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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Short Tour

Trike split for train trip

Tailbox interior
Blackberry Season

Stopped on Great Ocean Road for Blackberries
Bell-Selfie on great Ocean Road

Airey's Inlet Trike and Surf

Rifle Butts Road

Near Beeac
At Pax Hill Scout Camp
Pax Hill Milk Bar and Take-Away
and its Gourmet Menu and Fax Powered Communication System
Rob Leviston on Mid Racer

Rob Leviston
Near Cressy
Start of 100k race

Start of Lake Relay
Flower Festival Promotion in Ballarat

Rob and the Levomobile,

Warm and dry when I was freezing my bum off.
Suspension on the levomobile, 2 recycled snow-skis.
Hi, I have been back for a few days from a 4 day, 300k tour on the leaning trike.  I will add a few more words later, but for now, here are the photos, most of them taken on a made-ezy m270 flip phone.  This phone is a technological leap for me, my previous John's Phone, which stopped communicating when the 2g network closed down only took phone calls.  So now I can SMS and take photos and calculate.  And stuff.

As I said, will write more later.


So hear we go with a bit more detail....

For a few weeks before starting this ride, I had advertised it as an OzHpv event and teed up with rob Leviston for him to lead a ride on the Saturday.  I had no interest from others until late in the piece when an acquaintence from Robert W's B Spon rides, Gary H. emailed me and said he wanted to come.  Then at the last  minute Gary pulled out, he had been on a training and tour and drank some bore water which upset his stomach, and he was flat out for the next few days, so it was to be a solo trip for me.

The trip from home in Clifton Hill to Southern Cross Station wasn't the doddle it should have been!  I went over a few cobblestones and the bumps loosened some of the side-panels on my home made trike to the extent that in one section of Spencer Street, things started falling out of the side of the boot and one of the bag straps tangled itself in the back wheel.  A few passers-by were helpful in retrieving my stuff, and nothing was permanently damaged.  The problem was easy to work out thankfully.  The fold-back clips holding the panels to the rest of the trike were too small and weak, and there weren't enough of them.  Anyway, a temporary fix in Spencer St. (helps not to be embarrassed too easily when riding this trike) got me through to the station and on to the train to Geelong, and dissassembling the trike into 2 bits made it fit into the space allocated for bikes and surfboards and kept the conductor happy.

At the new Waurn Ponds station I checked the sidepanels for strength, rearranged a few clips, worked out I could get bigger clips at the Anglesea newsagent, and then headed off.  A few weeks earlier I had plotted a ride with gps route which avoided the Prines Freeway and a large unfriendly hill, but I had forgotten all about that and got onto the Anglesea road via a considerable detour.  But only a problem in hindsight, the rest of the trip was uneventful and the Anglesea newsagent had a sufficient and cheap supply of the fold back clips I needed.

A couple of spotss I'd found difficult on previous Great Ocean road rides were conquered without too much trouble using the new Sunrace 40 tooth sprocket   , and that included the hills in Bellbrae and Anglesea.  The only real stop was to gather some roadside Blackberries.

At Airey's Inlet where I stayed overnight I repaired the sidepanels and replacing clips.  This was the only unexpected problem with the trike.

The first 20 k of the next day's ride were challenging.  The drive wheel of my trike is at the front and doesn't have much weight on it so any combination of uphill and gravel makes the wheel slip and you need to get off and push.  Just getting on with it is the best thing to do.  Beyond Bambra the road got much better.  There were huge and massively expensive road works near the Princes Highway but otherwise things went fairly smoothly.  For the most park I just kept going and only stopped for lunch in Rokewood.

About 6 I got in to the Pax hill scout camp and stayed in one of the cabins there for the next few nights.  Not stopping much certainly helped progress.  There's a milk bar with take-away food about a k from the scout camp, and I got take away food from there both nights to avoid hillclimbs and general exhaustion.

Next day I met Rob Leviston quite early and we rode about 60k.  Rob had his lowracer and was a bit quicker than me.  There was a bit of rain coming in to Ballarat and it was quite cold.  We had a bit of lunch, Rob headed off, and I spent some time looking for Ballarat op shops before heading back to the camp for a quiet night passed innocently watching the TV and reading "The Martian".

On Sunday, the rain from the previous day threatened again, and I packed up my (not much) stuff and paid the scout camp (again not much) and headed off to the start of the Race Relay which is a 2 hour ride around the lake as an individual or with a team of up to 12 people.  This was a pretty damp affair, and cold for me because I was a dumb ass and didn't pack wet weather gear.  Drizzle turned to rain about halfway through, but the flat course around the lake was quite a lot of fun.  I was able to line up the corners created by the multiple roundabouts and fang it through with considerable speed, and pass most riders on the course who were, after all sometimes small children accompanied by their parents.

After the ride, I caught up with Rob Leviston and his "Levomobile" velomobile, which was the perfect vehicle for the day.  He stayed warm and dry inside, and was able to listen to MP3 tunes on his stereo as he pedalled.  This trike is a wonderful creation, and the front wheel suspension is made from discarded snow skis.  Unfortunately for the organisers not many people hung around for post-ride celebrations despite the live music, beer on tap and bike displays.

There was still more rain, so I didn't hang round much either and headed to the station for some food to warm me up and the train trip home.  On this trip the conductors weren't overly fussy and I left my trike intact for the trip.  This was fortunate, in my wet and cold state I wasn't much in the mood for bike wrangling.

Overall it was a good trip, and it was nice to have the trike prove itself over some interesting terrain.  


Steve Nurse

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