A day off. Not that there is a lot to explore in Keith, rather the temperature is climbing well into the 30s and a 45 k wind is blowing exactly where a headwind would be, if I was riding.
So, today became a non-riding day.
“I could do some washing” I thought and loaded up the machine early. When I returned the clothes were oddly warm and dry. Oh. Wrong.. I thought there were 2 washing machines and the dryers were the big things on the other wall. They were but the machine I used that looked like a washing machine was actually another dryer! All my soap powder was dumped into the lint filter and clothes were very dry. Something to do anyway – clean the filter and then use the solo washing machine in the joint.
Last night someone asked me if riding Maggie was comfortable. I said “yes, it is” and then thought about it. The hyperbole around recumbent riding bangs on about comfort. It is right. When I finish even a (for me) long 80 k day nothing much hurts – you just feel tired (and if the shoes aren’t quite right you get a blister.) Overall the only issue after some 800 kilometers is that my fingers are starting to complain about the continual gear changing but not as much as they would if I was back on the Vivente. It is arthritis carrying on a bit.
You certainly have to be in the right gear and get your best cadence happening for best performance. This means frequent gear changing to keep spinning in comfort. I have been thinking about the NuVinchi geared hub. You tell it your cadence and it constantly adjusts the infinitely variable gear hub to keep you pedalling at peak efficiency by sensing and maintaining your cadence. It sounds too good to be true. There must be some loss of power within the gearbox.
The other thing constantly asked is “but what about those trucks?”. Well, I watch in the mirror and scuttle across to the hard shoulder so I am as far away as possible when they pass. The winds off some trucks constantly threaten to blow off Da Brim. When b-double’s loaded with 2 decks of animals crammed in go past, there is often an aerosol spray of something wet left in it’s wake. Best not think about that too much!
If the oncoming lane is empty, trucks give me plenty of space by going right into the other lane – thank you one and all.
If I have to hit the dirt there is no problem with staying upright as there sometimes is with a touring laden 2 wheeled bike. It’s a bit harder to get going after if the dirt is soft though.
The riding position leaves you exposed to the sun. I saw it described once as “like a prawn on a BBQ”. I normally use a gel sunscreen but haven’t seen it out here. I tried a Cancer Council screen. It stayed very white and sticky and would not come off easily in the shower. It didn’t seem to be as effective as the gel as well as looking awful. One Pharmacy had another type said to be clear and use nano-particles. So I am using a disappearing cream that pokes nano zinc particles into ones face and legs. It is an effective screen and time will tell what the zinc additive will do to the human body.
Greenspeed Magnum itself. The trike is running well. The seat material runs silently when cool. On days like today though it creaks loudly as the rider moves in the seat. A few bits and pieces are showing a little rust after riding in the rain and sitting out overnight. Nothing to worry about – just things to restore once the ride is over. The Big Apple tyres are working really well. The inside front in particular as it spends more time in the rough bit of the hard shoulder than the rest. No sign of extra wear and (dare I day it) no punctures even though all tyres have run over more than their fair share of glass.
The predicted 45kph winds came and blew all day. Loose dirt off gravel roads was in the air as was a lot of tree material.
It was 33C until a few mins ago when a cool change came through. More strong winds and a splatter of rain.
All good for tomorrow (fingers crossed).