Brilliant weather for end May

It’s June 1st today – first day of winter. The last week in May has been really good riding weather with no wind, sunny days and not too frosty in the morning. This was good – I needed to get a few ks in to up the count for the month.

I started the week with short rides around Longford. They aren’t much use for training purposes but they do get a person out and about and acclimatised to the cooler weather. Winding down to the shortest day, sunup happens quite late – around 7.30am. Although the sun comes up then the air doesn’t start to warm for another hour or two.

A short, flat ride around Longford in the (nearly) winter sun. I checked the water levels of the South Esk (left) and Macquarie (right) rivers at their confluence. Before you ride down to this point you must make sure you are in bottom gear – the climb out is pretty steep with no run up.

Colin fancies a S24O ride and camp but I am afraid I am not ready for that! Too long a dark evening, too long in the tent and cold (and probably wet) to pack up. So we agreed to plan a Launceston to Hobart ride for the Spring. Let’s hope we can persuade Sue and Jeanette to drive down to Hobart to pick us up at the end! But before then we will do a S24O as a “shake-down” trip to make sure we have everything we need on board. Maybe to Deloraine or maybe Liffey Falls.

On Tuesday I was riding along Wilmore’s Lane when I passed some very sad and disturbed looking sheep in a holding pen next to a green tin shed. Their eyes followed me up the hill as I slowly rode past them (going uphill). Level with the shed I saw someone come out of it, grab the next sheep and drag it inside. A bit further on I saw a sheep ejected from the other side of the shed – into another holding paddock. It had been shorn! Brilliant white it was, very little coat left and shot out into the cold morning air. What a life!

Wednesday and a ride a little further out. The gravel roads up to the Golf Course and the one back to the race course were in good condition. Being slightly damp no dust was raised.

Friday and Colin and I took our trikes over to Deloraine for the River Road ride. Once again a beautiful morning, cold and snappy but sunny. We had a good ride and joined the others for a coffee in the Empire Hotel next to the log fire. Heading back to the cars we met 2 local characters on their bikes. After a bit of chat I realised they had rather a lot of lights fitted to their bikes. 7 on the rear and 5 on the front; each! None were actually on. Safety conscious they must be.

Saturday we rode over to Carrick and then retraced our route back home. Once again a sunny, calm day. On this ride I realised I had brought the large chainring back into my riding. For some time it has been hard to get the chain onto the big ring and so it was only infrequently used. Now, after replacing the cable, I can just flick the lever and up she goes into top so I can use it without thinking. Just don’t use it with too much gay abandon though as a careless flick can send the chain off the big ring and out to where chains should not go. Getting it to go back on seems to involve the spreading of chain grease far and wide over myself. Some adjustment of the limiters required!

Parachuting spider debris
Silken threads all over.

During the ride we noticed that the parachuting spiders are growing in number. These are spiders which climb a bush, spin a length of silk into the breeze and when everything is right – hop aboard and go for a cross country flight.

When we stopped at Bishopsbourne to phone home so the cakes and coffees were ready, I had silken threads hanging off both me and the bike. Colin was not so affected – I was riding first on the road! There were also a lot of little black flies that seemed intent on getting up behind my glasses. So what with parachuting spiders and moisture seeking flies there was quite a bit going on.

Each month in 2019 with the exception of May I have cycled over 600 kilometers. I intend to keep this up in June – and aim for a total of 6,000 kilometers for the year. That’s a thousand more than 2018. On our Saturday ride Colin and I discussed Health Care Packages available to help old people live in their own home. It’s funny how your idea of an old person never seems to include yourself!!

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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