S36O – Longford to Golden Valley

At last all thing combined to allow a S(ub)36(hour)O(vernight) ride.

Two days of fine weather forecast, 25-26°C during the day, new tent, no appointments for anything and a trailer to trial. Let’s go to Golden Valley and the Quamby Corner Caravan Park.

Look at that ride profile – it kicks up at the end.

54 kilometres to travel with a fair bit of climbing and into a headwind. I had charged all 3 batteries to the max and I reckon that should be enough for 100-110 kilometres even with the weight of the trailer and 12 kilos of batteries!

The UV levels I haven’t worried about recently due to the sun being missing in action. It is getting to the time of year when us fair skinned people have to be careful; it’s the summer solstice in 6 weeks. Hard to believe know but it’s a real fact, not an alternative fact.

I thought about mounting the trike canopy but, with the wind likely to be a strong headwind on day 1, it didn’t seem ideal. Instead I found “Da Brim” which had been mounted to another helmet. Using zip ties. Unfortunately that helmet gives me a headache after 20 or so kilometers so I took Da Brim off and attached it to my normal helmet, without zip ties. It is fitted via a band attached to the helmet and uses velcro to attach band to brim. The theory is that leaving an air gap between the middle of the brim and helmet allows the brim to stay attached even when the force of air tries to knock it off. It’s just a theory, hence the zip ties previously used.

We arrive at Bracknell

The leg to Bracknell was completed with no trike / trailer trouble and only a little bit of holding Da Brim against the velcro. The headwind was blustery and the occasional playful blast tried to remove it.

Bracknell Reserve closed

The Council has done some sterling work to repair flood damage at Bracknell. The roadside scouring and broken up road edges have been sorted and the local farmers have fixed their fencing. The track into the picnic area has been re-gravelled and is much better than it was. Thumbs up Council. For now though the camp area is closed, presumably in case there is another flood.

I changed batteries over here. I didn’t want to leave any of the batteries charged to the max as this isn’t good for them so the plan was to change batteries at Bracknell and then Osmaston. This would mean they arrive at Golden Valley all with reduced charge but enough to get home.

On the way out of Bracknell this new sign was displaying. Didn’t see any Wombats. Look at that sunshine! The temperature was rather nice. Probably around 24/25°C and the wind coming in at 2 o’clock was keeping this rider cool.

Then it was on to Cluan Road and the wind initially at 12 o’clock. I’ve noticed before on this road that the embankments, small hills and snaky route of the road tend to shelter riders from the wind. This was the case today.

The last few ks of Cluan are nasty – short hills and blind crests and usually too much traffic. Before I got to that bit I stopped on the only bit of newly cut grass verge on the road and had lunch.

I had bought some cheese and biscuit snacks. The cheese was interesting. Back in the day at teatime we sometimes had cheese in triangular alfoil style portions presented in a round cardboard package. To open your triangle you had to pick apart the foil packaging thus allowing removal of the floppy bit of cheese inside – which you then spread on your bread. Well, the cheese in today’s snack tasted just like the triangle of youth. I don’t think the snack cheese was quite as firm as the old triangle but very similar. The biscuits were OK, a little bit salty and went well with the squishy cheese.

Lunch over I proceeded to climb the 4 or 5 nasty little hills. There was trouble on only one of the climbs with the impatient driver coming past a bit close to me and the top of the hill he or she couldn’t possibly see over.

That bit done it was a left turn at the end and the run down to Osmaston. Mostly this is a bit hard due to the headwinds and today was no exception. Just a matter of plugging away and covering the 6 kilometres to the next turn. For a lot of the way the ever increasing greenhouses being the Driscoll’s Berry farm could be seen. Getting ever closer.

I stopped at the Osmaston junction after moving a little way onto Bogan’s Road. From here it is a 10 kilometre ride to the camp ground – mostly uphill. It gets steeper the further you go. It was time to change batteries again. I have 2×16 ah batteries and 1×13 ah. I used the two 16 amp hour units to get here and now loaded the 13ah. The plan – to use the smaller one to cover the 10k, charge some things at camp and then return to Osmaston tomorrow before swapping back to the larger units.

Fully charged battery in we started up Bogan’s Road looking for Bogans.

As it’s quite a climb I just settled back, geared down ready to enjoy the ride. Traffic was light to non-existent and the bush on either side was looking so good in the sunlight. I could hear plenty of birds in the bush and 5 kilometres per hour was a good pace. In answer to the question “do you feel the trailer on the back of the trike?” the answer is yes – when climbing gradients in excess of 3-4%. In fact a couple of times I checked the tyres for flats. Of course all were OK.

On the way up we spotted this old LandRover. I don’t think it is going anywhere but it has new duties – highlighting the gated entry to the Bogan Road Distillery. The gates were closed so I couldn’t obtain any output from the still.

Onwards and upwards through a very nice windy, bushy, narrow bit of road and we popped out just below the camp grounds.

I cycled up the driveway and the steeper gravelly bit to the Office had the rear wheel spinning – eventually gripping enough to get me to the top. Dit came to the door to book me in. Over 10 years ago (2010) Dit and her husband had finally got the grounds, sites, plumbing, wiring etc acceptable for Council approval and opened the park. I was Rally Organiser for the caravan club at that time and heard about the park, contacted Dit and we held a rally there. Everyone was impressed with the ability of the couple to carry out the work to build the park. One of Dit’s many tasks was to be the welder I recall!

After a chat Dit told me there were several tent sites available – just choose where I want to go. Several of the caravans are taken by people who would like to rent a house but can’t find an affordable one or one at all. There is a huge shortage of rental properties in Tassie caused by Air BnB, Government backed rental assistance schemes coming to an end and numerous other issues.

I found a site I liked and laid out the footprint. Returning after unstrapping the tent I spotted a young (small, unfilled) leech sunning itself on the footprint. I had laid it out a bit too close to a watercourse which had become flooded during recent rains. To avoid leeches I removed the footprint to a higher spot further from the boggy bit.

The tent was laid on top but it didn’t seem to fit. Bugger. The footprint is not square and it’s the wrong way round!! Turning the footprint (f p) was suddenly hard as the wind began catching it, confusing the situation. Or maybe I was just confused. Certainly even after turning the f p around it seemed tricky getting the tent aligned with it. How odd – I didn’t have this trouble at Colin’s.

Watch for Daisy the dog !

After much huffing, puffing and a few helpful but naughty words I got the tent erected!

The tensioning didn’t seem quite right but the inner was well away from the outer and everything worked as it should.

I unloaded the boxes from the trailer into the tent along with the panniers. All went in with no difficulty. I also offered the trike to the doorway – no way would it go in. That’s a pity. If it’s likely to be a wet night then I will have to fold the trike to (maybe) get it in the vestibule. I decided to leave that for another day.

It was time to report in at home, get the chair out and make a brew before cooking tea.

A good day.

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!

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