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, October 31, 2007

Bike love goes too far

This story crossed my desk recently thanks to Dave Mac . I never actually made it to Ayr when I was in Scotland, and I'm beginning to think I should be more relieved than disappointed about that:

From the SMH Stay in Touch on Monday:

We don't understand this news report which appeared in the London Daily Telegraph on Friday - not the legality of it, not the morality of it, and definitely not the mechanics of it. So we'll just reprint it in full and await your explanations:

"A man has been placed on the sex offenders' register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle. Robert Stewart was discovered in his room by two cleaners at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr, south-west Scotland , in October last year. On Wednesday Mr Stewart admitted to sexual breach of the peace in Ayr Sheriff Court , where depute fiscal Gail Davidson described how he had been found by the hostel workers.

"She said: 'They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.

They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white T-shirt, naked from the waist down. The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex.

"Both witnesses, who were extremely shocked, notified the hotel manager, who in turn alerted the police. Mr Stewart ... is not the first man to be convicted of a sexual offence involving an inanimate object, however. Karl Watkins, an electrician, was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch , Worcs, in 1993."
We're wondering if this column's favourite entertainer, Britney Spears, might have had that story in mind when she made a statement to journalists on Friday outside the Los Angeles courtroom where she is involved in a custody hearing. Asked how she was doing, Spears responded: "Eat it, lick it, snort it, f---k it!" and then re-entered the courtroom in tears.

If you can offer a theory on the meaning of all this, ideally in verse, tell us. The prize will not be a bicycle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Currumbin mist out

After some slightly frustrating financial news last night, I decided it was time for a quick 30km on the bike just to try to brighten things up. It was probably about 8pm when I left, which is quite a bit later than I'd normally set out, but I felt as though it had to be done. 30km rides don't normally motivate me to write, but there was something different about this one.

There was a really thick ocean mist rolling in off the coast at both Burleigh and Currumbin. It was probably a product of the strong easterly wind that had been around earlier in the day. It just seemed to settle, creating a gentle facade as the city lights shone through it. The scent was just beautiful. Strangely, there seemed to be a power outage limited to one particular street in Currumbin. Where it came from I am uncertain, but it was left to my headlight to create another appearance in the mist, with that beautiful scent hanging in the air.

Sometimes I don't need to go to far to really get away.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why Solo?

A recent discussion at poses the question of what touring is really like. When replying to the thread, one of the things that really dawned on me was the fact that all of my tours to date have been solo and self-supported. I've always had a preference for the freedom of self-supported touring.

For me, touring is quite simply the best way to see and experience a place that you might otherwise never visit. It lets me travel at a pace that allows me to see just about everything, it lets me experience the weather, the people and all the other things that make a place what it is. However, there's more to it than that. It's also an escape from the rat race, a chance to be alone with my thoughts, a chance to make my own decisions, and a chance to really listen to myself. It's freedom, the freedom to think for myself, and to act upon it, knowing that I live with the consequences of my own actions and nobody else's. That's not to say that every minute is wonderful, but at least I have control over my destiny, and can deal with the bad in whatever way I see fit.

Let's face it, most of us spend the majority of our lives doing what other people tell us to do. We have to follow instructions at work for 8-9 hours a day (sometimes more). We come home and slip into the same rhythm, doing largely the same chores, hearing the same messages in Internet/TV/radio/newspaper advertising, telling us all how we "should" live our lives. They try to tell us what to buy, what to believe, and what to think of anyone who dares to be different. I see touring as a means of escaping all of this. It's a rare opportunity to listen to myself. Life changing? Perhaps not in a really obvious way, but it is an opportunity to think about things that we probably wouldn't find the time to think about otherwise.

For me, an organised tour pretty much eliminates the majority of what I said above. All of my tours have been solo and self-supported for this reason. Sure, it might be nice to have someone else to share the experience with, but on an organised tour there is a lot of baggage that goes with it. I've heard similar complaints about food, accommodation and queues for showers from people who have done organised rides with Bicycle Queensland and Bicycle Victoria in the past, so that doesn't surprise me. There might be other issues here, too.

Always in big groups there are people who don't really get along, there are people who overestimated their fitness before the tour and want to blame everyone else for the fact (or the fact that it rains or whatever). While it's easy to blame the organiser of a supported tour when things go wrong, there are a lot of issues that go with group touring that the organiser can't be held solely responsible for. When an organiser has to feed these people at the end of the day after dealing with these issues, I guess it's possible that the food will be a little unimaginative, and people might feel that they aren't getting the attention they deserve.

In fact, about the only real benefit I see in an organised tour is having a SAG wagon to pick you up at the end of the day if you don't make it. However, the person who has prepared properly for the tour, has a good understanding of their own capabilities and how to ride within them is unlikely to need this -- and even if the solo tourer did need to call out for assistance, the money they've saved on not paying thousands for an organised tour can be used to travel a long way in a taxi if necessary (it never has been for me).

I've always advised people considering touring to start with some short, self-supported tours in your own part of the world just to get a feel for it. A weekend is usually enough. Find a local pleasant campground and ride to it. Then ride back by a different route (if possible) the next day. Personally I think that gives a greater feel for what touring is all about than having it all planned beforehand and being guided along like cattle.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back on Firefox

This post is basically a big thank you to Dave at Tweed Coast Treadly for sorting out my problems with the firefox browser and the blog display. The fix was actually much simpler than I'd anticipated -- I only had to change about two lines of text in the template. With this sorted out, I can get on with other business, such as planning a tour somewhere, and ultimately finding a host for the archives of this site at some point in the future.

I have been giving some thought to my touring plans for 2008, and how I can fit them around some of the quirks in the Audax calendar for the upcoming season. That, however, deserves it's own post, so I'll talk more about it later.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wibba wabba

Wabba road

Yesterday I joined Dave from Tweed Coast Treadly and his riding partner Mark for a trip through the Mooball National Park. In order to get there I had a 48km ride down the coast to begin with. Perhaps I could have left a little earlier and detoured to find some hills, but there would be no shortage of those to follow. As it was, I probably needed to spend some time riding into the wind, and this provided it.

The ocean at Cabarita

After assembling at Dave's place and making acquaintances, it was time to head for the switchback climb over Cudgera Creek road, to the top of the ridge where the real ride would start. I had been wondering why such a fuss was made over "permissions" and so forth -- given that most of the dirt roads in that area are actually gazetted as public roads. Evidently permissions become important because of the practice of many land owners in illegally fencing off such roads.

Roadblock Cudgera style

This was the case at the start of Wabba road, which basically forced us into some cross-country trekking to get to the start of the national park. Here, the real ride began. This "road" is more of a track, and barely formed, but it passes through some stunning forests as it gradually snakes it's way up the Burringbar range. Along the way there were a few stops to check maps and so forth, but negotiating a route for the first time provides a sense of excitement.

Dave was going to climb this hill one way or another!


The key discovery on this ride was to be the Palmvale Spur firetrail. Along the way we'd looked at a couple of other potential detours, but had figured this would most likely enable us to create a circuit out of the ride. It almost did, but for the aforementioned practice of fencing off public roads. We faced a dead-end road with nothing more than an unmarked track heading off in a completely different direction to provide any additional options.

The Burringbar range

I'm not even trying to ride over that

I made the mistake of suggesting we follow the track for a while, which soon became totally unrideable. Eventually we found a clearing in which to leave the bikes and continue on foot. Tramping through a heap of lantana and picking up some scratches eventually led us to a dry creek bed which may have actually linked up with Palmvale. The temptation was to follow it, but time constraints put an end to that, pretty as the area was. We decided to return, but Mark was apparently in a hurry to get home, and decided he'd climb over the fence on the Palmvale fire trail and ride it to the end regardless. I await news of how he got on.

Dave and I decided to ride back up the fire trail to rejoin the "main" dirt road through the National Park. This is actually an extremely pretty climb, rugged and slow, but definitely rideable -- providing time to really enjoy the surrounds. Back at the top we rode across the top of the range, before the final switchback descent back to Murwillumbah. I'm sure I took those corners way too fast, but fortunately my brakes are in good condition, and this didn't present any major problems.

Back in Murwillumbah we said our goodbyes and I decided to ride back home over Tomewin. Evidently the 750-odd metres of climbing in 27km on dirt wasn't enough. I got myself into a grinding rhythm on Tomewin, and just took it apart clinically as I'm finding that the best method of dealing with climbs like that. Tomewin wasn't the final piece of drama, however. 15km from home my gear changes became sloppy, and when the gears started changing of their own accord, the reason why became obvious.

My rear gear cable was about to break. I nursed it through the final kilometres (fortunately this part of the route was flat and the northerly wind didn't eventuate), and just made it home. Today I was riding the Black Magic to work, and just spend a good portion of the evening fitting another cable to my primary bike. The Black Magic did a superb job today on the commute, but it too needs some work. Hopefully I'll find some free time to take care of it soon.

In the meantime I'm left to look back on what was a truly memorable ride, which may even make it into this year's top 10. I continue to be astonished by the quality, quantity and variety of riding experiences that just keep turning up in this part of the world.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The decider!

The view from Mt Nimmel

This morning was time for my third ride to Mt Nimmel. For the record, this mountain had beaten me back in 1998 to such an extent that it took me nine years to return. In January of this year I came back and conquered it. Today was set to be the decider.

The summit

To be fair, this isn't a massive climb -- with a maximum height of 470 metres that pales when compared to some of the climbs I've conquered in Victoria, Tasmania, New Zealand, Scotland and even locally. It does, however, gain 380 metres in the space of 4km, including a vicious start that ramps up to 19% at one point. This morning the conditions were kind, an unusually cool October morning gave me a temperature of just 16 degrees C at the base -- just about ideal.

Mt Nimmel wildflowers

Having signed up for January's Alpine Classic in Bright, I'm still refining my strategy for dealing with climbs, and I'm becoming convinced that the cold, methodical approach is what's needed. I took to this today, and found it to be devastatingly effective. I rarely left the saddle for the entire climb -- despite the early gradients. It didn't seem to take very long to reach the point where I could see the clearing at the summit. There is a final kick in the climb here, but again I remained composed, my face like stone, and clinically took it apart. At the finish I was left wondering just how this climb was so problematic as I surveyed the gob-smacking views at the summit.

Austinville rainforest

I opted to celebrate my ownage of the decider by taking a detour into the rainforest at Austinville on the way home. This is always a beautiful ride, day or night. I had an interesting conversation with a couple of beginner cyclists near the rockpool. They seemed interested in the idea of touring, and were looking for more climbing. I suggested they give Springbrook a dash before taking on Mt Nimmel. The one down side of the day was to learn that a few people in the council want to make this place more hoon-friendly, with some "improvements" or "safety features" by the rockpool taking away it's character if the plans go ahead. Why on Earth would anybody think a hoon suffering a spinal injury could ever be a bad thing?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The yearning

It is rapidly dawning on me that at some point this weekend I need to clean my tent and assemble my touring equipment and have it at the ready. At the moment I really feel the need to get away for a weekend, to tour somewhere. I have no idea where I would go just yet, or when the opportunity will present itself, but I just need to be ready for when it does. Right now nothing else really seems to interest me. I managed 44km on the bike before work this morning -- it was pleasant, but it simply wasn't long enough to offer the sort of escape that I feel I need right now.

Ironically, I had the chance a month after returning from Scotland -- with the Gold Coast Show long weekend. At the time I opted to stay back, feeling a little "toured out" and nursing an ankle problem. Ever since that weekend, I have yearned to get away, not just for the ride, but for the whole experience of pedalling to a destination unknown and setting up camp wherever I feel like it at the end of the day. There are no more long weekends this year -- so it can only be for one night at this stage, but that alone would be worth it.

* * * * *

In other news, Tweed Coast Treadly reports that tomorrow is National ride to work day. I must be out of the loop because this is the first I've heard of it, and I wasn't even aware it was a national thing (I think Brisbane runs it's version in March). Ironically, tomorrow may well see the start of a spike in the number of people riding to work here on the 'Coast with all the road closures in Sufferer's Parasite because of a car race this weekend. That said, my route is usually gridlocked regardless, so it won't impact on me at all.

I'll be riding to work as normal tomorrow regardless, but I often wonder at the effectiveness of running something like this once a year. I really think using a free breakfast to entice a large number of people to get on their bikes for one day a year without any kind of education, training (or even a clue in a lot of cases) has the capacity to do more harm than good. Essentially the problems occur when these people have "close calls" in the traffic, or encounter other problems like flat tyres that they have not yet learned the skills to deal with. These people then end up telling all and sundry about their bad experiences, which only puts more people off (the old marketing saying is that a person who has a bad experience tells 30-50 people, whereas a person who has a good experience usually tells 3-5 if you're lucky).

A better option in my view would be to abolish the free breakfast and t-shirt altogether, and just run smaller group rides to the city centre for work on more regular intervals. That way, the experienced cyclists could actually ride with and instruct the newbies rather than slaving over a barbecue. Once people have learned from the experienced cyclists, they might just enjoy it enough to do it more often than once a year. Sure, we might have to survive without the politicians speeches that way, but anyone who's watched the opening of the election campaign this year will realise that those rarely lead to enlightenment.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Downtime is not something that I particularly enjoy, but after suffering mild burnout last year, I'm reaching the conclusion that sometimes it's a necessary evil. The weekend just past was a little like that. Apart from riding to Brisbane for an errand on Saturday morning, I just didn't do a great deal -- hence a picture from Thursday's early ride to Little Nerang Dam in the rain. It was fairly convenient to schedule a lazy weekend, given that my bike currently has some mechanical issues that need resolving. Quiet contemplation was more my style last weekend, mixed with a stint of garage cleaning, but in an increasingly shallow and vapid world, contemplation is an activity that seems unlikely to hold my interest for very long.

It's clear that I need a new project, something capable of holding my interest when I'm not actually riding. This blog looks like needing a complete redesign because of it's apparent non-functionality for anyone who uses anything other than Internet Explorer, but that's hardly a fulfilling challenge. I could always get involved in cycling advocacy again, but that felt more like banging my head against a brick wall, and it's probably worse for the burn-out factor than simply riding all the time anyway.

I suppose I just need to look at downtime as a necessary evil, and just grin and bear it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I hadn't had a 200km+ ride for a while, and decided that last Sunday would be the ideal time to do it. The premise was a simple one: head south down the Tweed Coast toward Mullumbimby, ride into the hills for a while, then ride home over the Burringbar range and surrounding hills. A huge northerly wind early in the ride propelled me down the Tweed Coast quickly enough, but with it came a dramatic increase in temperatures. The heat would present problems later.

The Tweed Valley/Brunswick Valley way has finally been completed and provides a smooth, easy ride into Mullumbimby if you take in the climb over Coolamon to get there. It's a pretty stretch, but not nearly as pretty as the world that opens up on Wilson's Creek Road to the south of Mullum. Here green is the dominant colour, with rainforests in the valley, and mountains closing in from all sides. There's a possibility to follow the Huonbrook road all the way to Minyon Falls, but I'll save that for a weekend tour later.

The greenery here provided some relief from the heat, but it was only temporary. The return to Mullumbimby saw the temperature rise to 33 degrees C. For variety I opted to detour across to Brunswick Heads for the return home. Then on a whim I detoured again along Saddle Road. This is a dirt road somewhere between Mullumbimby and Brunswick heads that climbs a ridge which, on a clearer day, would have offered sweeping views in all directions. There are also patches of forest to ride through. I know I'll need to find a way to take this detour more often.

Any hope that returning to the coast would have cooled temperatures was a total waste of time, the mercury hit 34 C at Brunswick Heads, and 35 soon after. The combination of heat and headwind meant that the ride home was always going to take a long time. I settled in for a grind, punctuated only by the hills of the Burringbar Range, and the rainforest of Urliup further north. Riding without power is an interesting experience, but one that I'll need to get used to if these temperatures are any indication of the next six months. A storm closed in later on and cooled things for the final suburban coastal stretch, but I was left wishing it had arrived three hours earlier.

Overall it was extremely rewarding to return to the Wilsons Creek/Huonbrook area. I'm still searching for the link from Wilson's Creek to Doon Doon near Uki on the other side of the Tweed Valley. That route, if possible, would have the small matter of Mt Jerusalem to contend with, but that somehow makes it all the more interesting.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Blackened skies

There aren't many redeeming qualities that spring to mind when one contemplates the concept of "summer" in Queensland. About the only positive that I can think of is the fact that it happens to coincide with the storm season. The relief provided by a sudden downpour after a swelteringly hot and humid day is beautiful. The electrifying display provided by the lightening show is spectacular, and on days like this, the sound of thunder is a treat to the ears.

So it was that I was riding home from work this evening. My legs were still feeling the effects of yesterday's 208km (more on that later), but this was quickly forgotten. We have, of course, been sweltering in disgusting temperatures -- the kind that aren't reported on the news for fear that it might scare the tourists away. Yet this evening there was a feeling that relief might be on the way. In a time frame no longer than a few minutes, the wind had started from the south -- quite brutally, but at least cooler than the northerly, and the skies had gone dark -- illuminated only by flashes of lightning.

It's a peculiar kind of darkness that descends in a storm -- the kind that streetlights never quite seem able to counter. Perhaps the speed at which it descends creates an illusion, but it's inspiring all the same. The only thing lacking this time around was rain -- there just wasn't any. However, I remain optimistic that there will be many more storms in the near future, and many opportunities for this to be rectified. Bring it on.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Weekend away

It's about time I updated this page to represent last weekend's ride of discovery. That came on Sunday, with a trip to the Bellthorpe range, west of Caboolture. Prior to that there was a small matter of a 50km ride to Wynnum and back on Saturday morning. It was largely unremarkable, apart from the mist that hung over Brisbane early. It was only noticeable on the southern side of the Story Bridge -- it didn't put in any kind of appearance on the north side. It did create something of a spectacle, before riding on to the bay and those who try to impersonate millionaires.

The bike shop I was planning to visit had already had it's "closing down" sale, and was now in the vacating phase. Nevertheless, I did manage to make a trek to Epic cycles, and pick up a frame pump, a handlebar bag, and a book containing information on mountain bike rides in South East Queensland. Of course, I had already planned to head for Bellthorpe on the Sunday, but this book also mentioned it. I think the authors should carefully reconsider their grading system for climbs. Anyone who can pedal up an 18% gradient on loose gravel in the middle ring is either very strong, or has very small gearing.

As it was, I took a train ride to Caboolture, before riding out to Wamuran and deciding to continue westward on the old rail trail. Even though it was relatively short (around 10km), it passed through a surprising variety of scenery and terrain, and provided a number of different challenges. Unfortunately, parts of this track are blighted by people who think "maintenance" means simply dumping as much sand in a pile as possible. Nevertheless, there are only isolated patches of this, and the rest of the trail is an extremely pleasant experience.

There were also a large number of side tracks to explore if I'd had the time. One in particular follows some power lines, possibly all the way to Peachester if my information is correct. I might make that a project for another day. On this particular day I had something of a mission to reach Woodforde where I could stock up in the bakery for the rest of the day's adventures.

After Woodforde it was time to detour to the Bellthorpe range, the main attraction of the day. My information suggested the climb would gain 500 metres or so in around 18km, easy. Unfortunately, it was a little more complicated than that. There are a few ups and downs, with no net height gain before the climb kicks. The initial kick of 9-10% is very manageable, but it gets steeper further along, culminating in two sections of 17-18% climbing. The loose gravel makes traction a little more difficult, but the rewards here are special, as the views open up in the gaps in the ever-changing forest.

After the steep initial onslaught, things settled down as they often do, and I found myself riding across the top of the range over the green rolling hills. The temperature was rapidly increasing, 30 degrees C at 600 metres above sea level. Fortunately, I found a water tank at the Bellthorpe hall before the descent. The descent is memorable for two reasons -- firstly, the switchbacks are a pleasure to corner, secondly, this road is actually closed during schoolbus operating times on weekdays. That wasn't a concern to me on a Sunday, but the temperature continued riding. My thermometer claimed 37 degrees C at one point.

At the bottom I decided on another climb, the western approach to Peachester, before taking Bald Knob road toward Maleny. I had actually forgotten what a pretty ride this section really is. The Bald Knob road in particular, passing through a combination of rainforest and green rolling hills. Yet there was a further surprise at the summit. Having been treated to a blisteringly hot day, the heavens opened up for about 20 minutes with a totally irrational downpour. I was beautifully soaked on the descent back to Landsborough. It says a lot about the temperature that being rain on during the descent didn't bother me. I took on more food at Landsborough while standing in the rain (deliberately avoiding the shelter) before preparing for the final run through the glasshouse mountains back to Caboolture.

The final stretch passed quicker than I'd expected, perhaps strangely because I could feel some serious fatigue after the day's climbs. I can only assume here that my technique must have been spot on. Old Gympie road is also very pretty, and a reminder that I really should spend more time in this part of the world. I pulled into Caboolture rail station at the end and stepped onto a train 30 seconds before it departed. A brilliant piece of timing, and a fitting way to end a memorable day.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


This group have started a petition for something worthwhile. Queensland has a high incidence animal cruelty basically resulting from a combination of a high moron quotient in the general population and magistrates in courts who consistently fail to apply the law when people are prosecuted for animal cruelty. Now somebody has decided to do something about it. It probably says a lot about the general morals of society that a group of lawyers are left to do something about a problem such as this, but now that they have, they need to be supported.

Anybody with views on this issue, or even anybody with a sense of morals, should go and sign the petition here. The Animal Care and Protection Act of 2001 provides Queensland with the harshest penalties for animal cruelty of any state in Australia, but the legal system continually fails to apply them. There are plenty of examples of it on the main page, and it's time it changed. Somebody needs to remind these so-called "judges" that their role is to apply the law -- they are not social workers trying to redeem the dregs of society.

Consequently, I implore anyone who reads this to sign the aforementioned petition, and to mention it on their own blog if they so desire. It's time to make something happen.


No, I have not discovered the fountain of youth since Monday, 25 represents my current running total of flat tyres in 2007.

The power of the human mind can be a destructive thing. Last night I was riding toward the glow worms in Austinville, wondering at the fact that I had never had a flat tyre on a solo night ride in the middle of nowhere. This is actually something of a surprise, given the number of flat tyres I've dealt with this year alone, and the number of solo night rides I take. It didn't take long before the subtle shifts of the back end of the bike to indicate that this particular statistic no longer applied.

Changing a flat tyre in the middle of the night can be a fiddly job. Knowing this I simply inflated the tyre as much as possible and tried to ride it back to the hall, where the solitary street light within a 15km radius is located. Unfortunately, the leak was faster than this, and I ended up having to make the change a little short of that, not only in the darkness, but also on anything but flat ground. The job suddenly became slightly more fiddly, but with my reserve headlight now doubling as a flashlight, it was possible.

I'm now left wondering whether I need to show more discipline in my thoughts. Perhaps I could start by removing all trace of opinion or thought from my posts on this blog. It would probably increase the number of readers if nothing else.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Today I'm officially "old". Well, perhaps not, but I'm a little closer to being there. I'd take a ride to celebrate, but I already ripped my legs off on a blisteringly hot ride in the Sunshine Coast hinterland yesterday (ride report to come later), so I'll just have to settle for a commute today and possibly a shopping trip this evening. It's interesting to look back on the 12 months since my "30" post and see exactly what has happened.

The one constant has been my continued cynicism about pretty much everything in the world today. While I didn't set out to become this way when I was younger, it just seems to have been my experience that as a general rule, they cynics were right all along on pretty much every subject I can think of. A lot of people see cynicism as a negative attitude, but I've never seen it that way. Cynicism is simply a defence mechanism that allows an individual to see the world and it's inhabitants for what they are. This is actually a positive attitude, as it allows one to simply get on with their lives, focusing on what is actually achievable and knowing exactly how to make it happen.

Of course, this was the year that my cynicism finally convinced me to take leave of the world of cycling "advocacy", or at least in it's current form. While I still hold largely the same opinions on many of the issues that I always did, I have realised that a lot of the politics involved is largely a waste of time, and that a lot of the people in the game ultimately have very different motives from what they claim. Personally, I can find far more rewarding pursuits than fighting those battles over and over again.

In a slightly more positive twist, but another made possible by cynicism, I managed a wonderful tour of Scotland a few months ago. Cynicism came in handy for dealing with the idiots in the Australian government who put as many hurdles in my way as possible, hoping I wouldn't bother them and keep them from flexing the afternoon off. This, pretty much sums up the lesson from the last 12 months and beyond, and the whole point of this post. While it seems "horrible" to think a certain way about certain ideals, individuals or institutions, it's often a necessary evil if you want to achieve anything.

Here endeth the lesson.