In 2020 I managed to ride 4,500 kilometres. The goal for 2021 is 5,000 or 100 k a week. Very similar to 2018 but less than 2019. I think it will be achievable.
To set off on the right track, will I manage 100 kilometres in the first week of January?
Ride 1 – Turners Beach to Ulverstone
The NW Bicycle Network group organised a ride and New Year lunch and I went along. There was a choice of rides and I elected to ride into Ulverstone and back.
Bike E was still without working gears and I didn’t feel like loading up the trike, so Brompton came along.
The first section was along the shared path between Turners Beach and Ulverstone. We all flew along with a lovely tailwind. People, including me, were surprised at how well the Brompton went.
All was OK until we reached Ulverstone when the gearing on Brompton went haywire. I stopped to fix and the others continued on their way to Penguin – which was OK as I didn’t intend going much further anyway.
The problem seemed to be the adjustment of the chain into the hub gears. Maybe I hadn’t set it up correctly after fixing the puncture last week. Adjustments tested and still the gears played up. Top was OK, Second hopped in and out and Low was not accessible. Eventually something in the control lever area seemed to reset and all began working again. The control lever assembly is all plastic and nylon with tiny pieces and I didn’t want to open it up.
I gingerly rode through Ulverstone and things were OK. There was a bit of time before we were to meet for lunch so I continued along the road to Penguin for a while.
The others didn’t show so I turned around and headed slowly back. The gears behaved.
Just before arriving at the lunch spot a couple caught me up – they had ridden into Penguin without realising how strong the wind was. On turning it became apparent and most people were late for lunch,.
We took over the Cafe’s Yurt for lunch which gave us sufficient space for covid distancing. Others attempted to share the space with us but we repelled borders much to their displeasure.
Over lunch we discussed rides for 2021 and I came away nominated as the leader of 2 rides in June. They will be in the Deloraine area.
During the next few days I tested Brompton some more and it appears the gears are solid now. I also visited several bike shops clutching the Bike E derailleur seeking a replacement or a spare for the broken part. No replacements known – it is an old, old pre SRAM derailleur. Finally though a shop thought it might have the part. They spent 20 mins searching “out the back” and came back with something similar. When I set it up at home – yes, it works!! Bike E is now back on the road.
The final days in January were drawing to a close and I had a few ks to go to hit the 100k for the week mark. We were taking the new tent to Beauty Point for a couple of nights to check it out and I reckoned if I took Brompton too I could achieve the weekly goal.
We drove to Beauty Point for the two night tent test. It proved rather more time consuming to set up than the videos on YouTube would have you believe – it’s erroneously called a “3 minute tent” in our view!! Still, it was our first attempt and, although we couldn’t make out quite what to do with the fly, we ended up with a comfortable campsite.
Ride 2 – Beauty Point to Beaconsfield
A second fine day dawned over the very comfortable to live in Oztent and it was promising to be around 30°C tops. I set off early and headed for Beaconsfield on Brompton.
An interesting race was run over the Easter break for 25 years – the Australian Three Peaks Race. It was a copy of the UK Three Peaks Challenge. In the words of the website:
The Australian Three Peaks Race™ was a non-stop offshore short-handed sailing and endurance mountain running event, commencing at Beauty Point just north of Launceston on the Tamar River and finishing in Hobart on the River Derwent. En-route, the running members of each team had to scale Mt Strzelecki, Mt Freycinet and Mt Wellington.
It featured many athletes from various disciplines who enjoyed it immensely. Even so, the entries dropped gradually and eventually it was not viable to keep it going.
Today though I cycled around Beauty Point taking in the sights above and then rode out of town. Local traffic proved tiresome. At least 50% of drivers squeezed past even when no vehicles were coming in the opposite direction.
Yes, the road does look quiet but there were enough passing cars to worry this cyclist.
To Beaconsfield I was riding with a tailwind. This resulted in no breeze around me and things were feeling quite hot and sticky. I wandered around the information boards in town, noted that the first iron ore processing in Australia was done here – along with one of the early gold rushes. Who’d a thought looking at the quiet town now.
There is still a goldmine here. It hit National and International headlines 15(?) years ago when there was a cave in and two miners were trapped for days. Eventually they were rescued and came to the surface to a huge media crowd. Later the mine was deemed unsafe but now new owners are breathing life back into it spurred on by the high gold price.
After an “alright” coffee and good piece of cake I turned and headed back to Beauty Point. Now there was a headwind. Not too strong and, for once, very welcome as it cooled me down nicely.
Back at the tent I checked the stats. 101 kilometres cycled this week. Good, on track already!!
‘Til next time …………