January 2021. Resolutions and Goals

That’s Oscar and I walking around Wynyard this week!

Let’s turn to more serious matters and the goal for 2021 – ride 5,000 kilometres in the year.

Mostly it will be on the Greenspeed trike but I hope Bikey and Brompton will do their fair share. So, how’s it going?

In a word – Good. Using mainly trike and Bikey I rode 461 kilometres in January. With 5,000 kilometres needing an average of 416.666 recurring per month, I have begun well. This should be continued in February as Colin and I will be going on a 9 day cycle tour of northern Tasmania instead of the planned month tour of Victoria. Yes, most state borders are open but they are also the subject of regular snap closures as each state deals with covid outbreaks. I don’t want to be locked in Victoria living in a tent!

Why only one blog entry this year? Well, the bulk of the 460 kilometres travelled were all along roads much ridden and the subject of numerous blogs over the past few years – so there is little to tell from the riding point of view.

Away from riding, a couple of things have begun and will continue happening in February.


Canopy

One thing I am doing is developing a sun canopy for the trike. I have looked at a number of videos featuring trikes with canopies and have always wondered how strong winds affect them. The two main contenders are Veltop from France and Big Leaf from America. They are both on the expensive side even before you add on freight and GST – especially if Tasmanian winds simply blow them apart. Then I came across this guy in the US who made his own from a kayak Bimini cover! They cost $60 approx on eBay and there is a seller in Melbourne. My thinking is that the guy demoed his trike barrelling along at 25 MPH with the canopy sitting nicely in place. He also took it on a multi-day tour alongside Lake Eerie and he reported that it worked well as a sunshade. I decided it would be worth-while spending the $60 to give the concept a trial.

My first attempt to mount it failed when the irrigation fitting I was using cracked. Too much sideways pressure fractured the thing. So a Mark II fitting is in the pipeline (hah hah) and I just need to hit the hardware shop for some replacement Tee junctions to try again. I hope to get it ready for our northern Tasmania tour starting 12th February – which should be a good test.

Just trying it on. Obviously too high so I shortened the back “legs”. Quite a bit.

Tyres

One day I was parked outside the local shops talking to a fellow cyclist when he commented on the parlous state of tread on Magnum’s rear tyre. “What is he talking about?” I thought but then had a look and he was quite right. “New tyres before the tour” I thought.

They are currently on their way from Melbourne. I couldn’t find anyone who would post me Shwalbe Big Apple Plus balloon tyres so I am awaiting arrival of some Big Apples – no Plus. It will be interesting to see how these roll as I have always felt the Magnum XL is a bit “dead” when running without power. Now I will be able to compare both tyre types and see if the drag I think I can feel is a tyre thing or just all the resistance from Bafang and Nuvinci (or just old legs☹️).


Bikey Derailleur fix

With the Bikey, fixing the derailleur has got rid of one set of noises. Well, it must be quieter if the derailleur cog no longer runs on top of the cassette! Another noise remains. Not detectable in all gears and I haven’t yet worked out if any specific settings cause the rumble/creak to occur. Maybe during February I will be able to resolve that. I was first thinking it’s a chain issue as I doubt if the bike has ever had a new one. The noise does disappear though so I have discounted that theory. Maybe it’s just the 20 year old pre-SRAM 3 speed hub getting ready to disintegrate. I will not be going too far afield with Bikey until the cause is pinpointed and fixed.


A Camping Trip

We finished January with a camping trip to Somerset on the north coast.

Brompton came along with us and I was planning to join the NW Group for a ride out of Riana. The Sunday came and I didn’t go! In fact the Brompton stayed in the car for the entire trip. What’s going on? This is a NON cycling story!!

I can report the OzTent continues to work well. We added the front panel this time, reworked/resited the “kitchen” and enjoyed a relaxing few days away. Away from home, TV, radio, and newspapers. No covid, no Trump, no Morrison, no Boris. Read a book or two, ate a lot and sampled a cask of Shiraz. The weather wasn’t too bad but did allow us to test how the tent handles Tassie winds. One reviewer somewhere on the ‘net commented that the thing has the aero-dynamics of a house brick. Well, yes it has but it seems to laugh at the winds. Things flap around, the sides and roof move in and out so it’s like living in a lung but all guy ropes stayed in place and it never felt like it was about to collapse.

Let’s hope the trike canopy does the same.


That’s it. Onward into February. My next blog will be the run up to the start of the Tour of the North.

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!

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