CLC 2018 Ride #2.

Not too much cycling this week – so little that I have no chance of making the 100k weekly target.  I read the CLC reports from those who crank out 100k almost before breakfast and think “Wow!” – but I can live with cycling in the slow lane.

Some happenings from this week.

Brompton sent me a reminder e-mail regarding their recall to replace a bothersome batch of bottom brackets.  I checked my serial number again and I am still OK.  Good – and I feel thankful that the company is taking the time to fix a problem that occurred on a couple of bikes.  I don’t think the exercise will cost as much as the car air bag recall!  Oh yes, checked our X-Trail VIN and we are OK there too.

I received some comments re using a phone as a video camera while going downhill on the B.  Basically the advice could be summed up as “Don’t be so bloody stupid”.  So I have ordered a Fly12 headlamp / camera combo after being introduced to one last weekend.

BTW – here’s the video

And now to this week’s CLC ride.

I add to the Deloraine town economy this Friday.  I arrived for the weekly Friday ride to find the weather looking a bit crappy.  It was 12°C – which is not really cold but felt cold ‘cos we have been experiencing somewhat warmer weather for quite a few months now. It was also looking a bit grey and rainy.

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The sky on arrival – not the nice blue colour we have gotten used to.

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I “warmed up” as I waited for the others by cycling onto the footbridge then up and down the road a couple of times.  Then it was back to the car to rug up with more layers.  How do we handle winter?

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For those who haven’t been here before, this is the start of the ride along River Road.  I couldn’t find the original so had to make do with this mirror image picture I took and produced last year.   To view the original, just cover the right hand half and you will get the feel of the “tunnel” we ride through to begin.

Friends arrived and off we went to the junction with Porters Bridge Road.  Today the air was still and there was very little bird song.  On sunny days the air is full of bird chatter – this grey, silent day felt like we were all just waiting for the storm to arrive. BUT it didn’t.  I was riding at a pace I felt comfortable at and rode with the group for the first 4-5 kilometers through the flatter paddock area.  When we reached the first of the hills I was immediately dropped!  No worries – just pedal and enjoy the ride.  One member turned at about half way to the junction and headed back to the ‘Cycle Pub’.  The others politely waited for me at the junction before starting the return leg.

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The blue bike is always in the lead.  The next bike back is electric and travels second spot and the ones hiding are a new Vivente and the B.  At the junction the bush all around was quiet and the only sounds were us talking and blowing our noses clearing them for the ride back.

After some chatter and the picture someone said “OK – coffee shop?” and we started back.  I stopped to clear a dead wallaby off the road and by the time I remounted I was already well back.  So, like the ride out, I pedalled along at my own speed and enjoying my own company and a comfortable trip back.

My purchases in Deloraine.  1 latte and a round of raisin roast but these were not photographed.  Then I went up to “Wholesome House” in Emu Bay Road.  It is, as it’s name suggests, a health food shop.  There I purchased two packages as shown below.

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The large bag is a couple of scoops of my favourite muesli mix which does not include all the extra sugar found in supermarket boxes.  The second bag, that looks like it contains picked up Oscar droppings, is a bag of Jumbo Licorice Bullets.  Yes, they are from the health food shop so they must be healthy!

The storm still hasn’t hit as I write this up but it is coming.  The weekend is flagged as wet and windy so how many more ks will be done this week is an unknown.  I think I will  just accept this week as being a bad one and start again with determination next Monday.

 

Downhill on Lake Leake Road

We were on our way to Howden, south of Hobart where we will be visiting for the next few days.  First though we were taking the opportunity to divert off course a little to have lunch with friends at Dolphin Sands just north of Swansea.  The way to go is down to Campbell Town and then across country to the coast via the Lake Leake Road.

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Lake Leake Road is a wonderful 60+ kilometre road of light traffic and sweeping bends as it climbs up and over a 500 metre hill range.  A motorcyclists delight which I have savoured a number of times when riding motorised 2 wheels.

Today my ride began at the highest point on LLR because it is quite a climb up from Campbell Town and the day wasn’t long enough to do both parts.  Anyway it is much nicer to ride down!

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‘Ere we go !

We stopped at the Information Board at the point the road starts down and I unfolded the Brommie.  Sue drove off and I began the descent.  I held the phone in front hoping for a reasonable video.  Once over 40kph it proved impossible to cycle one-handed!  Every bump moved the front wheel and I was over correcting as the front tried to take off somewhere other than straight ahead.  No good.  I had read it is not possible for normal riders to ride these bikes with “no hands” but I can’t ride one-handed once a bit of speed is on.  Never mind – I continued and, with two hands paying attention, speeds of 40+kph were safe.  The stiff “seabreeze” coming head on prevented some truely remarkable speeds occurring but it wasn’t long before I could see the sea and the granite hills of The Hazards and knew the first 15k was coming to an end.

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There were warning signs advising bends for the next “x” kilometers.  These feature regularly.  Then – after a nice ride – the Hazards could be seen !

Once out of the woods the breeze blew nicely straight into my face and I had to spin along in 3rd gear to keep any sort of speed up.  After the descent the countryside seemed to be passing awfully slowly.  Across the paddocks I could see the east coast highway but it didn’t seem to get much closer for quite a while.  The questions in my mind were “how busy was it?” and “how many caravans were travelling today?”.

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Closing in on the highway – look how the colours on the sign mirror those in         real life

It proved to be a quiet day on the highway and with the breeze now coming in onto the left shoulder 4th gear was do-able.  As I passed a couple of items of roadside interest I was able to stop and get pictures.

On the left are shots of Wet Marsh Creek.  Back in the day the sign was changed as shown in the 2007 picture of me on the maxi-scoot.

Onwards towards Swansea and the Dolphin Sands turn off.  On the left along Dolphin Sands road there was once a walnut orchard – part of an experiment to see how they would grow in the area.  It can’t have been very good as a couple of years ago the trees were pulled – but the irrigation remains.  We think the late spring frosts the area has (even though it it not far from the sea) knocked the trees around too much.

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Did anyone see “From Dusk to Dawn”, the zombie movie?

The road leads to an area of of sand dune territory which has been divided up into 5 acre  lifestyle blocks.  Initially they were used by people for the building of shacks or setting up permanent caravans mostly for use as holiday homes.  Then Tasmania’s east coast was discovered and the area was much in demand from interstate buyers and block prices rocket in about 2 years from $50,000 to $350,000.  Permanent residents then built permanent houses and the area is now home to many interesting people (mostly retired) who bring a variety of skills (and stories) to the community.  Intermingled with the new are older residents who find a ready market for their tradie skills and local knowledge of how things are done.

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End of the Road.  View from Dolphin Sands across to Swansea

A delightful lunch was gratefully received and the above was pretty much the view from the dining table.  Then it was back in the car, hitting Hobart just as rush hour was at it’s peak so a slow trip south to Howden followed.  While passing through Hobart, we saw two heavily laden touring cyclists on Viventes (like my other bike) biking the footpath through the docks and up Davey Street. Although they were being held up by walkers striding homewards they stayed ahead of us for quite a few blocks.

Oscar was not the only one glad to arrive and have a stretch.  The next report should be of a ride in the Huon.