later I passed then as they dawdled beside the road. Then I was overtaken again. 15 miles.

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21 Sep 2017

21st September 2017 Dark Green Messiah?

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Thursday 21st 54F, 12C, heavy overcast, calm, with light showers possible. 

Fyn [the central island of Denmark's three land masses] has been voted the best cycling area in Denmark. Ironically the article showed the picturesque, winding causeway to a local peninsula which is routinely used as a racetrack by drivers in both directions. Riding bicycles two abreast, as shown in the article's illustration, would be completely suicidal! BTW: There is no cycle lane in either direction on the narrow causeway.

Danish MPs are raising questions about their own Prime Minister after his attempt to paint roller himself as a Green Messiah at the UN: His tenure has seen the abandonment of many long established "green" policies and the closure of important monitoring institutions and records. Not to mention completely freezing electric cars out of the Danish market with savage registration taxes. With his support [and theirs] farmers now enjoy far greater freedom to despoil the countryside and greatly increase the risk to coastal seas and waterways than ever before.

Meanwhile, Denmark's CO2 release increased in 2016 despite empty promises to curb CO2 to former/historical levels at important international conferences. That'll be all the dirty diesel cars they still encourage via taxation and fuel subsidies, the increase in legal road speeds and the coal fired power stations. The short-lived bout of massive subsidies to the middle classes, for solar panel installation, has ended. So there was never any 'trickle down' to the working classes. It's like hybrid cars. There are so few on the roads that it's all a tiny drop in the ocean of CO2 belching from "green" Denmark.  

I was actually quite shocked to discover there is a Danish Minister of the Environment. I can't image he can find much to do each day. Though no doubt his office is truly palatial and impossible to heat efficiently. The Environment post is probably considered a "dirty" starter job for very junior politicians to get a first step onto the gravy train. With the promise of better things provided they don't attract too much negative publicity. 

This week's negative publicity? Strangely "forgotten" [now highly illegal] farm toxins seeping down [untested!] into the deep wells which supply 99.6% of Denmark's drinking water. Now reaching levels several times the legal limit and now we are told, microplastics are found in Danish drinking water. Burp! 

Another day of showers possible with the vague promise of better things later. Time for a walk. Wish me luck! A driver on his phone nearly hit me yesterday as he cut sharply across a blind corner with one hand on the wheel. 

I turned and gave him my [now infamous] replace the handset sign but he waved dismissively as he glanced in his rear view mirror. Don't these chumps realise that hitting a pedestrian in a bright orange coat would delay their journey by several moments unless they used the familiar SMIDSY + hit and run tactic. Though that would require a lack of witnesses. So there is still a very slight risk of his being identified as the killer perp. Perhaps the orange "rag" flapping from his windscreen wiper would give him away? One can but hope. Posthumously of course. πŸ˜‰

I didn't have to wait for the first blind corner today. Several cars were following a builder's van too closely. So that they missed that he had changed his course by about a foot to brush past me. There was no oncoming traffic but they all still clung to their track like the demented morons they really are. There is no passing place for three miles in the direction they were going. Solid double white lines until the next village and then 30, 25 and 20mph speed limits.

It seems my bright orange, secondhand, Helly Hansen jacket has become part of the scenery. So that I am now totally invisible. [And don't call me Harry Potter!]  Particularly to those practicing Hollywood-style, presidential convoys. Only when I waved my arms frantically did they jerk away from me at the very last moment. May one use the term "retards" in the derogatory sense these days? Always the speeding brain surgeon, these commuters. Never the cleaner.

I left the road as soon as possible and headed for the woods along the soggy and muddy track. There I found neat stacks of logs and even more mud. I branched off uphill and cut through the woods to the boundary. Where I could walk freely across large fields of damp stubble.

Later on I paused to watch a Red kite through my binoculars. It was circling low in search of breakfast but seemed unperturbed by my presence. There was not enough wind for soaring. So there was quite a bit of flapping of its long, dark tipped, 'fingered' wings. Bird watchers, who live in Scotland, will just have to imagine these gorgeous birds. While they wait, for a millennium or two, until their billionaire absentee landlords stop poisoning birds of prey for a fatter profit from investment banker <cough> huntsmen with too much time and other people's losses on their hands. 

A cat sitting just below the circling Kite bolted when it woke from hunting mode. They must go into such a concentrated state of mind that they miss contact with what is going on around them. Just like many drivers! Several deer moved along the field hedges. Or dived through them when they spotted me from hundreds of yards away. So my tatty sailing jacket is not a cheap, Harry Potter invisibility rip-off, after all.

I was allowed out, in the late afternoon, to fetch the shopping. Unnecessary CO2 leakage minimal. Only 7 miles.

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20 Sep 2017

20th September 2017: "London cyclist mown down by Kerb Lemming phoning furiously!"

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Wednesday 20th 53F, 12C, calm, overcast and wet. Showers forecast [and provided.]

After further consideration, I have decided that my only real complaint against the "furiously riding" London cyclist rests solely on his not having a front brake. And thereby attracting negative publicity for all cyclists following "an unusual accident."

The tragic death of the women involved was a very rare occurrence and very likely entirely her own fault. She stepped out and then reversed back into the UNFORTUNATE cyclist's path. Leaving the cyclist with an intolerable choice COMPOUNDED by his deliberately crap choice of an illegal braking system.

I still believe he could have reduced his speed far more effectively with a decent front brake instead of a uselessly skidding back tyre on a wet road.

Denying that he did not know it was illegal, as well as ridiculously unsafe, is like saying he didn't know whether he needed a saddle or handlebars on his bike.

NO cyclist moving in cycling circles, as he was over several years, is unaware of the legal and safety needs for a front brake. His own choice of machine, to avoid having a front brake, largely resulted in the publicity surrounding the tragedy which unfolded.

His speed at the time was totally and utterly irrelevant provided it was under the legal speed limit. The cyclist has no special duty to dawdle below the local traffic's speed "just in case."

His lack of helmet was an entirely personal choice and not yet a crime against humanity.

His online opinions, in the aftermath, on a lemming who stepped out in front of a cyclist, were as valid any other's. Tragedy aside, he was the "injured" party and had every right to complain! Only in perfect hindsight and sharing normal human sympathy did they seem in rather poor taste. Though still fully understandable and fully justifiable as he had no knowledge of the women's deteriorating condition.

I hope he appeals against his sentence. Not least to undo the "hanging court" proceedings of a universal manslaughter charge brought simply for not having a front brake on a bicycle. Particularly when a pedestrian deliberately casts themselves off the pavement into his path.

The cyclist was riding on the road. NOT on the pavement.

The pedestrian had the choice of using a nearby crossing but chose not to enjoy its far greater safety. That choice resulted in her death. As did her inattention before stepping onto the road where cyclists and vehicles are normally to be expected.

The court finding could be interpreted to mean that no cyclist, anywhere, may safely exceed 14mph in any built-up area without public criticism, media lynch mobs, or even police prosecution. Is such a punishment warranted for all cyclists, everywhere? Even if they have legal and powerful brakes?

In my own youth popular brake blocks were absolutely useless on steel rims in the wet! The brake blocks were still sold. As were the steel rims by "nefarious" cycle shops and manufacturers globally! Would any cyclist today be charged with manslaughter for having steel rims on their bicycle if they had a collision with a suicidal pedestrian?

This cyclist's punishment completely ignores the freedom of the majority of motorists to drive like uncaring sociopaths at 30mph in any built-up area. Without suffering any sanction at all!

If drivers really cared for pedestrians, then they would surely not allow themselves to drive above a walking pace where pedestrians wander? Just in case a mobile phone abuser behaves suicidally.

Think about that aspect for a moment. The chances of being killed by a quiet car, or motorcycle, are far higher than by any breathless cyclist at the same speed. It's all about mass and acceleration of the "victim" in the collision. Shouldn't motorists be required to crawl along rather than the cyclist? Statistics and science both tell us that the cyclist struggles to cause the awful mayhem and serious injuries of any moving vehicle.

Very quiet electric vehicles, motorcycles and millions of bicycles already inhabit roads. Surely the onus is on the pedestrian to behave sensibly rather than playing the Kerb Lemming?

And for cyclists, who must inevitably ride closer to the pavements than most other vehicles, your duty to humanity is simply to have proper brakes. And to pray you don't meet another Kerb Lemming.

Isn't it time that walking on any road, with an active mobile phone, was banned with a hefty fine? What's sauce for the goose is surely sauce for the gander[er.] If a cyclist may not use a mobile phone. And nor may any driver. Then why not demand suicidal Kerb Lemmings follow suit, by an immediate change in the law? Or has the unfortunate cyclist become the new 'N' word under the law?

There is ongoing discussion on finding better ways to prosecute cyclists who ride dangerously enough to cause injury to pedestrians. Still no discussion on penalizing jay walking while using mobile phones. Local councils are responsible for setting road speed limits and signposting. May we look forwards to signs for cyclists to ride at speeds well below vehicle speeds? 

The arrival of near silent, electrically assisted bicycles is going to cause mayhem if they are allowed to travel above walking pace in built up areas. Elderly riders with slow reaction times will be moving as fast as trained athletes.

Training the Kerb Lemmings via costly TV safety campaigns to look out for Tesla boys and girls is very unlikely to have much impact on them. They already know the roads are stuffed to the gills with impatient drivers in their extremely dangerous vehicles. The statistics scream out the warnings that crossing roads is a dangerous sport. Yet still they step into the road with the attention span of a gnat [or Lemming.]

By all means have a £1000 fine or a year in jail, or both, for not having a front brake on a bicycle. But what about the penalty for walking straight into the path of a moving vehicle or bicycle? A posthumous fine? Denial of emergency health care unless they are blocking the traffic?

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18 Sep 2017

18th September 2017 Kerb Lemmings 'R' Us.

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Monday 18th 42F, 6C, calm with thick mist. Houses 50 yards away are just visible though not clear. The eastern sky looks brighter so there is still hope of some sunshine if the mist clears. Which it did as I walked to the village and back.

A large tractor was busy, somewhere out in the mist, but I couldn't see anything. So I had to content myself with some atmospheric shots of a patiently waiting, fuel tender.

The London idiot who rode a bike without a front brake has been sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution. The lady pedestrian, whom he hit with his thick head, received a death sentence, without appeal, or any chance of parole. Her innocent family left uncomprehending and grief stricken by her summary execution.

How many more copycat fuckwits will still claim they didn't know it is illegal to ride on the public roads without a front brake? Why not set a huge automatic fine and automatic crushing of their machines to <cough> fix their attention?

Mark Beaumont from Scotland has just smashed the Round the World cycling record in under 80 days. He needed to average 240 miles per day and set  a new record for most miles cycled in a month as well! One superhero popularizes cycling. Another trashes cycling and breeds cyclist haters. One is a real cyclist. The other a deluded, immature prat. Or not. See below.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk Mark Beaumont smashes round the world record.

Tuesday 19th 50F, 10C, bright but cloudy with a whiff of a breeze. Rain this afternoon. A recent bit of research suggests that electric bikes are good for rider fitness. Provided they still have to pedal to go along it wad found that most riders worked as hard as a battery-free cyclist but went a lot faster. The side effects of "getting out there" compared with sitting in a car or train for a daily commute would seem to be equally beneficial IMO. The extended range on offer to Tesla girls and boys should make many marginal distance commutes far more psychologically manageable.

A knowledgeable person pointed out to me, the other day, that the two young persons on Focus MTBs were actually, electrically assisted. I had no idea electric bikes could be so sleek! Though the weight more closely matches a "human assisted" trike at a not-inconsiderable premium in price! £5K for the top end models @ 22kg suggests some serious progress is still required in battery weight. I could power my own trike with hot air but hydrogen might be more <cough> universally available.

My walk sent me along the track to the woods. Where there was considerable effort going on to plough and resew the prairie. With a pair of large tractors working together on the ploughing. Meanwhile an immodestly sized, seed drill was trundling back and forth further on. Doubled wheels, all around, presumably to reduce ground pressure, seems to be popular around here. I wouldn't want to meet one of these in a narrow lane on my trike!

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13 Sep 2017

13th September 2017 Storm in a teacup?

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Wednesday 13th 53F, 11C, already windy, heavy overcast with gales and heavy rain forecast. A low will cross Denmark from the UK this evening and overnight with storm force gusts. The Tour of Denmark riders will be expected to cope with high winds here on Fyn. Unlucky for some?

Harridslevgaard Slot. 
[Harridslev Farm Castle near Bogense.]

Here we are after lunch and the rain has been coming down in sheets with the trees thrashing about in the wind. The rain stopped for w while after 4pm and we even had some sunshine. The Danmark Rundt stage was called off after 100km. [about 60miles] due to the foul weather.  No ride for me!

Thursday 14th 52-58F, 11-14C, heavy overcast and calm at first. The wind and heavy rain had restarted and continued well into the night. More showers are expected today but with lighter winds. My cup anemometer is hardly turning at 7.30am with a light northwesterly breeze. I was hoping for a walk but there are rain drops on the windows. Some ducks flew over and The Head Gardener suggested they were looking for somewhere drier.

Smug tabby dreaming in the stubble.

I walked to the village and back to discover the first morning where I could feel the chill air on my hands. It soon passed as I ambled between the sheltering, roadside  hedges with a wary eye on the traffic. Yesterday's storm has kicked off autumn with the roads littered with small twigs and green leaves. The winds were light and it stayed dry. With even a brief glimpse of sunshine through holes punched in the overcast.

Risked a ride to the shops. The sky was blue black ahead as I rode back into a headwind. Soon after I arrived home there was a cloudburst. Only 7 miles.

Friday 15th 50-58F, 10-14C, bright and still at first but showers and wind promised for later. A lovely morning for walk so I headed up the familiar, but well-puddled track to the woods. From there I headed up through the stubble where I came across four medium-sized dear. No monarchs of the glen but they watched me carefully as I crept forwards along the forest boundary. Twenty images later, at full zoom, there was a  loud bark from behind me and the deer scattered back to the woods.

I walked on towards the summit and returned home by circumnavigating the far side of the field. As I descended to leave the field I disturbed a pheasant. Which plodded jerkily off, straight towards a black cat lying in deep grass. Fortunately the battle of wills was short lived and the cat ran flat out back to the safety of its farmyard. No ride today.

Saturday 16th 50F, 10C, heavy overcast, very light breeze but still dry, except underfoot. I walked around a stubble field where I saw a White headed eagle soaring over the edge of the forest. Having followed it out of sight in my binoculars a crow shouted hoarsely/coarsely from a treetop right above me. There followed a conversation on the etiquette of drawing attention to oneself in the middle of a field for no particularly good reason. It glared down at me but did not move off. Probably under strict orders not to leave its observation post. I returned home bemused but with suitably muddied gaiters. A long grey day without a ride.

Sunday 17th 50F 10C, light winds again but with the promise of showers, possibly heavy, with thunder and hail. It remained dry during my walk along the lanes. A wall of low, grey cloud slid rapidly under towering, sunlit cumulus.


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12 Sep 2017

12th September 2017. Out and about.

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Tuesday 12th 56F, 13C, highly variable, windy weather with showers and sunny periods. A meteorological low will cross Denmark with 25m/s, 50+ mph gusts tomorrow. Nice!

It started raining after half a mile but our hero plodded on regardless. The traffic seemed rather light until two articulated lorries brushed the inside verge on blind corners. While yours truly played the acrobatic clown on the steeply sloping grass. Getting killed once is careless. Getting killed twice, in one morning, by two different vehicles, seems almost foolish.

Egeskov Slot. [Oakwood Castle?]

Home of a remarkable transport and agricultural museum and gardens with several mazes. You could spend days there and still not see everything. Luckily I was able to talk our visitor down from any suggestion of taking a "treetop walk!" 

At least it reminds me of my lowly status in relation to vital goods transport's absolute right to unhindered progress to feed the desperately needy. If I gave up my morning walks I might die prematurely anyway. So it's not a win-win situation for wrinkly, rural pedestrians. I could choose to become eccentrically bolshy and demand my right to free passage on The Dronning's [Queen's] Highway. Sadly, I fear my "stand" would not last very long. More likely to be in recumbent mode, I would say.

The rain increased steadily after the turn at the village church and I had to fight to keep my baseball cap in place. Were these things invented by the Wright Bros? Did they skip the chinstrap purely on weight grounds? The wind was gusting strongly from the south, at times, as if to hinder my safe return to Chez Rural Hovel. I kept my left hand modestly cupped over my binoculars to save wetting the eyepieces. It wouldn't do much harm but it does make the views somewhat streaky.

Only part of Egeskov's classic car collection. 

There are also motorcycles galore, mopeds and bicycles in profusion, planes, carts, coaches and agricultural implements to admire. The castle contains many hunting trophies of now extinct animals and birds. Plus the weapons which ensured their untimely demise.

My only real criticism is the placing of information placards on the floors of the vast buildings housing the cars. This makes them almost impossible to read for curious old farts like myself. So I spent much time on one knee holding my reading glasses and peering at poorly lit, multilingual signs to discover the identity of many items on display. Perhaps they should have hired out knee pads at the turnstiles? Or torches? Nobody ever tells you that the ground gets further away with each passing decade! From now on I'm reserving my kneeling for the receiving of knighthoods for the promotion of tricycling and the encouragement of tourism in Denmark. 

Plans are afoot for a shopping ride if only to remind myself how it's done. I have a had a week without practice and may well have lost the knack by now. You have to fit these things in when you can. What with the forecast looking so dire. Though the local shoe shop is probably still safe from marauding looters. This is Denmark, after all.

Mid-afternoon ride was delayed by a cloudburst. Rather windy but blowing diagonally across the road. Nothing else to irritate me as it stayed dry and the traffic must have been giving me a wide berth. Luckily I hadn't forgotten how to tricycle as I took a ramp at a rate of knots on the diagonal. There's nothing straightforward about tricycling. Only 7 miles. The Tour of Denmark breakaway went the wrong way due to a lack of guidance at a crossing. The stage was won by a Dane.

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11 Sep 2017

11th September 2017 In the thick of it.

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Monday 11th 54F, 12C, gales with rain. Threat of clearing up to sunny periods with showers.  The rest of the world seems to be having it much worse so we mustn't complain.

Pretty cottage at the Aastrup Sanatorium.

Another cowardly terrorist has thrown a 90lb block off a Danish motorway footbridge. Fortunately, for the cowardly terrorist, they were saved any risk of identification. Because their basic right to privacy, during their [alleged] criminal activity, was ensured by the total lack of security cameras in the public domain.

Police are appealing for witnesses. Presumably there will be none. Because any witnesses, including drivers on the motorway, would be expected to cover their eyes. Just in case they breached the Danish privacy laws by observing alleged criminal activity, including [alleged] terrorism with an [alleged] weapon of mass destruction. Had the block hit a petrol tanker or chemical tanker in a built up area a WMD is not an exaggeration. Witnesses would be wide open to prosecution, under the full weight of the law, if they so much as whispered in their sleep, to reveal any details of what they might have seen.

We have just been out in the car and were being followed, at foolishly close range, by a drunken, senile, drug addled, total raving lunatic in a small car. While I stuck precisely to the speed limit he was climbing all over our rear bumper trying to overtake despite constant oncoming traffic. Eventually he overtook us on double white lines, on the blind brow of a hill and then lost control for a moment in a violent swerve. He then braked hard to a complete standstill to block our path on the main road.

Erholm 'Dorte' MΓΈlle.

After some arm waving he accelerated to illegally high speed through the 30mph [50kph] village which followed. Fortunately, for us, we had no dash cam fitted. Or we would have been in severe trouble with the law for recording such raving lunacy for posterity. One presumes that Danish courts have no provision for video replay during trials. Not even for lunatic WMD terrorist activities.

Meanwhile, Irma shoe-shop looters are huddled together, in police cells, to save themselves from the aftermath of the hurricane.We have been inundated with days of showers and gales but my rather inadequate footwear collection seem to have stabilized at former levels. I don't even own any "trainers." I'm probably too old to need further training in anything useful involving "trainers."

I was reading only the other day that collectable trainers can be as valuable [in intrinsic terms] as modern art. So there's really no more to be said. Except that you can use the canvas of a modern daub as a working surface to change the oil on your car. All without remotely affecting its intrinsic quality. While posh, collectable trainers are apt to rapidly lose their cosmetic value if you crawl under a car while wearing such totally inappropriate tat.

Horne Kirke.  

We arrived just as a wedding party was about to leave the car park [just opposite] for the church service. So had to quickly remind them that we were not their unfortunate, country cousins. As they all advanced in Viking formation to shake hands. It looks as if they had paid extra for the "outdoor arrangements" for party crashers. Which suggests that it was probably as well my pidgin Danish was enough to allay any fears of our joining them for a bit of free nosh and plonk!

Not that I am remotely against the wearing of "trainers." I am long beyond worrying about the subtle messages of juvenile dress code as they search for their ephemeral partnerships for life. Dandies and fops aside, I'm all for a bit of variety in male plumage. My own appearance in my gaudy "Lycra" is hardly a sound recommendation for plagiarism except for its deliberate choice on safety terms. [Sympathy or empathy is a powerful driver.]

If gaudy trainers, preferably with flashing LED lights, should catch on, they may even save the lives of winter joggers in their standard issue, all matt black uniforms. The same might be said for standard issue, all matt black cycle wear for formal evening wear. Are they copying motorcyclist's traditional and completely anonymous, all black racing leathers? Talk about delusions of grandeur! Even the most timid of mopeds can trash any cyclist's wildest aspirations except on an Alpine descent.


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4 Sep 2017

Monday 4th September 2017 The absense of clomp.

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Monday 4th 50F, 10C, calm, sunny. It was calm yesterday on my ride but often felt like a headwind despite my modest 12-16mph average speed. The wind turbines were standing still too so there was no doubt about how little wind there was. A slow worm was resting on the compost heap yesterday afternoon. I've never seen anything move so fast! It swapped ends too quickly to follow and then shot off into the undergrowth.

The wooded marsh seen from the entrance to the forest.

My morning walk took me over the harvested fields to the woods. Where I followed in the tracks of a forest harvester which had just disappeared from view along the main route. I never caught up with it within the distance I cared to reach before turning off on an uphill route. Then it was back along the bare ridge above the familiar landscape but from a slightly more dramatic viewpoint.

A flock of some thirty swallows were gyrating around an ancient oak in the field hedge. They seemed to follow me towards home. As I headed back to the road with my secondhand walking boots wet from the heavy dew. Fortunately they are Eccos and the membrane is still watertight after all this time.

Looking back towards the ridge. 

The membrane in the Salomon boots lasted less than a year and the guarantee replacements much less than that. My feet would instantly feel that horribly cold chill simply from crossing a damp lawn.

Thankfully the Ecco boots have remained comfortable as the toes gently turned up over time. The chances of finding another "as-new" pair in a charity shop, in my size, must be very slim indeed. They lacked in-soles, when I found them for a fiver equivalent, so I just borrowed some from the leaky Salomon pair.

The Eccos are so much nicer and very much quieter to walk in than the stiffer Salomon, but the Eccos are slightly more slippery on wet tarmac. Which is rather odd and took some getting used to. One wonders how they'd cope with damp rock if one were scrambling on cliffs or rocky outcrops in the hills. I remember that Vibram soles were always similarly slippery in my earlier walking and climbing boots. So how they remained in fashion for climbing and walking boots I have absolutely no idea. Local dogs used to bark madly when I clomped past their homes in the Salomons. Not so with the much quieter Eccos.

Late afternoon ride. Headwind going on the tri-bars. Quicker coming back. 12 miles.

Tuesday 5th 55F, 13C, rather overcast with speckled clouds.  Just a short walk. Busy day. No ride.

Wednesday 6th 60F, 16C, heavy overcast with potentially heavy rain on the menu. It was a pretty awful day with gales and cloudbursts.

Thursday 7th 54F, 12C, overcast and breezy. Wet morning followed by drier weather is forecast. In practice it wasn't a bad day at all and comfortable enough to be outside without a jacket. No ride today.

Friday 8th 55F, 13C, windy, heavy overcast with heavy rain. Expected to rain all day today and tomorrow. It brightened up in the afternoon but I was too busy for a ride.

Saturday 9th 55F, 13C, bright with a light breeze but rain forecast for later this morning. Possibly with thunder. Despite the independent TV weather forecast saying it would be fine it rained for most of the day. Only in the later afternoon did it ease off. With a few sunny period between light showers. We should have trusted the DMI forecast. There was patchy mist in the evening.

Sunday 10th 50F, 10C. Bright and clear but with showers forecast again. I haven't been registering the top temperatures of the day but will do so again soon. So, watch this space.

The only known, all-electric car in Denmark. Made in 1920 and still subject to the threat of crippling, annual import taxes to prevent "The Scourge of Electric Vehicles" should it ever take to the roads of Denmark.

Countless Russians will be hideously disappointed to discover that the goal of their planned visits to the [widely advertised] animal brothel in Copenhagen, does not exist. More fake news, Russian media propaganda, to suggest the low moral standards of the EU countries. What the vast numbers of Russian sex tourists will find to do now is a matter of some conjecture. Perhaps the Danes should just remember to keep their pets on a leash and avoid pallid, vodka-soaked, burly men in furs, lurking in shop doorways?

At least we know The Little Mermaid will be safe from their amorous attentions. She's such a cold fish! However, Copenhagen zoo might like to step up its security. The poorly maintained fleets of rusting buses, piled chaotically up against the gates, should be warning enough to bring out the high pressure hoses. I hesitate to use the term "water cannon" in case it starts a new war of words. πŸ˜‰ Just a short walk in bright sunshine. The wind is picking up.


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3 Sep 2017

Saturday 2nd September 2017 Overboard Duffel/Saddlebag shelf extension.

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Saturday 2nd 48-60?F, 9-16C, ground mist, completely still, with bright sunshine out of a clear blue sky. Walked along the harvester tracks up to the woods as the last of the mist disappeared. Then curved around the edge of the field and back past the marsh to the road. The first deer took one look and vanished into the sweet corn. The ducks were fairly quiet this morning as a mostly brown flotilla sidled around the edges watching me intently.

A second deer was grazing on the last of the track and seemed unconcerned as I walked within 50 yards. I kept snapping away as I walked a few yards and paused. It raised its head looked around and went back to grazing. This went on for a while until it lifted its head again and bolted into the marsh. Too busy for a ride today.

The images show the inexpensive, black plastic, draining board tray cut down to 10" deep as a rack shelf extension. The choice of black, over white or magenta, was my wife's suggestion.

After sawing off the waste area I filed the cut edges smooth to avoid wearing through the bag material. The tray weighs very little indeed but feels sturdy enough for this job. Half a tray is even lighter!

Then I drilled pairs of small holes to just clear the Trykit rack. Three pairs on the front raised rim and two in the sunken corrugations to avoid rubbing the bottom of the bag. The tray fits the Trykit rack to perfection.

I followed up with five, black, zip ties tensioned around the rack tubes to maintain the shelf extension firmly in place.

The corrugations and raised rim should provide an extra degree of stiffness over a flat plate of greater thickness and weight.

The final image shows the lightly stuffed, Overboard Duffel bag in place on the extended rack. I have re-tied the shoe lace which stops the bag shifting sideways. The trike can be literally laid on its side without the bag moving. How's that for a stealthy support system?

The 40 liter Overboard Duffel bag dwarfs any other bag I have tried and can even be filled with its full height to make more space. It is claimed to be completely waterproof even allowing for full immersion.

I hope you will agree that it offers a superbly large, yet compact, smart and high visibility saddlebag for the touring and shopping tricycle owner. It absolutely trashes any of the usual saddlebags for carrying capacity.

It even offers a neat and secure, heavy duty pocket for the Dreadnought Class, Abus-ASBO, Mini-U-lock. With incredibly strong Velcro fastening to avoid loss or casual pilfering. Bright reflective strips adorn the vertical edges of the pocket. There are a further two, flat pockets inside the bag but no internal dividing panels.

I like this lack of obstruction because it offers a large, flat surface area for easily arranging shopping by weight and fragility. Considering it has twice the capacity of the Carradice Camper it cost considerably less and weighs less. I doubt the Overboard bag will last for decades, as do the Carradice bags, but it seems to be holding up well so far.

Sunday 3rd 60-66F,  16-19C, calm with a few sunny periods. No walk today but I was sent to the more distant shops on my trike in still, comfortably warm conditions. I saw several cyclists out training or enjoying the countryside. A bunch of unhappy teenagers were standing around the usually flooded road in their swimming trunks. It seems they wanted to start a water polo team but were to be disappointed by the lack of rain. I detoured on the way back including the biggest local climb. Where I started off at 80rpm but soon got into my stride with a cadence of 92-95rpm and even hit 105 at the top as the hill slowly eased off. Going well again today. 20 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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1 Sep 2017

1st September 2017. Oven-ready cyclists?

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Friday 1st September, 45F, 7C, calm, bright with thin cloud. Slight risk of showers. Well, at least I remembered to change the month in the heading this time. So I must be running on all cylinders for a change. Though I thought I'd lost it yesterday when the teeny teenager on the supermarket checkout gave me 10 Pall Mall. When I'd actually asked for paracetamol. I haven't seen a policeman in several years so can't really say whether they seem any younger to me. That used to be the litmus test in Gravely Blighted.  Where there are more policemen than people. Probably due to the obscene inequality between politician's basic salaries and average incomes.

A famous Danish Cycle Tour racer, whose name must remain nameless here, is putting his name to a range of supermarket, sporting cycling clothing. As it is all jet black one may presume they won't need to re-dress the corpses as they pile up at the funeral parlours. They will be "oven-ready" so to speak. So that's all right then, just as we go into the long, dark winter months. That time of year when many cyclists see [even dirt cheap, ultra-lightweight, brilliant LED] lights as optional. Just as certain others see brakes in much the same <cough> light. Or, rather, lack of it in both cases.

Dim bulbs the lot of them. Much like EverReady batteries. Which were often flat before you ever got your hands on them. This led to a multi-trillion, TV advertising campaign for a certain other battery. You know the one which usually came last in most tests of competing and ridiculously cheaper batteries. The advertising in every break, for several decades as I went through a cruelly extended, impressionable age, came as close, as any other, to my wanting to join a lynch mob for advertising executives. Whom I number amongst predatory pedophiles, estate agents, politicians, people traffickers, despots, and all religious leaders, in no particular order.  

Supermarkets often sell a set of [approved] bike lights for about the same price as a couple of "big names" choccy bars or bags of "big names" crisps. They say "you can't put a wise head on young shoulders." Some of them will probably end the winter without any head at all! At least, judging by the number of idiots riding around in black hoodies without lights after dark. Everybody knows hoodies aren't cycling fashion. Except for crash test dummies.

Gloves are unfashionable too it seems. You would not believe the sheer number of young scooterists you see riding along the country roads. With one hand in their jacket pocket and the other frozen solid[ly] to the throttle grip.

Now I'd better go for an autumnal walk before I get into any more trouble. I walked to the village and back in quiet conditions. Only three drivers risked my life on a blind bend. While the owner of a rag-top Mercedes sports car had fallen <cough> fast asleep with their elbow and chin resting on the windowsill. To the young woman commuter who just missed me: No I don't want to have your babies. I hardly know you! And, it was our first [and nearly last] date.

In breaking news: The EU has banned most vacuum cleaners from heavy metal rock concerts. Fortunately for metal fans Whirlpool washing machines are still alloud.[sick] Vestas wind energy and Tesla are getting together to store wind power. It would have been infinitely better to have had consumers store that energy in their private electric cars. But the Danish government has deliberately priced electric cars well beyond reach of all but Danish [coal] millionaires.

A Dutch firm is investing £160 million fitting solar panels to low income homes in the UK. Gravely Blighted's ex-Etonian toffs had deliberately ensured that the feed-in tariff was set too low to allow other than the middle classes to benefit from small scale solar.

Funnily[?] enough Denmark seems to have similar ex-Etonians in charge when it comes to handing out fat, solar tax breaks to the middle classes. Who did so well out of the income from the energy they generated that they could repay their 100% loans to install the panels on their coach houses and gazebos and still be in the black within 3 years! This at a time of minus returns on savings? A "nice little earner" denied to the poor. Shouldn't this be called "corruption?"

The Chinese energy minister is visiting Denmark to discuss energy alternatives leading to potential investments in the billions. I just pray the Chinese don't notice the total absence of electric cars and solar panels on ordinary houses when they do "the sights." Perhaps they'll do a <cough> lightning installation of panels on HC Anderson's house? Then tell the Chinese a load of <cough> porkies [fairy tales] about their <cough> green credentials. Just nobody mention Poland. Which is rapidly felling its last heritage forests to supply wood chips to the few Danish power stations which don't burn coal.  

Late morning ride to the shops. If any vehicle was keeping to the speed limit it certainly wasn't obvious. Plans to build a trout farm on the frequently flooded section of the newly resurfaced road have had to be abandoned due to winter salting. So they looked at a possible salmon farm but the 150% EU funding just wasn't there.

It seems the Danish public water suppliers have been ignoring the testing for past farming toxins simply because they were banned years ago. Of course it takes time to trickle down from the farmer's fields to the deep wells, but somehow they had never thought about it. Dugh?

The BBC is headlining on the attempted theft of a £22,000 watch from a footballer I had never heard of. Seventeen BBC sports "commentators" are credited with the story. £22,000? Isn't that the current average price of a season ticket? What's all the fuss?

A British Cycling magazine has got into trouble for labelling a picture of a lady cyclist "a token attractive woman." What would they have called me? "A token old fart on a tricycle?" πŸ˜‰

Talking of which: The Overboard "saddlebag" is proving very useful. It has taken a little time to perfect my loading technique but there is almost no damaged shopping so far. I found a draining board tray in plastic yesterday but couldn't make up my mind on which colour to buy. [Imelda Syndrome!] I think a cut down tray would be ideal to support the Overboard bag where it overhangs the Trykit rack shelf. I still haven't remembered to keep my camera out to show the bag when fully loaded. It usually sits in a protective plastic case in the bag.

17 miles today, going quite well again. Keeping up a high cadence helps. Not sure the high "cadence" on the blog is such a good idea. ;-)


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30th August 2017 Oh, the shame!! 😞

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Wednesday 30th 60F, 16C, heavy overcast, rain arriving possibly with heavy thunderstorms. I only made a few hundred yards along the road before the rain started seriously. Quick, about turn and retraced my steps. A wet and windy day ensued but no thunder was involved. I hardly stepped outside.

Thursday 31st 54F, 12C, heavy overcast with yet more rain. I was just reading about a young, world traveler who felt very restless on his return. It seems this is also a common complaint amongst athletes who end their active careers. Finally, I have an excuse for my feelings of emptiness when I didn't have a ride every day. Tricyclist's PTSD can be hell! πŸ˜‰ And, hopefully, a perfectly valid excuse for all my "little faults."

At least I wasn't let loose on the motorway to ride for miles in the wrong direction. Until the police were forced to use articulated lorries to literally block the road. As happens fairly frequently in Denmark according to the news.

Mostly it is the elderly who get confused by all the flashing headlights. As all those other "idiots" drive the wrong way down the motorway towards them. <sigh> The latest, elderly "ghost driver" didn't even acknowledge the police sirens, horns and flashing blue lights. Let's be careful out there. You never know who you might meet coming the wrong way!

Late ride to the shops under hefty plates of cloud. Looking more like the underside of flying camping mattresses, some were dragging filthy underskirts of cloudbursts. Fortunately this variety went north and west of me. Though others remained threatening all the same. They are still staffing the Danish supermarkets with little kiddies. Which may explain the lack of stock of several standard items.

On the way back a little girl overtook me as I climbed uphill away from my last shopping stop. I swiftly overtook her again but the shame will probably remain with me forever. She didn't even have her feet properly placed on the pedals of her tiny bike as she raced past on the pavement! I could see it was quite deliberate because she was grinning at me as she passed! My only saving grace was that somebody had removed her stabilizers. While I have mine stuck on permanently! Some say that old age is a return to childhood. I can see what they mean. My humour grows more childish [and obscure] every day. Only 7 miles. 

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29 Aug 2017

29th August 2017 Not my boy!

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Tuesday 29th, 60-74F, 16-23C, cloudy but bright with quite a breeze blowing. Tomorrow is looking decidedly damp underfoot. So today is the day, if I'm to be allowed out.

The Danish coalition government is arguing about how much to reduce taxes for buying retro, diesel "smokers" to reduce the burden on city pensions. They badly need the money for a fourth, coal fired battleship to impress the world with their global, military aspirations against a common foe. πŸ˜‰ But I'm saving up my precious "fuckwits" for another news story:

It seems another copycat terrorist has thrown a rock at a car on a motorway. Fortunately it hit the car roof just behind the windscreen. The police are still no nearer a result on the murder and crippling of a German couple on holiday in Denmark. Their car was hit by a massive concrete slab dropped from a quiet, rural, motorway bridge. But, it seems, the terrorist's basic human rights must not be violated by having cameras watching their activities on quiet motorway bridges. It seems that no [illegal in Denmark] dash-cam videos were available as evidence.

So we shall just have to wait for a "fuckwit selfie" from these same terrorists. They're good at that sort of thing. Meanwhile other terrorists [in all but name] are shooting at innocent people in their kitchens in Copenhagen.

How do they tell them apart? The "terrorists" I mean. Is it because real terrorists are better shots because they've had much more practice at shooting innocent people? So one-offs and stray bullets don't really count on the terrorism scale? Four foot swords count over gang banger Uzis?

I'm still waiting for the "fuckwit video selfies" on YouTube or Facebook:  

"To all our loyal followers: This us us missing yet another gang banger [drug dealing] competitor target by a mile and hitting a petrol tanker driver instead. He swerved into pedestrian street before finally dying in the ensuing conflagration along with 300 collaterals and a dozen historic buildings. Sorry for the all long words but our drug dealing, gang leader has political aspirations as a future world leader.

Don't forget to Subscribe or Like our video down below!... 

Wow! 90 million views in three days! Our Google advertising account is making the gang an absolute fortune! We shall be able to afford shiny, new, heavy machine guns next time! I wonder if we should do burning kitten videos as a sideline? That should be a nice little earner too! 

But remember, YouTube fans, we're not terrorists! We just look like them! Boom boom!"

So that's alright then. Thank goodness Denmark will soon have four [coal fired] battleships to fight the scourge of "gang [gun] violence." Just as long as it's not called terrorism we'll all be safe in our kitchens.

Our meandering "hero" enjoyed another circuitous route over the stubbly, hilly fields thanks to the recent harvest. A pair of tractors was loading big bales onto a trailer as they moved steadily uphill towards my retreating figure. I ploughed on, capturing new views of familiar and favourite scenes for a rainy day. A chocolate brown White-headed eagle flew over and didn't like the look of me at all. So I continued across more fields fighting the stubble or wading ankle deep in slippery chaff on deep, harvester tyre tracks. You would not believe the sheer number of swallows around at the moment. Day and night they swoop overhead putting innocent lives in danger. Yet they never avail themselves of their superior flight technology to attack us.

It is already feeling very warm at 68F with a high of 75F threatened. I wonder whether they can call it a disaster area so they can claim EU emergency farming aid? Well, all that fawn does look a bit like a desert. [From the safe distance of a nearby, blind corner on the road. Or from the Brussels Bottomless [taxpayer's money laundering] Pit.]

Headed north with a tailwind helping me to a cruising speed of 19mph for several miles. The shopping village was empty. Hollywood alien mass abduction scenes have more extras! No cars [at all] in any of the supermarket car parks? What's that about? Coming home was a real slog at 8-10mph. Only 15 miles.


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28 Aug 2017

28th August 2017 Misty-eyed lansdscape photography.

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Monday 28th 52F, 11C, woke early to a quiet morning. Blue skies are decorated by small clouds. A wonderful mist hangs low over the newly harvested fields but is thinning rapidly. Yesterday's machine roar and movement are now safely stored on my computer for posterity. It's really quite exciting to see these huge machines so close to home. The dust they spew out the back is unbelievable but the light wind was perfectly placed to carry it well away from us. A large tractor and trailer accompanied the harvester to gather the grain and ferry it away at intervals. Leaving the soil littered with finely shredded straw and seed husks.

Of which I saw a great quantity today as I took the unique opportunity to cross harvested fields. My boots brushed through the stubble as I hopped over moraines of hay waiting to be baled. Everything looked slightly soft focus in the misty, morning sunlight. Only such gentle elevations would show such change when the crop is absent. Suddenly distant vistas are clearly seen for the first time in months.

Just having access to the fields offers new insights into the layout of the land. New opportunities for photography present themselves. The problem is choosing which images to share from the hundreds I have taken. Resizing them robs them of sparkle and the sheer scale of everything.

The moment I raise my camera the landscape is squashed down into a tiny box and never really expands back out again. I can never capture the 180° and occasional ten mile depth of the landscape at the same time. Zoom in and everything is foreshortened and squashed further into the limitations of a screen.

Then it all has to be shrunk in the wash as I prepare my images for the blog. Too large and people complain that they can't view my blog because it takes so long to download. After years of high speed fiber-net I have to keep these slow connections in mind.

I'd like to have the freedom to almost fill the page with an image, like they do in magazines, but can't. I usually resize down to 1000 pixels max dimension and keep the image size on the blog to no more than Large. There is the option of Extra Large or Original. So it all ends looking like a currant cake to me but what can I do? 😎

I expect my regulars will be sick of the sight of harvest scenes before I am finished. They're probably already hoping for a new rant about McSlob's litter or vehicular 'nutters' driving me round the [blind] bend. Well, you'll just have to be patient. It's my blog, so there. Start your own blog if you want to see something else on your own screen. I highly recommend it if you have anything to say. Or are burning to share images of your life and hobbies. You can never have enough blogs. Even if nobody ever reads them.

I had a nice email from a chap who's bought a long wheelbase, delta trike. With an electric assist front hub and disk brakes he's enjoying his new found freedom to roam. The nice thing is that the styling denies the narrow-minded the ability to auto-label the trike as suitable for the elderly and infirm. It looks like a smart and sophisticated recumbent and that is precisely what it is. I wouldn't mind one myself when I retire from perching high on a Brooks saddle with my nose on the front tyre and my bum in the air. Well, that's how it feels these days. Even though I rarely move my hands from the Campag brake hoods.

It's a perfect day for a ride, with light winds. I wonder if The Head Gardener will let me out? Nope! I was let loose on ornamental shrubs instead. Emphasis on the mental degree of attention to detail. She really needs a remote controlled drone with a hedge clipper attachment. It's called an "Under Gardener" in the gardening world. I don't have the attention span to qualify. I'm more your navvy, lopper and tree feller than arboriculturalist. More at home with a chainsaw than a dibber. πŸ˜‡
 

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26 Aug 2017

25th August 2017 Gotta stack a bale or three [hundred].

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Friday 25th 64F, 18C, breezy and cloudy with bright intervals. Walked along the lanes and then cut back across the harvested fields. Too busy for a ride today. In rare, positive cycling news: Laura [ex-Trott] and Jason Kenny have had a baby boy. Congratulations! 😎

Saturday 26th  60F, 16C, dead calm, rather cloudy, slightly misty and humid. I took advantage of the harvested fields to make a serious tour of No-Man's Land.  I crossed and circumnavigated the huge fields to reach distant spots which take ages walking along the lanes. Lots of Skylarks hiding in the fields which would rise and move away. A buzzard sailed over just above my head after crossing a wood. The wind turbines were still again.

The difference in the efficiency of technology was very obvious as two farmers loaded small bales onto a trailer using small tractors under a blue haze of diesel smoke. Their vast field dwarfing their activities. Nearby, hundreds of big bales were already neatly stacked by big machinery. A statement of power over the corrugated landscape.

I remember visiting small, mixed farms, in my childhood in England. Where the bales were literally lifted and thrown up onto the trailer by gnarled hands, by wiry men and tough women. Stooks of hay [sheaves] being stood up, leaning against each other for support, to dry in the wind and sunshine. With all the family and friends helping with the exhausting harvest. That would have been back in the 1950s. When farms were full of dusty clutter, amazing timber buildings and the most wonderful, or awful smells. Little had really changed in decades or centuries. Now it's all vast, corrugated steel sheds and giant machines and the timeless magic has gone. Solitary drivers and GPS toil mechanically in the fields, these days.

I was allowed out for my traditional, Saturday shopping run to a more distant village. It wasn't long before the first sociopathic bully homed in on my position and overtook me. Brushing just past my elbow at high speed. As the only car in sight, along the two mile straight, approached. A skill no doubt honed and practiced throughout an interminably long childhood, for all of their countless victims. Now they rely on their silver grey, vehicular anonymity to escape censure. Small people in big cars. Where once they were big people in small environments with smaller victims.

Rotten to the core and incurable of their disease. As they wait to meet their Master in the burning basement. Meanwhile, they can tick off regular new 'wins' against those they despise as utterly inferior. Exchanging their former lives as slave drivers and torturers and minor Nazis for lower management in sickly, uncaring businesses. Where anything goes as long as it doesn't badly affect the bottom line too much.

As the talented staff soon see where the land lies and take off early into their expanding careers. Leaving an ever poorer personnel, shuffling through their day and constantly watching over their shoulders for the next verbal assault. Or the invasion of their private space. Where encouragement is as out of place as an offer of help with the ever rising workload.

I have seen it so often it must be a terminal disease for many businesses. Most despots will happily settle for less. Provided the small personal "rewards" are satisfying enough. Feeding off the dread as they gleefully lash the dwindling oarsmen of a slowly sinking ship. Nationalized industries are riddled with both types of failure. I suppose you could call them people sinks. Somewhere to loose a large but inefficient workforce of ne'er do wells where they can do least harm between fires and major accidents.

I was shocked to discover my tyres were only holding around 40 PSI despite feeling rock hard to the wrinkled MkI thumb. The track pump soon righted that lack and was instantly noticeable on the bumpy drive as I left. Going quite well in the light winds. Enjoying my remote-controlled freedom to roam.

Intensively reared cannon fodder.

They must have brought in the emergency flooding pumps to clear the fly fishing ponds on the stretch of newly resurfaced highway. We have similar standing water problem on a local corner. They left the only drain high and dry when they resurfaced with thumb sized rocks instead of using the traditional pea-sized gravel. Thereby adding 20dB[A] to the passing traffic noise which once went largely unnoticed. Another 'win' for some small but evil despot working away well above his pay grade due to a lack of real competition for the empty post. 15 miles.

Sunday 27th 55F, 13C. A light, northerly breeze and a few smudgy clouds. Famous last words! It rapidly became overcast from the north. Where's my sunshine gone? The sky seemed in a hurry today with constantly changing conditions. I walked to the village and back. No ride as I was busy on my project again.

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23 Aug 2017

23rd August 2018 It's raining hay, hallelujah!

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Tuesday 22nd 55F, 13C, heavy, broken cloud but dry.

Q. How can a fat barsteward be a fly tipper?

Walked around the 3 mile block which is mostly fields with a quiet village in the middle. A Red kit was soaring over the village church and onwards. Then I spotted  two large birds of prey close together on a harvested field. One was very obviously a White headed eagle but the other was slightly smaller and looked rather scruffy. They both seemed to follow me home as they circled over the fields looking for a snack. I saw a large hare sitting in a field but the birds didn't seem interested.

Early ride to the shops to catch up on a day without. Blowing quite hard and managing 20mph for a while on the way. The headwind coming home laden wasn't nearly as much fun. 7 miles.

Wednesday 23rd 61F, 16C, warm, bright and still. Even the wind turbines are having a rest. Perfect weather for harvesting? Or tri-cycling? It wasn't to be. I had to collect heavy stuff in the trailer so shopped in the car while I was there. What a waste of a still day!

The London cyclist, on trial following the death of a pedestrian, has been found NOT guilty of manslaughter but GUILTY of "furious" driving. An ancient law from the times of horses and carriages in the previous century. When cyclists were apt to startle the landed gentry. Enough, it seems, to ban all cycle racing from the roads of Gravely Blighted for the next century and more. But that's corruption for you.

I'm still hoping his bike will be confiscated and publicly crushed for being illegal for road use. And, to send a loud and clear message to all the other fuckwits fashionistas riding around busy towns without front brakes. I do not use the term "fuckwit" lightly but it just seems so perfectly apt in this case. Deluded fashionistas should not be allowed anywhere near a bicycle. They might get their nose rings caught in their spokes with their handlebars set that low!

Hay was falling from a clear blue sky while we were working out in the garden. The still air and a harvester working hundreds of yards away can add its own drama to the rural environment. We even had a dust devil one year just after the harvest. With hay spiraling high into the air right beside the garden for a brief, few moments. It was very warm outside today as it spiraled towards 70F, 21C.

Thursday 24th 63F, 17C, light winds, rather cloudy with sunny periods. The harvester was still working after 11pm last night as it produced a huge spherical glow in its home-made cloud of dust.

Walked to the woods past the marsh. Where I disturbed three deer. A little later I came across three more. So must assume they were the same lot. I finally have confirmation of the source of the weird barking I hear in the woods. It is just the doe calling her youngsters when they get scattered. Or as a warning cry to get away from the strange old man with the camera. Walked back along the harvester tracks for a change of scenery. Late afternoon ride to the shops. Only 7 miles.


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21 Aug 2017

21st August 2017 The desperately unfair war on speeding.

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Monday 21st 56F, 13C, heavy overcast and breezy. The forecast is for dry weather today. 

The Danish police are having another 'go' at speeding motorists. Half of whom, the police suggest, are speeding on Denmark's rural roads. With the daily, ongoing, gang war, gun battles a daily occurrence in the capital, police are being "borrowed" from other regions. Let us pray there are still enough officers left to wield the nominal number of radar speed "guns."

It is odd that the "grossly unfair tax on sociopathic drivers" known as speed cameras are not more commonplace in Denmark. Half the driving population of Denmark would seem to be ready and willing contributors to increased taxes via speeding fines. However, with so few radar vans or police cars, to go around the entire road network, the chances of being caught for speeding makes a complete mockery of the law. 

I have mentioned it repeatedly that many Danish villages have a digital speed indicator board at their 50kph [30mph] signs. These have flashing orange warning lights on their faces. But, many of them are so slow to react that the majority of law breakers never see them. If they put flashing orange lights on the backs of the boards at least those downstream would get an early warning. The speeding driver might also see the flashing lights caused by their own illegal behavior. 

The cost of board conversion, at Danish council worker's [and chronic mobile phone abuser's] wages. Would no doubt make it cheaper to employ top Hollywood film stars, or even BBC Slebs. To wave at speeding motorists as they pass. I have had irate speeding motorists berate me for waving "innocently" at them as they drove past me at over 60mph in busy villages with 20mph speed limits. I bet they wouldn't berate a uniformed policeman on a bicycle! If there were any.

BTW: Why is shooting innocent people in a busy city street not classed as terrorism? How can they [possibly] tell them apart? Why is racing past unprotected village school playgrounds and adjacent, multiple supermarket entrances [in a 2-seater Mercedes sports car] not classed as terrorism? Just asking.

Walked up to the woods. Where a Red kite was trying to find somewhere quiet to sit and eat its breakfast. Until I came along. It flew all around the prairie with something dangling from its talons. Moments later a large doe tip-toed along a fold in the field keeping its head down. Obviously heading for the marsh to sit the day out in relative peace. It's really quite breezy out there now. Making it feel almost melancholy, as I walked the field tracks under grey skies.

While Denmark prosecutes those who publish images and videos of criminality online, British police are trialing a scheme. Where private dash cam footage will be used as evidence in court of bad or dangerous driving. In a startling irony, malicious images taken by evil Danes, of innocent people, in Denmark, are freely posted online. For millions of potential viewers to gawp at. Or to share obscene and derogatory comments without any apparent interest or protection from the police. Do they make up the rules as they go along? No ride today.


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20 Aug 2017

18th August 2017 Denmark's monsoon season.

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Friday 18th 62F, 17C, windy with a heavy overcast. Last night's heavy rain is likely to be repeated this afternoon.Walked to the village under grey skies. A scruffy immature blackbird was sitting on the ridge of an old barn. It was calling at intervals and being answered, presumably by a parent, in a nearby tree. The effect was much like a sonic game of table tennis which was still going on when I passed on the way back home. A flock of some 30 swallows were taking it in turns to rest on a cottage roof. Or flying off to do a circuit of the lawn beside the church pond. The forecast now looks like three days of continuous rain! I waited for rain while I hacked at the hedges but still it didn't rain. I could easily have ridden my trike to the shops instead of taking the car.

Saturday 19th 55-65F, 13-18C, bright and breezy but cloudy. Another day of rain forecast. Staff at two UK branches of McSlobs are going on strike over wages and hours. The UN is expected to present humanitarian medals for lives saved by their selfless actions.  Yesterday, while I was out, I saw at least 6 people who had made themselves severely handicapped by overeating. Their huge thighs had grown so extremely bulky that they could no longer walk normally. But had to rock their vast bulk from side to side to make any forward progress. And there on the checkout belt, as always,  was the reason for their near spherical forms.

Walked to the woods and back via the prairie track in cool but bright sunshine. A rather damp fox was sitting bolt upright ten yards out from the forest edge. Despite being at the limit of my zoom it bolted as soon as I took out my camera. As I turned to retrace my steps a huge V-shaped cloud approached wearing navy blue knickers. Though it still remained dry.

A simple message for simple people.

On my ride it rained for quarter of an hour but I couldn't be bothered to stop to get out my sweaty X- Rage rain jacket from the giant new saddlebag. Eventually it stopped raining and I dried out. They were holding an annual fly-fishing contest on the new puddles on the recently resurfaced roads. Though I doubt there were many fish to be had with the traffic ploughing through the standing water at twice the legal speed limit. Only 15 miles but going quite well despite the wind.

Sunday 20th 57F, 14C, cloudy and breezy with rain. More rain forecast. I wonder if you can be banned from cycling? The driving license is a basic human right and cannot be removed even after repeated acts of homicidal lunacy. There is no cycling license to take away. Which leaves fines or prison. I'd certainly suggests that any bicycle without brakes and used on the road, is automatically confiscated and the rider made to watch while it is publicly crushed by a road roller. A scrap yard crusher has no obvious connection to the road so would be too lenient. What about a massive ankle bracelet? That would limit their ability to ride fixed.Though this would not be fair to cyclists because even drunken mass vehicular murderers don't suffer such sanctions.

Despite the protestations of road safety researchers, Denmark's government is putting up speed limits. The university professors specializing in road safety say that higher speed will lead to more deaths and injuries. Needless to say the consequences of increased global warming, through CO2 increases from higher fuel consumption, are being totally ignored by an increasingly right wing, coalition government.

The problem is that speeding drivers always add at least 20mph to every speed limit. Being completely insane they also want to be able to use their phones for texting and watching porn while driving at that illegal speed. They want to be adjusting their radios or music players. They also want to be putting on their makeup [all at the same time] and that is only the men.

These same men cannot even corner at 20mph on local blind corners in their luxury, 2-seater "sports" cars without overshooting into the opposite lane. They then accelerate up to an illegal speed along the following straight to show just how macho they are. Before braking hard and then making exactly the same stupid error on the very next corner. They do this every blΓΈΓΈdy morning! Week after week after week!

Q. What do they call speed limit signs in Denmark?

A. Typos.

Boom-boom?

Suit yourselves.

My morning walk was delayed by a shower just as I had accumulated my "vital necessities" and was waiting patiently at the tradesman's entrance.  It all went downhill from then on and it was soon morning coffee time. Finally I risked a window between towering masses of mashed potato. [Technical term for Cumulus.] Many of the cloud edges were badly frayed by high winds as they all scudded over in seemingly random directions.

I was passed by two groups of motorcyclists with a predominance of BMWs, both old and new.

It felt rather warm as I walked briskly back from my self-appointed goal. To suffer yet another near death experience as another drooling fuckwit moron clipped the inside verge on a blind corner at high speed. Just to prove, for the umpteenth time today, that he is totally unfit to drive on the grounds of inadequate mental capacity.

What if I had been the girl who occasionally walks her baby along this road in its pushchair? Well, of course, that would have been just another unfortunate accident amongst millions of unfortunate accidents, day in and day out, decade after decade, century after century. Fortunately, for me, I am pretty nimble on my feet and quickly jumped into the grass verge to avoid certain death. Nothing to see here! Move along please!

Chocolate box deer at full zoom and then the image cropped for even more enjoyable fuzziness. Anyone would immediately think they were absolute proof of UFØs, Aliens πŸ‘½ or Bigfeet 😼 [Que?] on YouTube, wouldn't they?

Then, just as I reached home the next shower arrived accompanied by the black-out curtains. The day was punctuated by absolutely torrential showers. With no particular need for a ride today I [sensibly] stayed at home. Though I am sure my Overboard [saddle]bag would have kept me dry unfortunately I can't easily fit into it. Am I having fun yet? More to the point: Are you?


Click on any image for an enlargement. 
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