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, October 29, 2009

Round two

Saturday was round two of my annual war against summer. I decided on a long ride in the Byron Hinterland in Northern New South Wales. I was hoping for 200km, but ultimately ended up with 193km. That said, considering the state in which I finished the ride, I wasn't about to complain.

I started off heading south along the Tweed Coast after clearing the first 45km or so of suburbia. I had a roaring tailwind in the early part of the ride, which, of course, meant that it would not only be a headwind on the way home, but a hot northerly. I opted to try to make up time by attacking when I had the tailwind early on. It was counterintuitive, but I felt it was worth a shot on this occasion.

The Coolamon Scenic Drive behind Mullumbimby was the day's destination, with it's sweeping views up and down the north coast after the climb. What was noticeable today was how dry the landscape had become after four months without rain. One hopes the wet season arrives soon. There really is a different vibe around the countryside in this part of the world, and it was still in evidence today, but I was more concerned about the heat after the descent from the plateau back to the coastal plain.

The string of hills through the Burrinbar range and across Tomewin provided some relief from the wind on the final stretch home, but the heat became more intense. The final climb of Tomewin today took longer than it had with a full touring load two months ago. The views were spectacular as usual, however, so I had something to keep me occupied. I was also fortunate that a storm started to move across when I returned to the urban coastal strip, as it cooled the temperature by about five degrees C. If it had only brought some rain with it.

In the end it was quite a memorable ride, even if it left me exhausted at the end. This weekend I'll be back in the mountains.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tosspot of the week

This week's award goes to Frank Farina, former coach of the Brisbane Roar football (or "soccer" as it's known to the uncultured) club. If it wasn't bad enough that he was done for drunk driving on the way to training for the second time in three years (does anyone realise what an achievement it is to be caught twice by the Queensland police? It's a little bit like being struck by lightning twice), he then sought to blame everyone else instead of pointing the blame where it truly belongs this time around.

But on a day where the Roar would thrust, Farina was there to parry. He said legal advice had shown there was no clause in any of his contracts that suggested he would be sacked should he be caught drink driving again.

"Not in the contract that I've got. The previous contract for two years, it wasn't in there. The new one was just a continuation," he said. "Contrary to what people have said, the first time I wasn't under contract at the Brisbane Roar."

After labelling the Roar a club rife with internal problems, Farina then adjusted his sights to target the FFA, an organisation with which he has had a rocky relationship in the past. He said he had no doubt the FFA pressured the Roar to sack him, although Bombolas has since denied the suggestion.

"I think def there was some pressure, without doubt," Farina said. "And in the board meeting - I've got nothing to lose here - they (the Roar) did say to me they were getting pressure from the FFA.

"Whether that's because the FFA were talking of coming in (to be part-owners), I'm not sure. I don't know how I've upset people, whether it be on our board or elsewhere. Maybe it's because I speak my mind."
Here is a coach being paid a reported $250,000 per annum, who was caught with a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit, on the way to work for the second time, and he thinks the only reason he was fired was because the club were "under pressure" from the FFA. I would simply ask what Farina would have done had it been one of his players who had turned up drunk for training? Actually, the answer to that may not be as certain as we think.

I was actually at Lang Park (I still can't bring myself to call it by it's politically correct name just yet) to watch Brisbane get beaten by Gold Coast United on the weekend. I have to say that the club in general just seems to have a problem with discipline at the moment. Some of the fouls committed by some of their players on the field (those who actually weren't suspended) were pretty obvious, and pretty pathetic. If the club were wondering why they have a poor disciplinary record this season, they only need look at the guy setting the example, and then trying to pass the blame off to everyone else.

A worthy Tosspot of the Week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The impostor!

Around 80km to the south of here is a dirt road climbing over a range that passes through Mt Jerusalem National Park. This climb is quite steep in places (particularly from the north side), so much so that for a long time I actually mistook it for the real Mt Jerusalem. Ironically, it was only after I discovered that it was a fake that I discovered many of the other attractions in the area. However, last Saturday was all about incorporating the ride as part of a circuit. For once it was a cool day -- at 24 degrees C it felt more like winter than summer, so I was going to make the most of it.

The rainforest of Urliup is now my regular start to most of the southern rides. It was once the regular ride home, until I was reminded that the climb over Tomewin to get home cuts out around 10km of suburbia. At the start or the finish, Urliup is still quite pleasant. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that the rally last month hadn't torn the place to shreds. It was also interesting to see that someone obviously reads this blog because some tracks indicated someone HAD actually taken a road bike along the now very smooth dirt road. Interesting.

Further south, it looks like the local sugar cane farmers have taken to burning some of their crops for some reason. I'm not quite sure what this achieves, but I can only guess that sugar is a product that doesn't store very well, meaning there's no point having it on hand if you don't get a decent price for it immediately. The strong southerly wind that was around blew the smoke away fairly quickly regardless, and it was now time to start the series of climbs over Round Mountain and Cudgera Creek, to the next phase of the ride.

It seems as though my blog is making me something of a celebrity in these parts, and sometimes the recognition comes in the most out of the way places. This conversation informed me, among other things, that the dirt road over the Impostor would be in a treacherous condition due to the amount of dust around. Fortunately, a couple of rain showers eased that problem by the time I hit the climb. There really is something unbelievably beautiful about the Australian bush when it's wet. It's an intangible quality that really has to be experienced because it just can't be described.

The descent into Uki was notable for the dropping temperature in the rain -- now just 14 degrees C, which at this time of year is a little like snow on the Equator. At Uki I ran into group of hippies who were on a short (three day) bike tour of the Tweed Valley. One of them had broken a derailleur a few kilometres up the road, and had limped into the village. The nearest bike shop was in Murwillumbah, and that was closed. They were asking people in the village if anyone had an old bike from which they could salvage the part they needed. Last I heard they were heading for the Murwillumbah rubbish tip (wherever that is) to try to find an old bike there. Given that the ride back to Banora Point where they started is basically flat, they might as well have just ridden straight back.

For my part, I still had the final climb over Tomewin to navigate, and that was after a surprising headwind between Uki and Murwillumbah. What was surprising about this is that it required the wind to come from the North, when it had spent the rest of the day coming from the South quite strongly. Normal service was resumed just after Murwillumbah, so I'm not sure what the wind was on about here. Either way, it was forgotten with a clinical demolition of the Tomewin climb. While it wasn't my fastest time, it was still pretty good at the end of a ride of this length, and left me with plenty in reserve to mop up the last 30km from the top.

I finished the day with 180km, and still felt fine that the finish. Since returning from my tour, all I've wanted to do is ride. I thought motivation was supposed to go the other way after a tour, but I'm not complaining.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Last night I capped off what had been an awesome weekend by seeing another live show from Sarah Blasko in Brisbane. I've written a number of posts here talking about her music in the past, but as a live performer she is something else. It's very rare to go to a concert with incredibly high expectations and find that they're actually exceeded, but everytime I go and see Sarah, it happens. In short, if you haven't been to see Sarah Blasko live, why are you still alive?

It's hard to words that can really do justice to such an incredible performance, but I did dig up a youtube video of Sarah performing "Hammer" from a concert a couple of years ago. Apparently you tube don't want me to embed this video here for some reason (it usually works, but it doesn't want to tonight). Actually, this video may not even do her justice, but for anyone who's interested, it may provide a taste of what I've been raving about for the best part of five years.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Round one

Summer has now officially commenced, with the first hot ride of the season coming about two days into it. Saturday was as hot as promised, and may have been a few degrees warmer than the predicted 33, but as long as there are mountains out there to climb, I'll be in the thick of the action. At least I was able to spend some time at an altitude that was a couple of degrees cooler than the coast on the 165km epic. I wouldn't have achieved that by staying at home.

It was an interesting feeling at the start of this ride, the anticipation of the day ahead was replaced by relief. All week my body has been craving the endorphins that it became accustomed to on tour, and the initial 16km to clear suburbia was more or less what I needed. The real ride started after Canungra -- around 36km in, for the long, gradual climb to O'Reillys Plateau. I decided to just pace myself on this climb, particularly the opening 15km@3.5%. The mountain views at the summit were somewhat hindered by the haze that came from bushfires, dust storms and all the other things that happened while I was hogging the rain on the other side of the country, but the higher parts through the rainforest were still stunning.

The wind was doing some pretty insane things on the switchback descent of that mountain. It might have worried me on another day, but today I had another mountain to throw at it, and so it was that I returned to Canungra and started the long grind up the western side of Beechmont. This climb can be brutal on a hot day, climbing on the opposite side of the range to where the wind normally blows. Today, however, it was doubtful if the northerly wind would have cooled me off anyway, so with the liberal use of the granny ring I reached the summit reasonably comfortably.

Two magpies appeared to try to take my head off as soon as I reached the summit, meaning there was no time for a victory salute. There was, however, the unmistakable sense that the wind was now from the north west, meaning a tail wind once I started the descent from Lower Beechmont. So it was, that after stocking up on fluids and ice cream at the Lower Beechmont store, I was able to zoom home around 30 minutes faster than I had been expecting. I guess I'm still underestimating myself a bit. Another memorable ride in the mountains, even if the heat did affect me a little at the finish. One of the often forgotten benefits of going away on a bike tour is that it refreshes one's appetite for local rides after the event. I plan on making the most of that in coming weeks.

Friday, October 02, 2009


A few things seem to be going unnoticed lately. I quietly returned from Western Australia last Sunday, and I quietly had a birthday yesterday. Apparently 33 is supposed to be the start of mid-life crisis in a man (so I've heard somewhere), but as a cynical Gen-Xer, I expect I'll probably be immune to that, and consequently, I don't really have any special insights to offer at this point. I have, however, decided to get myself a little birthday present in the form of a ticket to the Sarah Blasko concert in Brisbane in just over a week -- the extra show that's been added after the original one sold out weeks ago.

By a curious coincidence, 33 also represents the forecast temperature tomorrow (in degrees celsuis if anyone was confused) on what is going to be my first solid ride since I came home. That could make things intersting, considering that I've just spent three weeks in Western Australia's coldest and wettest September in as long as anyone can remember. How cold was it? When I climbed Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges, it actually snowed! Well, I was planning to meet the summer heat head on this year, and there's nothing wrong with starting tomorrow.

For those who are wondering, I do plan on finishing the narrative and adding pictures to my (to date) sadly neglected WA page on, I'm just not sure exactly when I'll get around to it.