Weather for Canyoners

WARNING: THIS IS A LONG POST AND IT IS QUITE POSSIBLY BORING!

 Disclaimer: Make your own decisions when you’re deciding whether to head out on a trip. There are so many more factors than just these to consider!

Sydney has been wet recently. I mean really wet. I mean crazy thunderstorms dumping 30-90mm of rain in an hour wet. With all of this weather the facebook group OzCanyons has been buzzing with discussions about whether it is safe to canyon and what canyons are best. While I can’t help with that info – as a few people like Tom mentioned it really is a decision for the group to make based on experience – I thought I would share a few thoughts on weather resources to help make decisions about whether or not to head out. Like all meteorological discussions remember that ‘the forecast is always correct, just a day or month out’ so take everything with a grain of salt and remember there is no substitute for knowledge or experience.

In summary my process for making a decisions would be the dot points below – the rest of the post will explain some of the resources I use in consideration.

  • Check the forecast –if it is crazy I’ll call it.
  • Check the radar – because I like the image and it is useful (but only at the last minute I guess)
  • Check recent weather data – work out what has been happening recently in the area I am going to – if there has been a lot of rain or storms recently I’ll make a call.
  • Check individual rain gauge data – because the popular weather stations aren’t always close by.
  • Check the forecast maps and forecasts again with the background knowledge of what conditions are likely to be at the moment.
  • If I still haven’t made a decision – check with an expert (like the OzCanyons Crew)

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Dreaming again

So I am chilling out near Canberra tonight and dreaming of rides I could be doing.  I won’t be doing these rides in the immediate future, but I can dream!

1) Iceland…

http://www.vegagerdin.is/media/upplysingar-og-utgafa/Cycling-map.pdf

I admit this isn’t a particularly detailed idea, but the map appears to outline hundreds of kilometres of riding which one could do with options for highlands, fjordlands and large sections of the maps listed as “Loose sand possibly causing difficulties in biking”. Who wouldn’t be inspired.

2)  Remote Australian Cycle Tours

http://ozbikerouteproject.cycletraveller.com.au/

I have a lot of respect for people who commit to serious cycle touring, and Alia and Simon appear to have committed to scouting two massive new cycle routes in Australia. The proposed routes through Central Australia and along the Great Dividing Range are epic and should be awesome once they are developed!

Happy Christmas to you and me!

Hi All,

The blog has been a little quiet for the past few months, but it is Christmas time and I thought it time to join the cheeriness. So have two photos! One in my christmas present to myself for the next few years, the other is a strange likeness of me that I just happened to find on the internet!

christmasbike

Frame Bags and Cool Gear

Frame Bags and Cool Gear

Today I won some cool gear from Kath & Kedan at Bike Bag Dude. Although I haven’t met them yet (hopefully I’ll get the pleasure on my next east coast adventure) they are doing some great stuff with bike-packing gear, and doing their bit to support functional, useful and cool cycling bags.

For those of you who don’t want to add racks or panniers to your bike, it might be worth considering a frame bag to carry those groceries.

Alll packed up, but where to go…

I’m in (R)Adelaide ready for another cycling adventure to start tomorrow. As usual I don’t really have a plan except that I will start by riding south towards Kangaroo Island, and that I will work it out from there. What I do have however is a heavily laden bike and a sense of adventure. These things have seen me through a lot so here is to adventures ahead.

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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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Planning the Border Loop (QLD/NSW)

So now that things have settled down a bit and I am getting accustomed to Queensland it seems like a good time to go back to NSW. Lonely Planet’s book Cycling Australia describes a 5 day trip around the border region of QLD and NSW that I think I am going to try to do in the coming weeks.

It is described as a demanding 5 day, 330km loop starting at Robina and returning to Nerang as passing through exciting towns like Murwillumbah, Nimbin, Rathdowney and if I am feeling fit enough Lamington National Park (though that may be a day by itself).

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