Drier than normal means more clear days and clear nights. Clear nights means frost. We had a good frost on Wednesday and you can see the bird bath has frozen enough to support the weight of my morning coffee. Coffee on the rocks.
As reported last week, I have been using the big chainring on the Magnum more frequently. Using it resulted in a tapping from the rear of the trike not noticeable on good roads but very noisy on the worst examples of Tasmanian chipseal. I had been trying to work out where it was coming from and had no luck last week.
On Tuesday I rode to Bishopsbourne, a ride involving some shitty new chipseal. While on the bouncy stuff I took the time to get off-trike several times to search for the cause. And it was (roll of drums) the rear derailleur hitting the chain stay. Further checking showed that the chain was too tight, causing the derailleur to bunch up in a way it shouldn’t; probably detrimental to it’s health. When stressed like this it then gets too close to the chain stay and hits the underneath of the stay when we are riding rocky roads.
Was the tightening up of the derailleur caused by cold weather “Brass Monkeys” syndrome?
No. I had removed a few links from the chain before heading off to Adelaide as, in some gear combinations, the loose chain was hitting the top of the chain stay. During the Melbourne to Adelaide ride I didn’t use the large ring much as the extra weight, the winds and the hills plus the ever stiffening gear change action meant it wasn’t very appealing. The tapping was not really apparent the few times biggie was used – Victorian roads do have good chipseal!
Anyway, I put the links back in. OK, a couple of gear combinations do cause the chain to droop and hit the top but it seems to have fixed the tapping. Well, this is the penalty for fitting a very small chainring thus making the chain / derailleur work across an extended chainring set. I will try to avoid the loose chain gear combos for the next test period and have added to the protective tape on the stay.
Friday – foggy and -2C at home. Sunny and -1C at Deloraine. The paddocks were covered in white frost on the way out. By the time we cycled back the frost had gone as the sun rose higher in the sky. The log fire in The Empire was most welcome!
Saturday and we had planned a ride up to Blackwood Creek. Apparently, even though the weather was not good, we are still going!
It was a slow start as we wheeled out of Cressy. The muscles needed warming up and there was some adjustment of zips, gloves, face masks and beanies necessary to keep out the cold air. How I wished I had bought some of those $2 chemical hand warmers that are for sale at the Chemist. Note: get some on Monday!!
We took the turning to Blackwood Creek and began the 10k climb. Mostly it was a steady climb but at the start there were a few “undulations”. We hauled our way up past paddocks full of sheep, cows standing around looking stoically miserable and dams full of water. How farmers on the mainland in their drought would like some of this. They wouldn’t believe the stocking density.
There is not much to be seen at Blackwood Creek itself as it is the centre of a dispersed farming district. So we rested at the crossroads watching a couple of Utes passing and re-passing until the cold made inroads, sneaking in past our warm gear. Then it was a 10k downhill run back to the turnoff. It started with a 30kph ish descent and morphing into a 20-25k pedal down the rest – most enjoyable and now without tapping!! A good test for the chain extension.
At the bottom we debated whether to continue or turn back. Onwards we went. The next leg was really nice. Flat, no hassling wind and the fog was dispersing. You could start to imagine what the views would be like without the mist. When we turned onto Poatina Road we were cycling parallel to the Western Tiers. They were covered in cloud / fog but with a small window through which we could see the tops. In sun!!
The ride continued to go well. The wind now settled in behind us and it was like having a motor attached! Very enjoyable.
After leaving Poatina Road, the wind turned into a cross wind but didn’t impede us too much. Traffic on this section of road can be bad but on this Sunday there were a few boats being towed up to the Lakes (will they have to break the ice first?) and a few Utes overtaking us. Not one Log Truck!!
We had phoned Jeanette and Sue letting them know we were heading back to Cressy and we all met up for lunch at the Rustic Bakery. A good end to a good ride.