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

Blog Directory - Blogged

Powered by Blogger

This site is certified 76% GOOD by the Gematriculator This site is certified 24% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Monday, March 27, 2006

It's the Titans!

Ladies and gentlemen, in 2007 Rugby League will become the latest sport to try to establish a franchise on the Gold Coast. Yes, it's old news, but this time they're really serious about it. Of course, they've tried before. Who could ever forget the Giants/Seagulls/Chargers of 1988-98? Well, OK, perhaps it wasn't memorable for everyone -- those teams certainly weren't what you'd call successful, but for comic relief, they were certainly on a winner! I have particularly fond memories of the final years of that "team" when they were called the Chargers. I was a Penrith interloper among the coast faithful, but they accepted me kindly. They probably thought of me as something of a kindred spirit in those days.

Unemployed at the time, I remember regularly walking from Chevron Island (near Surfers Paradise -- probably a 14km round trip) out to Carrara to watch them. For someone in my situation at the time, it was cheap entertainiment -- $10 to get in and basically sit wherever I felt like it. No need to queue for anything, no need to book ahead -- just another leisurely Saturday Night watching the Coast get another hiding. Not that it always happened on a Saturday Night -- they lost on Friday night's, they lost on Sundays, they lost on Saturday afternoons. The only thing they didn't lose was the Plate final in the pre-season sevens tournament one year. The Plate was the competition for teams who had not won a match in the qualifying rounds -- a sort of loser's trophy. There's no way we weren't gonna win that one. Pride was at stake here -- this was a loser's competition and when it came to losing, we were the coast with the most!

I still remember the "stars" of that team. Wes "The General" Patten, the halfback. He was a brilliant "off-the-cuff" player, a man who with one play could single-handedly win a match. Trouble was he ran a bit hot and cold, and was just as likely to lose the same match five minutes later with a dumb play that would leave the halfback of the Weelabarraback under 7's scratching his head. Tony Durheim -- the stalwart, he really fitted the mould. I remember when he ran with the ball, the crowd would call out "Just hang on to it". In defence he was nicknamed "the human turnstile". He must have been sacked half a dozen times by the club, but always seemed to find a way back.

Then there was the fearless Chris Nahi. So fearless, in fact, that he was entirely predictable to opposition defences, and everyone in the world (including undiscovered Amazon tribes) knew what he would do when he got the ball. He would have probably been glad the Chargers folded, the way he ran the ball he was likely to end up as a trophy on someone's mantle-piece before too much longer. I remember one night watching one of his usual fearless, predicable runs, which resulted in an absolute hammering by the opposition defence. Five minutes later, when we heard an ambulance siren, nobody in the ground was surprised. Who could forget Adrian Vowles? The team's "star" centre who was once quoted in the media as saying he was "ashamed" to admit he played for them.

Then there was Marcus Bai. Now Marcus was a bit different to the rest of the Chargers' pin-ups -- he really could play. Big, strong, fast and determined. Problem was, he played out on the wing, and there was nobody in the centre of the field with the skill to get the ball to him when he could really do some damage. The only thing Marcus ever caught on the wing (during his one and only season with the Coast) was frostbite on some of the southern grounds. What a team! Still, we were content. There's a kind of tranquility about life's certainties, and watching the Coast get another hiding provided it.

If we ever got bored, there were always club administrators to ridicule. One time club owner Jeff Muller used to hire players if his wife thought they "had a cute butt". He had wanted Parramatta legend Ray Price on the coaching staff because Price had been his hero. Price resigned two days later in disgust at the farcical way the club was being run. The next morning, Price found Muller's framed photo of him smashed to bits on his lawn. Then there was Vic Folitarik's infamous "No" in response to being asked whether then coach Wally Lewis was a good coach (but the club couldn't afford to sack him). I am not making any of this up.

This time, however, they appear to be serious. This time they're going to make it work. Well, I suppose there's hope in the fact that they haven't re-hired Tony Durheim to make up the numbers again. For all that, I'm not entirely sure I'll be a regular at the games of the new franchise. For one thing, I have too many other things to do with my time these days. For another, what if I have to actually wait in line for five minutes (or, God forbid, book ahead) for a ticket? And what if they start winning? Well, stranger things have happened.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Back to work

Anybody want my job?

Yesterday it was back to the regular rides after a few weeks away on holiday. What's surprising on a ride like this is just how much of it feels new after being away for a while. I've ridden the old Numinbah Valley circuit more times than is worth the effort to count, and I could probably do it blindfolded if necessary. Yet for all that, and for all the amazing scenery offered by New Zealand during my break, I still found some of the landscapes at the southern end of the valley worth photographing for some reason. Perhaps it just reflects the quality of some of the rides in this area.

Even in the section that passes through the Tweed Valley (which I've ridden many more times connecting with other rides), there were still things I was able to notice, be it the Goblin Kingdom...

... Or the early bloom of the wildflowers (they normally don't start until Autumn, which is still a week away).

For all that I've still had a relatively easy week on the bike. That will all change tomorrow morning, however, as even now I'm still feeling the excitement, and almost a sense of urgency in the opportunity to return to areas I've been away from -- and to even explore new roads from these. I may even attempt back to back imperial centuries next weekend -- depending on how I'm feeling at the time.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I have a mascot!

I saved this creature from abandonment on a luggage trolley in Brisbane Airport. It's interesting that I should end up with a sheep after a visit to New Zealand. So now I have mascot, but (s)he needs a name. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

... And so it continues

A quick look at the calendar today revealed that Easter is now just over three weeks away. Essentially, this means that my next bike tour is just three weeks away -- albeit considerably shorter than my New Zealand adventure. In that time I have to get around 500 pictures from NZ uploaded and somehow start improving on my imperial century tally for the year (only five so far). I also have to give some thought to just where I plan to go over Easter. The Granite Belt (i.e. Stanthorpe region) is the favourite, but there are some other areas that are tempting me just now as well.

To make matters even more confusing, some of the recent threads on the bike-qld list have reminded me that there are still a lot of other places around there that I haven't ridden yet (at least not for a long time). And I haven't even looked at the Audax calendar for 2006 yet! On top of this, an old riding partner is looking to get back into it after being off for a while. Where on Earth am I going to find time for all this riding that I want to do? At least I managed to squeeze in a nice glow worm ride last night -- the perfect way to calm down after the "idiot" encounter earlier in the day. There seemed to be more glow worms than usual at Austinville last night. They were lining both sides of the dirt road for literally kilometres on end! Perhaps it's a reminder to avoid focussing so much on where I'm going to ride next and just enjoy the moment.

Whatever happened to Alex Lloyd?

Yes, I know everyone who reads this post will be able to provide an instant answer to that apparently stupid question, but I'm asking it anyway. I decided to take another listen to his latest CD -- and to be fair, it is quite listenable, and there are some good tracks on it. However, what I find disappointing about it is that there seems to be a certain sameness in a lot of the tracks which seems to hinder the lasting appeal of it. Basically by about the fourth or fifth track I'm starting to get bored. While I wouldn't turn it off, it's not necessarily something I'll go out of my way to listen to -- and it isn't a patch on Watching Angels Mend.

For me, the really disappointing thing is that I know Alex Lloyd can do so much better. This new CD seems to be targetting a more mainstream audience than he had previously, which is probably fair enough I suppose. However, the cost appears to be a loss of that innovative style that he had before. I'm sorry, but there are some things that just shouldn't be mass-produced. That said, I still intend to take a listen to Black the Sun when I get a chance.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Oh goody -- Back among the idiots

I should have known this wouldn't take long. Second morning back on the Gold Coast:

This morning I was happily riding to work -- as usual, when I came to the roundabout at the Upton Street/Ashmore Road intersection. Now the laws about giving way at multi-lane roundabouts in traffic situations are very clear in Australia -- but evidently not clear enough for some nutter behind me who started going ballistic with a combination of expletives and threats of violence. I can only assume from his inability to use words longer than four letters that he wasn't very bright, which may explain why he apparently didn't understand the law.

As it happened, I got a break in the traffic and proceeded through the intersection, followed by the idiot who charged through at some ridiculous speed and passed a lot more closely than he needed to. Ordinarily I wouldn't have reacted to this, but perhaps I was just feeling a little mischievous after five weeks in another country with a much lower moron quotient -- I decided to blow him a kiss.

Well, our friend who had been in such a hurry a few seconds ago now had time to get out of his car and try to pick a fight (on reflection, perhaps a fight had been all he was looking for to begin with). I've been around long enough not to respond to trolls that are so obvious -- and consequently just pedalled off into the distance. Some time later the idiot came back and swerved at me (what took him so long to catch up?) -- a move I've seen too many times to be fooled by it now. I evaded it effortlessly. I actually caught him at the next intersection and had the chance to scratch his car with my house keys, but decided against it on the grounds that I really couldn't be bothered.

Here's what I can't understand. For some reason I seem to have been a little unsettled by this incident. There is no rational reason for that to be the case. Incidents of this nature are not unheard of (or even uncommon) here -- as long term readers of this blog will be aware. I've dealt with far worse than this in the past, and will probably do so again before I'm much older. I do feel as though I let myself down a little by reacting in the first place, but mostly I think it has to do with spending five weeks interacting with (for the most part) nice people. I really had a good time in New Zealand, and I guess coming home is taking more adjustment than I thought.

I hadn't intended for my first post on my return to be so negative -- but that's just the way it happened. Perhaps a glow worm ride tonight might cheer me up a little.