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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Monday, March 30, 2009

Amping up the Tweed Valley

I hadn't planned to do it this way, but last week I decided to do something with the old Tweed Valley ride that I've been doing regularly for over eight years. The distance was still similar (178km), but change to the route on the way home from Chillingham would totally change the complexion of the ride. It all started simply enough with the now customary southern ride via Urliup to get away from the coast. The first slight variation came after Murwillumbah, and the decision to detour along Richard's Deviation, a beautiful detour that I had almost forgotten about.

Beyond Uki, I headed for the really beautiful stretch of the ride along Byrill Creek. This is actually a long grind of a climb on the dirt, but on a slightly cooler day, I was able to enjoy the scenery of the rainforest, waterfalls and distant mountain views. This area must be an amazing place t0 live, with the fresh air and the tranquility of the forest.

The stretch through Brays Creek, Tyalgum and back to Chillingham is one that I've been riding in the wrong direction for all these years. Heading north opened up the views of the Lamington ranges and Bald Mtn. The two climbs out of Tyalgum made me work, but the surroundings compensated. Also hard at work today was the new altimeter that I had fitted to the bike the previous evening. I smiled at it particularly, because after Chillingham it would get one hell of a job.

Returning from the Tweed Valley via Numinbah Gap and Springbrook is hard enough at the best of times, yet I was about to attempt it on the back of a century ride. Still, it was a pleasant enough day, and the promise of rain on the climb of Numinbah gap (it seems to rain every other time I climb it from this side) might just keep me cool enough to pull it off. As it happened, it didn't rain until the descent on the other side, but I managed to maintain a grinding rhythm that pushed me over the 10-15% climb and into the Numinbah Valley on the other side.

Now it was on. I cruised down the long, steady descent into the valley, and caught a ride toward the Springbrook turn off on the back of a tailwind. The only problem was that my legs were totally shot, with a 24% climb still to come. I commenced the climb to the sound of screeching tyres in the valley -- the climb might be physically impossible, but at least it would keep me from associating with hoons. As it happened, I eventually made the summit (albeit with a couple of unscheduled rest stops), and was simply too tired to raise a victory salute. At least it would be all downhill from here.

The 8km descent that followed just didn't seem to be long enough to allow my legs to recover, and there was still some work to do. I actually thought about detouring to the Fudge shop at the old Craft Corner, but decided I wasn't up for an extra climb. Instead I simply mopped up the remaining kilometres and was glad to just make it home in one piece. It had been a memorable (if tiring) day. A few more of these, and I might start to get fit.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tosspot of the week

Well clearly it's been a while between posts. I do have some things from the cycling world to post as soon as Photobucket recovers from it's current functionality phobia. In the meantime, this story caught my eye because it's yet another example of that Australian tradition of holding responsible people accountable for the actions of the irresponsible. Incidentally, some of the recent economic policies implemented in this country fit the same description, but I digress.

Apparently the New South Wales government has decided that after the violence at Sydney airport last week, everyone in the State who WASN'T involved now needs to be governed by draconian laws governing who they can or can't associate with, while doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to ensure that those who actually carried out the violence (or at least those that they managed to catch) are removed from society. Can I ever so respectfully ask just how the government conclude that certain people are going to comply with these laws if the same certain people are happy to break the current laws governing assault and indeed murder?

Wouldn't it be more effective and indeed fairer on the people these laws are supposed to protect if the government actually got serious about enforcing the existing laws? How about simply making the penalty for any assault (unless acting in self-defence or defence of the weak) a mandatory minimum five year prison sentence, and the penalty for murder a mandatory minimum 20 year sentence -- with no possibility of parole or a reduced sentence except in providing information that directly leads to the prosecution of other criminals. How about making our prisons into real prisons by removing access to things like TV, computer games and the Internet?

But no, instead of doing things like this that might actually get people to stop (or at least reconsider) committing crimes, the NSW government have decided that it's far easier (at least for them) to simply give criminals one more law to flout, safe in the knowledge that almost never have to face the penalties actually written in the law thanks to the wannabe social workers who call themselves "magistrates". In the meantime, the responsible members of society are left with yet another restriction on their personal freedom so that a few government officials can be seen to be "doing something" about the irresponsible.

I suppose we can take some solace from the fact that all the trumpeting and self-congratulating of the NSW State government isn't going to help them in as much as they are still almost certainly dead meat at the next election. On the other hand, that feeling is subdued in itself by the knowledge that the opposition are almost certainly just as incompetent. Incidentally, I regularly share the road with motorcycle clubs on my weekend rides in the Gold Coast Hinterland, and find them to be among the friendliest road users in the area, unlike the drunken yobbos on the coast who, incidentally, can flout as many laws as they like without ever incurring any kind of penalty, even when caught by the police. One wonders who will be the scapegoat when a government official needs to win some votes from a lobby group out of that scenario.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I made it

Saturday I climbed off the sick bed to set a fastest time ever on the 920 metre climb to O'Reillys in the Hinterland. I am still trying to figure out just where that sort of form came from, or if it can ever be repeated. The plan had been to meet up with some friends to hike around the Tooloona Circuit of Lamington National Park. I had allowed plenty of time for the ride up the mountain, but a flat tyre 7km from Canungra effectively took care of the extra time I had allowed. Now I had some serious work to do.

I had thought about trying to the 14km gentle climb at the start in "the dog", but decided I wouldn't sustain that for 14km and bailed on that idea. Instead I went for cadence, and DID manage to sustain that. Even then, when I first entered the rainforest on the plateau I was still running late. I pulled out the 5 flat km across the plateau quickly, and commenced the final 7km climb actually thinking I could make it on time (not that being five minutes late would be an issue, but this was a matter of pride). Here I just went for consistency, and gained even more time. Now I just had to finish of the short 16% pinch known locally as "Big Bertha". The time I'd made up earlier meant that the pressure was unexpectedly off, and I spun over it in a granny gear. I ultimately made the summit with five minutes to spare.

As for the hike itself, the best description I heard all day was "a walk in paradise". I was still on a high after the ride to the start, and led the group to the top of the ridge for the return through the rainforest gorge and the waterfalls. The rainforest itself is full of all sorts of secrets, and the rain earlier in the week had filled the watefalls to capacity.

Of course, this volume of water usually means plenty of leeches, and that was the case again today. The good news about that is I'll probably never have to worry about blood clotting or poor circulation in the future. The other thing it meant was treacherous creek crossings, and that I was the only one brave enough to climb the rocks to reach Elebana Falls. That was, however, probably the best picture of the day.

Elebana Falls

Yet another memorable day. The rainforest in the Hinterland seems to become more vigorous during the wet season. Hopefully I'll get more time to explore it in the coming months, before the dry hits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Last Saturday I made a spur-of-the moment decision to string a couple of "normal" rides together in northern NSW, culminating in a reverse ride around the old Tweed Valley Circuit. I was hoping this would give me a 200km day. Before I had finished 5, I had realised my camera was still sitting at home. Oh well, it was too late to go and get it now.

The route I had decided on encompassed the climb over Reserve Creek road, followed by Cudgera Creek into Burringbar, before doubling back to Burringbar and Stokers Siding to link up with the old Tweed Valley circuit in reverse. It's nice to note that March is upon us, meaning that the heat waits a little longer to become unbearable each day, and I was able to mop up the first 80km to Burringbar without sweating to death. It was after climbing over the Burringbar range, and cutting through Stokers Siding toward Uki that the ride would get interesting.

First of all, the climb up that side of the valley was actually more difficult than I had anticipated. Not mind-buggeringly difficult in the Porters Pass vein, but just quite a bit longer than I'd thought. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, as it involves passing through the prettiest section of the route at a slightly slower pace. There was also a decent volume of shade around, which is crucial in this climate. I crested the summit somewhere near Mebbin National Park, and commenced the long, gradual descent toward Tyalgum. It was here I realised that I had been doing this ride in the wrong direction all along, the views on the way back were stunning.

Tyalgum seemed to be quite a bit warmer than everywhere else in the Tweed Valley, and one of the locals confirmed that this seems to be the norm out here. Just when I was beginning to like the place! As it was, I was glad to get out of there today, and commence the two climbs before the descent all the way back to Chillingham. All that was left now as a climb over Tomewin and to coast home. Unfortunately, a few wind gusts in the canefields around Murwillumbah wanted to delay things a little, I had to push through at a measly 21km/h, and had no momentum for the climb.

Yet once I started the climb, everything seemed to feel good again. I guess there's nothing like winching up a long climb to recharge one's energy. The final ride home through suburbia was then mopped up without anything remarkable happening. In the end I was extremely satisfied with the day's ride, even if the final tally of 195km fell a little short of the distance goal. There will be plenty more riding where that came from in coming weekends.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tosspot of the Week

You just can't have an award like this without Warwick Capper winning it at least once.

Like many critics of his footy career might have claimed, Warwick Capper's brief foray into Queensland politics was mostly show and little substance.

And the former AFL star handballed the blame for his failure to register as a candidate before the Tuesday deadline directly to the men's magazine that bankrolled his campaign.

The mag, in turn, has flicked the blame to Capper's manager but one thing's certain - the stunt-happy Zoo Weekly is the only party to have kicked a goal in the form of heaps of free publicity.

At noon on Tuesday, Capper was busy telling reporters about his desire to become the elected member for the Gold Coast hinterland seat of Beaudesert.

The only problem was no one had bothered to register him as a candidate before the midday deadline expired.

Capper, who denies his political campaign was a publicity stunt, insists the blunder wasn't his fault and he was serious about addressing rural problems including a high suicide rate.

"Zoo magazine were responsible for my application, because I'm working for them, and they said they would do it for me. I'm a bit dirty at them," he told AAP.

But Zoo pointed the finger at Capper's "self-appointed campaign manager" Mark "Jacko" Jackson.

The magazine also denied Capper's political tilt was a stunt, despite admitting the former Swans full forward is about to join Zoo as a columnist.

"Warwick's just about to come onboard as our sports columnist. So we were only helping out with the campaigning by sending some Zoo (bikini model) volunteers and were in no way responsible for his campaign," Zoo Weekly assistant editor Dan Robinson said.

Robinson said while it was disappointing an "upstanding member of the public" wouldn't be running for state parliament, it was safe to say it wouldn't affect the outcome of the March 21 election.

As the registration blunder played out, an apparently oblivious Capper told reporters in Beaudesert that his bid for the seat was legit.

He seemed mildly affronted by the suggestion he was intent on turning the contest into a circus.

"The suicide rate is pretty bad out here because of depression and anxiety," said Capper, who teamed his tight pants with a T-shirt emblazoned with Zoo magazine's logo.

"I have a lot of friends who are farmers who are struggling and I know what they are going through and I want to help."

But that's about where the serious stuff ended.

As he toured local businesses, Capper popped into a lingerie store where he fondled a mannequin, paying particular attention to the undies it was wearing.

"Hey baby - are you going to vote for me?" he asked as he kissed and fondled the mannequin before his manager pulled him away.

There's really not much more I can add to this. To be fair to Capper, at least he upset Pauline Hanson, so he deserves credit for that much. His withdrawal from the election means that I've now shelved my plans for a temporary move to Beaudesert. There's not much out there, but it would be almost worth putting up with for a few weeks or so just to vote against both Warwick Capper and Pauline Hanson. Oh well, maybe another time.

  • In other news, why did some f*ckwit decide to shoot a cat 27 times? I wonder if whoever was responsible would be so "brave" if the cat could shoot back? I say let's find out by feeding them to the tigers at the zoo when they're found. At least would be more interesting to watch than the usual "suspended sentence", which seems to be all Australian courts are capable of handing out for even the worst of atrocities. Hell, if this keeps up, I might just have a crack at politics myself. I probably couldn't do any worse than the people running the country at the moment.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Well this basically sucks. I had some big kilometres lined up for the weekend, but a stupid illness arrived on Friday and put an end to that. I did manage a climb of Mt Nimmel this morning, just, and even that felt more difficult than usual. It's possible the heat had something to do with that, but that 4km climb felt a long longer. Of course, having no energy didn't give me a lot of scope to do much else with my weekend either, but it seems everytime I spend a day or a weekend at home off the bike, I soon remember just why I love riding so much.

I really shouldn't have been out there this morning either, but I just couldn't handle another day stuck in suburbia with no escape in sight. It just feels like the whole world outside is passing me by on days like this, and it's not a pleasant feeling. I knew full well that I might pay for this morning's excesses, but I really didn't care. I could see no conceivable consequence of going on this ride that would out weigh the known consequence of not going. With some luck I'll soon be back to 100% fit and not have a problem.