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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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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I noticed you did alot of cycling. What bikes did you have in the past and what are you riding today.


9:51 am  
Blogger Chris L said...

Well, right now I'm riding a heavy mountain bike because that's all I have. I've had a couple of hybrids in the past, but the most recent of those got smashed by a red light runner a couple of months ago. I'm about to upgrade to a new touring bike when I decide on which one to get.

If you're asking me what bike you should get, I'd say you should first think about the type of riding you'll be doing the most of.

8:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
as i work in THAT bike shop in Brisbane, i checked the outgoing posts and your quote left within three days.
I suggest you check your spam file for the quote.

I have a Vaya and it has rapidly become my 'go to' bike at the moment, it does on and off road (dirt roads) with equal ease and i think you will love it.

9:36 pm  
Blogger Chris L said...

Hi there,

The quote did eventually arrive, but by that stage, I had agreed to get a Vaya of someone down here on the coast, and picked it up last weekend. So far I'm very impressed with it.

9:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
i'm glad you got the bike you want and i know you will love it.
I am quite glad also at least you didn't get it off the 'net' after being sized by a "specialist" shop (your words).
But, I am simply stunned and amazed that your comment about the state of the ''retail sector'' when you go and do the very thing they/we are trying desperately hard to combat, ie use the the time/expertise/good will of a hard working shop and then purchase it elsewhere.
Your local shop couldn't have been too helpfull because you wouldn't have traveled all the way up to Brisbane for our input.
You were in on a Saturday, that leaves only a super busy sunday and the following monday (that we are closed) and the quote was done the very next day and sent shortly after, i don't see how anyone could be quicker than that.

As our staff work three out of EVERY four week-ends, that means we have mid week days off (you know, it's where we DON'T get to ride with friends and family), this may have slowed the quote a bit, if it did i'm sorry. I do believe the Gold Coast still has functioning phones and e-mail, you could have one or both if you were needing an instant update.

And you are right, retailing is changing, in Sydney and Melbourne at better bike shops it costs you $25 to try on a pair of shoes (redeemable on purchase, of course), this is rapidly happening in Brisbane too. It's one of the steps shops will take to protect themselves against net purchases, this is happening with bike sizing too, you won't be able to get an accurate bike size out of a shop till you put down a deposit. I have been very reticent about doing exactly this and now will be even more so.

Post some pics of the Vaya so we can see how you finally set it up, and spare a thought the poor sods in the shops that are working while you are out there riding.


3:00 pm  
Blogger Chris L said...

Just to clarify a couple of things. I was actually in on a Friday (sept 2) because it was the Gold Coast Show public holiday down here. I went into the shop because I was already planning to go to Brisbane to see the Socceroos play Thailand that evening, so I decided to see what Brisbane had to offer. Had I received the quote the following Tuesday, I probably would have made the purchase in Brisbane and been done with it.

As it happened, I received the quote on September 14, and I have time stamps from my email to prove it (and no, it didn't go to the junk mail folder either). By that time, a friend of mine down here had put me in touch with someone from Nerang who did me a quote and I decided to accept it.

Incidentally, the email that came through on September 14 asked me to go back and be sized again (and I still have it to prove it, complete with time stamps). Having been sized once, I didn't really feel like going back to Brisbane to do it a second time.

Really, it's up to you to decide how you interpret my actions, but I am simply stating what actually happened. I have no idea how busy the shop was between September 2 and September 14, but last time I checked, people buying bicycles (or any other product) had a right to go elsewhere if they hadn't heard anything in almost two weeks.

8:47 pm  

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