Covid-19 Closures

As the weeks progress more things get shut down. I was to experience this on a recent ride to Bracknell and back.

After spending a couple of self-isolating weeks taking short rides around Longford, I was getting bored and decided to head further afield.

First of all a ride to Bracknell. Not the straight out and back but the version that uses Armstrong’s Lane and Green Rises Road.

The Route. One large loop, one small and a bit in-between

It was an early(ish) start and the shadows long. With the shortest day really not that far away, the sun’s angle is getting low. I am working on an upgrade to my veggie patch when not riding or maintaining the trike and one thing to get right is the positioning of the beds in relation to the shadows thrown by next-door’s trees and sheds. The trees are growing taller. This is a problem.

In Northern Tasmania we are riding out the virus well. Not many cases at all and none in recent days. The north-west is another kettle of fish though with a growing cluster of cases developing around 2 hospitals there. There is a serious lock-down of that area but in our area we are still allowed out to exercise.

While riding around Longford I have been using low power setting of 1 and 2 to force me to put more leg power in. With this longer ride I decided to up the levels to use 3, 4, and maybe 5 to pep things up a bit. And it did. Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble were soon behind me and I was up at the junction with Bishopsbourne Road. Joining Bishopsbourne I found the traffic was a bit busier than it had been last time I rode along here. People working out how to manage social distancing and getting out and about at the same time?

I turned down Armstrong’s Lane and … what’s this? Oh bugger, it’s been resurfaced!! Resurfacing means a much bumpier ride as the chip seal hasn’t been done properly for a few years now. The gravel is not of a consistent size and often too little is used and the gaps filled with tar.

Hang on though .. this new surface is OK. What a nice surprise – the gravel is plentiful and of a consistent size. Thank you Council.

This new surface is OK

There was still a lot of loose gravel on top but not a lot of traffic to spit it at me from under tyres – that’s nice.

The new surface was most of the way to the Green Rises road junction at which I turned right. Now I was heading into the wind which was cool and around the 15-18 kph mark. Enough to slow things down – or lift the power setting to 4.

At around the 15-18 kph mark the flags flopped

At the end of Green Rises I could turn left and head for the Bracknell picnic-by-the-river spot or turn right and start heading home. It wasn’t a bad day so I turned left.

Closure 1

The Bracknell RV rest area is closed.

Closure 2

A bit more of a problem for ageing blokes with no prostate is the closure of the toilet facilities! I was not heading into Bracknell proper so decided to pop in to the facilities in Bishopsbourne.

The Liffey River is up a bit following recent rains

So I had a quick look round, avoided getting into the isolated personal space of a couple of walkers and headed off to Bishopsbourne.

Closure 3

Well blow-me-down (as they used to say), the whole of the Bishopsbourne Sports Ground and RV stop and toilets are closed. What are things coming to?!

So hanging on, the power was upped to 5 and Longford reached in time.

A few days later Colin and I decided to tackle another 40+ kilometre ride. This time a ride that would include a section on the Midlands Highway. It is a section where there has been a lot of recent upgrade work going on and we hoped this would mean a nice, wide hard shoulder for triking.

Another top speed not reached – GPS still playing up down here. Covid-19?

Along the way we came upon another stretch of recent road resurfacing. Again, a good finish has been provided by the Council.

On the Midlands Highway there was mostly a good hard shoulder but a bit in the middle was a little narrow – given that 110kph trucks were also using the highway.

The Video

Our Powranna Ride

The last two years I have set myself an annual cycling challenge – to cover 5,000 and then 6,000 kilometers in the year. This year no such challenge has been set – the idea was that I was in training for our tour of Victoria, then the tour would occur and then I would set something. Sadly the virus has stopped the tour. We have now rescheduled to March 2021. I need a challenge.

Here it is. I decided to go back to the simple one of riding 100k each week. Starting this week. Today I have 11 k to go to get 100k in, so I had better get out once the rain stops.

Til 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's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

3 thoughts on “Covid-19 Closures”

  1. Glad you could get out for some longer rides. I’ve noticed more traffic, too, as if everyone is just tired of being at home. There was heaps of traffic out on Anzac Day in the morning. With all the shops shut, no work or school for most, and not many doctor’s offices open… what essential thing could they have been doing? I’ve noted the lack of toilet facilities on rides here, too. I think long rides will need to be in forested areas!


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