After waking with a few Covid symptoms I booked in for a test. A poke around the throat and nostrils with a long stick and 24 hours later, the symptoms had receded and the result came back – negative. So, time for a ride!
The Bicycle Network, Tasmania had a ride on at Gunns Plains last weekend. I rode this same ride with them last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. So, I went for a second go.
Initially I was going to camp at the Wildlife Park again but the weather has been so wet I decided against it. I was glad because on Saturday we had a complete day of rain which has left heaps of water in the paddocks. With no caravan, sitting in a tent wouldn’t have been much fun.
It was a fair drive to the start on Sunday. Not helped by the initial detour out of Longford. The rail crossing is being repaired / updated so that exit from town is shut off and we had to take a 15 minute detour to get to the Illawarra Road. After that it was plain sailing into and past Devonport. It was when I turned left towards Leven Canyon things went awry. I turned too early and ended up using the GPS to get back on track. That took me to the top of the hill we cycle up from Gunns Plain – only to find the road shut. The detour this time took me back down the hills and around and into Gunns Plains. It left the question, what would we be doing? The main connector for our ride was closed!
First things first. I arrived at the meet point with a few minutes to spare. Parked the car plus trailer out of the way and unloaded.
Apparently the ride leader had driven past the detour signs and taken a look at the problem. Yesterday there had been a rock slide (plus a few trees and bush) which had blocked the road at one point. It was thought we could get through OK so we set off enjoying what was a really nice morning with sun, little cloud and no river mist.
We cycled up towards Preston Falls. The climb was good – no cars to hassle us. The road block was managed by lifting up the red tape and going under. Passing the site of the rockfall it could be seen that the damage had been cleared up but there was the possibility of more to come. Recent rains have undermined the steep bank and several large rocks looked a bit wobbly. The suggestion that we hurl a few rocks up to loosen things was quickly discounted and everyone safely passed by.
Soon we were at the walking trail leading to Preston Falls. They should be worth a look following the rains – and they were.
Back on the bikes we continued up the empty, detoured road to the top. There we joined up with a larger road (it even has a centre line) for the next leg, an undulating run with steep descents. I have had the Bike E up to 44-45kph before this and it seemed quite steady on the road. On the first descent I registered 54kph before slowing and, on the second, let it go some more and saw 60kph on the speedo. The sidewinds gave us a nudge or two so I braked at that point. This is great when I recall how, when Ken first lent the bike to me 2-3 years ago, it skittered about while descending, going all over the place . The new front wheel with good bearings solved that problem.
That leg complete, the last stage of this ride is the glorious descent back down to Gunns Plains. This is a twisty ride and I took it a bit carefully as I haven’t yet fully mastered the bike and leaning it over too far it feels a bit like riding a “bendy” bike. The rains had also left gravel and tree debris on the road surface which needed to be avoided. Whatever, it was still a good downhill even though I limited the speed to the early 40s (kph).
All up, a good ride which was followed by a good feed at the Cafe (buffalo pie, salad and chips) and a drive home, without further detours.
Here is a short video of some of the ride.
’til next time …………………..