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, October 30, 2005


Plodding through this rather insipid study over the weekend has led me to conclude that it's very easy for a person to feel dead. Apart from this morning's early ride, I haven't left my apartment all day. It is somewhat fortunate then, that within that quick 97km this morning, I was able to pedal up a mountain and actually feel as though I am alive. It's something about that basic animal instinct of pedalling uphill that does it, or maybe it was just the fresh mountain air. Perhaps it was the chance to escape the relentless coastal humidity for a couple of hours. Perhaps it was just escaping suburbia and back into nature for a while.

Whatever it was, I'm glad I did it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why does the world tease me so?

So I have a CPA exam on November 4, which means a lot of studying this weekend. Essentially that means keeping my rides/outings short. Today I decided on Springbrook because it's relatively close. I suppose I'm very fortunate to have areas like that close enough that I can jump on the bike, ride, take in the scenery and be back by 9am. Today the hibiscus and the jacarandas were in full bloom.

Today I was also greeted by mountain vistas and spectacular waterfalls.

But today I had to come home earlier than I would have liked so I could study insolvencies. It would have been a near-perfect day to walk the 17km Warrie circuit -- or even increase it to 20km with detours. It did bode well for one thing, however. A weekend jaunt in a couple of weeks to Minyon Falls near Mullumbimby could be on if it keeps raining.

In other news, I really need to update the music selections and the links on this page when I get a chance, in fact, there are quite a lot of things I'll have to catch up on after November 4.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


This picture of the Surfers Paradise skyline has been doing the rounds on the Internet over the last few days. It was apparently taken during a big storm we had earlier this week, showing the Q1 (which claims to be the tallest residential building in the world) being struck by lightning. Apparently it was struck eight times on Monday night's storm. If that's true, I suspect it probably took a few more this evening. I wonder how much this possibility was considered during the pissing contest that motivated some developer to spend a few million on the "world's tallest residential building" (at least until someone comes along and builds a bigger one).

I suppose if it can survive eight lightning strikes, it's clearly there for the long haul. Still, I just wonder if that news might have caused some of those considering purchasing an apartment there to have a second thought. I just wish I'd been the one who took the picture -- I've been trying to photograph lightning for years without any success at all. On the other hand, there's always Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Yes, it's TRUE!

Sometimes when writing this, I have something in my head composed and ready to write, but right at the moment that I'm typing it in (or sometimes even about to hit the submit button), I decide it's all a load of rubbish and not worth posting. I've often wondered whether bloggers did this, now I suppose I know for sure.

While we're on the subject of rubbish, have a look at the bike-commuting section in this article (scroll down a little). While it is mostly gibberish, it does highlight just how clueless most people are about something as simple as cycling to work, and why some education in this area is needed if people are going to take it up in any numbers.

In other news, it appears as though the Gold Coast thugs around that car race are up to their usual tricks. Fortunately, Robbie McEwen is almost as quick on two feet as he is on two wheels.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Taming the Lions

I had been planning to ride the Lions Tourist Road between Rathdowney and Kyogle as a day ride for some time, but for one reason or another, I didn't get around to it during the cooler months when the temperature would have been a little more pleasant. Consequently, I did it yesterday. It was actually a surprisingly pleasant opening to the ride after clearing suburbia, and getting into the Canungra Valley, accompanied by little pieces of mist, apparently left over from some storm somewhere.

It was after passing through Beaudesert and turning south that the ride really began. Early on it's not so interesting on this stretch (although there seemed to be a surprising number of cyclists around, considering I generally never see any here), but shortly after the little deviation around Rathdowney, it began to pick up. Along the way I produced a piece of pure magpie ownage, with a squirt of water from my bottle causing one to do a very sharp about-face and find someone else to harass. This was made even more interesting by the little Butcher Bird (pesky little birds that generally mimic what other birds do, including magpies) doing a very accurate impersonation of what the magpie had done, including the sudden change of direction after getting within squirting range. It was all quite entertaining.

The temperature was increasing, eventually hitting 32 degrees C, but so was the scenery, vistas opening up around every turn.

The final climb to the Richmond Gap pass at the NSW border is 12% -- on absolutely shadeless roads in the heat. It was tough going, and it took me quite a while to recover. I did get some more water after descending to a new cafe in the Valley (although I could only get salad there). After that it was a relatively uneventful ride to Kyogle, before the ride home was suddenly made a lot more interesting by a change in weather.

The wind, which had done nothing all day, suddenly blew like crazy from the north-east (i.e. the direction I was heading). A storm was brewing somewhere around Nimbin, and contending with the heat on the climbs of the Mackellar and Nightcap ranges, I would have been glad to have some rain.

As it turned out, the storm fizzled away by the time I reached Uki (more food and water here). After that, the ride through Murwillumbah and back to Urliup was relatively uneventful. Urliup was beautiful as always, this little dirt road is one of the last great survivors from a bygone era, from a time when narrow winding dirt roads were all the rage in the Tweed Valley. I don't know how much longer it will be there, but it's always a refreshing twist at the end of the ride.

The lights went on at the top of Bilambil, and the remainder of the ride was done in the night air. In the end I finished with 283.6km, and a little over 2,700 metres of climbing. Despite being extremely tired at the finish, I'm already planning to do it again. Maybe I'll try to pick a cooler day this time, but it was an extremely rewarding ride overall.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


It's not often these days I have company on my rides. It seems my climbing tendencies tend to drive more people away than they attract. It was a chance meeting with another rider in Tallebudgera Valley which made things a little different this morning (and resulted in me taking just one picture today). However, the biggest surprise was when this old guy decided to join me on the climb of Ducats Road. It's sometimes surprising just how quickly a climb like that can be done when you have two riders trying to show off their climbing prowess, while trying to maintain a conversation between breaths.

Actually, I wasn't totally upset that the climb shortened conversation here. Just before this climb, he was telling me about a 91km/h crash he'd had on the 22% descent of Trees Road (which was what we would descent after Ducats Road). It didn't stop me clocking 76.6km/h on the descent, but I'm not sure I'd want to do it much faster (I hit 84km/h on that once). Still, sometimes it's good to share tales about places you've been, or share frustrations about Queensland drivers, or the fact that so few cyclists around here ever venture away from the flat coastal regions.

Maybe I should ride socially more often.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Cycling and osteoporosis

There have been some recent threads over at dealing with the above (although unusually, no links provided). On the surface it appears an unusual combination, after all, exercise is supposed to prevent osteoporosis in later life. However, this apparently is not necessarily the case. While everything that comes from the press should be take in with a grain of salt in this day and age, it's worth learning some lessons from it if only for general health reasons. Evidently road cycling isn't considered a "weight-bearing" exercise because it doesn't put any strain on the joints (they should come and ride some Queensland "roads"). It also follows that mountain biking is considered to be a load-bearing activity.

I've always considered my love of milk and cheese (among other things) to give me an advantage in this area, but apparently ingesting calcium, in itself, isn't enough. Evidently a person also needs Vitamin D to fully draw the benefits from calcium, much like iron is needed to gain the maximum advantage from things like protein and carbohydrates. Now this shouldn't be a problem, after all, the strongest source of Vitamin D is direct sunlight. This is something most cyclists (and especially long distance cyclists) should get plenty of.

On the other hand, there are some who suggest that all of the sunscreen that people wear here could be an issue, so there seems to be a balancing act: getting enough sunshine to draw a substantial amount of Vitamin D, but not so much that we all die of skin cancer. The recent tactic I've adopted is that the sunscreen goes on at 9am, but prior to this (and indeed late in the afternoon), I get my sun exposure. I see this as the solution to the balancing act, I want to be doing this for long enough to ride a million kilometres.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Last night I tried something different, just for the sake of it. I spent a few minutes meditating just before going to sleep. I used a technique I've read about on the web, which didn't involve doing a lot differently physically. It basically just involved laying down, closing my eyes, and emptying my mind. I found that this got easier as I went, I was able to clearly hear my own heartbeat after a minute or two. Focussing on this seemed to work. As far as I can tell, I only did it for a few minutes (although I wasn't paying attention to the time). It was followed by the best night's sleep I've had in months. I think I'll try it again tonight, and just see what I can explore. I think it might also be worth reading up on over the weekend.

An interesting development at work today, we've applied to write some articles for a tax journal. Regular readers of these pages will recall that some time ago I was considering the possibility of one day becoming a professional writer. Depending on how this pans out, it could provide an interesting opportunity to find out more about it. I do enjoy writing ride reports here when I have time to sit down and really put something together (which doesn't always seem to be the case). I'd be interested to discover whether I had the same enthusiasm for writing something professionally. Would the pressure of deadlines, or the prospect of less freedom of expression hinder my enjoyment? I guess I'll find out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rainy night

Or at least, that was an apt description of last night. There was nothing for it but to go for a ride. Some might have questioned the wisdom of going for a ride the night after a 171km jaunt the day before, but I really wanted to do another decent night ride. I'd originally planned to ride out to Canungra and meet an old friend for the climb to O'Reillys, but apparently he didn't fancy the weather. In the end, I decided to ride the old Numinbah Valley circuit, but in reverse this time around.

The early part of the ride through the suburbs was uneventful, but I started to feel the early climbs of Bilambil and Hogans Road. It was when I dropped into the John Hogan rainforest (and the glow worms), that the rain really started. Surprisingly, the final descent into the Tweed Valley wasn't as nasty as I expected (Hogans rd really has some nasty bends). My legs didn't fancy the westerly wind on the road that bypasses Murwillumbah, and eventually onto Chillingham, but this stretch of road was still beaten without too many problems.

After Chillingham comes the climb of the Macpherson Range, and to the border. It's ups and downs without any real gain for the first few km, before the climb really kicks. This was actually a perfect night to do this climb, while it was overcast and raining, there was still enough moonlight to create the silhouette of the clouds on the mountains surrounding. That was until I hit the really steep part, and the mist intensified. Now it was difficult to see anything -- the road has no line markings, all I could see were the little reflectors on the sign posts on the side of the road. Allied to this, the road was too slippery for getting out of the saddle, the sign at the top says the gradient is 25%. I'm not convinced about that, but 15% wouldn't be exaggerating.

Then I noticed something about the reflectors, the gradient seemed to be easing a little just up the road. I hammered the pedals, climbing the last few metres as the rain kicked in again. Through the border gate, still couldn't see a thing, but the climb was over. It was a fast descent back into the Numinbah Valley, dropping out of the immediate mist to more amazing scenes of clouds gathering on mountains in moonlight. Eventually the road established a flat run with a tailwind through the valley, but the incidents weren't over yet.

Ahead I saw a group of hoons spinning ridiculously before heading off on the Springbrook Road. I'd see them again another couple of times, I'm not going to speculate on what they were doing until I'm convinced they've figured it out themselves. I even found time to offer assistance to someone whose car had broken down out there (not that I could have done much about it). Contrary to popular belief, I am actually a reasonable person.

A late twist on the ride was the 10km section through Advancetown to Clagiraba, a series of short, sharp climbs. I found the energy to attack the late ones, just as I did the 10% grade of Alexander Drive near Nerang which is the start of suburbia. Now I was almost home, and not a minute too soon either. Tired as my legs were feeling at that point, I had been surprised at the time I'd made to get back from the top of the Numinbah climb. Maybe the wind was stronger than I thought.

Final impressions? Well, it's difficult to quantify as a training ride for the Midnight Century because it followed a long ride the day before. I will say that riding late at night provides a definite mental challenge that isn't there during the day. It's a time when the muscle fibres would normally be sleeping, and aren't afraid to make it clear. Sometimes, however, a beacon on the horizon can overcome this, and these can be found in the most unlikely places.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


At the start of this year, I set myself a goal of riding 25 imperial centuries in 2005. Yesterday I rode the 25th imperial century of 2005, or at least I thought I did. It was actually a surprisingly pleasant day for the month of October, the temperature only reached a max of 25 degrees C. Everyone who's spent some time in this part of the world knows that this doesn't actually happen in October, so it's entirely possible that the entire ride may have been a dream. On the other hand, if I was dreaming, why couldn't I have arranged for Sarah Blasko to meet me at the finish? And how did I come to have taken these pictures?

The top of Tomewin is like a giant garden these days:

The Tweed Valley below is full of beautiful streams, even if one or two of them need some serious rain to flush them out:

And how about The Pinnacle which stands out from the nearby Border Ranges National Park?

Uki Dreaming:

So do I count it or not? Perhaps I'll just have to ride another next weekend to be absolutely sure.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


No updates for a few days, I've been a little busy to be inspired to write lately.

I've taken three calls from telemarketers this evening. Having been one myself at one point, I'm generally pretty polite to them, but I'm beginning to think three calls a night is getting a little excessive. I don't actually have caller ID display on my phone, so about all I can do is simply ignore it and allow them to go through to message bank. Given that a CPA exam is only a few weeks away, the interruptions are becoming such an issue that I'm seriously considering taking this action.

Meanwhile in Canberra there is a bit of controversy over the Federal Government's advertisements about their Industrial Relations policy. It seems the opposition aren't happy because a sentence containing a disclaimer (usually written in very small font) was missing from the full-page newspaper advertisements. Why has nobody bothered to ask why taxpayers' money is being spent on this in the first place? Frankly, I couldn't care less about a few words of text, banish the whole damn ad, I say.

After all, it's little more than pre-emptive election campaigning, so why are public funds being wasted on this garbage? And why haven't the ALP (supposedly the opposition) gone to town on it? I guess it's because they figure they might get the opportunity to do it if they ever win government. After all, nobody complained about them doing it at state level in Queensland with the $5 million in press releases relating to the V1 "bikeway".

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Post from beyond the grave

As if I wasn't already making things hard enough for myself. Today I decided to ride a century in which all of the major climbs were on dirt roads. If that wasn't bad enough, the anticipated tail wind at the end didn't materialise because it swung around to the North halfway through, meaning that I had to finish into the wind, a problem if you've ridden the first half of the ride into it as well. It actually got quite nasty late on, I think next time I'll just turn around and go with the flow. If I end up in Hobart I might be able to escape this damn heat! Even the water in my bottles was hot.

October grey:

The initial part of the ride into the southerly wind early had actually been quite pleasant. The early cloud cover seemed to keep the temperature down as I wound into the hills backing the Tweed Coast, culminating in a crossing the Burringbar Range on the dirt Cudgera Creek Road. This is a very beautiful ride.

After this I wanted some more riding before heading home, so I continued south, eventually to Billinudgel, then across to Mt Jerusalem -- another tough climb on dirt roads.

I also had to play with the water a little carefully, as I wanted to make it to Uki without running out. I just about did it, refilled, and took on another two litres of water there.

It was a pleasant ride back through Murwillumbah, Urliup and so on...

... until I reached the coast, where the wind was a blisteringly hot north-westerly that I now had to ride into. All in all I estimate that around 75% of the ride was into the wind, and the water I had left was getting hot. It can be tough riding into a hot headwind, especially alongside the South Pacific which was by now looking very inviting.

Shortly after returning home, I tried to move a chair in my apartment and could barely pick the thing up. I'm not going to bother trying to take a pulse because I don't have one. That said, I still found enough to accelerate and overtake a car that was annoying me in Burleigh Heads (I love my temper), and I did attack the wind in the last couple of km just to make a statement. After a cold shower at home I was feeling a little better, so I can only surmise that the heat got to me once again. Someday I'll have to get used to that.

Incredibly, I only recorded a maximum temperature of 31 C today (incredible because it felt a lot hotter than that out there). Still, it's another 191km on the board, and the 24th imperial century of the year. Looks like I'm back on course to reach 30, if I can just learn to deal with the heat!

For the moment, however, I have to be content with posting from beyond the grave.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Out with the old?

I need a new wallet. It seems that years of carrying around excessive amounts of small change (something I do), and lots and lots of receipts due to my reluctance to actually bother cleaning it out, have left my old wallet a little tattered and on the verge of falling apart. The thing is, I actually have a new wallet at home -- I think it might have been a gift from someone at some point. It would almost certainly serve my interests better than the one I'm using now. Yet for some unknown reason, I haven't transferred my little plastic cards across to it and started using it.

Am I just using the old one out of habit? Or am I just daunted by the prospect of actually having to clean it out?

It's the nights that kill you...

That seems to be the real problem with summer in Queensland, it's not the hot days (although today was alleged to have been 37 degrees C, I don't think it actually got there), it's the fact that the nights seem to be even hotter. The scary part is that I plan to do some long rides at night this summer in a bid to delay the (probably) inevitable onset of skin cancer. I just hope they aren't all like tonight, which actually seems to be hotter than the day was.

This morning I managed a relatively pleasant ride, actually the first day ride I've done at Austinville for ages. The great thing about the rainforest is it's ability to sap the heat from the air, and that stretch on the dirt road was very nice too. It continues to amaze me that I can do so many night rides to an area, yet it almost seems like a new ride if I do it in daylight.

As far as other news is concerned, I'm wondering just how many gridlocked cars I'm allowed to pass on my new ride to work before I'm legally compelled to yell out "Suckers!". I've heard a lot of people whining that the Gold Coast supposedly has the "worst" traffic congestion in the country, but I didn't believe them. I might have to reconsider after this week. That said, I don't expect anything effective to be done about it. People are still stuck in the old "simply build more roads" ways, which has been shown repeatedly to be a complete failure. I guess I'll just stick with enjoying the immunity that cycling gives me and ignore the whining.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Smile, you're on camera!

Well, now that I'm out of my old office and into a new one, some very interesting things have been coming out. There were stories of telephone conversations and personal meetings regarding the most trivial of matters being recorded on audio cassettes, even before I'd "officially" finished. Hence it didn't come as a great surprise to me yesterday to hear that there were also hidden cameras in the office in various locations. To be honest I'm not overly concerned at this stage -- I've been paid my entitlements and I'm out of there, so there's little reason to be bothered about it. I just hope I gave whoever was watching a good show.

I just wonder why someone would bother. After all, any attempt to use that evidence as grounds for dismissing an employee would be an automatic admission of practices which I suspect are illegal (although I haven't had a chance to dig up the relevant legislation). In anycase, surely the grounds for the retention of an employee should be based around productivity, and this can be ascertained without "spying" on people. One wonders just how widespread this sort of behaviour really is in workplaces in Australia.

Either way, it's another reason I'm glad to be out of there.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The new commute -- the more things change...

Well, actually, it was all pretty uneventful. The ride to Bundall this morning just happened. Actually, it's surprising just how much time I spent off Bundall Road, such is the surprising number of convenient side streets and so on in that area. At least they cut out some traffic lights. Locking the bike up didn't prove to be a problem either -- nobody whined about me locking it up in the "executive" area. Well, I guess that's a benefit of being so small that nobody cares all that much.

At lunchtime I took a walk to nearby Chevron Island. This is almost like an inner suburb of Surfers Paradise, completely surrounded by the Nerang River. When I lived there (a decade ago now), it seemed to be in a period of change -- a lot of the older shacks erected years ago were being demolished to make way for mansions on the waterfront lots, and apartments on all of the others. So today it was quite surprising just how little it's all changed. Even with the housing "boom" of recent years, Chevron actually seems to have stagnated. Many of the old surf shacks are still there, I thought most of them would be long gone by now.

Incredibly, my old apartment is still there. My family took that one at the time purely because it was cheap, but even that couldn't hold us there forever. We got out in late '96 because it was becoming unliveable. I got the impression at the time that it had potential to be a really nice apartment if the owner put some effort into it. The appearance from outside today indicates they probably haven't, but have done just enough to keep it intact so it can still be rented out relatively cheaply. Maybe they're just waiting for some developer to come along and make them an offer, if only so they can knock it down and build something else there. I'm genuinely surprised this hasn't happened yet.

I wish I hadn't done that

Alright, so there is one thing about long-distance cycling that I don't like, but I'll come to that later. Yesterday was a surprisingly pleasant one for this time of year temperature wise (12-28 degrees C), so I figured it was time for century number 23 of 2005. I hadn't been through Numinbah Valley for a while (at least by my standards), so I figured it was time to go again. As usual, the scenery was spectacular...

... but that isn't the thing I regret. There are still scents in the air in some places from the flower season...

... but that isn't the thing I regret. I took a detour over the Condong Range, before doubling back along the Pilgrims Road. Along the way I discovered a pall of smoke that I had to avoid...

... but that isn't the thing I regret. Another detour out of the John Hogan rainforest, this time on Cranney's Road, not a long one, but enough to give me my imperial century. Some comfortable climbing, with great views from the top...

... But this is definitely not the thing I regret.

So what do I regret? I regret that I missed a bit while applying sunscreen. I regret that this bit was on my legs, which I normally only have to cover once over because they tend not to sweat very much. I regret that they are still sore today, and may be so tomorrow. On the other hand, all the vitriol and abuse that I've had to deal with while riding in recent weeks was replaced by constant politeness yesterday. It actually reached a point where it was sometimes incovenient to wave back as I was pushing into the final headwind, such was the number of friendly waves I received yesterday. Perhaps the red glow from my legs managed to intimidate people. Ohhhh the power!

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Apparently I had a birthday today. A quick check of the calendar would seem to confirm it, but right now I'm finding myself busier than I would like with other things (i.e a CPA exam on November 4), so it basically just passed like virtually every other day. It seems to be a symptom of modern life really, I might have liked to have done something for it, but apart from a quick ride this morning, time didn't allow for much else. This seems to be happening a lot lately. Maybe I'll sort something out next year.

As far as this morning's ride goes, it was quite pleasant once I got away from the humidity of the coast. Did I mention that I really don't like summer? I do, however, love riding through Tallebudgera Valley. Most of my rides here recently have been at night, and it's amazing just how different things seem on a morning ride. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it was a completely different place.