Day 3. Back to Deloraine via Meander.
After the rain clouds cleared during the previous evening, the air cooled down. My sleeping quilt is rated to 5°C – that’s keep you alive at 5°C not keep you toasty warm. I was aware of how it performs so wrapped myself up for the night in plenty of clothing, an extra fleece blanket and the quilt. It was still cold!
I checked the weather around 4am and the report said “Current Temp : 6°C. Feels like 3°C”. That says it all!
It was one of those mornings when you wonder how much colder it will feel when you unwrap. When I did arise the sun was getting close to appearing over the hills and I prepared a Trangia brew hoping the heat from the stove would be of benefit to me as well as the tea. It wasn’t.
Colin appeared. His sleeping bag is rated to 0°C or possibly lower. It sounded like it had performed no better than mine. We were both cold and had damp gear to wear – what a great start to the day.
The sun crawled over the hills and immediately we could feel it’s heat. A little. It was a slow start day with breakfast, coffee, packing etc. When ready to go we headed out and along the Cradle Mountain road for 500 metres before pulling into a Cafe! This is a recent addition to the area and very well made out of repurposed farm buildings. The coffee was good and the fruit toast set me up for the morning.
Warmed and feeling more awake we headed back to Mole Creek and turned right onto the Caveside road. Mole Creek is in a Karst area featuring caves, underground streams and sinkholes. There are two sets of caves open to the public but we didn’t plan to climb up to them and take a tour on this trip.
The road to Caveside was about to feature hills. From Mole Creek we climbed, dropped a little, climbed some more until we reached the top of the pass. Then it was drop, climb a little, drop some more down to the township.
Along the way Colin was quite taken with the fruit readily available. Plums and apples were the main items to forage for in the hedgerows. I was still feeling cold and not very hungry but thought the fruit did look good.
On a previous trip I got lost along the next bit. Today I had maps with me and took the time to make sure of the route. At one point Colin had ridden ahead while I stopped to check. I knew there was a problem somewhere close to Western Creek and must have given Colin a mixed message when he went past. Anyway, while he was busy foraging for blackberries I pointed to the road we needed and took off along it. After a while I thought I had seen him in the mirrors and so carried on. But I hadn’t – it was a false image. It took a phone call and some time to get back together as Colin had an adventure travelling to the end of the road he was on and meeting a heavily bearded farmer.
I wasn’t recognising the road but thought we were OK. Then we passed a large sign advertising the start of several walks on the Western Tiers. I recognised the sign and knew all was OK.
By now we had successfully bypassed Western Creek and the road junctions had Meander signposted. This ride is truely a great ride. Not so colourful today as it was cloudy but on a sunny day it really lifts the spirits. I read recently a piece discussing “forest bathing”. The idea is that people living in cities need to get out every now and again and walk through a forest. Not a new idea of course. When we lived in Sydney and we spent 5 days a week in computer rooms stuck to a screen, quite a number of us organised bush walks at the weekend. We didn’t realise we were “forest bathing”, we just enjoyed being somewhere out in the open. Anyway, a ride from Caveside to Meander could become known as “Rural bathing” if the “In Crowd” find it.
After the mailbox we took a turn to the left and shortly after a turn to the right to get us onto the road to Meander. From here the road seems to run slightly downhill and there is around 6 kilometers of great pedalling at a good speed.
The final leg into Meander takes us past gardens and junk yards down to the “main” road. Today the wind was getting up and into our faces as we cycled it.
In Meander we found we were half an hour late. The Cafe closes at 2pm on the weekends! We cycled out to a little park and Colin made himself a brew and had lunch. I was still cool and not hungry.
Colin talked about staying the night at Meander. I preferred not to do that due to the need to charge the battery before tackling the e.g. back to Longford . We decided to part company here – Colin to find somewhere to stop and me to continue to Deloraine. I was also turning over the idea of getting Sue to pick me up in Deloraine as the air remained cool and another night freezing in a tent was not that appealing.
We said our “goodbyes” and I started towards Deloraine. The wind was now coming in from behind providing for power for a great run to the hills – cruising up in the 20s. My trike is quite low geared and, just for once, I wished it was a bit higher. Anyway, it was a good run to the hills. Fully charged the 36V battery reads 41 volts on the display. During the day, as power is used, this drops and at around the 32V mark everything cuts out. The battery was reading 36V and so it was tempting to up the power level when I entered the hills. Power level 4 was OK but level 5 (of 9) was better. Trike and I sailed up the hills and down to the Lake Highway which leads into Deloraine.
I also decided to call Sue. This done, she would drive to Deloraine to pick me up.
Normally cruising at levels 2 and 3, I was now barrelling along the highway at 4 and 5 still with a good wind behind. That made short work of the run to Deloraine and ended up with the display reading 34V – not much left.
On the entry to town there is a new Cafe. It was open. I waited there for Sue!
So, that’s the story of my day 3. Here is a description of Colin’s evening ride.
Well it was an amazing 2.5 hours on the Magnum Yesterday.
I went up to the Little hall at Meander had a good wash and was on my way back down to the Park when my speed picked up to 35kph.
So as I zoomed past the park at 5pm. I thought I am not going to waste this wind and kept coming,
So it continued, and I continued at over 35kph out along the flats after the hills, my speed continually touched 40-45 kilometers a hour.
I was pretty amazed at this but pleased and lapped it up; riding into Deloraine at 5:50pm.
Thinking you had gone on to Longford with Sue, I Looked up the GPS land gradients to find it showed 90 % percent was down hill toward Launceston.
With such a tailwind I passed Westbury and was in Hagley just after 7pm. That is 2hrs and 10minutes from Meander. A total of 80 plus klms for the day. According to the GPS on my phone.
I am glad we split up at Meander and Colin had this experience. It’s interesting that in such conditions the non-powered trike is able to go so much better than the powered one. Of course, the fit trike pilot helped. What a ride.
The brief taste video follows : Click Here