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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Riding with Dad

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Sunday Morning Bush Bash

My ten year old son, Harrison, and I rode some of our favourite tracks this glorious Sunday morning.

We went out via some old stock routes and came back along the shoreline of one of the local lakes.

Sunday Morning Bush Bash

He kept up pretty well. I’m aware that sometime in the next ten years our roles will probably be reversed and I’ll be keeping up with him pretty well.

For now I’m content to show my boy some of the fantastic tracks around our area that you never see when you speed by in a car.

Sunday Morning Bush Bash

We have to slow down to enjoy beauty.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


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I had the distinct feeling I was being watched by dozens of pairs of eyes as I cycled through the wetlands at Deepwater Bend this morning.

This beautiful reserve at the mouth of the Pine River has many hectares of swampy pastureland inhabited by a large number of kangaroos and wallabys.


It also has some picturesque fire-trails that are perfect for riding around early in the morning!


Photographing these guys while riding a bike is almost impossible. In fact at the first opportunity I found for a photo, I forgot to un-clip from my pedals, and fell off. I could almost hear the Kangaroo snickering (or maybe saying "Tut tut tut" as he bounded off.


In full flight they’re magnificent to watch – muscular, streamlined and effortless.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lost in the Hills

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I wanted to climb the Toowoomba range via single track and fire trails, so I found a quiet back road out the back of Withcott, followed it to the end, jumped a few gates, and ended up in the middle of nowhere.

After climbing a few monster hills that ended (sadly) in dead-ends, I finally found a fire break and followed it.

But what was supposed to be a 60 minute adventure ended up taking three hours.

I eventually found my way home, up a couple more amazingly steep hills, but (alas) I only managed to get one photo. Light was fading quickly in the late autumn afternoon, and I didn’t want to stop too long.

The total ascent was about 720m, total descent, about 380m.

Lost at Withcott

The next day, Paul and I rode along some of the fire trails along the escarpment below Picnic Point. These are mostly steep rocky walking tracks, so attacking them with a mountain bike was a bit “adventurous”. Still not being totally comfortable with my clip-in pedals I fell off a few times, luckily with no damage. The view out to Tabletop Mountain is spectacular.

Tabletop Mountain

We also had a quick look out to the North towards Prince Henry Heights at some of the hills where I managed to get a bit lost the day before:

Picnic Point

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Memorable Minute

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"Tempus Fugit" by Nafra Cendrers

Imagine you have one minute to live, and after that nothing.

What thoughts would occupy your mind during that minute?

What memories would you recall?

As you watched the second hand move inevitably towards the end of the minute, what precious images would your mind hold on to?

I tried this mental exercise a few days ago whilst on a flight, and experienced one of the most memorable minutes of my life. As the clock “struck twelve” I had tears in my eyes – not from sadness at it coming to an end, but from gratitude at the wonderful people that are in my life, and the most amazing life that I have the privilege of living. For me it highlighted those things that are really important… and those things that don’t really matter.

Perhaps we regularly need a “Memorable Minute” to keep our lives in focus.

King of the Hill

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I finally managed to cycle to the top of Old School Road – a very steep dirt road in Cashmere with gradients in excess of 27%.

This hill has beaten me a few times. At times I’ve fallen off trying to climb it, or just given up. But today I kept my head down, kept up a good rhythm, and powered to the top.

Although exhausted at the top, I still felt like doing a "Who da man" dance, punched the air, and let out a loud "Whoop!!!".

King of the Hill


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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Exploring Launceston by Mountain Bike

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I’ll be working in Launceston for the next week, so I thought I’d come down a day and a bit earlier and explore the place by mountain bike.

I hired a basic hardtail bike from a local shop, donned my cold weather gear, and took off into the hills on this beautiful cloudless late autumn day.

The first part of the trip was up to Trevallyn Reserve which is perched atop some of the hills to the west of town.

The reserve has some pretty steep and rocky trails which were hard work to negotiate, but worth the effort. The view down the river towards the dam is spectacular.

After a quick break, I then headed to the Kate Reed reserve to the south of town. This has a lot more narrow single track than Trevallyn, and it was here I suffered a pretty nasty “Gumby Stack” where I fell off my bike for no reason other than I couldn’t pull my feet out of my clip-in pedals. Luckily my shoulder survived the fall and I have no broken bones.

I’ve never ridden in such cold weather before. It takes a lot more preparation than I’m used to. And you still get hot, and cold, and wet with perspiration.

But it’s a great way to explore a city. I’ll definitely try this again!

Looking towards the GorgeEarly morning near the SummitDewy trailsReachng for the CloudsThe Hoo Hoo HutLake TrevallynTrevallyn Dam

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Carla the Toy Voyager

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We received a Toy Voyager in the mail recently. Carla is a cute little black bird all the way from cold Siberia. She’ll be staying with us for a few months and going on some adventures with us.

I introduced Carla to Lilly this afternoon, and the two of them instantly became friends.

Lilly showed Carla around our slightly overgrown but very green sub-tropical garden, and Carla obliged by perching on Lilly’s head.

If you feel like indulging your inner child, why not host a toy voyager for a few months? It will change the way you look at the world.