Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

Futile search for tractors…

After a day of gardening and visiting Jen, I decided to go for a late afternoon ride around our local area of Pine Mountain (an outlying part of Ipswich, which is on the western edge of Brisbane).

My photographic assignment was, of course, 'tractors': I knew, so I thought, where to find two forlorn relics from times when tractors did not have padded seats and shady roofs (let alone air-conditioned cabs!). It would be a pleasant ride along sealed and gravel roads skirting Pine Mountain itself: that's the 'mountain' in the photo with the house.

The first old tractor was where it had been put out to pasture, literally, but now there was a robust metal fence blocking it from view, and there was a stack of firewood surrounding it. All that was need was a can of diesel and its funeral pyre would have been complete. No photo.

Onward to tractor #2. Gone! How dare they! It had surely been put out to delight passers-by, ebikers for example.

I'll have to find the tractors' photos taken on earlier rides and post them. Until then, here are a few photos from the ride.

Modern Queenslander Home, Pine Mountain

Pine Mountain (looking NE)

Pine Mountain

Pine Mountain (looking SE)
Ride with GPS
 
Just want to tell you I successfully replaced the faulty Presta valve core for the front wheel of my big Vado! It is a very easy operation, and it is enough to use the "electronic long nose pliers" to unscrew the old valve core and replace it with a new one. (There also exists a simple tool for doing that, which is delivered together with tubeless Presta valves). The reason for the old valve core to become stuck was the... inner tube sealant! (Presently, many new inner tubes are pre-filled with the sealant. If only possible, I will be avoiding these for the future!)

Now, an advice Jacek gave me was: In case your old inner tube got damaged, always remove the existing Presta valve core and store it for the future use.

There are never-ending discussions between the lovers and the haters of the tubeless solution. As much as I respect the tubeless concept as much I hate the thought of tubeless valve cores being stuck because of the sealant (because it is something that has to occur at times).

I would love to be riding Easter Saturday through Monday but unfortunately the weather has become hopeless again here...
 
My Private Paris-Roubaix (Magda)

The first ride of the morning was nothing to speak of: just a 15 km ride to buy bread at my favourite store in Podkowa Leśna. Now: My daughter Magda has been hospitalized for three days because of a blood circulation ailment. It is very difficult to visit your dear one in a hospital nowadays: You need to get a permission from the surgeon, and book your visit in advance. I fortunately managed to fix the matters on Friday, and was allowed to see Magda in Grodzisk Maz. on Saturday. And the story begins...

Everything looked so simple in the beginning! What is a 2x16 km (20 miles round trip) ride? Nothing! I took my Vado SL:
  • 62% of the main battery remaining
  • A freshly charged Range Extender
  • No "navigation phone", that is the one with Wahoo Companion App and BLEvo
  • No balaclava but the "light Winter suit" otherwise.
After arriving in the hospital, I donned the face-mask and a robe and could give my poor darling Easter gifts.

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Magda enjoying her Milka Egg & Spoon sweets (it is only available during the Easter season).

I discovered Magda had been transported to the hospital by the emergency, and she had nothing own with her! Specifically, she had no smartphone. And I made a difficult decision: to ride to Magda's Social Care Home to bring the phone + charger back to her. (If I didn't, the next opportunity would be the next Wednesday only). Now, how to make a long ride if your e-bike is low on batteries?!

The answer was: Specialized Smart Control. I set 50 km as the distance to be still ridden, 50 m Elevation Gain (too little!) and 10% of the batteries left at the end of the ride (let the e-bike control the assistance to make the goal). And I determined my route by watching Google Maps on my main smartphone. My private Paris-Roubaix had started!

Because Smart Control decided to offer minimal assistance in the beginning, and I was riding against (at least) 25 km/h headwind! What an endurance ride! I was spinning the crank in a very low gear (I was hardly assisted!) and often rode as slowly as 14 km/h (that is less than 9 mph!) What a shame: a farmer riding a junk bike could overtake me! But I promised to myself not to give up.

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I was surprised to be able to reach the Social Care Home. I was given Magda's phone and charger soon, and could go back to Grodzisk.

The ride back was downwind or with a side-wind, so it was much faster. Moreover, Smart Control was assisting me more and more. I chose another route...

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The Grodzisk Mazowiecki Beltway (under construction).

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A special segment of my Paris-Roubaix ride! :D Note: it was only 10-11 C, and the wind was cold. Fortunately, I could enjoy sunshine.


I could successfully re-visit Magda. Then, I discovered there was still quite a lot of main battery charge available, so I ate at McD and returned home by different route.

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I've been living in the new neighbourhood for a year now. It is a secluded area, which is cut off the outer world by the freeway and rivers. It is a farming area with a huge logistics base (around the Moszna Stack). NB: It was terribly blowing on the overpass, from which I took this photo!

Actually, I was stiff post-ride. And very proud of myself! I made it!

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89 km total on the day. 275 Wh used for the 74 km ride.
 
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Scraping frost off my car....... again today in North Vancouver. Snowed here too a couple days ago. This is getting annoying now.
I did manage to sneak out for a ride after lunch once it warmed up a bit. There were still remnants of snow on the trails which didn’t concern me too much at the time but I had to be wary of slick roots that lay hidden beneath cover. Pretty well most of the swampy sections near the river had dried up which bodes well for keeping the machine clean. Even though it was a dreary overcast day that didn’t deter me from getting out for a ride. Unfortunately, I tend to get a bad case of the sniffles on days like this.

 
There were still remnants of snow on the trails which didn’t concern me too much at the time but I had to be wary of slick roots that lay hidden beneath cover.
Still on Ice Spikers?

My plan for today is a Metric Century on my big Vado, riding on deflated Electraks off-road, and re-inflated on the pavement. I would use a brand new 604 Wh battery. One of the ride goals will be providing Magda with more of her own things such as clothes and a better phone charger. We'll see what the future holds! Still not too warm but sunny, and the wind has relented.
 
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Still on Ice Spikers?

My plan for today is a Metric Century on my big Vado, riding on deflated Electraks off-road, and re-inflated on the pavement. I would use a brand new 604 Wh battery. One of the ride goals will be providing Magda with more of her own things such as clothes and a better phone charger. We'll see what the future holds! Still not too warm but sunny, and the wind has relented.
Yes, I’m afraid that I’ll continue to roll on ISPs until I can be sure that it’s safe to ride the trails without them. Hopefully by next week we’ll be back to seasonal weather and I can make the dedicated wheel swap then.

I can’t wait to get back on the road again and am envious of all your great trip reports. As well, I’m sure that it feels more reassuring for Magda that you take the extra effort to make her life a bit more comfortable.
 
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My best ride of the year so far, despite riding into a stiff headwind for the first 30 miles or so! When I got the stiff breeze behind me it was sheer bliss, I was in cycling heaven! I headed down to Colin McRae's home town of Lanark and had a short break for a snack at Lanark Loch, I was surprised to see it so quiet with both wildlife and humans very sparse! Probably due to the Easter holiday, people have probably decided to head for the sun....

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From here I headed for my destination town of Biggar, the road is such a joy to ride on a Sunday and it was awesome to see all the Spring lambs bounding around in the fields!

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I actually had to climb a fence into one of the fields to rescue a lamb that had its head caught in the fence, you can just about see it in the bottom right of this photo! Thankfully it was fine and ran to its mummy instantly, no thank you was forthcoming! 🤣

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Back on to this awesome road with only a few miles to my intended destination! A few hundred yards down this road is a little tearoom where my parents regularly took us for our Sunday meal back in the 70's and 80's, its still there but sadly closed no doubt due to covid...

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On reaching Biggar I could see road closed signs ahead, it was the road I was intending to use which takes you to the village of Carnwath with some amazing roads with big climbs and big descents! I decided to chance it and it paid off, no problem getting through the closure on the bike! The views along this road are awesome, even on a cloudy day like today!

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Time was now against me once again so the photos had to end here, I could just enjoy the ride home on amazing roads in near perfect conditions with that lovely tailwind behind me! My legs are very tired now but a couple of days rest will do me good now, hoping to get back out on Wednesday and probably Friday with the weather staying dry and frost free! What a fantastic day that was, it was much needed after some trying days at home recently!
 

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