New Brooks Flyer S Saddle

I have just bought a Brooks Flyer S leather saddle from Pedal and Thread in Adelaide.  I had been umming and ahhing over getting a leather saddle for a few months and finally decided to jump in.  The exceedingly rainy weather here has been a bit of a deterrent with rain being a bit of a no no on leather.

The decision on which saddle to get was fairly straight forward with the B17 the most recommended model for touring.  The Flyer is the same saddle as the B17 except with springs.  The usefulness of these springs seems a bit controversial but I really like the look and don’t care about the extra weight.

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New Year’s Cycling Resolutions

I’m not one for ever doing any New Year’s Resolutions.  So these are both belated and aspirational rather than resolutional.

Ride when ever I am able.

This is deliberately open ended.  Riding is already my primary means of getting to and from work but I could probably move more journeys to the bike for social events, to and from sport, the shops, etc.  Some of these, I currently bum a lift or catch the bus/taxi.

Buy Australian made cycling products.

If possible, I hope to buy Australian made cycling products.  I bit of a long shot for many things but plenty of the things that make cycling fun and add novelty are made in Oz.

If not Oz made, then from the Local Bike Shop.  If not from the LBS, then from an Oz retailer.

It’s unfortunately all too easy to get that thing you want online from overseas much cheaper than here.

Try to normalise cycling.

Both to myself and others.  Even though I ride every day as my primary means of transportation, it still doesn’t feel normal.  This is a terrible admission on my behalf and probably a bit of a reflection on the poor state of cycling in Australia.  Cycling doesn’t feel like something normal people do.  I’m going to try to wear normal clothes, cycle to normal everyday activities, talk down cycling short comings and encourage others to give it a go.

More advocacy.

Write more, tweet more, contact members of government more.  Join the local BUG.  Complain when important public facilities have no/inadequate bike infrastructure.  Take down number plates and report to police poor behaviour.

Don’t forget to ride for recreation.

I do a lot of commuting.  It’s easy to forget that riding for the sake of it is fun.

Cycle to the beach

Something I’ve wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to.  It isn’t even that far!

Consultation on Centenary Trail

Consultation on Canberra’s new Centenary Trail route is open until 16 December.  This 133km 3 day cycle/129 km 7 day walk has been proposed to showcase Canberra and celebrate its historic icons.

The proposed route starts at Parliament House and loops around the ACT through locations including ANZAC Parade and the War Memorial, Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin, Mount Ainslie, Mount Taylor, Red Hill, the National Arboretum, Stromlo Forest Park and Mulligans Flat Sanctuary.  The proposed route includes campsites.

The feasibility report was completed last year, and is up for discussion here.

3 day cycle! Sounds awesome to me.  Comments are open till December 16, so get in and have your say!

Discovery weekend–Orange

The details for the Bike NSW Discovery weekend are up!  23-25 March 2012 in Orange.   They have multiple ride options including a mountain bike skills workshop, and road rides ranging from 50-120kms including stops at local wineries, berry farms and even a wind farm!

I did have to look up where Orange was, and apparently it’s about 260 kms west of Sydney.

It’s a bit different from Cycle QLD/Big Ride as you have to arrange your own accommodation – there is camping available.  Early bird cost is about $119 (no idea what this covers), and $30 for camping.  After the 22nd of December, cost goes up to $149.

Looks like it’ll be a fun weekend!

What’s the difference between all those different kinds of bikes?

Have you looked at all those different kinds of bikes out there, and wondered what the difference between them all was?  I mean, road bike, downhill bikes, hybrids… what are they all?

Drop bar Road bikes

pic from giant-bicycles.com

These are bikes for riding road (fancy that).  They generally run skinny tyres with minimal tread and have big wheels so they go pretty quick. They are happiest going straight on smooth roads.  The rims are generally not designed to roll over dirt or pot holes.

As they are deisgned to be pretty quick, they are generally all about aerodynamics – drop handlebars to get you down lower, and low handlebars make you more streamlined, but have the consequence that the riding position is quite hands heavy.

Most road bikes also don’t have braze ons for attachment of a rack

Flat bar road bikes

These bikes are like road bikes (skinny tyres, 700 wheels) but have flat handlebars for a more comfortable riding position.  They are very popular commuter bikes.

pic from bikes.com.au

Hard tail

A hard tail is a mountain bike with front suspension only (hence the ‘hard tail’).  They are quite versatile and are used for things such as racing (lots of the fast people use them for racing as they are super quick over dirt compared with a duallie, but you need to be a comparatively better rider to ride one than a duallie as it has no rear suspension to soak up the bumps). People also use them for commuting (you can also replace the tyres with slick tyres so they roll faster).

They have 26 inch wheels and flat handlebars.

Dualiies

These bikes are for mountain biking.  They have both front and rear suspension (ie dual suspension mountain bike).  They are better for rough riding than a hard tail, as the front and rear suspension soak up bumps better, but are comparatively slower.

They generally have 26 inch wheels (but 29 inch wheels are starting to become quite popular)

Downhill

These are made for one thing, and one thing only.  Going downhill and doing it fast.  They have a lot of suspension both front and rear.  They are best suited to going uphill via a truck or chair lift.

Hybrids

These are a combination of a mountain bike and a road bike.  They generally have mtn bike sized wheels (26 inch), and may also have some light front suspension, but generally run skinnier, smoother tyres than a mountain bike.  They are popular for commuting

Other types

Tandem

Two people… one bike… need I say more?

Recumbents

These bikes let you sit and pedal in a super comfortable position.  They can be great for people that have back problems or hand/wrist problems that don’t allow them to ride a traditional bike.  You can get them in 2 wheeled or 3 wheeled versions, with different kinds of wheel sizes.

(pic from greenspeed.com.au)

Cargo bikes

Need to move house?  This is the bike for you.  These bikes let you carry stuff – lots of stuff.

(pic from cargocycles.com.au)

Cycle Qld 2011 – Trip Report – Part 1

Well, Cycle Qld is over for another year.  What a holiday.  It always comes to an end far too soon but seems like a holiday of much more than a week.  I get much more than a week’s worth of enjoyment and fun out of the trip.

So this is going to be a bit of a round up with picture of my CQ adventures this year.  Warning – will be long and photo intensive!

Also, a preemptive apology – most of the photos I’ve taken are actually whilst still riding the bike so the focus isn’t great on some of them.

Rest of the post after the cut………

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Cycle Qld 2011, done and dusted.

Thanks everyone for a fantabulous week.  Nat is doing a roundup, but I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone – Bicycle QLD, all the vollies – in Goodtimes, logistics, catering, first aid, massage, ambos, police and everyone else who made it possible.  The organisation was superb (as usual), and everything that we have come to expect from Cycle QLD

I had a fantastic time.  The scenery was spectacular, the company wonderful.  It was great to see old friends, and meet new ones.

Next year is Gayndah to Noosa – if you missed CQ this year, make sure you come next year!

Cycle Qld 2011 – Fashions in the field

Well, what a wonderful Cycle Queensland.  Some of the best and most scenic touring I have ever done as well as a wonderful time with friends.  I’ll do another post about the actual tour but this post is going to be a gratuitous photo post on some of the clothes we wore on CQ.

We certainly had a lot of fun making/selecting the outfits and buying some additional pieces along the way.  The op shop at Killarney was a real stand out as it was one of the best stocked and organised ones I had ever been in.

The outfits attracted a lot of attention and hopefully a few new readers – hello to you out there!  Thanks to everyone on CQ who commented or said hello because of what we were wearing.  It was a real conversation starter and certainly made our trip.  We love talking to everyone!  Also a special mention to those who are now reconsidering what you can wear on the bike.  As I’m sure you can see below, pretty much anything is suitable!

Day 1: Goondiwindi to Yelarbon 57km 15°C

Kathamandu travel dress plus handmade armwarmers.

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