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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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ships stern

Yesterday I decided I was sick of the relentless heat of the coast, and so decided to head for the mountains of Lamington National Park. I figured that walking the Ships Stern track (19km + another 5km of detours) in the middle of a 102km ride would keep me occupied, and more importantly, at altitude for most of the day. I wasn't disappointed.

Things were muggy on the ride up the range, the usual threat of rain not eventuating that seems to be endemic to this time of year. Once I reached the plateau at Lower Beechmont, things improved, however, and it was a pleasant ride across the top through Beechmont and on to Binna Burra. The final climb of Mt Roberts is always a challenge, but I managed it without working too hard, maybe a sign that my resting heart-rate of 43 last year was no fluke.

The walk itself started with a trek through the mist at one of the higher parts of the track, before descending slightly, into a more open type of forest. One of the perils of Lamington at this time of year is leeches, there were hundreds of them around. A couple of runners had been through earlier, and evidently had stirred them up. Still, only one of the leeches actually managed to bite me, so I think I did pretty well.

The rocks near Upper Ballanjui falls were wet and thus extremely slippery. In fact, that was a description that could be applied to much of the track. Something else that surprised me was the friendliness (or should that be fearlessness) of a blue cray. That creature wasn't backing away at all. The lunch stop was Kooloobanoo Point at the top of the Ships Stern Range, with its extensive views north over Egg Rock. Apparently descendents of the original aboriginal inhabitants still live in the valley below around Egg Rock.

The second half of the walk involved a final waltz through the Hidden valley at the bottom, passing the Lower Ballanjui Falls, before climbing back to the trail head Binna Burra and riding home. I was warned about the number of leeches in the valley by a group coming the other way, but in truth I only saw two, and neither of them managed to bite me. While I was walking through the rainforest valley, it actually started raining quite heavily, but virtually all of the rain was blocked by the canopy of palms above. It's quite an eerie feeling to be under such a canopy, able to hear the rain, but not feel it. It's something I could consider if ever I need to find shelter in a hurry up there in the future.

After returning to Binna Burra, I was left with a fairly simple ride home. It was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon on the Beechmont range. The temperature was beautiful, and the wind had a slight but exquisite chill on it, the like of which would never be felt in the coastal lowlands at this time of year. I eventually made it home around 6.30pm exhausted, but extremely satisfied after a memorable day.

If you click here you should see a slide show of the 32 pictures I eventually uploaded from what was a truly awesome day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The hideaway

Deep in Tallebudgera Valley, hidden from the hordes of tourists that crowd this part of the world at this time of year, lies a very special place. It's here, among a grove of dense rainforest, obscured by a canopy of palms, there lies what may be one of the most amazing secrets of Southern Queensland.

In truth, it's only through the goodwill of those who own the land that we're able to access it at all. Yet this is something for which we should be eternally grateful, for it is truly a wonderous place, a perfect way to escape from the madness of the city during tourist season. I am, of course, referring to Dickfos Falls, which I visited early this morning in an effort to find some peace for a while. Best of all, I didn't get a single leech bite on the walk along the stream through the rainforest to find the falls. Truly a miracle in these conditions.

There was, of course, a ride of almost 80km to get to and from the falls as well. This was no reason to complain, as the surroundings of Tallebudgera Valley are always pleasant, and the people of the valley seemed to be full of Christmas cheer today. I spent so much time waving back to people that I might have thought I was back in New Zealand, had the humidity level been less than 169%. On days like this, I realise just how fortunate I am, that in the month or so that I've been back from New Zealand, I've already had several memorable adventures. Roll on tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The opposite of burnout?

What's the opposite of burn-out? It's the state one reaches after a bike tour when, rather than burned out on the whole thing, they find themselves wanting to spend more time on the bike and in the outdoors, and even becoming vaguely resentful toward anything that threatens that precious time, no matter how tired they become. That is the stage I have been at recently. I am already starting to plan ahead toward other places I can ride during the remains of this year and into the new year, yet I've not even had time to upload the remaining pictures from the New Zealand tour.

The next single-day epic is planned for Wanganui Gorge, to the west of Mullumbimby in Northern NSW. Apparently it's a deep gorge strewn with waterfalls and rainforests, and best of all, the ride to get there is likely to be a 200km+ round trip. Just perfect. Somewhere along the way I also plan to check out the caves with rock paintings that apparently exist in Mt Jerusalem National park. Unfortunately, this weekend is shaping as a busy one, but those that follow might provide opportunities. I may have a surprise or two planned this weekend as well.

In the meantime, let's hope this heatwave passes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Old favourites

After a few weeks away it was time to return to two of my old favourites on the weekend. On Saturday morning (after a group bushwalk was cancelled), I decided to head for Springbrook in the Hinterland. One of the things I love about this place is that I appreciate it, even after visiting somewhere as amazing as New Zealand. The charms of Springbrook still stand out, and this is why I wanted to return.

The obligatory climb to Best of All Lookout was always on the agenda. In truth I was a little slower than I would have liked because of the heat that had already started to scorch the coast at 5.30am. Once I got up into the mountains, however, things became more pleasant, even if the promised rain didn't materialise. I basically took my time on the plateau, savouring the environment. Had the 17km Warrie circuit bushwalk been reopened, I might have stayed here all day.

* * * * * * * * *

I followed up on Sunday with a climb to the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park with Martin. Conventional wisdom says you should never ride with a bloke who has good form on the bike when you're backing up after a decent ride the day before. I ignored that "wisdom" and went anyway. It was yet another beautiful day on the mountain (if a little windy). The sweeping views stretched forever in every direction one could imagine. It was yet another time when I should have simply spent the day on the mountain rather than return to the heat of the coast.

Somewhere on the lower slopes of the descent home a motorcyclist had apparently been run off the road by a wrong-way driver. Apparently some things never change. Still, we managed to avoid that, and every other idiot on the road. In fact, the only real issue either of us had were the insects who took a liking to my sunsceen, immediately after I'd applied it. I'm not sure what they saw in it, but they were pretty determined about it.

Monday, December 08, 2008


This post is solely for the benefit of those of you who weren't up at 4.30am this morning to see the sunrise. You missed out, but you should just be glad I'm here to relay the news.

Back to "business"

Yesterday was time to get back to "business" after being out of the country for the last few weeks. Martin and I had decided on a ride to Mebbin National Park, deep in the Tweed Valley. The promised rain during the day didn't really eventuate, and in this part of the world, that means high heat and high humidity. However, while the weather conditions could have been more pleasant, the scenery made up for it. As is becoming customary now, we started off passing through the rainforest of Urliup in the morning on the way South.

After this it was the usual route through Murwillumbah and Uki, with the surrounding mountains and patches of rainforest intertwined with rolling green hills. However, apart from a nasty stretch of road construction to the south of Uki, it was all pretty uneventful. A light shower passed overhead, which seemed to give the clouds hovering around the mountains another boost. Further south we passed a waterfall, before commencing the climb into Mebbin National Park.

Considering my location, it was quite a surprise that it took me so long to originally discover this route. However, now that it's on my map, it's developed into a regular ride. The climb into the National park is quite taxing, being on dirt roads as it is. The moisture managed to keep the dust out of the equation, but our bikes still managed to get into a mess. This park actually shares a boundary with the Border Ranges National Park, and the resulting views to the west are testament to this. Eventually the summit was reached, which left us with a gently downhill ride through the rainforest back toward Uki.

We rejoined the old Tweed Valley route for the return to Uki, and after a lunch stop, it was time for the ride home to finish off the 170km. The route back over Tomewin is shorter, but harder as it contains a bigger climb. This climb would prove my downfall this afternoon, as I tried to attack it in the oppressive conditions. I almost made the attack stick, but I really blew up just before the summit. I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here, to be a little more selective about when the attacks are to be made. It was, however, the final noteworthy climb of the day, so the ride home wasn't overly difficult.

All in all it was another extremely rewarding day. I have to confess to feeling a little spoiled, to come home to this after a holiday. Still, it means I have plenty to keep me occupied over the coming months. Roll on next weekend.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Return of the prodigal

I have returned from New Zealand after an amazing tour of the North Island. I thought I had seen everything on the South Island, but the North managed to produce vistas and scenery that was so different that it was difficult to believe I had returned to the same country. Those who haven't been to New Zealand really should make a point of visiting, as it is truly an amazing country. I took a lot of pictures, so it will probably take a while to get them all uploaded (I still haven't finished writing the narrative).

In the meantime, I have returned to insufferable heat, but at least my usual riding patch is still looking green after some apparently fierce thunderstorms while I was away. One of the things about being away for a while is that I always come home and want to catch up on my local rides, having done none of them for a few weeks (months in some cases). My body also craves endorphins on a regular basis, having just cycled over 1,800km in three weeks. Keeping those under control wasn't helped by receiving the Audax calendar for the upcoming year recently. I also have plenty of places to explore in the Mt Jerusalem National Park to the south.

Too much riding to do and too little time.