Here we are. North-Eastern Tasmania at Evandale attending the National Penny Farthing Championships once more. I decided I would like to ride in the Grand Parade this year and so needed to get the trike there. What better way than to ride it?
Around the 20k mark to get there – and 20k to return home. Easy. I cycled out to the Midland Highway and then had a 2 ks cycle along it to get to the Evandale turnoff. In that two kilometres I was passed by a million trucks but the highlight was a group of 10 Mustangs heading to Hobart. Nephew Simon (visiting from England) and I had seen some 40 of the beasts in Deloraine on Friday. A group of Interstate and Tasmanian showroom condition Mustangs are currently on a tour of Tassie. Today they were heading to Hobart.
Simon is just finishing renovation of a Triumph TR6 and rather fancies tackling a Mustang next.
Talking of renovation, Colin has been upgrading his Warrior especially for the day with a new paint job and rear wheel (and better gearing) plus “Weekend Warrior” stickers. Unfortunately the derailleur was giving problems with the new set of cogs so Colin decided to drive to the Evandale outskirts and cycle in from there. We met at the Honeysuckle Banks rec area on the banks of the South Esk river. There Colin was talking to a bloke who was telling Colin about a bike workshop in Launceston – a workshop we had not heard of. The group renovates bikes ready for use by the less fortunate of Launceston and have plenty of spare parts that we might like to investigate. Sounds a bit like the weekly “Bike Kitchen” in Hobart where you are welcome to take your bike along, use their tools and knowledge and fix your bike.
It was a busy cycle into town as the races bring in a lot of visitors. We chose to ride in mainly on the footpaths. Sneaking around the back roads we soon were paid up and settled in a shady nook by several graves that border the food stall area. No connections there !!
I walked to the race area and on the way said “Hello” to my In-Laws from Deloraine. I watched the end of a heat of the main competition and then a glimpse of the Sprint competition – a very fast glimpse of riders shooting past the end of the road.
Rob turned up with his home-built carbon fibre 2-wheeled recumbent and several people stopped for a look and discussions about the merits of recumbent riding.
Soon it was time for the Grand Parade. Colin’s grandchildren commented that it was time for him to join Dad’s Army (or words to that effect) and we moved into the marshalling area where I met Craig. He is a friend of Huonville Ken’s and was riding an ancient (well, 1962) French Solex motorised bike. It was surprisingly well built and pretty quiet for a two stroke engine. Hmmm .. might be good for a tour?
We cycled the Parade behind a group of crazy bikes. Some with off-set axles in the wheels, one where the rider pedalled backwards for the bike to go forward and many other variations on the theme of cycling. A quick loop and we were dragged off almost with the shepherd’s crook as per a Vaudeville turn. I noticed Craig on the Solex got a second lap!!!!
One lap only? never mind – here is another picture of US. Look how smart Colin’s Warrior is with it’s new paint job and rear wheel.
A few coffees and a very tasty Korean dish from the Soul Food (Sic) and it was time for the main event – the National Championship Penny Farthing race. Over 4 laps, it was quite a race between the first 3 riders. The end dash was between two riders and the gap was a microsecond. An ending worthy of a sprint leg of the Tour De France.
The trip back to Longford went OK and I am closing in on the monthly target of 500k ridden.