Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.


Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another rediscovery

It's been a while since I did the old Binna Burra ride. I think the last time was the Dave's Creek walk last year. However, due to other commitments, that was the ride on the agenda today. It's on trips like this that I get a feeling that I've been away for too long. However, today those words rang true in another way. It was on a side-trip near Beechmont on the old Southwest Road -- an area that hasn't become "gentrified" recently.

I did this ride once before, three years ago to the weekend actually. For one reason or another, I just haven't come back, until now. Of course, I discovered that the views to be had here are probably the best on the entire mountain. Yet for some reason, I just haven't come back to this place. Why? Well, I suppose I just forgot about it. Hopefully this post will be a reminder of just why I should make this detour more often.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The things you think of later on...

Today I had been tidying in my apartment and throwing out. One of the things I came across was a collection of those caps that go on inner tube valves. As had been my reaction so many times this afternoon, I was wondering why on Earth I had kept it -- why had I accumulated this collection? I promptly threw the lot out. It was later when I was doing my traditional "check the spares" routine, that I realised, a quick look at my old bike showed that I had something of a shortage of these things. I had thrown out the solution to a long-standing problem without thinking about it. Ridiculous! Not a major catastrophe of course, but a little annoying nonetheless.

Still, I got a nice Austinville ride this morning. There are some unique trees in the rainforest, such as this one. It's secrets like these that makes the rainforest such a special place, it's the mysteries of how a trunk could take on such an appearance over so many years that adds to the mystique.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Go with the green!

After some comments that have come in on other forums, I've made a formal change to the font colour. I'm hoping the new shade will make it a little easier for some to read, without being too boring. Feel free to provide any feedback.

Monday, February 21, 2005


My last post referred the "all-night" century from the weekend, but this afternoon I got this e-mail from the bike-qld list:

Sunday, 3am. I'm out in the front yard of the shack at Urliup, nitrifying the grass - as you do. The bright moon has gone, and there's one of those big skies you never see in town. Sweet. But it's suddenly cut by approaching headlights. Odd; not many cars on this road this late. Vaguely annoyed, I wait for the noise of the engine. But the light has already passed, silently. Down the road, in silhouette, I see this guy on his treddly, pedalling hard after his pool of LED-shine.

Got to be, can only be, Chris from the BQ list? But at 3am? Mate, when do you sleep?

Either I'm gaining notoriety in these parts, or this is just a staggering coincidence (probably both!). I wonder how he'll react when he reads about what I saw at Tyalgum?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Arrival of the night

Mark down Saturday 19 February 2004 as the first all-night century. Martin and I met up at North Burleigh Surf Club for the start of the ride, we ended up getting away around 15 minutes or so late, but I wasn't complaining. It just meant the temperature would be a little cooler for the start of the ride, and a little less daylight to be concerned with. The traffic was heavy at first as we picked our way through the suburbs, but soon disspated once we got out to Currumbin Valley, and it wasn't long before we reached Tomewin, the major climb of the evening (but by no means the only one).

The first stretch of this is a gradient of 11% -- I opted for a more measured approach to this, in preference to the all-out attack -- mainly so that I could get a more consistent beam from my headlight. I crested this bit first, and had a few moments to wait, so I decided to play with my camera in the unfamiliar environment -- although this shot of the moon was about the only one that worked:

Then Martin came up to the summit.

A few ups and downs, before the final sustained climb to the top of Tomewin, then came the screaming descent into the Tweed Valley. Here I attempted a photo of Murwillumbah by night, but it was never on. It was then a flat run for a few km, before hitting Chilcott's road, a short dirt stretch. I had worried a little about the narrow, winding dirt road here, but it proved less of a problem. The moonlight actually offered a little scenery to the side, and then there was the flooded creek to ford at the end.

Then we passed Chillingham, and the ups and downs to Tyalgum, with two major hills and a few minor ones. The views were hard to spot for those with weak eyes in the light, but they opened up spectacularly as the clouds formed on the surrounding mountains. It was a refill of the waterbottles at Tyalgum, before the back-country run to Uki via Byrill Creek. We actually opted to cruise a little here (although I was still attacking the hills for the sake of light consistency). The views were still spectacular, but they gave way to forests for quite a stretch. Here I had three owls fly across my path, isn't this supposed to represent good luck? The temperature dropped to the minimum of 18 degrees C here, so perhaps that was my luck.

The dirt ended a little sooner than I expected, and we were soon back on the main road toward Uki. Martin took off here, and I had to chase bloody hard to catch him. We arrived in Uki at around 11.30pm, and after obtaining more water, we headed for a bench that was actually in a bit of light to eat the food we'd carried with us.

We left there around midnight, and headed on the Stokers Siding road. This is flat at first before a short steep climb right in the middle. I attacked it viciously because I could, then I had to slow down and wait on the other side. After a few more minor ups and downs, we by-passed Murwillumbah on Cane Road. Here the night was a blessing -- we were able to forget just how boring this road really is! Martin remarked that "this is really the absolute dead of the night", and it felt quite eerie that nobody was around.

The next object was Urliup, a consistent 2km climb that i once again attacked before setting up for the winding dirt road through the dense rainforest. By now the moon was gone, but it would be of no assistance here anyway, such is the density of the forest. Like the other patches of rainforest, there were some interesting bird calls to be heard at this time of night. Martin and I paused briefly at the Meeting of the Waters to take in the sight of the truly stunning night sky -- now that the moon was gone there were literally billions of stars visible. It's just a shame that not all of us get the opportunity to appreciate things like this.

After negotiating the final patch of dirt for the evening, it was left to the final climb of Bilambil. I had "noted" this hill for the problems it gave me on the back end of a 200km ride a few weeks back, when it was about 34 degrees C and no shade to hide from the sun. Tonight it was 22 degrees C and no sun at all. I adopted the clinical approach here, although my legs complained a little in the initial kick -- I had already accepted that they would be sore after this ride.

After this we just had to put paid to the remaining bits of suburbia, and keep an eye out for the drunks. In the end, neither provided us with any problems, although suburia is seldom interesting. I went on a bit of an attack at Palm Beach, but couldn't convince Martin to come with me on that one. We did attack the final few km at Burleigh, however, and put paid to the end of the ride.

Today I've been paying for the effort severely. I don't know whether it's the 80km ride I did that morning, or that I'm just not used to riding at those hours (I haven't done that since my university days, and certainly never a century at that time). I did go and get a massage, but in 30 minutes it didn't really help a great deal. I was actually told one or two muscles were really tight (as in almost at breaking point). Hence I opted out of the 40km planned for tonight. I'll make that up somewhere else.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The weekend has started

This could be the start of something awesome here. This morning was only supposed to be a warm-up ride through Currumbin Valley, but look at the results.

As I said, if a warm-up can offer this, who knows what the real thing is going to be like?

Friday, February 18, 2005


It's amazing the number of things I can spot with this E6 light -- but sometimes I should keep my emotions in check a little. Last night I saw what I thought was a cane toad on the road ahead. Naturally, wanting to do my bit for the environment, I took aim with the intention of wiping that bit of poison from the rainforest. Closer inspection revealed it wasn't a cane toad, but a frog. I quickly had to change my policy.

Overall, however, I was very pleased with my light in the Austinville conditions. I'm getting used to the focussed headlight beam, and I'm starting to really see the benefits now. All night ride tomorrow evening. Why am I still up? Because some yobbo here decided to launch a heap of fireworks into the air at this time of night. Oh well, such is life, really.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Riding through the Barrier

There's something unusual about riding when you have a fever. At first you're reluctant, then you set off, the effects of the exercise at first slow you down, you realise you're not quite yourself, it can get demoralising initially. However, if you stick at it, just to the point where you start to break sweat. Now your system starts to clear out. The fever begins to recede, and before long you're feeling much better, and wondering why you didn't do this initially.

For me that feeling came last night, at the top of a minor hill at Arundel, only about 50 metres in height, but coming just at that section of the ride where I have enough km to safely say I've "warmed up". Breaking through that barrier is an incredibly liberating feeling, even if I did keep the pace in check a little just in case of making things worse -- even if I did have to drink copious volumes of water.

I even attempted a sprint with Martin in Biggera Waters. I can't sprint to save myself at the best of times, and "going off the front" isn't always the smartest or most effective way to do it, but I had a dig anyway. Ultimately I came-off second best, but it's that moment of recovery, where you've pushed yourself and started to feel like your old self again. That was the triumph as far as I was concerned.

As to the next stage in the rear-light saga: I've found a way to attach a rear light to my bum bag for now. It's not quite what I had in mind, but it works well enough complementing the helmet mount for now.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The light of my life (not)

The Schmidt Hub and E6 headlight appear to have provided an effective long-term solution to my head light issues. However, the tail light seems to have flared up again recently -- due to issues in finding places to mount those flashing rear lights that cyclists use. I was utilising the back of my saddle-bag until the clip there broke. Today I tried to rig up a mount on the back of my rack, but over-tightened it and broke a piece that was vital to hold everything together.

Then I started wondering if I was over-complicating things. Perhaps there are simpler solutions. I can mount one to the back of my helmet, but one isn't enough for me, and in anycase, it becomes hard to see when I crouch into a "time-trialling" position (which is on every descent). One option is to unzip my saddlebag partially, and clip it to the gap. Another is to utilise the elastic on my cycling shorts (not really effective when I wear that bumbag). If anybody out there has any thoughts on this (and actually reads this blog -- unlikely given the hit-count), feel free to write them here. You'll be rewarded by seeing your name in li-- um, html.

Must be a Valentine's Day thing

If you're looking for a stunning photographic monologue, it won't be in this post. I didn't get the opportunity for any epic rides over the weekend due to my second illness in the last three years -- both coming at this time of year. Perhaps it's just coincidence. It could be that I just can't handle summer, but it didn't happen last summer which was much more intense than this one. I did get a brief 20km or so around Fortitude Valley and surrounds in Brisbane, and I did find a pleasant bushland park with some potentially pleasant walks. Granted, it's not Lamington National Park, but it did provide a short break from suburbia.

Sadly, that link between Woodforde and the Glasshouse Mountains remains unexplored for the moment, but I will change that before the year's out. I can promise that.

I did get a phone call from work today when taking my first sick day in ages -- they were concerned that I'd been in an accident and been seriously injured. Now, I appreciate their concern, and it may have come as a surprise to them that I was actually unwell (it came as quite a surprise to me, too), but recent events lead me to be just a little paranoid whenever these things come up. I really hope my riding to work isn't about to become a major issue simply because someone thought I'd crashed heavily when I really just had a dose of the 'flu. I shall wait and see.

Oh yeah, for the record, not one card or greeting this year. Well, it's not as if that surprises me.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Well, it is the Gold Coast after all

Some nights are just plain weird, or stupid, or both. Tonight was one of, perhaps, all of those categories. It could be my E6 light, which may have a habit of attracting morons, but then, it's only been two rides with it so far, perhaps things will pick up. On the other hand, if there's one place in the world where people will get weird about something like this, it's the Gold Coast.

For some reason tonight I took a ride down to Point Danger. I guess I just felt like a change of pace, and most of the ride was actually quite pleasant. The view from Pt Danger at night is actually quite spectacular, and this picture probably doesn't do it justice.

It was on the way back that things started to get weird. In Coolangatta, two car loads of morons decided... well, I'm not sure if decisions are within their mental capabilities. But for some reason I got a slap on the back side from one, and a touch on the arm from the other. (Guys, I'm flattered by your interest, but I'm really not that way inclined, OK?). Now I'm not sure what the point of all this was -- it was pretty harmless, but then, there was just me and about 8-10 of these morons late at night in Coolangatta, it was a little unsettling.

For some reason I didn't bother to call the police. I guess I just felt it's "not so bad" by Gold Coast standards, and I'm probably right there, particularly after some of the things that happened last year. I did, however, tailgate them for a while, not actually doing anything aggressive, just sitting there and watching them squirm in the glow of the E6. Obviously they were waiting for me to react, which is exactly why I did not.

In the end, people like this are more amusing than anything else. They act all big and tough, safe in the knowledge that they outnumber me 8-1, and that they can step on the accelerator and drive away really fast should I threaten them (not that I'd bother). Still, if ever I'm feeling down about anything in the next few days, looking back on those morons and making fun of them should cheer me up pretty quickly.

The E6 did, however, prove it's value in Miami a bit later on, when a drunk wearing dark clothes decided to throw himself on the road -- and a dimly lit one at that. Fortunately, the E6 beam picked him out pretty early on in the piece. Any later and I might have been in trouble. There were a string of expletives that followed me away from that one, not that I was turning back. Frankly, I have better things to do.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Seeing the light

Courtesy of that package that arrived from St Kilda Cycles last weekend, I have finally seen the light. I am, of course, referring to my E6 light with the Schmidt Hub Dynamo/generator. I took it for a test ride last night out to Austinville (where else?) with the glow-worms, snakes, green frogs and obligatory cane toads. It's quite an interesting light to use, but it's taking some getting used to.

The beam is more focussed than any other light I've ever used, meaning that when adjusted right, I can see every pot-hole in front of me, every little bump in the road. I have the option of shortening or lengthening the beam by adjusting it on my handlebars virtually anytime I like. I think I need to shorten it slightly on the dirt roads. Some of the corners can be interesting with such a focussed beam, but I think that was largely my fault last night because I went into some of the way too fast. I suspect I just need to slow down a little.

However, the real test will come on Saturday week, when it's used for an all-night century in the Tweed Valley. Now this is something I can't wait for. After discovering glow-worms at Austinville, who knows what we'll find down there? This weekend I'm spending in Brisbane, perhaps not necessarily by choice, but it could be a chance to test out that road I've seen on some maps linking Woodforde to the Glasshouse Mountains. I understand it's dirt too. However, I'll be doing this one by daylight.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Numinbah Vs Tweed Valley

Time for another thread title explanation: This comes from Martin's apparent fascination with rap duo Poof Daddy vs Big Cock John.

This was a day of grim determination and extreme heat, and one that almost didn't even get underway. First there was the save from yesterday, then there was the fact that I left home at first without any money -- not a smart move. I had to go home and get it, we got underway 40 minutes late. This ride took in Hinze Dam, before the beautiful ride through Numinbah Valley.

After this, as the name suggests, the descent from Numinbah Gap into the Tweed Valley was to follow. Martin and I had a minor misunderstanding on the descent, but it passed without incident (thankfully), before we pressed on through the hilly sections toward Tyalgum -- now it was starting to get hot. -- but still very scenic, with the clouds resting on the surrounding mountains.

From Tyalgum it was a stunning ride across toward Murwillumbah, turning south for lunch at Uki -- the best cafe in Northern NSW.

Now it was really hot, the ride was still beautiful, but sometimes this can be overlooked in conditions such as these. The return to Murwillumbah was via Stokers Siding (again, I offered a detour to Richard's Deviation -- again this was rejected). Now I was struggling a little on the climbs in the heat, climbing the Condong Range toward Clothiers Creek, riding along the scenic ridge across Farrant's Hill, descending to Tumbulgum for more fluids, then the feared climb of Hogan's Road.

Actually, this wasn't so bad. The gradient is steep enough that height is gained quickly, but not steep enough to cause huge problems -- the rainforest here is cool and inspiring.

The final climb of Bilambil (after a screaming descent) is always a problem in these conditions because it offers no shade. It was eventually overcome, before we ruthlessly poured through the remaining suburbia. Right now I'm feeling a little tired due to the heat (which hasn't let up, even though the sun has gone down -- or is that just my apartment?). Right now I'm not feeling like I ever want to sit on a bike again after that. However, I know it's a matter of time (probably just a matter of hours) before I change my mind, and start planning another epic adventure.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saaaaave of the Century

Apologies to Pete Smith (a.k.a Mr Copperart), for blatantly ripping off his old gig for a particularly poor pun, but I'm going to do it anyway. It happened in the very early stages of this morning's ride, descending a minor "hill" at West Burleigh at 62km/h, I saw the chip-seal on the road late (it was a nasty bit), and hit it with such force, a full water bottle was thrown several metres. I managed to regan control of the bike thanks to a sand-riding trick I learned from Martin -- weight as far back as possible, no savage leans, etc etc.

Of course, my new back wheel was trashed, which meant a replacement/repair. Luckily, my bike shop (Johns) did this for no charge. While they had it, I spent some time walking along the beach -- perhaps I should have taken some pictures too. On the other hand, that is less easy when you look toward the South and see what was once a spectacular coastline covered in tacky, tasteless high-rise buildings. Perhaps one day I'll angle a photo that leaves out most of them, perhaps.

Apparently there was a story in the Gold Coast Bulletin claiming that the M1 motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is reaching the stage of being gridlocked (i.e. carrying capacity), nine years ahead of when they expected this to happen. Their solution? Build another one (probably at great cost). When will they ever learn? Do they really think the new one will take all that long to reach the same stage? I'd give it probably five years at best. Still, that's probably time for at least one state government election, and I guess what they're really spending this money on is vote buying.

Friday, February 04, 2005

$300 later

It's probably the best part of six months since the last time I had a service done on my bike, so I dropped it off last night, and used my old bike for the commute today. I picked it up a couple of hours ago -- $300! Admittedly, I also spent a little extra on a sweat-band in an attempt to keep my sunscreen in place on those hot, humid summer days. I think the repair bill was around $270. Still, the amount of money I save on transport has more than paid for that, and after the experience on Wednesday night, what's $270?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Oh what a night!

Do you believe in destiny and fate? I can't say I'm a great believer, but some things just seem meant to be. So it was tonight, as I set off for a post-work bike ride, I felt a certain tinge of excitement leading me toward Austinville. I've done this ride hundreds of times, but this somehow seemed different. Early on I am greeted by a spectacular light show, somewhere moderately distant is getting a huge storm. The night sky and the hills surrounding me are illuminated by bright flashes 2-3 times every second, it is a spectacular sight. I can kept riding even if I have a light failure here.

Into the deep, dark rainforest, now I can only see the light flashes through the canopy at the top. They promise cooling, relieving rain, but I'm not terribly expectant at this stage. Onto the dirt road, seems a little bumpier, perhaps I need to take the descent a little slower on the way back. I pass a slightly flooded causeway, but can't splash up enough water to cool down in the heat, it's a minor annoyance. I reach the end, and pause for a few moments, admiring the light flashes through the canopy.

Now I'm riding back, negotiating the rough patches on the dirt, I see a glow on my right, that's not distant lightning, and I'm too far from the city to see any of those lights, and it has a green tinge, which could indicate... it is! It's a colony of rainforest glow worms! Here! I've passed through this area so many times, day and night, yet it's only tonight that I've made this discovery. The colony is huge, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of them! Their glow seems so bright, it's an inspirational sight, and one that leaves me with an amazing feeling of triumph.

I ride home invigorated, none of the hills, nor the wind can stop me! I'm in inspired form, flying along at ridiculous speeds at times, and feeling great. Even now the sense of excitement is still with me. Now I'm left pondering mysteries -- was this all meant to be? And the feeling of excitement before the ride, was this a sign of things to come, an indication that somehow, there was something special in my immediate future? Does the rainforest really have magical powers? Or is it all, just coincidence? Whatever the reason, the lesson here is to trust my instincts in future. If there is a feeling about a day, about a ride, go with it. Who knows what you might discover out there?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A soft landing, and it feels GOOD!

Maybe a little crazy, maybe a little stupid, but that was the story this evening. Martin and I headed off for a bit of night-time singletrack fun at The Spit. Of course, there were patches of sand, being so close to the beach (and after the wind of last week) but we cruised around for a couple of laps undeterred, then I got brave. A really deep patch of sand across the track. Normally I would have just got up and carried the bike across, but this time...

Well, I decided to put it into a low gear and just spin across. Might have made it too, had there not been a crowd of people watching. As it was, I just fell straight over, plonk, straight into the sand. It's funny how falling suddenly creates completely different emotions when you realise that for once, it's not going to hurt!

We also set a date for the all night century -- roll on February 19 -- assuming my E6 light is here by then.