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Monday, August 31, 2015

Winter Surf Ride on Vuong Leaning Trike

The trike with the seat removed and handlebars tipped, necessary to.......
make it fit inside our Kia Rio to get to the start.

All set up and ready to go at Werribee.  Andrew in foreground.

Every few months I go on an Audax ride and it takes a bit of training and organisation to get bikes and body up to speed for riding them.  A few weeks ago I started eyeing off the Winter Surf 200k ride which I had done before.  On that occasion a huge storm front came through and I finished the ride, but not on the proscribed route.

For this ride, I did some training, riding some extra distance on top of my 30k round trip commute.  This included some laps of the boulevarde in Kew, and I copped one tack puncture during the process.

The trike (used the same frame as on Winter Surf 2 years ago but everything else has changed including the wheel count!) got a chain lube, spare tube check, speedometer from K-mart, extra lights, a water bottle and water bottle mount.

The trike fitted almost holus bolus into our small car for the trip to the ride start in Werribee.  The ever-cheerful Helen Lew Ton was there to greet me at the start and all six of us set off at 8am.

The ride to Geelong was all flat and for the first part I was in the middle of the bunch, but I succumbed to a wee problem, having to stop more times than everyone else due to drinking too much milk at the start.

Everyone else must have stopped for smoko or something and despite a puncture near the Geelong racecourse  I saw Helen and some of the others just out of Geelong.  They overtook me by Torquay.

There were steep hills around Bells Beach.  My trike isn't the best on uphills anyway and my tactic for dealing with them was to walk up them briskly.  Not very good Audax riding but the best I could do.

Got into Airey's Inlet at 2pm, had my card signed and was off with the others who'd got in a bit earlier.  On to Moriac and my first real break.  Andrew pulled in after me, suffering from a "hunger flat" and needing calories just to keep going.  Also by this time, I had worked out how to reset the "distance" feature on the speedo and was becoming moderately competent at daytime navigation using the cue sheet.

A few k's down the road and Andrew's guts are complaining, he's bent over his bike not feeling too good and I press on.  Within 10 or 15k, he's with me again though, stomach troubles all cleared up.  We finished the ride together, and I leaned heavily on him for GPS navigation.  Nighttime mapping with a speedo and cue sheet needs a head torch and I didn't have one.

So anyway, steady and easy does it, we pulled back into Werribee well after dark at 8:30pm.  Helen had got in about an hour earlier.

Some lessons were learned, lighting for  Audax needs to be taken seriously including recharging or replacing batteries on all lights.  Having a head torch and cue sheet holder are necessary if you want to read a cue sheet after dark.  Better still, I should contemplate getting one of those GPS.  Thingies.  The more training the less you suffer on the ride as well.

And the trike just worked.  I had already done about 900k of commuting and general riding on it so I guess that was enough to break it in.  For the record I have done a prevoius (November 2013) long ride on a Vuong trike, not as hilly though.

Thanks to Helen, Andrew and Audax for the organising, camaraderie and assistance.


Steve Nurse

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