Thursday, July 29, 2010

Single Track Map

Just before I duck off to work again I have a request for a map of the singletrack in Cornubia Forest. What a great excuse to get out on my local trails for a mapping run of the legal singletrack on the Cornubia Escarpment.

Please feel free to download and use this file from Garmin Connect for an expedition of your own if you are not familiar with the area.

A quiet monday morning. Me... The Trek.... 10.5km of sweet, almost secret, singletrack...... Does it get any better than this? If you like some climbing with your riding, come to Cornubia for a healthy serve. 400m climbing in 10.5km? Bring it on.

Off to work later in the day and this pattern takes me through Perth again. For something different we operate a charter on behalf of Skywest Airlines, who are still awaiting the delivery of their Airbus A320. In the meantime, we are covering their contract with Fortesque Metals into "Cloudbreak" mine site, about 130km north of Newman. I last flew into this part of the Pilbara region of Western Australia in the early to mid 90's as a young, keen commercial pilot trying to get my hours up. Six seat Cessna 206,207 and if you were lucky, the mighty Cessna 210s were the tools of trade. Loaded to the gunnels with fuel and punters, we thrashed around in the the fifty degree celsius heat with marginal performance and almost no ventilation. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be back, let alone in the absolute decadent luxury of a Boeing 737! Mid winter here in Australia and it was still 31 degrees celsius at Cloudbreak.

Cloudbreak terminal.

The Pilbara

For the way home to Brisbane we had the very pleasant feel of a gentle 303km/h tailwind, giving us a 1153km/h ground speed. Woo Hoo!

A little time at home now and a Sunshine Series race to get the blood pumping.
See you soon from Adare!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Why fight it?

With work taking up a lot of my time lately why not let the plane spotter in me be free?!

Singapore A330 at YBBN.

Take-off runway 19 at YBBN.

Garuda reflection, YMML.

Say cheese.

Yet another sunrise. I know I was feeling a lot better as I watched the sun peek over the horizon than those hardy souls who were smashing it around the Old Hidden Vale singletrack in the Merida 24 hour! They only had five and a half hours to go at this point, however it must have seemed an eternity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back on the bike

Well, after a week of work with no cycling to clear the mind, I was finally able to climb aboard for a road ride and then a MTB ride.

The road ride put some hurt on me. Funny how after a week off your body forgets the pain. It was fairly quickly reminded yesterday afternoon when I could barely walk up the stairs.

Following up that smattering of hurt, I pulled the MTB out for the regular wednesday morning ride. Time to throw myself into a hole of hurt and drag some dirt over the top!

It was good to catch up with the guys this morning. There are no photos as the pace was reasonably hot and I don't think I could have held the camera still for long enough. I did manage to make one small video though.

Everyone's favorite, Stonehenge.

After hitting up a few more trails with Steve, I limped to a breakfast rendevous where I inhaled a huge omelette and toast, washed down with a small bucket of orange juice and a coffee chaser. Feeling almost human again, I thanked Steve for not riding straight over the top of me when I bonked!
The cruise home was very steady, taking in some of the local bush.

Cornubia bike track.

No need for the lights now!

In it's natural element. The new Fuel did not disapoint.

Admiring the new rock wall installed in the local creek.

Time for a rest now, both me and the bikes. Lookout sunday though. I will be ride deprived again by then!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Work/Life Balance

I am sure we are all becoming more acutely aware of the importance of achieving the correct work/life balance, as I seem to get decidedly testy these days when I skew too much toward the work side of this seemingly simple equation! As we approach the mountain bike race that I have been training for all year (the Flight Centre Epic) I seem to be doing less and less riding and more and more flying. Sitting in this pressurised tube for days on end is not conducive to training....or anything much for that matter. It is leaving me feeling rather flat despite the sometimes breathtaking views.

Norman Greenbaum-Spirit in the Sky

Not long after this, once I was safely ensconced in my hotel room, in another country, I learnt that my 5 year old son had broken his left arm.
The balance was looking decidedly Work/Life at that point. The poor little bloke was pretty worn out from the ordeal by all accounts. A definite down side to this job is not being around when people need you. Although, I am only assuming they needed me there, as I was assured that everything was under control. Hard to get over the guilt though....

It was good to see our rugged northwest coastline the next day from 38 000 feet. The mining industry is busily digging it up as fast as they can and shipping it to China, thereby lead lining (or Iron Cladding) our bottoms from the crisis that has hammered most of the developed world since late 2008. I think I am happy about that as my industry is very sensitive to economic potholes in any shape or form.

Karratha at it's most interesting!

Back into Oz via an all night flight and the worst time of any redeye is when the sun sneaks up over the horizon. Why are we never heading WEST at this time of the morning?

This one takes 20 seconds to get going. Hang in there!
Hothouse Flowers

Still more Australia for a few more days of the work sponsored junket and among various exciting locations, we finished it off with a visit to Mackay in central QLD. Now Mackay is famous's coal loading port? And er...lots of interesting things, no really, I like Mackay!

As it says.

As it should be.

Props....for boats?

Home now for a few days. Some serious sleeping is in order, then some riding, and yet more snoozing, then another ride or two and some fun with the kids..............ahh life!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two Baked Beans

Too much work and not enough play lately is making Flyboy a dull boy (or however the saying goes). So while it was off to work last week, it was with my 8 year old daughter's latest joke still fresh in my mind.
"Two baked beans were travelling around Australia. Where did they end up? Cairns!" And so did I....there are worse places to be....

The fish were jumping on the Esplanade.
I just love the way the Fig trees put down suckers here in Queensland. This is just a young one and they are awe inspiring when they reach full maturity. Truely like something out of Avatar.

Since launching into the blogsphere recently I have been taking many more photographs of work/life/stuff and have found taking some shots how I would like them, to be near impossible.......until now! I had been meaning to pick up a Gorilla Pod for a while, but have finally done it and am most pleased with myself as this is a very handy tool for capturing images in awkward places.

 No more vids with the camera leaning on the dash with the corner of the window and the windscreen wiper showing.....
Thank you Ms Kate Miller-Heidke for the music.

Look forward to some decently framed vids, I hope.
Oh, you may have noticed that I appear to like the time lapse format. I find it brings together some otherwise boring scenes into an almost watchable format that doesn't take four and a half weeks to upload.. If you don't like it.....too bad!

Looking forward to balancing out some of this work with a ride or two, but it isn't looking good with a trip to Indonesia coming up next week and some time in Adelaide. Hmmm, Adelaide. There is a slight chance of hitting up Eagle MTB park there. Must hold that thought.....................................

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Night (H)Owl

Back to work this week and while it is good to be healthy again, it is straight back into the fire with an allnighter. The dreaded "redeye".
You know the flight. It is the all night run that gets you to wherever you need to be at "sparrows". You hate it because you feel yuk at the end. Well, we feel exactly the same if not worse, because we still have to be sharp until the aircraft is parked on the bay at the very end.
That is a 231km/h headwind which added about 40 minutes to the flight and cost the company an extra 880kg of fuel. And all for the same ticket price!

Strangely enough, there is not a lot to see at night. So photos are at a minimum.

Recovering the next day, it is amazing the sights you can see while lazing by the pool sipping an ice cold beverage. A section of Aussie troops about to deploy to Afghanistan with their bomb detection dogs were putting in some last minute team building next door....

How to/how NOT to run down a wall!
All the best guys for a safe return.

Top End sunset.

Feels like S.E. Asia.

Stylised Jabirus were everywhere at the new Wharf One development.

The return was much more civilised with a daylight run giving awesome views of central Australia including Lake Eyre full of water. It is so huge that even from 39 000ft, I could not fit it into the viewfinder of the camera!
It always amazes me that in a country the size of ours(same as all of North America or Europe) how you can be seemingly in the middle of the outback and still have huge jets whizzing by (at approved distances of course).
Home for a few days off now and no doubt time for a cycle ride or two. See you soon.FB.