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 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.


Blogger Allez said...

I live 2 miles from work and wouldn't dare to ride my bike. Its a death trap. I could never see myself relying on a bike for that reason, I don't trust the cars. Do you ride mostly roads with bike lanes, or are you just fearless?

8:57 am  
Blogger Chris L said...

I wouldn't say fearless, but I am confident riding in virtually any traffic situation. Brisbane is a city of 2 million+, yet on Sunday I rode my bike in and out with impunity. I find that if I act like traffic I can usually ride with it easily, and even when I have crashed, my bicycle has been very forgiving on my body.

Most of my ride to work is in traffic so heavy that I spend more time passing the cars than being passed by them, which means I get home quicker in the evening. I also find I get treated better by drivers in busy traffic than light traffic, where most of the harassment occurs.

My philosophy on bike lanes is that if the road is wide enough to share with a painted line, it's wide enough to share without one.

1:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ride my bike because it's the best option. Public transport is filled with sick people (I live in a northern U.S.A. city); it's too far to walk; and cars suck.

12:04 am  

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