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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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Give it a rest!

This is perhaps a little surprising, given that I once worked as a telemarketer, but just lately I've been getting a ridiculous number of calls from telemarketers. Granted, you expect the occasional one, but when you're getting multiple calls every night, the time comes when one begins to simply say ENOUGH ALREADY! I'm almost at the point of simply taking the phone off the hook each evening when I get home and just checking messagebank periodically to see if anyone important has left a message.

And since I'm in the mood to complain about things I've had enough of, is there any way to do something about this heat? 29 degrees C by 7.30am isn't necessarily that bad, but when it's accompanied by humidity that makes one feel as though they're breathing underwater the whole time, it gets more than a little tiresome. This applies doubly if the previous night was no cooler and one is trying to function on 4-5 hours of sleep (or less). There is the promise of a thunder storm this afternoon, and I just hope it hits just as I'm riding home from work. It might be the only chance of relief until I fly out on Friday.

Speaking of flying out on Friday, I've noticed that this page has been picking up some traffic from people searching for details of the ASH Dash (the reason I'm going to Hobart for the weekend). I hope you people haven't been too disappointed to discover a blog about cycling in Queensland. In case anyone does find it a little annoying, I promise a full write-up from Sunday's ride, as well as anything else I might get up to over the weekend.

Two days to go.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The sun badly messed up the above shot, but it took a lot of work to get there. Yesterday was one of those ultra-humid days that only happen in Queensland. It was a day in which you could cut the air with a knife if you could only find one sharp enough, a day on which breathing felt like swimming underwater. Some might scoff at the wisdom of cycling 238km on such a day, but since I was going to feel the same regardless, I decided I'd ride anyway.

I started off heading south, but taking detours, firstly along the Tweed River, followed by the Tweed Hinterland. This area really is very scenic, and a place I never get tired of riding. On the other hand, I probably didn't really need to accumulate over 1,000 metres of climbing by the time I reached Mullumbimby.

This was where the ride really started. A steep climb out of Mullumbimby led to another world that I hadn't realised existed previously. A world of rushing creeks flowing through forests, of mountains covered in a green carpet. It might have been stinking hot, but the surroundings compensated.

I also found a little cafe tucked away in the hills. For such an obscure place, the food was surprisingly good, and surprisingly filling. It's not often I order a meal I can't finish. In fact, the only time that's happened since childhood was a particularly bad Greek restaurant in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley (even then I ended up ordering a Pizza from somewhere else instead). This, on the other hand, was a genuinely good feed. I would need it going home.

Once I returned to Mullumbimby I realised I was going to get blasted by the northerly wind that made it so hot and humid in the first place. I took a hilly route home through Burringbar, Urliup and Bilambil (finishing the day with over 2,500 metres of climbing). That offered some protection, but for the most part it was just a case of trying to be the immovable object in the face of the unstoppable force. Stalemate.

Fortunately for me, I'm sufficiently boring to find Stalemate to be a remarkably invigorating concept, one that can keep me amused for hours. This is probably just as well, because my physical fitness isn't really what it should be right now, and it really DID take hours.

In that respect, I'm glad to have this ride behind me with the ASH Dash now just a week away. On the other hand, it's unlikely to be anywhere near as hot and/or humid as this in Hobart. I'll look for a bit more climbing through the week to finish off the preparation.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Well I'll be dammed!

Today I was on the MTB as the Hybrid was having some serious repair work done on it (i.e. having the screws removed as per my previous post), in preparation for the ASH Dash on December 3. I decided on a slightly earlier start so that I could ride the dirt circuit out at Hinze Dam. Forgetting to change the cycle computer over meant that I had no idea how far I rode today (or how much climbing I got, which I estimate at around 500 metres). Nevertheless, it was a disgustingly beautiful morning, so those little details don't really matter.

When I first get on the MTB after some time away from it, there is always the "how did I ride so many miles on this thing" feeling before settling into a rhythm. Riding an MTB is all about consistency and pedalling smoothly. My skills were a little rusty on the early part of the track, but soon improved with that in mind. I really had an absolute ball on the dirt, the sole regret being that I lacked the time to do another lap (or two).

I've said this before, but doing something a bit different and getting out of the comfort zone is a really invigorating thing. I was still nursing some of the tiredness from the chest infection (or whatever it was), but during the course of this ride I totally forgot about it. Yet again, I made a mental note to come back and do it again in the near future. This is something I seem to do a lot. So many places to ride, and so little time!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Now the real story...

It's fair to say that I've had better weekends. The last two days I've been down with a minor chest infection which have prevented any riding apart from a rather uninteresting commute to work today. Since the "400" ride on Saturday, I've done nothing else. It seems the gear cable problem on my bike isn't as clear cut as I'd thought either. The screws holding it all in place are, basically, screwed. They will have to be drilled out. It's booked into my bike shop to be done on Thursday (meaning I have to do something with the MTB by then).

The practical upshot of all of this is that the long, hard ride I was intending last weekend in preparation for the ASH Dash just didn't happen. For those who aren't familiar with it, the ASH Dash is a 200km Audax ride that I'll be doing on December 3, in the southern vicinity of Hobart (as viewed from Mt Wellington above). It is, of course, brutally hilly. Right now I'm torn between wanting to get on the bike and hammer, or trying to be mindful of my recovery from this stupid illness. The other fact to consider here is that I haven't really had a decent break from suburbia since Duck Creek Road a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, I am desperate to do something this Saturday.

One thing that my idle weekend did manage to accomplish was the opportunity to dig out some of the old maps I used last time I was in Tasmania. That, in turn, served to remind me just how badly I want to get back to the place. It's just a shame that I'll only be there for a weekend this time. The tour I rode down there in 2003 was unforgettable. The scenery, uncrowded roads and the clean, cool air... I've even thought once or twice about moving there permanently. It will be good to get back, even if only for a few days. I may end up riding the ASH Dash on nerve alone unless I can get some decent rides in soon. I can live with that. The time limit on Audax rides is generous, and may even allow me another detour up Mt Wellington at the end, if I just hang in there.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I received a rather interesting e-mail today. Evidently I'm not the only one feeling disenchanted at the way Bicycle Queensland is supposedly "representing the interests" of cyclists in Queensland. Oddly, I do not seem to be able to locate a direct link to the post at the bike-qld list at this time, instead getting this error message at the list archive. The gist of the message seems to be this:

In my experience, Bicycle Queensland does not represent the needs or views of all Queensland cyclists, and certainly does not stand up and advocate for the rights of cyclists on the Gold Coast.

In the past, they have used the considerable efforts of Gold Coast cyclist volunteers who have run hundreds of cycling events to promote cycling to their own insular advantage. There is a general misconception that our Gold Coast Bike Week, Ride to Work Days, Cycling Buddies programmes, Cycling Skills workshops and regular rides are supported, connected, endorsed or funded by BQ. This is not and has never been true.

When Bicycle Gold Coast was initially formed in 1997, BQ refused to assist us. We received our advice, encouragement and information from Bicycle NSW. We continued for the following 9 years in spite of BQ's discouragement and negativity. Our funding has largely come from the supportive generosity of Gold Coast City Council. Qld Transport used to throw in $2000 towards our operational costs for the Ride to Work Day but they made that payable through BQ, but BQ refused to pass it on to us. This is the reason why we no longer run our Ride to Work Days.

Evidently there's supposed to be a Special General Meeting on December 6, but as usual, nobody seems to know where it is, or why it's scheduled when everyone is going to be at work (well, actually, I can probably guess why). Maybe there's something on their website, but since I'm unlikely to be able to attend, I can't really be bothered looking it up. To be honest, I don't think BQ have ever represented my interests as a cyclist, even going back to the whole M1 debacle over four years ago. This whole thing doesn't surprise me at all.

These days I'm pretty disillusioned with the whole advocacy side of things anyway. Most of the things so-called "advocacy groups" campaign for (such as bike paths that go nowhere) offer no benefit for transportational cyclists whatsoever. When someone raises another issue they've neglected (such as occasions when I've been assaulted while cycling), we're either ignored or abused.

BQ these days seem entirely focused on organising "big rides" to raise money and generate membership. Now I have no general problem with this, but it seems to be accompanied by an attitude that basically says "screw any existing members with complaints, as long as we find someone else to donate to us, we don't care". Consequently, many of us have simply decided not to bother renewing our membership.

It would be nice if this particular Special General Meeting was going to be the start of something changing in BQ, but I doubt it. Having seen the way the people in charge at BQ recently used "proxy votes" to re-elect themselves, I have no reason to suspect anything is going to change this time either.

Enough of that. I think I'll go for a ride now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

400 Up!

I have been using an altimeter since May 2004. This morning the "height gained" odometer ticked over 400km. Actually, the real height gained is probably at least 10km higher when one considers I rode without a computer for a few weeks earlier this year. I chose Tallebudgera Valley as the location to bring up the milestone this morning -- largely due to time constraints. I did find time to take a detour of Petsch Creek Road (pictured above) just to add a bit more climbing.

The detour is a very pretty one, albeit rather short and steep. I was really left wondering why I don't do it more often. Right at the top, there is sometimes a great view of Tallebudgera Falls coming over a mountain. That wasn't in evidence today, evidently they haven't had much rain out that way.

In other news, I had to get more sunspots removed from my face today. I don't seem to have any sun damage anywhere else, but my face has now had five of the things turn up in the last twelve months. It's actually starting to become a bit of a concern, and probably offers an insight into what my eventual cause of death is likely to be. As a long-distance cyclist living in the skin cancer capital of the universe, my options seem to be either give up the thing I love most in the world, or suffer the consequences.

Even then it isn't so clear cut. I've heard suggestions that most of the skin damage that ultimately leads to skin cancer is done in the first 12 years of life. I suppose I could just do all my long rides at night, but sleeping in daylight hours in a Queensland summer is just about impossible, so that's probably not a realistic long term option. Maybe I could just find a decent skin moisturiser, apply it everyday and hope for the best.

Either way, I need some immediate big kilometres tomorrow. There are now just two weeks until the ASH Dash in Hobart, and this weekend could realistically be my last chance to achieve that.

Friday, November 17, 2006

This isn't supposed to happen

We seem to have had a return of "winter" in these parts lately. I knew it was going to be cool when I grabbed the bike and headed out for a quick 45km before work this morning. In fact, it was 11 degrees C when I left my apartment. Granted, it was 4.45am or something, but in Queensland that generally doesn't matter. At this time of year, I'm usually glad if it's anything below 30. I set off for the ride regardless, and completely forgot about the temperature as I realised that a gear cable was going to break any minute now.

It got colder. At Little Nerang Dam this morning, it had dropped to just 6 degrees C (around 41.6 F on the scale that Americans use). Six??? Even "winter" rarely gets that cold, and consequently I hadn't bothered with a jacket of any kind. Strangely, it actually felt quite refreshing and not at all unpleasant. It was almost as if I'd been in a prison with all the heat and humidity that were around earlier in the week under the northerly winds. Now that they were gone, I felt alive again, and ready to conquer the world. I've felt that way all day, really. Maybe it's the energy suddenly generated at being jolted out of a comfort zone. Or maybe my expectations of riding in that temperature were just skewed by the driving rain and 90km/h winds that greeted me in Invercargill in those temperatures earlier in the year. Either way, I wish I could do it more often.

Incidentally, I'm going to replace the gear cable before it breaks this time. So far this year I've already had to deal with similar failures at Mt Jerusalem and Springbrook, and I don't want to have to deal with it again. While it is possible to complete a ride with a snapped gear cable (in fact, I've never failed to do so), it's not always as much fun. Incidentally, yesterday marks two years to the day since my most famous gear-cable failure -- at Wilson's Promontory at the other end of the country. I rode out of that one, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


With the magpie season in Australia just about over (although I've had to deal with them as late as March in the past), one would think we could expect an end to visits from our feathered friends. One might be wrong. Unfortunately, I still have to deal with pesky butcher birds. These are only ever really an annoyance in the immediate aftermath of magpie season.

Basically they're small birds that mimic the behaviour of other birds, which sometimes include the dive-bombing behaviour of the legendary Australian magpie. The one difference is that the magpie tends to be more "professional" about it, basically attacking within a certain range, and almost always going for the back of the head (even if my ears and neck have been a target in the past). The butcher bird, on the other hand, generally has no idea what it's doing, apart from the fact that it wants to dive-bomb something.

This morning I took one to the side of my face while I was riding along. I suppose I should just be glad that all I really got was the wing rather than the beak (which might have done some damage). I think that the bird might have learned a lesson this time -- I noticed that it didn't come back for a second go. I guess it was one of those "this will hurt you a lot more than me" type of attacks.

In other news, I was astonished to hear that today it actually snowed in Queensland! Apparently some snow fell in the vicinity of Stanthorpe -- around 250km west of here. What's really astonishing is that it fell in what is effectively summer in this part of the world -- considering that winter snow falls usually only happen once every five years there. I'd like to try riding in snow one day. The closest I've managed to come was on the Great Alpine Road in Victoria two years ago, when it was lining the side of the road. I was probably close to getting some in New Zealand earlier this year, too.

Unfortunately, the prospect of getting any snow here on the Coast any time soon is somewhere between highly unlikely and impossible.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


In a world in which everyone is masquerading as someone else, in which so many people promise so much but deliver so little, in which everyone sells out to the highest bidder, in which we are expected to feign respect for institutions we consider absurd, sometimes it's refreshing to ride into a dark rainforest at night, turn off the lights and just take in the sights and the sounds. I'm talking about the green glow from the glow worms, the flash of the fire flies, the ever so subtle sounds of the night time bird calls and bubbling creek, and the unique scent of the rainforest.

The irony here, is that after going through the vast majority of my life thinking I had no allergies, I have discovered one. While riding through the rainforest at Austinville on dark summer nights (or on warm winter nights when extra layers are not needed), I find that my arms begin to itch ever so slightly, but an itch that doesn't go away with scratching. I am, in fact, allergic to one of the things I love most in the entire world. Why it should be a problem there I don't know. This "problem" wasn't evident in the rainforests of New Zealand, Tasmania or even nearby rainforests such as Urliup. Yet last night, I was reminded of it once again. It's a testament to the beauty of the area (or perhaps my own stupidity) that I keep going back.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Gullibility Factor

How Gullible are you? My results:

Your GF score is 73.

(Out of a range of 0 - 100, where 0 = mind slave, and 100 = free thinker.)

As a Learner, you're smart enough to know better, yet you're still not fully informed about reality. Around 15% of the population are Learners. You have the critical thinking skills to be a truly free individual, but you haven't exercised them enough yet. From time to time, you're still manipulated by the powers that be, although you frequently learn from those mistakes and refuse to be exploited again. You buy things because they are practical, not because they're cool.

If you were in The Matrix, you would have taken the red pill, but you would still be in a state of mild disbelief about the nature of reality. You are essentially unplugged, but still untrained. With more knowledge, you could become a true free thinker.

Your architects: You have always been an independent thinker. You rebelled against your parents, schoolteachers and always chose to hang out with smart friends who weren't necessarily that popular to the "in" crowd. Increasingly, you shape your own world by deciding what actions to take based on your own internal drive rather than what society tells you is right.

Action steps: Learn more. Educate yourself through alternative media and cutting-edge books.

Interesting. I've always considered myself a skeptic or a cynic about a lot of things, but after reading through some of the answers, I'm apparently not cynical enough according to this. Of course, the real question now is how much value should any of us put in an online personality test beyond simple entertainment?

Change of plans

It's now dawning on me that my plans to head to Minyon Falls for a weekend tour may not actually happen, this year at least. I am in training for the ASH Dash in early December, and I won't go in the middle of the Christmas school holidays because that's generally a bad time to do anything. This weekend should have been the perfect opportunity on paper, after all, the rain through the week would have made it just about the perfect time. As it was, I was paying $260 to visit a dentist yesterday morning.

Fortunately, the weekend wasn't all bad news. On Friday night, purely by chance I managed to get a ticket to see Sarah Blasko in Brisbane last night -- a show that I'd thought sold out a month ago. The show once again reaffirmed that she is a totally amazing performer. As I pointed out last time around, I have never seen anyone else whose voice can totally silence and mesmorise a crowd the way hers can. It really is amazing stuff.

It's often said that the barometer of a live musical performer is that they can sound as good live as they do on their recordings. However, Sarah actually manages to sound better at her concerts, so much so that after a couple of tracks, I found myself thinking "this is the only way to listen to music". It was shortly after this that she launched into the spine-tingling live rendition of All coming back. To put it simply, if you haven't heard that, why are you still alive?

About the only thing missing is that I don't have any pictures to post here. The website of the venue indicated that cameras weren't to be taken inside, which I naively believed. I soon realised that this wasn't the case at all. I didn't see a single camera confiscated all night, and Sarah didn't seem to mind because a lot of people were having their picture taken with her after the show. I had to settle for having a shirt signed.

Either way, I'll be keeping a close eye on her website so that I can be absolutely sure that I don't miss out next time around. It was only a bit of websurfing in 15 idle minutes on Friday night that prevented me from missing out this time.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cynical exploitation

The three-day weekend is a great Australian Tradition. It's a well known fact that attendance at many workplaces is significantly diminished on Fridays and Mondays. For a cycle commuter such as myself, the practical upshot of this is that on these days, roads are less likely to be gridlocked, unless there is some "assistance".

On this particular Friday, I was approaching a multi-lane roundabout (traffic circle for those on the other side of the Pacific), expecting a wait because the lack of gridlock meant that the traffic on Ashmore road would probably be passing through in a consistent stream. All of a sudden one idiot about two cars in front of me decides to charge out into the roundabout anyway, then suddenly realise how stupid he just was, and look for a way to beat even that outburst of stupidity. Inevitably, this meant that his next move was to actually stop in the middle of the roundabout.

When I was younger and perhaps a little more idealistic, I would have immediately thought "what an idiot, why didn't he just go and have done with it?". However, after the best part of 12 years cycling on the Gold Coast, my idealism has given way to pragmatism (some would say cynicism), meaning that this incident didn't particularly surprise me.

In fact, my only reaction was to look for an opportunity. Seeing one, and knowing it would be there for long enough because this guy was so bloody stupid, I accelerated, passed the idiot, picked my way through the clogged roundabout, noting that this guy had singlehandedly clogged three of the four exits (probably would have clogged the fourth had it carried any traffic), and forget all about it, I was gone! All up, that idiot probably managed to knock 5-10 minutes off my commute time.

Just another day in paradise.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Remains of a storm

I don't often bother uploading pictures from short, mid-week training rides, but this morning was special. I was riding through what was left of yesterday's storm. I was actually disappointed that the storm passed over the Gold Coast before 5pm yesterday afternoon, meaning that I didn't get to ride home in it. Still, this morning's early ride, followed by a commute in the rain was just lovely. I arrived at work feeling invigorated, refreshed and content. Storms like this are about the only redeeming feature of summer.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did you know?

Someday, someone will write the most entertaining, informative and inspiring blog post ever.
Unfortunately, this isn't it.

I managed to break my sunglasses for the third time this year on Sunday's 184km epic. Perhaps I should consider replacing them this time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Duck Creek Road

It took me a while to get around to riding the Duck Creek Road way to Green Mountains. Even as recently as Saturday it looked like I'd have to put it off again, after the area copped four inches of rain in 24 hours -- not always conducive to riding up a mountain on dirt roads. Yesterday I decided to go anyway, as most of the other options seemed decidedly less interesting by comparison. The first part was the early ride through Clagiraba, Canungra and Beaudesert into the Albert River valley. It all passed by relatively uneventfully.

It was here that the climb seriously started, having to open and close a gate along the way, on a rough dirt road. If anything, the previous day's rain seemed to have made the surface smoother than it otherwise would have been. The gradients in the early stretch were another matter. At one point I calculated a 1km stretch at 16%! Of course, travelling this way, it didn't take long for the views to open up.

For a "road" only constructed in 1978, there seem to be a lot of historical monuments in these parts.

Once I'd climbed over 500 metres altitude, the gradients fell into a more sane pattern, steadily winding it's way around the mountain for a while. There was one final assault to get up to the 700 metre mark, but here the view was worth every ounce of effort to get here.

It wasn't far from here that a dramatic change of vegetation occurred on entry to Lamington National Park, from this...

... to this.

Now the temperature was cooling rapidly. From 30 degrees C at the bottom, it had fallen to just 18 degrees C in the rainforest at the top of the plateau. For some reason I managed to arrive the same day as a 4wd rally -- one guy was going to try to complete it in a sports car, I think he was in for a rude shock. After this I was back on the familiar road to O'Reilly's Mountain. The return from here was pretty straight-forward, except that there was a 20 minute delay on the way down the mountain after a tree had fallen and blocked the road. Later there was the promise of a storm to make things a little more interesting on the final stretch from Canungra, but that just never happened.

One thing I did note was the "Goat Track" -- the road climbing Mt Tamborine from the Canungra side was closed. I'm not sure whether it was a permanent or temporary closure and it certainly came as a complete surprise to me. I've ridden up there a few times and never really noticed a problem. I'm even contemplating a renegade run up there in the coming weeks, if I ever get the time to actually do it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Alternative View

I was undecided on where to ride this morning, so I decided to inspect something that I saw on a map. I headed to Austinville again, this time to see if I could turn the ride into a circuit. The map wasn't quite right, and I ended up riding directly across the paddocks pictured above. Perhaps not such a good idea in the rain, but I may not get the same chance again.

The original intention had been to follow Tallowood Road, near the top of the hill on which the local hall sits. After a couple of steep gradients, with the road turning to dirt, everything looked to be heading in the right direction. There was even the promise of further places to explore later, such as the Mudgeeraba State Forest. Things got a bit silly when the dirt road appeared to dead end at a farm, but I then saw another "track" through the undergrowth. To say I was riding in faith at this point wouldn't be totally accurate, it was more like wishful thinking.

After some rough bits, the "road" eventually petered out to a dead end. There were signs of human habitation -- maybe someone decided to build a house here at some point, but it was anything but what I was looking for.

It all left me with little option but to turn back. I wasn't so keen on heading for Tallowood Road and back out the way I came, that would have been the sensible thing to do! I chose the option of riding cross-country instead. There were no signs indicated private property, and no fences, so I figured the owner wouldn't be too bothered. As it was I didn't see them, but I did have a minor crash in a mud patch at the bottom. Eventually it brought me out to the start of the rainforest section in Austinville proper. Regular readers of this page will know what that means.

The rest of the ride passed relatively uneventfully. I was a little surprised to end up with just 51km by the end of it. It seemed like a lot to pack into such a short distance -- especially considering that around 20km of it was passing through suburbia. I'm hoping for a century tomorrow, the planned century may be called off, as it includes a dirt road on a mountain that has seen four inches of rain (and counting) in the last 24 hours. I'll just see what I decide in the morning.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yesterday was...

Apparently it was halloween yesterday. To be honest it's not something I've ever paid much attention to, or held a great deal of interest in, but I did notice on a bike ride last night that there were a few groups of children doing the whole "trick or treat" thing -- although I'm told these days they're more inclined to ask for money than sweets. I just wish they wouldn't suddenly run across the road at night dressed in all black.

I have mixed feelings on the whole "trick or treat" thing. On the one hand, I'm not sure I'd want my children (if I had any) knocking on stranger's doors and accepting "treats" from them -- particularly here on the Gold Coast. On the other hand, these days there seem to be fewer and fewer places where kids are just allowed to be kids. The streets these days aren't exactly safe for playing in given the number of hoons running around, and most parks these days are barely big enough to fit the sign listing all the "prohibited activities", and at school a lot of kids are told to start putting together a Cirriculum Vitae by the age of 11. Maybe for once we should just let kids be kids for a while, and surely it has to be more healthy than being sat in front of computer games all day.