Since 2017 I have used an overnight trip up to Liffey Falls to check out self and gear to answer the question “Can I still cycle/camp ?”.
The trips are listed HERE.
Last Monday I headed off for this years season opening ride. The objective was to leave home around 1-1.30pm, cycle to Liffey Falls, camp overnight and be back before midday on Tuesday – making the trip an S24O one (sub 24 hour, overnight camp ride).
I had finished work on the trailer and the gear fits in nicely:
It was sunny and I set off. Approaching the Toiberry farm it became obvious that there was some rain action over the Western Tiers.
Just after I took the above shot, neighbour Pete cycled up and we had a chat.
Pete chose to head away from the Tiers and have a ride out to Carrick. I decided to go to Bracknell and check out the situation there. In my mind there was no fun continuing with the ride if it was going to be a wet night. The Liffey Falls campground is quite high in the Tiers and would be catching the rain that peters out across the plains.
With the day getting quite a dreary look, I pedalled on. The trike plus trailer combo was working well and I was using power levels 2 and 3 (out of 9) to pull everything along. Yes, there was more drag when starting from stop and going up hills but not enough to worry. It would be interesting to see just how much power it took to get up the hills after Bracknell – that would be the real test.
I soon rode into the rain – light drizzle at first, then something a little wetter. I got to Bracknell and then covered up panniers on the trike and pulled out my wet weather riding gear too. Deciding to have a brew of tea while wondering what to do, I found a problem with the trailer box design. When the cover is removed everything in the trailer is open to the elements – so stuff began to get wet! In the short time the lid was off while I located the tea making items, it seemed a lot of water got in! Plan B is called for – internal boxes with lids?
I noticed I was already coughing a bit more than was comfortable; damp air does that to me. I really didn’t fancy setting up camp in the rain or cooking tea in the tent vestibule – so after the cuppa I headed home.
The rain hung about until almost in Longford and, looking back, I could see it wasn’t clearing over the Tiers either.
Trike and trailer continued to ride well but I had been a bit carefree when packing up the Trangia. This was now rattling loudly at every bump saying “where’s my packing?”. Another thing to watch in future.
A significant wind was blowing us home and I rolled some good distances along the flat in Level 2 using quite a high gear, cruising in excess of 20kph. After one such leg we came to a hill and things slowed a bit. I noticed a road rider catching me up. “Have you got a motor on that thing?” he asked. “Yes”. “Thought you must have” he said, “I had to work hard to catch you up back there“.
That felt good!
Generally it was an abortive trip but it did provide some interesting information. The trailer tows well and the unit doesn’t pull excessive amounts of power – this is good news. I need to re-work the internal boxes to add lids.
Riding in the wet has given me food for thought re the Edge of the World ride. All indicators are that we are in for a wet Spring and the next few days will be very, very wet as all weather influencers kick in and give Australia another soaking. Towns are already flooding once again in Victoria and NSW.
So, will I set off, starting on Sunday?
I don’t think so. Instead I will spend the Spring look for the occasional couple of dry days and head off for short camps and rides instead.
The Edge of The World ride is postponed once again !
’til next time …………………………
4 thoughts on “The Trailer Shakedown Trip”
hi Tony, re your weather issue with the trailer, can you not hinge the lid from the front of the trailer giving some protection when the lid is lifted? Just a thought!
Yes it’s a thought. The Corflute can act like a hinge and provide a hinged lid. There’s still the issue of rain getting in while I’m getting stuff out and I don’t work so quick !
Oh dear… so sorry to hear that the Edge of the World ride is being postponed once again. But not a bad decision if all the damp makes it hard for you to breathe, since there will seem to be plenty of damp for some time! The corflute trailer looks fantastic. What total volume can you carry with the trailer boxes and the panniers? How does the volume with the corflute box compare to if you had the burley trailer set up in its original configuration. Watching all those youtube videos has certainly paid off, and great to hear it doesn’t significantly impact on the power output levels required.
I’m holed up in Echuca in a cabin waiting out all the rain. It is giving me the chance to finish up trip preparation that I didn’t get done in Albury though (some admin stuff like cleaning up computer files and emails, etc). Re: climate drivers – my bike, me, and all of my gear were muddy by the end of day 1. Staying dry and clean may not be possible on this trip… I may reach levels of ‘feral’ that even I have never reached before, lol.
Volume provided by the trailer ? Haven’t measured ! I will be carrying less in the two remaining 2 panniers and not using a rack pack. I think the trailer will just allow me to take along a couple of “nice to have extras” but really not much more than in the previous 4 panniers, rack bag and the occasionally used shopping bag hanging off the seat!
The trailer is a flat bed model so the choice was to use bags or build the boxes. Thought about it and eventually decided on the boxes – as a learning experience and because I like the idea of the (hoped for) easier access to stuff. On the other hand ….. perhaps a trailer will be add problems around the campsite on a rainy day, as in, where to put things and/or too much stuff out for people to see. Everything is a compromise.
The initial ride showed that using the cable ties is a problem. With all the jostling, they start to create dimples in other bits of Corflute – which eventually would wear through. So I am reworking the boxes to use duct tape instead of cable ties and the hot glue of course.
Just seen Echuca on the news – has your cabin gone under water yet? Joking aside, it will probably take a while for the dirt roads to recover, especially as more rain is coming. What a bugger that your tour start coincided with such a poor weather forecast. BUT you have good health and a good bike on your side.