Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sydney, a longer trip in the Blue Mountains

Just back from another trip about the Blue Mountains. Started badly with an unhappy City Rail Guard. Just minutes before it departed Central, he was telling us we shouldn't be on the train and threatening to get the Police onto us for not obeying him. All his talk and threats of police came to nothing in the end, but was a worrying and unsettling trip and completely unnecessary.

After that, blue skies, lots of road side fruit trees, and some very lazy days. Back to Hill End for a visit, then over to Hargraves, Mudgee, Rylstone, Glen Alice and Glen Davis before returning to Lithgow for a non stressful trip back down again.  In contrast to the trip up, the guard on this trip was very friendly and helpful.  Biggest day riding was just shy of 100km - Hargraves to Rylstone with a tail wind. Shortest day was just 12 km.  So lots of lazing about, reading was done.

Managed to return with only 10 kg of apples this time. Made a special detour to go back to our favourite tree.

Apart from the day through Sofalia up to Hill End which was very hot, we had a 5C overnight in Rylstone.  Sadly my home made chain guard, that handled 42C last year, didn't survive. The cold night cause it to warp badly. Not sure if the heat really did the damage, and the cold finished it off, or it didn't like the cold, but after a day of hoping it would straighten out, I had to pull it off and bin it. Running without a chain guard for now.

Without a chain guard, I'll have to pay the chain a bit more attention. Lube is good, but commercial stuff is expensive. I like the dry wax lubes - like White Lightning or Rock n Roll. Decided to have a go with a homemade formula. I dissolved candle wax in some Shellite that I use for my stove. The Shellite evaporates, leaving the wax on the chain. It doesn't last long though - flaking off too fast. I get about 50km before it sounds dry. Going to add in some beeswax to the mix, which should have more "stick" to it.

Another casualty, was my ebook reader, a Sony PRS-T1. Fortunately it lasted until I was back in Sydney, before half the screen faded out. It has been a faithful companion for many years. With Sony no longer making them, I'll get one of the Kobo ereaders. Reading is essential.

Will be about Sydney a few more weeks yet, before heading north. The cyclones up there are making the place very wet. Also heard there are swarms of mossies about. I can wait.