In September there were good riding conditions at times so I took the opportunities as they came along. Then there were the other days which allowed me to stay at home to help Oscar (the dog) get over his cruciate ligament surgery. We had two weeks of stopping him trying to remove the stitches himself.
Early in the first week I rode the 60k route to Carrick. Amongst other wildlife I spotted Hare, Swallows, Swamp Harriers, very small lambs and Ravens looking for a feed on dead lambs.
Instead of using my normal lunch spot in town I had chosen to use the picnic area by the Liffey River. The picnic table area was OK but the river was looking muddy and full of timber after recent rains. Not nice at all.
While lunching I spotted this notice. Hmm .. not sure what it meant. “Danger Live Range”. Firing Range? Live electric fence?
After lunch and brewing a coffee, I saw a steep gravel path leading away from the picnic spot going up towards the Pub. On the way out I decided to explore and I found it did, indeed, lead me out onto the road via the Pub car park. The slope was interestingly steep at 9.8% according to the often shaky gradient figures from Ride with GPS. Nearly 10% on gravel with single rear wheel drive gave some slippage but not too much. Just don’t step on it suddenly as then the tyre will spin. Interesting. Jacobs Ladder, in the Ben Lomond National Park, a gravel climb I have wanted to try for ever, goes up to 13.5% (again according to Ride with GPS). I might be able to climb it. Another project !!
Launceston Tweed Ride 2022
Part of the Junction Arts Festival
The Weather Bureau has told us La Niña is back – ready to give eastern Australia a third consecutive wet spring and summer. True to form, rainy weather was forecast for the next week and it started raining on the Friday before the Tweed Ride.
However, the Sunday dawned with blue sky showing between the clouds and the clouds were fluffy – not grey with flat bottoms about to release water.
Colin and I donned our tweed for 2022, put our trikes in the trailer and towed said trailer up to Launceston. It was a simple matter to unload and cycle a couple of blocks up to Princes Square, the scene of the Junction Arts Festival of which the Tweed Ride is part.
We turned up on time, signed in, collected our ride numbers and then looked for coffee. There was only one stall. It didn’t have skinny milk . 😱 So I widened my coffee experience by having one with Oat “Milk” and another (later in the day) with Soy “Milk”. Soy wins for me.
The rain held off although it did look a bit threatening at times. Around 50 people took part in the ride and I guess the numbers were down a bit due to the forecast of showers. There seemed more people around town though and we got a lot of cheers, waves and cat calls.
I let the 360 camera roll throughout the event. Unfortunately I was trying to enjoy the ‘Oat’ latte when it was time to start so I simply clicked the “Go” button without checking settings. I used the wrong colour balance – hmm – thought it was set to automatic. Anyway the footage is dark but maybe I can do something with it.
After celebrating the ride with a gin and tonic plus a cucumber sandwich or two, we had a look around the parked bikes. Here are a couple of interesting ones.
Claud Butler bikes were initially made in London and by the late 1950’s the company was mixed up with Holdsworth. I think the bikes continued to be made in London – Lewisham comes to mind. Anyway, they were a desired bike when I was a young lad. Claud Butler and Dawes (made in Birmingham) were the go. Note the twin gear change levers on the down tube. Classic.
The video. Yes .. I managed to salvage some footage. Have a look :
Items of interest while riding in September.
starring in a Movie
I was riding along Wilmore’s Lane, climbing the hill approaching the level crossing, when a ute coming the other way stopped. I wondered why. Soon found out – the TasRail driver was taking footage of me on his mobile phone much to the amusement of the others in the vehicle. As I rode past he said “Just got to show my Grandson!!” . I rode on wondering …… ? What’s the interest? The trike, the old guy, the whole package?
Gravel trucks and A backhoe
This sight reminded me of the cartoons of a bloke sawing the limb off a tree – sitting on the part of the branch about to hurtle to the ground.
The backhoe was busy keeping 3 gravel trucks full. They were dashing between the quarry and the road works on the Illawarra Road. Luckily I only shared about 500 metres with them. On the northern approach to the quarry entrance there was a “Trucks Entering” warning sign.
Then, around the corner to the south, I found the warning sign had not been erected.
So I picked it up and installed it as I felt the warning was justified.
Citizen Science – Frog ID – Award
To encourage us participants to record more frog calls, a system of badges has been implemented on the Australian Museum website. I have two so far !!
Another 9 recordings to submit before achieving 25! I have submitted 16 frog recordings and in them 4 different frog types have been identified. I am surprised, they all sound the same with the exception of the Banjo Frog.
Does the badge system encourage mature people (ie me) to submit more recordings? Yes, apparently it does! I am now trying to record one time a ride. Manipulated by blatant coercion techniques .. hell yes!!
Towards the end of the month I continued to cycle Bluey around the Plains. I was getting close to 1,000 kilometers on the Rohloff at which point an oil change is required. The running-in period creates a lot of metal particles as the gears wear in and so the oil change is needed to clear them out and, possibly, quieten down the hub. I have the oil change kit and want to get this done before starting the Edge of the World ride on the 16th October.
As I checked the kilometers, I flicked past the odometer reading giving total kilometers ridden – since the mid-drive was fitted in December 2019. Surprised I called the figure up again. Yes, a little while ago I passed 10,000 kilometers! The Bafang 250w mid-drive still works perfectly as does the original battery, although this is now sharing the duty with two others. I use them each in turn and generally try not to take them lower than 36v. For the motor I generally use levels 2 and 3 (of 9) so nothing is overworked. The results speak for themselves.
Now, how do I find the Rohloff compared to the Nuvinci?
I can say I am enjoying riding with the Rohloff immensely. It provides a greater gear range and it’s efficiency is so good I am spending much more time riding at power level 0 – ie with no electrical support. The gear change is slick and definite as long as I cut the e-power and almost stop pedalling while changing gear. Gears 1-7 are quite noisy but I don’t find it annoying. As someone on the ‘net said – it sounds like the meshing of a well made German gearbox. Gears 8-14 are very quiet and it should all quieten down following the 1,000 kilometre oil change.
Annual cycle challenge.
There is a lot of unused hay and silage bailed up and stored in the paddocks. Unused due to the damp conditions which has provided for good fodder over autumn / winter. I wonder what it can be used for?
Finally – a Corflute Project
A what? Corflute is a proprietary name for plastic boarding similar to cardboard. It’s often used for election signs as well as packaging.
Another use is for making small caravans – particularly in Germany where the DIY of tiny caravans for attaching to e-bikes is going gang-busters. I studied “how to” in a series of videos by Robert Beriault from Canada depicting how he made his very small bicycle caravan and I decided to use some of the techniques to add a box to the trailer’s flat bed. Then add, inside the (hopefully) waterproof box, a series of 4 storage boxes to hold the camping kit. My objective is to compartmentalise the gear making it easy to store, access and keep in order! Then not add too much just because space is available.
So the past few days have been spent cutting up sheets of Corflute, gluing them together and, when the hot glue alone failed, “sewing” them together with cable ties and then gluing. It’s like bush carpentry but using plastic!
The results will be severely tested during the tour to the Edge of the World.
The next post will be the overnight S36O test run prior to the main event.
’til then ……………