The patch for succeeding with the Coffeeneuring Challenge arrived during January. Organising the Challenge, checking the results and arranging for the patches to be designed, made and despatched is quite a job. Thanks Mary !!
January has been a month of repetitive riding along Norfolk Plains routes previously (and often) documented in these pages. The month was sunny and warm (to hot) with plenty of wind to “enjoy”. Certainly a month to anti-UV cover up and then sunscreen anything left out.
I was aiming at 500k for the month in order to get some distance into the legs before March and the tour. The riding has been impacted by weather – this time heat! As I said, we have had a warm January. Also, from mid month we have had smoke in the air as bushfires burn steadily in the national parks and central lakes area – started by electrical storms with no rain. While no fires are close by, there has been a lot of smoke coming from the 50+ fires burning around the State. I decided too much smoke would not be good for COPD/Asthma and so only rode when the winds were blowing the smoke the other way.
At present the fires are beginning to encroach on towns, homes and infrastructure in the south. We lived in the Huon Valley (below Hobart) for 10-12 years and many areas we know are in the news today – advising people to leave and head to safer places. What will happen in the next week or two nobody knows. It will need rain to put the fires out as they are burning in inaccessible bush so the 400+ firefighters can only hope to contain them. When the winds pick up, temperatures rise and the air dries the firies can’t contain and can only protect homes. We are now asking for help from more interstate and now international fire fighters as fatigue becomes a serious issue.
Another recumbent spotted
One day in January, while riding along Bishopsbourne Road, I spied Rob approaching on his self-built carbon fibre 2 wheeled recumbent with front wheel drive.
I admire people like Rob and Colin who can research construction methods, learn “how to” and produce the things they want. Rob explained this morning that, with the front wheel and gear assembly being relatively heavy, the bike is hard to keep balanced at 7kph or less. This means all hill climbing is at something over 7kph. I suspect this is the only drawback to such a well-built and well-balanced machine. Nevertheless Rob told me he is in the process of buying a Greenspeed trike to add to his collection!!
A Correct Chain Length
A couple of months ago I finally removed some links from the chain to compensate for moving the boom in to match my leg length. The slackness in the chain was causing it to hit the frame when in top gear on poor chip seal (bouncing). After link removal things were a bit better but I wanted to remove more.
On the first attempt my chain breaking tool broke. Last week I finally purchased a new tool and some spare “magic” links. Yesterday I used the new tool, took out (whoops) too many links and this time the rear derailleur was tying itself in a knot in top gear. Reversing the process I prepared a short single link of chain and, using the old and one of the new “Powerlinks” (these things have a number of names) I added one link and it seems to be better. Good because there is not much room for any improvement. The fitting of the tiny 24 tooth front ring doesn’t help
I previously reported I was using Efudix to attack the sun damaged skin on my face and head. Well, it worked OK in some places and had no effect on others. So I had two biopsies one on each cheek (facial!). End result. Confirmation of sun damage but nothing nasty.
Monthly Stats (From Ride wth GPS).
I am hoping that I will get another overnight camp ride in during February and, maybe, something other than riding the Norfolk Plains. Either will give me something new to add before I set off for Adelaide.