S36O. Longford – Golden Valley – Longford

1 route. 2 days. 2 maps. 2 sets of different statistics. On day 1, Ride with GPS had troubles finding satellites but on day 2 it locked in after a couple of seconds. I believe the detail for day 2 to be the most accurate. This belief is enforced by knowing that the ride to Quamby Corner caravan park was a bit of a trial for us trike riders (more details later!). Uphill for a lot of the way, we also rode into quite a breeze. It felt a lot more than 434 metres of climbing. On Day 2 we descended 593 metres following exactly the same route – that would seem a more likely figure for the day 1 ascent. Unless there were some unusual geological changes overnight.

Day 1 – to Golden Valley.

The objective for this ride was to load the trikes with all the gear we will be taking to Victoria. After our ride to Hobart we knew we had to carry a bit more for the longer trip and now we had it all together.

I have managed to make extra space by working out how to squish 2 front panniers between the rack pack and the seat back. This uses space previously holding a couple of items strapped to the back of the seat. Replacing them with the two panniers (carefully filled to fit the space) makes room for the extra clothing and foodstuffs required. In addition, there is a camera bag hanging off the side and the tent is strapped under the seat. All up the bags weighed in at a combined 26.1 kilograms. Luckily the trike is built to take such a load. I wonder if I am.

Getting loaded – Click HERE.

Now to pump up the tyres. The rear tyre was low in pressure, hopefully not a bad sign!

A similarly heavily loaded Colin and I set off for this sub-36 hour overnight camp (S36O). The first leg was up Wilmore’s Lane. The 4 hills on the Lane let us know we were weighty – and that we would be riding into the wind. Wind. It has been almost a continual presence since Spring. Today it had the added spice of tiny bits of moisture embedded, so it was like riding through a windy cloud.

It IS a dull day.

At the junction with Bishopsbourne Road we stopped and checked baggage. All sitting nicely and the trikes travelling comfortably carrying the load. We continued on to Bishopsbourne and then Bracknell where we had lunch at the Liffey River picnic spot. The Tiers were only just visible through the cloud but tiny bits of blue sky were showing up. It would be nice if more appeared. There were signs that there had been a bit of a party on the river bank. We cleaned up all beer bottles we could reach and stuck them in the bin. It would need a hose to clean out the mess in the toilet though.

The climb up through the Bracknell township was slow going. I noticed that the battery level was already going down in an interesting manner and decided I needed to keep an eye on it. I was already using the lowest power settings I could as the last 10 kilometres were going to end up a bit steep.

Running down to the Cluan Road junction, the flies became really noticeable. Colin commented that they had been bad through there on previous rides. Once on Cluan Road the wind came in from the side and, as we got further along, the trees provided some shelter. The sun could be felt even though it was still hidden behind cloud. The stretch from the end of Cluan Road to Osmaston is a proper wind tunnel – and today it was trying to blow us back. Hopefully tomorrow it will be on our side!

Follow the blue signs. only 10k to go.

At Osmaston we turned left – into Bogan Road! For those not living in Australia the Bogan definition in WikiPedia: is Australian and New Zealand slang for a person whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour are considered unrefined or unsophisticated. … It has antecedents in the Australian larrikin and ocker, and various localised names exist that describe the same or very similar people to the bogan.

From here the only way is up ! The road must have got it’s name from the first house we pass. Once painted blue, this house has been decaying for a long time – but people still live in it.

My battery power level was getting quite low so I ran on low settings, inputting much more leg power than I enjoyed. Bottom gear is high so I was not spinning nicely. This is the problem I am hoping Phil’s modified front spider will help me address. In the meantime the battery level falls and falls. There is much more climbing on this 10 kilometers than I expected. I believed it was 5 k of flattish or lightly climbing with the next 4 getting tougher and the last kilometre a huge climb. It was much worse. I felt for Colin cranking up here without the support of a motor – even one running at low power settings.

We found this expired recumbent rider on the way up

When we got to the top and the camp grounds I was too tired to take any pictures – so, that’s it for still images.

On arrival we booked in, decided on tent sites and put the tents up as a matter of urgency. The clouds over Quamby Bluff were lowering and it felt like rain at any moment. As it turned out the rain held off while we prepared tents, cooked, ate and sat around the communal camp fire until the bities came out. We had power cables entering both tents immediately after setup and things were charging OK. However the power delivery must have been down a bit as each item took longer to charge than normal. Getting in the tent was tricky with so many wires all over the place but I did; just got everything zipped up bug tight and “pitter patter” the rain began. Great timing.

Day 2 – back to Longford

I woke with a start. There was a very odd swishing sound out there. This proved to be the flysheet I had placed over the trike being blown around in a boisterous manner. The pegs had come out and it was dancing in the strong wind. What was good though – the rain had stopped.

Opening the door I was surprised to see a blue sky. It seemed only a minute or two ago I was woken up by wind and rain blasting the tent and now it was only wind. AND the wind was blowing the right way to assist the trip back!

Colin had planned to stay away another day but I think with the hard ride yesterday he now chose to head for home. We debated which way to go. If we went down to Deloraine to start with we could get a decent coffee (and, I was thinking, a bacon sandwich). It would add quite a bit to the day’s ride though probably turning it into a 70k day. Else we could head for Westbury for a later coffee. Else we could return the way we came – the short route. That’s what we did in the end.

While packing up we had another chat with a lady walking a Border Collie. It turned out the dog had had quite a bit of major surgery in it’s youth and now the arthritis was bad. That made the dog grumpy! The major surgery included having the ball taken off a hip and a $17,000 bill. I had often wondered about the procedures shown in the “SuperVet” TV program as costs are never mentioned. I hope the people shown in the program get their work done free.

We made good time packing up and breakfasting in the communal camp kitchen. It was a lively place with fruit pickers getting ready for work, a German couple getting ready to explore Tassie a bit more and a woman in a big coat who came in to get dressed, rummaging around under her coat putting clothes on while keeping out of the cool wind!

All bags back on the trike I pulled out as Colin finished his loading. I rode down the drive, Colin not in sight. Waited. Colin not in sight. I returned to find him pumping up a tyre. It had gone flat while loading up. It seemed to be staying up so we set off – keeping a weather eye on it. We have been experiencing this sort of thing over the past few months. A tyre that goes flat, is pumped up and then stays up. I have had them on both the trike and the Brompton. Colin has had a couple on Maggie. Anyway, on this day Colin’s tyre did not deflate again.

That sorted, we high-tailed it down the hill we had struggled up the day before. Scattering wind blown tree debris, we shot down the hill and had covered the first kilometre in no time at all. Even with a bit of climbing to relieve the monotony of a continual descent, we covered the 10k of Bogan Road very speedily. Turning towards Westbury, the wind came in behind at 6 o’clock and gave us a terrific run to Cluan Road. With the sun out and the wind behind, all was very well with the world.

Onto Cluan Road, Maggie’s tyre was still good and, while the wind was a bit sideways now, the whole stretch until the left turn towards Bracknell was a great ride. On the run into Bracknell a car coming towards us pulled over – maybe to take a phone call or look at a map? A Ute also coming towards us had passed us before it got to the car – on arrival at which the Ute driver made a big swerve to miss and then hooted with much aggression as if the car suddenly appeared in front of the Ute. I suppose because it made the Ute driver pull over to pass, it was a bloody nuisance! Thank goodness we had already passed the parked car or the Ute driver would have had a go at us.

The day continued good as we cycled through Bracknell, along to Bishopsbourne and then back to Longford. I cycled along to Colin’s street as we were enjoying a chat and a relaxed, slow pedal along the Longford streets with the wind behind and no traffic.

Job Done.

Click Here for a short video of bits of the ride. I have bought a selfie stick with which to get different angles. It would seem that using the stick also means more talking. I will have to watch that.

PS: I am wearing the face mask in the rain ‘cos as a person from 50° north I can get sunburnt in the rain. Not everyone can do that! Plus it keeps out the flies.

PPS: Look out for Agapanthus in the video – there is a lot of them around this time of year.

‘Till next time ….

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 is good!

6 thoughts on “S36O. Longford – Golden Valley – Longford”

  1. Now that’s a video! Stick with the stick! For us, the new video perspectives immediately offered a greater understanding and appreciation of what recumbent touring is all about.

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  2. Good to see you figuring out all the gear and bike and giving it a really good test with some significant climbing. Sounds like you should be ready to shove off soon. We’re getting some rain (not as much as forecast, but a bit), so that should be good for your arrival. Temps have backed off – let’s hope it’s a March with lots of days under 30 this year 🙂

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  3. Yes, we are just about there. It feels very much like autumn here so it would seem the weather change has happened early. Temp check at Seymour and Wangaratta shows temps maxing out in the mid to high 20s next week – very nice!

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  4. Into the hills of the Western Tiers, Test of trike and legs, Great pic.s as always. Tony bought along, Not One but x 2
    Phins, Fantastic thanks Tony, Really enjoyed the power of coffee made in the phin. I think Maggies name will be changed to “The Rabbit !” Fast downhill, (51 klms hr. ) hopping, skipping about, and jumping!!! and SLOW up hill.
    Great camping at Golden Valley.

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    1. Your welcome.

      I got the Phins for a Vietnamese food night with the old LAGS. I used Vietnamese coffee in them trickling the brewed coffee down onto condensed milk – the proper way. Not many old LAGS wanted a second cup though. At Quamby we used them with my home roasted coffee and drinking it as a long black. Tastes good. We will take these to Victoria I think.

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