It’s almost Winter down here.

Not a bad end to Autumn weatherwise. The colder overnights finished off the capsicum plants and given us several days of frozen birdbaths. Getting up to 15° / 16°C during the day with (s0metimes) little wind has had us up and out on the trikes, making the most of the conditions.

Recumbent Rides in May 2023

One such ride was out to Clarendon – a Tasmania version of a stately home.

A good 60k ride

From the map you can see that the final part runs straight and (going out) runs south-east. We had a north-westerly wind helping us on the way out. I was watching my shadow and could see the flag being blown in the direction of travel when we were cruising at 22-23 kph, so the wind was blowing 23 kph+. This was not supposed to happen.

Early on, we encountered roadside equipment near Woolmers. The sign indicated a slasher in use but this was not true. One vehicle was grading the soil/gravel mix in the verge while the second was pushing any soil / gravel deposited on the road by the grading process, back into the verge. Nett result – the verge is smoothed and cleared of weeds.

These were the guys who were working above Woolmers Bridge a day or so back when they spotted a wallet in the grass. Yes, Colin’s wallet was found. How did we miss it?!

Colin had a knock on the door at home and the grader driver delivered the wallet in person. He now took this opportunity to thank them again.

Our run through to Evandale was otherwise uneventful but, when we arrived there our hoped for coffee stop, the Clarendon Arms, wasn’t open. So we carried on to Clarendon itself. It was closed!

No matter, we had brought fire and pots and water and lunch so we cycled around the grounds until we found ourselves a picnic BBQ. There were quite a few parked cars in one spot which I assume belonged to the volunteers who look after the property. I waited for the “go away” shout – but none came.

Hot water brewing
Recumbent resting
A quiet autumnal environment even if a bit windy

Too soon it was time to head back – into that wind. Yes, we both have motors for pedal assist but the wind was really strong and noisy. Some of the gusts were particularly unpleasant kicking up dust about face height providing an unwanted sand blast. Colin fancied a coffee at the only place open in Evandale but the street sitting was open to the winds and I didn’t want to stop. Sorry Colin. We just plugged on home.

We also had a May ride to Westbury.

As you can see, it was a 78 kilometre trip as we wanted to see how Colin’s battery would go on a longer one.

It also allowed me to “ride my age” one day before my birthday. Well, my age plus 1 kilometre. I know, I know, this should be miles but this is a metric country!!

I took no pictures so here is the video of the ride instead.

Our ride to Westbury

Colin’s battery handled the 78k with aplomb. Me? I used two half filled ones having forgotten to charge the previous day.

Tony’s Bicycle Camper Project – Report 1

I pondered and pondered about what wood to use for the trailer base frame. Huon Pine or Celery Top Pine maybe?? The problem is I don’t know where to buy it these days. When we lived in the south and Sue had her Salamanca Market stall we were “in the know”. Now we are not.

Colin’s bicycle camper

I decided to blast myself out of analysis paralysis deciding Tasmanian Oak could be the stronger wood for the tough bits and radiata pine for the rest. I checked what Colin had used, thinking he might have found some nicer wood as he rummaged for secondhand wood on the Tip. That’s no longer allowed, due to OH&S I suppose. Anyway Colin used Tasmanian Oak / Pine in his build so it should be good enough for my different but similarly based camper.

Tassie Oak is actually local eucalypt so the camper will still have a bit of Tasmania in it.

First things first. I took the Burley trailer to bits as I will be using the axle, wheels and tow bar for the new camper. I dismantled the corflute framework I built last year and found the cable tie and hot glue made quite a sturdy jointing system.

The Burley Trailer plus corflute extensions

I managed to save quite a bit of corflute but it does look like it will all be the wrong size for the new trailer! I am sure I will find some smaller jobs to use it for once I get going.

Then I cleaned out the shed. Things that would be in the way were “rehoused” for the duration. The spare room is quite full now. A trestle table was resited and covered in a tarp to make the project work table.

The saw bench was decluttered

There was a problem with the saw bench. The blade in the replacement saw bought last year is OK for ripping but much too short for docking. A piece of wood from an old project gives a good raised surface on which to place the wood to be docked, solving the problem.

Then I headed to Bunnings to buy the first batch of wood. This was cut up (measured 3/4 times, cut once) and laid out for size checks.

Setting out the base frame

Looks OK and agrees with the plans – looks small though! The “pull outs” provide the space needed to fit a human.

Axle Check

I checked the axle size with crossed fingers. Was the axle on my Burley the same as the Canadian designer, Robert’s axle? They were both from Burley Flat Bed trailers but made in different years. The check showed my axle fits the plan. Good.

The base was then completed – waiting for plywood.

I made one mistake. I should not have screwed the back end – it needs angle brackets instead. Luckily a simple fix and it made me think of the old IT saying WAEFRTFM.

(When all else fails read the f**king manual)!! I shall now read the plans through and through before commencing and during each stage.

The next job is to get a suitable sized sheet of ply in the hatchback.

’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's now 2023 and I have 3 bikes. 2 e-recumbents and the Brompton.

8 thoughts on “It’s almost Winter down here.”

  1. Can’t wait to see how your camper turns out! Should be great. It hasn’t been too cold down here in the south of the Island. Only a couple of frosty nights so far. Still nippy enough to have the fire lit a few times though!


    1. Hi Patrick. Yes, Colin was very happy. Re the Triton table – mine is 30+ years old and has no adjustment other than using it for docking or ripping. That said – it’s working fine with the raised bed under the work piece.


    2. Thanks for persevering with me Patrick. I just couldn’t see the table height adjusters. My brain deleted it whenever the eyes looked so I knew I didn’t have them !! I guess I set them back in 1984 and it was set and forget – then overlook. All good now – I’ll get the WD40 out tomorrow.


  2. Looks like some nice rides and good to get a longer one in while weather windows are longer than in winter.

    Oh, so that saying is: measure twice, cut once, AND read the directions at least once.

    Looks like a great start on the camper trailer – do you think the 3D printer will come into play?


    1. The weather windows seem to be getting further and further apart! Still, that makes more time in the shed.

      Trailer and 3D printer. I haven’t seen as way to use it yet but at least one woman in Germany has been making parts for hers. Mostly joining brackets and the like. I think a stronger plastic than the one I can print with is needed – not buying another printer !!


  3. Looking good Tony,,, Can’t wait to see Your enguinuity come to fruition, and head out in to the bush in the spring. P.S. thanks for not telling every one I stalled the Magnum going up into Westbury; had to back off and start again on that very steep hill. lol.


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