End of 2019. Where are we at?

Well, what I mean is, what is my cycling situation at the end of 2019.

First of all: Did I manage to cycle 6,000 kilometres in the year? The answer is Yes – JUST! What with the extra winds this Spring / early Summer and trike issues, riding has been somewhat limited of late but perseverance assisted by Brompton riding won out.

Secondly : I mentioned before that the trike was going in for some work. Before Christmas I took it to Carlton in the south of the State so that Phil from Pedaltec could swap the motor from one a little too large for the road rules to one that meets the road rules – both in Tasmania and, more importantly, Victoria. When I bought the trike I didn’t worry too much about the larger than legal motor but grew to realise if I had a crash or was pulled up by the Police, being “done” would include not only the flouting of road rules but added charges could include using an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. This would mean heavy fines and points off my licence. Also, if I caused any 3rd party damage, my bicycle insurance would be void.

All things considered I decided it would be better to trade in a few watts of power as the cost of doing so would be cheaper than the above.

In the event, Phil has found a buyer for my original motor and battery so that will help with the cost of changeover to a street legal 250w motor. The work should have been straight forward but the new battery was wired incorrectly by the factory and testing the setup gave Phil a big headache until he found the cause. Luckily he had a “spare” 250w motor and battery due to be installed on another bike early in 2020 so the R(at)S(hit) setup was removed and the “spare” fitted. It was a shame. Phil had done a marvellous job on tidying up and waterproofing the wiring and then he had to pull it all apart! I hope he gets recompensed for all this extra work by the suppliers of the faulty gear.

The new, smaller motor.

Phil has done a great job. The trike is now back in Longford and it is working OK!! I feel good knowing I can withstand any scrutiny by the figures of Authority.

Now the fun starts. I have to ride the trike and find out how far the new setup travels on a charge and how best to tackle hills. The motor came with a 44 tooth chainring which is a small step down from the 46t I have been using. This means more spinning for the hills and less speed at the top of the range. Once I have ridden the bike a bit I will tell you how it goes.

Thirdly : Another addition recently completed is the fitting of two bottle mounts onto the rear seat frame. I have been wondering how to carry more water on the trike. In warm weather I can easily get through 3 bottles of water in a 50k ride. Last year I used a 2-bottle wine bag slung off the seat to carry extra bottles but this was an inelegant solution. I have been thinking “How” then came the idea – “Can you still get bottle holders that fit onto handlebars?” A common sight in yesteryear but rare today. The ‘net was searched and threw up a number of items that would do the job BUT in each case there were only 1 or none in stock. Finally I located 2 in stock and got them. As a Christmas Special the Sydney company upgraded the postal service to “Overnight” and the units arrived 2 days later.

The water bottle holders fit OK and it looks like they will not interfere with panniers and rack bag. They can also carry wine rather than water should I wish!

After all this work on the trike I took it for a couple of short runs around Longford. On the second outing one of the chain tubes decided to break. So the next job was to replace the chain tubes.

That done, it was time for a longer run. This morning Colin and I headed out for our first recumbent ride for a while – just a shortie to Bishopsbourne. The day was scheduled to get into the mid 30s temperature wise (40°C in Hobart) and strong winds with dry lightning are likely to kick off more bushfires – so we decided to ride early and beat the weather. It worked. I am finishing off this post and it is 34°C and rising.

Instead of the normal clear views of the Western Tiers, today the panorama was affected by smoke. We are not sure where the fires are burning but it certainly smelt smokey. On the way to Bishopsbourne we had a good sighting of a hare (an hare?) running along the roadside. Eventually it realised we existed and took off over the paddocks.

The best sighting was of an Echidna in a recently cropped paddock.

They seem to move slowly – until you try to get a picture!

The Bishopsbourne sports ground was empty. No caravans, no cricketers, no walkers and no dogs. We cycled round to the undercover area and stood in the shade watching the local Swallows swerve and climb and dive over the playing field catching their flying insect lunch.

The wind was getting up, the day getting hotter and so we headed for home. A short ride and I thought I still had 19 kilometers to go to get the 6,000 in for the year. Another ride is needed before I can close this post?

What’s this? A glitch in “Ride with GPS” has the main counter for 2019 showing I have succeeded and a Goal saying there is 19k to go. I choose this one!

You Beauty!!!! Challenge met. Well, I will do another ride before the year ends tomorrow so 6,000 will be done even with the slower Goal counter taken into consideration.

So I guess it’s now time to look at 2020 and decide what challenges are needed to encourage riding and training before our March mainland tour.

That can wait. For now, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year. May you have health, wealth and happiness in the coming year – and – get that bike out!!

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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