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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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer has returned

This week summer has returned, and will probably hang around for another eight months or so. Sunday's ride hit 33 degrees C, despite the fact that it's supposed to "officially" be "winter". I had set out on a ride through the northern end of the Tweed Valley, culminating in a steep climb on dirt up a mountain behind Mt Warning. In truth, this mountain climb would be the most pleasant part of the day, passing through rainforest sprinkled with spring flowers.

It was interesting to note that both this road and Urliup road (the other dirt road) have been 'upgraded' in preparation for an "off-road" rally around the Tweed Valley. My understanding of these events is that they are somehow supposed to be run in 'extreme' conditions, yet these dirt roads (apart from the uphill grind on Tyalgum Ridge Road) could have easily been ridden on a road bike, so many times have they been graded. I guess the risk of law suits is a bigger concern than the integrity of a car rally.

For my part, I descended Condowie road a little faster than usual on the smoother surface, then returned to Tyalgum through the rolling hills. Reaching the bottom of the valley gave me a good blast of hot northerly wind, and I realised the remainder of the day was going to be difficult. I even canned the detour out along Pinnacle Road because I figured I would need more time to get home. I was right, too. I crested the two hills out of Tyalgum, but totally ran out of legs shortly after passing the village of Chillingham, and I still had one more major climb to come.

I detoured on Chilcott's Road, figuring it would be my last chance for a while to ride across a flooded creek (it hasn't actually rained in these parts for around two months), then continued along my way. I managed to get absolutely hammered by the hot north-easterly winds in the canefields near Murwillumbah, and my speed even dropped to 18km/h on the flat at one point! I made it to the climb of Tomewin, which actually provided some relief -- even if I rode the 6km climb a full seven minutes slower than two weeks ago in cooler temperatures. Even the ride up the coastal strip at the end was slow in the wind and the heat. One hopes the performance in the heat might improve as I adjust to it.

* * * * * *

In the coming weeks I have bigger fish to fry. This weekend is a long weekend in this part of the world, meaning another bike tour. This weekend I'm looking at three days in the Byron Hinterland, and the following weekend I fly to Perth for three weeks in Western Australia. So much riding to do and so little time!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yesterday morning I decided to take out The Blonde Assassin for some action on the dirt. The venue was going to be the old horse trail somewhere behind Mudgeeraba. It actually turned out to be an extremely beautiful morning -- before the heat set in. Most of the trail was in surprisingly good condition (apart from the totally unrideable gradients at the end). Perhaps the most obvious thing that I noticed was the start of the wildflower season. Oddly, there hasn't been a great deal when I walked the Dave's Creek circuit at Binna Burra, which is noted for them. However, they came out here yesterday.

Further along the trail, it descends to the water, which surprisingly, turns out to be a spur of the Hinze Dam, many kilometres to the north. That was when I decided to ride to Little Nerang Dam on the way home and link up the two dams. The subsequent decision to also ride up Mt Nimmel may not have been the wisest I've ever made with a big ride following the next day, but Mt Nimmel offers great views when you actually reach the summit -- even if your legs invariably fall off on the climb.

I defy anyone to tell me anywhere else you would see such a variety of scenery in the space of just 57km.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The destruction of Tomewin

Hard to believe that it's almost two weeks since I produced what will probably go down as my most devastating performance of the year. It was earlier this month that the 200k randonee in the Tweed Valley was held. It was an a-typical August day in these parts because the wind was strong from the south. Consequently I took my time heading south through the Hogan rainforest toward Murwillumbah. The hilly detour out to Tyalgum provided some relief, before the wind went to work again on the southern run to Uki.

The wind wasn't finished yet of course, but the climb over the Burringbar range was always going to silence it quickly. After the turn around just south of Mooball and hitting the Tweed coast for the run home with a tailwind, it always takes a while to adjust to actually riding with the wind. This is something I've never quite understood, but I've been around long enough to learn not to rush it. Refusing to rush it was going to prove a smart decision later in the day. After leaving the Tweed coast at Cabarita and heading inland, the ride loses much of it's scenic interest until the final climb at Tomewin.

My previous best time on this climb had been 23.15, a ride after which I soon picked up a nasty illness (to go with the crash that followed my previous record time). Consequently, I wasn't intending to break the record today. Two km into the climb I decided to go on the attack anyway on the grounds that I still felt good. I figured I wouldn't get near my record time, but I could still have a crack at it. Well I kept attacking the steep bit, cleared it, and reached the final kilometre which now had an easier gradient. I wanted to attack here as well, but my legs had nothing left. I resigned myself to not getting the record, but still being satisfied with getting close. Then I rounded a corner and saw the summit ahead of me -- I was actually going to pull it off! The final time ended up being 22.30, with 185km in my legs that day already!

After that I slaughtered the remainder of the ride with ease, which was hardly surprising considering it was mainly down hill, with a tailwind, and I was already inspired. I know I'm unlikely to get near that time again this year (this weekend is already forecast to hit 30 degrees C, and it's only going to get warmer). For all that, however, I was extremely satisfied with what I did that day, and there are plenty of other great days to come.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Going to hell

One of these days I promise to actually get a post uploaded right away. It won't be today however. In this case, I'm around nine days late in documenting what was one of the best rides of the year -- to a place called Hell's Hole, hidden in Mt Jerusalem National park. This day was made special because of what came before I got anywhere near the destination, and started with a climb over Tomewin right on sunrise. What followed was quite spectactular and totally unexpected.

I descended into the Tweed Valley, into almost freezing temperatures (4 degrees C on the valley floor), and into a thick mist and a southerly wind blast that came out of absolutely nowhere. This route passes the bottom of Mt Warning, but the mountain might as well have spent a morning at the beach for all I knew, as visibility was only around 200 metres or so. I was actually pondering whether or not the condensation in the air might clean some of the dirt off the bike, so thick was it. Yet by the time I started the next climb to the national park, it was all but gone.

There are some really stunning patches of rainforest in Mt Jerusalem National Park, but Spring is also the wildflower season. The flowers seen in this area don't seem to make it to the nearby Lamington or Nightcap national parks, but here they find a home. Today I was meeting some friends at the top of the final climb for the final walk to Hell's Hole itself, and the waterfalls that surround it. This is a truly beautiful area, and one that I only discovered, believe it or not, last year.

Today a few members of the group got even more ambitious, and tried to descend to the big rock pool at the bottom. Nobody made it of course, as I understand it has to be approached from a track on the other side, followed by a scramble along the creek. I've since looked at a topographic map of the area, which suggests that it may even be a different creek, but that's an adventure for another day. While this effort didn't make it to the rock pool, it did yield a slightly different view of the waterfall at the end that drops right into the Hole itself.

After all this it was time to retire to the cafe in Uki for (in my case) a double-serving of lunch before the ride home. If there was one sad thing to come from the day, it's looking at what the Tweed Shire Council have done to Urliup Road, as they appear to be preparing to seal what may be my favourite dirt road in the world at present. This would, of course, be a tragedy for all of mankind, but I guess it was inevitable sooner or later. Still, this would be an opportune time to remind the Tweed Shire Council of what happened last time they upset me. They have been warned!