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Friday, May 21, 2021

GSR 300 preview


102 k training ride recorded on Garmin.

Bit of extra sewing on the front of the seat helps it stay in place.

The shelf was made slightly deeper and has a lip at the top now.  I can reach inside to access....

Food in containers with a simple hinged lid.

Hinge is made from gaffer tape.

Wired Speedo fitted. (Blue and black on top of frame)

High strength magnets embedded in tailbox lid. These keep it closed rather well.

New mount for front reflector was sourced from...

This spool of string - had to transfer the string to a bit of timber to liberate the spool.



For a few weeks now I have been training for an Audax ride I signed up for, the Great Southern Randonee super series Audax 300. Based on what I learnt from my Cobram ride, I have improved the bike and its handling and comfort. Some of the changes are shown above. I could have done some more conventional parts swapping changes and done myself a favour!  

Then, fortunately or unfortunately, I muddled up the week of the ride, and headed down to the start at Port Fairy a week early. I only realised the date was wrong when my booking for the youth hostel wasn't in, and my written receipt was for a week later. Even then I had to ring my wife Christine to check my diary. Anyway, since I was all prepared to ride an Audax 300, I decided to ride most of the course as a trial run. Some pictures follow.

Southern Cross Station 7:30 am Monday. On the train I spoke to Ben, a cycle tourist who had travelled from Portland to Newcastle

View from Tower Hill back to Warrnambool

Interesting relief map of Victoria in Port Fairy YHA youth hostel.

Bike prepped in hostel room

Warrnambool on the way back.

Near Allansford

At the Port Campbell free stuff caravan.

Roadworks near Princetown

Superkitsch! At Laver's Hill
Apollo Bay
In need of repair!  Troubles starting about 10k west of Apollo Bay

Tail between my legs: bailing from the bike and taking the bus back to Melbourne

A few days later and back at Aireys, overhauling the trike with my wife Christine for company.

The trip back started fine at 6 am, and I rode the 103k from Port Fairy to Port Campbell in about 5 1/2 hours. The only trouble I had was with pedals clipping in to cleats, and I had stopped a few times to try to fix that. Good lunch of pies in Port Campbell. 

 The stretch from Port Campbell to Princetown was also good, but it got hilly before Lavers Hill and I had to walk it a few times and was glad to get to Laver's Hill at 3:10, well before the cafe shut. Another pie and a hot chocolate at Laver's Hill.

All good from Laver's Hill to Apollo Bay (6:45pm) where I had an excellent and much needed pizza  at Georges. Things went bad from there, I had neglected to check my front tyre and the tube burst through a worn-out tyre section. That was fine, I fitted my spare tube and used a $5.00 note between tube and tyre to stop further blowouts. 

But the spare tube had a slow leak!  Despite lots of attempts at repair, I couldn't fix the puncture and was pumping up the front tyre every 2k or so all the way to Eastern View, about 5k from Airey's Inlet , my overnight destination. At Eastern View, the already leaking spare tyre burst again, and there was nothing for it but to walk the rest of the way back, finally arriving at ridiculous o'clock, (3:45am). My bike was stranded at that stage without, needing a tyre and tubes to make it rideable.

Things didn't get better from there straight away. The next morning I managed to lock myself out of the house without my phone. With the help of the local real estate agent and locksmith I had help on the way (many thanks!) but in the end my cousin came home about 4 hours earlier than expected, and I was able to cancel the locksmith without charge.

I'd find out my wife Christine had scheduled a trip back to Aireys Inlet a few days later so it was fine to leave the bike at Aireys for a few days and it would be possible to fix it in time for the actual GSR 300. So I got the bus and train back to Melbourne and was able to repair it a few days later.

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