As I’ve said before, bikes and trains go together like gin and tonic (if you fancy a tipple; even if you don’t, it’s still a good analogy). It’s a method of conveyance that, on one hand, comes as close to freedom as anyone alive today is likely to get and, on the other hand, can project you far from home quickly and efficiently. But it’s a piecemeal affair that requires a little knowledge, a little thinking, a little planning. Only a little but that’s what makes it so good – it’s the adventure of it, the detachment from the status quo, the pushing away of unthinking predictability, comfort, convenience and reliance. So simple, so cheap yet so satisfying. Continue reading “Coasting”

All Good Things

Life is full or ironies and, indeed, it was not very long ago that I opined regarding the upkeep of old bikes in order to keep them in service as long as possible and that, as long as the frame was still good, the bike should theoretically be able to keep going indefinitely. Alas, upon inspection of the frame of my trusty Cannondale F4 a while ago, I noticed a crack near one of the rear stays. Not a massive crack and I’m not really sure how long it’s been there but unsettling nonetheless. And I guess even if the stay cracked right though, it would probably not be a life threatening situation but it could mean quite a long walk home. And so, given that the bike is something of a pack horse which means continuous extra stress on the frame and also given that the bike is about sixteen years old now, I decided that maybe a replacement was in order. Continue reading “All Good Things”

Rambling On

The last few posts on this site have been a bit angry and a bit ranty. Whilst I’m still not sorry about that, I am now going to move on to lighter topics and cheerier moods. For a while anyway.

Samford is a magical little locality as a destination for riding a bicycle if you’re situated in Brisbane as I am. It’s very rural and far enough out to make the ride feel like an adventure but close enough that you can easily do it in half a day (depending on which part of Brisbane you’re riding from). It’s got some of the best food around Brisbane on offer, interesting historical venues and there’s even a place to camp not too far out of town if you wanted a short little overnight bikepacking trip to do (that’s still on my to-do list).
Continue reading “Rambling On”

Should We Just Ignore That Stench Because It’s Easier That Way?

This is going to be another one of those ranty posts because it can be and because I want to. And I’m not sorry. If you’re not interested, stop reading now.

This week I have the good fortune of enjoying a week off work and decided that the recently cooler afternoon temps offered a great opportunity to get the road bike out and plot a route around Brisbane’s northside. Lights were strapped on, cycling nicks were slipped into (a rare occurrence for me these days) and I was ready to roll down the tarmac. As I’ve mentioned before, road biking these days for me is a fairly nonchalant affair with mountain bike SPDs, a quick dry tee shirt and bumbag, the only really road bikey thing I have on is the nicks. Any other “performance enhancement” items seem like a waste of time for me now. I’m no racer boy. I go to sight see, to exercise and to enjoy the speed and effortlessness the road bike offers – the Zen of the rhythm. And there’s no mud or dust to hose off afterwards. Kooky, I know.

Anyway, being a late afternoon start, the ride coincided with the afternoon peak hour which wasn’t much bother to me because I was mainly on bikeways so I had minimum contact with the chaos. But the chaos did highlight how ridiculously bad Brisbane’s traffic congestion problems really are. As a I spun along the Gateway Bikeway, it quickly became apparent that, even without much effort, I was moving significantly faster than the traffic on the other side of the fence next to me. That’s a 100kmh motorway over there. Continue reading “Should We Just Ignore That Stench Because It’s Easier That Way?”

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”

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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