Author Topic: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury  (Read 2888 times)

lewis noble

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Re: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2021, 01:41:39 PM »
Thanks, I really enjoyed your tour account, and your enthusiasm for the Mercury.

Especially interested in your comments / photos about corrugated road surfaces.  They can be very destructive to vehicles, unless everything tight and secure.  In the mid 1970s, my wife and I lived and worked in Upper region, Ghana - a village called Jirapa - still there on g maps.  I cycles quite a bit on ramshackle Peugeot bikes (secreted over the border from nearby Upper Volta / Burkino Faso), and at the the speeds I was doing, corrugations presented little problem, and I tended to keep to the walking / cattle tracks anyway. 

But for vehicles . . . .  over the corrugated surfaces, which tended to make vehicles, from bikes through to trucks, 'float', it was easy to lose control.  I shipped a Morris 1000 van out to Ghana, and kept it going for the 2 years we were there in difficult terrain.  At one stage, the petrol tank, secured rather flimsily by bolts into the bodywork, broke free because of the incessant vibration, and landed in the road behind me.  I fixed it back in at the roadside, and then made a subframe out of wood, the only easily available local material to hold it in place.

Bikes didn't seem to suffer that much, as they were very basic, no accessories whatever, very little to actually work loose.  The alternatives to the Peugeots were dumped Chinese imports, heavy and poor quality metal at that time. 

People have talked about potholes in other threads.  I have never broken a bike frame, but I reckon that urban / tarmac potholes can be very destructive; water may obscure the harsh 'exit' from the hole, and the sudden shocks are much worse than, say, speed bumps still common in Sheffield, which I normally take at normal cycling speed, standing on the pedals to let the bike 'rotate' round the bottom bracket area to absorb any shocks.

Good photos, Moronic, thanks.

Lewis
 

John Saxby

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Re: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2021, 03:47:30 PM »
Great tale and photos, Moronic, and I'm glad that you're so pleased with the Mercury's performance & comfort. It's reassuring to have a steed so trustworthy. And you're right about the delights of touring -- even a short tour can be magical.

Tough about the traffic on arterial roads.  I'm trying to recall what I've seen in my modest cycling/driving experience in QLD & northern NSW:  from your description, it seemed that there were no paved shoulders on the curves?  Seriously dangerous for cyclists if so, and even for motorists as well, 'cos they seem unable to resist dropping one or more wheels off the edge of the tarmac.

On that issue, there's a long-overdue change under way here in Ontario:  In a county where I grew up, a few hundred kms west of Ottawa. a bright spark in the planning office established that widening the highway by, say, 30" beyond each edge radically reduced the cost of recurrent edge maintenance.  Happily, it also provides space for cyclists, tho' the planners could never have sold it to the politicians on that basis.

Your 50mm tires are just the item for any extended gravel usage. My 1.6 Supremes are OK in gravel & corrugations, but not as good as their fatter cousins. I reduce them by perhaps 10 psi fore and aft, but no more.

Cheers,  John

PH

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Re: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2021, 11:50:22 PM »
Excellent write up moronic, thoroughly enjoyed reading that.

Andre Jute

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Re: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2021, 12:05:09 AM »
Great stuff, Moronic, beautifully described. Makes me nostalgic for Oz.

tyreon

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Re: Climbs, cars and a rail trail: South Gippsland on a Mercury
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2022, 01:09:45 PM »
Nicely detailed Moronic.

Enjoyed the telling znd the pics.

Enjoyed you enjoying yourself