Monday, December 21, 2009

Book Review: The Man Who Cycled the World - Mark Beaumont

I just read the Australia chapters of this book to find out about his experience of it. Mark Beaumont rode - as a small part of his race around the world for the Guinness World Record - from Perth across the Nullarbor to Melbourne and then an inland route to Brisbane.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review: Headwinds by Andrew Bain

Headwinds by Andrew Bain documents his and his partners clock-wise circumnavigation of the Australian continent from Cairns down the east coast, around Tasmania, across the Nullarbor, up the west coast, across the top (including the Gibb River road) and back to Cairns.

It's a story of self-described non-cyclists tackling harsh country, rough terrain, trucks, mean wildlife, spectacular as well as boring scenery, the occassional dirt road, a barrage of the same questions over and over from motor tourists - and headwinds. Lots of headwinds.

This book brings stories of triumph over hard conditions and reaching the limits of your endurance for what cycle touring can through at you, as well as for hearing bad news.

Well worth a read, even if just to ensure you never make the same mistakes along the way.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kilometre freak-out

I just spent half an hour estimating distances involved in this mammoth (perhaps just as hairy) journey. Looking at the parts of the tour that are time constrained (Melbourne to Brisbane isn't)...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Book Review - Downhill all the way: Cycling through France from La Manche to the Mediterranean by Edward Enfield

I just finished reading this book which follows the just-retired Edward Enfield through France by bicycle. This guy is a very funny British (Sussex) writer, and despite having little interest in the geography or history of France, I enjoyed the book immensely just because of his funny anecdotal way of telling his story.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fully loaded

Minus a couple of water bottles...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: Long Cloud Ride - Josie Dew

I have only read half this book so far as I just got it out of the library and its a popular book so couldn't renew the loan straight away. But what I have read so far is enough to say this is a very fun read. Its a journal style recording of the trip, so you end up taking the journey with her. She is very fond of picking up on the local culture via observations of personalised number plates, news clippings, excerpts from local radio and personal interactions. She also makes it a point to mention each time she visits a shop or roadside stall to stock up on half a kilo of food. She describes the scary roads (NZ drivers don't sound the most careful, especially the logging trucks) and the steep inclines, as well as the amazing scenery, crazy wildlife and more crazy weather.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Review: Cold Beer and Crocodiles by Roff Smith

In 1997, an ex-pat American who had been living in Australia for 15 years, Roff Smith quit his senior correspondent position at Time magazine (no less), whittled down his possessions to what could be carried in panniers (no more) and set off on a voyage to figure out at the age of 38 whether to stay in Australia or return to the US, and just what was Australia anyway?

A plan in pencil

Note: It should say 2012 Jan, Feb for Tasmania.

July, August - Leave Melbourne, VIC coastline (yes, it'll be f. cold probably) (with some WWOOFing)
Sept, Oct, Nov - southern NSW coastline (with some WWOOFing)
Dec, January - northern NSW coastline (with some WWOOFing)
Feb - in Brisbane to visit the family and friends (their last chance to try to talk me out of the next bit), get bicycle checked over properly, and get care packages for the north and west coast organised (for post restante)
March, Apr - heading to Nth Qld and across to NT (will still be hot and humid, alas - end of wet season)
May, Jun - NT to Darwin (after wet season ends)
Jul, Aug, Sept - WA while the wildflowers are blooming, coolest time of year and little chance of cyclones)
Oct, Nov - SA
Dec - Great Ocean Road to Melbourne
Jan, Feb - Tasmania for cycling and hiking

The reason I'm being slack and taking seven months on the east coast to Brisbane is because I'm just finishing up a contract at work in June, and I have to time it so I don't hit the wet season up north. And, I do like the east coast a lot.

Still in pencil at the moment as I want to look into wind roses and other data to try to minimise headwinds, especially in western and southern parts, and general climate outlooks. Haven't worked out distances properly for actual time required to cross some areas (as well as looking into time required for fun side trips).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Review: Lone Traveller - One woman, two wheels and the world by Anne Mustoe

OK, I'll be honest. I more skim read this book than read it from cover to cover. Because its about travelling around the world and is so centred around Anne Mustoe herself I couldn't really get into it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Layed down a deposit

Last Saturday I put down a deposit on a 58cm Surly LHT (recommended after another bike fit measurement taken). Took it for a test ride with the correct seat post length and loved it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Requisition order

So I went and got measured up with the Fit Kit yesterday, and crunched the numbers against a couple of touring bikes.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Just locked down a twitter account for mareebiketouroz later use....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just making the decision that much harder

So, recently I was thinking about how I like to go riding in places that aren't necessarily all nice road surfaces... off the beaten track, gravel, dirt, sand. This may mean I should look instead at a mountain bike instead of a typical touring bike.

It's a compromise between touring comfort and ... not having to push the bike when the going gets tough...

And whether I can still carry front panniers. I definitely don't want to go the Bob trailer route...

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


There are a few items of gear that are necessary for bicycle touring...

1. A bicycle (no, really)
2. Brooks saddle or similar (for comfort)
3. Racks, Panniers and Bags (to carry stuff)
4. Fenders (to keep the mud off)
5. Lights (to see things)
6. Mirror (... to see things)
7. Camping gear (tent, bag, mat)
8. Cooking gear (stove, pots)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Five year world-wide cycle tour by Nicolai Bangsgaard

I came across a website telling the story of Nicolai from Denmark, who is in the middle of a solo five-year world tour. The picture above is from his time in Australia.