Winter Sunshine

Since the Deloraine weekend we have been enjoying some calm, sunny weather. The days start with a frost and temps of -2 or -3°C building to a maximum around 10°-12°C if we are lucky.

Riding in these conditions isn’t too bad as long as you delay your start time so that the sun removes the frost and the hand warmers are in the gloves. Plus a big old jumper is on under the windproof top! I am using my 30+ year old hand spun, hand knitted one again this year. It would seem that as age increases one feels the cold more. When I was a kid in the UK, the wealthy elderly abandoned ship to winter in the south of France or Monaco leaving us working class to deal with the snow and ice. Singapore comes to mind as somewhere nice and warm for the Tasmanian elderly.

Daydreaming aside, we have managed to take advantage of the improved weather to get a few kilometers in and keep healthy. Here are some snippets from the week.


Battery

A few posts ago I reported a battery failure and that I had handed the battery over to Patrick. He offered to check it and, if it was a simple fix ,he would repair and hand it back but, if it was more serious, then Patrick could keep it and use any cells that remained useable in his next battery creation.

Once opened it was apparent that a wire had broken loose, shaken off by vibrations. Patrick was able to reconnect it and then, true to his word, let me know all was OK. Sue and I drove over and picked it up last weekend.

Before picking up the battery we took the opportunity to take a look at the Rubicon estuary.

The battery was reading 38v instead of the previous 27v when I connected it to Bluey, so on Monday I loaded up both batteries (the spare in case of failure) and, with Colin, went on the 30k ride to Bishopsbourne. It went well so, on the return, I put the unit on charge. This went well too.

On Tuesday Colin and I did the ride again. Again the battery performed as expected so I think we can say it’s fixed!! Big shout out to a good bloke, Patrick.


Excuse for a picture

I cycled to the local shops this week and found one of the trees in the car park bravely showing some blossom.

Silly blossom – a month or two early

Bafang motor and set-up

Now that the Deloraine weekend is over it was time to remove the 52 tooth chainring and re-install the 46.

Over the past few weeks there has been a high-pitched whistle coming from the motor. After trawling through various e-bike forums on the Net, I found reference to greasing the driving gears. The need to do this as a maintenance item was not in the information sheets that came with the motor but I liked the idea and realised I could do the job at the same time as swapping over the rings. So I did.

Afterwards I took the trike on a ride and set up the OSMO camera at the front. It picks up the whistle really well, much better than my hearing can. Let’s say that adding the grease has resulted in the whistle being reduced in volume and pitch – so (hopefully) something is right.

While net trawling I found not a few people whinging because their Bafangs had packed it in before they had travelled a mere 1,000 kilometers. I wonder why this is so. Mine has now travelled over 6,000 and shows no signs of discomfort – apart from that whistle. Maybe it’s to do with hill climbing and expecting the motor to take them up and over while they are riding in top gear; or fiddling with the controller settings, upping the power too much; or putting too many amps through the controller. All I know is I have one example of treating it right and I have no problems.

There, that’s probably hexed it!


Let’s get a lump of wood

Finally a ride description!

There is is !

The frosty, sunny, still weather continued until Friday when I decided to take a short ride out to Woolmer’s and then extended it to past Panshanger’s to seek a chunk of firewood I had spotted a couple of weeks ago. It had fallen off a trailer or out of a ute and was lying there ready for me to forage. The only trouble was it was too long to fit in the panniers so I had to leave it there.

Today I happened to have a couple of ockie straps with me and an empty carrier top so extending the ride to the log was on.

As I rolled down the hill past Brickenden I caught sight of a contrail way up in the blue sky. Yes, passenger aircraft are flying again and this one was off to Melbourne. I believe even flights Hobart to New Zealand are back on the cards after a sorting out a bit of covid in NZ.

The road here rolls nicely

At Woolmer’s I hung about on the bridge over the Macquarie watching several swallows dart about over the scummy still water that has crept into the shallows with the high water levels.

Then it was up the hill away from the river and off to Panshanger Lane. There was a deep “Whockawhocka” coming from a helicopter. Couldn’t see it at first but then it appeared, hopping over a hedgerow before banking and going back, diving down to continue it’s crop spraying adventure. Not far away from it I spotted a large model plane being flown from the Panshanger model aircraft field. Soon it landed and no more took off – perhaps they didn’t want to interfere with the ‘copter.

I stopped, took out the camera and waited for the crop sprayer to reappear. It took a surprising amount of time and I had just decided it had gone home when, with a roar, it appeared once more. Bugger. Couldn’t find it in the viewfinder – or did I? A check onscreen told me the camera battery was nearly out so I didn’t bother waiting around for another shot. Besides it was a bit chilly just standing there.

Out of focus – no hedge to be seen – lucky to get a shot at all !

Now, where had I seen that lump of wood? A bit further on I thought – and I needed to press on anyway as I reckoned a good 30k ride today would see me with 100k in the bank for the week. About 5k later I saw it. Still there. I rode on past and took my distance out to 15k then returned to pick it up.

See – much too long to fit in the pannier

Log loaded I set off back to Longford. Job done.

On the way passing early Wattle blossom. Smells like Spring.

Some time ago, while on a ride, I had used the Frog ID app to record frogs on the way to Woolmer’s. On Friday I received a response from the Australian Museum telling me that the frog type was Crinia Signifera with a link to this https://www.frogid.net.au/frogs/crinia-signifera. Ah, we know these frogs well. Often they hide in the garden making quite a din but you can hardly ever find them. When you start to close in they shut up. When you move away, off they go again.

That’s it for now .. ’til next time


PS: Here is a short video from the Deloraine Weekend

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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