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

CLC 2018 – TC ride #7 (plus some other stuff)

I have already written about the Bike E and early week weather in my previous post for the week

The Vivente and I rode the Armstrong Lane country 40k loop twice this week.

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The wind at the beginning of the week seems to have blown away our warm weather.  Both days of the loop it was a cool start at 10°C.  I am now wearing the “Frosty Boy” top and new merino/lycra mix leggings.  These are the first bit of anything with lycra in it for me.  Nice and warm and comfortable to ride in.  They should be good for the Victorian riding I will be doing in a wintery July.  Currently there are heaps of grasshoppers on road – some small and brown and some bigger with yellow bodies.  I wondered if we have Locusts in Tassie so I checked Wikipedia – it is possible they are locusts.  I had better catch one to check it out.

It is also the start of “Ballooning Spider” season.  A couple of years ago these spiders were thick in the air between Westbury and Longford and the event even made it into the National Geographic magazine.  The article available HERE is focussed on Launceston but the real centre was Westbury.  This week a few flying webs attached themselves to us as we rode along and a couple of thick jumbles of threads were spotted sailing in the wind.  As there has been no major flooding I am expecting the numbers to remain on the small side.

Friday was the Deloraine loop and the temperature when leaving home was 4°C.  It was 7°C when starting the ride and 10°C on our return to the Empire coffee stop.  With the cool air and yellowing Poplar trees – yes – we are really into Autumn.

AND NOW : CLC 2018 Ride #7 (well almost) – Penguin to Turner’s Beach

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This ride is along the north-west coast and generally follows the sea – which here is Bass Strait.

It was a good cycling day as we left home and it remained the same as we arrived at Penguin.  This is not always the case as the proximity of Bass Strait often means wind and/or cooler temps.  We grabbed a park under a tree and took Oscar for a walk along the front while looking for a Cafe for coffee.  There was nothing suitable and so I readied the Brompton, hopped on and took off while Mrs C set off to visit Penguin Markets.  Oscar reclined in the back of the car in the shade and had a sleep after his busy morning.

Penguin 3 small

Penguin was getting a bit tatty and so it has been given a new set of clothes.  The real penguins in the area are likely to be Fairy Penguins – the world’s smallest penguin.  They are smaller than the one next to B. 

I was serenaded out of Penguin by the ice cream van.  This van had a considerable collection of music box tunes broadcast through a fair sized speaker on its roof.  I cycled out to the tune of “Mexican Pete the Bad Bandit” and “PopEye the Sailor Man”.  I did not hear it play the perennial “Greensleeves”!

Penguin 6 small

Exit Penguin.  The residents garden the roadside verges and they are spectacular in Spring.

The road runs alongside the rail and the coast.  It is pretty spectacular.

Penguin 7 small

Some lucky people have houses on the “other side of the tracks” close to the beach

The road is narrow and windy and the traffic today was helpful to cyclists.  Thanks to all.

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Interesting.  How to stage such a play?  Could be worth attending to see how it is done.

We used to belong to Huon Valley Theatre and I just can’t imagine how this will be tackled.  But then we did “Little Shop of Horrors” with an ever growing plant (as it ate cast members!).  Still, this seems ambitious.

Penguin 13 small

The views are outstanding and the day perfect.  How lucky am I to be cycling this route today?

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The only climb on today’s ride

Up the hill and then it was a downhill cruise to Ulverstone.

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Riding the cycle path into Ulverstone along the Leven River

As you can see, the local council just loves white concrete.  All shared paths are white as is the entire area around the Leven River Wharf area, visible on the far side of the river in the above picture.  I got a coffee there but could not find a seat in the shade.  All seats were in the middle of blindingly white concrete!  I walked on, pushing bike and holding coffee until reaching an older developed area which had a more comfortable and shady setting!  The temp had risen to 20°C and it was a bit hot in the sun after the ride so far.

Penguin 18 small

The route from Ulverstone to Turner’s Beach is via a series of shared trails and then the Esplanade into T Beach.  As I left Ulverstone I was unsure as to the exact way but a cycling couple overtook me.  I asked if this was the right way and they told me it was.  So I followed them as they were going the same way.  It was interesting.  I tagged along about 3 bikes lengths back on my 16″ wheel bike and wearing normal clothing and the bloke (in lycra on a lightweight bike) seemed to get a bit annoyed ‘cos I kept up with them.  So I did all the way to T Beach!  It made me feel good !!!

Penguin 20 small

The Cafe at which Mrs C and I had lunch

But .. once again I forgot to take a picture of the contribution to the local community.  The gummy shark plus chips was so good we were sidetracked by the eating.

I will have to do another trip – luckily there is a week to go for the Challenge!

  • * * * * * * * *

Weekly total – it’s been a good week this week but I am unlikely to get to 2,000k for the year by end April (a secret goal).

Total for week :  166 k            Total for year :  1,767 k         

Vivente :  100 k                          Brompton :   21 k                    Bike E : 45 k




End of Week Report – 105 kilometers

The Four Spring Lake ride was the “special” ride of the week.  Most other kilometers were gained riding to Bishopsbourne and the Deloraine Friday ride.

Just a few “top-up” rides occurred on Sunday when I rode them on K’s Bike E recumbent. K & D came up to Longford and stayed in the caravan park in their new  caravan on a shake-down trip.  The rather lengthy Bike E was brought up lying on the bed in the van.  Luckily an old blanket was under it as the rather lengthy chain left a bit of oil decorating it.  On Sunday it looked like rain and we thought it would be best to get the bike under cover as it had been kicked off the bed the previous evening and stood in the corner outside for making a mess.

The plan was to put it in my garage and so I walked down to the caravan park on Sunday morning to pick it up.  I pushed it out of the park, away from prying eyes and then took off.  After my wobbly attempts at Huonville I was expecting another round of difficult “take offs” but things went quite well.  I could have started in the caravan park after all and not looked a complete novice!  The recumbent feels very strange after a “normal” bike and, when pedalling, it doesn’t feel very lively.  I used, I think, 4 of the gears on the derailleur but didn’t try to change gear in the hub (it is a 3 (hub) x 7 (derailleur) SRAM gearing system).  Steering the device is odd because you can’t lean into turns in the same way as on a “normal”.  On a tight turn you have to use the trick of flicking the steering the opposite way to the way you want to go and use the “fall” in the other direction to go into the turn.  Or, if that doesn’t work, panic brake, put your feet down, lift the bike off the ground and turn until it points the right way and then pedal on – but that’s not a cool look.

On Sunday afternoon I played with the gearing and found the hub gears do actually select gears 1, 2 and 3.  Gear 1 – the lowest – can only be used if you keep the twist grip changer hard on the low position – probably due to slackness in the cable.  There is no more adjustment at the twist-grip end so this will take a little bit of work to sort out. More of a test ride showed that, when used with the lowest hub gear setting, low on the derailleur results in a lot of pedal twiddling or, in cycling terms, a very high cadence – so hill climbing on the bike should be possible.  That’s good because it would be an awkward lump of a thing to push up a hill.

K and I plan to spend a morning with the Bike E tomorrow (Monday) and see if the working of the gears can be improved.  Then it goes back to bed for the journey south to Huonville.

And so another week in cycling draws to an end ………..

Totals for week :

Total for week :  109 k            Total for year :  1,492 k  

Vivente :   81 k                          Brompton :   17 k                    Bike E : 11 k



CLC 2018 Ride #5 – Four Springs Lake

Classifying this as a Cycle Life Challenge entry was a bit awkward but it turned out OK in the end.

Four Springs Lake 1 small

I am a member of the Tamar Bicycle Users Group and, on paying my Subscription for 2018, I was given a voucher for a basic bike service at Cycology.  I thought this “Loss Leader” would provide a way for the shop to make some money out of parts and extra servicing, so I expected a bill when I picked up the bike this morning.  Any payment would count as the ‘supporting a local business’ required for the Challenge.  Imagine my surprise then when I had to pocket the plastic and wheel the bike out without charge!

Continue reading “CLC 2018 Ride #5 – Four Springs Lake”

Another week – another 100k

Yep – done it again.  The CLC2018 ride gave me a good start, the Friday River Road run helped and the rest was ridden on the Brommie.

On Saturday I decided to trial what seemed to be a new bike track between Perth and Breadalbane.  There have been major roadworks here for the past 2 years or so building a dual carriageway link as part of the upgrades happening to the Midland Highway.  The old road was not used and it appears that as part of the works a bike path has been installed alongside the old highway.  The connection out of Perth requires a ride along the Midland Highway until a right hand turn is reached – hopefully the Council will develop a riding path to get cyclists to the old road safely.

The initial part of the old highway runs in a cutting blasted out of rock.  There is not enough room for a cycleway until you are through that bit – but once through there it is.

I have practiced my YouTube skills a bit and have a video I created this morning.  You can see it Here.

At the end of the vid there is a shot of a sign to Gibbets Hill.  There is a bit of history here as written up in Wikipedia :  

In 1837, five years after the practice ceased in England, the body of John McKay was gibbetted near the spot where he murdered Joseph Wilson near Perth.  There was great outcry, but the body was not removed until an acquaintance of Wilson passed the spot and horrified by the spectacle of McKay’s rotting corpse, pleaded with the authorities to remove it.  The location is still marked by a sign reading, “Gibbet Hill” on the right when heading to Launceston. This was the last case of gibbeting in a British colony.

I cycled up Gibbet Hill Rise hoping to find a sign or the gibbet or anything further about this.  Nothing.  The road had a number of nice, neat lifestyle houses on lifestyle blocks a far cry from a rotting corpse.  Please note I do not say “Lifestyle” with a sneer like some do.  I am happy for people to develop a more relaxed lifestyle – I know we enjoyed it when on a lifestyle block in the bush in the Huon Valley.  After keeping goats and ducks and managing veggies and fruit I am now quite content do veggies only on a much smaller scale!!

The clocks go back (I think it is) tonight as we come off summertime.  It will be a bit of a relief as it is dark in the mornings and the sun comes up late.  This means early morning rides are out due to squinty drivers finding it hard to see a cyclist.  What will next week bring?

Totals for week :

Total for week :  103 k            Total for year :  1,383 k

Vivente :   72 k                          Brompton :   31 k

CLC Ride #4. The Longford – Carrick Loop

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I haven’t had a longish ride recently.  For one reason or another the time hasn’t been available.  So I was pleased to be able to fit in this 55k ride today.  “I am Well Pleased” as the Brits say (I have obviously been watching too many of the London Recumbent Club rides on YouTube!) as the weather today was really good cycling weather.

I got my act together but not quickly.  I sold the canoe on Saturday and spent some time in the shed yesterday working out how to use the newly available space.  I moved heaps of stuff from stacks against the walls so I can add some extra shelving to what is already there.  The stack stuff became intermingled with the riding stuff and the riding stuff hard to find.  Then I decided to pack a pannier with rain gear – just in case.  All this meant I pulled the bike out, shut the shed roller door, opened it up again to find something, closed it, opened it up again ….  and this went on for far too long and reminded me of Scott’s trip preparations.  In the end it didn’t rain so I needn’t have bothered.

Now this ride may or may not be accepted by Goddess Kathleen the Great as a CLC ride because I didn’t take the real proof picture.  There were reasons as you will see.  And they may be mitigating.

I pedalled slowly out of Longford enjoying the wind-free, sunny but cool airs.  I had two cycling tops on as it really was a lazy breeze that movement created.  The “Frosty Boy” top is windproof to some extent and did keep things warm.  There are a couple of 5 acre blocks at the top of Catherine Street I am keeping an eye on.  Both will be building soon and I am just interested in how the general works are proceeding.  Today one block has been fitted out with sheep to keep the grass down – that explains the serious barricades made out of pallets around the trees they planted.   The other seems to be digging the trench to take power and phone to the house site – a job requiring a reasonably deep pocket.


Onto Wilmore’s Lane and up Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble once more.  Nothing much changed here other than things greening a little after the recent rain.  At the junction with Bishopsbourne Road I stopped, removed Frosty Boy and dug out the camera.  Tried for a shot of some water birds in the protected Lagoon.  While stopped I also sent a message to our dog-loving neighbour advising I was out for a ride – could she collect Oscar to assist her working in the garden please.

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Parked by the rail crossing.  Cars going over it actually stopped this morning.

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Distant birds.  They are black swans.  Honest.

I took a couple of other shots at full 42 times optical zoom but the results were rubbish – too much movement.

Cycling on along Bishopsbourne Rd I noticed a number of black beetles scuttling along the tarmac but couldn’t identify them.  A stop at the Bishopsbourne Sports Ground toilets was necessary and the Men’s door was firmly locked.  A gentle push at the Women’s door and I was in.  In thanks to the Ladies, I made sure there were no signs of a visit including returning seat and cover to the down position.  I wonder if this is a physiological game being played by the Council.  Lock the guys out of their domain, force them to use the Women’s and with thanks and appreciation for their surrounds they take more care?  I doubt it.

Down to the church and turn left for the run down to Pitt’s Lane.  By now legs were feeling good and speed naturally increased.  I think of the battery indicators in electronic gadgets – an outline of the battery and a colour inside showing how much power is left.  My outline leg would be almost full at the moment.  I stopped at the junction with Pitt’s Lane.

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The closest we get to the Tiers today.

The hedgerows here were showing signs of Autumn.

Hawthorn and Sloe berries plus Rose Hips were colourfully displayed.  In other places people are busy picking blackberries which are plentiful this year.

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Pitt’s Lane is a backroad linking two roads into Bracknell.  At the end I turned right heading towards Carrick.  Pitt’s is not a busy road and only one car passed on the way to the junction.  The road to Carrick is rather busier with most traffic travelling at 100kph.  As usual, when a vehicle was approaching from behind one came from the front too and I formed a mobile chicane.  Again as usual, I was looked after by 80% of passers by.  The two double trailer, double story sheep trucks came a bit close though and the wind blasting off them was interesting.

Some time ago, in another blogging universe, I posted pictures of poly houses being erected.  It looked like they would be growing strawberries and as I cycled past today I saw this is so.

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It is quite an operation.  There are approx 30 of the tunnels shown on the right with another row of 30 behind.  Today all have strawberries dangling and a group of pickers could be seen working it’s way along one of the tunnels.

With no wind and feeling good and the leg outline power indicator well above 50%, the undulating back end of the road was soon completed and I popped out onto the Meander Valley Road heading into Carrick.  On the way I passed the Mill (on the Liffey River) which has been recently repurposed from a Cafe and Restaurant to an Antique Centre.  It will be interesting to see how long it stays open because the bottom seems to have dropped out of Antiques and many of the shops that were around have given up.  Maybe old furniture just doesn’t suit modern houses and all older houses have enough (a suggestion I attribute to our Oscar sitting neighbour).

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It was then a few seconds of pedalling up to the Carrick Arms and the associated Cafe.  Sometimes an old guy is sitting across the road on his pusher seat, watching the traffic go by.  He waves a lot as he knows most drivers.  I give him a wave and, after a bit of thought, he waves back – but he wasn’t here today.  Hope he is OK.


THEN.  Horror.  The Cafe was closed.  This has happened before but the Publican organised an egg and bacon roll.  Today it was a different situation as the Pub has new management.  I asked for a roll and coffee and it took a bit of chatting before all was OK and the Chef assured the owner he could and would knock up a roll for me.  And he did.  2 eggs, lots of bacon in a large Turkish bread roll.  Thank you both.  The new owners told me that had expected a “soft landing” in their new place in Tasmania (coming from Brisbane).  Instead their first weeks were very hectic as customers deterred from using the Pub and it’s Restaurant by the previous owners, returned in droves.  So, to cope, they shut the Cafe and concentrated on renovation and re-opening the Restaurant.

During the conversations and the eating and the coffee I totally forgot to take a picture – and I feel it wouldn’t have been polite anyway!  Thanks for the roll – let me take a picture of it!!  But contribute to the local community I did and did so again on arrival back in Longford by telling others about the place and setting up a plan to return for an evening meal in the next week or so.

The trip back was by a slightly different route to the out but generally it was more of the same and all very enjoyable.  I rode 54 ks according to the tripometer thingo and the leg outline was at 50% after the egg and bacon roll top up.

Now to plan Ride #5.

2018. Week 9. 1000 kilometers so far !!

I have to report that the Japanese lunch last Sunday was a real winner.  Everybody used the internet to advantage and several of us hit the Asian Grocers in Launceston to find ingredients previously unknown to us.  I attempted to make a sweet rice flour Mochi but failed at the steaming stage.  So Plan B was implemented and a simple coffee jelly was prepared instead – which was a surprise hit.  Luckily everyone else (being better cooks) produced a variety of delights.  Sake, we decided, tastes a bit like metho so people stuck to the wines.  I provided some Japanese beer.  Interestingly although Japanese in name it was brewed in China and imported via New Zealand and tasted like a boring old lager.


Oscar the bionic dog waiting patiently (but disappointedly) for his share

To business.  Emily beat me to it BUT I made it this week.  What?   1,000 kilometers in 2018.  Well done Emily – I am not recovering from Ross River Fever and I still found it a challenge.

To get there, each day from Monday to Thursday and on Sunday I cycled from Longford to Bishopsbourne and back (25k).  Alternating the bikes I used both to achieve 100 kilometers by the end of Thursday.  Friday was the usual 20k at Deloraine.  I had felt a bit out of sorts on the Brompton on Thursday and coming back seemed like a bit of a fight, leaving me aching in the hands, legs and shoulder.  I was not looking forward to Deloraine and the associated hills but everything was good again.

The varying weather conditions made using the same route interesting as did using the 2 bikes.  On a couple of days there were flying ants in the air.  It proved important to spot them in advance and close the mouth before hitting the black column.  The first time I saw them I thought “What the ***, that’s a lot of “floaters” in my eye” but then I wore a mouthful and, no, not floaters. Luckily it was on a downhill section so quickly closing the mouth and breathing out stopped them getting too far in.  Could have been worse.

Images from different days after climbing Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble.

I used the rides to work on gear handling on the Brompton; which is a little different. The bike has a wide ratio Stermey Archer 3-speed hub and a 2-speed derailleur all on the rear wheel.  Low gear is 1 on the hub lever and – (minus) on the 2-speed lever selecting the larger cog.  Second is 1 on the hub and + on the 2-speed lever selecting the small cog on the back.  Third is 2 on the hub and large cog on the back. Fourth is 2 on the hub and small cog on the back and so on.  So there is a whole lot of control lever work going on.  Up to last week I changed each unit separately but now I have got into the swing of changing both at the same time.  It feels wrong but works OK and less time (and thus momentum) is lost when changing down on hills – but I really have to think about which way to move each lever!

So, 1,000k up – where to from here?  Well next week will be different.  We are heading south for a few days and I will be taking the Brommie.  There is a chance of a ride of K’s Bike E – a (non-electric) semi-recumbent bike that was produced in America for several years before the company went under in 2002.  Last but not least – the Cycle Life Challenge begins on Friday the 9th.  The Challenge has been called by Goddess Kathleen and we will respond.  The Rules can be found Here.

Lots to do; I will report on events as they happen.

Total for week :  165 k            Total for year :  1,015 k

Vivente :   99 k                          Brompton :   66 k