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 29, 2010


Two weeks ago I set off on a slightly ambitious ride. It was ambitious for two reasons, firstly, it involved the climb to and descent from O'Reilly's Plateau on a wet day, a descent on which I've had two nasty wet weather crashes before. The second reason was that I'd had a pump failure and a mega tyre blow out on the previous two weekends, so something nasty was almost certain to happen today. Yet that was all forgotten on the early part of the day, as I rode along The Gorge Road, and began the climb out of Canungra, where the surrounding patchy rain provided spectacular views over the ridges to the west.

On the higher parts of the mountain it got even better, particularly the final 10km of the climb through thick rainforest in the mist, which occasionally gives way to spectacular mountain views over Lamington National Park. There really is no need for heaven when you can ride through areas like this. I pondered launching an attack on the climb in the rain as the temperature had now dropped to 15 degrees C (in Queensland this is akin to snow on the Equator), yet I kept my pace constant, conserving energy for the Beechmont climb to come later in the day.

I donned the jacket for the descent as the rain seemed to be intensifying at the higher altitudes, and set off. The descent along this road isn't for the faint of heart or weak of bowel, as the narrow strip of bitumen winds through some massive rainforest trees, many of which are hundreds (or possibly thousands) of years old. The road is also pretty bumpy, and in the wet it gets very interesting. Still, I made it to the flatter part of the plateau near Mt Cainbable, and mentally prepared myself for the really treacherous part of the descent.

I needn't have worried about it. I decided to take the short detour to Kamarun lookout, because I figured the views would be spectacular on a day like this, but shortly after leaving the main road, the crank on the left-hand side simply fell off. I didn't just lose a pedal, I lost the entire crank. It dawned on me quickly that this was to be the end of the ride right here, with no great escape possible. All I could do was walk the 2km or so to the Alpaca Farm/Coffee Shop (one of two on the entire mountain) in intensifying rain, and hope they had a telephone I could use.

Luckily, I had just eaten lunch when I met up with a family of day-trippers from the Gold Coast who offered me a ride home, an invitation I gratefully accepted. I had to accompany them back up to O'Reillys while their kids fed the birds and did the treetop walk, but that wasn't a problem, it was actually fun in a way. I was glad I still had the jacket with me, because it was no warmer at O'Reilly's than it had been the first time I was up there. I still would have liked to have completed the ride, however, as the Beechmont section would have been doubly spectacular on a day like this.

That's three.

Tosspot of the week

I had someone else in mind for this award this week, until today when some f*ckwit stole my bike helmet from the carpark at work today. Just why some tard felt the need to do that is beyond me, given that most people who ride bikes around here generally strap their helmet to the handlebars rather than actually wearing them. Yet it happened anyway. Still, the same total and complete lack of law enforcement that allows such crime to happen in the first place came in handy when nobody cared about me riding home from work "lidless", despite the fact that it's technically illegal.

I do actually have an old spare helmet at home in my garage, largely because I just haven't gotten around to throwing it out. I guess it will do the job for long enough for me to buy a replacement tomorrow, but I'll still be $50-$100 out of pocket. I guess when your luck's out, it's out.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Surviving the game part 2

It was just a week after the Mullumbimby pump incident (forgive me taking so long to update), I figured that if I survived that, I should be in the clear for a while. Assumptions of that nature are, of course, fatal, but none of us ever seem to learn from them. So it was totally without this in mind that I set off for a morning's off road riding on the old fire trails in Mooball National Park, in the hills behind Murwillumbah. Of course, I was accompanied by the only northerly wind we'd had all week, meaning the humidity was about 169%.

The ride through the forest was beautiful as usual, I had an early taste winding along the dirt road through Urliup, then the ride through Murwillumbah, but I detoured slightly to avoid the industrial area, first taking the old highway south, before cutting back along Fernvale Road to reach the start of the climb at Smarts road. I detoured here as well, to avoid the knee-depth potholes on one section and take in an extra switchback. I then pushed my way through the 15% sections of the road, until I reached the "summit", before the descent along Cooradilla Road.

All the while I was marvelling at how pleasant it was to be riding through rainforest. I decided that I should really make the time to do some camping up here later in the year when the temperatures cool a little. I'm not entirely sure how I'd haul a fully loaded bike up some of those gradients (I once measured one earlier section at 22%), but the rewards of spending a night up here would make it all worthwhile.

Today's drama took place on the way home, having returned to the sealed road for the final rolling hills before Murwillumbah. It's not often that I get flats on the GEAX Evolution tyres, but when they do happen, they're usually spectacular. This one was no exception. A steel bolt somehow found it's way into the tyre. At 55km/h, it was always going to do some damage. Not only was the tube destroyed in three places (and probably more if I'd taken the time to look), the rim tape around the wheel was also snapped. Some of it must have broken off, because there wasn't enough to go around the wheel anymore.

I thought my ride was over, but then I realised that I was only about 5km from Murwillumbah, meaning that if I could fashion a bodgy repair, I might just be able to make it back into town and get some insulation tape from a service station to replace the rim tape temporarily, and limp home. The bodgy repair involved patching over the two spoke holes on the inside of the wheel with tyre patches, and using the glue from those to hold them and what was left of the rim tape in place. It was a completely stupid idea, but it worked. I made it to Murwillumbah, bought some insulation tape (there was no bike shop there that opened on a Sunday), and got myself on the road again. I was fortunate that somehow the tyre that took the hit on the outside was still in good shape.

Now all that was left was the final climb over Tomewin (which was as much to get out of the wind as anything else), and the final ride home through suburbia. Unfortunately there was no rain on Tomewin today, but it was nice enough just the same. I reached the summit, cruised across the top of the range and descended back to the coast, realising that I had dodged a bullet for the second consecutive weekend. Still, they say these things happen in threes, so there might be another surprise on the way.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Surviving the game

There are some rides that are awesome epics, days when you think anything is possible, days when you reach new heights, visit places of amazing beauty and/or pull off superhuman feats on the bike that will stay with you forever. Then there are days when you are just glad to survive the ride and get it under your belt. Last Sunday was one of those. The original plan had been to ride into Wanganui Gorge, to the south of Mullumbimby, the land of waterfalls cascading down the sides of the surrounding mountains. It didn't quite work out that way.

The day didn't have the best start in the world. I set off on my journey, but only managed 2km before losing a bolt from my pannier rack. I turned around and pedalled home, dug out a spare bolt from the clutter in my garage, and set off again. The southerly wind was picking up as I headed down the Tweed Coast, but I wasn't worried. I was handling the job of pushing into it pretty well, and I figured there was a chance it would be with me on the way home, all was almost well with the world.

8km before Mullumbimby a eucalyptus tree was totally defying the seasons and flowering in late summer. That should have been a sign that things were going to get a little crazy, but as usual, I didn't pick up on it. 10km down the road, as I was about to start the climb of Wilson's Creek, it happened. First it was a flat tyre, something I've had plenty of experience in dealing with over the years. I let out a few expletives, but overall it was okay, or so I thought. I removed the offending piece of glass, and re-inflated the tyre, but there was one problem. The pump that I had originally picked up in Scotland, which has followed me through tours in three countries and four different Australian states, decided not to work. It was finally cactus.

It was here that I realised I wasn't going to make it to Wanganui Gorge today. I basically had to walk the 2km back to Mullumbimby, find a service station pump, and ride home from there, hoping that if I got another flat tyre, it would at least have a slow enough leak for me to make it to the next service station. Fortunately, there were no more flat tyres, as I headed home via Mooball, Burringbar and Murwillumbah, figuring there were more service stations lining the old Pacific Highway than there would be on any other route.

Of course, there was another reverse at Murwillumbah when I temporarily ran out of hills to hide in, the wind had again swung around from the North, and the temperature and jumped to 32 degrees C, both factors were in total defiance of the weather forecast. Fortunately, I could climb home over Tomewin, which gave me a mountain climb instead of a headwind for a large part of the ride home. Even more fortunately was the sudden downpour that soaked me on the climb and took 10 degrees off the temperature, and yet stopped on the descent. I passed another rider on the climb, who agreed with me that the downpour was a godsend.

In the end I finished with 167km for the day, and was more than happy to clock up another century under the circumstances. It won't go down as my fastest or most brilliant century, but for sheer persistence and "making do", it's more than satisfactory.