2015 – It’s off to a good start

So 2015 is here. No matter that when ever I read it in my head I say 2005, no matter that today is 5/1/15 and I got a little bit excited, the important thing is that this is a new year were new things can happen and probably will. As anyone who has been following the blog would have read last year was a jam packed year with adventures to NZ, a big move back to Sydney and a whole lot of non-cycling related adventures. I don’t really have many goals for 2015 just yet but I have a strong suspicion that a decently big cycle tour might be squeezed in there somewhere. If anyone has polite suggestions of where I should go please feel free to contribute, however for now I think the leading contender is the back roads of Iceland.

Anyway, with a new year comes other new things. The first is a little bit of digital wizardry called a VIRB, which is a nifty little sports cam I have purchased and will be playing with over the coming year. To match this new technology I am going to be trying out a few little upgrades to the blog to make it keep up with the times. So here is my first attempt at a time lapse video as recorded on my new VIRB. I apologise in advance because, well, lets just say it is a little rough around the edges!

You can also have some photos from my Christmas holiday because the 5,300 of you who looked at my blog last year have been so good that you deserve more!

 

Mountain Bike Trails of Alice Springs

As i ride around Alice Springs on my mountain bike I often come up against a common problem. I don’t know where the mountain bike trails go, or what they are called. Being a nerd, and lazy, I felt I had to do something about it so I have started assembling my GPS traces into a map overlaid on Google Earth which shows all the trails I have ridden on the western side of Alice Springs.

My goal for the next few weeks or months is to ride every trail I can and record where they go, and how they interlink. Hopefully I will get some locals to feed me useful knowledge like names of trails etc.

Anyway this is an unofficial first draft of my map of the MTB trails of Alice Springs.

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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.

South East Brisbane Bikeways

Today I set out with the aim of exploring several of south east Brisbane’s major bike ways, in particular the SE Freeway Bike Way and the Bulimba Creek Cycleway. These two cycle ways let me ride about 35km with only short sections of back street to link them up. All in all it was a successful little exploration.

Along the way there were a number of interesting occurances that I wouldn’t have expected on such a suburban adventure.

  • Firstly I had to ride over flooded sections of track. They weren’t significantly flooded by any means, but enough that I thought it best to raise my feet from the pedals to avoid getting too wet.
  • I saw a snake, on a path in Brisbane. It was only a little fella, but it was brown and once I had swerved to avoid hitting it I had no interest in investigating further!

Anyway, below are some pictures of the very scenic ride!

Incidental Cycle Touring

in·ci·den·tal/ˌinsiˈdentl/ Accompanying but not a major part of something: “incidental expenses”.

Yesterday we decided that we wanted to see the Glasshouse Mountains, which are located in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast. Getting there from Brisbane is amazingly easy, it simply requires catching a train from central Brisbane and you are there in about an hour. Plus you can use your goCard so you don’t even have to buy a ticket while running late for the train! So off we went with our bikes and explored the southern parts of the mountains for the day travelling a comfortable 29km in around 4hours. Continue reading

Brisbane Adventures #2

So I’ve now been in Brissie for a week and having been thoroughly impressed by what I’ve seen so far I thought I would share some of my favourite discoveries.

1) Brisbane Cycle Ways – The Brissie cycle way network is simply just amazing. Of the 40 kilometres I rode  yesterday 30 would have been on cycleways and 1o on dedicated cycleways. I will take a picture when it isn’t raining but what amazes me most is how clearly marked bicycle and pedestrian areas are (green and blue respectively). The one thing Brissie doesn’t do is sign post how to get places, which is partly made up for by signs stating the easiest way through difficult intersections.

  

Brisbane Bicentennial Bikeway

2) Gap Creek Track association – Yesterday I went and spent the morning building mountain bike trails with the GCTA in mountains behind Mt Coo-tha. This little organisation is made up of dedicated mountain bikers which take one day a month to build and maintain a series of great looking trails. I am particular impressed by the way they work with the local council and community to build trails and features of use to general public. The best part is a skills area in the grass picnic area for people to teach their kids how to do log role overs etc.

Photo of me at the GCTA trail care day - April 2012

3) Making cookies – unrelated to cycling in any way is the fact that I made cookies for the first time on Friday. Pretty exciting really, they were white-chocolate and obviously dairy free.

Anyway that is a bit of a run down on progress. I really am going to start taking photos to make these posts more interesting! To prove the point here is a photo of the view from our deck the other afternoon!

Brissie Ride 1

Day four in Brissie and we went for our first ride today. We hadn’t planned all that much except that we had to be back by 10:30am and wanted to go across some bridges. Setting out early I was amazed to find that we were able to ride everywhere on bike paths, they seem to cover the vast majority of the city, including what I would call the outer suburbs.

The ride we chose was pretty nice and relaxed, we didn’t push it at all but we did discover that we are both slightly out of shape. One particular hill was seriously tough, next time I will take a camera and you’ll understand that we weren’t just being soft. Anyway after climbing this hill we “explored” a little, which ended up with us walking and carrying our bikes down the side of the big hill we had ridden up. The rest of the ride was great but uneventful.

The 37km ride went along bike paths the roughly match the map below.