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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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Change of plans I

The plan on Christmas Eve was to clock up another 180km through Mebbin National Park, to the south of Uki. Things all started straight forward enough, as I headed south through Urliup and Murwillumbah, noting as I went that the streams around Urliup hadn't yet reached the heights that the rain suggested they might (this came two days later from what I've been told), and navigating a rather pleasant southerly wind that blew in my face and kept temperatures down to something pleasant. It was after food and sunscreen at Uki that things became more interesting.

The Tweed Shire Council have just spent an inordinate amount of money (and well over six months of time) 'upgrading' a stretch of road just south of Clarrie Hall Dam. I wouldn't normally note this, but it seems to have upset some of the locals. First a rather aggressive dog decided to chase me when probably 99% of them don't bother. I threw an imaginary "rock" at him, and he hesitated for long enough for me to make an escape. Shortly after this, I had another confrontation with the infamous Uki Bomber. Just why a magpie would have a go at someone at this time of year is beyond me, but for some reason it happened here. It was then that I decided I would do the old Tweed Valley Circuit, taking in the dirt roads out to the Pinnacle and through to Tyalgum, rather than deal with this crap all over again on the way home.

This ride turned out to be extremely pleasant in and of itself. Today I had good reason to make the most of it, after recently hearing of the council's plans to build a large dam in the area, which, I understand will see most of the route I now take flooded. The council it seems have already started removing some of the old hippie cottages that gave this area it's unique character, and it really seems to be a waste of time. Instead of trying to build more dams to cope with overpopulation (something that people strangely see as a virtue), they should be requiring water tanks to be build with new dwellings. It would most likely be a lot cheaper, and a lot more effective in the long term. Despite this rather annoying thought, I did manage to enjoy the ride, and commenced the descent to the area around Tyalgum, and The Pinnacle.

The detour out to the Pinnacle has replaced the side trip to Stokers Siding I used to do on this route for extra kilometres, and in my view, it's quite a bit more pleasant. On days like this, of course, any route that travels near the mountains will throw up all sorts of shapes that might not be seen on less cloudy days. The ride into and out of Tyalgum is quite hilly, with two note-worthy climbs to be navigated between Tyalgum and Chillingham. I was still feeling quite good at this stage, so I just ground them out at a steady rhythm, and headed back toward Murwillumbah, for the final stretch over Tomewin, and home.

The easterly wind picked up here, and I expected this to slow me down on the stretch toward Murwillumbah, but for some reason I got though this faster than I expected, maybe the numbers on the road signs overstate the distance here. The climb up Tomewin was made easier than I had planned because of the drenching, cooling and fresh rain that fell here. Although the height of this pass is a modest 355 metres, the clouds totally obscured any views of the surrounding coast and lowlands that might have been visible up here. Still, rainforest at the top here is particularly pleasant on days like this one.

All that was left now was the final stretch home along the coast after the descent. This was made easier by a tailwind that helped me get through suburbia a little quicker. All up, it was a very fulfilling 175km, and just what I needed as a diversion from the madness and insanity that generally represents this time of year. Bring on the next one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blame it on the rain

Since everyone (except me) seems to be whining about the rain in these parts right now, I thought I might jump on the bandwagon for a while. The exhibit being last Saturday's ride to Springbrook. Shame on the rain for daring to add some character to the mountain views, shame shame shame!

Shame on the rain for allowing flowers like these to come out. Shame shame shame.

And finally, shame on the rain for allowing me to make new friends.

Oh yeah, and shame on Stadiums Queensland for trying to make Gold Coast United pay $140,000 a go to use a ground with inferior drainage to Pizzey Park for f*cks sake! Just a little personal rant about something that bugged me a few hours after the ride.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Return to Coolamon

It had truly been some time since I had ridden the loop that takes in the Tweed Coast, the Coolamon Scenic Drive beyond Mullumbimby, and the return via Burringbar and Tomewin. A knee injury had put paid to that plan a couple of months ago, so I decided to return last Saturday. Of course, in the morning I was greeted with a blistering northerly wind, which would mean the traditional headwind coming home, but even this wasn't bothering me too much. Once I reached Chinderah to the south, the old feeling of freedom that accompanies any escape with suburbia filled me with inspiration. It was time to ride.

The Tweed Coast passed easily and quickly, almost in a blur at times. Although a couple of spectacular coastal views and flowers stood out. I sometimes wonder about the future of this region, with the prospect of rampant coastal development, but fortunately it hasn't happened yet. I then crossed the hills and found my way to Billinudgel, and the immediate change that seems to accompany the crossing of the invisible line to the south. The first climb on Coolamon was the winding, switchback road into Mullumbimby. With the northerly wind intensifying the heat and humidity, I took an alternative route south, climbing the range on Possum Shoot Road rather than the "conventional" way. Traffic here was heavier than it had any right to be, but the sweeping views from the top of the range made the effort worthwhile.

After negotiating the rolling hills atop the range, it was time for the screaming descent back to Mullumbimby, and the alternative route home, first starting with the dirt of Billinudgel Road. Here I had to make a decision. Billinudgel is, of course, home to the Humble Pie shop, but 10.45am is far too early for lunch, I pressed on to Mooball with the intention of getting something at the famous Moo Moo cafe. Unfortunately, the cafe has seen better days. Meat pies were about the only thing they could rustle up today, I took two and spent most of the remainder of the ride regretting the decision.

At first there didn't seem to be a problem, I climbed the Burringbar range, and was greeted with an inspirational, torrential downpour. The rain washed away the heat, and for the next 15km, I forgot that I was tiring at all. Unfortunately, the rain stopped around Murwillumbah, and I still had the climb of Tomewin to navigate. The climb offered some spectacular views of the clouds clearing the surrounding mountains, and this was just as well because I had plenty of time to take them in -- 42 minutes in fact, on a climb that I once did in just 22 minutes on the back end of 200km! Something clearly had gone terribly wrong after eating those pies.

Fortunately, the descent of the mountain, along with a couple of muesli bars allowed me to make a recovery of sorts. I even managed an attack or two against the wind on the final stretch of the ride home. In the end I wasn't sure of the total distance, as wireless computers are neither reliable nor durable. I estimate it was in the order of 180-190km, however. Another rewarding day, and hopefully a lot more to come.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tumbulgum Rock

Today's original plan had been to link Wooyung with Ocean Shores via a dirt track. Unfortunately, yesterday's rain is likely to have turned that area into a bog, so I opted for something a bit closer to home. Tumbulgum Rock has always fascinated me when viewed from Farrants hill, basically because I had absolutely no idea what it was doing there. I'm still none the wiser on that, but at least I've managed a closer look at it.

Today's ride started in typical fashion with the usual ride down the coast and through Urliup. Today I was wondering just when the forecast rain was going to start, but somehow it just never quite happened. Parts of Urliup Road were quite boggy, which basically vindicated my decision to bail on Ocean Shores. Today I was almost grateful that the Blue Flame was off the road, the sturdier (and wider) tyres on The Blonde Assassin handled the mud a little better. I looped around after steadfastly avoiding Murwillumbah on Cane Road, and climbed Farrants Hill on Clothiers Creek road, for no reason other than I wanted a few more kilometres and this was a pleasant way to get them.

Eviron road descents from the modest heights of the Condong Range to the floor of the valley, where a tailwind pushed me all the way to The Rock. The recent rain has meant that nobody has been able to grow any sugar cane to try to obscure the views, but the two old farm houses at the base of the rock on either side suggested that climbing it was going to be extremely unlikely. This probably doesn't matter a great deal, as it isn't really high enough to generate any spectacular views. I'm planning on making up for that by climbing Bald Rock near Tenterfield later in the month.

All that was left now was the final climb of Tomewin to get home. Well, that wasn't quite all, I think the headwind on the coast slowed me down more than the mountain did. I have a habit of being rained on when I climb Tomewin, but inexplicably, this didn't happen today. It was a strange sort of day on the mountain, as I didn't seem to be climbing particularly well, yet I seemed to reach the summit faster than I thought I might. For all that, this wasn't a bad ride for it's length (a relatively modest 115km), and it might be a useful way to fill gaps in my riding calendar in the future -- assuming time allows me any more gaps in the future.