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, September 29, 2011

Back to Beechmont

Those who have been following the comments saga in a previous post would be aware that I am now the proud owner of a Salsa Vaya. I picked it up on Saturday and the "test ride" was effectively the 15km jaunt home from Nerang. As many of you would be aware, this will never be sufficient for someone like me, and so I decided to head off on Sunday for a climb to Binna Burra, with a detour on the western spur of the Beechmont range to give me 120km for the day to think about. It was also going to be an interesting test for me, specifically a test of just how much fitness I've regained since my recovery.

A lovely morning greeted me, and the bike was certainly a lovely ride. The main improvement I've noticed is how much better equipped this machine seems to be in headwinds than anything I've owned before. With the constant barrage of Northerlies that seems to define this time of year, that was going to be tested almost right away. Of more interest was the climb of the Beechmont Range, the 7km stretch leading to Lower Beechmont. The lighter weight of the new bike certainly made the climbing easier, but I haven't yet fully recovered my stamina. Nevertheless, even when I tired, I was still able to gain height at quite an acceptable pace.

The final assault of Mt Roberts on the lead up to Binna Burra was always going to tell me a lot, with it's 13% gradients. As it happened, I seemed to get over it more comfortably than I had been expecting. To do it with a full touring load might have been a different test, but I have some ideas there as well. As it was, I was quite happy with the way things went. The descent wasn't nearly as scary as I had been expecting either, I guess there's something in those disc brakes after all. Now it was time for the Beechmont detour.

This is one stretch of road that I really enjoy -- despite the fact that it's basically an "out and back" ride, I never tire of the views over the valleys to the west. This area here, too, has it's climbing challenges, with the road dipping to under 500 metres in height, before climbing up to 600, before dropping back to 500, then you have to turn around and do it all again. Once more, the bike coped very well, and surprisingly, so did I -- even if a local magpie wasn't very impressed.

After this I descended the stretch from Lower Beechmont (a little quicker than I have for some time), and took the hilly route home through Gilston. Even though the temperature was very hot as I got closer to sea level, I did enjoy this stretch. Even the roadwork that has become a long-term welfare project didn't trouble me that much. The impressive thing is that even though I was tiring, I still seemed to be able to sustain a reasonable pace on this bike, something I haven't always been able to do in the past. I was soon home, with time to reflect on what was a very successful test ride, and a rather rewarding morning over all. Assuming I don't encounter any more red light runners, I can see myself keeping this bike for a long time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another comeback

I had managed a couple of short rides on the bike last week, but Saturday was supposed to be the "official" comeback. It was originally scheduled as the old 50km return ride to Austinville, but I added some extra distance by detouring to Little Nerang Dam along the way. As I mentioned in a previous post, bumping into a couple of familiar faces along the way made things a little more comfortable, but for me the best feeling was when I turned off into Austinville road, and headed down that narrow valley.

I can't remember exactly the last time I rode down here, but it was probably one of those glow-worm rides in the dead of night. One thing that is certain is that I was certainly a lot fitter and stronger at that point. Revisiting a location with positive memories gave me strength, but more importantly gave me the inspiration to want to return to that level again. It was just a little reminder of who, and what, I am. Of course, the scenery wasn't bad either.

The detour to Little Nerang Dam wasn't in the schedule, but I decided to do it anyway. It probably added another 10-12 km to the distance, but who's counting. There's a reason I haven't put a computer on that bike. As it was, I figured a few extra kilometres before breakfast would do me good (and I turned out to be right, but that's another post), so off I went. There I continued misfiring with the camera as I had been earlier in the day, but that didn't matter. What matters is that I am now "officially" back. The daily riding through the week since has said so, and now there are mountains on the agenda for this weekend. I can't wait.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I have been remiss in talking about certain things, such as getting back on the bike in traffic, and the hunt for a new bike. I've also been remiss in posting pictures from Saturday morning's 60km ride on "Kevin 007" (the MTB purchased with funds provided by a former Australian Prime Minister that is only slighly less obstinate than the man himself). Those will follow in the next couple of days. An interesting thing did happen on Saturday: a roadie passed me while I was still re-adjusting to Kevin 007, and said "how are the ribs going?". Turns out he was one of the doctors who treated me in hospital. Then when I got into the valley that was my destination for the ride, I ended up having a long chat with one of the locals I've made friends with out there, so I felt a bit more comfortable after that.

To be brutally honest, the "nerves in traffic" thing was a bit of an anti-climax for me in the sense that I still have no memory of the crash itself. To be honest I won't be terribly bothered if I never remember what happened, beyond what I've been told. The lesson is to keep an eye out, even when I have the green light, because that alone won't protect you from collisions. I have been a bit extra cautious at intersections though, and I was a little rusty at first on Wednesday night, but I got hammered by a head wind pretty much right away, so I had something else to think about. I rode through the intersection where I crashed early the next morning, and survived that, so for all intents and purposes, I'm almost back to normal, if a little more cautious at intersections.

One amazing thing that happened in the crash (or perhaps not so amazing when you consider that it's already outlasted two bikes) was that the Schmidt hub dymano and E3 headlight both survived the crash, and apparently still work perfectly. But then, they did survive the typhoon I rode through in Japan, and probably numerous other things that I've deal with, and keeping them may influence my choice of a new bike. I had been tossing up between grabbing a Surly Long Haul Trucker or a Salsa Vaya, since they both look like sweet bikes, but the Vaya has disc brakes which, while very good, probably won't be compatable with the hub that I still want to use in the future. But then, I just got some money back from my travel agent to go with what I have saved, so perhaps I can up my budget to around $3,000AUD and consider some other options.

What has amazed me is that I went to a Brisbane bike shop just over a week ago to see what they had (because the apparently "specialise" in touring bikes), and discussed some options. They promised to email me back after spending over an hour measuring me to see what size would suit me, but I've heard nothing. And this after I told them I had a budget of around $2,000 to $2,500. And to think, people wonder why the retail sector of the Australian economy is struggling just now.

Finally, some of you might be interested to know that this is not the first time I have cheated death on my bike. In April 2009 I was minutes away from being crushed in a landslide at Springbrook, west of the Gold Coast. I rode up the mountain just minutes before this happened on the road. That said, it did turn out to be a pretty memorable day in it's own right.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Back in action!

I am now officially back in action, after six weeks on the sidelines. Last night I took a quick (i.e. 6km return) ride to get a hair cut, then went out for a quick 25km early this morning. There was no pain, and everything seemed to go reasonably well, except for the fact that I'm shockingly unfit right now. I did see a very nice sunrise over the South Pacific at Currumbin this morning, but I have no photos of that, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Now life can move forward. I still have some ambitious plans for what's left of this year, and armed with the greater appreciation I now have of just about everything as a result of surviving that particular scare, anything is possible.

Friday, September 02, 2011

12 months ago today

As I still can't ride right at the moment, I've decided to devote another post to crapping on about a past ride. This one was between Nikko and the mountain village of Tone, in the Japan Alps, on my tour last year. I had actually planned to visit the temples in the Nikko World Heritage area the day before, but I ended up spending too much time talking with an Iranian cycle tourist on the way into Nikko and ran out of time. It mightn't have been a bad thing, as it meant I arrived in the morning and avoided the crowds.

After spending quite a bit of time wandering around the temples and shrines in the area, I set off on the ride, and the climbing started immediately. As with most of the climbs I did in Japan, the gradient was quite pleasant, as was the mountain scenery as I climbed higher. The objective at the summit of this climb was Kegon Falls, which represents the start of Nikko National Park, a massive area of waterfalls, forests and lakes. Being close to Tokyo, the crowds had arrived by the time I got there, but with a large area for them to spread out, I never really felt overcrowded in the area. Of course, it helps that people in Japan have a capacity to be respectful toward everyone else that nobody else in the world has managed.

I spent quite a bit of time strolling around the various attractions of this area, but eventually the time came to set off on the final climb of the day, over the pass I have long forgotten the name of. At that stage it was the highest pass I had done to date, although that mark would soon be overtaken by the 2,702 metre Mt Norikura a few days later. Yet given the size of some of the surrounding mountains, the pass didn't really feel that high. In fact, the summit was marked by a tunnel through the mountain itself.

The day ended with a descent into the valley, and after a conversation with one of the locals, a campsite near a beautiful, if mosquito-infested stream. At the end of the day the village's audio system decided to play some traditional Japanese music over the loud-speaker, a little interlude to end what had been a memorable day. You can read a more in-depth ride report at with more pictures. Better yet, go to and read the whole thing.