Since my last post where I indulged in a mini bikepacking trip of sorts to the Sunshine Coast and its hinterland (while there is still any forest and bushland to see), my rides have continued but with a distinctly more domestic flavour. I dusted off my Trek Emonda and did the first road ride of the new year, explored a creek at the base of Mt Nebo on the Scott Scale hardtail and hopped on the Brompton for a bimodal trip to the CBD to replace a pair of mountain bike shoes that recently ended their serviceable life despite my best efforts to save them.
My road biking efforts have most recently been supplanted by various mixed terrain and utility bike trips so I thought that the start of the new year would be a good occasion to squeeze in a ride on the Emonda and satisfy my need for speed. So, after digging through my pile of stretchy bicycle attire, I produced a jersey that I thought my middle aged middle section would surely be unable to fit into only to find that it fitted better than ever. Santa really was good to me this year.
Dressed for the occasion, I set off for an early(ish) loop encompassing the Jim Sorely bikeway and the new infrastructure along the Gateway Arterial which also joins up neatly to Deagon and Sandgate to create a near complete separated road bike circuit that also takes in the quiet Sandgate and Brighton foreshore. The course I cobbled together spanned about sixty kilometres but that could easily have extended to take in the Redcliffe Peninsula and Mango Hill along the new bikeway there to get you well over the one hundred kilometre mark if desired.
The temps were a little on the warm side but the sea breeze helped and I was disciplined enough to maintain a comfortable speed without pushing myself too hard. All of which made for a pleasant and scenic road bike ride.
Moving right along – while good bike gear generally lasts quite well, it’s life is still finite and, recently, my well used, six year old Scott Team Carbon mountain bike shoes drew their final breath. I made every effort the glue the delaminating sole back on but alas they were destined for the bin. So, with that I slung my canvas shoulder bag over my head, swung my leg over my Brompton and headed toward the train station for a bit of this…
…and headed for the CBD to source a replacement pair for the Scotts.
Before long, I found myself at a well stocked retailer of bicycle fandangles and gizmos where I would become the happy owner of a new pair of Shimano XC7 mountain bike shoes. The staff at Bike Bug were extremely helpful and had an excellent range of bikes, clothing and parts on display which I ogled extensively on my way out of the shop.
While I generally find it difficult to sing high praise of any corporation, Shimano really do some fantastic work from their e-bike systems to their shoes and their group sets with these XC7 shoes being no exception. Right from the first time I tried them on, the fit felt solid and comfortable, the BOA adjustments were high quality and easy to use and the shoes look great.
A few rides in, I still really like XC7s. After some initial adjustments, they’re starting to feel properly broken in and really comfortable. The power transfer is fantastic thanks to the carbon soles which are rated nine on the stiff-o-meter (though I’m still not sure what that actually means) and they’re also very walkable on both flat and uneven ground. So, if you’re looking for a new pair of mountain bike shoes, the XC7s are definitely worth a try.
And speaking of my new XC7 shoes, one of the rides I took them on was an afternoon jaunt to the base of Mt Nebo aboard my Scott Scale where there’s a little country road leading to a creek that I’ve been eyeing off on several maps for a while now. Dawson Creek Rd winds along Nebo’s base following an actual creek of the same name just before the junction to the Goat Track off Mt Glorious Rd. The road is quite narrow but very quiet providing ample sightings of a variety birds and wallabies bouncing through the undergrowth at the side of the road.
My journey took me once again through Ironbark Gully and the Samford Pony Trails before a short stint along Mt Glorious Rd past the Samford Show Grounds to the junction of Dawson Creek Rd. And whilst my mind had always conjured up visions of a flowing creek with several swimming spots along the way when I thought of this trip, the impossibly dry conditions created a very different scene upon my arrival. There was not a drop of water anywhere along the creek and although the large trees and bushes were still green, the whole landscape looked positively parched. Even looking up the side of Mt Nebo, I could see big brown patches of dead vegetation where there has been either fires or a complete lack of water. It was quite a depressing sight given how lush this area normally is.
On a more upbeat note, those of you who read my recent post on riding through the Sunshine Coast may have spotted a small oddity attached to the rear stay of my Trek Crossrip.
That, friends, is a most delightful kludge that I cobbled together while packing that bike for the Sunshine Coast trip to overcome the problem of running out of seatpost space for my Fly6 when I mounted that gigantic saddle bag.
I do love a good bike kludge on occasion and this one came together so quickly and so well that I thought it worth a mention. It’s basically just a piece of PVC tubing attached to a modified reflector mount with a couple of stainless bolts and nuts I had knocking about. I finished it with a handlebar end plug on top so there is no possible way that the Fly6 can work it’s way over the top of the PVC tube. I then wrapped the PVC tube with some thick tape to bring it closer to the thickness of a seatpost which is what the Fly6 would normally be mounted to.
Yeah, it’s not exactly the world’s greatest feat of engineering but it does the job and making a kludge like this comes with a great sense of satisfaction that you’ve used the grey matter for something creative and recycled some stuff that might otherwise have ended up in the bin.
Until next time, happy kludging, safe riding and see you out there sometime.