Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.


Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Thursday, 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.


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