Saturday, December 22, 2018

Urban Trails

A long running monthly photo competition on the local Netrider forum has called for photos of your bike with graffiti. I have been taking photos of my bikes (both motorised and pedal powered) with graffiti for a few years now, so have a bit of a collection.

Tingalpa, QLD

After going back through my collection I thought it might be fun to post up some of the photos I have taken over the years.

Tingalpa, QLD

Eugowra, NSW

Tingalpa, QLD

BVRT, Walkaraka.

Eugowra, NSW 

Tingalpa, QLD

Loganholme, QLD

Many of them are taken on a bike path that runs behind a light industrial estate in Tingalpa. The kids and I have been riding past this spot for a number of years now and the graffiti seems to change quite regularly.

Tingalpa, QLD

New Farm, QLD

Tingalpa, QLD

Loganholme, QLD

Tingalpa, QLD

Loganholme, QLD

Fremantle, WA

Loganholme, QLD


What sort of graffiti or street art do you see (got to admit some of it is very good) in your area or country?


Tingalpa, QLD

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

No Hunt = Time To Chill

Well, I decided that I wasn't fit enough, didn't have a large enough time window and didn't want to trudge through the ~1 foot of new snow that fell in the Snowy Mountains (good name, eh?) in the two days before the Hunt 1000.

So I bailed. 
Pulled the pin. 

But I don't feel bad about the decision at all. The weather was crap.... and I HATE the cold. And it doesn't get much colder than this in Australia, especially at the end of November!

Photo courtesy Pepper Cook. They left a day before the grand depart (24th Nov) on the Hunt 1000.

I was feeling tired and just not right in the lead up to the race ride, so I spent the week that had been set aside for the Hunt fencing for and catching up with my folks in country New South Wales. There is something therapeutic about making things with one's own hands so despite working pretty hard all week, I feel much rested and refreshed - more so than I have in the last two months where I felt tired and just overworked/worked over.

Of course, I took a few bikes on the trip down south. The new cyclocross bike came in handy for dirt roads and general exploration in the cool of the mornings.

It is fast and comfortable. The fact that there are exactly ZERO hills in the district certainly allow you to cover ground fast.

Golden hour was particularly sharp this trip as a day of rain had scrubbed the sky clean.

As always, I paid homage to the Vampire on the pole.

After riding each morning it was back to the reality of fencing for the day. Not that I minded though. It was good to spend some time with my Dad..... he is getting on a bit and finds it bloody frustrating not being able to do everything himself any longer.

I'm not sure it is as straight as it could have been but putting the finishing touch on a gap in the fence that has sat idle for ~30 years, waiting for the neighbour to do his bit, pleased Dad very much. 

Will being stupidly tall. Gotta stop feeding him.

After tidying up, the lad and I went for an evening roll around Lake Forbes. I wish I still had his youthful confidence....

Then we dug the old portable turntable out to show Will what an iPod looked like when I was a lad....

45 RPM fun...

The next morning was another chance for some golden hour pedalling. A visit to the place where I spent every spare second from 15 until 18 years of age was a must.

 Then a lap of town followed up with a morning coffee hit the spot.

Beneath the Newel Highway bridge, Lake Forbes.

After a few days at "home", we had to hit the road. We had a daughter to pick up in Canberra - a three hour drive away - who was going to boost her driving hours by sharing the drive with me back to Queensland. The fact that a visit to Canberra with mountainbikes would mean a lap of Mt Stromlo trails was just icing on the cake!

Chasing Will.

Mt Stromlo now has a cafe' on site - Handlebar Cafe' - so we caught our breath by blowing the froth off a cold glass of Bent Spoke brewing Pale Ale. Well, I did. Will settled for a Sprite but either way it was a great way to cap off the ride. Mt Stromlo keeps getting better and better, especially now that the tree cover is growing back to be reasonable shady.

Sunday morning we were up and on the road early. We were going to meet my brother, Chillertek, in Bathurst for lunch and I didn't want to be late. We would have a 16 year old "L Plater" driving for part of the way and that would add to the travel time, not to mention the stress level!! Along with that, I had never travelled the road from Goulburn to Bathurst before and wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Once on the road it was evident that a large dust storm was upon us. The wind would have been gusting over 30 knots and the visibility down to just half a dozen kilometres or so. Lucy drove just fine though, allowing me to relax a little.

The Taralga Road was a great piece of tarmac, very worthy of a visit on two wheels. I can see why Steve and his mates do this ride as a day ride from Sydney. The little village of Taralga has a great looking pub and I will return to check it out some more.

Arriving in Bathurst we went straight to the Mt Panorama motor racing circuit. A text came in from my brother just as we pulled up at the motor museum, so I replied that we were gearing up and to meet us there. The wild wind blew a cold shower of rain over us just as we were about to roll out, prompting us to seek shelter for another five minutes. 

We were soon heading out onto the track for a “standard” anti clockwise direction lap. Motor racing has been conducted at Mt Panorama since the late 1930s when cars and bikes hurtled around it’s challenging dirt. I can’t imagine how dangerous it must have been back then because it is certainly challenging even today. 

Lucy turning onto the cicuit as Uncle Steve "sneaks" up behind her.

We pushed into the wind along the start straight as Steve motored past us.

Mountain Straight was going to be the first test. It is an almost constant climb, into a quartering headwind for us today.

Lucy was feeling the climb as she hasn’t done much riding at all this year. At least she wasn’t grumbling about it, which was good. We could see the previous rain shower waaay off to the east. The wind sure had whipped it quite far away in no time at all. 

 About half way up the mountain Steve cruised past again. He ribbed us for doing 6km/h so I upped my pace to 16km/h for a bit but all that did was leave poor Lucy behind, so I rode circles for a bit, letting her catch back up. 

 Cresting the cutting we were on more or less level ground, with a big tailwind, so we quickly motored over to “Skyline” where Steve was waiting for a few photos.

 Dropping off the mountain via “the Esses”, “the Dipper” and “Forest Elbow” we were spat out onto “Conrod Straight”. 

Aero positions were adopted and before we knew it we were rounding “Caltex Chase” and passing Steve who had stopped for a photo. 

 The lap had taken us 30 minutes to cover the 6.213km(4mi) lap (it has 571ft(174m) of vertical as well!) but that included some standing around taking photos and generally looking at the views. After changing out of our riding gear we had a look around the motor museum that is located at the entrance to the circuit. Steve posted up his pics here, so I will just do a photo dump below....

 Heading into Bathurst we grabbed lunch at the Oxford Hotel. The Oxford is quite funky for a country pub and we were soon enjoying huge burgers, washed down with a craft beer. 

 We waved Steve off toward Sydney as we loaded up the family truckster, pointing it for Sofala and several other backroads, taking in the Bylong Valley Way, a new road to me which will also need exploring on two wheels in the future. 

 We arrived home 24 hours later after another overnight in the Top Pub at Uralla. (Highly recommended for food, refreshments and accomodation). It was a busy week but we got a lot done, with some riding, driving and hanging out with both my kids, my bro and my folks.
A very nice time was had by all.

The route was a lazy 2570km (1596mi) and looked like this.