October 2022 Wrap

The farmers are moving last year’s hay to make room for this years, which will be cut soon. Where is the old, wet, smelly stuff going? Is it to make mulch? Probably not unless the mulching process can heat it enough to kill off all the seeds.

Don’t know, I will ask.

Since my aborted ride to Liffey Falls earlier in October there has been little riding.

Why is that ?

Well, the weather has been just awful. Wind and rain – La Niña has provided us with heaps the last two weeks.

Mainland Australia is getting yet another soaking and the insurance companies must be ducking for cover; they are certainly increasing premiums. In Tasmania, places that were flooded back in the 2016 big wet are again under water. Latrobe has copped heaps, water flooding into homes and tearing up the road surfaces. Gunns Plains wildlife park, where I stayed a couple of years ago while riding the the NW group, has had its bridge connecting it to the outside world written off. Deloraine too was under water for a day or so. The suspension bridge I have featured in the blog a time or two, had water up to the deck. That’s a lot of water.

This earlier picture of the Meander River at Deloraine was taken from the suspension bridge – it would have been inadvisable to walk over the bridge a few days ago and the roadway visible on the right was well under water. As were some houses across that way plus the one on the left in the picture. That had water halfway up the side railing.

Locally, the road up to Woolmer’s has been shut a number of times due to water over the road. So has Pitts Lane where it crosses the Liffey River.

The Liffey, much swollen by rainwater coming off the Tiers, has caused trouble at Bracknell (picnic grounds closed) and Carrick, where I recently used the picnic spot by the river. I am glad I turned back from Liffey Falls (as per the last report). I reckon the Liffey Falls campgrounds are probably in a bad way again. When things improve I will drive up and have a look.

Damage at Bracknell just after the Liffey Bridge. The roads edges quite torn up.

Some of the damage above the picnic area at Bracknell. The water washed through the paddocks, flattened the fences and scoured the gravel from the roadside while damaging the road.

Yes, camping in most places would be a wet and muddy affair at present. There’s not much within a days ride of here than is useable. Deloraine, Ross, Mole Creek and Latrobe campsites have all been under water. The Longford caravan park has ejected most vans a number of times as the South Esk rose receded and then rose again.

Today (28th Oct) the water level in the South Esk is on the rise once more. Somewhere ahead is the boat ramp on the river – all infrastructure under the river !

The shared path from boat ramp to the Longford velodrome is also damp. The caravans have been removed from the caravan park again.

A silver lining (!) – we don’t seem to be getting the mosquito problem like it is being experienced in Victoria and NSW after their flood events. That’s good as there are some nasties being carried by the little buggers. Think Ross River Fever and West Nile plus a number of other exotic sounding unpleasantnesses. The more the further north one goes.

A new subject. The new tent should arrive today but it seems like delivery will be a day to two late. Not a problem right now – when will the weather allow an outing I wonder?

That begs the question – with all that riding down-time, “what have I been doing?”, apart from watching cycling tourists, canoe tourists, pack raft tourists and general bush gear freaks on YouTube that is. It’s been a time for vicarious adventuring with me in my 70s reminiscing what it was like to be young and fit.


1,000 kilometres using Rohloff hub

I did manage to get the first 1,000 kilometres up on on the Rohloff and gave it the prescribed oil change.

I pulled the oil change kit off the shelf and got into it. No hassles except not much dirty stuff came out. I put in 25 ml of cleaner and something like 30 ml of dirty liquid appeared. I was expecting 45-50 ml. So I turned the wheel to have the oil extraction point at the bottom again, waited another 15 mins and not much more came out. As 25 ml of oil had been inserted 1,000 k ago, where did it all go? No sign of leaks. Perhaps it just snugly coats the precision gears in the hub?

The Camping Trailer

Re-worked boxes

I have added lids to the 4 boxes and provided each with a strap to make removing and carrying them easier. The cable ties seemed like a good idea at the time but in practise they caught on things and the small block left after clipping damaged the nearby Corflute when jostling occurred during transit. So I took most ties off the boxes replacing them with duct tape.

The box top still fits OK

It’s all a learning experience !

Twig Stove

I played around with a twig stove; an el cheapo bought on Amazon to test out the idea.

Using pruning from our apple trees

I have it in mind to ditch gas stoves and so avoid the associated gas canisters by using one of these, along with the Trangia, while cycle / camping.

I found this gasification stove a bit hard to get going. Attempts 1 and 2 were a bit sad and I only succeeded in smoking out the neighbours. Some people reviewing these stoves absolutely bag them – “couldn’t even boil a billy”. I was beginning to think maybe they are right. The above picture shows attempt 3. It went well enough to boil water but the strong gusts of wind easily blew it out and the flames weren’t really gasifying properly. On the fourth attempt a decent flame was achieved. Watch out eyebrows!!

Using gum tree twigs it went well

My take so far. They do work. You must fill the stove properly with good wood and light from the top. If you do this and follow the advice of experts, they burn well and for quite a time. Cutting the wood to the required small size when arthritic hands can’t just snap the twigs is a pain though. I found the foot stamp on branch method just wasn’t accurate enough!

The Living Lightly Expo

I decided to help Sallie run a Bicycle Network stall at the Devonport Living Lightly Expo. The trike was packed into trailer and Brompton into the car and we headed off to talk cycling with the Expo crowds – and to taste some wholesome foods.

Sallie turned out to be a very competent, well organised young woman. Kerry, also helping, I recognised from some of the NW group rides and was from a similar mould. What is it about cycling that brings such people together? I wouldn’t claim to be the same but soon found ways to help.

It was hard to categorise the Community event and there certainly weren’t a lot of people coming up to us to talk cycling. In the main we talked to people who drive their mountain bikes to the trails or who’s kids have bikes but the parents don’t seem very enthused about riding with them. As for riding to the shops instead of getting the car out – only one bloke I spoke to thought that might be a good idea.

The main talking point was the Bicycle Network pedal driven smoothie machine! Kids could have a free smoothie if they provided the energy to make it.

Sorry – no pictures. Photographing other people kids pedalling away while eyeing up the smoothie forming in front of them through their own efforts could only be done in another era.

Sue did pedal one for herself but I didn’t think to get the picture. “Thank You” says Mrs C.


Wilmore’s Lane – hawthorn hedges coming to back to life

Last week a sunny day appeared and I rode to Bishopsbourne. Suddenly the hedges have turned green! A great wall of greenery. It felt like “Hey, Spring was really here” but then the next day we were back to grey and rain.

Hoping for a better November, a new tent and a successful S24 or S36O.

’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 is good!

2 thoughts on “October 2022 Wrap”

  1. Excellent that the oil change went well. Your water pics are dramatic – lots of those from lots of places at the moment. Your next S24 will have to be somewhere other than Liffey Falls I guess. The trailer boxes look excellent. Interesting that the zip ties didn’t work – I figure most problems can be solved with zip ties and electrical tape/gaffa tape! I hope the new solutions work out well and the weather gives you a chance to test it soon! This coming weekend looks maybe acceptable up here…. I will have to come to you for lessons on using wood for a firebox stove, should I ever feel the need for that. It all seems to fiddly, I don’t like breathing the smoke, and I don’t want to soot up the bottom of my pan… so I have never really considered it even though I have the capability. I’ll be interested to hear how you go with further experimentation. All the best to you and Sue – I would have loved to have seen her pedalling up a smoothie!


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