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

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

Bikeforums
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.

Blogs

Bicycle-eye
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
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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.

Allez
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".

Crowlie
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.

Spinopsys
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.

BikeHacks
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..

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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.

2 Comments:

Blogger BOLD said...

Hi Chris, William K from Bikeforums here. I just found your blog, and wanted to say I'm very impressed with your writings. I'll be reading over them the next few months, but like what you're saying.

3:44 pm  
Blogger Chris L said...

Thanks for your comments, William. I just had a quick look at your blog, looks like a good read! I'll see if I can get a link to it at some point this week.

8:15 pm  

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