Week #23 2018 – fogs and frosts abound

Each morning we wait with bated breath – will they? won’t they? What – you ask?  Say “frogs and fosts” or “fosts and frogs” on the weather report.  So far all correct and no laughs.

For 5-6 days in a row we awoke to the infamous Longford fog overlying the white frost blanket.  By 10.30am the sun had begun to poke through and the bird bath thaw but the temperatures remained low.  In fact it was still at the flashing dashboard warning light level of < 3°C.  Waiting for a bit of warmth and good visibility these days means not much time for cycling – especially factoring in it’s only a couple of weeks until the winter solstice.

Trike in fog 1

Monday was a bike path ride and it was 2°C and foggy.  After a bit I decided to get a hand warming coffee in Perth.  This is the ride for coffee :

On Tuesday I thought I would take the trike on a loop run out of Bishopsbourne using Armstrongs Lane and Green Rises Road.

For the past few days I had been riding the Anura along the cycle path out of Perth purely as exercise to build the recumbent muscles and now it was time to try something more meaningful.  It’s not a long ride but it does have one short sharp hill within the loop and I wanted to try the trike up it.  Unfortunately the lanes between Longford and Bracknell have been attracting a lot more gravel truck traffic of late and I am looking for roads they are not on.  Would  this loop miss them?  Well, I did meet a couple.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 09.30.19

A note:  I am using iMovie to produce the videos and although I can add a still image to the storyboard it just will not display it when the movie is created.  Maybe something to do with my laptop being 8 years old and not being able to run the latest software?  I will try to come up with the answer!

Wednesday.  Decided to give the Brompton a whirl and to get a tree picture or two  for the challenge on the cycle 365 website.

Perth Railway Station 1 small

Here they are – chainsaw carved peoples representing a steam engine fireman and passengers.  They are standing proud on the second 2°C morning in a row.  And again it’s 10.30am!

After taking the pictures I headed down the back streets of Perth to go and find a pathway leading to Eskleigh House – a venue these days providing support and services for people with disabilities.  The house is also the venue for a number of art shows in the year and I recall from our early days in Longford making our way there via a backroad.  I just couldn’t think how to get on it!

Initially I cycled down to the South Esk river as I thought the path took off from the riverside area.  The sun poking through a bit of mist left from the fog was creating an attractive winter atmosphere.

Perth Highway Bridge 2 small

The view downriver to the Midland Highway bridge

After cycling downriver the path / road came to an end and it was necessary to head towards the town again.  So I did.  As the road closed in on the Midland Highway I thought maybe the route was off to the side so I cycled along the footpath by the highway.  Soon it joined a side road and that side road ran back down to the river.  Ah yes – this was more like it.  Through another riverside access point (no doubt very busy in summer) I finally found the path running under the highway, then up a climb away from the river and out onto the back road I remembered.  So that’s where it is !!

Road to Esklie small

There followed a very pleasing 2-3 kilometre ride up to the gates of Eskleigh with no traffic at all.  I could hear the churning of vehicles on the highway but they were invisible and soon ignorable.

Esklie House small

(From the Eskleigh Foundation history pages) : Eskleigh was built on land granted to the Richie family. Captain Thomas Ritchie built a new house on the riverbank, just down river from the present dwelling, and by 1833 had a flour mill operating by water power.  But natural disaster seemed to plague the mill.  It was washed away in the Great Floods of 1852, and then rebuilt, only to be destroyed again by fire just a few days after Mr Gibson purchased the property in 1867. In 1870, Mr Gibson began to build his new home (now Eskleigh), for which he harnessed the water power provided by the old mill race to run a generator.  This provided electric light for the house and the outbuildings, and it is believed that the home was the first private dwelling in the Southern Hemisphere to be electrically lit.  The farm progressed and it became famous for it’s merino sheep.  In 1943 a Mr B Gibson inherited the property, decided it was too big for him and so began a trust to enable the house to be used to provide assistance for people with disabilities.

From the Eskleigh gates I retraced my wheel marks and headed back to the “station” to pick up the car and head home for a warm-up.

On Saturday I rode the Armstrong Loop again but this time on Vivente and from Longford.  This added 40k to the weekly total.

Sunday I was back on the cycle path to cycle another cool, sunny morning and get some more ks in on the trike.  One disappointing feature is that now the road has been bypassed by the highway people are beginning to use it as a place to dump their rubbish. I don’t understand – how hard is it to put garbage bags in a bin?


On that grumble I shall close for the week.

Total for week :   127 k            Total for year :  2,440 k 

Vivente :   39 k                     Brompton :    18 k                  Anura : 70 k





Week #22 2018. A bit sick but 100k ridden

Well, sort of “friendly-fire sick” – I had a bad reaction to the flu and pneumonia vaccinations which were poked into different sites on the same day.  Vacs. Tuesday lunch time and Tony off the bike until Friday!  Feverish, no sleep, aching .. lots of aching, no desire to do much at all.  Proper Man-Flu syndrome.  I would be awful with whatever to is that Emily has!!

By Friday I was inhabiting the body once more and thinking about the measly 30k ridden so far for the week.  I decided to get out and about on all three machine (in turn, silly) and see which was the most comfortable.  Basically none met the specification re comfort to aching arm and aching hands – so I rode Vivente gently along to Woolmer’s Bridge for a picture followed by a slow Anura ride around Longford (probably the most comfortable of the three bikes).  At the end of the day I realised it was now the 1st of June and the bike/bridge 365cycle monthly challenge for May was over.  Never mind, here are the pictures:

Bridge #3

A little bridge across Back Creek, Longford leading to the “pick your own” berry farm.  Basically the small creek doubles as a drainage “ditch” for the farmland it flows though.  I have seen people fishing off the bridge and understand there are trout in here.  Not sure I would eat any trout caught though as who knows what farming run-off would be involved.

With the winter light contrast is strong and the phone camera has trouble dealing with it.  This can be seen in the following picture.

Bridge #2

Woolmer’s bridge in the process of being replaced.  The old wooden bridge in over to the right and the new structure is being built to this side of it.  Quite a large construction job is going on with driven piles and concrete; the sound of lots of banging, scraping and shouting and diesel engines fills the air.  Down by the river in the car park / boat ramp area are a number of worker facility huts.  If we have a rain event they will sail off downriver nicely but I am sure the project plan has an Appendix that details how to speedily get them on trucks and to higher ground before polluting the Macquarie River.

Saturday and Sunday I tooled around Longford on the Brompton getting shopping, (weekend beer, milk for lattes, newspapers to see what Trump is doing etc) and then packed the Greenspeed into the car (both days) and went for a ride along the cycle trail Perth to Breadalbane.

On both trips I met several cyclists most of whom smiled, said Hello and generally were civil.  One guy must have thought I looked hilarious as both times I met him he roared with laughter.  I am pleased to have brighten up his day but sad he couldn’t even say “Hello”.  Several “oldies” (i.e. retired like me) had electric bikes.  One bloke stopped for a chat and in the conversation let it slip his was a 1,000 watt motor.  The legal limit in Tassie is 250 watts.  Anything over that and the bike has to be registered and you have to have insurance just like a “real” vehicle.  He was not worried – “only cycle on paths like this, Mate.”  Oh, Good.

Along the way on Saturday I stopped for a picture for the June 365cycle challenge.

June Tree #1

The June challenge is to take a picture of your bike by a tree of interest.  I thought I would start with a small but well formed gum tree.  Bill commented, when setting the challenge, that sometimes it is difficult to get the whole tree in.  This was the case here.  I walked back until against the road embankment walking over a damp, newly seeded sticky underfoot area that will become a nice verge by this time next year.  Just couldn’t get far enough back and as a phone camera’s wide angle to zoom is worked by the operator actually moving closer or further away from the subject I didn’t get the top of the tree in.  I can do better – we have the whole of June to go yet.


Riding the trike is proving interesting.  Now I have fitted the pedals for cleats and am clipping onto the pedals it’s quite an improvement.  With the old “rat-trap” pedals I could not use the toe clips they came with as my shoes would not go far enough forward to be comfortable.  Plastic toe clips are not “bendable” or “openoutable” as the old metal ones from yesteryear were, so I could not make them fit.  I took the toe clips off but then it was impossible to try any sort of way to remove the weight from the none-pushing pedal.  When I tried the pedal moved as I released pressure and either the foot then returned to pedal in the wrong place or the foot fell off the pedal all together.  Neither was good.

With cleats I am now able to work out how to pull back one leg while pushing with the other.  Why bother?  Well, when pedalling uphill looking at the birds, the clouds and enjoying the recumbent lifestyle (i.e. without thinking about the cycling process) speed drops right off.  Yes, it’s possible to drop yet another gear and keep going comfortably but, when you focus and spin the pedals more effectively, the gear change is not necessary and speed goes up 2-3 kph rather than down the same!  I can spin using the pull-push method for a little while at the moment but then the muscles complain.  I haven’t yet completed the 500 – 1,000 miles I am told it takes to get those recumbent muscles built up.


Other news.  I phoned the Auto-electrician about the caravan only to find he is on holiday this week!  We leave in 4 weeks so I hope he is re-energised by the holiday and gets started on replacing the rear lights soon.


Total for week :   114 k            Total for year :  2,313 k                

Vivente :   41 k                     Brompton :    21 k                  Anura : 52 k

2018 Week #20. Back to the 100.

Another Sunday job – cleaning the coffee roaster!  Will I have time for a ride?  Well, I did and my challenge to self has picked up with 100+ kilometres cycled this week.

Before serious cycling of the Anura could begin I had to sort out this puncture thing and how to get the tyre back on the rim (see previous post).  On Monday I sat down with the internet and studied a number of YouTube vids of people explaining how to get a difficult tyre on a bicycle wheel.  Not much different to what I was doing (except the first go when I naughtily and destructively used tyre levers to heave the tyre onto the rim) but spending more time going around the tyre working the bead into the centre well of the wheel – not just doing it once.  One guy used toe straps to hold the tyre in place as he gained ground in the battle.  So I tried again with the bead technique and straps and, pop, on it went at some cost of pain to thumbs.  BUT when pumped up the inner tube deflated!  This time the patch I had installed lifted.  On the bright side, no inner tube was pinched this time!!  So I bought a couple more inner tubes and a few more tyre levers of the plastic type (‘cos I had broken one getting the tyre off again!).  Repeated the process ending up with even sorer thumbs and, another pop, tyre on.  Pump up to 40 psi – all OK.  Could hardly believe it.  I can go for a ride.

Continue reading “2018 Week #20. Back to the 100.”