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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Friday, October 31, 2008

Tosspot of the week

It's that time of the year again. There was some silly car race in Sufferer's Parasite last weekend, and as a result, hoons will now spend the next four weeks trying to wreck the Gold Coast, and the road toll will rise in the manner that that the stock market wishes it could right now. One idiot yesterday morning making an illegal turn across two lanes of traffic, I'm not entirely sure how he survived that one, he still got owned in the gridlock either way. Another idiot charging straight into a gridlocked roundabout ("traffic circle" to those in North America), it's probably a real shame that this idiot survived. How is it that someone who is so intrinsically stupid that they could suffer a black eye from being punched in the mouth even manages to get through day to day life? Wonders will never cease.

Still, it gave me enough aggro to slaughter Mt Nimmel last night in a manner that I hadn't previously managed. Interestingly, there's something about those narrow mountain roads that tends to scare off the idiots -- or maybe the rumours about bodies lying in those ravines really are true. Either way, the mountains are going to be my desired hang out this weekend.

* * * * *

In other news, I'm flying out to New Zealand to commence my annual tour in a week or so. My journal for that trip is already online here, even if it is a little bare right now. Hopefully I'll get time to add a few things to it over the next week or so. I won't bother trying to put my excitement for that trip into words because right now, there just aren't words to describe it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The search for something more

Sometimes I can't get enough rainforest. The "recovery ride" in Austinville was always going to provide plenty of that this morning, but today I was looking for a twist. Some time ago I ventured here with Martin on a freezing morning and explored some side tracks in the state forest. Those few that turned up had ridiculously steep (read: unrideable) gradients, but there was one striking out to the east that appeared to be relatively sane. It was this that I decided to explore today.

The "more rideable" gradient lasted for about 300 metres, until another vertical kick straight up the side of the ridge. This time I hid my bike in the bush (not that anyone was going to find it anyway) and decided to walk to see how far it would go. The track simply continued to climb relentlessly, but I was determined to get some idea of it. Along the way I passed all manner of interesting things, including exotic wildflowers and oddly-shaped trees.

Someone had left a cap attached to a tree at one point on the climb, I can only assume that means that people occasionally venture out this way. The views were slowly opening up, if somewhat obscured by the thick vegetation. Eventually the "summit" of that ridge was reached. The track too a sharp turn to the left and descended in much the same way it had climbed. I decided enough was enough at this point, and it was time to head back. I will, however, return with a cut lunch one day, and find out just where this one leads. It could be the start of a whole new adventure.

That ol' black magic

Some bike troubles over the last few days have led to be dragging out The Black Magic for another weekend. This basically meant a return to the Garden of Eden yesterday, high on the macpherson range at Tomewin. It was another warm and humid day on the coast, but the mountain air was cool and fresh after I'd threaded a way through Urliup, and climbed the 6km ascent from the south. I decided to put something into the climb this time, before detouring along the escarpment at Garden of Eden road and taking in the sweeping views south.

This time the Garden of Eden lived up to it's name literally. I had the option of the forbidden fruit in the form of a single mandarin growing on a tree. This time I resisted the temptation (largely because the ones Martin and I found in Cudgen Nature Reserve some months ago tasted so awful) and returned to the main road, before taking the eastern side of the escarpment on the rough Glengarrie Road. Here the Garden of Eden continues to live up to it's name, and was the perfect place for picture number 1,000 from this camera.

Here I had an interesting conversation with another mountain biker who suddenly turned up. It seems there is another track linking the other side of Tomewin with Currumbin along the top of the range. That's one to explore on my return from New Zealand in December. For this point I settled on a return home from Bilambil at the bottom of the descent. This is a great ride, albeit a little short after getting out of suburbia. I'm looking for a way to combine it with the ridge-top track from Tomewin to Currumbin. That could take some work, but rest assured, I will figure it out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Currumbin Valley turns it on

I've been so busy over the last few days that I almost completely forgot to mention something special that happened on Sunday. I set off for what should have been a regulation 60km "recovery ride" after Saturday's spectacular 142km. What I was left with were the remains of the previous night's rain throwing all sorts of spectacular shapes around in the form of clouds hanging around the surrounding mountains.

At the end of the valley is, of course, the short, pleasant walk through the rainforest to Cougal's Cascades. What occurred to me at this point was that I had not ventured out here in several months, despite the relative proximity of this place to many of the others I regularly visit. I really should rectify that in the future.

This weekend I'm lining up a weekend tour to Mt Barney, including a hike to the mysterious Mt Barney Falls. I know nothing about them, save that they are located somewhere near the Lower Portals in Mt Barney National Park. I also know from prior experience that the Mt Barney Lodge has one of the most scenic campgrounds in South East Queensland. That alone will justify the effort I'll go to for this tour. Anything else will be a bonus.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to Mooball

Last Saturday I had an inclination to ride on some dirt. A quick consultation with my regular ride partner Martin decided that Mooball National Park, in the Burringbar Range in Northern NSW was the place to go. It was also going to be the first dirt I had ridden since having the teeth removed, and a month without riding on dirt is never good for anyone's health. As is obligatory these days, we set off through Urliup on our quest south toward Murwillumbah, passing through the town before heading for the climb of Reserve Creek Road.

We kept a high pace during the early part of the ride, and I was certainly feeling it. Yet the views from the climb near Round Mountain are always worth the effort. A slightly surprising thing was just how little rain had fallen in the area south of Murwillumbah -- I had come prepared to deal with leeches and now they weren't going to be a problem. We continued south before starting the beautiful climb of Cudgera Creek, with it's dirt switchbacks through the rainforest. At the top of the climb we turned onto Wabba Road, following the "hidden road" cut into the side of the ridge (don't worry Dave, we stayed out of sight of the house on top of the hill), taking in the sweeping views from the top of the range.

What follows is the prettiest section of the ride. Evidently the grass covering Wabba Road had been cut since my last visit a few months back. The going was much firmer under wheel this time around. This ride also passes through some very attractive forest, with the occasional gap in the trees to take in a sweeping view in whatever direction the road happens to be facing at that moment.

Once the climb had finally been conquered, the general trend back to Murwillumbah was going to be downhill. At one point I was forced into producing what may be the save of the year after going into a corner way too fast, losing the back wheel, jumping over two parallel corrugations, leaving the road, yet still remaining composed enough to keep the bike upright and continue without even slowing down. Just don't ask me to do it again. Martin, for his part, was on high alert for snakes after some interesting experiences with them in Mudgee of all places. He spotted one curled up by the side of the road that I missed badly enough to almost ride over it.

Eventually we cleared the national park, descended on the deeply rutted final stretch on Smarts Road (around about the same time a heap of trail bikes decided to head the other way - great.), and returned. This time we detoured around Murwillumbah on the infamous Cane Road, somehow avoiding the traditional Cane Road headwind, and returning home over the final climb of Tomewin. This time it was Martin's turn to destroy the mountain -- taking a full three minutes out of the time he'd expected on the climb. I settled for merely riding to expectations. At the top of Tomewin the rain arrived, and stayed with us for most of the ride home. A great way to refresh after a memorable ride.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Glorious Mee 2008

Somehow I missed last year's event in the middle of a form slump, or did it coincide with that Sarah Blasko concert? Whatever the reason, I wasn't there in 2007. This year I needed a comeback ride after losing those teeth, and a day ride of 200km with over 3,000 metres of climbing was always going to be the real test.

Somewhere on Mt Nebo

It was fairly obvious early on that I wasn't going to pull off the usual attack on Mt Nebo/Mt Glorious that I have in past editions. That fact is, of course, totally irrelevant in this style of riding, but sometimes one likes to make a statement. As it was, after an early charge I settled into a steady rhythm to nail the first couple of climbs, and made the first checkpoint atop Mt Glorious well inside the time limit. I was glad the support for the ride remembered the muesli bars I'd forgotten, I pocketed three more and was on my way.

Somerset dam

The descent of the western side of Mt Glorious is always a scary experience, but I almost got caught out on another bend before the descent started -- a simple case of not paying attention. It was probably a useful wake up call, as I made sure I concentrated on the descent, then turned north into the wind to start the rolling hills toward Kilcoy. This stretch was where the ride would become difficult. First I was attacked by seven magpies, one after the other -- the tally would reach double figures by day's end. After this it started getting hot as the northerly wind picked up for what was about the only time during the day. The one positive to come from this stretch was the fact that for once, Somerset Dam actually had some water in it.

There had been warning signs about smoke hazards all the way along, but around 10km from Kilcoy, the first real smoke was visible. The wind kept this batch away from me, but it was a warning of things to come. More magpies came along, sometimes attacking two at a time. I usually squirt them with my water bottle if they get too close, but the volume of water I was drinking in the heat made me rethink that policy.

After lunch at Kilcoy, I headed east along the Neurum road toward Woodford. This section was a real energy-sapper, with the temperature now staying in the 30s Celsius, and enough rolling hills to make it challenging. It was also the stretch that would make or break my prospects of completing the ride. I hung on grimly, then made an unscheduled stop for an ice cream and a cold drink at Woodford. I figured that I had an hour on the people behind me at this stage, so a 10 minute delay to cope with the heat wasn't going to keep the organisers any busier than they would have been otherwise.

The view of the smoke from Mt Mee

The final act of this ride is the climb of Mt Mee. The difficult section is 2.8km at 10%, with 160km already in the legs. Today it was made even harder with smoke from bushfires at Maleny being blown across by the wind. Needless to say it was a real struggle, the picture above coming on an enforced stop to prevent vomiting. I made it to the top and grabbed a fruit salad, not thinking that I could keep anything else down, then mopped up the remaining 47km to the finish (including that long, sweeping 7km descent). In the last 15km I started to find form, and began to wonder where this form had been all day. I guess it's just a coincidence that the temperature started to drop a little at that section.

All in all, I was glad to be back into this ride again. Yes it's difficult on a day like this, but it's also very scenic, and the feeling of satisfaction on completing a ride in difficult conditions. I'll be back for this one again next year.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I haven't got around to posting this yet, but I managed to have a birthday and survive yesterday. I would like to say that I have some kind of divine revelation to mark the occasion this year, but that would be a complete lie. About the only thing I've discovered is that Queensland traffic lights are slow enough that they allow time to do a few stretches in the closing stages of a long ride if you happen to cop a red one. I practiced that on the way home from Little Nerang Dam this morning, where I was reminded of just what a nice ride that really is at dawn.

In other news, I have managed to complete the full journal for my trip to Christmas Creek earlier this year. I wrote about it on this blog, but the journal includes a few pictures that didn't make it onto these pages. I have some more tour journals to update before heading off on the New Zealand trip next month, with all the riding I plan to do in that time (starting with The Wonders of Glorious Mee this weekend), it could be a busy five weeks or so.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Back in the mountains

Sunday was the day on which everything became alright again. I knew before I left home that I wouldn't be nearly 100% on the day, but I had already decided that simply getting through a ride to Binna Burra and back would be good enough. I managed to climb the mountain in reasonable shape, cresting the 7km ascent to Lower Beechmont in reasonable time after pedalling on guts alone for virtually the entire duration. It was here, taking in the sweeping views over Hinze Dam, Springbrook and the surrounding ranges, that I knew I was back. Now all that mattered was finishing the ride with the accompanying inspiration of amazing views on both sides of the road.

At the summit of Mt Roberts I bumped into an old friend from Brisbane who had ridden up a little earlier. It's amazing how a chat about an upcoming ride (the Wonders of Glorious Mee on Saturday) can inspire a tired body to continue. On the way home I opted for the detour along the western spur of the Beechmont Range, with it's views over the coomera gorge. By now it was getting hot, and I was starting to tire, but for once none of that mattered. All that mattered is that I was able to climb again, and the feeling was wonderful.