Saturday, May 28, 2011

Croydon, Normington, Burketown

Spent a couple of days about Croydon. Was a nice little town. Got a lift into town, then was sitting there thinking about the road that I missed, so rode back out to where I got the lift from, and cycled back into town the next day. It was worth it..
From Croydon to Normington, there is a railway siding at Blackbull. There are water tanks there, but get this - they are kept empty to discourage people camping there. The Normington-Croydon train stops there though for morning tea.
Normington was just a food stop for me. I didn't stay long before heading onto Burketown.
Leichhardt Falls are before Burketown. Spent the whole day lounging about there. And pretty much had the whole place to myself. A few caravans and camper vans went past, but only one lot got out off their car to have a look. You can't see the falls from the road. There is an access track that you can drive down - but didn't see anyone doing that.. They missed out big time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Georgetown, Crydon

Well the rain stopped after Mt Surprise. Easy rolling into Georgetown.
Did stop and have a wash in the river before I got there.
Nothing much to say about that town. Small as they all are. Had a nice park.
On leaving there I stopped for a broken down car. Interestingly no one else had stopped for him - despite having the bonnet up and the doors open. He only needed a bit of help to get him going again. Felt good to be able to help a car driver out.
Lots of caravans and boat trailers on the road. Decided to take a dirt road that would loop into Crydon. Alias, it turned into a 120km out and back trip.The road was closed. Was a bit annoyed that the campervan that passed me when I was heading in didn't stop and say so. Would have saved me 40km of the trip.
I've noticed that there are locked gates fences up all along the road.
Some pictures for today. A genuine Aboriginal artwork on a rock.
Its a littl known fact that Burke and Wills carried their own toilet block with them on the outbound trip. They had to abandon it. Luckily I got a photo.
Note: Facts surrounding the two photos may not be 100% accurate.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Milla Milla, Ravenshoe, Mt Garnet, Mt Surprise

Finally, I've out run the wet weather. Well maybe.. As I'm sitting here the clouds are rolling in.
I left on Monday and it was fine. Cloudy but fine until I put the tent up. Since then its been damp. I stopped at Henryetta Camp ground the first night. Nice and peaceful in my tent, the patta patta of rain drops on the roof.
Next day was into Milla Milla. A shower had started sometime in the early morning and after waiting for it to stop, I gave in and packed up in the rain. By the time I got to Milla Milla, it was still showering, and it was blowing a gale. I was so cold. Stood about in the rest area teeth clattering, shivering trying to decide if to put a jumper or thermals on or not. Shivering you'd think I would put something on - but thhe rub was that then that would get wet also. I humed and hared about for two hours before moving on without putting any more clothes on..
I took the scenic drive out of Milla Milla to Ravenshoe. Not only is it slighty shorter, its sign posted as unsuitable for caravens. Five minutes after leaving I was warm. The road was up and down, but more importantly it was out of the wind a lot of the time. The area is called Misty Mountain and on the way to Ravenshoe I passed Windy Hill - which had a wind farm. Do the fans run better in the drizzle?
Ravenshoe is Queenslands highest town (or something like that). It was dryer than Milla Milla, but still windy and showers.
I spent the night at Millstream Estate. Well a rest area. Lucky for me part of it was closed to vehicles, so I wheeled the Troll through and had the whole area to my self. Bonus was that it was further from the road. Still it showered.
I stopped briefly at Innot Hot Springs . But I'm more of a warm shower girl, and didn't get in. The only thing I wanted was for it to stop showering.
Mt Garnet information center has just opened. I'm on the first page in the visitors book! Had a cuppa tea, and dried the bike computer on top of the kettle. Sometime around Milla Milla it started playing up, and finally quit all together at Millstream Estate. 10 minutes on top of the kettle and it was back working. Now just have to keep it dry.
Another rest area near the Lyd Junction last night. Was helpful that the trucks sounded their air horn each time they passed. Wouldn't have known the time otherwise. But they where not regular. Someone missed the 3am slot. Still I was on the road early. Tent is still wet as - yep - it showered again. I fought a side wind to the turn off, than had a wonderful tail wind for a while. Cruising along at 30 to 40km/hr towards Mt Surprise.
The tail wind didn't last. The clouds are now difinitely here. I'll be fighting a side or head wind when I leave here.
It was the usual pains and aches getting going again after a month off. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Maybe the cold has stopped the pain?
No photos so far as its just been too damp.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time to move on..

Been resting for too long now. Feeling itchy to get moving. Time to head west!

While I've been sitting about, I have been slightly active: updated the the equipment list, new Shimano sandals, new pedals, a phone holder for the handle bars, a small bar bag (actually a camera bag), a pot warmer, a lid for the pot, a chain guard, extra water bottle mount, trued up the wheels, lightened my tools and patched up some of my clothes that are showing wear and tear and other minor items. 

The new Shimano pedals got the same grease nipple treatment as the old pedals. I expect that the top of the pedal where the cleat clips into will wear out before the bearings do. But still, being able to grease the bearings is way easy now.

Removing the handles from the cable cutter cuts the weight from 290 grams to 82 grams. I have four bolts that go in the holes from the rivets, and then can use the pliers for one handle and the shifting spanner for the other. True its not as fast to cut a cable compared to keeping the handles, but I don't need to use it that often. I have cut cables without cable cutters in the past, but it isn't easy. Normal plies and cutters squash both the inner and outer cables. A grinder does a better job on the outers, but unless it has a very fine wheel, sprays out the inner wires. If it was only brake cables, I wouldn't worry about it. But the Rohloff gear cable inners need to fit through small holes. Unless the inner is cut neatly and cleanly its really hard to get them in. Sufficient to say after doing it once with the grinder, I've now got cable cutters. The weight of the tool is now minor. 

I spent a lot of time on the chain guard. Bent up and cut a fair amount of water pipe and electrical conduit before using the core-flute. I wanted to have the chain ring covered, the chain in tubes and some covering over the rear cog. I did get a couple of versions to work, but in the end wasn't happy with the robustness of them. I elected to use core-flute in the end as its light, was easy to fit, and if it does get bashed too much its easy to get off. It looks a bit agricultural at the moment, but I didn't have a lot of choice in the core-flute. The sign I used, I found in the shed under the lawn mower. It was squashed flat in places, and has bends in the wrong spots - part of the reason for the chain ring being visible. It was also a tad to small for what I needed. It will do as a prototype to find how it works.  It stays in place by resting on the frame behind the chain ring, and on the chain stay. One cable tie holds it all together.  Only found two problems so far with it - getting access to check the chain adjustment means cutting the cable tie and centering the wheel is harder as you cannot see the chain stay. It has enough clearance that nothing rubs on it. We'll see how it lasts on the road.