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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Friday, February 19, 2010

Made in Minyon

There has been a relative shortage of epic adventures in my life recently. Last Saturday I took some steps to rectify that with a ride to Minyon Falls, a 7km walk through the rainforest, and a ride home, which left me with 212km on the bike for the day. It had clearly been too long since the last time I did something like that, but it felt good. As the weather cools in the coming months, I might look to string a few more together.

I set off at 4am to meet with some friends at Minyon Falls by 9am. This had another benefit in that it meant conditions were slightly cooler for longer as I headed down the Tweed Coast early. It also meant that the northerly wind that was to spring up later in the day (as if by obligation these days) would take an hour longer. This was a rather dubious "benefit" as it was supposed to be behind me early on. Even so, I managed to put the smackdown on the climb out of Mullumbimby toward the Crystal Castle, and reached the first destination with around 20 minutes to spare.

The next step was to join with some friends to walk the full circuit around Minyon Falls -- something I hadn't actually managed yet as the track always seems to be closed when I come down here. Actually, the NPWS website had suggested it should be closed again, but someone apparently forgot to tell the Park Ranger. Needless to say, the stroll through the rainforest to the creek at the bottom was worthwhile. We had split into two groups to do the circuit in opposite directions and meet at the base of the falls. Most of my group bailed on the final rock scramble to get to the falls as they perceived it as too difficult. The few of us who proceeded were awarded with something very special.

The 100-metre falls had been swelled by recent rain, meaning that those of us who braved a dip in the rockpool had to contend with waves. The water was beautiful, however, especially as it was now quite a hot day. There had actually been a couple of nude bathers when we arrived at the rock pool, and the fact that I didn't bring out the camera when they were around means I probably don't have much of a future as a pornographer. Such is life.

The walk back basically involved a long, winding climb from the base of the falls back to the top, passing through a million different types of rainforest, another waterfall, and eventually some spectacular views at the top. There was a slight disquiet that I still had to ride 108km home against the wind at the end of this climb, but as this wasn't like wading through Canungra Creek to get to Stairway Falls two years ago, and as I had a light that would save me if it got dark, I wasn't overly bothered. At times like this, it's far better to just enjoy the moment for what it is.

After lunch at the cafe at the entrance to Nightcap National Park, it was time to say goodbye to the others (most of whom continued on at the Brunswick Heads pub), and start the long ride home. The temperature hit 33 degrees C as I descended from Minyon (for once, minus a full touring load), and settled into the series of climbs and descents en route to Mullumbimby. This really is a very scenic stretch of road, and riding it twice in the same day wasn't a problem. The climb at Repentence Creek is long on a hot day, but the views over Cape Byron at the summit are worth the effort.

I then decided to take the final 85km over Mt Jerusalem National Park (note, this is NOT the real Mt Jerusalem), and finally climbing over Tomewin at the end. The extra hills would cut out both headwind and suburbia, so it was a smart move all round. At times both climbs felt like a struggle, but I seemed to be feeling OK on reaching the summits. I was perhaps fortunate that the dirt road through the Jerusalem NP is in better condition than it has been for some time. I would have thought the recent rain would have made it worse, but that's life.

I had planned to buy something sweet to gorge on in Uki, but there were no shops open at that time of day -- somehow I had overlooked the fact that it was an hour later in New South Wales. Strangely, the same thing happened in Murwillumbah, so at that point I decided to just press on and ride home without it. In the end it was a tiring, but extremely rewarding day, and just what I needed. While this weekend won't see any major epics due to a dental appointment, and watching Gold Coast United in the A-League finals, it has set up my appetite for the longer rides, and I can promise there will be plenty to come in the coming months.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Twin Falls, Springbrook

Since it's been a while between posts, and since I didn't do a great deal last weekend as a result of a flood, I'm going to post some pictures here from a day out at Springbrook a few weeks ago. This was a little while before last weekend's downpour, so I imagine things look completely different up there now. For the record, yes I did ride up the mountain that day, as I always do. The great thing about being able to ride to a place like Springbrook is that just locking the bike up for an hour and continuing on foot can allow one to access another world.

Although it's obscured in this shot, there is a decent swimming hole at the bottom of Twin Falls. Even on the hottest day (which is rare at Springbrook), the water in that pool is absolutely freezing, it's a very effective way to cool down (and more) after riding up the mountain. It is actually possible to paddle to the far side of the pool and sit right under the falls themselves, but it's probably not a good idea to stay there very long.

I have a much greater epic planned for this weekend, and the recent rain should make things very interesting.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The first century

It's perhaps astonishing, but it took me until January 31 to ride my first real century of the year. Some would argue that Tuesday's epic at Lamington National Park, which included both a metric century and a 23km hike in the mountains was more physically difficult, but riding 100 miles (or 161km) is a completely different achievement. On the other hand, I need to get cracking if I'm going to complete the 25 I was planning to ride this year.

The plan on Sunday was just to ride a Tweed Valley circuit, a slight variation on the route that was my first ever century a little over 10 years ago. The weather forecast offered strong winds and occasional rain, but more importantly, the temperature was only expected to reach 28 degrees C. In fact, it hit 29 near Tyalgum, but that was still the first day not to break 30 around here since about August 15. I opened with a decent climb on Tomewin instead of finishing that way -- I figured I could shelter from the southerly wind early and catch a ride home on a tailwind. That would prove to be a mistake.

Somehow I managed to miss the rain for most of the day -- it seemed that the rain had just stopped everywhere I went, meaning that I had to negotiate wet roads without having the pleasure of being drenched. I made the one big mistake of the day's ride when I left the first food stop at Uki without refilling the water bottles. Fortunately Tyalgum was only 30km away, but that 30km did include the bulk of the day's dirt roads as well as some decent hills. To combat this I rode through the biggest puddle I could find as soon as I realised it, and the drenching my feet got managed to keep me cool for most of the ride.

The ride through the forest to Tyalgum, and then over the hills from Tyalgum obscured the fact that the wind had now swung around from the North, meaning I was going to get hammered both ways today. In reality it just meant the ride would take a little longer to finish, but over the last two years it's been almost impossible to finish a ride with a southerly wind -- irrespective of what the wind is doing every other day of the week. I did get some protection riding home through the rainforest of Urliup, but I knew it would be on after Bilambil.

I took an unscheduled stop for some more food and drinks, before decided to take the wind head-on for the last 25km of the ride. I'm still not sure where the power for that attack came from, but it seemed to work. In fact, it worked so well that the wind swung around again, and actually gave me a tailwind for the last 5km. It doesn't mean a thing I know, but at least it was something. All in all it was another rewarding day, and if the "cool" weather continues, I might make a few more of them happen.