Equipment

Function Item Comments
Frame Greenspeed GTR 20/20 recumbent trike '94 or '95 vintage. Rock solid tourer and commuter. The integral rear rack will hold up to 80Kg (176Lb).
Drive train 38T front chainring via a triple length chain to a Sachs 3x7 hub with a 12-28T cluster. That gives me a 19.8 to 86.1 gear inch range. I want to get my next gear train closer down to 10 gear inches.
Rear Tyre Maxxis HookWorm 20x1.95 near-slick. Running at 100PSI. I like a wide tire on the rear but these may be a bit too slick for steep pea-gravel tracks.
Front Tyres Cheng Shin 20x1.50 (406-40) near-slicks. Rated at 35PSI but running fine at 60PSI. To be replaced by Tioga Comp Pools when they eventually wear out.
Lighting 5W KnightLite. Powered by a 6V 4.5Ah gel cell. This light is weak weak weak! Maureen's 6W Cateye pisses all over it.
Pannier(s) A pair of Bunyip 30L recumbent panniers. The evil metal rack hooks have been replaced by a set of the excellent nylon clips that Wilderness Equipment use on their panniers. Other than the rack hooks the Bunyips are roomy and durable and there are 3 external pockets on each pannier.
Navigation Magellan GPS 310 on 4WD mount. Left kingpin extention tube. I butchered the 4WD mount because that was 60% of the price of the bike mount. The 12V car kit will provide power once the 12V bus is installed.

Rides

Kwinana Freeway - 25th & 26th April 2004

Anzac day. We set off from home around 8:30 AM. The dawn service traffic has trailed away and I am looking forward to a quiet ride through town. The trike is loaded with both panniers and about an 80% touring load. No tent or sleeping gear and the CPAP machine instead of extra food. Maureen is riding one of the Dahon folders which is not a touring machine.

Central Perth is five kilometers away over quiet backstreet and dual use path. We cross the city block on the stupid Parliament House route because it leads directly onto the Kwinana Freeway dual use path. The path runs along the west side of the freeway for the full 48 kilometer length from central Perth to the far southern suburbs. The surface is good and there are only two cross roads that don't have underpasses.

We ride South at a leisurely 16-18 Kph between the freeway and the river. There are flocks of Little Black Cormorants congregating on the river south of Canning Bridge. Lunch is near The Spectacles nature reserve. We head down the entrance road a little way an have lunch under some convenient sheoaks while watching some bees that have a nest where two tree trunks are close together.

At the end of the freeway the ride starts to get "interesting". First off there is the round-a-bout at the end of the freeway. Lotsa traffic going on and off three of the four outlets and too few breaks in the traffic to easily get across. After a couple of mad dashes across the traffic we head off for the coast about 8 kilometers away. Some of the way on the hard shoulder which varies widely in width and quality and some of the way on dual use paths. The road is a bit too narrow and busy for comfortable riding so we stick to the alternatives. Three times on the ride local hoons feel the need to lean out of their car windows and scream inarticulately as they pass. Morons.

Once we reach the coast it is about 15 minutes to Maureen's mum's unit where we arrive just after 2:30. We indulge in hot showers and rescue a bottle of very nice Portuguese Rosť for M's step-father who is threatening to pour it out (philistine!). The afternoon floats on into evening and we retire comfortable and happy.

Monday morning we arise, breakfast, and gird our loins in a leisurely manner. We hit the road around 9 AM. Our exit strategy is to use a more direct route and join the freeway about 5 kilometers north of the freeway end. The early public holiday traffic is light along Rae road and we ignore the bike path in favour of riding on the road for a few kilometers. Ennis road is a major North-South thoroughfare and is marked as having hard shoulders suitable for bicycle traffic. Well mostly it does ... the hard shoulders disappear about 10 meters before and after every intersection. There are kerb ramps where the hard shoulder ends (or begins) but they don't actually connect to anything. At one point the absence of the hard shoulder extends for a hundred meters or so to fit a bus stop. I suspect the road designers believe thet bicycle riders teleport across intersections.

We turn off quickly onto Dixon road and cross the kilometer or so with no bicycle facilities to a nice kerb lane up the gentle hill along Gilmore Avenue. A pleasant park in Leda inspires a stop for morning tea. Then back on the road short distance to where cycle route SW22 would take us back to the freeway path.

Choosing SW22 as our route was a no brainer. These routes a set up to be cycle friendly with either a dual use path, an on-road bicycle lane, or an over-width kebside road lane. For the last two kilometers along Bertram road we had none of these. What we did have was a single standard width lane (each way), no path, an 80 Kph speed limit, and a lot of public holiday traffic. Luckily the drivers were tolerant enough so that only our dignity was ruffled but the ride was unpleasant.

Back on the freeway path we grind our way northwards. We manage to find a shady tree on the edge of one of the many housing developments lining the freeway and have a restful lunch until the ants start getting too interested. The rest of the ride home is pleasant but unexciting. We were passed by an ultra-low recumbent racing bike and crodded paths with another trike/bike mixed pair like ourselves. We reached our front door around 3pm tired but well pleased with the effort.


I filed a report about the road conditions with Bikewest but their response was lukewarm. The maps need to be updated but I don't think they will. *sigh*

Railway Heritage Trail - 1st March 2004

For the 2004 Labour day holiday we did a trial one day run along the Railway Heritage Trail with a half touring load.

The ride starts from home and runs into central Perth. Next we catch the train to Midland and ride out to the foot of Greenmount where the trail starts and ends. Our preferred route takes us up through John Forrest National Park to Mount Helena and back down the other arm through Mundaring and Darlington back to the trail start. A few kilometers on the flat to Midland station and then back on the train to Perth and finally back home. We always do the loop in this direction and I really can't understand why the guide book recommends the other direction.

The trail surface was pretty loose from Mundaring to Darlington and then really bad down to Koongamia. I would suggest taking to the road at Darlington Station until the lower track is upgraded.