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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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Spitting singletrack

So this morning I decided to get up early and take a quick spin on some of the dirt tracks up at The Spit. I was a little rusty early on, but I soon adjusted. The sand piled up in some sections always makes it interesting. This was actually the first time I'd done this ride in daylight. Fortunately, I made it up there before the pedestrian traffic got heavy enough to be a problem. One thing that always surprises me about riding here is the sheer variety of plant species encountered in such a small area. That, in addition to a couple of coastal vistas gave the the chance to give the camera a final workout before heading to New Zealand on Saturday.

This blog now basically goes on hold for five weeks. I may make the occasional update while I'm away, but I'll be focussing on my tour journal with whatever Internet access I encounter in New Zealand. Either way, it promises to be an awesome five weeks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pre tour lull

It is now just three days before I fly to Christchurch for a tour around New Zealand's South Island. For some reason, this week I've had almost zero motivation to do any of the local rides. The regulars like Tallebudgera Valley, Austinville, Little Nerang Dam etc just aren't turning me on at all. Even passing all those gridlocked cars on the way to work seems uninteresting.

Of course, this seems to be situation normal. Prior to my last noteworthy tour (November 2004) I opted out of riding a century a week beforehand. I took time off to go and see a live band before the Tasmanian tour in 2003, so this seems to be a perfectly normal situation and nothing to be concerned about (in anycase, last minute "training sessions" are unlikely to help now). I'll be on the MTB tomorrow, so I may take it up to The Spit for a quick ride on a dirt track early tomorrow morning. I may even take a picture or two.

Incidentally, I'd like to take this opportunity to end the speculation that I'm leaving the country purely in response to the fear of what usually happens to people in this country who admit to listening to the music of one Alex Lloyd (as I declared recently).

Those rumours are almost as vicious as the beating I'm expecting.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Splitting headache?

Some rather interesting news came my way via the bike-qld list last week. Evidently there's a move in Victoria to ban the practice of lane-splitting (i.e. riding a motor cycle or a bicycle between lanes of gridlocked traffic). It would be interesting to see just how any legislation would be worded. The current legislation regarding overtaking refers only to a "safe distance" and "visibility" -- it says nothing at all about a complete lane change. It's interesting to note that rule #141 explicitly allows cyclists to pass cars on the left of a lane (although it doesn't compel cyclists to pass on that side), but no law compels cyclists to use any particular lane of the road at any particular time (it only says to travel "as far left as practicable").

Consequently, from a purely legal standpoint (and given that the law classifies bicycles as vehicles), about the only way I can see to ban lane-splitting would be to ban overtaking outright, or at least enforce a complete lane change requirement. Given the number of cars that pass me everyday without making a complete (or in many cases, even a partial) lane change, I can't see that ever getting a lot of public support, which seems to be important in a system of government by opinion poll. Of course I could be wrong -- one thing life has taught me is to never underestimate the stupidity of the beaurocracy, or the voters.

In anycase, when one considers the generally lax level of law enforcement on roads in Queensland (and probably everywhere else for that matter), there probably isn't a lot to worry about. If it were ever to become law here, there would probably be a "crackdown" that would last about two weeks, then the whole thing would be forgotten. And please, spare me the gaff about supposedly "giving cyclists a bad name" -- that particular issue has
already been dealt with. In anycase, given some of the comments I've read about this practice in various places over the years, I'd say the majority of motorists (and indeed the population generally) are ignorant of the law in this area, and consequently likely to misinterpret any behaviour they witness.

What amuses me about this whole thing is this element of "tall poppy syndrome" that motivates things like this. Essentially we've created a traffic system that totally fails to cope with the daily volume peaks and leaves people gridlocked for hours, with a result millions of dollars of lost productivity to the economy through people sitting in gridlock (not to mention the health issues of stress and all those noxious gasses being pumped into the atmosphere). Eventually, a few individuals come up with a solution that at least works for them (even if governments lack the political courage to run with it, or any other ideas like varying work hours to take the stress off the peak times). What's the response of government? Well, we can't have a few upstarts finding a better way can we? We'll just have to ban them, lest they make too many of our constituents unhappy. Who knows? Perhaps we'll even have someone claiming that lane-splitting is "un-Australian".

Friday, February 03, 2006

Eight days remain...

There are now just eight days remaining until my big ride around New Zealand's South Island. I have all but given up on getting the tent pegs clean enough for quarantine. There seems to be a black fungus of some kind growing on them, and pretty much nothing seems to be able to remove it. I'll be in Brisbane this weekend anyway (house-sitting), so I'll see if I can pick up some replacements at one of the camping stores in Fortitude Valley. As it is, I seem to have lost a couple, so perhaps that isn't such a bad solution over all. I'll save the ones I now have to use as spares on future tours. I think I'll throw in Mt Glorious or Mt Mee as the final substantial climb before I leave the country.

Incidentally, this weekend I'll be at my mother's apartment, looking after her Siamese Fighting Fish (I hope I've spelled that correctly). After having one of these things, it would be hard to go back to owning a goldfish. There's never a dull moment with a fighting fish. I'm told it even managed to jump clear out of it's tank last week (and survived the experience!). These things are also far more aesthetically pleasing than goldfish.

Another point to note: The average life expectancy of a fighting fish is around six months. My mother has had this one for over two years (since Christmas 2003 in fact), which would be the approximate equivalent of a human being living 300 years. I sometimes wonder if the "average" isn't influenced by the people who buy pets, bring them home and then totally fail to look after them. If it has that sort of impact, it must be an unfortunately common practice.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What does this mean?

It has been brought to my attention that my total and complete lack of celebratory activity last Thursday (i.e. January 26 or "Australia Day") marks me as "un-Australian". I had always thought that taking the day off work was about the most "Australian" thing anyone could do, but I digress. It did get me wondering, however, what exactly does "un-Australian" mean?

I hear it used so often by people in the media wanting to condemn (or encourage) pretty much any kind of behaviour that upsets them for one reason or another. It's becoming so overused that it seems to be losing any meaning that it ever had. To me it appears to be nothing more than simply a way of trying to control people or make them behave in a certain way without providing any kind of justification for whatever it is a person wants them to do.

Then again, since I'm already "un-Australian" to the point where my name could "disappear" from the electoral roll immediately prior to the last federal election, I'll take it one step further. Here are just a few things that mark me down as "un-Australian":
  • I didn't bother betting on the Melbourne Cup last year, nor did I pay any attention to the result. I have better things to do with my money, and in anycase, horse racing is probably one of the more barbaric "sports" in existence.
  • It's not "soccer", it's Football. How can other games in which you're allowed to use your hands possibly call themselves "football"?
  • I don't believe in locking up children in "detention centres" for several years in conditions far worse than where we keep murderers and rapists -- simply because it takes the government that long to decide whether or not their parents fit the criteria of refugees.
  • I don't believe in going to war with an oil-rich nation on a false pretext simply because "the Americans did it".
  • I don't need a 4wd or some other giant metal cage to go to the shops for a loaf of bread -- I have a much lighter and more efficient vehicle for that task (i.e. a bicycle). Nor, for that matter, do I feel the need to drive a ute around the city (or, more accurately, the suburbs) at some ridiculous speed simply so I can attempt to live out some fantasy of "living in the outback" I actually grew up in the country, so I've seen the reality.

I could think of more, of course, but that lot should already be enough to get me deported. Of course, the laws currently hold that an Australian citizen can't be deported, but with the government's control of the senate and general paranoia about anything that could be described as a "terrorist" (no matter how loosely), I'd say it's a matter of time until those laws are amended. I wonder if I get a choice in where they send me?