The List 2023

Flowers at Barrambin Brisbane

Around this time of year, many of the real bicycling websites put together lists of their favourite products and services for the year which usually appears as a curated list of endorsements of the sites’ sponsors’ offerings (call me cynical). They usually also add a list of their favourite music tracks at the end to set the mood.

This website, on the other hand, is a wholly non-commercial, unsponsored, free-flowing indulgence of molten rants, tepid ideas and other random garbage. It has no income and, in return, is beholden to nobody.

Nonetheless, I have curated my own “best of 2023” list because it’s fun and because I can. Needless to say, it is somewhat more derisive than the other lists and contains items that may more widely be regarded as odd choices but don’t let that stop you from adopting my recommendations. So, in no particular order, here we go: Continue reading “The List 2023”

Variable Environments

Enogerra Reservoir mountain bike trails

This ride was done in April 2023 but only written up now due to time constraints.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about riding in the Brisbane area is the sheer variety of different environments available from relatively remote and very rugged bushland to high quality inner city bikeways and all within riding distance from home, no car required, even if you don’t live particularly close to the CBD.

I recently cobbled together one such route taking in Bellbird Grove and the Enoggera Reservoir at the base of Mt Nebo, Gap Creek Rd Reserve and finally inner city Southbank. Continue reading “Variable Environments”

Ode To The Humble Pannier Bag

Cycling and the bike industry, like most others in this capitalist environment, are highly susceptible to and reliant upon the forces of ever-changing fashion. The industry is forever manufacturing new trends in bikes, apparel and accessories which render current products obsolete or, at the very least, unwanted and force consumers to make often irrational choices to purchase items they don’t actually need. It’s how capitalist industries keep increasing profits and we all (including me) fall under their marketing spells to some extent at some time.

Some of the changes driven by fashion represent genuine innovations while others are simply changes for the sake of change to create revenue. The discussion regarding the ethics behind such practices is far beyond the scope of this blog post (imho, I would prefer a world where industries were prevented from behaving this way) but it’s safe to say that, amongst the plethora of marketing induced garbage, there is also a core of products that have stood the test of time and which continue to ride out the hills and valleys of fashion because they are perpetually useful and reliable. Continue reading “Ode To The Humble Pannier Bag”

Hiding In The Dark

Sunset Woody Point Queensland

It’s gotten to that time of the year again where it’s oppressively hot in the daytime and the increased humidity makes it all that much worse. The changing climate is not helping the situation, of course.

I reckon I have a fairly high tolerance for these sorts of conditions and I’ll just ride through it most of the time but the other day it took it’s toll and I decided to forfeit a planned ride in exchange for the breezy open windows and shaded patio of the great indoors.

That was all fine until the latter part of the day when the knowledge that I’d turned away otherwise perfectly good riding time began to bite. The whisper in my head turned into a stern talking to. I needed a plan. I needed to make things right again. Continue reading “Hiding In The Dark”

Goodbye 2022

Wow, another year. Hoping the new one is a good one for you all. No time for writing from me lately due to my full immersion into all that is biking in South East Qld and I’ve also taken to the water a bit by kayak to visit gems like the Enoggera Reservoir, Boondall Wetlands and Hayes Inlet. Mostly under my own steam – human powered and unmotorised with the exception of actually getting the kayak to the water but I have plans to remedy that as well. It’s largely been off road biking (though there was a visit to QAGOMA) as well because escape from the artificial, the commercial, the busy, the excessively convenient is what I’m aiming for as much as possible. I think I’ve been trying to move to another plane by doing all this – another reality. I think I’ve almost succeeded. Continue reading “Goodbye 2022”

Springing Into Spring

Apologies for that title – my post naming foo has truly waned today.

Well, first things first. It’s time for another instalment of All The Way To EJ on Sunday, 13th November, 2022. The meeting point is King George Square at 8:45am for a 9:00am start to a slow roll over to Kalinga Park next to the Kedron Brook Bikeway. As usual, this is a worthwhile campaign to try and get the missing link of the North Brisbane Bikeway finally built. More here. Continue reading “Springing Into Spring”

Something Old, Something Blue

Aaaand I’m back. Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re wondering what I’ve been up to. Well, contradicting myself for one thing. If you recall a few posts ago I was trumpeting the merits of keeping old bikes running and abstaining from replacing your old whip unnecessarily yet I find myself today the owner of another new (to me) off road velocipede. In my defence, it is second hand and more of an opportunistic acquisition than a planned one (though that possibly makes it even worse). Anyway, the bike appeared on a certain well known online used goods trading website for a price a couldn’t resist and is precisely the kind of rig I’ve been dying to try for some years now so temptation got the better of me. Continue reading “Something Old, Something Blue”

Hustle And Bustle

Winter has finally arrived and the rain we thought would never stop has finally disappeared. Not before the flood water managed to take out the end of trip facilities at the place I commute to to surf the Internet and pretend to work, however. But, fortunately, as the owner of a Brompton folding bicycle, this didn’t prevent me from riding. Departing from my usual bike plus train mode with the Brommy, I decided to try bike plus bus and I have to say that it worked out well. Plopping the folded Brompton in the luggage rack of the bus in the mornings allowed me to arrive to my place of employment fresh as a daisy without the need to shower and to enjoy a swift, sprightly ride all the way home at the far end of the day. Continue reading “Hustle And Bustle”

Bikepacking Russell Island

A few years has passed since my last trip to Russell Island in Brisbane’s Southern Moreton Bay Region. Last time I went, I explored some of the island’s natural assets located at its interior but one day wasn’t enough so I promised to come back some time and stay a little longer. With winter just around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to pack some camping gear on my beloved Cannondale F4 and hop the ferry over while the nights are still mild enough. Continue reading “Bikepacking Russell Island”

New, Classic And Just Plain Old

I’m fortunate enough to be running a blog that’s essentially a hobby and a vessel of catharsis rather than a business involving money and responsibilities. I have the luxury of being able to post (almost) whatever I want whenever I want and it doesn’t even have to be any good. At least that’s one thing I can probably deliver on. It explains the large gaps I often leave between posts but the upside is that I get to ride bikes more often than I otherwise would. And who knows, maybe one day ambition will kick in, I’ll improve the quality of my writing, shave, put on pants and attempt to make this website into something more fruitful. Then again, I probably won’t. Continue reading “New, Classic And Just Plain Old”

A Smorgasbord Of Scenery

It seems like only yesterday that I was saying Happy New Year. It’s rolled around again really fast which I’m glad for because pandemic years aren’t fun and I really needed some holiday time and a bit of deep immersion in good fun. Staying local is the name of the game for me so I wasted no time in rounding up some good company and heading out on a ride I’d been eyeing off for quite a while around the Glasshouse Mountains which I was made aware of through the good work of Bicycle Queensland. Continue reading “A Smorgasbord Of Scenery”

Dundas Bush Camp

From Mt Nebo looking south east

Escape from the city is a thing that always bounces around in my mind. Sometimes just quietly in the background and other times loudly and persistently in the fore. Recently the noise became loud enough for me to do something about it and before I knew it, I had my Scott hardtail packed up and pointed in the direction of the Dundas Bush Camp at the top of Mt Nebo. Continue reading “Dundas Bush Camp”

For The Love Of Fried Rice

Boondall Wetlands view to Moreton Island

As I always say, two wetlands are better than one* and when you also throw in a box of very tasty fried rice (more on that later) and a bicycle then you have yourself a very nice few hours out. Yes, it was time once again for another one of my miniature urban adventures so I wasted no time in dusting off and lubing my Trek Crossrip and heading out through Bracken Ridge, down the Deagon Deviation bikeway then ducking off into the Deagon Wetlands.

Continue reading “For The Love Of Fried Rice”

A Little Off Topic

Yuba Boda Boda cargo bike

The sweet smell of Spring is once again in the air over Brisbane and whilst my urge to ride has been stronger than ever, a small injury forced me to take it a little bit easier than normal for a week or so since we last met on this virtual outpost. But being the stubborn mule that I am, rather than not riding at all, I made the most of my most excellent Yuba Boda Boda cargo ebike and mixed up some very easy, assisted riding with a little bit of scenic walking for my outings instead. Continue reading “A Little Off Topic”

Another Time, Another Place

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Linville

Since last we met, we’ve had more lockdowns, the Tokyo Olympics have come and gone and the Brisbane Bicycle Film Night and Cargo Bike Expo is all but a memory though all the while, my legs have continued to turn. Beyond commuting, shopping and the odd recreational ride, I also picked a particularly bright, crisp winter’s day to take a leisurely roll along a prime section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail from Linville to Yarraman.

Continue reading “Another Time, Another Place”

Adaptation And Change

As a big fan of QAGOMA, a few weeks ago I hopped on my Yuba and headed into town to give my QAGOMA membership a workout and enjoy the now closed exhibition, The Motorcycle, which showcased the development of the modern motorcycle and the future of these machines. No, I’m not about to ditch my bicycles and buy a motorcycle but, as a cyclist, one thing that really interested me about the exhibition is the lineage that motorcycles share with the bicycle. After all, motorcycles started life as bicycles. Continue reading “Adaptation And Change”

A Collection Of Wholesome Stuff And Things

Bikeways. Long ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones. Together they make up the backbone of any burgeoning bicycle culture and play a star role in providing a realistic, future proof transport modal mix for any modern city which is why I say the more the better though I definitely prefer the ones that keep me physically separated from cars and trucks in places where things are a little squeezy. Brisbane is one such city and the new CityLink bikeways running through our fine CBD are an example of such bikeways. They’re a very long awaited step in the right direction in keeping with many other aspiring World Cities and BCC did a fine job of getting them installed. Continue reading “A Collection Of Wholesome Stuff And Things”

Still Sleeping

Yep, I’m still in that mood. Still sleeping, still in the same dream state since my last post. The dreaded virus has had us in another lockdown since then – a small one so we can still think ourselves lucky. Time went by relatively quickly inside but left me feeling quite sedentary – tired from too much rest. There was, of course, only one thing to do when release day came.

Another day, another cow track. I’ve got a great little collection of them. Just pick and go. Maybe mix a few up. Well used and familiar but somehow new again. Today it would be a multi-terrain ramble with some proper rough stuff. Wayne’s World at Bunyaville, to the back of Ironbark, down the Kombi Express, under Samford Rd and along Lanita Rd to the Ferny Grove Rail Trail then into Samford to get lunch. Stopping to notice the small things, the tiny little things would be the flavour of the journey. Stopping to chat, to say g’day. You get what I mean. Continue reading “Still Sleeping”

Dream Sequence

It’s true that I quite often plod my bicycles down many of the same cow tracks. Remaining local and thus inevitably repeating the same courses and routines is inescapable to at least some degree in 2021. Though for me it’s also a great excuse to hide the fact that at heart I’m a little circumspect – something of a homebody who only occasionally likes to let out a burst of adventure but quickly recoils back to the familiar.

Even so, Brisbane is a large place, the cow tracks are many and we Brisbaneites have so far been very lucky to escape the full force of the pandemic with what are relatively just a few scratches. In fact, Brisbane is large enough that in a single ride, I can experience a showcase of landscapes from seaside to city to lonely dirt road and still be home in time for dinner. Continue reading “Dream Sequence”

The producer of the Velo Moda website acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where I create and publish content from, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise their continued connection to the land and waters of this beautiful place.
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