Hmmm. The new lycra style face mask doesn’t seem to be worked properly. The bit supposed to cover cheeks and nose has given up the ghost.
But then …. I worked out I was being silly. I was pulling it on upside down! When you do it correctly the thing works well. What an idiot.
The new motor, gearing and I have travelled a couple of hundred kilometers now and certain facts have come to light. First – top gear is too low. I thought I would be able to live with this but those gentle rolls downhill or on the flats with the wind behind are a bit frustrating. Pedalling much over 25kph means too much leg action. Second – bottom gear is not low enough. In the event of running out of battery I will not be able to climb hills to get back to base. I have tried.
What to do? Well, I phoned famed e-bike mechanic Phil of Carlton and asked if he thought it would be possible to fit 2 chainrings to the special spider he has come across. The chainring mounting point on the motor is a non-standard size so only Bafang rings fit – or those Lekkies specially made to suit. Phil’s spider fits onto the motor drive and provides standard fitting points for other manufacturers’ chainrings. Objective, to allow for a greater variety of chainring tooth sizes. Phil reckons it should be possible to fit 2 chainrings to the spider using a spacer or two. If so, then I can have a larger toothed ring for cruising and a smaller toothed ring for hill climbing. Changing rings would be a manual affair using the chain guide, a stick or even fingers. It’s not like I would be changing front rings every five minutes. Hopefully.
And now a bit about the OSMO Action camera. I am enjoying working with the Action and trying to wean myself off the 42x optical zoom Nikon provides. There was a frustrating issue though. At the time I started with the OSMO, DJI had issued a software upgrade to clean up a few issues and provide a new movie option called “Hyperlapse”. Previously only a “Time Lapse” option was available but using that during a ride did not work too well. The individual frames are not linked and so the resulting “movie” bounces around all over the place. It is meant for use with a tripod, or, maybe, in a gimbal and is excellent for this purpose.
My first attempt to upload the revised software resulted in Hyperlapse showing up. After I turned the camera off and on again – it had disappeared! Multiple attempts to redo the software upgrade failed as the camera believed it had the latest version loaded and I just couldn’t fool it.
Forward to this week. I checked the Forum to see what was happening and found that a new version of the software was released in December. Nothing ventured – nothing gained, I downloaded v..7… and uploaded it into the camera. Turned it on – Hyperlapse showed in the Menu. Turned it off and on again – it’s still there. What a pleasant surprise. Now to use it.
On Friday I put OSMO on the helmet, turned on Hyperlapse at the turn-around point and let it rip. HERE is the result.
Yes, I know. What a grainy, splodgy sort of picture it is. My first attempt was filmed at 4k definition and my elderly laptop could not deal with the resultant huge file and number of pixels. So I had to downgrade to 1080 HD. This version looks OK viewed on my laptop but out there in YouTube land it is not good. I guess I have some more study to do to get a better cut of the movie loaded. That aside the Hyperlapse option works great.
On Sunday the weather report advised the day would be fine, no wind, 25°C and Extreme UV. OK then, a good day for a ride but … where to go? Also, what to wear?
Out through Bishopsbourne, past Bracknell and up to Blackwood Creek sounded good. Once at Blackwood Creek I would decide whether to aim for Poatina or Cressy. I decided to wear long pants to keep the sun off. Extreme UV = peak burning time and when riding a recumbent, more of you is available for crisping up. I don’t like the cream based sunscreens even though they work really well. So I worked out what was wrong with the face thingo (see above!), got into some lightweight long pants, made sure there were no gaps between end of sleeve and light gloves and set off – without any sunscreen. None required. Fingers crossed.
Battery fully charged, we set of up Wilmore’s Lane. Yes, a delightful day indeed. I cranked up the hills using low levels of pedal assist, spinning nicely and climbing slowly. The “wattmeter” indicated that not a lot of power was being drawn from the battery but it was taking a time to complete the climbs. Is it a more economic use of power to climb like this or up the Pedal Assist and get the climb over quicker? Probably an endless debate like ‘do you get wetter walking or running from A to B in the rain’?
I remembered I had decided to use PA levels 3, 4 and 5 depending on hills, descents, wind etc and so did so from the top of Wilmore’s lane. The sun makes the display hard to see in detail and I could only make out the current speed and PA level. It was going to be interesting to check the battery level at the rest stops.
I spotted a hare along Bishopsbourne Road. Also a couple of plastic drink bottles that had contained iced milk. Well, more than two were spotted but I only picked 2 up having already filled the pannier with a collection of blue plastic bailing twine that lined the edge of the road. I pulled into the Sports Ground to unload this lot of rubbish as I passed through Bishopsbourne.
BTW: With regard to my rubbish collection activities I have decided to focus on plastic. Yes, glass and aluminium are out there on the roadside in abundance but they don’t break down like plastics (into micro plastics and then nano plastics). A look at Wikipedia confirmed that although most vocal interest seems to be on plastics in the marine environment, plastics also create havoc on land. That said I won’t go on about it any more – just know my pannier was full again when we arrived back home.
The traffic was very light as the road took us from the Bracknell turn-off up to Blackwood Creek. The number of Kookaburras increased as the country got more “bushy”. I watched as one Kookaburra flew from a roadside tree closely followed by another. The second one had a snake in it’s beak – holding said snake close by the head. A good thing as the rest was whipping about and a free head would have meant death to the bird. I would have liked to see what happened next but the bird just kept flying.
On the approaches to Blackwood Creek I passed the above sign. Along the road a bit there were a few SUVs and horse boxes in a paddock, empty. So I guess the sign is valid even though I didn’t spot any wheeled horses.
At the above stop this is the paddock alongside.
Tinder dry, it easily brought to mind the sights on TV over the past few months – of burning paddocks. Most of the local hayfields have been cut and baled but even the stubble is still flammable.
From Blackwood Creek I chose to head towards Cressy and not Poatina. This part of the ride starts off with a gentle descent for several kilometers. The agricultural land is being irrigated and is a bit greener than the above. Mostly it is used to support grazing for a myriad of sheep. A sign of the times though – the dams I could see are running dry. Like everywhere in Australia, we need rain. Blackwood Creek itself is barely running.
After the downhill run there are a few kilometers of undulating road running through a picturesque landscape. I upped the PA and cruised up the hills easily. Arriving at Cressy I visited the Rustic Bakery once more but I was a bit late and no pies were left. Oh well, a lamb wrap and latte fitted the bill.
Cressy Road down to Longford is often heavily trafficked but today, Sunday, with most people holidaying at the coast, found it an easy ride. I took it down to the turn off for the Longford Golf Course then turned right up to Marlborough Street where I turned left and started the gravel road into Longford. The gravel wasn’t too good and, as it went on, became corrugated (washboard to you from the US). Selecting a flat line for the rear wheel the two front wheels jittered along hitting irregular corrugations. The seat bounced around and set off an ache in my shoulder with impingement. Not nice so I will stay off Marlborough Street for a while.
It was a good ride. The UV didn’t get through. The trike seat with it’s woven structure worked well and didn’t feel sweaty. Glad I wasn’t on the Anura as it’s seat was solid on the base and caused an unpleasant dampness in hot weather.
When I checked battery usage after the above ride it seems I used about half the charge to cover 62 kilometers. Considering the hills and the fact that, after the first set I didn’t really ride in an economical way, then this result is good. I will try another 30-40k ride on this charge and see how it goes.