2019. A New Year. New Challenges !

The plan for the first 4 months of 2019 is to prepare for and then go on a decent, long ride. I have chosen to ride between Melbourne and Adelaide using an inland route. The Ferry will be booked shortly.

The trip will be around the 1,100 kilometre mark. Tony and the Magnum will take it slowly (of course) but I expect 4 weeks should cover it. Sue will drive over, starting some weeks after me – so if I have real trouble Sue could maybe provide Sag Wagon facilities or just wave and drive past and wait in Adelaide.

My cousin, Steven, lives in South Australia and has kindly offered us their holiday home at Goolwa as our SA base for a couple of weeks. This will enable us to visit the Haigh’s Chocolate shop in the Adelaide Mall once again. And, maybe, load up with Fruchocs and visit a winery or two.

I am currently planning the route in “Ride with GPS” on the basis that keeping away from the coast will avoid the winds which, I understand, may well be unhelpful to a cyclist heading east to west. Anyway, there are fewer hills inland and, maybe, less traffic than on the more scenic Great Ocean Road.

So, what about this training then? Having thought about a set of Arkel recumbent panniers, I think my existing Ortliebs and rack pack will be up for the job. This week I started taking my normal daily rides sometimes with the panniers and pack attached so I can get used to the extra weight. The featured image shows this week’s training route – and provides metrics for an exceptional day when my maximum speed of 392 kph was probably a bit of an exaggeration. The week has had it’s calm days and it’s windy days. Test riding both with and without the added weight I have found the weight slows me down less than headwinds!! So, the inland route had better be good and wind-free ‘cos weight and headwind spells disaster.

A non-pannier day without wind. The fastest trip of the week! The countryside is drying out nicely.
Yes, I think that’s enough stuff on the back.

For the next few weeks I will be taking gradually longer rides and mini-tours to get into the swing of things. In mid-February my brother, Mike, and his son, Simon, will be visiting from the UK so there will be limited riding for a couple of weeks as we show them Tasmania’s beauty spots and possibly sample the local foods. The first time they visited Tasmania it was in May and the weather was cold and wet so we hope to do better this time.

Interesting stuff from this week.

The quiet roads over the New Year period have been great for bird watching as I cycle HUFF style (Head Up Feet First). Local Swamp Harriers have been out quartering the paddocks for a feed while Larks have been either ascending or fence sitting having a chat by the roadside. A group of Kookaburras had a good laugh while the Masked Lapwings and Magpies are up in the trees or down on the ground and not dive bombing. The best thing is that the dragonflies are back. Today a large, fat dragonfly flew along with us for a few hundred metres. I thought it was going to land on me or the bike but it eventually decided against that and just flew along by my head trying to stare me out. Quite easy with all the eyes they have!

I continue to collect roadside rubbish and remove dead animals to the verge. In days gone by a dead animal on the road would have brought in the Devils – which, in turn, would get hit themselves thus bringing in yet more Devils. They are in short supply these days due to the facial tumour disease but Ravens will dice with death to get a feed. So, if it’s not too messy a job, I re-site the furry corpse to the road shoulder. Today I found a large plastic box which I took to the rubbish bins in Bishopsbourne, along with assorted bottles and cans. I think Iced Coffee Milk must be addictive as there are a lot of ICM containers dotted along the way.

The plastic box. The illustrations on it showed gears of some sort but not bicycle gears

The format of the Blog for the year will be write ups of interesting trips plus a monthly wrap-up c/w riding stats.                                          

2019 Here we come !!

Author: antc1946

Born in 1946 I learnt to cycle about 10 years later. On a bike with rods connecting brake levers to the brakes - anyone remember those? I emigrated to Australia (from the UK) in 1974 and moved to Tasmania in 1984. Bicycles were in my life for most of that time although sometimes they were replaced by motorised two wheels for a bit more excitement. On reaching 70 I decided to stick to pedal power but in 2019 an electric recumbent made an appearance. it's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

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