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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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Top 16 rides of 2006

16. Go to Buggary! -- This was supposed to be a top 15, but nobody can ride over Mt Buggary and not include it on their list.

15. Computerless Coasting -- so who needs a bicycle computer?

14. Trans-tasman century -- First imperial century outside Australia. What are the odds of seeing palm trees just 70km after standing on a glacier?

13. Duck Creek Road -- I waited a long, long time for this one.

12. Procrastination and Opportunity -- This was actually the scene of the number 1 ride in 2005. While this ride happened by accident, it didn't disappoint.

11. Mountains and Lakes -- New Zealand's high country.

10. Otago Peninsula -- So you expect big hills and spectacular coastlines in New Zealand -- but a Castle??!!

9. Getting dirty -- in Central Otago.

8. Wondrous Wollumbin -- A stunning little unexplored corner of the Tweed Valley.

7. Coasting -- If the century in New Zealand was good, this ride the very next day shaded it.

6. Crowing Glory -- Crossing New Zealand's Crown Range.

5. Back on the Borderline -- Back to the Border Ranges, probably the most underrated cycle-touring destination in Australia.

4. Dashing -- Finally making it to the ASH Dash in Southern Tasmania.

3. Ships Stern - Lamington NP -- walking 24km, and riding 105km.

2. Milford Road -- Milford Sound is self-aware! Ride to Milford Sound and enter Nirvana. For a closer look at Milford Sound, click here

1. Haast Pass My number 1 ride in 2006, or any other time.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Where did this come from?

Sometimes it isn't the "main attraction" of the ride that turns it on. Last night was testament to that more than anything else. The plan was another night ride in the glow worm-lined rainforest of Austinville. To do this I would have to pass through the suburb of Robina -- normally about as exciting as watching wine mature. I hadn't expected the glorious sunset that it turned on, but thankfully remembered the camera for something else (which didn't come off at all).

The ride through the rainforest itself was beautiful, but I noted there were fewer glow worms than I'm used to seeing. With the brightness of my headlight it took a while for the reason to dawn on me -- it wasn't quite dark. That seems to be a fact of summer (even if this is probably the mildest summer I've ever seen in these parts), daylight tends to hang around for hours in some form even after the sun itself has gone down. I'm sure someone out there somewhere finds that useful.

On the way home I was treated to one of the "benefits" of living in Queensland and being a little.. umm... "behind" the rest of the country. Christmas lights are being turned on all over the Gold Coast right now. Just why people are waiting until now to do it is beyond me. There are more in my street as I type this. I suppose it's possible that people just like the look of them. That's about the only rational explanation I can think of.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I have been in Brisbane the last few days doing the whole Christmas thing. It's now over for another year -- even if I did point-blank refuse to make one particular phone call. I also had the pleasure of suffering from a throat-infection over the course of a couple of days. That was probably prolonged by the fact that I made the mistake of trying to rest when I really should have just got on the bike and blasted it out.

Fortunately, yesterday morning I did just that, with three early laps of Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane. The hillclimb felt like crap, but on the second and third laps I started to feel better. 993 metres of climbing seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. It hasn't bothered me since.

This morning saw a nice, neat ride home from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in the rain (albeit lighter rain than I was hoping for). It was surprisingly enjoyable, given that 70km of the ride passes through rather uninspiring suburbia. Maybe I was just glad to be on the bike again. That really seems to be where I belong these days.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hot air

Those who haven't actually been living under a rock for the last several months will, of course, be aware that global warming/climate change is finally starting to attract the media space worthy of it's importance. This will, of course, come as no surprise to anyone who has been following recent weather patters -- indeed the only surprise here will be why it's taken so long.

What definitely won't come as a surprise to anyone is that neither side of politics seems to have any real inclination to solve it. For several months there was a lot of the usual stuff. Finger-pointing from the left and denial from the right. Then in this country at least, the right decided to change tactics after it looked like denial might cost them a few votes. Now the focus seems to have shifted to talking up "solutions" that, by their own reasoning, aren't going to happen. While they're "investigating" nuclear power, it's unlikely to happen because of the economics of the situation (and it's highly questionable whether this is really a solution at all anyway). Of course, those on the left simply continue to point the finger without coming up with anything of their own.

So in the absence of anything of any substance from our elected "representatives", I'm going to throw open a few ideas here. It's ironic that successive governments have spent the best part of 15 years implementing policies like compulsory superannuation to encourage people to provide for themselves financially, yet far more basic requirements such as water, electricity and fuel have been ignored. Here in Australia we have no shortage of sunshine, which has prompted our government to plan to put a heap of solar panels in the middle of nowhere -- even if they admit that it won't generate enough power to make any real difference.

Instead of attempting to erect massive solar panels out in a desert somewhere, why not look into getting smaller ones a little closer to home? If houses can be fitted with water tanks (as some, although not nearly enough, are), why can't they be fitted with solar panels? This would be much more efficient than trying to resume a heap of land to build solar power stations in the middle of nowhere, not to mention being cheaper and cleaner than the nuclear model which everyone wants to talk about right now.

Storage seems to have been the weakness in the use of solar power in the past, however, the amount of energy that would need to be stored to power one home is considerably less than that required to power a whole community, making it less of a problem. Even if storage did become a problem, surely it's possible to install a switch somewhere that would allow a dwelling to operate on the more conventional power means until there was enough sunshine to replenish the solar power source. The long term advantage with such a system would be really borne out in the long term -- building dwellings with these sort of generators would be much cheaper than trying to stump up for extra power stations in the future (which seems to be all anyone can think of at the moment).

While I'm on the subject of using the sun, would it really be so bad to use it as a means of powering cars around cities? When I was a kid back in the '80s, solar powered cars used to race from Darwin to Adelaide -- a trip of well over 2,000km. Surely the technology exists for the same power to be used to transport someone from Nerang to their office in Southport each day. Of course, the old argument about wasting power while stuck in traffic comes up from time to time, but does a car engine actually need to be running while they're stuck at a red light?

Even without changing power sources, this would seem to be a fairly obvious flaw in the design of pretty much every car on the road today. Why does the engine need to be running, chewing through fuel and spitting out poisonous gases while it isn't actually doing anything? The most likely answer to this question is probably because it keeps lining the pocket of some oil mogul somewhere. It makes me even more glad to be a cyclist -- in fact, it's probably a good explanation for most of the vitriol directed at cyclists, but I digress.

The question here is whether any of the people charged with solving the problem are prepared to show some political courage and look at some innovative solutions, or whether they are, in fact, just contributing to the problem by talking a lot of hot air.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


A rather interesting discussion is taking place in the touring forum at bikeforums right now. Initially it started as a way of avoiding sunburn on long tours, but then branched into the area of staying cool on blisteringly hot days. As someone who experiences more than my share of those, I am always interested in suggestions here. One that seemed to be coming up frequently is the suggestion of wearing a long-sleeved jersey while riding.

The idea behind it seems to be that keeping the sun off the body is a way of keeping cool. It seems to be practiced fairly widely, enough that I might consider it myself. What I would be interested in is whether it works as well in overly humid climates where the bulk of the heat does not actually come directly from the sun, but from the humidity of the surrounding air.

On the other hand, in 2004 I was organising/leading a century ride in October on a warm day. Having been sunburned the previous day, I was forced into wearing arm warmers for virtually the duration of the ride, including the midday climb of Mt Tamborine. I remember completing the ride (around 180km in total) and recalling that wearing arm warmers didn't seem to make the heat all that unbearable (even if I wasn't keen to try it again).

Another suggestion argued that cotton business shirts, while having a certain "dork" factor (as if that's a bad thing) were even better. For some reason I have a strange urge to try that one out on a commute. I wonder what my employer would think if I showed up after riding in my work clothes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wondrous Wollumbin

For sometime I'd been lining up another ride on the Tweed Valley. It involved taking Swifts Road from Tyalgum, then Tyalgum Ridge Road - becoming Brummies road before linking up with the old Tweed Valley ride. It all seemed simple enough, and yesterday seemed to turn on the perfect day, so it was time to do it.

Even before I had crossed the Macpherson Range, Tomewin was turning on a spectacular day.

After descending into the Tweed Valley, I followed the familiar route toward Tyalgum. The two climbs here often show spectacular views on days like this, and yesterday was no exception. I've watched clouds settle on those mountains in moonlight before, but seeing it during the day is also special.

After Tyalgum it was time. Swifts road doesn't mess around in getting into the climb. This climb becomes a little more challenging as it's on loose dirt. A sign advises "4wd road, dry weather road only". I had neither. I chose to press on, just watching the views open up. At one stage it looked like the road would peter out into a dead-end at a farmhouse, but it continued -- albeit on a slightly rougher surface.

Now I was into the forest, and an extremely beautiful one at that. This is actually Australia's most recently declared National Park. You can still find some of the campaign websites calling for Wollumbin State Forest to be declared a National Park. I have to say I agree with them whole-heartedly.

It started raining at the top of the climb, as if the "road" wasn't boggy enough already. It didn't really worry me too much, although I did put off the visit to Brummies Lookout for another day. After winding around on Condowie Road for a while, reaching a height of 470 metres at one point, it was then left to a steep descent back to Brays Creek Road and the old Tweed Valley ride. I didn't have any traction problems descending in the rain, but I did keep the speed down and concentrate on picking the less slippery parts of the surface.

After this, of course, it was just a simple ride back to Tyalgum, then the "main road" to Murwillumbah before returning through Urliup, Bilambil and catching the tailwind back up the coast. I finished the day with 165km and around 1,840 metres of climbing -- not quite the ASH Dash, but a decent amount of today's climbing was on dirt, which made it a little more interesting.

This now effectively gives me two of these circuits in the Tweed Valley to play with. The other one is, of course, the old ride through Mebbin National Park to the south. Maybe I'll take that one next week.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Earlier this year, just before my New Zealand tour, I noted some wear on the brake pads on my bike. I considered replacing them, but decided against it at the time, figuring that if I really got into trouble I could probably replace them while I was in New Zealand. That was well over 16,000km ago. I still haven't replaced them -- and they are still working just as well as the day I bought them. Yesterday they did the job on a 22%, 83km/h descent, at the bottom of which some wizard or road planning decided to put a sharp right-hand corner. It wasn't even a problem.

The only problem is that the brand name has long since disappeared from them, and I can't remember what it actually is. On the other hand, if current trends continue, I'm likely to have a while yet to figure it out.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


As I related in a previous post, the sun streaming in my bedroom window is forcing me to get up at 4.30am every day. This, of course, means that my "training rides" (which don't include my daily ride to and from work) are being done at that time of day. The practical upshot of which is that I am being forced to ride in conditions like this on a daily basis. Honestly, I don't know how I can possibly cope.

Yes, the above is a little facetious, but in between work Christmas parties (something I really don't feel like attending this year) and another dental appointment, I need something to keep me going for the next couple of days. This morning's ride did the job nicely. Roll on Sunday!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is Daylight worth saving?

Once again the old Daylight Saving debate is on in Queensland. My information is that the government have scaled down their expectations this time around. Figuring they have no chance of getting any support for it at all in the deep north, the lastest plan seems to include only the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

I did, of course, grow up with the concept in New South Wales, and like everyone else in the state at the time, I hated it with a passion. It might come as a surprise to some, then, that my opinion on the matter is starting to soften a little. The main issue for me right now is having sunlight streaming in my window at 4.30am. I have to admit, this wasn't something I bargained for when I chose this apartment some months ago (when the days were shorter), so for now it's just something I have to live with.

What it means, is that essentially I'm up at 4.30am everyday, simply because it's too hot to sleep in the Queensland sun. That, in itself, isn't such a bad thing, but it does mean that I have to go to bed ridiculously early if I want a decent night's sleep (which is rare enough in the hot nights). This, of course, means I have to curb my passion for cycling at night, and ride before work instead.

On the other hand, if daylight saving were to be introduced, the post-work rides would be mostly completed in daylight, which might make getting a decent night ride somewhat less practical through the week. It would also mean that I'd be less likely to have the areas I ride through to myself at that time. Consequently, I'm still somewhat ambivalent on the subject.

Personally I'm just hanging out for March 31, which will mean that all this "summer" rubbish is well and truly over.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's weekends like that

Last weekend was a rarity for me, in that I did very little riding. Just 70km on Saturday and nothing on Sunday. I suppose it could be referred to as one of those "in between" weekends, after the ASH Dash last weekend, and the visit to the dentist on Saturday (my bank balance now has more holes than my teeth), I really just didn't have the motivation. I probably shouldn't complain, there are people who had a worse weekend than I did.

In a sense, this time of year is normally something of a rut anyway. The summer heat combined with the fact that there isn't really much requirement or incentive to "train" for anything means that my riding is often limited to just transportational and the occasional escape from suburbia. Last year was the exception as I prepared for a February/March tour. There is a long night ride in the first week of January with Audax, so I guess I'll just focus on that -- even if a single evening 200km ride won't have the brutality that a lot of my other rides do.

Now is normally the time I'd be starting to consider my 2007 goals, but to be honest I'm still a little undecided. The Minyon Falls tour didn't happen this year, and with the tourist season virtually upon us, is unlikely now until at least February. Something similar might be said about the Ballina coast ride I was lining up. Of course, I could just go in the middle of the tourist season, but the even the Jimna campground in September was more crowded than I would have liked.

There is another road down in the Tweed Valley which has some possibilities. It's obscure nature should make it just about right for some exploration over the peak of the tourist season. The only real question is whether I can wait that long. The fact that getting there and back would probably require riding another imperial century seems to add to the mystique. Even so, that's hardly a long term project. It is, however, something to look forward to, but I'm not going to reveal anything else about it just yet. This is largely because I know little about it myself.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Every year I lose a little more of the Christmas spirit

When I was a kid I used to look forward to this time of year. Just decorating the tree used to get me excited. Back then I suppose I hadn't seen very many things, and all the tinsel and the hype seemed to mean something, or maybe it was just the thought of all the gifts I'd supposedly be getting. Perhaps I used to just believe all the hype without questioning it. Whatever it was, now that I'm 30, the allure of Christmas seems to have totally worn off.

Perhaps it's the fact that at this time of year it's impossible to turn around without someone putting their hand out for money "because it's Christmas" (and that complaint isn't directed at charities, who are far from being the worst offenders, and who at least usually have a worthy cause behind them). Perhaps it's the fact that it's virtually impossible to go anywhere or do anything moderately exciting during the so-called "holiday". Perhaps it's just a mild annoyance at the knowledge that the temperature on Christmas day will be 39 degrees C.

I'm tired of seeing the tacky decorations going up in September at various shopping centres. I'm sick of the price of virtually everything in sight being jacked up simply because of the time of year (although the tourist season may have something to do with that). You see, the post Christmas "sales" aren't so much discounts as the prices of various things being returned to normal levels as the demand for them dissipates. Still, those can be entertaining for an onlooker, thousands of idiot shoppers pushing and shoving each other in a desperate effort to get the one bargain... When there really is, only, the one bargain.

Most of all, however, I'm sick and tired of being expected to mouth false platitudes at all times and of pricks who think they can behave in whatever crude way they like in public without ever being called on it. I remember one particular relative who I only ever hear from once a year -- on Christmas day. Usually it's after this person has had more than a few drinks and is put on some guilt trip by whoever they're with at the time, and only because "it's Christmas". How about getting to talk to them on June 12 when they aren't drunk and when I don't have every other idiot in the world trying to ask for a "favour" because "it's Christmas"? No f*cking chance.

Of course, if, God forbid, I dared to give an honest opinion in any of the above situations I'd be the worst in the world -- that already happened a few years ago when I steadfastly refused to pay $70 for a lunch that would have been worth $5 on any other day of the year. The thing is, in those situations it wouldn't be my opinion which caused the problem -- I'm vain enough to admit that most people usually find some validity (if not total agreement) in my opinions on sober reflection. No, the problem would be because I dared to voice the opinion at Christmas.

Either way, I'm over it. I suppose I'll put on a happy face on the day itself, then look forward to just riding my bike on Boxing Day.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


It was a chilly morning when I lined up in Hobart on Sunday for the ASH Dash. I haven't done that many organised rides this year, but the turn out for this one was more than I was expecting on a 210km ride with such a reputation for being brutally hilly. As it was, I decided to remove the leg warmers just before the start -- figuring that at 10 degrees C, they'd probably just slow me down on the first climb.

The first few kilometres out of Hobart to the 510 metre climb of Neika set the tone for the day -- uphill. I remember having a chat with one of the locals before realising that I was breathing a lot more heavily on the climb than he was. I decided to let him go and just ride my own event, which may or may not have been a wise decision. I crested Neika with another group of riders, but it was after the third climb on Vinces Saddle that I started to run into problems.

First of all, I got dropped on the descent after stopping for a "pitstop", which wouldn't have been a major problem -- except that at this point there was an error in the route directions. The cumulative distance indicated Huonville was 2.7km away -- when it was, in fact, 12.7. At the bottom of the descent I began to worry that I'd taken a wrong turn. I'd expected to see a roundabout and a bridge after 2.7km, and saw neither.

I turned around and went back up the hill, another 300 metres of climbing, only to find that I'd been on the right track all along. The problem, of course, was that I'd lost valuable time in getting to the first checkpoint, which was still 25km away -- against the wind. The good news, the positive response to the situation, was that if I could make it here, the rest of the ride should be within my grasp. I never really got to grips with the wind on my first visit to Tasmania, but on this occasion I never really had a choice.

The ride to Port Huon along the river was just beautiful, as was the ride back after I just made the checkpoint and composed myself over a drink. Someone at the shop asked about the route -- good. This was a chance to get familiar with it. The next checkpoint was at the top of Silver Hill, and was quite reachable in terms of distance, but the final climb at the end made it tricky. I made it there with 10 minutes to spare.

From Silver Hill there was a descent, and another climb to the next checkpoint at the top of Woodbridge Saddle. This was the hardest section of the day. I tried to attack the climb and get some time back, but it was killing me. I then retreated to a "holding pattern", figuring I had 10 minutes from the previous checkpoint to hang onto. Even that seemed remote, and I reached the summit genuinely believing I'd been eliminated on the basis of time. Then I was told that I'd not only done enough to stay alive -- but actually gained time on that stretch. I was even told I'd gained as much as 30 minutes on some of the riders who had left me behind when I got lost.

I wanted to celebrate right there, but there was still some work to do. What followed was a windswept coastal stretch, which now turned around and went against the wind for a while. Now I was able to really enjoy the ride. I had figured that I'd probably be the last rider home no matter what I did, but that finishing would be within my capabilities if I just didn't try to rush things. As it turned out, with scenery like this, nobody wants to rush anything.

I followed the coast right around to Cygnet, and onto the dirt road toward Pelverata. I hadn't been paying much attention to distances at this point, but here it began to dawn on me that there really wasn't very far to go, and that the wind would be behind me virtually all the way. I have enough experience of dirt roads not to have been at all worried by the gravel, but my mind was on the climb of Kaoota, which had a bit of a reputation.

I needn't have worried about Kaoota. Either the climb was considerably easier than Woodbridge Saddle, or I was getting stronger. I was able to spin through most of it in a low gear. There was one steep section, but it wasn't long enough to really trouble me all that much, and I reached that particular summit fairly comfortably for the final checkpoint before the finish back in Hobart.

I have to say the support on this ride was excellent. Even though I was a considerable distance behind the other riders, through nobody's fault but my own, Paul was always waiting at every checkpoint with more than enough food on hand, and plenty of encouragement. Given the number of other riders he had to attend to that day, I don't know how he did it, but I certainly appreciated his efforts.

I managed to descend Kaoota fairly quickly, and passed through the locality of Sandfly (which would probably be more appropriate in parts of New Zealand than Tasmania). Now I just had to finish it off with a climb that I had done three years ago with a full touring load. I was travelling much lighter today, but this was on the back end of 200km. I ground my way through it, enjoying the scenery before raising a fist at the summit, and not caring if anyone saw me.

The final analysis after the descent into Hobart was that I'd ridden 230km, with 3,739 metres (12,267 ft) of climbing, and still finished with an hour to spare on the 200km time limit. I was actually more than satisfied with that effort, despite being the Lantern Rouge for the day. This now gives me the full set, having been the first rider home on The Wonders of Glorious Mee in 2005.

Whatever the finishing order, this is a wonderful ride. The weather in Tasmania at this time of year is just about perfect, the scenery is marvellous, and the support is excellent. All in all this was a memorable day which made the airfares and the running around for a last minute bike repair the day before worthwhile.


I suppose it's about time I posted something from the weekend. In case anybody wasn't aware, I spent the weekend in Hobart to ride the Audax ASH Dash on Sunday. The full ride report will follow in another post. The remainder of the weekend was basically spent looking around Hobart, which is easily Australia's most beautiful city.

Right from the time I got off the plane at the airport the place charmed me with it's cool, clean air -- even if I was going to ride against the wind into the city. There have been some changes since I was last here, the airport now has a baggage carousel. Three years ago there wasn't one. Someone would just drive the luggage into the terminal on the back of a truck, and you would have to lift it down yourself. I think I preferred it the way it was before.

While I have fond memories of this place from 2003, it would seem that my bikes do not. Of the four chains I've ever broken in my life, three were in Tasmania during that month-long tour. In the Queens Domain on Friday afternoon, my rear derailleur fell to pieces for no readily apparent reason. I've never suffered from that before. Fortunately, I was staying in nearby Battery Point, so walking wasn't a problem. The fact that the ride was on Sunday meant that I had all Saturday to get the bike fixed (thanks to Ray Appleby Cycles).

Hobart is the only city in Australia that has managed to combine old world charm and a total and complete lack of urban sprawl, meaning that the natural scenery is visible even from the centre of the city. The above shot from Battery Point on Saturday morning is testament to that. Yet a quick glance in the other direction reveals a harbour as undeveloped as Sydney's might have been 100 years ago.

The historic charm comes in abundance. The sandstone warehouses at Salamanca Place can almost make one feel like a convict walking down some of the alley ways. And if that isn't enough, I was able to have a drink in Australia's oldest pub (even if I was sticking strictly to orange juice).

Another interesting thing happened. One of the locals (Hobart also has Australia's friendliest people) told me late Friday afternoon that sailor Tony Bullimore was due to sail into Hobart a little later. He was half right -- Tony Bullimore arrived in Hobart after being towed into the harbour. Granted, it was windy as it always is in Tasmania, but this isn't the first time, and this guy wants to sail around the world solo? I'm not sure I even need to answer that one.