It’s Spring tomorrow !!

Hey look – the sheep are already into it!

To take the above pictures I had stopped along the roadside and a farming type nearby seemed to think I looked suspicious – after all sheep aren’t that exciting are they? Probably thinking “maybe a sheep duffer, casing the joint?” “At least he can’t get away with a lamb on that thing” – I was on Bluey. My actual thought was “don’t worry mate – these aren’t old enough … yet!!”.

The Winter continued with the wet and windy days, riding had to be shoehorned into the good bits and the ground remains soggy to this day. So, how am I going with the annual distance challenge?

Currently :

The distance required to be reached today is eight twelfths of 5,000 kilometers which = 3333.33k recurring. As you can see I am 3.73 kilometers short. Maybe later today I will be able to sneak out into the weather to knock that over with trip to the shops. Too wet as of now though.

So, what have I been doing in the wet times? Well, one important task was to work out a way of fitting the Veltop to the carrier; in a way that doesn’t interfere with the panniers.

I got me some wood, some threaded inserts and some bolts and made a wooden clamp. On the rear of the clamp is a light pole and holes for the flags. The panniers lock in without interference or rubbing as the Veltop fitting is now higher and out the way.

The initial “trip around the block” showed everything is staying in place, flag doesn’t fall out and the lights are visible – so far so good. I can extend the canopy top further forward but will wait until there is some sun before fiddling with the detailed settings.

While out and about in Launceston getting bracket parts together, I visited the Nut and Bolt shop.

I had walked into the enemies nest!! The above complicated and messy poster is all about their hatred of the proposed shared path Rail Trail from Scottsdale to Launceston. This group got the proposal referred to the State Government who then did a Solomon and cut the route in half. Wielding the sword they said there should be a Rail Trail from Scottsdale to Lilydale and then a heritage railway from Lilydale to Launceston. These buggers still want it all but, as far as I know, have no actual plan on how to fund a heritage railway or how to ensure it pays its way.

Not wanting to waste time with a useless debate on the issue, I was in, purchasing and out again while refraining from telling them that I wanted the special bolts for a bicycle project!!

Sue and I have been visiting a Bowen Therapist to fix our aches and pains. It’s going well. Sue was threatened with a visit to the replacement hip surgeon but has found it is not needed. My shoulders are responding well and some suggested treatment for the arthritis in my hands is helping. All good.

While waiting for Sue one day I decided to be dropped at the Gorge and go for a walk. Along the way I tried using Ride with GPS to track the walk. I didn’t do it for long as it didn’t seem to be working.

I did save the walk though and found it had actually recorded OK. Thus I found the gradient of the Zig Zag track was 16.9% and the roadway I walked up after was 17.something%, both of which proved I should stick to cycling as my walking muscles aren’t the best.

The Gorge is the point where all the water that flows past Longford empties out into the kanamaluka / River Tamar. There is a dam above the Gorge for Launceston’s water supply but when water is released – or flows over the top – it can get exciting in the Gorge.

Sometimes water flows all over the green lawns in the foreground and hundreds of tons of timber are deposited as the floods recede.

On this day there was a bit of a flow but nothing to draw the crowds.

I did find the lower track to the cafe was flooded though and so had to tackle the Zig Zag track. On the way I passed this :

There are lots of Peacocks in the Gorge – particularly near the Cafe. This one must have been lost!

On the way back on the road I came across a Mum and child intently watching this:

Kookaburra – very tame

Another day and something interesting happened! Ken of Huonville has decided to purchase an adult tricycle. He has trouble walking now but likes doing some of his own shopping. The Huonville Supermarket has confirmed he can ride a tricycle around the shop – so steps were taken and a pedalec tricycle ordered from a dealer in Prospect – close to Launceston.

Ken drove up and we went over to check out his new bike. Ken had a special built with a 26″ front wheel and 20″ rear wheels. The first ride was an experience that Ken didn’t enjoy. A second tricycle with 24″ wheels all around was pulled out and given to me to ride. I immediately understood Ken’s concerns as it was tricky to steer!! To a cyclist used to being on 2 wheels and leaning into corners, this style of bike feels top heavy, like you are perched on top and steering is done using the handlebars as a tiller. We both spent too much time trying to steer by leaning – this just doesn’t work. Anyway, after a while we got the hang of it and then loaded Ken’s new bike into his car. I will call later and see how he is going with it.

What else has happened? Oh yes. Sue and I drove down to Carlton and handed the Bike E over to Phil the e-bike man. I have ordered a Bafang hubbed rear wheel for it and I also asked him to fit my “spare” Schlumpf Mountain Drive to the front crank. This MD came with Bluey as it was part of the original drivetrain and was removed when the previous owner had a mid-drive motor fitted. Maybe he didn’t know what they were worth ($840+ today) – or he was just sick of triking and got rid of everything trike related in one go when I bought Bluey.

The current transmission on the Bike E is the original single chainring and 3×7 SRAM rear set up. Probably the original chain too. All dating from 1998 or thereabouts. (I know this because I found an old archived Bike E website yesterday. It said that after 1998 they reworked the stand so it didn’t come loose. The stand on mine is loose no matter what you do to it!) Whatever, the current transmission is a bit creaky and grumbly so I reckon a completely new set-up c/w electric motor should make Bike E a bit of fun to ride. I may also find it easier to group ride using it instead of the trike. We shall see.

I am going with the idea that a small sprocket cassette and the Mountain Drive will give a decent range of gears – high enough to get along a bit on the flat and low enough to ride home should the motor cark it.

Not sure of the exact teeth count on the cassette yet but the chart above gives some idea. The mountain drive has a 56 tooth ring on it. When the drive is changed down to the lower range, it is the equivalent of a 23 tooth chainring.

For power, I want to use the batteries I already have, so planned on putting the battery attachment point on the rear – after the seat. I didn’t fancy having the battery forward of the seat in the event of fire. Roasted chestnuts anyone?

Sue pointed out that using the rear would mean I couldn’t get the seat off. Initially that didn’t seem a problem but, thinking about it, it is. Phil has suggested placing the battery under the frame and will see if that will work. He also suggested giving the bike a paint job! I am not fussed. If it looks daggy maybe nobody would be interested in pinching it.

The bike will be ready for pickup in a week or so.

Next Sunday is the Tweed Ride for 2021. The 2020 ride was cancelled due to covid but we should be up and away this year. This picture advertising the event was featured in the Examiner newspaper this week – spot the Tony !! (The one with the Brompton).

’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's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

3 thoughts on “It’s Spring tomorrow !!”

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