It’s getting easier. I guess I am acclimatising to the cooler weather. About time!
This post will run to the end of April – ie 9 days.
The days are settling into a pattern. Cold overnight, warming during the day to around 15/16/17° and plenty of wind.
Here we go for the next 7 days.
Day 1 : April 22
It was a really windy ride out to Bishopsbourne today. Heading out into a strong headwind, it took quite a time to climb the 4 hills along Wilmore’s Lane. The nett climb is only 40 meters from 140 to 180 meters but the climbing is actually a bit more as the road undulates. Here I am quoting elevation figures found within the Compass App on the iPhone which I recently found !! Today I wished for an App to gauge the wind strength but there isn’t one. I know from previous research that to buy an anemometer with some accuracy costs more $s that I want to pay.
On the way back, with a tailwind, it was interesting to see the flag gaily blowing forwards when I was travelling at 25 kph. Arriving at the top of the first Wilmore’s Lane hill the wind was totally behind – so I pedalled like mad and hoped for a record. I managed to equal a previous one – 53kph.
Back home I was surfing through YouTube and came across a radio controlled glider channel. Then I searched for RC flight clubs in Tasmania to see if the group we see flying at Panshanger Road has a presence. Indeed they do. (Good Grief – where is this going? I hear you ask).
Well, on their website is a Weather page updated every 10 minutes. It includes wind strength :
When I first found the site just before lunch the gust figure was 56kph. At 13.30 the wind outside didn’t seem to have slowed down since the ride – I reckon gusts of 50+ kph would be right.
The ride got me thinking. If I had been on Brompton I would have been severely troubled by sidewinds. I would not have ridden Bike E as it and me on it do not handle sidewinds well at all. Riding the trike I just hadn’t noticed any deviation from my chosen line no matter what the side winds threw at me. Another big advantage of a recumbent trike.
Distance : 30k
Weather : cloudy, 10°C, very windy
Day 2 : April 23
Colin was free for a ride today. It was still quite windy so we decided to head for the shorter Bishopsbourne ride again rather than extend the loop to 40k via Armstrong Lane or even head over to Hazelbrae for a coffee.
There is a paddock we pass on this ride that seems to have been on fire for several days.
The wind has been blowing across the paddock moving smoke and topsoil across the road. The sequence of events was – burn off stubble and then, over a couple of days, disc the soil. This made riding past a gritty, smoky activity. There are now patches of sitting water on parts of the paddock while other parts are still smoking. There has been no chance to enquire what is happening but it looks like the stubble fire has gone underground. Perhaps the area is a bit boggy with some peat areas?
Today the ride was a pleasant, casual, slow and talkative 30 kilometers. Very enjoyable. The only hassle was the amount of passing traffic interrupting our conversation! No speed record down the Wilmore’s Lane hill today – a 42kph descent without the fierce tailwinds of yesterday.
I have been awaiting the arrival of the new panniers – the shipping notes say they have arrived in Launceston and will be delivered to Longford today. We cycled home hoping they had arrived – no. So we had a coffee and I dug out the Ortliebs that the Arkels are replacing. Colin is taking the Ortliebs. We fitted the panniers to Red Magnum where they sat, looking like they had never left and, as we finished, the carrier arrived with a box for me.
Each pannier is 50% larger than the Ortliebs so I am hoping the pair plus rack pack is sufficient to carry everything. It is said on knowledgeable cycle touring websites that “if you need more space, you are carrying too much”.
It was Friday so the day was finished with – guess what – a “found wood”, OzPig heated backyard happy hour followed by sausage grill. We needed windproof jackets for this one.
Distance : 32 kilometers
Weather : Cloudy, a bit of sun, windy.
Day 3 : April 24
A bit of adjustment to the pannier attachment system got rid of some rattles detected during a test ride yesterday.
That done and to check it out, I rode to the Library to return a Peter May book. On the way I detoured to ride past the caravan park because yesterday I spotted at least 1 yellow recumbent trike in there. Sadly both tent and trike had moved on by this morning.
The panniers are now sitting well on the rack, making no noise – apart from their silent cry “Load us up. Go on Tour!“.
Distance : 6 kilometers
Weather : 12°C, light winds, sunny.
Day 4 : April 25
I ignored the call from the panniers and loaded them instead with a shopping bag and a pruning saw. Then we headed off towards Panshanger.
“They” have newly chip sealed the road out of Longford; Wellington Street. I managed to ride over a new set of big, rolling, chip sealed corrugations on the left of the road as I moved over to allow traffic to pass. Quality control anyone?At the same time a Ute driver going the other way yelled something (luckily) that I couldn’t make out. I don’t think it was wishing me well though!
Continuing up Wellington Street wasn’t good – lots of traffic for some reason. Once past Brickenden the traffic disappeared and it became a nice day after the poor beginnings.
As I neared Panshanger I spotted a correctly sized fallen gum tree branch. Out with the bag and pruning saw and I was able to cut off 4 decent sized pieces of limb wood destined for the 2022 OzPig pile.
Carting wood home with the old drop down panniers has resulted in several holes from the splinters in the logs. Using a bag in the bag I should be able to protect the newbies while still collecting wood. NB: The Ortliebs I passed to Colin have NOT been used for wood collection – don’t worry Colin!
A good, short Sunday afternoon roll.
Distance : 19.6 kilometers
Weather : 16°C, light winds, sunny / cloudy.
Day 5 : April 26
Yes, a good longish ride this morning. A ride to Bracknell using Armstrong Lane and Pitts Lane to extend out to 45k.
Along Armstrong Lane the slasher has been bashing away at the hawthorn hedges leaving bits and pieces all over the place. I know the hedges survive but the whirling chains of the slasher just bash them into shape rather than cutting. The action also leaves plenty of debris in the edges of the road ready for us to ride over and get yet more hawthorns in the tyres.
At another point I passed a gum tree with wind debris tucked under it. This caused a stop and a ferret around. Sure enough there were quite a few pieces of limb wood to be salvaged and taken home for the OzPig wood pile. It was was easy to break the wood into pieces short enough to fit in the bags.
The picnic area at Bracknell was without campers. All quiet there.
The trip back continued with sunny spells, light winds and light traffic. All up a nice ride.
Distance : 45 kilometers
Weather : 14°C, sunny spells, not much wind.
Day 6 : April 27
Just a short run down to the Library today. Then a look at the river with a thought for a little fishing later. Not long to go now – the fishing season ends on Sunday.
It’s interesting, you never see anyone fishing on this stretch. Perhaps it is known there is only red fin perch in there?
Distance : 3.5 kilometers
Weather : 18°C, sun/cloud, light breeze.
Day 7 : April 28
Another exercise trip to Bishopsbourne. Today I used low power levels so the travel was slower and I used my legs more.
I am managing to keep up the 100k plus a week and remain fixed on getting to the 5,000 k for the year. Rides like this get me out the house and add up nicely.
Passing by the oak trees above it was like cycling through a blizzard of leaves. Last week it was noisey from acorns crunching under the tyres, this week I was picking leaves out of my beard on arrival back home.
Distance : 30 kilometres
Weather : 18°C, light wind, sunny.
Day 8 – April 29
A short shopping trip on Brompton. Nothing special BUT another day in the saddle!
Distance : 4.4 kimometers
Weather : not too bad!
Day 9 – April 30 – last day of challenge!!
Colin and I had a ride out to Bishopsbourne.
On the way we saw a group of vehicles at the level crossing on Bishopsbourne Road. The first was an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) badged car. There was a video camera at the crossing. Initially I thought we would be interviewed to ask how we would be voting tomorrow in the State Election. No – that wasn’t the case.
Down the road a piece and we met someone who knew what was happening. She told us a train had hit a group of cows on the rail line. Yes, it was on the news this evening. Without any pictures of yours truely!~!~ but with distant pictures of dead cows being loaded onto a truck.
On a different topic, the lady also confirmed that the fires burning all week in the next paddock were indeed caused by peat burning underground.
We continued to Bishopsbourne and returned with nothing further to report – a quiet end to this last day of 30 rides in 30 days in April 2021. A celebratory coffee and cake (thanks Colin (coffee) and Jeanette (cake)) was enjoyed in Longford afterwards.
Distance : 32 kilometres
Weather : Cloudy and warm(ish).
This week’s bit of trivia.
Back in 1953 a BBC Radio program began – ‘Journey into Space‘.
Apparently at times in Britain it had more listeners than TV had viewers. This was not hard as, until 1955, there was only one TV channel (BBC – not BBC1, 2 or any other number). Few people had TVs anyway. Dad worked for Pye (?) at the time and bought a set in 1953 so that we could watch HM QE2’s coronation. I recall our post-war prefab being filled with people who came to watch. Adults on chairs at the back, kids on the floor in front, all watching a very small black and white TV screen while supping cups of tea.
Anyway, back to Journey into Space, it was a “must listen” for me. I was 7 when the program began and so I don’t remember the story – just that I enjoyed it. This week I found that, although the BBC overwrote the tapes soon after broadcast, some recordings survived. In 1986, a set of misfiled Transcription Service discs (produced for sale to overseas radio stations) was discovered and now it’s been turned into a podcast.
I can listen to them on the phone while cycling!! Who’d a’ thought that back in 1953?
One last thing. I recently uncovered a Word file containing my posts to CrazyGuyOnABike when I toured for a month in Victoria. I have decided to add the tour to these pages – with improved images. So you will have noticed that start of a series of posts which do not relate to current cycling. I can’t suppress the emails going out to tell you a new Post has been made so, dear reader, please don’t get upset.
Til next time ……………..