Bikes

Commuting -  How, Why and Where

Distance  -  The Longer the Better

Routes and Rides  -   Where I've Been

This Cycling Life  - Thoughts and Reflections

  

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 >>>>

 

Somewhere in the last week before a big ride, there is a change. Everything begins to focus in on the ride. The future is all ride; everything else can wait.

Today is that day. There will be no time to prepare anything after tonight. Work still needs attention, and relationships still have to work, so all the gear needs to be packed with only some perishable food ready to pack in when I get home on the last evening. I'll drive to work on Wednesday, and leave before dawn on Thursday.

And today the mind is playing and replaying scenarios for what may come. It's a focussing and calming process. A trip like this is not without risks, even though I can mostly avoid the three major highways which run up through South Australia. Indeed, isolation is as much a danger as traffic. You could fall asleep and ride into a ditch and be invisible from the road.

The weather is warming. Spring winds are variable, and there is no sense that we're anywhere near the calmer days of summer. It's still a day or two early to guess the wind, but today's slam a car door out of your hand, dust whipping winds, are a reminder of what may be in store. The first day is, on paper, a 19 hour push north to set the trip up for some milestone targets. But this wind could make it an exhausting 30 hour slog and make finishing the only priority. The same wind, in the opposite direction, could take the first day back to 16 hours and leave a rider much fresher.  I wait to see.

It's will only just be November, but last November I woke shivering at 10 degrees and rode through 41 degrees later in the day. Heat and cold were equally debilitating, and altered my plans. And rain is forecast. Not much yet, but I'm covering a 400 by 100 km slab of the state, so I can't risk being without wet weather gear. Coming home tired without waterproofs could stop everything.

I wait… and try not to irritate my wife too much with my distraction! (October 29 2017)  

(Archive here)

reuben

A little bit of climbing to sharpen up! Read on >>>>

Page 1 of 5  > >>

 

 

 

Commuting

 

Distance

 

Routes and Rides

 

This Cycling Life

 

 

© Copyright     ^Top