Author Topic: RIDES 2018 — add yours here  (Read 4789 times)

Dave B

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2018, 11:39:47 PM »
Cheers Dan :)

JimK

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2018, 12:21:50 AM »
I got a new camera so I am trying it out nowadays! I upload the pictures to strava so they get connected to my ride.

I got a flat somehow with the Marathon GT 365. Probably a goathead thorn. It doesn't qualify as large scale statistics, but I never got a little mystery puncture like this with the Marathon Plus Tour - the only flats I've had with those have been like monster sheet metal screws or something.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1412749795

Danneaux

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2018, 12:30:04 AM »
Nice, Jim! I really like the Strava-photos combo.

So sorry about the puncture, but some really beautiful scenery.

All the best,

Dan.

jags

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2018, 01:32:31 AM »
Summer time is very busy on the coast roads but most people are fine ,best to take to the country lanes lanes andre.oh I usually clean my bike after each ride no big deal I enjoy it but not today iwas knackered and hungry .ilclean it tomorrow I dont intend to cycle take a rest.

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2018, 07:13:14 AM »
Pics and map on the same page: nice one, Jim!

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2018, 10:56:24 AM »
Great stuff, Jim -- love those wide blue skies and the distant hills. Looks pretty benign for mid-Feb, tho' I guess there's plenty of snow in the Wasatch, and some of it will last 'til August.

Cheers,  John

JimK

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2018, 01:42:15 PM »
Yeah we have had a very mild winter... so far? Very little precipitation and highs typically in the 40s. I hear up on the ski slopes the snow is less than half of normal. It's still only mid February, so wild things are possible. Evidently the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has returned... http://weatherwest.com/archives/tag/ridiculously-resilient-ridge

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2018, 12:52:18 AM »
Jeez, Jim, that sounds dodgy in the extreme. See my post below -- Utah and California may need to borrow some fire-warning signage from the 'Strayans.  Hope you have some moderate amounts of snow, and some gentle soaking rains.

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2018, 01:11:07 AM »
More notes from Down Unda, this time on a couple of rides last week (Feb. 12-16):

I made a couple of rides into the SW sector of the Gold Coast, each in the 75-80 km range. My route took me south towards the NSW border, and then inland through peri-urban countryside to Currumbin Creek. This is one of several small rivers which tumble eastwards towards the sea from the hills of the hinterland of the coast.

On my first ride, I made my first real climb in months, up the first grade of the Tomewin Mountain road, which ascends the outer slops of the caldera on the road to Murwillumbah. The climb is a short one, only a kilometre or so, just the first part of the 9-km stretch up to the ridge and then along to the NSW border. But, it is a tough one, a reminder that I still have some way to go in revering cycling fitness, and a reminder that averages can be cruel. Photo #12 below signals a mere 800 metres, at a manageable 14%, the background of green and gold showing the forest awash with mid-morning light. BUT. What the sign doesn’t show is that the first 400 metres, the bit beginning just after you’ve dodged a big and dangerous pot-hole shrouded in shadow which robbed you of any momentum at the start of the climb, is about 16-17%. Then, there’s a gentle stretch to let you catch your breath, before the final 300 metres or so, a genuinely more manageable 12-13%. Still, I was knackered at the top, enjoyed a rest and a snack, and decided to leave the ride along the ridge to the border for another time.

Just to complicate things, the descent can be perilous:  A cyclist I met last year told me of a riding buddy who was nearing the bottom of this hill when a wild turkey flew out of the underbrush at head height, and knocked him off his bike. A year later, his recovery was not complete. I squeezed my brakes now and then to keep my speed down, not least because there’s also a T-junction stop right at the bottom of the last steep pitch.

I had left my departure on this ride a bit too late—early-morning grand-dad school delivery for the little ones—and my return leg was accordingly later, sunnier, and hotter than comfortable. Still re-learning how to manage all this stuff, I resolved to revisit the Currumbin road again, starting earlier and making some rock pools further upstream my turnaround point.

Along the roadside, there are no signs advising caution against rampant turkeys, but the fire danger warnings are blunt – see photo #13 below. On the day I made my ride, the needle, happily, was in the low-moderate band, the product of an overnight downpour. “Negligible” doesn’t exist, as you’ll see. “Catastrophic” is a sign of our changing climate—or at least, the gradual spread of settlement into forests. (More on that below.)

What’s beyond “Catastrophic”, I wonder? “Apocalyptic”? That might be in order, because last March, the region just over the caldera, towards Murwillumbah, had 400 mm of rain in less than 24 hours. The Queensland side of the ridge received a bit less, but the road towards the rock pools had to be substantially rebuilt nonetheless. With fire and flood already registered, the Coast is halfway to a full stable of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I'll be happy if the others don't show up.

The Currumbin Creek Road twists through forest and pastureland, shade alternating with sunshine, cattle grazing alongside, and as I ride west, the steep sides of the valley rise towards the south and the northwest. At this time of year, the vegetation is lush enough, but  modest weathered farmhouses suggest that this is no easy place to make a living. (See photo #14 below.) Downstream, a few farms have been converted to horse pastures and stables, perhaps a better bet than dairy or beef cattle.

As I ride towards the pools for my mid-morning dip, I see that one old farm has been sold for high-end peri-urban “development”: “Premium Large Estate Lots” proclaims the sign. “Premium” is code for “very expensive”, and the first new driveways have been laid down. My guess is that the first big houses will appear shortly, and that the usual complement of high-end German sedans and SUVs will follow thereafter. This is a well-marked cycling route, so I’m hopeful that the drivers will be courteous. When I see farmland taken out of production to be replaced by ‘burbs, I’m reminded on Colin Fletcher’s retort to the old chestnut, “You can’t stop progress.” He said, “Maybe not, but you can redefine it.”

Happily, the pools' appearance cut short my grumbling, which was beginning to nudge towards existential despair. I enjoyed my brief dip, having most of the pool to myself. The water level was a bit lower, however, than on my earlier visits with our son and his family. They’re a local swimming hole, and across the road there’s a modest art gallery serving coffee and ice cream. For a visiting cyclist, it’s all quite delightful, not least because of the shade available. (See #15 below.)

One of the delights of these rides is the mix of names a rider sees and hears. I reach Currumbin Creek via the Tallebudgera Creek connector road—“Tally Creek”, in ‘Strayan—and the Tomewin Road in turn will take me to Murwillumbah in due course. Further north is Mudgeeraba. These are drawn from indigenous names, and after some practice are now beginning to roll off the tongue. One word I had heard before, however, was photo #13 below. “Piggabeen” can be heard around Christmas or Thanksgiving, commonly from someone flat on their back a couch, and it usually follows a deep and rueful groan, as in “Ohhhhh watta piggabeen!”

The road back north to Southport cuts through some older ‘burbs in the southern sector of the Coast, where gardens have been planted to threes and shrubs like jacarandas and frangipani. I stopped for a snack beside some of these, which left me all homesick for southern Africa. (Photo #16 below).

Reports to follow later from Tomewin Mountain road, with (I hope) photos of organic farms in the higher country, and bamboo groves higher still.

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2018, 01:13:44 AM »
...and the last two photos follow below.

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2018, 02:21:15 AM »
Piggabeen Rd! That's fair warning that "No Cyclists Live Here"! What a keen observer you are, John. As I know a little something about heat, I liked the Pools best.

JimK

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2018, 06:39:37 AM »
Thanks for that splendid report, John! Wild Turkeys! You never know what's around the next bend in the road... a good reason not to get going too too fast!

We've got a week of winter coming says the forecast... it started while I was out grocery shopping!


John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2018, 09:44:52 AM »
Ahhh, Jim, the god of Mormonia has deserted you!  What's all that Stuff on your bike??

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2018, 10:00:02 AM »
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I liked the Pools best

For sure, Andre -- the Currumbin pools are a great counter to the heat of the ride, even on a cloudy day.

At the risk of sounding churlish, not living in & appreciating the moment, I found myself thinking of other swimming holes. This time round, the Currumbin pools were warmish, and the water cloudy too--maybe 'cos of the lower levels and lesser flow?

When we first came to Canada in the mid-50's, there was an abandoned farm backing onto our and our neighbour's, and it had a good-sized stream. Not only that, but there was a ruined 19th-century mill, with two races, one functioning, one kaput. With the neighbour's kids, I learned to swim in the pool beneath the dam, and it was a treat--a brisk flow, cool, a grassy landing area, no crocs, no hippos, no bilharzia. It left me with a keen appreciation of swimming holes, and a yen for searching them out.

Two of the best I've found, you won't be surprised to learn, can be found in your old neighbourhood: The best I've found in the 60-odd years since that one on the farm is in Luapula Province in northern Zambia, a place by the lovely name of Ntumbachushi. This has a string of falls, the largest being a nice bridal-veil waterfall about 50 ft high, and the best  swimming being a couple of kms upstream, and unknown to most visitors. There is a good-sized river which tumbles over the basalt rocks of the Muchinga Escarpment, and it offers a pool about 75 ft wide and 18 feet deep, a rounded bowl with a sandy bottom and a waterfall about 30 ft wide and 6 ft high. From there, you have a clear view west to the hills of the Congo, about 140 kms away, about as close as I recommend the casual visitor go. (The Luapula is in the way, with its stock of crocs, hippos, and bilharzia, so forms a natural barrier.)

In second place are the Likhabula Pools at the base of the Likhabula Gorge at the western base of Mt Mulanje, in Malawi. And in third place is a boulder-strewn reach of the headwaters of the Sacramento River, near my sister's place in Northern California. Beautiful, but a wee bit too cold for this Canajan softie.

None of these brilliant places is even close to where I am just now, though, so I'll rest content with Currumbin :)

Danneaux

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2018, 05:40:08 AM »
Quote
Mould. You wouldn't know about this, Dan...
Huh?  :-\ I think you may have me confused with John's question to Jim, Andre.

It gets pretty wet here in Oregon's Willamette Valley, so I light out for the drier deserts on the other side of the Cascade mountain range when I can. NE California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho as well as Central and Eastern Oregon.

According to http://coolweather.net/staterainfall/oregon.htm ...
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• Astoria, Oregon is the third wettest city in the United States with an annual average of 69.60" inches while
• Burns, Oregon is one of the driest cities with only 10.57" average annual precipitation.
The average annual rainfall in Oregon varies from as much as 200 inches at points along the upper west
slopes of the Coast Range to less than eight inches in Plateau regions

For example, Mapleton Oregon gets 80 inches of rain a year while the annual US average is 39. Valsetz got 127.71in to win the "record wettest" title for an Oregon town and Laurel Mountain got it for a place-name at 204.12in -- that's 17 *feet* of annual rainfall.

We're definitely getting drier in recent years, though, and climatologists predict we may someday mirror the climate around San Francisco's Marin Peninsula, considerably drier than we've enjoyed historically.

Best,

Dan.