This week my rides have been local. In the mind rides further afield are being planned, spurred on by the slightly warmer weather. This week two bumble bees were spotted in the garden plus two Larks and a Swallow near Bishopsbourne – all signs of Spring.
A couple of Norfolk Plains rides were ridden during the week and I decided to finish off the 100k (weekly target) by riding the Brommie on the two local shared paths.
Before that though I will put in a link to my second ride around Gunns Plains. This ride was the one ridden with the NW Group and I am pleased to say that I have learnt a bit more re iMovie. I think it shows!
Back to this week.
Two Local Shared Paths
Over the past couple of years the local town of Perth was bypassed by the Midland Highway. With the associated extensive roadworks, 4 lane highway, bridges, underpasses etc., us cyclists were given 2 sections of shared path. Access to these at the Longford end is not easy as the Illawarra Road section up to the start of the path crosses the South Esk and the highway at the bridge points is very narrow.
I decided to load Brommie into the car and drive up to Pateena Road and the start of the path. There is an odd parking spot just off the main road and a bit of stuffing around got me to it.
The first section of shared path runs across to the Perth outskirts. To access the second section of path you have to ride through Perth and out the Launceston side. With the town now being bypassed, riding on the Perth streets is no longer a hardship and it is easy to get to the start of part 2.
Unloading the bike I realised I had left the front bag at home. A bit of a problem as I had a few things to carry – and no tools with me!
Wearing a riding top plus a showerproof yellow jacket I had a total of 3 pockets on the backs of these tops. Into those when wallet, phone, tissues, keys and OSMO plus tripod. Written down that sounds OK but with weight in the rear pockets means there is a problem when starting and stopping. Starting requires some adjustment of garments to make sure you are not sitting on anything! When stopping it is easy for the back end to slip down over the saddle – thus locking you onto the bike 😡. Both things happened during the trip.
Note to self – remember the bag next time.
From the parking spot to the start of trail I didn’t fancy riding contraflow on the edge of the highway. It was busy and a surprising number of vehicles were actually crossing the inside rumble strip as they cut the corner. I walked the bike on an unpleasant gravel slope but it felt safer.
On the path the going was good. New path, smooth surface, no debris. It is not a long path and I was soon at the end preparing for the transit through Perth to the Perth – Breadalbane shared path.
Perth, now bypassed, has quiet roads and there were plenty of locals out walking themselves, walking their dogs and just enjoying the peace. Businesses are not happy – their customers have evaporated. I noticed the newish Bakery is up for sale. Not surprising really as the guy running it was producing pies of an industrial nature not realising that people prepared to leave the highway for grub actually want a better product these days.
I should also mention the headwind was quite noticeable. Spring winds have turned up.
Up to shared path number 2 and memories kicked in. I used this path a few times some 2 years ago when I was first riding recumbents. The Anura I had then ran 16″ wheels and Scorcher tyres at 80/90 psi. The path was new and construction work had taken place without a final clearing of gravel from the tarmac surface. I punctured a number of times! The path soon became a place for people to dump rubbish too. It runs along a road which used to be the main road but which became a “backwater”. Obviously a convenient place to dump without the need to visit the Tip and pay a fee.
Today quite a bit of the gravel remains. The Brommie is shod with Marathons though – much more puncture resistant that Scorchers so no trouble there. Thank goodness as I had no tools, inner tubes etc with me. Unfortunately the path seems to be attracting bottles. It looks like they are being thrown out of car windows deliberately across the pathway. Judicious riding through such areas kept me free of a flat tyre.
As I headwinded and climbed the path, a thin sprinkling of rain began. It was hard to work out if the clouds would release their load or continue to fly over to dump elsewhere. I ignored them and continued to the end.
Then it was a turn round and head back. This was much nicer as the wind now assisted.
Next week will be more local riding and then, who knows, maybe another trip involving caravan and cycling.
‘Til next time ……………