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

Blog Directory - Blogged

Powered by Blogger

This site is certified 76% GOOD by the Gematriculator This site is certified 24% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A day of lasts

Sunday was a day of lasts. It was probably the last notable ride on The Black Magic, which is being retired after six years and countless thousands of kilometres. For the occasion, I decided to ride the old Garden of Eden ride in reverse, not realising that there would be another "last" here as well. It all started uneventfully enough, with a pleasant climb out of Bilambil on Glengarrie Road to the top of the ridge. Near the summit some local redneck had a heap of dogs that have now apparently been trained to attack virtually anyone on sight. The simple act of lifting the bike into the air and making it clear I could bring it down on any head that got too close took care of that problem.

Another issue soon arose, however. It became clear on the latter stages of the climb that the "road" wasn't being "maintained" any longer, as the lantana in the area was now severely overgrown. Things didn't get any easier when I discovered that the road has now been gated off. Apparently someone has bought a heap of land and closed the road completely at the summit. As the gate was open, and there was nobody around, and no habitations on the land yet anyway, I decided to go through regardless. It soon became apparent that the remains of Glengarrie "road" have completely disappeared, and diverted into another track down the mountain.

At this point I really had no option but to follow the track and hope it linked up with the ridge further to the west. Instead, it simply continued down the mountain. Some tyre tracks indicated that it was occasionally used, and therefore must go somewhere, but after climbing another fence and continuing a very steep descent, I began to wonder whether it would link up with the place I wanted to go. I got my answer after climbing a third gate and coming to the end of the track. It had now linked up with Urliup Road, at the bottom of the valley, and almost right back at sea level.

By this stage I realised that there was never going to be another chance to ride the old Garden of Eden, so I simply rode to the top of Urliup road through the rainforest, before turning around to ride home. Along the way I found a hidden campsite just off the road. Probably wouldn't be a bad place for an overnighter but for the swarms of mosquitoes that call the place home, and the fact that it isn't really all that far away. In the end, I wasn't really sure what to make of the day. It was an interesting adventure, but the loss of another great ride, on top of the continued closure of Springbrook road after the landslide is more than a little annoying.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

You know you're addicted to cycling when...

This afternoon I spent an inordinate amount of time getting an old bike, otherwise known as The Black Magic to regular readers of this page (both of you) back on the road. The details of the repair are unimportant and really unspectacular (and probably would have been concluded much quicker but for an unexpected hitch). The point is, this bike is being "pensioned off" tomorrow when my new MTB arrives, but I'm so desperate for a ride tomorrow, and The Blue Flame is still having rear tyre problems (that will be fixed tomorrow as well), so once again, I am dragging out The Black Magic for one final hurrah. It just seemed like a lot of work to go to for one ride, and at just 100km, it's not even a long one.

Picture above from Mt Nimmel this morning.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beaudesert Bash

I should have learned by now that no long distance event should be underestimated, but after a return to form in the 300k the previous weekend, and a solid effort in a rainy 100km "recovery ride" on the Monday, I went into Saturday's 200km ride thinking everything should be fairly straight forward. The weather forecast seemed to be on my side, too, despite the lack of rain. It promised (relatively) cool temperatures and a southerly wind to push me home, could I ask for any more?

Things started promisingly too, I made good time with a bunch of riders on the way out of suburban Brisbane, and felt strong against the southerly. I even pulled away on the hills near Tamborine Village (which, despite it's name, does not require a climb of Mt Tamborine) and was still feeling strong. The combination of rollers and headwind in the Albert river valley beyond Beaudesert was difficult, but every time I glanced down at my computer, I could see that I had plenty of time in reserve. The ride then headed out a little way on Duck Creek road, basically to the end of the bitumen, but only the start of the climb. Still, I was grateful for the turnaround, and the knowledge of a ride home with a tailwind.

It was not long after this that things suddenly went wrong. The Psssshhhhh of a punctured tube isn't such a frightening prospect for me these days (after 28 in 2007, I've had plenty of practice in fixing them). It was more the split that had developed in my back tyre that worried me. The immediate concern I had was fixing it to ensure I wasn't going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere. I took a patch from my tube repair kit and stuck it to the inside of the tyre (I didn't want to resort to the old $5 note trick just yet), then inserted the new tube and reinflated. It held the air. I set off and gingerly rode the 20-odd km back to Beaudesert and it still held the air. Now I was back in civilisation.

Now I started to believe I could finish the ride after all. At one stage I even believed I could make up the time I lost fixing the flat, but that was always optimistic. The rest of the ride was relatively uninteresting, apart from one moron in the southern suburbs of Brisbane who really doesn't deserve a mention anyway. I eased back and let the wind to all the work, until it dropped off later in the day, by which stage I had regular rest stops at Brisbane's notoriously slow traffic lights. 3km from the finish some rather vague route directions delayed me slightly, but those were sorted without too many problems, and I was able to coast to the finish.

Next week I'm planning something a little different, a return to the Burringbar tunnel on the new MTB should I receive Uncle Kevin's beer, or should I say "stimulus" money in time. I am considering whacking the new purchase on the credit card for the next couple of weeks until the money comes through. On the other hand, maybe he's realised that I don't intend spending it on beer or prostitutes (about the only things still owned by Australians these days), and decided not to send it to me. Oh well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Animation 09

This is just about my favourite 300k on the Audax calendar in Queensland. This year was going to be harder than previous because I was so underdone in terms of kilometres cycled (the first time I've not reached 5,000km by the end of March since 2001). On the positive side, the weather forecast included rain, meaning I might be lucky enough to avoid the heat. As it happened, only five riders made the start (nine had planned to start, but some must have bailed on hearing the weather forecast, pour souls).

I set off with another guy who spent about 20km telling me about his various charity rides, before riding off into the distance, I decided it was best not to attempt the pace he was setting, and settled into my own rhythm, although I did feel a little stronger today than in any of my lead-up rides. I made the first checkpoint at Dayboro in reasonable time, and decided to buy some bread rolls to carry on the remainder of the ride at the local bakery, somehow not realising that they were HUGE. I ended up giving a couple of them away later in the ride.

The first act after Dayboro is the 530 metre climb of Mt Mee. The south side is relatively easy, and I simply coasted up the mountain in a consistent rhythm rather than going for an all out attack - I still had 240km to ride. The sweeping views across the top kept me occupied until I reached the crazy descent on the other side. I always seem to get stuck behind traffic here, and today was no exception. That said, it probably wasn't a bad thing as there was still water running across the road from the previous days' rain. I continued on across the rolling hills toward Kilcoy without even raising a sweat. It was the return on that stretch that has caused me problems in previous years.

Shortly after the Kilcoy turnaround, a powerful wind started from the south east, followed by a squall of rain. I've found headwinds difficult to deal with on this stretch, but they always seem a little more comfortable when accompanied with rain. 10km later the rain and the wind had gone anyway, and I was able to start the climb of the Peachester Range (the other noteworthy climb on the ride) in a relatively fresh state. Some idiot threw something at me on the way up the range, but the climb felt easy, and I was almost disappointed to reach the summit. The descent to Beerwah was done in more rain, but that stopped in time to allow me to mop up the remaining kilometres to the checkpoint near Ewen Maddock Dam.

It was in the following stretch that I would suffer for the first and only time of the day. I'm not entirely sure how or why it happened here, but for some reason I was forced into slowing considerably. There wasn't any noteworthy wind to speak of by now, the surroundings were pleasant (for the most part), and although there was a little rain, I normally revel in those conditions. Either way, I coasted through the Glasshouse Mountains (where the road is almost dead flat) and back into Suburbia for the final checkpoint before the loop around Moreton Bay.

Last year I heroically led the bunch home across this stretch into the teeth of a brutal headwind and with a lot of drunks to negotiate. Tonight the drunks were gone (I can only assume that Uncle Kevin's beer money hasn't reached these parts yet) and the headwind was much lighter, but I ended up on the front again, this time navigating the rather convoluted route this ride takes through Redcliffe, Shorncliffe and surrounds. This was despite the fact that one of the other riders in the group had a GPS system pre-programmed with the route (I'm not sure whether or not that's considered cheating, but nobody else cared). As it was, we did manage one wrong turn about 2km from the finish, but overall the final stretch was mopped up without any real drama.

I was happy with my finishing time too, a touch over 15 hours elapsed time. Not bad for a bloke who was out of shape going into the ride. As for what comes next, I have another 200km on this weekend (after Monday's rainy 100km "recovery ride"), and shortly after that, the touring season starts in earnest. What can I say but, "bring it on!".

Sunday, April 05, 2009


What a day this turned into. I actually got up this morning with a plan to ride south into the hills behind Mullumbimby. An early flat tyre and a memory lapse that resulted in me leaving my repair kit at home (but fortunately, remembering one spare tube, that I changed WITHOUT tyre levers) put paid to that. I then decided to just go to Springbrook for the morning instead. It would be a late start, but I could handle that.

It's fair to say that it wasn't one of my better efforts on that climb, largely because of the muggy, humid conditions that tend to happen after the best part of a week of continual rain. As it was, I hung on and worked my way steadily to the summit of the mountain, where Best of All Lookout was, again, a complete white-out. I'm beginning to forget what the views from that place are like. After this, I headed back to the Eastern side of the escarpment, and the waterfalls. One of the things I love about the wet season is it's ability to take things that are already beautiful, and add some real magic to them.

Rainbow falls

Purlingbrook falls

I first came to Springbrook in 1995, and have been coming here regularly for 12 years or so now. Yet the amazing thing about this place is it's ability to constanly produce things I haven't seen before. I have seen wildflowers here before, but nothing like what appeared in this little grove near Canyon Lookout on the eastern side of the plateau. They'll probably be gone by the time I return, and may never be seen again, but I was fortunate enough to see them today.

After a quick snack at the fudge shop, I decided to return to the coast, but there was one small problem. Now the road was closed, the result of a landslide further down the mountain, that's funny, I rode through earlier and it hadn't rained since. As it was, I returned to the coast the back way via Numinbah Valley and Advancetown, with a punishing but strangely enjoyable series of rollers adding probably 600-700 metres to the day's climbing total. I really need to ride this route more often, but I seem to say that quite often.

Upon returning home I consulted the Internet and discovered this story. I rode through that area 15 minutes or so before 10 tonnes of rock slid down the mountain and took out whatever was in it's path. The interesting thing here is that springbrook road had also been closed earlier in the morning due to flooding in the valley near Austinville, yet today was the first time it hadn't rained in a week.

Like I said, it had been a crazy day.