May 2021 – not a VRT post !

The first full week of May was not a good week for cycling for me.

It started OK with a 55k ride with Colin to Carrick. Then, while the gas heater was being serviced before winter, we were told we had a gas leak in the house. This meant time had to be spent at home while the fitters hunted for the leak, found 3 (!) and then fixed them. That took 2 days.

We are awaiting the bill.

Then there were other things to do and some bad weather to experience so, by Sunday, I had written off the week as a very ordinary cycling week.


Carrick is a good ride. Just a pity the rest of the week didn’t match up.

The weather was good, sunny, little wind and warmish. We pedalled the normal way out to Bishopsbourne with nothing out of the ordinary happening.

We did pass a working irrigation pivot the water from which was displaying nice rainbows.

Irrigator Rainbow

Down Pitts Lane and out onto Oaks Road where we noticed the ever extended berry farm is just setting up another area for irrigation – presumably before erecting yet more berry greenhouses over the top. Again we wondered where all the berries go and how they are picked in these backpackerless covid times. We seem to be short of guest workers as well as backpackers so, just who is doing all the work?

Just after the berry farm, we passed a sign advising that the road will be closed in the mornings for the next few days. This is to accommodate traffic going into Agfest – the largest Tasmanian ag show which is on this May after being cancelled last year due to Covid. A complex temporary system of one way roads keeps the traffic flowing in, in the morning and out, in the afternoon. It works really well.

This year the attendee numbers are capped and tickets have to be purchased on-line to allow some sort of numbers control. It’s been controversial as sporting events are now uncapped. The reasoning is that, at a sporting event, you have numbered seating so, in the event of a covid outbreak, the trackers would have some clue as to who was there and who they were close to. As Agfest is a free-roaming event that would be more difficult. Also, a lot of the exhibitors are from the mainland. Fingers crossed – let’s hope covid stays away.

As we cycled past the Agfest gates we had to thread our way past lots of vehicles coming off the Bass Highway. It was the last day for setting up with the show opening to the public tomorrow so, very busy.

We pulled into Carrick for lunch. There were no tasty Lamb and Relish sandwiches left in the cafe as all these Agfest people had cleaned them out! I had to settle for a white bread ham and cheese. Luckily the coffee isn’t too bad at all.

We started back and went through a newly set up residential area along Charlie’s Lane. It has been divided up into larger, lifestyle blocks for people who have a bit of brass. Here the sheds are often more numerous and larger than the houses. I’d love to know what’s in them! The entire length of the development has good looking white post and rail fencing. I checked it out – plastic ! Re-cyclable I hope.

The first part of the route back runs under the Bass Highway and has a steepish climb out. There was the normal set of roadside killed animals there and I was checking them out and thought “by gum, they stink more than usual today”. Later on we were overtaken by an SUV towing a trailer with a plastic portable dunny aboard.

An example of a portable dunny – from Alexandra 2017

The aroma following it was terrible – human waste several years old by the smell of it. Then Colin said “Second time today!”. It must have passed while I was looking at the dead on the initial climb – and the steepness of the hill probably allowed the portaloo to overflow into the trailer.

A bit further along and I was daydreaming again when I suddenly woke up to the fact that something roaring and huge was bearing down on me. I took to the gravel. It was some sort of over wide agricultural vehicle being driven too fast. It filled the narrow road with about 500mm on either side and was swaying about as it travelled. Where was it’s pilot vehicle in front and behind? Why didn’t it slow down?

And then – believe it or not – the portaloo on the trailer overtook us again!! It still stank. It’s a lucky person who has to clean that assembly out tonight.

Once we turned left at Bishopsbourne things returned to normal and the rest of the journey home was without incident.

That’s it for this week. Still no news on the tow bar so still can’t venture far afield.

Expect some more of the VRT posts and soon we will be back to normal.

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.

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