Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Will Remember Them

On a day like today, I think back to my childhood.
Of days spent with my Grandpa, in the small country town where I grew up. I remember walking with him along quiet country lanes. They were special times for a shy little boy, though of course I didn't realise it at the time.
Now, I wonder what he was thinking on those walks. He was in his later years and had lived through much anguish, as had all of his generation. He had thankfully survived the First World War, training in England, yet to be deployed, when the armistice was signed. His big brother, William, was not so lucky. He was killed at Messines Ridge in July 1917.

I have copies of letters that his mother sent to the war department, pleading for information, for details of her son's resting place, pleading for the return of his personal belongings. One cannot read these letters, dated 1918,1919 and 1920 without tears welling. The helplessness of a mother, my great grandmother, a simple farm girl living in small-town Australia, just wanting to know what had happened to her son is still almost too much to bear, even after all the years.

On days like today I think back to that kind old man. My grandfather. And wonder at his strength and that of his generation.

They will not grow old, as we that are left grow old
Age will not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them
Lest we forget

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Man Cave

Every man needs a place to go where he can work on his toys, "sharpen the mower blades" and generally have his little piece of serenity.

I finally managed to negotiate mine about this time last year as a part of some general renovations that were being carried out. Of course, being a tight arse and knowing exactly how I wanted it set out, I tried to be as involved in the build as possible. This ensured a Man Cave at minimum cost and maximum quality (in my opinion).

The process was documented in excruciating detail. Being the humble Man Cave Owner that I am, I will only subject you to a fraction of the hard disk filler that was recorded!


















What got me thinking about my Man Cave's path into being was a bit of time spent in it this afternoon. I was just tidying up a bit and planning for some service work on the R1. I have had these odds and ends on hand for a while now and am hoping to service her and fit up the new braided brake lines next weekend.


While doing this I spied an old picture frame in the corner. This gave me an idea for what to do with my 7 year old's first school project. He was so proud of putting together a small talk and photo collage about a walk we did to the top of Australia last year and I thought it needed a better home than the front of my beer fridge!

So, a short time later I had it framed up and hanging from the Cave wall. I think it looks pretty damn good and know he will be chuffed when he sees it hanging there.



While I am at it, this is where my R1 resides. She is a very patient girl, only having been outside three times since she moved in on the 13th of January.



blogger that I follow in sunny Oregon recently put out a photo challenge for her followers to take a photo of themselves at their blogging station. Now, in the interest of not scaring anyone, I decided not to put my ugly mug in peoples faces and therefore feel guilty about the outcome when people threw themselves under moving buses.....

No, not for me. But I do have a challenge for my motorcyclista (and cyclista) followers to post up where your motorcycle (or bicycle) lives. After the above blog, it isn't hard to work out where my blue beast lives, but I would be interested to see where you keep your bikes. So, please put a link to your blog in the comments section below and tell us where your toy lives.

Edit: These are the links that have been posted so far in the comment section. Thanks for your contributions and remember it doesn't matter where you keep your bike, be it in a shed or on the street or in your room. Post a picture up and be proud!

Chillertek

Trobairitz

Andrew

Rob Mcglinn

V Star Lady

Erik

mq01

bobskoot

Circle Blue

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Freedom.........

So, I ask you, "what am I going to do on a Saturday morning for the rest of 2012?"

"Not get up at 5am and trudge up a hillside to dig trail" is the answer!

WOO HOO!!!!!

As of Saturday the 14th of April, at about 11:30am to be precise, we locked the gate behind us after the final build day on the Wallum Froglet trail.

The guys really put in a massive effort for this last build day.

There was intensity in every one's actions. The wheel barrows full of rock and blue metal were wheeled down the hill with purpose. The empty barrows were whisked up the hill with minimal chat to be refilled. Every one wanted this thing finished, today.

In fact, we were so focused that there were no photos of the final day! It even rained on us as we cooked the wind-up BBQ! It was if the bush was saying "so what?, now piss off!"

So I snuck up there, thumbing my nose at the rain the following day to get some trail porn pictures....







This is the trail head, which will be tidied up a bit yet. But we did move 2 cubic metres(yards) of rock and about 2.5 of the 3 cubic metres(yards) of blue metal that was delivered to us.

Actually, I did get one photo of the final day. It was taken with my smart phone, after nearly 5 hours of hard slog and the lens is suitably fogged up.


Then the heavens opened up on us, forcing us to scoff our sausages and mutter under our breath. But....and it is a huge BUT, we were finished.

There were no hiding the smiles and feelings of accomplishment. I am very proud to have been involved with such a great group of people in building this trail. There is no greater indicator of passion than turning up, week after week, to hard physical work and getting nothing but enjoyment out of it!
I feel very proud and privileged to have been involved.

Thank you all.







Now, lets go ride.....................................................




Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Take A Knife To A Gun Fight?

I have been really enjoying this Easter break. I am well rested and healed up from weeks of non-stop hustle, the weather has been perfect and I have managed to get in some relaxing, mind clearing rides.

In fact, yesterday I was up before the sun and at first light hit a couple more laps of Wallum Froglet and Resurrection here in Cornubia. Only 10 kilometres (6 miles) of riding but with nearly 400m of climbing, I was buzzing.

That was until later on in the day when I took the kids for a ride and the rear shock on the Trek decided to blow up. Bugger. I was going to take that bike to Mt Joyce today! Did I say Bugger?!


In all truth, I have had a sneaking suspicion that all was not well with my rear end for a while and the Flyboy maintenance policy (ride it till it breaks!) reaped the seeds that were sown months ago. On the upside, it didn't blow 5 kilometres into the Mt Joyce ride.

What does this all mean? Well, the hardtail 29er had to be the weapon of (reduced) choice for today. Visions of me going over the bars because of the tall seatpost flitted through my mind. The down hills were going to be a bit more sedate as a result.

We had a very sensible meeting time of 7:30 and if the fog remnants were anything to go by, an earlier start would not have yielded much visibility.



It was a pleasantly cool morning, but that didn't last long as you are straight into a climb at Mt Joyce no matter which direction you go. We decided to hit the single track for the climb, rather than the fire road. Something about warming up first?



Up the hill, then back down Bovine Groove. I was missing the rear suspension and also the visibility. The trail is a bit over grown with looong grass and there is a narrow 8-12 inch clear trail to ride on. Definitely got my attention down there, as well as JR who took a jump a bit too quick, botched the landing and had lots of red stuff on his knees and elbows. He said it was to match his red Merida....but I am not so sure.....

We then headed over to some gentler trails that I cannot recall the name of. (All of the trail maps, officially provided, just have trail numbers, not names) but they were trail 9 and 10 on the map. Some great flow on these trails with small climbs and fun descents.



It was then up the fire road and across the ridge to Blackrock, a black diamond trail.


 As most of us were on hardtails, there wasn't exactly a rush to be first down the trail. Once underway though I found that there was a defined line to ride. Last time I was here, just after Mt Joyce opened, the trails were new and it wasn't very obvious which line to take on the more technical features. Once I realised this, I eased up on the brakes and let the XTC have it's head. I think everyone really enjoyed this trail.


Another loop around trail 10 and it was time to head for the cars via the shore line track. This trail was cut in places as the level of the lake is still very high, but it isn't an issue as you can just jump back onto the fire road for these bits.





So, it was great to catch up with some familiar faces and to put some names and faces to online aliases. I can't wait to get the Trek fixed and head out to Mt Joyce soon, with the weather cooling nicely now.



I found that I didn't need my gun at all. My knife may not have taken down a Black R(hino)ock, but it certainly carved up the rest of the trails very nicely thanks.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Good.....No, Great Friday

Today didn't start so well, with me having to bail on an early ride with a mate, due to me feeling "fluey". (Sorry Dean0!)

As the day wore on, I downed plenty of fluids and some placebos....er vitamins and began to feel better. I also noticed what a cracker of a day it was too! A slight coolness in the air, something that we haven't really had here in Brisbane so far this year. Too good a day to waste sitting around the house, trying not to eat meat or chocolate.

So I saddled up and went for a roll through Daisy Hill, via Wallum Froglet. Up the new trail to get to Daisy, then back down it to come home.

I am not sure what an actual Wallum Froglet looks like, but I know what our Wallum Froglet looks like.(It looks better in HD too.)







                                                                     Yep, it was a great friday.