This picture has absolutely nothing to do with recent cycling. It is a sculpture from Strathalbyn in South Australia featuring one of their ‘sons’, Kenny Blake. A famous motorcycle racer who won 11 championships in the 1970s and competed at the Isle of Man. During his retirement race at the IOM in 1981 his machine aquaplaned, slid off the road and Kenny was killed.
This sculpture is a 1:1 scale model of bike and rider, made of motorcycle parts and tools but no part is where it should be. Enlarge the picture. Take a close look. See how clever it is. Why shown here? Because it’s a work of art. Why this week? I found the picture when looking through my South Australia photograph album on a grey Monday morning this week.
There has been cycling in the past 2 weeks. Quite a lot. 204 kilometers this week and 104 last. I am gradually pulling back to where I should be to complete the 6,000k for 2019.
There were two “special” rides during the fortnight.
The first was a ride out to Bracknell, Carrick and then Bishopsbourne. Colin and I set off expecting a 60k ride but it turned out to be just that bit longer at 66k. The first longish ride we have done for a while it took us around the 5 hour mark to complete. Well, 6.5 hours c/w stops.
It was a terrific winter’s day. Sunny, cool to start but building to a nice 16°C and with no wind.
In a paddock just into Wilmore’s Lane we came across a family of 5 hares. Initially we thought Pademelons (small wallabies) but no – hares. As we rode along, the bird life was a bit noisy and the Wilmore’s Lane Magpies look like they are thinking about enjoying a good swooping season. A couple of Larks ascended while singing their song – they had all better look out as we are scheduled to return to Winter tomorrow.
A bit further on our progress was impeded by cows across the road.
Colin asked one of the drovers “How many”. “500” was the reply. No wonder they took a while to get past us.
We are looking at cycling the 4 Western Tiers rides in September. I did this a couple of years ago and noticed the Bracknell sign had gone missing. Sometime in the past few days it has reappeared.
The rides were documented by the Meander Valley Council. Signs indicate where the related podcast should be played. Here play podcast 5 for the Great Country Ride. The podcasts have all sorts of info in them – history, land forms, farming, salacious gossip and so on. I will report in detail on this as we complete the rides. For more info click here.
The ride slowed as we closed in on Longford. The extra distance had taken it’s toll and our legs knew they had been for a ride.
The second was a 57k ride formed by stitching together two smaller rides via a link at Cressy. This was a cloudy day ride starting off in icy, foggy conditions which meant the wildlife had returned to wherever it is they go when the weather isn’t too good. A ride of reasonable distance which brought up the 200k for the week.
I received the Lekkie Bling Ring in the post and installed it on Bluey.
The Bling Ring is a replacement front chainring. The original ring had 52 teeth and I believe bottom gear was a bit high for hill climbing with a load on. So this replacement ring has 46 teeth. The chainring is a bit special as it has alternate thick and thin teeth in order to fit tighter on the chain and resist throwing off the chain.
To install the chainring the crank arm needed to come off. I found a crank arm puller that has been sitting in my bicycle box for probably 20 years. I doubted it would fit as surely the bicycle technology would have moved on. But no, in it went and pulled the crank off cleanly and easily as a newly bought one. Taking off the old ring and installing new was an easy task and I had no chain slack to contend with as the trike has a chain gobbler on the front and a chain tensioning derailleur on the rear.
The smaller chainring was installed for the second ride above and it certainly allows for more spinning when climbing. This should be good as the motor prefers to spin and doesn’t like slogging. One day soon I will have to pack up the camping gear and take Bluey for a ride wearing it all to check how Bluey and I go with a real load on. A smaller chainring means the high gear is lower. I found the new ring means I do spin more in top gear but can easily cruise around 20kph on the flat – and I don’t want to do much more than that.
Sheldon Brown’s gear calculator advises I now have a 21 gear inch bottom gear and an 80 gear inch top gear. On red Magnum I had a 17 gear inch bottom gear so not matching that yet – hopefully no need to with the motor.
A last comment. I seem to have called the trike Bluey. This is unusual as I don’t normally name things. I will keep it though as it is appropriate. The old blokes in the Sydney pubs used to say “G’Day Blue” when I walked in, on account of my red hair. So, a once-Blue riding Bluey seems right somehow.