Classifying this as a Cycle Life Challenge entry was a bit awkward but it turned out OK in the end.
I am a member of the Tamar Bicycle Users Group and, on paying my Subscription for 2018, I was given a voucher for a basic bike service at Cycology. I thought this “Loss Leader” would provide a way for the shop to make some money out of parts and extra servicing, so I expected a bill when I picked up the bike this morning. Any payment would count as the ‘supporting a local business’ required for the Challenge. Imagine my surprise then when I had to pocket the plastic and wheel the bike out without charge!
I needed a Plan B. I was wheeling the bike back to the car when I saw there was a Newsagent close by. Load up the bike, buy a paper and then drive to the Cuccino Cafe by Brickfields for a Latte was the hastily formed Plan. Two purchases for the community – bought before today’s ride. That’s within the Rules. Init?
Proof of purchase showing newspaper (bought the Wednesday after the Saturday) and a Latte in the keep cup. Coffee drunk while parked at Brickfields, “Now, better get on with the ride” I thought and drove off to Hagley.
Today’s ride would test the quality of Cycology maintenance and take us to Four Springs Lake. This is an artificial lake created approx 20 years ago. From Fly Fishing Tasmania’s website – Four Springs is a low altitude lake, in the northern midlands of Tasmania. It’s a purpose built fishery, with a lot of shallow areas as well as deep water. It has excellent weed growth and over the decade as it has evolved, the diversity in insect life has become rather dramatic.
I am riding the right hand side of this route today – from Hagley to Four Springs, a return distance of 32 kilometers.
The start point at Hagley. Sunny, slight breeze and around 17-18°C to start. As I unloaded the bike a woman in the car next to me said “Oh, what a lovely old bike”. She mistook the black steel frame, mudguards (fenders) and leather saddle as meaning OLD. We had a little chat about that.
Then it was time to mount up and begin. The ride starts with a gentle climb which I took steadily to warm up the muscles and get the heart/lungs working OK. Out and into cleared farming land with more gentle climbing past some of the original land grant farms and houses. No urban, sub-urban or lifestyle development has hit this area so I would think the views haven’t changed much over the past 50 years – except for there being fewer people out here today and more large machinery.
This bloke looked larger on the road. It was towing a big piece of ag equipment full of sharp discs that looked like something a cyclist should stay clear of. I pulled over to let it past but pulled into the driveway he wanted to enter. I moved, he drove in and there was not a flicker of anything in his face. Oh well.
The road leads up to Selbourne. Here is the oak tree outside the Selbourne Memorial Hall where the week before last there was a Tomato and Garlic Festival – there being plenty of that grown around here. Just after Selbourne the turn off to Four Springs appears and is taken. 7 ks to go and about 3 of them are not on gravel.
These signs crack me up. It would seem that recreation users can’t drive straight. Then horses appear and we all go round the bend. Today the recreation users were not in the area – maybe dealing elsewhere? Down the dirt road we go. It begins with pretty good quality but the last kilometre is dire.
The road moves away from farm land and becomes more bush like. Some people reckon the Tassie bush is just a boringly green. Well, the green bit is right but there are many shades of green. Along this stretch are examples of mistletoe (far right), new eucalyptus growth (autumn growth), grey-green silver wattle leaf and yellow Banksia flowers. The trees attract the birds and a number could be heard calling as I cycled along.
As usual the last kilometre got a bit rough with pot holes and rocks and washed out areas caused by 4 wheel drives towing their boats up the short, steep inclines along this section. I have ridden it on a 20″ wheel Dahon but was glad the Brommie was at home.
And then we pop out at the lake.
There is a boat ramp, 2 jetties and a fishing zone by the car park. Other fishing is done by boat or kayak or wading the shoreline. I brought the fishing kayak here twice and both times the wind just blew us to a shallow area just left of this spot in double quick time – useless. With no kayak, in future I will be a wading shore fisher.
Two bait fishing blokes catching nothing but having a quiet day in the sun. I estimated the temps as around 23°C by this time.
Going back I found the road a little rougher on the left, so I rode on the right. 2 cars passed and I could hear them coming so it was safe enough and a lot less bouncy. The road was also slightly downhill so not so much energy was required to travel.
My way is straight ahead and from here on there was plenty of downhill with what breeze there was, behind me. But before taking off I took this picture to show the wind gauge on top of the Give Way sign and the small collection of weather reporting tools attached under the sign. Who, what, why? Don’t know.
The ride became a delightful descent – on the large chainring, down in the small cogs on the cassette and cruising easily in the 30s. This is not something the Vivente / TC combo does very often and we enjoyed it. On a bit more of a downhill 40+ was kept up for a couple of ks including a bash up a rise. This proved the gears were working up to and including top so, good job Cycology. The last section back to Hagley was more of the same although 35ish and spinning in 6th to keep the knees from complaining.
Then it was time to put bike back on car and return to Longford – another good ride over.