I emailed the organisers a couple of weeks ago asking if recumbents were OK. No reply. This week the ride was getting closer so I downloaded the route information and the rules and regs. In the rules and regs it became clear that recumbents are only allowed to enter the 45k ride. So that’s what I did.
The start of the ride was Royal Park in Launceston. The 45k ride start is well after the start of most of the other rides so I assumed the parking spaces anywhere close to the Park would already be filled. Where to park and assemble the trike? On the way to a free park (miser Tony) I passed a much closer carpark with plenty of spaces and bicycles being unloaded. Round the block and into it. The Magnum was soon unloaded and ready to roll.
The next little while passed in a blur of trying to find Royal Park, avoiding the main roads, finding the Admin tent and persuading them that the Terms and Conditions states I CAN ride a recumbent in the 45 k ride. Eventually we agreed I could start as long as I was at the back – out of the way of speedier riders – and the “Tail End Charlie” would leave me behind. By the time that was done it was 5 minutes to off and I had taken no pictures.
Up the West Tamar Highway we went. Was within cooee of the rear riders until we hit the first hill then it was “bye bye”. Magnum and I settled down to something a little over our usual pace and we began to cover ground. On one hill I passed a rider and stopped to ask if she was OK. She assured me all was OK and I went on – never to see her again. I think it was a broken bike. Before reaching Riverside I had realised I had forgotten to bring water. As the day was heating up I stopped in Riverside for a bottle of water – it was a lengthy stop as the person in front was buying fish and chips (at 10.30am on a Sunday ?) and the shop assistant was really, really slow. On the trike once more and I had the highway to myself bikewise. It stayed like that for quite some time.
At the Legana roundabout there were Rotary people in yellow directing us cyclists to go on down the hill – all smiles and waves. Down the hill to the turn off to Rosevears Drive which runs alongside the Tamar River. There was a fair bit of traffic but I managed to pull into the turn right lane OK and was waved across by another group of traffic managers. Thanks to you all. Now there were plenty of cyclists going the other way. People in my group who had already turned round at the Fish and Chip shop, people who we doing the 70k ride, the 100k ride or the 160k ride who were also going back via Rosevears Drive. Lots of riders!! What with being careful of the pelotons going the other way and traffic coming up behind on this narrow lane I had my hands and eyes full keeping out of everyones way. No pictures !!
However, here is one I took earlier in the year.
On arrival at the Fish and Chip shop I was saddened to learn in has not been open for several years – no wonder I didn’t remember it. The two Rotarians manning the drinks station passed me a snake (lolly not a Copperhead or Tiger snake) and a banana. They also had cold drinks but I had enough room temperature water. The day was now really good at around 22-23°C and the slight wind would be behind me going back. Off we went.
Now the cyclists were overtaking. What with them and motorised traffic the mirrors needed much watching. It was interesting to watch groups catch up and have a guess if they would say anything, wave or just cycle past. Women and older men usually said Hi but younger men were just too into the ride to even look up.
From where Rosevears Drive hits the Highway there is a climb up to the Legana roundabout. Quite steep, I just selected gear 3 and spun away climbing slowly keeping my asthmatic COPD breathing under control. I overtook 3 guys stopped by the roadside!! All were grimacing with the pain of cramping muscles. Poor buggers, I know how that hurts. After the roundabout the road runs slightly downhill for quite a while – they passed me back.
I stopped to take a picture – the first of the day! As the shutter clicked a group passed by followed by another and then another as I got back onto the bike. Where did they come from? Along a bit further was the 5k to go sign and then the 1k to go.
The food stall at the end was working but slowly – perhaps the staff had been feverishly selling stuff all day and were now tired. Anyway, the queue didn’t move forward in some 5-10 mins so I gave it away and headed home. BUT before I did, I collected my Finishers Medal to commemorate the event.
Total for week : 129 k Total for year : 4,685 k
Kilometers to go in 2018 : 515 k Number of weeks to go : 6
Brompton : 5 k Magnum : 124 k