Yep. Still not ready. Phil has been quite unwell so unable to do too much work.
The snow scene was at the end of September. We went into the Tiers on a route finding mission. As you can see, we found snow. We also found the campsite I was interested in. Unfortunately it was too far from home and had no power – so not a good place to ride to. Still, it was a nice drive!
Colin had to spend a day taking his car into Launceston to get a tow bar fitted. He also took his trike in and we met up for a ride.
Our meeting point had to change. The free car park has been taken over by the University development and is being turned into – a car park! This time one where the user pays. The work is not finished yet so we weren’t allowed to park there.
I found space a bit further down the road and we met up and headed into the Heritage Park for a looksee. It was quite damp in there after the recent rains and, as the park is the top of the old Launceston tip, one does wonder what chemicals are coming up with the waters. It wasn’t crowded so cycling the gravel tracks was OK. A few dogs and kids to be avoided but nothing toxic.
Then we headed off on the levee top trails looking for coffee. We ended up in Kings Park and found a pleasant place – a juice bar in the Yacht Club. As well as juice they do a mean coffee. As we sat sipping, an older couple came past on their e-bikes. It looked like the bloke (in the lead) was not enjoying life at all. His face was a grim picture of “what the fuck am I doing this for”. His Wife / Partner following managed a watery smile while making sure he didn’t catch sight of her looking happy.
After starting out cloudy, the weather took one of it’s sudden turns for the better. We cycled around for a bit crossing the North Esk on the new bridge. This was odd. The bridge has long, long ramps up it as well as a flight of steps. Presumably the ramps are for cyclists as the bridge does access shared paths. On the non-city side though the shared paths split – one bit for walkers, the other for cyclists. The cycling path doesn’t access the ramp. We did though – trikes can suddenly get rebadged as mobility aids.
It was an enjoyable cycle around the town but the sort of explore you only want to do say, hmmm, once a year.
The remaining cycling for the period has been around the Plains.
In all sky conditions though it’s windy. It’s Spring. It’s Windy.
The wind has given me a lot of ride time to come to understand how the canopy deals with it. Results :
- Wind to the rear – great! Just like a second electric motor;
- Wind at 4 to 8 o’clock – generally OK. Swirls of wind to the side are a little unsettling;
- Wind at 3 and 9 o’clock – generally OK too;
- Wind at 2 and 10 o’clock – definitely cause drag. The trike (plus me) is always slower with this sort of wind but the canopy multiplies the effect. Strong side winds set things abuzzing but it doesn’t feel like things are about to fall in;
- Winds ahead. The worst – as would be expected. The canopy tends to arch it’s back as the wind gets caught up inside. The two front poles angle backwards, the front of the roof comes down a bit – reminds me of a surprised cat. That’s when I stop and take down the canopy and store it in the back;
- Descending on a calm day. Speeds of up to 45kph reached without the canopy arching;
- Passing traffic – one truck passed, the type that displaces a vast wall of air to the sides. The canopy couldn’t cope and it hit me on the helmet. I suspect it suffered from “arched cat” syndrome, arched enough to bring the front right in to cause the hit.
So – does it shade ? Well, yes it does. Each week the sun rides a little higher in the sky and the shading ability of the canopy improves.
Will I continue with it? Yes I will. OK, it does drag a bit but what I have is a touring trike which is quite weighty anyway and will be even more so once camping gear is loaded – so it’s worth a bit of extra effort between me and the battery to keep the sun off.
Around the Norfolk Plains
These skies are the norm. Crops, like this field of canola, are growing well. On YouTube I saw someone cycling through a canola cropping the UK – plants up to their shoulders. I wonder if we farm a low-growing crop because of the winds. I know we source low growing poppies for that reason.
Farm dams are full of water. Full to overflowing. This must please the farmers immensely. Imagine the different between poor winter rains and heading into the growing season with dry soils and limited water compared to today’s scene with everyone almost floating with already wet soils and brimming dams.
A little further on past the above field I was cycling past a field of grasses. There were a number of skylarks floating up in the air like mini-drones while tweeting a lot of noise (oh dear – just reminded – the Donald). Also flying over the field were two Swamp Harriers. Made me think – do the Harriers give the skylarks some sort of permit to exist? Maybe though there’s just not enough meat in a skylark to interest the Harriers.
The protected wetlands are also full of water. They can just be seen in the above shot. The funny thing is there aren’t may birds in there right now.
Masked Lapwings (old name – Plovers)
If you cycle around Longford for any period you will cycle past Masked Lapwings. Small groups take over bits of the nature strip and proceed to have their kids. Baby ML’s are born with a full covering of down and are able to leave the nest and feed themselves just a few hours after hatching. They look like small balls of fluff with legs.
I read recently that Tasmania has 50% of the world’s supply of Masked Lapwings. If that is true Longford is certainly home to it’s share.
The birds have a spur on each wing and use these to protect their young – by diving on the enemy. So, we cycle past Lapwing groups, see little balls of fluff and expect an attack. The local birds must know us and don’t feel threatened so an attack never comes. Fingers crossed! 🤞
What I don’t understand is where are all the local cats?
I won’t mention Bike E again this post !
’til next time …………….