At last – a good ride !

The arrow is pointing at the sun! or somewhere close. It has been a poor week for cycling with lots of days looking like this, or, if the skies have been clearer, we had other things to do. Mostly though it was grey and wet and windy. I checked the Panshanger weather site a few times and saw we were experiencing wind gusts of over 60kph at times. So, all in all, not good cycling weather.

However !!

On Sunday – a great day dawned

Eager for a ride I hopped onto Bluey and took off on the 30k ride to Bishopsbourne. I have ridden this ride a lot recently but this was rather special after 6 gloomy days.

As soon as I left Longford the frog song became very noticeable. With so much rain having fallen there were puddles everywhere, paddocks were topped by sitting water and all dams were overflowing. With all this water the frogs had woken up and were croaking. Up the first Wilmore’s Lane hill (Rip) I stopped and took a Frog App recording which was uploaded to the Australian Museum frog team. Citizen science in action.

The stop and waiting for the recording to happen was enough for me to realise it was going to be windy and the wind was rather cool. Expecting this I had worn my ancient handspun jumper and included hand warmers in the mitts. So I was dressed for conditions.

Further along Wilmore’s Lane

I can’t recall a farm dam at this point, certainly not one that reaches the electricity pylon.

Not a pond!

These swans had made themselves at home on a stretch of water formed alongside the railway track by water running off the paddock!

Lots of water filling “official” dams.

If this rain keeps on then we will be reaching the stage where it’s difficult to get agriculture machinery on the land without a risk of getting bogged.

The wetlands at the end of Wilmore’s Lane is full

The ride continued with stops for photographs, frog call recording and the occasional rubbish pickup.

Approaching Bishopsbourne and I found a cycle race in progress

I passed a Marshall at the junction with Armstrong Lane. He told me that the riders were cycling 3 loops of Green Rises Road and Armstrong Lane. By now they were in 4 groups with a few stragglers. I passed a couple of stragglers going the other way.

A great wattle in Bishopsbourne

Through Bishopsbourne runs an open irrigation channel from a dam outside town to a paddock on the other side. It’s like a small ditch in the gutter with control plates now and again. It was running well on Sunday.

This group of newly planted trees is being watered!

At the above site the frogs were very noticeable so yet another recording was uploaded. Just a bit back up the road a couple of Larks were taking to the air – steady on, it’s not Spring yet!

Nearly into Longford the road crosses Back Creek. Looking towards town it was pretty obvious that the creek had broken the banks and headed out into the nearby farmland.

This is the overflowing Back Creek

I returned home past the creek and was impressed as to how far the water had spread. It was running quite fast over a newly ploughed paddock. It wasn’t hard to imagine some of the top soil being carried off, down into the South Esk and along to kanamaluka / River Tamar where it will add to that river’s silt problem.

Where Back Creek sits there is quite a bit of lower land out from Longford so it would take quite a flood to actually start wetting the town. Let’s hope the water hydraulics planning people have got it right as a little further on a new housing development is taking place close to the creek.

So, a varied and interesting ride which included a 47 kph downhill along both “Rumble” and “Rack” – this speed indicated the tailwind was pretty strong (it had gained in strength during the ride) and, just maybe, the Veltop acts as a sail!


Veltop

Veltop? What is that about?

Second attempt at fitting the Veltop

In my last post I reported on the ordering of a Veltop and the order status remaining as “processing”. Well, after 9 days I emailed the company asking what was happening. Half an hour after that there was a knock on the door; the Courier was delivering a package. I was expecting an Ebay package to do with a sawdust removal system for the scroll saw so imagine my surprise to see Veltop tape all over the box!! Yes, it arrived from France in 9 days.

I put the parcel to one side for a day to allow any covid germs to piss off but then could wait no longer.

Initially I thought there would be no problem fitting it as the rack attachment bracket was smaller than some I had seen on YouTube. However, it won’t go further back than the position shown above and this does not leave enough room for the Arkel panniers. I tried putting the bracket at the front of the rack but that means the upper hardware then hits my head – which would be a bit annoying.

So, what to do?

Perhaps file a couple of projections off the back of the rack and try and move it further back. If that doesn’t work then get a couple of extra rails welded onto the outside of the rack. In the meantime I have left the Veltop on and tucked all the front part away in the back part of the cover which acts as storage when the top has to be taken down on a windy day. This is how I rode on Sunday (see first picture) and it all worked OK.


Now it’s Monday, grey and raining once more.

’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!

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