Tag Archives: bikes

penguin smuggling

Saturday’s ride brought penguins and apple crumble. Both of those actually came after the ride. Over six hours we covered 107 km, and 50+ checkpoints (I can’t be bothered recounting how many we actually got to) all around Phillip Island. Then cheese and vegie burger toasties, with tomato sauce of course, and apple crumble with custard. Then penguins. I recommend the penguin parade at Phillip Island if you’re into visiting over-priced tourist traps with coach loads of internationals, and sitting on concrete bleachers to view a floodlit beach. Or if you’ve found that standard stores just don’t stock enough toy … Continue reading penguin smuggling

hell of the northcote

Who knew there were so many cobblestone alleys in Melbourne? I certainly didn’t.   I only got around to reading up on the Paris-Roubaix after the Melburn-Roobaix race was over. It’s held annually in the mid-April rainy season, 260km of muddy riding over the cobblestoned roads and hard rutted tracks of northern France’s coal-mining region. Apparently the route has had to be changed in recent years, as many of the original cobbled sections are being repaired and replaced with smoother surfaces that have much less romance about them. The race was first held in 1896, but only picked up it’s … Continue reading hell of the northcote

melburn-roobaix (the hell of the northcote)

So, Saturday was the inaugural Melburn-Roobaix. MELBURN-ROOBAIX. An idea for a regular alleycat evolved into one of Melbourne’s biggest and best underground cycling events. Over 100 riders rode all over Melburn in search of checkpoints tucked away in the roughest corners of each suburb, riding rough pave, dirt roads, traversing stairs, crossing railways, and carrying supplies. When they were done, their musettes full, they rode a final lap of glory around Brunswick Velodrome. Beautiful weather, lots of fun :) Here’s a few of the Abbotsford cycling folks hanging out in the velodrome, post-race. Doesn’t seem like winter at all.   … Continue reading melburn-roobaix (the hell of the northcote)


Have been filled with the sudden desire to purchase a unicycle. I’m not sure if this is linked to the increasing amount on time I have been spending on my bicycles. Most of the weekend was spent cycling (when it wasn’t spent meandering around hippy markets, watching movies with pirates, lying collapsed on the loungeroom floor, or loitering in bars with art display type things happening, and willing the introduction of the no-smoking law). The single track around Lysterfield is most awesomely fun – including the Commonwealth Games track. I’d be a fan of less jumps/obstacles built by tree branches … Continue reading inexplicable

snakes on a plane

I’ve decided to enter the Scott (formerly the Mont) 24hr mountainbike race, held up near Canberra every year. Unfortunately due to high demand, all of the team places have been filled within five days of entries being open, so they’re only allowing solo entries from now on. Hence, I have decided to do it solo. Mad perhaps? Definitely. Laps of a 20km course, possibly lots of mud, definitely some single track, and laps in the dark. Probably lots of cold… possibly below freezing, even some snow if we’re lucky. I might have to start training. The aim is ten laps. … Continue reading snakes on a plane

lichen, aubergine and embers

Pleasant views while out a-mountain-biking near St. Andrews on Saturday morning. We were going to be in Kinglake National Park, but they were shooting goats apparently. Despite our lack of resemblance to goats, we decided to go and ride our bikes elsewhere. Meanwhile, I have come up with the brilliant plan of teaching myself to knit so I can knit myself a Doctor Who scarf for the Winter (yes, I had trouble believing someone has devoted a website to the subject too – then I remembered it was the internet).

it rained

There aren’t many good photos from the weekend – it was raining on Saturday, and I didn’t think carrying my camera around while mountainbiking was a good idea, given the high likelihood of crashing. But here’s a photo from the Beechworth Course – where it actually looks as if I’m sort of high in the air. (Oh yes, after looking at the weather forecast, I went mountain-biking instead of climbing this weekend. It was fun. I crashed, and have a sore shoulder and a graze on my face. We went through Yackandandah. And ate at the Beechworth Bakery – overrated? … Continue reading it rained


News to any arsonists – the Mt Buller fire spotting hut is not manned around sunset. Prime time to burn down more alpine forests (please don’t).   Also, I’d like to put in an order for lots of snow this year, and a really long snow season. Mountain biking around a hot and dusty Mt Buller was rather depressing. The ski lifts just looked so sad and pointless (except perhaps the one with mountain bikers coming up on it). My telemark skis are sitting in the corner of my room, also looking sad and pointless. Please bring snow, oh great … Continue reading inflammatory

a weekend in the exciting metropolis of canberra

Plan for the weekend – drive to Canberra on Friday, compete in the AROC Adventure Race on Friday evening; spend Saturday lazing around and relaxing; get up early on Sunday, and compete in the Urban Polaris. The weather’s plan for the weekend – look pleasant and sunny when we arrived in Canberra on Friday, then 20 minutes later, have a front come over, spawning mini-tornadoes, gale force winds, thunder and lightning, and tearing the city apart, throwing trees everywhere. So, the Friday night adventure race was postponed until Saturday evening. Oh… what’s that? …. you wanted to have some time … Continue reading a weekend in the exciting metropolis of canberra

gravity – a day in the life of mud

So Saturday saw us competing in the Gravity 12 hour, hurling ourselves round a 13km mountain bike course – single-track, firetrail, and swathes of mud. Three teams of us competed, I was in a team of three that became a team of two after losing Nick to injury. Lap times, all around an hour. Final laps completed in the dark, complete with bikes covered in red LEDs and tinsel. In short, it was muddy, and lots of fun.

any regrets?

I regret that I didn’t look at the weather before I left home to cycle to work this morning. I regret that I didn’t bring spare pants to work with me. I lament the fact that I will be sitting in wet pants all day today. (Oh, and I also regret that my horse in the Melbourne Cup came fourth in a photo finish, swine horse)

as promised…

The triumphant arrival of my new camera. It appears to take photos, which is what I was hoping for, so I’m rather pleased. Getting it home was interesting. I cycled back from Fedex in torrential rain: visibility was low, thunder and lightning overhead, I was completely saturated, and not getting any drier as I pedalled through inches of water, with vehicles driving past throwing even more sheets of water at me. I had trouble keeping my eyes open in the rain; by the time I got home they were thoroughly bloodshot. The camera stayed dry though.

you can’t get the wood, you know

On the advantages of driving on the right-hand side of the road… I am left-footed. When I go cycling in traffic in Australia, I have to grovel about standing in the gutter, with my right foot resting on the road. Meanwhile everyone else stands proudly tall, their left foot on the kerb. However, when I get to cycling on American roads, finally I have my day, and can stand on the kerb with pride (I was excited when I discovered this). Also, I’ve torn my A2 pulley (sounds rather impressive and doctor-waffley doesn’t it? It’s the tendon in my left … Continue reading you can’t get the wood, you know

clipless pedals

well, my first play on the new and shiny clipless pedals didn’t end in disaster. after sitting on my bike in a doorframe for a while, clipping in and out successfully, i went out for a proper ride. everything went according to plan. the only time i nearly did myself in was when a sudden turn down a bikepath involved negotiating one of those zigzag slow-down set ups. at which point i had to grab at a pole to avoid falling over. but, being fair, if the pole hadn’t been there to hang onto, it also wouldn’t have been there … Continue reading clipless pedals

critical mass

well, my first critical mass was fun :) the ride took us from the city, through the car park at the crown casino, past the melbourne international motor show at the exhibition centre, then across the citylink tolled bolte bridge. where we stood and waved our bikes around, and waved at the media choppers that were following us. some of the motorists thought it was excellent, some were amused, some were patient, some glared, and some yelled abuse. i like the fact that things like this ride happen. and watching the security guards get all stirred up at every place … Continue reading critical mass

the 100th critical mass

critical mass is on again in melbourne – the 100th event! it started in san francisco in 1992, and it’s been going since november 1995 in melbourne. it’s that whole unorganised coincidence thing, where a heap of cyclists turn up and happen to block the streets, and celebrate alternative transport (and stuff like that). meeting outside the state library, 5.30 on the last friday of each month if you want to play.