Stradbroke Island Cycling

On Sunday we braved the early morning cold and got up at 6am for an adventure out to North Stradbroke Island, the largest of the many islands which form the barrier between Moreton Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The crisp morning air demanded jumpers to be worn with our shorts so it was hard to raise the motivation to throw our bikes in the car, rummage through the cupboards for food and drive out to Cleveland where the car ferry begins the 45minute journey across to the Island.

Having parked the car and assembled my bike (seriously one day I am going to buy a bike that fits in a car or even a standard bike box) we bought our tickets just as the ferry started loading. The calm and beautiful conditions on the crossing confirmed to us that it had been worth getting up, and that we weren’t mad.

Our early morning ferry trip confirmed that today would be a good day!

Arriving on the island we were immediately in the shade of the sand hills the dominate the island. Panic filled me as my ideas of riding around on a perfectly flat island with lots of beautiful bays was shattered, but a coffee from the bakery restored my earlier optimism and we started riding towards Point Lookout at the northern tip or the island. The riding is easy, with good roads that seem well thought out and aren’t steep.

The hills are relatively large (80m maybe), the the slopes are gentle making them easy enough to ride. Continue reading

Enoggera Dam

Enoggera Dam sits 10km west of the Brisbane CBD and is just near the entrance of D’Aguilar National Park. The dam was constructed a long time ago (relatively) so the lake has had time to develop into an ecosystem and plant and bird life are abundant.

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New Adventures Coming

So, if any of you have been following my activities recently you may have noticed that nothing really big has happened for a while. This has been largely a result of job hunting and a lack of motivation, but this is getting ready to change.

Next week we will be beginning a drive out to Alice Springs where I will begin a new job and an exciting new life of desert based adventure.

Stage 1: The Drive

The first stage of the adventure will be the drive. Starting from Brisbane we will head out through Clare’s place, Charleville, Longreach, Winton (with the dinosaur footprints), Mt Isa, Tennant Creek and finally Alice Springs.

Stage 2: The MacDonnell Ranges

When in Alice Springs the first thing you should do is check out the MacDonnell Ranges which extend east and west from Alice and are full of water holes, gorges and a whole range of rare and unique ecosystems.

Step 3: Mountain Bike Enduro

Ride in a team at the 6hr MTB enduro happening in Alice Springs on the day I arrive. Hopefully I will be riding in a team and will only have to do one or two laps but we will see, if nothing else I will get to meet a whole lot of cool local riders who can show me the tracks around town. The Mt Gillen MTB Enduro is apparently the biggest event of the year, so it will be a great opportunity.

Step 4: Work!

I’m going to start my new job, and will have to work out how I used to get up and go to work.

Thomas the Dutch Man’s Chain

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When I rode out of Brisbane with Thomas there was little on my mind other than how noisy his chain was. Discussions worked out that he has been riding with the same chain on his rholoff hub for something like 17,000km from Melbourne, around Tasmania up to Sydney, around both islands of New Zealand then all the way from Sydney to Brisbane. After that day his chain still lasted him until Proserpine. As you can see when it broke he sent me a few links. They are so loose that they wobble and slide against each other.

Daisy Hill Mountain Biking

Today I went out to explore the mountain bike trails at Daisy Hill Conservation Park for the first time. It is 5 days since it last rained so I thought that there would be a bit of mud lying around but that the tracks would generally be dry enough to ride. How wrong I was….

It turns out that the tracks at Daisy Hill hold water like nowhere else, despite 5 days on sunshine and winds many of the fire trails in the park were under an inch or more of water which made for a gloriously muddy ride. To make things better a few of the creeks were still swollen and what looked like shallow creek crossing turned out to be a hub deep hole on a number of occasions. Despite this I couldn’t have asked for a better day out because the fast flowy trails punctuated by rock gardens and water crossing made for a day to remember.

I rode about 35km inside the park, plus 7km each way to get there from the train station and it was all pretty awesome. You can see the maps and vertical profiles here.