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, August 31, 2006


Idleness is a terrible thing. Well, the truth is I already knew that, but it was further reinforced today. It all started when I used the bathroom on the way to getting ready for work. Basically I noticed some blood in a place where there really should not have been any. I won't go into specific details except to say that it frightened me. Before anybody panics, I should point out that this is to do with a minor abrasion and nothing more according to my doctor. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment I could get was in the afternoon.

This basically meant a morning of nothing to do, and, well, I did just that -- nothing. I surfed the Internet for a while, spent some time playing a really old computer game that I restored a few weeks ago, but nothing productive. The thing about it was, it wasn't as if there was nothing to do -- I could have found plenty of productive things to do if I wanted to. It just didn't happen. If I'd simply gone to work as normal, I would have come home in the evening and achieved more in the space of 30 minutes than I did in the entire day.

Manchester United legend Roy Keane once wrote "I am never going to flirt with idleness again". On the basis of what I actually produced today, I can't say I blame him one bit. It might just be a good policy for me to follow.

As to my weekend (which actually starts tomorrow as it's a Public Holiday on the Gold Coast), there has been a change in plans due to family planning to visit me. I'll be spending tomorrow at Lamington National Park (assuming I can drag myself out of this idleness by then), probably recovering on Saturday, before lining up a big ride on Sunday. The rain over the last three days or so should have fuelled the waterfalls up at Lamington -- I will just need to be aware of leeches.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Yesterday I got sick of riding on paved surfaces and decided to find some dirt. The ride choice in those situations is usually Mt Jerusalem, but yesterday I decided to head for Mooball National Park near Murwillumbah. Another day of stunningly beautiful temperatures caused by the clouds keeping the sun away for a generous portion of the ride.

This is an area that I'm always planning to visit more often and explore more thoroughly, but for some reason it just never happens. This is an area characterised by great views of the surrounding mountains shrouded in a surprisingly wide variety of forest types.

The notable thing on the ride was the amount of sand that seems to have appeared on the dirt "road" through the park. I am also becoming increasingly curious about the Palmvale Spur firetrail that runs off to the north east just before the final descent into Murwillumbah. That project will have to wait for another day.

I will, however, be replacing the rear tyre after yet another flat on the way home, this time on the way out of Urliup. I'm planning a trip to Minyon Falls this weekend, which just happens to be a long weekend on the Gold Coast (no, I won't be attending the Gold Coast show this year either) and I really don't need these hassles. I'll probably retain the old one as a spare over the weekend, before getting rid of it.


I have reasons to devote an entire post to this subject.

1. This is officially the last time I forget to buy something to make my lunch before work, thus forcing me to rely on takeaways. As it was I opted for a steak sandwich (because this suburb doesn't have the means to rustle up anything better*). One would think something as simple as that wouldn't have too much grease on it. One would be wrong. It's hard to believe that as a teenager I used to eat so much of this crap. Now I feel like I'm about to throw up, which mightn't be such a bad thing as my office could probably use a little colour.

2. Crap is also a suitable definition for the standard of candidates from pretty much every party in the Queensland State election which has been scheduled for September 9. I'll actually be riding The Wonders of Glorious Mee that day, so I'll need to cast an absentee vote -- assuming I bother voting. Maybe I'll just vote informal. There is nobody in this entire state who deserves my vote right now, and certainly none who will be standing in this election. Actually, my name "disappeared" from the electoral roll just before the last Federal Election after some criticism of government policy on this page. It may have just been coincidence, but I'm thinking about trying it again this week.

Maybe I'll post some pictures from yesterday's ride when I get home this evening.

* The difficulty in finding anything decent to eat around here really is astonishing, considering the relative ease with which I was able to obtain more nutrious, appealing and cheaper food in remote parts of New Zealand and Tasmania previously. I suppose it's just further proof that in Queensland one needs to make allowances.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Riding in the clouds

It may seem difficult to believe, but I was actually at eye level with that shot today. All of the so-called "normal" people will be very disappointed in me right now. I'm 30 in a little over a month, and they're still having to tell me to keep my head out of the clouds and both feet on the ground. Does it count that both my feet were on pedals?

Springbrook turned on yet another amazing morning on a day which really promised nothing. On the coast it had been hazy, humid with a slight sense of bushfire smoke from somewhere. It's amazing what heading into the mountains can do. I opted for a slightly more cruisy approach to the climb, pacing myself for the 8km drag through the switchbacks and keeping something in reserve for the steeper sections near Lyrebird Ridge. Along the way I was passing all manner of wildflowers in bloom.

It was at the top of the Plateau that the "action" really started. First a sneak preview of what was to come rolling across the distant Lamington Plateau...

... Followed by the touch of the mist on the forest providing an almost mystical appearance...

... And of course the flowers were still in bloom.

The ride home was less exciting, except for the fact that one of my tail lights smashed somewhere on the descent. For those who have forgotten, on my last visit to Springbrook some weeks ago, the light mount on the rear of my rack broke when the metal snapped. I built a replacement from spare parts, which held together. However, the light that it was holding in place wasn't so robust. The clip was only held in place by plastic, and it snapped. So while my handiwork did it's job, apparently less can be said for the standards of the manufacturer of that light. Blinkie tail lights are fairly cheap to replace, but it's still annoying.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gee, thanks guys

A little while ago, someone stole my rubbish bin. I didn't bother writing about it here at the time because things get stolen all the time in this part of the world. In a rather surprising turn of events, however, I returned home from work last night to find that whoever was responsible has now decided to return it -- after filling it with their crap of course. This morning just happened to be council rubbish collection day. Fortunately, the collection was early enough to be before work, so I have brought the now emptied bin back to where it belongs.

What's notable about this is that whoever decided they needed a bin in which to dispose of whatever crap they wanted to get rid of didn't bother asking. They just took it while I was away, filled it with their crap, and put it back. Contrary to popular belief, I am a reasonable person. If whoever did it had bothered to ask to use it, I wouldn't have had a problem (I rarely go through enough garbage to fill one of those things anyway).

It's highly unlikely I'll bother doing anything about it this time, as I generally try to rise above stupid petty suburban arguments. However, there is always a nagging thought there, a feeling that the human race would be a smarter species if someone were to eliminate people like this from the gene pool.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cyclist inferiority complex

The following is something I posted to the bike-qld mailing list recently during a discussion on whether or not cyclists "should" pay registration fees. I'll address that particular issue directly later on. Basically, there are a number of discussions within groups of people purporting to support cycling, which always seem to end up blaming the cyclist for motorist aggression. I dealt with one of them specifically earlier, but right now I'm wondering why it's my responsibility to somehow "deal" with these every time they come up.


I would go further and say that I haven't actually heard "registration" out of the mouth of any motorist (apart from the tabloid 'journalists' and people trollingInternet-based cycling fora) since 1999. Most of whatI hear out of the mouths of motorists is usually "fag"or "poofter", which indicates that they must have something else on their mind. For the last time guys, your interest is flattering, but I just don't swing that way.

Is it just me, or is this whole idea of registration part of a greater problem of a cyclist inferiority complex. I wrote about something similar on the list three years ago (I can't find the piece right now), and a number of topics that come up from time to time seem to be an extension of this.

On the one hand we have the current discussion about registration, presumably to give us "legitimacy" in the eyes of motorists (after all, the law already recognises cyclists as legitimate road users). In the past we've had threads whining about cyclists breaking laws (as if they're the only culprits) and even people suggesting that we "shouldn't" ride on certain roads because it might hurt the feelings of some motorist somewhere (frankly, if seeing a bicycle on a road upsets them so much, I'd suggest they have enough problems of their own to deal with).

Basically there are any number of reasons that have been advanced as "the reason motorists hate cyclists "and consequently as things that "we" need to change, or that somehow motorist aggression against cyclists is the fault of the cyclist. Can someone please explain to me just why *I* should have to accept responsibility for keeping motorists happy? Or why *I* should have to somehow "justify" the fact that I ride a bicycle on public roads? Has anyone considered the possibility that maybe theproblem isn't so much with cyclists, but with motorists? From my experience, it seems to be a basic fact of human nature that people decide they don'tlike something, then find "reasons" to justify it. All of the discussions I mentioned above come up time and again, are shot down in flames everytime, and moronic motorists still find "reasons" to direct aggression toward cyclists.

As far as I'm concerned, I have no requirement to do justify of the above things. As an individual law-abiding member of society, I have no responsibility of making motorists feel better about whatever's happening in their lives. I have no requirement to inconvenience myself by removing myself from certain roads, and I certainly have no requirement to start paying an additional fee just to shut up some whining tabloid 'journalist' who lacks the research skills to gain any understanding of the issue. As a tax-paying member of society I have just as much right to use public infrastructure as any other tax-paying member of society.

When I get on my bike and ride somewhere, be it to work, to the shops or to commence a 250km ride in theByron Hinterland, the only thought I put into it is whatever planning is necessary to complete the trip. Whether some motorist somewhere, or some tabloid journalist whines about it doesn't concern me.

Isn't it time we moved beyond having to "justify" our legal place on the road?

Monday, August 21, 2006

169% OWNED!!!

Is it just me, or was the moron quotient a little higher than usual this morning? It seems that over the last few days, everyone in this city has taken leave of what little sense they ever had. I suspect things will return to what passes for normal at some point in the future, but until then, I'm left to watch and observe these great feats which give new meaning to the term "Vacuous".

Take one particular idiot this morning, who decided that he didn't want to wait for a red light to change. Because the traffic on that particular intersection at the time wasn't conducive to running the red light directly, he made a left turn, followed by a U-turn, followed by another left turn, actually running two red lights in the process. Then he really stepped on the gas, only to be stopped by the gridlock 100 metres or so up the road. Of course, when the light eventually changed, I caught and passed him effortlessly on my bike, but the most satisfying part of this equation was the fact that he appeared to have spent a lot of money on the ability to go really really fast in that car, and even after running two red lights, he was just as stuck as the rest of the suckers!!!

I think I'm beginning to understand why Gold Coast police never do anything about red light runners now. Being as stupid as this guy was must surely be punishment enough.

I pwn.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

So do I laugh or cry?

It's isn't as if I've done a lot of organised rides this year, and given the abandon in the 600k, it's not as if I have much of a track record. Saturday's 100k should have been a more straightforward affair, and in truth it probably was. It was the moment of the taking of the above picture that complicated things. Ordinarily when I take a picture, it's done in about 30 seconds (assuming I don't also take the moment to apply sunscreen or eat).

What complicated this incident was that three other riders* also decided to take the same picture. Immediately south at Murwillumbah, the four of us (and I'm as responsible as anyone, although nobody bothered to check the route slip). Consequently, we took a wrong turn, and while we ended up riding the same distance and the same route, we did the Murwillumbah/Uki/Stokers Siding loop in reverse, which meant a disqualification for the four of us. Ironically, I managed to grab a much better shot of the morning mist at Mt Warning further south...

... Not to mention the earlier views from Tomewin...

... Or the wildflowers there...

... Or even the sunrise on the way to the start...

On the other hand, it gave us all a chance to visit the Uki Cafe (which is still the best in Northern New South Wales), and more importantly I dished out some serious ownage to the climb of Bilambil with which I seem to be engaged in a permanent battle. I hit it with three attacks before the third one finally stuck. I actually suffered a bit on the final coastal strip at the finish, but that's less important, I'd really stuck it to Bilambil this time.

* Note: I am not going to attempt to recount everybody's name, because I'm not very good at remembering names, and omitting anyone may cause offence. Suffice to say that I managed to play a part in the National Treasurer or Audax Australia suffering a disqualification on a ride. I don't know whether or not I should be proud of that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why ride?

In the comments section under the previous post, I have been asked whether I ride for fitness or to experience nature. My first impulse would have been to say "both", but it's interesting that I should see this just before setting off on a ride home from work which, by virtue of being short, flat and urban probably fits into the "none of the above" category. Then I began asking myself, do I have to limit my answer to two reasons?

The benefits I derive from cycling are manifold, as shown today. All I did today was commute. I didn't go for an evening ride (although I'll make up for that tomorrow morning and probably over the weekend) and I covered just 17km in the process, yet perhaps it was this ride which emphasised another of the major benefits that I derive from cycling. My transportational cycling effectively pays for all the other riding I do -- one hand washes the other.

Cycling to me is transport, travel, recreation, exercise, convenience and a heap of other things all rolled into one. Today, for example, I had a cheap, reliable and convenient (i.e. I'm immune to gridlock, thereby reducing travelling times) means of getting to work. Over time this means that I don't have to worry about paying for fuel, vehicle registration or parking costs, and in turn this has allowed me to finance trips to parts of the country I would never have thought possible. I remember a co-worker once telling me he'd "probably never make it" to some of the place I've been, yet just five years ago I was living technically "below the poverty line" (whatever that means in this country).

And what better way to see these places than -- by bicycle! Sure I could get on a tour bus or hire a car, but they tend to be expensive, and then I'm likely to miss things. A bicycle means that I don't miss anything. It also allows far greater opportunities for interaction with people, and it's surprising just how many stereotypes I've debunked on the basis of such interaction. Even when time is short, it's amazing just how many places I've been able to find through the simple act of getting on my bicycle and exploring. Even with just a few hours to spare, I can ride to mountains, glow worms, rainforests, waterfalls and any number of other things.

It's also worth noting that my bicycle is now providing an outlet for my newly discovered mechanical interests. I derived a lot of satisfaction from putting together an "emergency" repair on a pannier rack that successfully carried camping gear for 600km in New Zealand earlier this year. And designing a new mount for a tail light from spare parts (after smashing the old one) was as gratifying as it was cheap.

Somewhere in all this are the health benefits that come from riding so much. I visited my mother last weekend as she was getting over a nasty virus that's apparently been going around in Brisbane. Yet somehow I managed to avoid it, as I've done with other things that have made co-workers sick. I also managed to ride 198km on Sunday and thought nothing of it. Even on occasions when I have picked up illnesses on long bike tours, I've still managed to keep riding at a sufficient level to not only complete, but also enjoy the ride.

So in answer to the question, I ride for fitness, nature, travel, transport, money, convenience and a whole multitude of other reasons. I'm sure Allez was looking for a simple answer, but hey, life's complicated sometimes.


While riding some single track up on The Spit on Tuesday night, I managed to discover another function on my camera. Enjoy.

An interesting ride overall, with some especially interesting moments in sand patches. It was, however rather relaxing. About the one thing that cuased me concern was riding through Surfers Paradise on the way back, through all the tasteless high rises and having a feeling that "this place is my home". For all the horrible (and sadly accurate) things I've said about Surfers, I've spent a lot of time there over the last 11 years, and have a lot of memories of them -- albeit doing different things to what most people go there to do.

I'm looking forward to expanding upon this brave new world of night time photography in the next few weeks. It could open up a whole new world, which will make this page even slower to load on a dial-up.

Monday, August 14, 2006

These guys are GOOD!

It wasn't quite the kind of thing I expected to see while pedalling through Surfers Paradise at 10pm on a Sunday night. Last night there were about for kids on BMX bikes doing stunts on what passes for footpath/sidewalk "art" in that part of the world. The four of them were dressed in all black, riding black bikes, but most amazingly of all, appeared to be riding in perfect formation while doing their stunts.

They actually looked, dare I say it, professional in the way they were doing it, and the fact they were dressed in all black seemed to give them an aura, as if they'd just waltzed into the place and were now taking it over. As I was riding past, the leader of the group looked like he had totally misjudged one of his jumps, yet his skill level was such that he was able to not only save the situation, but follow it up with a double-pirohuette, that made it look almost intentional.

Sometimes it's a good thing nobody reads this blog. If I posted this on virtually any message board with any volume of traffic, it would immediately be swamped by a heap of posts along the lines of "why were they wearing black at night". Admittedly, those posts might even be right, but just for once, it's nice to revel in the skill of people like this, and given that it was near the end of 198km or riding, punctuated by an eight-hour meeting, seeing it was just the tonic I needed.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Burleigh National Park

Did you know that right in the middle of the urban sprawl of the Gold Coast there is a pocket handkerchief-sized national park? Most people it would seem do not. Indeed while I had been aware of it for years, it took me quite a while to get around to simply pedalling the 6km or so to actually check it out properly. For a change of pace today I decided to do just that, walking the 2.8km track through the park.

The initial stretch followed the shoreline, and may well be underwater in a really high tide. There were signs mentioning the fact that it's occasionally closed. Of course, here is where one must become accustomed to the peculiarities of "urban" parks, which includes people walking by with Ipods playing crap music, being greeted with frowns, and the wheezing of certain individuals for whom walking up a "hill" is a massive effort.

It was away from the coastal section that had the most interest. Walking over the top of the headland provided a greater variety of vegetation, and more interesting views, some of which offer a reminder of what the GC might be like without all the tasteless high-rises and so on. While this place doesn't quite offer the solitude or variety of Lamington or Springbrook national parks, it does have the advantage of being close by, and one of the few places nearby to offer decent coastal scenery. I think I'll make a point of returning more often in future. On the whole it was a rewarding way to spend some free time, and might make a good way of recovering from long rides in the future.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Things that annoy me part 1

I'm sure this will turn into a semi-regular series. Something that really annoys me is being re-prioritised behind someone else at a convenience store/supermarket/any shop really simply because they are a loud mouth yobbo who can't be bothered waiting their turn, and the person supposedly "serving" the customers can't tell the difference.

"Look, dickhead, none of us want to wait forever, but everyone else had to wait their turn. If you really are in such a hurry, why don't you try arriving five minutes earlier next time?"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Signs of Spring

Ladies and gentlemen, spring has arrived in Queensland -- or at least for those who seriously believed we ever recorded a winter. This evening I noticed several of the signs on the way home from work. The scent of ocean spray that only comes when there is a certain amount of humidity in the air, backed by a high tide. Today it was punctuated by the scent of pollen, and the opportunity to behold a beautiful moonrise. I think the full moon takes on a certain character when it rises, the horizon creating an optical illusion that makes the moon look absolutely huge, especially in the pink of the edge of the sky right on sunset. Just beautiful.

This weekend I'm planning on heading to the ride organising workshop being put on by Audax in Brisbane. Although organising rides here on the Gold Coast in the past has been a mixed experience, I still have a desire to do it. It might also provide some company and a kindred spirit with whom I can share some of my longer rides. I might also pick up a tip or two that could allow me to do things better than in the past. We shall see.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What kind of bow is impossible to tie?

Another great ride yesterday, resulting in 181km in the Tweed Valley. The most notable thing yesterday was the huge southerly wind. It had the effect of clearing a lot of the views, but also making progress in that direction rather slow. It did, however, make the first magpie of the year a little less than tenacious. The funny thing about pedalling slightly more slowly is the number of things one sees that might have been missed before.

The turnaround some indeterminate distance south of Uki is where this ride really begins. Taking the dirt of Cadell Road, and some challenging climbing, before descending spectacularly into Mebbin National Park. Riding this dirt road really is a pleasant experience. It's almost invariably deserted, yielding great views on the climb before passing through one of the most beautiful and varied forest environments in the country.

The return to Uki continues along a creek through more forest, before opening up. Yesterday the dirt road provided some unusual difficulties with a quicksand-like surface. This is something the Tweed Shire Council have been doing occasionally over the last couple of years, and it's more than a little annoying. It did slow me down a little, but the scenery kept turning things over.

I tired a little on the final ride home, the southerly wind that was supposed to be with me now decided it didn't want to help me anymore. I suppose these things happen from time to time. As it was I just went for a consistent rather than a flat-out pace, and after riding out the initial fatigue, things started to feel better, and I was even able to sprint for some traffic lights toward the end. The final tally was 181km and 1,788 metres of climbing, a rewarding day all round.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bang goes that one!

I had been realistically thinking I could get through 2006 without any kind of crash. Given the number of crashes I normally have, it was probably a silly idea, but after being hit by a car in Christchurch and simply riding on without even a twitch earlier this year, I figured I had a chance. Until I took leave of my senses this morning.

This morning I took my MTB out to some recently discovered singletrack which has some gradients that are, shall we say, physically impossible to ride up (at least on that surface). Of course, the fact that they are physically impossible to ride up wasn't going to stop me, was it? I was going to do it anyway!

That thought lasted until about half way up one particular hill, when I realised that it just wasn't going to happen because of the way my back wheel was sliding around. Of course, instead of giving up at that point, I simply put all my weight on the back, and tried to pedal on regardless. It stopped the sliding, but it also took away my momentum. Here is what to do if you find yourself trying to trackstand and pedal up a hill simultaneously -- forget it.

Without momentum, my bike (with me still clipped into the pedals) just tipped over. The good thing about crashing at this speed is that it doesn't hurt -- even if I rolled a surprisingly long way. The funny thing about crashing is that it tends to lift the heart rate, even when it doesn't hurt. And with that goes my non-crash record for this year. Guess I'll just have to try again in 2007.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Debate on various message boards continues to rage over Floyd Landis and his postive TdF drug test. Some are in denial, saying that it has to be a set-up, others have written off their interest in watching professional cycling races completely as a result, others are calling for extreme sanctions against the athlete in question, and others just aren't all that surprised. Apparently the 'B' sample is due on Saturday, and I suspect it will all start again pretty much regardless of the outcome. Of course, a lot of people are simply asking themselves 'why?'.

One thing that hasn't been asked yet is whether anyone has had a look at the rest of society lately? Firstly this whole demand everyone makes on people to go faster and set new records every year -- how do you think that happens? More importantly, we can all sit here and pontificate on the way we expect sports people to be a virtuous shining light as it were, but with so many people in the rest of society taking all sorts of things to boost "performance" in other areas of life, is this a reasonable expectation?

When I was at university a few years back, it was generally accepted that all the rich kids (and anyone else who could afford it) were taking substances prior to exams to give their performance a boost. I even remember a professor commenting that he didn't have a problem with it as "they'll be using it out in the real world, too". No thought there about what it might have been doing to their bodies, and you can bet it runs deeper in the educational system than that.

There was a doctor here on the Gold Coast recently who made a fortune selling steroids and other drugs to wealthy old men who needed a way to keep up with their younger lovers "between the sheets" so to speak. Again, what sort of an example does that set? Particularly for high school children? And yet through all this we expect professional athletes (where a lot more is at stake due to higher salaries and shorter careers) to somehow detach themselves from all of this?

It's nice in theory, but it just isn't going to happen. And please, spare me the old "but cyclists are the only ones" scarecrow. Any professional sport that claims to be clean in this day and age is kidding itself.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Post-neutron bomb

Last night as a test of my new lighting system, I opted to head for the singletrack up at the Spit. I had been a little apprehensive about going through Surfers Paradise with it, but the place was dead quiet. That said, I still had to be on idiot alert for the usual trick of slamming on the brakes in the middle of the road for no readily-apparent reason. I think that's why I used to be on a self-imposed speed limit of 25km/h here.

Once on the track and the feeling of being away from it all took over. Parts of it have been re-gravelled, some of the earlier bits have even been paved, but there is still enough left that I can feel like I'm miles away from everything. While this isn't technically challenging single track in the conventional sense, it does have areas that are piled with sand, due to it's proximity to the beach. I can usually count on a skid or two there.

Everything worked out as planned -- I even got away with leaving my pump at home. It was also deadly quiet. Even riding out on the breakwall over the ocean was deserted. I would have liked the sea to have been a little rougher, just so I could get a taste of ocean spray, but I suppose one can't have everything. I did a couple of laps, I might have gone for one more if I'd left 15 minutes earlier, and went home with the feeling that this is something I just have to do more often. Of course, finding time for that is a challenge all of it's own.