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Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

Bikejournal
A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

Bikeforums
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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.

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Lance Notstrong
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Iron Gambit
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Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
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Up in Alaska
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The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Allez
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".

Crowlie
Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
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Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Spinopsys
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.

BikeHacks
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..

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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.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris:

I want your honest opinion of my current situation. I was recently in a serious bicycle accident as a result of a tree branch getting caught between the front wheel spoke and fender mount. My elbow was broke in three places and three months later, I will have limited movement in my arm for the rest of my life. I still have pain in the arm, nerve damage in two of my fingers (They feel numb but I have total movement) and overall weakness. I am going to begin physical therapy in the hopes of getting more strength but this looks like a long process.

I’ve been cycling for 12 years now and enjoyed it like you can’t imagine. I don’t drive so I’m now stuck to talking public transit and walking. I feel like my lost a huge part of my life but I’m terrified of getting back on the bike again. I still have vivid memories of the accident and my arm always reminds me each day.

Here’s my question. What would you do if something like this happened to you?

10:56 am  
Blogger Chris L said...

I honestly have no idea what I'd do in your situation because I've never been in one quite like that. I did have a crash (thanks to a red light runner) about two months ago that left me with two broken ribs and a broken collarbone, but as I still have no memory of the crash (12 hours unconscious will do that), getting back on the bike wasn't so scary.

The only thing I will say is to make sure you do the rehab properly. The physio may have a stationary bike you can ride while you're trying to recover strength in the arm, and that helped me a lot in guaging where I was at in my recovery and just when my right arm could cope with being back on the bike.

I think your body will tell you when it's ready to go back, but right now it just isn't. When your body is ready, consider starting with a short errand to the shops or something nearby initially, and the confidence will return quickly.

8:08 pm  

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