The Corona Virus !!

The Lower Longley Pub in southern Tasmania has a unique take on the virus. When we are done with it we are promised a feast complete with ritual virus burning.

It’s been a slow cycling start to the second half of the year. Last week we headed south to visit friends who we haven’t seen for a while. Not many of them cycle so activities revolved around eating, walking and catching up. There were a couple of exceptions though.

Don’s retirement present to self

The bike above belongs to friend Don. We met up in Hobart and he told us all about trying to import the bike (built in Holland) into Thailand and then having to fly to Singapore to import it due to the heavy import duty demanded in Thailand. Don and the bike were leaving the country after a short tour but it was treated as a permanent import.

Not sure of the brand but the bike has a titanium frame and Pinion gearbox. After touring Asia for several months including being loaded onto buses and trains it has no scratches as all – a benefit of titanium!!

The full tale of Don’s trip including visiting Wuhan and traveling back to Australia in Covid-19 times via Vietnam can be read HERE

Bike E

The other cycling bit of the trip involved Ken’s Bike E. This hasn’t been ridden since I borrowed it in 2018 as Ken much prefers to ride his Greenspeed trike. We decided to go on Ken’s short ride from Huonville and pulled the Bike E out of the shed for me to ride.

Crikey I had a bad day! The residue of Bronchitis was still making me puffy and add to that a bike with binding rear brakes and tyres that I didn’t think to inflate made for a tiring ride. Ken, from his armchair ride on his electric Greenspeed watched with some concern as I puffed my way up the gentle inclines out and around Ranelagh. The bike has a 3-speed hub and 8 derailleur gears. Initially I couldn’t get the hub into low – it kept jumping to second but after a while it settled down and I could find some low gears – which I really needed!

On our return Ken asked me if I wanted the Bike E. I was tempted but my response was “NO”. Although interested in the bike I found the handlebars had soon got me aching as the positioning is such that it doesn’t agree with arthritic hands. If I ever try recumbent 2-wheeling it will have to be on a bike with under seat steering and bar end gear shifters.

Chainring adaptor. Made to fit 4 hole chains onto the 5 bolt Bafang

While in the south we visited Phil the electric bike specialist. He has built up a dual chainring for me to try on the trike. He has used chainrings developed for mountain bikes that should be strong enough. The set up has a 38 and a 45 (an odd size!) tooth chainring on it. Before I fit it a spacer is needed and Phil plans to send that up when he has made it. I think I may have to hunt around for a decent 52 tooth ring to fit on the unit as the 45 tooth could be a bit low. I will try it first and see how it goes.

Phil has a stall at the E-Bike Expo held in Hobart. The next one is planned for November and he asked if I would be willing to bring the trike down for display purposes. There are 3-4 electric trike owners that Phil will ask so it would be interesting to meet up and see what they are doing. If our Covid regulations allow the event then I will go down.

A Local Ride.

Back riding in the Norfolk Plains

Friday dawned fog-free so I decided to take the opportunity to go for a ride. As I rode onto Wilmore’s Lane I could see ahead of me 3 bike riders. One in a red top and 2 in yellow. That’s a bit odd as normally no or 1 rider can be seen at any one time.

I thought I would try and catch them up. At the same time I decided to have a faster than normal ride and enjoy using the Controller’s higher power levels for once.

By the end of Wilmore’s Lane I was indeed catching them up – and they stopped at the junction with Bishopsbourne Lane. Here they were meeting with a number of other riders coming up the Lane. Lightbulb moment. It was the WAGS group from Launceston – I remembered seeing their email earlier in the week.

OK. I would ride with them to see if I can keep up with the group when I exercise the upper levels of my trike’s power system. Some of the group cycle faster than others. I found I could keep up with the slow / medium riders but the fast ones still moved off gradually into the distance. Interesting.

The WAGS group was formed because they no longer enjoyed riding with the Wednesday group from T-BUG which was led by a small group who developed a liking for fast riding. The WAGS people had difficulty keeping up on their touring and general purpose bikes and so formed their own group to travel at a slower pace. My finding from this ride is that they are still faster than this trike rider!

At the junction with Armstrong’s Lane they turned and faced back towards Longford so I cycled past with a smile and wave and left them to it. Keeping the power at level 4 (5 uphills) I travelled along to Pitts Lane, down the lane, turned left and cycled into Bracknell. All good.

Up the hill out of Bracknell I watched a couple of Butcher Birds grabbing space to sit on the roadside fence and a flight of wood ducks making their way to a secret place. A bit further along and, what was this? More cyclists?

No – it was the same group. They had turned down Armstrong’s Lane and now joined my route back to Longford. So I settled into position within the group and went along with them at 25 kph touring on the flat and used up to level 6 to hold onto them on the hills. This was getting tiring!

Returning via Rumble (the fastest descent along WIlmore’s Lane) the bloke in front of me almost pedalled his legs off while I free wheeled down closing in on him towards the bottom. Yes, trikes do descend well. He did cycle faster up the other side though indicating that the momentum gained drops off quicker on the trike when the road turns upward.

This turned out to be an interesting ride and I did find out a bit about group riding when on a trike. Without the motor I could not have kept up with any of them. My average speed for the ride was 19kph, something way beyond my legs alone!

The next few days would seem to be wet. An east coast low has been forecast. We are half way through winter. Time to plan rides for Spring.

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

4 thoughts on “The Corona Virus !!”

  1. My thought was the same as tempocyclist… that coronavirus may have rotted before it can be burnt!! I like the idea though. Lots of physics in this post. I took physics in high school, but can’t say I liked it. Glad people like you have more technical brains than mine 🙂 Does the Bike-E ride as stiff as it looks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Bike E has rear air suspension. I didn’t pump that up either so it rode “soggily” with twitchy steering. I should have spent time getting it ready to ride – all I did was unstick the rear brake.


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