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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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Stinson track, Christmas Creek

The day after this ride, and continuing on this seemingly endless quest to bring this blog up to date, the day after the adventurous night ride saw one of the most incredible walking experiences of the year to date. The initial objective was the 6km ride to the start of the track. It was actually quite a bit hillier than I'd expected, and thus took a little longer to cover. I was in no hurry, as the group I was walking with weren't arriving until 9am, meaning that I'd had time to sleep in, then amble across the pretty ride at a snail's pace.

There were 13 of us in the group, following the track first to the grave of James Westray, a crash survivor (more on that later), and then on to Larapinta Falls. The early part of the walk set the tone, with the track criss-crossing the creek several times (the creek now swollen with the previous evening's storm), with some rather interesting footwork required at times. Whatever we had to go through, the surroundings made it worthwhile.

Several decades ago, a mail plane attempting a flight from Brisbane to Sydney had crashed in the middle of this wilderness. Of the seven people on board, three had been killed instantly. Of the four survivors, one (James Westray) had some hiking experience in the UK, and decided to attempt to tramp his way through the forest to a local farm for help. He would never be seen alive again.

Westray's Grave

In the meantime, the official search by whichever organisation was responsible at the time was called off. A local farmer, a member of the O'Reilly family (after whom a nearby mountain resort was named) decided to do his own search. It's believed that he stood atop a mountain, and noticed a fallen branch on a tree several kilometres away, and calculated that this was caused by the plane falling from the sky. Incredible as it might seem, he went to the location and found the three remaining survivors.

As they made their way out of the forest (now with an experienced navigator leading the way), they found the body of James Westray. Evidently he'd fallen down a waterfall, but still continued until he reached a place alongside Christmas Creek. It's believed that he stopped for a cigarette, and died while smoking it (I said it was a health hazard). His grave marks the spot. I don't know if it was any consolation at the time, but he did spend his final moments in some incredible surroundings.

Our intrepid group continued upstream, the track disappearing after the grave site. We were left rockhopping creek crossings, and surveying the ground to find the smoothest passage. It's possible that a few mistakes were made, but most of those were apparently corrected on the return by the same route. Along the way I found a new way to deal with a leech. When I took off a shoe to check for leeches, I found a dead one inside. There's probably a certain element of bad blood between myself and the leech population of the world, but this was taking things a bit far, even for me.

Several waterfalls were passed, en route to the big one, the famous Larapinta falls. The final part of the trek became considerably rougher, and our "official" leader decided she wouldn't make the final push. It was rather difficult, but pleasant all the same. I managed to twist an ankle, but not enough to compromise my ride home the next day. Whatever happened along the way, the final result was worth it.

Larapinta Falls

The walk back, being downhill along a route that we "knew" (sort of) was considerably quicker and less eventful than the climb had been. The most notable event was the local leech population attempting revenge on my right foot for the earlier death of their comrade -- I counted ten of them. Now it was time to say goodbye to the rainforest (until my next visit at least), and while the remainder of the group headed for the Beaudesert pub, I opted for a leisurely ride back to the Stinson Park campground, and another evening by the campfire. This time I'd use it to get my shoes dry (which had been drenched on some of the creek crossings). A pleasant way to end yet another amazing day. This is what living is all about.


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