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

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

Bikeforums
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.

Blogs

Bicycle-eye
Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
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Ms Mittens
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Iron Gambit
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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.

Allez
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".

Crowlie
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.

Spinopsys
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.

BikeHacks
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..

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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!

Bliss

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.

3 Comments:

Blogger fingers said...

Hi Chris; I did notice you drinking from your bottle but thought you were taking on salts etc not that you had nearly run dry. I spoke to Mark after the ride to make sure he had made it home OK?

Mark just rode straight through looking neither left nor right and therefore saw no-one, but... He then stopped where the creek crossed the Palmvale Rd and sat in some shade to eat his lunch.

Mark mentioned that the hill past the quarry from Reserve Creek Rd to Clothiers Creek Road was difficult. He needed to dismount to negotiate the quarry section.

You snapped some good pictures of the ride, I might need to download 1 or 2.

Thanks for sharing in the experience, we will need to do some more discovery cruising/riding, as you said "on the western side of the highway"

8:11 am  
Blogger fingers said...

Chris;
I have sorted your Firefox/IE problem by recreating you blog template.... here is the url to the test site http://tweedtreadly.blogspot.com/
and here is the xml file, it will just require you to re-apply your wigets
http://www1.4tfingers.biz/maps/chris.xml

You will need to download it from there to your own computer then upload it to your blog. Make sure you save your original first!

9:12 am  
Blogger Chris L said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your help. I'll have a look at that and download the file when I get home this evening.

I'm glad Mark made it back in one piece, you can never be sure in some of those places. If you want the original (i.e full size) version of any of the pictures, just let me know.

1:27 pm  

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