Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sweet Sound Of Yesteryear

I am shamelessly pinching this video from Andrew over at Bandit Rider because it is so good.

This New Zealand airshow has more serious hardware than most US or Continental counterparts. In addition it has (for the moment anyway) the ONLY airworthy De Haviland Mosquito in the world. And doesn't it sound sweet!

The highlights are the fast flyby of the two seat Spit at about 3:10, the Mozzie taking off at 6:40(can you imagine the sound of a squadron of these beauties), then the flybys from 7:10. Turn up the volume to "airshow" level and enjoy the sound of the 1940s.

Cheers Andrew.  You have made my week!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Australia Day Washout

Warning- Adult themes (Bugger, thats me out then...)

As we all know, this weekend is the Australia ('Straya to the yobs) Day long weekend. For us, being a nation of sportspeople, it is normally a time for yobbos all over 'Straya to wrap themselves in the national flag, get pissed and punch on with some cun...er...one.

While half of the country is probably doing this as I type, the south eastern corner of Queensland (and it's Yobs) are enduring a bit of a hosing down. You see, the remnants of Tropical Cyclone "Oswald" are busily dumping literally metres(yards) of rain on us. This puts a serious damper on taking to the streets while half-cut and making a dickhead of oneself. (doesn't stop you doing it online though!)

It also puts an end to all thought of motorbicycling, bicycling or camping. All things that were on the cards for this weekend.

This of course was yesterday. Today we have had even heavier, more constant rain so by tonight (Sunday) we will have had at least double that amount and possibly more. Man the lifeboats?!

Ironically, it leaves plenty of time to down some tinnys, shout insults at the migrant neighbours while munching a lamb chop and punch on with some local coppers in a cloud of capsicum spray and a tangle of Taser wires.....

Hmmm. Looking at that poor bastard above, I'll take the taser any day thanks!

Cheers. Ya cahhns.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Assisted Motivation

Around this time of year most serious cyclists set their goals for the year. They sit down and plan which races or rides they intend on doing throughout the year, then plan out their training schedule to help achieve the best results they can.

For slightly less serious kegs-on-legs like myself, I usually do the same. Not because I have a burning competitive urge that needs quenching, but because if I don't have these goals I won't have the motivation to ride my bike. As a result I will become a fat bastard with even less motivation to ride a bicycle! Vicious circle that one!

No, I am not going to bore you with a long list of races that I plan on being an all-so-ran in (yet). The truth is  I simply haven't had time to scratch myself lately let alone try to find out what races are actually on and when. There is no central place that lists all of the MTB races in Queensland or anywhere else in the country for that matter, so it is very hit and miss trying to find these races in the first place. Some free time (with interweb access) is needed and hopefully some progress can be made over the weekend.

This one looks like a good place to start though......


Monday, January 7, 2013

Driver Reviver

With the holiday season upon us the kids have been down in New South Wales spending time with their grandparents.  Being time to come home and who better than to do the 1100km(690mi) drive home than Dad?

I must be getting old as the prospect of doing the drive in one day, as I have done for the last 10 years, was not at all appealing. Best split the drive into two manageable bits, right? Right.

Armidale in central NSW is a very pleasant country town located high on the  range. It is about half way between Sydney and Brisbane, so a perfect location to break the drive.

As an added bonus there is a sweet little trail layout just to the north of town. "The Piney" was somewhere I had ridden a few years ago. Back then, I had snuck out early while my family slept. This time the kids had their own bikes and were dead keen to ride the trails. GAME ON!

So it was up early and into the car for the short drive out to the trail head. 

Everyone was all smiles, keen as mustard until we rolled into the forest and the trail went uphill. I got the "I don't want to do this" from Miss 10 (regular occurrence early in a ride) which I duly ignored. As soon as the trail leveled out and went from fire road to single track she was gushing about how much fun it was! Women!?!

The trails wind through some old growth pine forest as well as some more recent plantation. It makes for a very pleasant ride destination in summer as the elevation of 3200ft keeps the temperature down. It also seems someone had naming rights on a particular section of trail.

It was a glorious, clear morning with just a hint of dew on the grass. A perfect morning for a ride on new trails.

Someone was on a mission on his new Cannondale that Santa had dropped off on the 25th. There was simply no stopping him, don't even try to stop him!

I even got the kids on shutter duties. How good is this having (slightly) older kids? Very handy!

For this time of the year the New England Tablelands were simply stunning! Normally the summer heat has browned off the grass but this year there have been many thunderstorms with their associated heavy rainfall and the country never looked better!

Styling through the rocks....

Technically, the trails are pretty easy. There was nothing that Superboy on his new Cannondale didn't take on. While a bit overconfident at times, this new bike has him thinking he can do no wrong. I guess there will be a slight "correction" sooner or later....but in the mean time....

He sessioned this fence crossing three times!

We did an easy 10km(6mi) and hardly raised a sweat this early in the morning. It certainly made the prospect of spending another 5 hours in the car much more bearable.

It was also a great introduction to new trails for the kids. While they usually do about 15km(9mi) when we head out for a ride, it is usually the same loop in Daisy Hill and at sea level. New trails, especially ones at 3200ft above sea level are a challenge for anyone, so it was great to see the kids take it in their stride, beaming and recounting bits of the ride to each other as we packed the car for the rest of our journey.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy....Ah....Too Late!

It is a bit late for all of the New Year banter. I pretty much missed it all with being a bit busy and then not feeling the best. In fact, being asleep by 9:30pm confirms me for the party animal that I am not!

2012 was another good year with plenty of mountain biking with great people. There were new ride destinations both here, the US of A and New Zealand. While there were no new additions to my stable of mountain bicycles I am quite happy with that fact as well, as I have all bases well covered. Plenty of saddle time was had on them all and I was a bit surprised how few total kilometres(French miles) I rode, but pleasantly surprised how many vertical French miles I did.

2012 saw me make a return to the world that I had spent about 15 years immersed in. Yup, motorbicycles returned to my shed with a very tidy 2002 Yamaha R1 being bought in January. My plan was to ease back into the riding and not put too many French miles on the odometer. I achieved this in fine style with barely 1500km going under it's Bridgestones. It has been fun(mostly) and I look forward to doubling this number in 2013 and possibly linking up with Chillertek for a ride.

Thanks to all of you out there in Bloggerland for your kind words, interest and blogging throughout 2012.

Here is hoping for a prosperous, fun filled and safe year ahead for all.