Mid May but not much riding this month !

There has been a bit to do since we returned from the mainland. House maintenance to organise (seriously leaking shower), medical checks (all well), Magnum fixes, Brompton maintenance and even some social whirl.

Early this week I decided to tackle the front derailleur on the Magnum. The action has been getting heavy and, on my last ride, the effort required to get the chain onto the large ring actually shifted the handlebars – not a good thing to do !

I first replaced the inner cable. This proved to be no good. Still a heavy action and things did feel “gritty” as I pushed the inner through. That must mean replacement of both inner and outer cable is required and I haven’t done that before. A quick check on YouTube (thank you, Park Tool) showed that all components needed are sold in a cable kit. Great. My local bike shop, the very helpful Cycology in Launceston, doesn’t have kits. But wait, they build up the equivalent from components found in a number of drawers surrounding the mechanic’s work area and put them in a plastic bag – so I have a kit! So I came home with outer and inner cable, outer cable ends and little caps for the inner cable to stop fraying. I had previously pulled the old cable off in order to size the new outer cable, so now to replace with the new !

The inner cable in the outer – oh dear – that black outer cable end should be on the outer before posting the inner through! Whoops.

To get the cables and cable ends on correctly took me 4 goes! It really must have been a bad morning!

From top left to bottom right. Get the cable end on the outer and then poke the inner through the hole in the housing. No. Poke the inner through the hole THEN push through the outer cable. Next : that’s better – but where is the actual lever? Bugger – start again. Next : Ah – that’s looking better. Inner cable fitted to the lever, through the housing hole out to the cable c/w cable end. Fantastic. Time for a cup of tea.

After getting the above sorted, it was then necessary to route the cable set correctly through the lugs on the frame, curve it up to the front derailleur and add several cable ties to lock everything in place. That took another cup of tea! Finally it was all back in place and the ratty old handgrip reinstalled using some gaffer tape (bottom right). Next job – new handgrips!

Time for a test ride – how would it work? In a word – “WELL !!”, A really light gear change mechanism now. Glad it worked.

Job Done.

Friday and the usual River Road ride. I realise I have picked up more followers recently and welcome to you all. The first sentence probably doesn’t mean much to you. So – let me explain!

I ride River Road on Friday mornings with a small group based in Deloraine. This Friday there were 3 of us. Sometimes there are quite a few more. The ride is advertised around Deloraine and people come and join us, sometimes. Some people try but don’t come back as they find the ride a bit too hilly for them. Others come along for a while and then look for rides further afield. We also ride further afield but also enjoy the Friday get together.

Tasmania is positioned off the bottom of Australia. The green pin is highlighting Deloraine.
The ride is 10ks out and 10 ks back. The first 3-4 ks are relatively flat giving a good warm-up. Then it gets decidedly hilly. The steepest is just at the start of the return and is a good 9%. Not so steep you say but the hills just keep on coming. It’s really good exercise.
The ride begins at the end of the linear park that runs through Deloraine. This is a picture of an excited Meander River taken when I lived there in 2009.
Today the river is quiet and the weather is foggy, grey and a bit cool at 8° C

We are well into Autumn now and as you can see the deciduous trees (crack willow in the picture below) are losing their leaves and single season weeds dying.

View from the suspension bridge. I hoped it would show the fog but it doesn’t!

River Road is a narrow country road. It is lightly trafficked and most vehicles are driven by locals who know we cycle on Fridays. Local traffic can be augmented by a few visitors who don’t expect us to be on the road. Plus, last summer, log trucks. The first 3-4 kilometers are lightly undulating and usually with a tailwind as you go out – great for warming up the legs. (At the end it can be 3-4 ks into a boisterous headwind.)

Today I set off before anyone else turns up. As I am slower than people on e-bikes and fit people on lightweight bikes, I usually begin 10 minutes early.

Still doesn’t look as foggy as it was!
The flat bit of the ride.

Once the paddocks have been cycled, the trees and hill climbing begins. With the trees comes a different sort of bird song. On the flat in summer the Larks abound while today I spotted one fence-sitting Flame Robin. In the trees Kookaburras often have a giggle and many others bird calls can be heard -including the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos. Not much singing today though.

I spied the platypus along here 2 rides ago. Just at the start of the hill as the road turns left.

The fog is hanging in although the sun makes a weak appearance now and again.

First major climb over – the second starts up ahead. (PS. Bike is not facing the direction of travel, it asked for a full frontal for once !)
The end of the ride. At the “turn around” point. The gravel road leads into a plantation forest area that was extensively logged last summer.
When feeling energetic and enjoying the hills it is possible to carry on along Porters Bridge Road and loop back to Deloraine that way. Not today though!

Today there is no-one catching up yet! I must have set off earlier than usual so I wait a few minutes then turn and head back. About 2 ks back I meet two stalwarts of the group heading out. We waved a greeting and keep going – we should all get back to the Deloraine Cafe at the same time.

The rather nice board inside the Empire Hotel. The owner is also a cyclist and his group tackle longer and faster rides than ours – so we don’t ride together.

In nice weather it is good to sit outside and watch Deloraine pass by. As it was still grey and around 8°C we sat inside for coffee – beside a roaring log fire. A good end to a good ride.

I must buckle down and sort out some Challenges for the next few months. Over winter I like the idea of day rides in places that will be new to me or somewhere I have infrequently travelled. Hmmm. The first Challenge – prepare a list for the next Blog entry. I can do that !!

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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