Birthday Full Moon Ride

Last night some friends and I rode out to Simpsons Gap along the bike path for dinner and general good times. As it was a full moon we had hoped to ride home under moonlight, but cloud cover resulted in lights being deployed on the ride home.

Here are some happy snaps…

Kangaroo Island Day 7 – Windy with Sand

Some helpful advice to all those people out there who make and maintain roads.

A road should have deeper sand beside it than on it.

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Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 11.18.17 AMThis morning was windy. Not just a little windy, but buffet my Macpac 4 season tent, pedal in your lowest gear downhill windy. The wind had started to build last night, but by the morning the “fresh” south easterly was probably blowing at above 60km/h on average and consequently made it a proper head wind, and even worse a cross wind. (Note: I later found out the wind had been reaching 119km/h that day)

The only good thing about thgis wind was that after about 10km of struggle-town it became a tail wind as I turned east towards Penneshaw. I know what you are thinking now. The wind gods don’t give cyclists tailwinds, but as it turned out there was another cycle tourists arriving on the island that day who was less prepared for wind and rain then I. Sometimes it is nice to be deemed less worthy…

Progress was smooth and with a tailwind and sealed roads I looked set to have a crusiy and easy day until I saw a sign with a picture of a bicycle on it. How could I resist a bicycle sign?American River

So along dirt roads and over hills I went to American River. The ride was actually rather pleasant and aside from one patch of road was good so I would recommend Red Bank Rd as a cycle route to any future travellers.American River 3 American River 4 American River 2

After a pleasant lunch I started riding out to rejoin the main road towards Penneshaw when low-and-behold a second bicycle sign presented itself. Bouyed by my previous success I followed the sign blindly through Muston and towards the main road via an unknown route.

Needless to say this road wasn’t as good. For most of the time I was riding on the right hand side of the road, or even right down in the ditch beside the road. At one point while trying to pretend my LHT was a Puglset I ended up with my front wheel 4 inches into a sand pile I was never going to pedal through.

Once I reached the highway it returned to smooth sailing for the rest of the day. the sensation of accelerating every time you take your fingers off the brakes didn’t stopped amazing me all afternoon, though it was concerning when I wanted to stop!

Browns Beach campsite is an amazing campsite with hot showers and a great shelter so cyclists, stop there!

Browns Beach cooking shelter

Browns Beach cooking shelter

Browns Beach campground has all the mod-cons including hot showers!

Browns Beach campground has all the mod-cons including hot showers!

Guest Cooking Posts

Hi Guys!

As many of you know I like to cook, almost as much as I like to eat in fact! A good friend (with whom I have shared many cups of delicious tea) has started up a cooking blog called Caitlicious Cooking.

So in the theme of sharing I am going to be adding some of my favourite recipes to the site. I will be adding lots of dairy free recipes that I have worked out over time, as well as recipes that are just awesome.

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Kangaroo Island Day 6 – Dull with Great Views

Today started with a climb, not a particularly steep climb, but a climb that persisted well beyond what felt like a reasonable amount of time. I think within the first 15 minutes I’d climbed 100m if that give you any idea of the grade I was working with.Kangaroo Island Day 6

Anyway this moorings ride along the north coast road was lovely. Once I’d reached the ridge line the road followed the ridge the ride was punctuated by sneak peaks at the magnificent coast line I was riding along and of the rolling pastures that dominate this part of the island.

The amazing views of the northern coast of Kangaroo Island that became visible every now and then.

The amazing views of the northern coast of Kangaroo Island that became visible every now and then.

Morning tea all set out and laid out. Irish breakfast tea, fruit cake and a great view.

Morning tea all set out and laid out. Irish breakfast tea, fruit cake and a great view.

By 10:30am I’d ridden a good 17km so I stopped for a break and spoilt myself with a cup of tea and some fruit cake. Riding on I descended towards Smiths Bay where I had hoped to find a nice little picnic spot. Instead I found an industrial scale Abalone Farm (complete with high fences and security cameras galore), so I pushed on to Emu Bay where I had intended to camp for the night. I arrived to find the bay looking weedy and dull, but as I made lunch it looked quite lovely. I checked out the camping facilities and was confused by the request for $15 for a gravel car park, which also allowed you to use the beach toilets several hundred metres away as a bonus, so I pushed on again.

All these jetty's have barriers so you can't easily ride your bike down them. Highly unfair me thinks.

All these jetty’s have barriers so you can’t easily ride your bike down them. Highly unfair me thinks.

KI Birds

Bird on a pole. That is all.

Bird on a pole. That is all.

The ride into Kingscote is punctuated only by salt lakes and very dry farmlands until you hit the main drag into town which is poorly maintained. Kingscote itself is an odd little place, again with some bad beaches and was even worse because it only offered bad coffee. The campsites were equally joyous and had an odd smell of of decomposing stuff.

Anyway I’ve booked the bus back to Adelaide from Cape Jervis so I’m on the home straight. 3 more days and then it is home time 😦

Drunken Devonshire Pasties

So awesome. Three types of stout went into these!

The most delicious pasties around.

The most delicious pasties around.

So we did make these up as we went along, but roughly the process was…

  1. Slow cook 6 lamb shanks in a mix of Amber Ale and Stout for 4 hours. We used 1x Squires Amber Ale and 1/3 of a Kilkenny at this stage. We recommend testing the mix of beers prior to adding to the shanks.
  2. Make a sour-cream based semi-short pastry, about 3-4 cups of flour worth.
  3. Remove lamb meat from shank. Add remaining Kilkenny, 6 potatoes, and 1 bottle of dark stout (Paddy’stout from Ireland). Transfer mixture to a pressure cooked for 30 minutes.
  4. Eat remaining meat off the lamb shanks in a way reminiscent of Neanderthals.
  5. Cut pastry into four lots, roll each one out and layer as per puff pastry using olive oil and spices to layers. Return to fridge.
  6. Steam carrots, swede, fennel, turnip until cooked. Transfer to a bowl and then season and butter to taste.
  7. Shred pressure cooked lamb and potatoes muscle strands are broken down.
  8. Eat remaining meat of any remaining lamb shanks. Test all products thoroughly.
  9. Assemble pasties.
  10. Bake at 180C until delicious.

Arm Chair Bike Racing! – Mawson Mega Marathon

An amazing “Not Race” is occuring in South Australia at the moment. The Mawson Mega Marathon runs 900km across SA, with the 5 contenders riding unsupported the whole way. Have a look at the following sites for info:

http://trackleaders.com/mawson13

http://www.facebook.com/events/list#!/events/535657373129360/

http://mawsonmegamarathon.blogspot.com.au/

http://solonutter.org/

Kangaroo Island Day 5: A Long Day

84.4km 4h 59min 354m Ascent

61km before lunch at 12:30pm

This really long day covered almost a quarter of the island in one day.

This really long day covered almost a quarter of the island in one day.

Last night I decided on a plan for the remainder of my trip. Personally I thought it was a very clever plan as it left me time to ride back to Adelaide if need be, or it I can get my bike on a bus, time to get out to the lighthouse at the eastern end of the island.

So at 7am I was up and going. Packing up in the record time of 1hr so that I was on the road at 8am. It was a cold (15 degrees C) and still morning so my early progress was very good, but as I rode a north easterly wind picked up encouraging my belief that the gods don’t like cyclists.

Anyway I pushed on and by 10am had made it to the Cape Borda turnoff where I took a rest stop by the side of the road and stretched a little. 25km in and I knew it was going to be hard to get through the day.

As I rode on I realised just how empty the centre of the island is. I didn’t pass a single cafe all day and it was only near Parndana I saw anything noteworthy. I hadn’t planned on going into Parndana, but the thought of the general store and a hamburger and chips for lunch seemed to justify the 12km extra it would add to the day. The general store was more useful than the one at Vivonne Bay, but I still wouldn’t rely on it for too much beyond the real basics, on and the hamburger was good.

Doubling back towards the Stokes Bay turnoff I could feel my legs complaining, and felt a great sense of relief knowing the road into the Bay had been sealed in the past year, as this was the road that had got the better of Clare and I had 70km in my legs already.

It turns out the road has some seriously steep sections which well and truly required the smallest gear I have. Arriving in Stokes Bay (for anyone who hasn’t been there) i a massive disappointment as you get to a small coastal village with a rocky, bouldery beach that isn’t at all appealing. Don’t despair though because through the tunnel in the headland is an idyllic beach of white sand and crystal clear water that is truly welcome after a long day in the saddle.

To top it all off the cafe by the bay does good coffees and my Swiss friends from the previous night arrived in time for a chat. Now to stretch out the legs and watch the sun go down over the water and enjoy a campsite to myself.

Flashback: Walls of Jerusalem and Overland Track

In late 2009 a few friends and I went down to Tasmania to do a walk through the Walls of Jerusalem and Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Parks. The walk linked up the ever popular overnight walk into the Walls of Jerusalem and the Overland Track by passing across the less popular tracks in between.

I was joined on the walk by friends from my scouting days, uni and travelling, so the six of us were an eclectic assortment of generally lovely people.

Tasmania Hike 2009 497

The walking crosses a vast range of landscapes and geological features including alpine mountains, glacial moraine, perched lakes, and grass fields.

The plan before leaving was something along the lines of:

Day
Start
End
Distance
Est Time
Up
Down
1
Walls of Jerusalem Car Park
Wild Dog Creek
6
3
600
60
2
Wild Dog Creek
Lake Adelaide
9
4
120
290
3
Lake Adelaide
Lake Meston
9
4
 
 
4
Lake Meston
Pine Hut Plain
12
5
 
 
5
Pine Hut Plain
New Pellion Hut
15
8
 
 
6
New Pellion Hut
Kia Ora (& Mt Ossa)
14
7
780
780
7
Kia Ora (& Mt Ossa)
Pine Valley
19
7
240
200
8
Pine Valley
Cynthia Bay
25
5
150
150
 
 
 
109
43
 

As with any walk the plans didn’t pan out exactly as intended. We shifted around campsites based on the very very wet weather, and changing levels of fitness as the walk progressed.

Some of my favourite photos from the trip are:

Kangaroo Island Day 4: Remarkable Rocks

DSCF2580

Today was a rest day. Traditionally rest days involve not riding, and wherever possible as little as possible of any other activity. The only difference between today and the last few days was that I was only carrying one pannier.

To be fair it was never going to be a positively restful day, with the goal of Cape Du Coelic lighthouse and The Remarkable Rocks in mind I was always going to have a big day ahead of me.Day 4 on KI

The ride out to the cape is really the big challenge of the day. It traverses the solidified sand dunes for 16km with constant rises and the odd steep climb, add 5 days and a lack of stretching and believe me, I will feel it.

Despite this it is well and truly worth it! The light house, the archway, the seal colony and the Remarkable Rocks are as good as the names suggest.

The ride out of there is just as fun as the ride out. Just make sure you get back to the visitors centre before 3:30pm, because once the kitchen closes you will miss out on the opportunity to a get delicious and well earned hamburger with proper golden crispy chips.

I also did the ambitiously named “Platypus Walk” which has lovely signs like “walk quietly because the platypus may be in their burrows sleeping installed to cover for the fact that the walk is around some murky ponds that are pretty much all fired up. I saw an echidna though so I was pretty happy with the whole walk!

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Also at during the day I got stopped by the several times by bus drivers and tourists with comments like “Excuse me. Cyclist Man”. That made me happy!