Got it! – Mid Year Challenge

By slotting rides in between the weather, we managed to get two decent rides in during the week and they allowed me to reach a ‘Career Total’ of 10,000 kilometers in Ride with GPS by 28th June. Third Challenge Met !! 😄

Ride 1 – Around Bracknell

First we rode the Armstrong Lane loop anticlockwise.

It was a cool morning that required the wearing of a lot of clothes. Well rugged up, Colin and I met and started up Wilmore’s Lane.

The yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos were plentiful in the pine trees along the lane. Some could be seen ripping cones out of the tops and with others scavenging the torn remains on the ground below.

There were other birds to see along the way. Ravens, Sparrows, Masked Lapwings, Kookaburras and Gold Finches were also out in great numbers. There were even some swallows that had forgotten to migrate north.

We rode down to the end of Pitts Lane and turned left to make our way to Bracknell. The picnic and camp grounds there have been opened up for self-contained caravans / motorhomes but nobody was staying. Our State borders remain closed for now. The area was quite damp with worm casts everywhere. It was necessary to tread carefully so as not to fill in the gaps in the cleats on our shoes.

Running repairs at Bracknell

Colin’s trike was making an interesting creaking noise by the time we arrived at Bracknell. Initial investigations could not come up with the answer so Colin creaked onwards.

The Liffey River is looking good.

The trip back from Bracknell continued with more bird spotting and some hill climbing up Green Rises and Armstrong’s Roads. The winds stayed light (but chill) and the rain stayed away.

A good 46k ride that took quite a chunk out of the remaining kilometers of the challenge.

Ride 2.

Ride 1 was over ground much covered but Ride 2 was different. This time we headed over to Evandale and out to the Nile.

The day for Ride 2 dawned foggy with a good frost as an added bonus. We had agreed to meet up with David in Evandale at 11.30am. By our leaving time of 10.00 it was still foggy but we decided to set off and hope the sun would soon cut through and burn the fog off. By the time we reached Woolmers I couldn’t feel my fingers beyond the second knuckle! Boy, it was cold!!

After riding past Brickenden and Woolmers out to the Midland Highway, the fog was lifting slightly and the sun appeared through the haze. Frozen fingers were now only frozen to the first knuckle. We had all our lights on to advertise our presence on the hard shoulder and the 3 kilometers up to the junction off to Evandale passed without incident. Crossing the road to perform the right hand turn involved the sense of hearing in addition to sight thus ensuring maximum safety!

A few weeks ago Colin had returned his main front light to the Distributers as it had failed during a rainy ride. He bought a suspect internet light to stand in until he got a replacement. The internet light has a separate battery which looked the business but the light ran out after an hour on his first ride. Since then it has sat on a shelf. Today it came out to share duties with the replacement. This time Colin ran it on the lowest setting possible – it was still bright! We kept an eye on it.

The fog lifted a bit further as we headed towards Evandale but there were still patches of the thicker stiff. Not only was the fog lifting but so was the temperature. Slightly.

Traffic was light through Evandale up to the Bakery. After speaking to a woman outside the Bakery it appears the lack of traffic can be put down to the fact that the Evandale (Sunday) Market is still closed. Into the Bakery for a coffee it was good to find it well run in accordance with our social distancing, hand sanitising, 2 sq metres per person times. We ordered and managed to find space on a table for 6 – sharing with two others. The Latte glass cupped in my hands pushed the remaining cold from my fingers.

No sign of David as yet but when I returned to the trike to get my phone (just in case someone else wanted to use it) he cycled passed the steps. David had already had a coffee so he elected to ride around outside while we indulged.

Before too long we grouped up and headed out, off towards Nile.

Hmm – still foggy then !

The road to Nile includes a straight 10 kilometers long. Today the views in front and to the sides were limited until we had covered about half of it. Then the fog lifted further and we began to see across to the range which includes Ben Lomond and the northern Tasmania’s ski fields.

At last – riding in the sun
It was a bit warmer – my hands had now de-frosted

By the time we had ridden out to the Nile River and back to the St Peter’s Anglican Church, the fog had gone. We were lunching within the church grounds when a car pulled in. “Oh O” we thought – were we about to be turfed out? No. It was Bronwyn and she was happy to see us there. She proceeded to give us a history lesson.

The church was built circa 1853 and was originally used as a school during the week and a chapel at the weekends. The tower was added in the late 1800s. The history can be found HERE.

A picture of St Peters from a 2017 cycle ride

Australia recently organised a Royal Commission into the institutional abuse of children. This has left the Anglican church (among other institutions) with a large bill to pay as restitution to the victims. To provide the cash for this and, just maybe, with the added bonus of reducing a large maintenance bill for churches dealing with falling congregations, the Anglican church is managing a program of selling churches. This has caused much angst across Tasmania and (I presume) Australia. Not the least – what do you do with the closely associated graveyards? The St Peter’s Church was nominated as one to be sold. The parishioners had a meeting, raised the money and bought the church preventing it from falling into the hands of someone with an episode of “Grand Designs” in mind.

“Would you like to see inside” Bronwyn asked. We would and she unlocked the church and showed us around. It is very traditional, lots of old wood and stained glass windows and has a comfortable, well-used feel about it.

A bit of sunshine at last

After lunch we headed back to Evandale. Half way along the straight we began to run into mist again. Not so thick but definitely there. A second cup of coffee beckoned and back to the Bakery we went.

We left Evandale and our route took us down to cross the South Esk River before heading towards the Midland Highway. The fog was returning.

We could see the South Esk at Evandale has flooded a bit. Here a picnic area is under water.

When we reached the Longford turn-off from the Midland highway, the fog was as thick as it had been in the morning. In fact in Longford the fog didn’t lift all day but the air temperature did rise slightly to melt the frost – by about lunchtime. No wonder some wag repainted the sign outside Longford to Fogford some years back.

As we rode the last bit into Longford Colin had turned on his second front light. I thought there was a car behind me being annoying and not overtaking. The stand-in, suspect front light had indeed lasted the entire ride when used at level 1 and was certainly still bright! Just the thing needed for riding in foggy conditions. It may well turn out to be a keeper.

A side note or two. The creaking from Colin’s trike was traced to the folding mechanism being loose. Tightening it up and oiling some other parts has stopped the noises and proved it wasn’t his ankle or knee or both.

With all the half-year challenges met by 30th June I will have to think up some more to cover the rest of 2020. Something to do this week I guess.

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 is good!

6 thoughts on “Got it! – Mid Year Challenge”

  1. Yay!!! Congrats, Tony, you hit that goal with plenty of kms to spare! Well done! Especially in that frigid fog. I know how cold that damp chill feels, so good on you for persevering. The sunny bits looked very nice – must have been a bit foreboding to ride back into the cold fog at the end. June for us was either cold and miserable or absolutely brilliant – it never seemed to be just ‘average’. I did read that the train beat its worst performance last month with only 3 percent of trains on time (and that is with the extra 45 min they added to the timetable a few years ago)! So hiring a van for your VIC ride definitely sounds the way to go. Whenever that happens, of course. I’d certainly be giving VIC a miss at the moment if I didn’t live here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Emily.

      We are currently booked to come over end Feb 2021 but will keep an eye on things. Doesn’t look like there will be a vaccine anytime soon (or ever) so we won’t be taking silly risks.

      We had a wet June ending with still days, frost and fogs. I like winter days when the sun can get through but grey and gloomy is why I came to Australia – had enough of those days in London! It’s getting harder to prise myself away from the heater!!


  2. as usual good report and history lesson you are an excellent writer.ill have to work out a challenge for my age.maybe minus 1000 k? bflat ken

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations Tony, a win for both of us. You achieved your cycling goal and I enjoyed your blog particularly the pictures, I could feel the cold damp up here. We have had some cold, minus one or two on occasions ,but I usually hug the fire. Sunday morning was six when I set out, a little warmer in the return trip.I have an interest in church architecture and had not seen the one you visited. Thanks for that. What’s the next big ad venture? Don’t be foolish and come to the ainland for a while!
    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brian. I am thinking we will have to tour a bit more of Tassie, maybe looking to the west. It’s certainly not my plan to come to Victoria for some time. A shame. Look after yourself and keep away from those suburbs under plague control.


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