Bikes

Commuting -  How, Why and Where

Distance  -  The Longer the Better

Routes and Rides  -   Where I've Been

This Cycling Life  - Thoughts and Reflections

  

3-gur-startAssuming we have addressed the material in Staying Alive, where are we most vulnerable? There are several key areas:

  1. a) When we are just starting to move. This is the most likely time to take a fall, because we do not have the stability of speed, or we are not properly footed into the pedals. It's possible to put a foot down on the thin edge of a pedal, or to misplace a foot due to a wobble or slip in gravel. This can happen even if we are not using cleats or clips.
  2. b) At intersections where we are crossing traffic flows, or where traffic crosses our line. The collision risk is much higher
  3. c) Where the bike is de-stabilised by the road surface or by weather conditions.

There are a number of steps to decreasing these vulnerabilities, and to increasing our stability. Read on >>>>

routeThere is a cycling experience called the bonk. It's what happens when you ride too long without food, or didn't have enough breakfast to begin with, and the brain decides in the space of around 5 minutes, to reserve the remaining blood sugar for itself. It essentially says the rest of the body can look after itself until fat conversion gets into gear, which takes a long time. It feels rather like you are beginning to die.

I planned to use this year's Tour Down Under Community Ride as a springboard for a 400km day, and more if I still had the legs. If I start in the crowd at my average speed ranking of around 20 – 25kph, I find I post a really quick time for my age, but am then a bit burned for the rest of the day— something about the psychology of keeping up with those around seems to mess with my head. So I begin at the very back of the crowd. Sometimes I've ridden out behind the ambulance.  I soon begin to pass the very slow riders, especially when the hills start, but it's just enough of a mind-hack to help me maintain an appropriate long distance pace... Read on >>>>

I travelled from Elizabeth across to Bright, hoping to travel up through the snow and across to Bairnsdale. Not everything went according to plan! I did this trip using a trailer, and have pretty much decided I'm over trailers. Read on >>>

20180531moreoncoldOur NZ friend Bruce Stevenson stayed with us on his way down from the Birdsville Track, and in our hours of talking, we inevitably dealt with the issue of wind and cold. Bruce has ridden all over the world, and finds Oz a cold ride!  We have a huge diurnal temperature swing; I've ridden in 7 degrees to 46 degrees Celsius in the one 24 hours!

I also have a really nice jacket made from wind stopper fabric which lets most of the sweat out and is peachy warm down to about ten degrees, despite being tissue thin, but which then fails miserably. Since people like the GCN say such jackets plus a jersey and base layer are now so good that they are all you need in most circumstances, how come it doesn't work here? After all, the UK has snow; us Aussies say it has three miserable months each year, and then nine months of winter. By comparison to the UK, our climate is gentle... Read on >>>>

I can see why bikes work for me. As a child, any socialisation meant walking the two miles to my cousins' farm. A couple of times, I persuaded a parent to deliver me to the town swimming pool, and I walked the six hot miles home at the end of the afternoon. The Christmas present of Cousin Bill's old Colton Palmer and Preston bicycle was freedom on two wheels! The boy whose life was developing around the metaphor of journeying, was all set.

Transport was a problem in Adelaide as a student; I lived some 10 kilometres from where I studied, and the buses were less than helpful. A bike was a tenth the price of a Mini Moke. The new machine had gears, and I discovered that it was a fine way to explore the Adelaide Hills.

At the end of my first year, I went fruit picking; Ag. Science students had to do on-farm experience each holidays, and this seemed a good beginning. My Dad delivered me, and the bike, to a fruit block near Moorook. It was brutal work, and as we got faster, we were paid less per bucket of peaches! At the end of the first week or two, it began to rain, and we were laid off, and told to come back when it stopped raining.  I decided to quit. How hard could it be to ride back to Adelaide?... Read on >>>>

I had been planning a mid-March 1200km effort, but March began to fill up with unexpected work issues. So when the forecast showed unusually mild weather a month earlier, I set out with 48 hours notice— including a new back wheel via my amazing bike shop. I was a bit under-cooked, so was content to merely finish the distance. Doing the 1200 in the Audax 90 hours was only going to happen with an extraordinary alignment of the spheres!

I made some strategy changes from my last trip up north  which paid off really well. I'd love to do a 90 hour 1200, or at least get it in within 4 days (96 hours), so maybe the learning from this latest trip will help a future attempt. In the event, I brought up the 1200km in 110 hours, 11 minutes... Read on >>>

tdu2018gpsFor Tour Down Under 2018 I planned a 230km route, going home from Uraidla through the Adelaide Hills.  The day was cancelled due to extreme weather, and I chose to stay out of the hills because of the fire danger.

I rode my own Clayton's TDU by riding... Read on >>>>

 

15-TheBikeI've wanted to do a loop through Blinman for some time. It went wrong in February this year when my back wheel began to die mid-trip. This trip was the follow up... 988km over four days. Read on >>>>

 

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Commuting

 

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This Cycling Life

 

 

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