Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NIght Rides

My bike at night with the headlights on. Note only one front fork. (Can it still be called a fork??)

I have been inspired to increase my riding. Some of you know I have pretty bad arthritis and recently my ankle has suffered. This made me do less. Well I guess it hurts when I sit and do nothing, and it hurts when I do something. So- Better to do something.

As Maalie knows, the trails around my house are numerous and interesting. So, a night ride is in order!. The trails are steep, loose and rocky. It takes a great deal of care in picking the right line as you ride. Many of the trails have deep sandy washouts at the bottom of hills. The wrong line can flip you straight off the bike.

I had tried only one light- A Topeak. This has three settings with three different burn times. A brilliant light but "at speed" I needed more, so I added a Night Rider light. It seems "whiter" and gives a more specific beam. I can also be worn on the helmet- perfect for look around the next bend and focusing light on where your eyes are looking. For me it makes the helmet too heavy, so I fitted it to the bike. Now the bike looks like a rally car!

The other point of note is that shadows can make the terrain look different- Deep potholes look shallow and ledges can look deeper than the are. This means bouncing off ruts and tree roots more, all adding to the fun.

By the time I got home I was "rooted"!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Richmond Polo fields ride

The start of the ride. If you look carefully you can see my walking stick strapped to the front fork.

Well, having had a break and being inspired by Mathew Moggridge blogger from No Visible Lycra, I decided to dust off the bike and go for a ride. A short ride of 25km along some of the prettiest country lanes. Full of history, open fields, farms and Polo fields, its an excellent way to get fit, and to spot some interesting birds.

Looking across the fields towards the mountains

The ride takes you through the outskirts of town, past the RAAF base, to Windsor and back along the river passing polo fields and horse studs as we go. The ride reminds me a little of the English roads, passing hedges and fields

Dave looking for birds.

I have to confess I was struggling, but I discovered, at the end that, my front brake was binding yet again! This seems to be a common problem and is about the equivalent of riding into a head wind. Still, at the end of the ride I felt quite good. Its nice to be blogging again too!
Birds spotted on the day:-

House sparrow, Common Starling, Common Miner, Noisy Miner, Red Rumped Parrot, Yellow Thornbill, Australian Pelican, Dusky Moorhen, Coot, Pacific Black Duck, Nankeen Kestrel, Fire Tail Finch, Pee wee, Australian Raven, Black shouldered Kite, Crimson Rosella, Australian Magpie, Currawong, King Parrot, Grey Butcher bird, Satin Bower Bird, Galah, Peregrine Falcon, Brown Thornbill, Willy Wagtail, Bell Miner.
Superb Fairy Wren. Welcome Swallow