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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ozhpv gathering, Corowa NSW, December 2013

Near Chiltern, a horse having a cool off....

and a drink in a swamp.

Ross's Zockra High Racer: note the cranks!

Bev and Alex in Chiltern
Rick Willoughby  (in stripy shorts) and his pedal powered boat on the Murray

Bev and Alex, just West of Chiltern

"The fast Mob"

Just about everyone in Rutherglen

Lloyd Charter
Me! Riding to the RSL club.  Carrying everything with you in the bike precludes carrying a suit for such occasions.  (Graeme S. Photo)

Bustling Springhurst on a Saturday morning, the post office and
Hotel, now a private residence.
The fast mob in Howlong
On the way to the RSL


Last Saturday I travelled up to Corowa by train to visit the ozHpv gathering in Corowa.  The weekend included the Annual General Meeting for ozHpv but  mostly it's for getting together and riding with other recumbents.

So I got on the early train from Melbourne to one of the nearest towns on the railway line, Springhurst.  Springhurst has seen busier days, it used to be the terminus for a train line heading north to Corowa and Wahgunyah, but since that line  shut a lot of the town's activity shut too.  On last Saturday morning the only shop, (the post office) was closed and there were copies of the "Border Mail" labelled with their owner's names lying under a rock.  On the train I had been surveying the map I'd photocopied and Pete Heal's email concerning weekend activities and on getting to Springhurst rang Pete and confirmed I could head toward Chiltern and probably catch up with some other recumbent cyclists / fellow lunatics*.  (*Pick one depending on your attitude)

Nice riding between Springhurst and Chiltern with virtually no traffic.  And Alex from Natural Speed Engine and Bev were in Chiltern and I joined up with them for lunch and the occasional rummage in second hand shops.  The main group were still a fair way away and Bev, Alex and I headed off on a backroad toward Rutherglen.  We split up at Rutherglen and I visited Tapsell's books which is vast and I picked up a very good vintage surfboard plan for not very much.

After that it was a short trip on the bike track to Wahgunyah and a longish climb through Corowa and beyond to the Bindaree caravan park and motel - Ozhpv headquarters for the weekend.  I set up my tent and met up with a few old bike riding mates, Graeme Signiorini, Peter Moller from Adelaide, Willem Reid, Struan Little and many more, as well as "The Canberra Mob" and "The Audax Mob" and "The Geelong Mob".

Soon after arrival, Rick Willoughby gave a demonstration of his pedal powered boats and invited any and everyone to have a go.  The boats appeared quite fast and there were certainly no awkard motions (rowing).  The AGM followed and then an evening and dinner at the massive Corowa RSL.  The venue had not one but 2 bands playing, the Abba tribute band "Babba" and a Country and Western dude.  After dinner a napkin got passed round with the agenda for the next day's ride.  Very impromptu but it worked.

The morning's ride was "all roads lead to Rutherglen", with the fast mob riding 50k over 2 hours via Howlong to get there.  I must admit I struggled to keep up with everyone, speeds were about 24kph  into the wind and 30kph in cross winds.  In the end I rode into Rutherglen with Duncan Cleland from Canberra.  There was really a fine smattering of fast recumbents, Carnon fibre Velokrafts, Zockras, m5s and Perfomer lowracers amongst them.  After morning tea at the Rutherglen Bakery we rode back to Corowa and I packed up ready to head back to Melbourne.  I had already arranged a lift back with George and it was a pretty quick trip back.  Knackered when I got home and I slept for a few hours when I got there.  One of the highlights of the weekend was having very little to unpack!  There was the sleeping bag,  the tent and that was about it.  Anything else would have been too bulky to carry.  

Coincidentally, the RACV magazine has a current article about riding round Corowa, Rutherglen and Wahgunyah.  Here is the link

Ok, All for now.  Lots of bike bits await me in the shed and I'll spend some time in the next few weeks putting a hollow frame timber machine together.  As well, Simon Watt who was on the Corowa weekend (and also my "Oppy" team) is running a flat "easy" 1200k Audax ride in April 2014.  Not sure if I will do it but Alex was talking about going along.  This gives me some training to think about!

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