Autumn on the Norfolk Plains

The tow bar should be fitted to the car next week. I am not convinced it will happen ……. but ……. we will see.

Why is it important? Once fitted I will be able to tow the trailer with the trike inside and visit areas other than the Norfolk Plains.

For now though all riding starts at home and involves the plains. There follows a few thoughts on things.

Keeping hands warm

It’s gradually getting cooler and bird bath glaciation is becoming more frequent. I have used a few of the hand warmer packets left over from last year and found they fit very nicely in some new mitts I purchased from a hiking shop. They are based on fingerless gloves but with a natty pull-over mitt end to cover the fingertips as required. The hand warming packet of stuff fits into the mitt end and, when the whole thing is covered with a separate outer windproof mitt, it’s quite cosy. Surprisingly I can also operate the trike controls.

Like with all gloves though – remember to set Ride with GPS running on the phone BEFORE squeezing into the gloves.

Weather

The weather has been a mixed bag. Often with light winds and cloudy. A check of the radar on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website is useful. Yesterday the clouds were a dark grey and covering the sky. A check on the radar showed only a speck of rain over Cradle Mountain. Nothing anywhere else. Colin and I rode to Bishopsbourne and back without hitting any rain so it was right.

As we got closer to the Tiers there was a little bit of water in the air – like a mist – but it wasn’t laying down damp anywhere.

The river levels are higher than in summer but nowhere close to flooding.

The Macquarie near Woolmers
Same place – the kayak launching ramp is in a perfect position at the moment – usually it’s high and dry, well above the river

Riding

To make my challenge to self of 5,000 kilometers in 2021 I have to average 100k per week.

Heading towards the end of June, the halfway mark, I have already covered 2,234 kilometers so should be able to get to 2,500 easily by 30 6 21. This is heartening.

I am varying the plains rides as much as possible by tacking extra loops onto the simple Bishopsbourne and back. One I would like to try next is an extended loop involving Bracknell, Carrick and Bishopsbourne. It should be a 60-65k ride. I have found the service station at Carrick does a ‘not too bad’ coffee and sometimes has a lamb and (local) relish sandwich left by the time I get there. This makes it a good stopping point for rest and refreshment. I feel awkward asking for the coffee though as there is only one person serving and, by the time the coffee is ready, there is usually quite a buildup of impatient though often jovial farmer/tradie type customers in their hi-vis jackets.

A couple of these decent loops in a week gets the total up satisfactorily while providing plenty of interest with varying scenic views and encounters with wildlife.

This little chap was sunning itself in the road. I watched a car narrowly miss it so I moved it to the side. It didn’t want to go.

Video

Believe it or not I have been given a bit of a “hurry-up” because there has been no new video for a while. I apologise.

Expect more to follow as I cycle new territory further from home.

Up-Coming Rides

Totally dependant on availability of trailer. However one set in June must happen somehow. I am leading 2 rides over one weekend for the NW group. The first is a ride from Deloraine out to Meander and the second is from Westbury out to Four Springs Lake.

To do these group rides sometime ago I fitted a larger chainring and have been using more battery power in a bid to up my speed to group speed. Yesterday, during our ride, Colin and I were caught up by Rob and David. Rob has a home-made Cruzbike style 2 wheel electric recumbent and his friend David rides a touring bike – and is just back from a Victorian cycle tour.

A shot by Colin from Evandale some time ago. The red cruz-bike lookalike is Rob’s machine

After a chat they took off and I rode behind them for a while to see if I could match their pace. I could – this looks promising for riding with the NW Group.

COVID

Sue and I have had our first covid vaccination shots. Sue just slept well that night while I had almost all the common side effects but only for a day. A small price to pay for something that will prevent me dying, gasping for air with COPD lungs not working.

When we have had our second shots and if Australia’s vaccination program gathers speed and if covid in Australia is still under control by March 2022 then I have a mainland tour planned!

That’s all for now. Til next time ………

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!

3 thoughts on “Autumn on the Norfolk Plains”

  1. Hi Tony, Happy Birthday for the 11th and thanks for the video. I’m zeroing in on the delivery of my first trike, an ancient GTR that looks in good condition and has been well loved. Can’t wait to get some camping trips under my belt. Who knows I may get to Tassie? Meanwhile I’ve discovered the Central West Cycling Trail west of me in the Hunter which offers a safe and scenic 400k of triking, as something solid to aim for. Keep inspiring us Newbies. 🙂

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    1. That looks like a ripper of a trail – decent distance between towns, interesting towns and countryside in a great part of Australia. When we lived in NSW we really enjoyed exploring the area around Mudgee, Gulgong etc. Remember well driving through the arboretum at Wellington hoping we wouldn’t make any sort of spark ‘cos it was soo dry there. That would be a really good triking trail.

      The GTR should be a strong trike. My friend in Huonville has a GTO which looks similar and is also made from Chromoly. It’s nice and light and rides well – the previous owner had fitted nice low gears for trike touring with a load. Bought now you should be ready for a tour in the spring!

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  2. Well done on getting in the kms for your goal… you are going well this year! And good on you for leading the rides – I hope the tow bar is installed on time. It will be nice to have the choice to ride elsewhere even if you still decide to do something from home. Choice is always good!

    I’ve put in my resignation but don’t have a set end date yet… just sometime in the next 4 weeks once we figure out who is going to replace me. I’m eyeing off plenty of sleep for July and August, but then thinking about a west/southwest VIC ride in spring with short daily kms. Rumours are the 40-49s on the NSW side of the border will be eligible for vaccination soon. My driver’s licence is NSW, so I have registered my interest and hope some Pfizer is coming my way soon-ish and will feel a bit safer after that. I thought there wasn’t any coming until Sept for my age group, but who knows!

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