The strong winds are still with us – and probably will be for a few more weeks yet. Nevertheless, I am closing in on my 2019 cycling challenge of 6,000 kilometers in the year,
There have been some bike lighting problems recently. I lost one of my rear lights after a ride along River Road. I think I left it in the back of the car and it probably was removed to the ground when we went to the Tip with our latest bundles and bags of green waste. Bye-bye Azub rear light, you did sterling service on the ride to Adelaide. Then my new Knog front light stopped working. It is a light in two parts. The front is the bit that actually lights up and controls lighting operations, while the rear is the battery compartment. I contacted Knog, filled in a Warranty Claim form and the next week a new front part arrived. I now have a working front light and a respect for Knog fulfilling their Warranty obligations easily and speedily. So they get a plug here!!
Due to the winds I have not been so motivated to get out and ride – but every now and again the need to ride asserts itself.
A Ride to Evandale and Relbia
This was an unusual loop for us as we normally ride west of Longford. We thought we would simply ride to Evandale, have a coffee and then take a look at the road out to White Hills and Relbia. After coffee and soon after leaving Evandale there were a couple of impressive downhills. “Ride with GPS” tells me I achieved a top speed of 61.8 kph down them while my trike computer just went haywire! Too fast for it. Sitting close to the ground as us trikers, do 60kph is a bit of a buzz. When we arrived at the bottom and cruised along a flat bit of road, we decided we didn’t want to climb back up the hill so we were going to “do” the ride to Youngtown.
It was a very good ride too. Some interesting hills to climb made me see that I probably will need a smaller front chainring for the Victorian trip in Autumn. The electric motor likes to spin and, when gradients get over the 10%, my cadence dies off a bit and a high cadence is needed to spin the motor properly. I have already reduced the front ring to a 46 tooth model and am thinking about a 42 tooth job. The rear sprocket already seems to be the biggest a NuVinci can take. Unfortunately this means lowering the top gear as well, but being able to hill climb is more important to me than out-and-out top speed. Would like a Rolhoff hub with it’s greater gear range though!!
Once at Youngtown the traffic became an issue. Youngtown to Breadalbane is a road with no hard shoulder and lots of traffic. From Breadalbane to Perth we used the shared path developed alongside the roadworks on the Midland Highway. Perth to Longford involved cycling through the chaos caused by the Perth bypass roadworks. Lots of traffic and drivers pissed off with roadwork speed limits. So the end of the ride wasn’t so good.
The Deloraine cycling group has not been active recently but the return of the leader from a visit to the UK has fired it up again. Here is a short vid of getting the Brompton ready to ride.
Last weekend Colin and I decided to tackle a S240, camping at Deloraine.
By the time we got to Bishopsbourne we were soaked, the winds had strengthened and the clouds looked bad – so we returned home! Neither of us felt the need to prove how strong and stoic we are.
A Ride to Ross
The next day dawned clear(ish) but very windy still. So I decided to use the winds to blow me down to Ross. Colin couldn’t make it so I asked Sue if she would meet me at Ross (for a lift home) and set off – this time without camping gear.
The battery was freshly charged for the Deloraine ride and, as I had only covered 25 kilometres the previous day, I decided it should get down to Ross OK – especially with the wind assist we were to get. I expected no “range anxiety” on the ride and did not get any.
The start of the ride through Cressy and until the Poatina turn-off was side on to the wind. It being Sunday traffic was light and not too worrying along Cressy Road. Once past the Poatina turn-off the road turns south and the winds came in on my back. Power assist from the motor and wind assist from the weather = a steady speed in the low 20s. No stress, no worries, enjoy the countryside. Is this cheating? I guess YES but why not enjoy the wind for once? Usually a good part of a ride is spent grinding away into it!
BUT. What’s this? Motor cycles in numbers overtaking me? I thought it must be the Ulysses Club which has chosen Tasmania for it’s National Rally – but it’s too early for that. I later found out it is the day of the Ross Motorcycle Day and large numbers had turned out due to the fine weather. The Midland Highway was crowded with bikes and some had filtered out onto the two back roads flanking the Macquarie River to find some more interesting rides. So initially bikes were overtaking and then, after lunch, they were coming back. Some very tasty machines came past too.
In previous years I have ridden this very road down to the Ross Motorcycle Day and can vouch for the enjoyment it gives with it’s sweeping bends, good visibility, good surface (just watch out for pockets of gravel) and light traffic. Apart from that clown on a recumbent trike. They were good though – and plenty of waves given.
I will have to lift my game video-wise before the head off to Victoria!
Sue and I arrived at about the same time. Thank you Sue – I could not have made it back against that wind. We had a coffee and a look at the bikes in the street before returning home.
One last comment re the battery. By the time we arrived in Ross it was registering half-full. By then I had ridden approx 100k on a single charge but that 100k had received considerable wind assist. I expected no less but understand that into wind and up hills will not give the same results.
Not much news really except that we have booked the Ferry mid March with a return just before Easter – early April 2020. Also a basic route plan has been pulled together and agreed – so all we have to do is get the camping gear tested and we will be away.
For the next few weeks – all I have to do is ride a bit more and my 2019 challenge will be in the bag!