Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Winter Classic

"The Winter Classic" had been a subject of much discussion on With the weather conditions wet, a 30-km head wind and possible thunderstorm, it sounded like the perfect training ride!

Not to mention my Clamont touring bike was re-greased, reassembled and in dire need of a good test ride.

So it was an 8am  start at Remy and Lees on Bourke Street for a coffee and some friendly banter about the pace of the ride. This was quickly decided when Terence, also known as Captain pain, rolled in.

There was a little uncertainty about the exact route (princess hwy or south dowling). South Dowling was the call and it wasn't long till everyone fell in to position. With fresh legs and a clearing sky it was shaping up to be a nice ride.

After the first 25kms we made a brief stop for bananas and a regroup before dropping in to the Royal National Park.

With a delicious decent down to the river and the sound of 11 freewheels buzzing like a swam of bees it was hard to wipe the smile off my face. But I did when we hit the climb! The pack quickly spread out with the faster guys getting out of their saddles and disappearing over the rise. The hill claimed a couple of victims having to stop to catch their breath or have a quick spew.

After that there was a nice mix of undulating hills followed by some steep climbs, beautiful forest and more winding descents.

By the time I exited the National Park at Stanwell tops, the mirage of a frosty beer and pub meal was starting to haunt me. I was happy with the decision to stop at The Scarborough hotel for lunch.

From Stanwell to Scarborough was amazing! Descending quickly through a series of tight corners my bikes ancient cantilever brakes squealed like an excited toddler. Then across the sea bridge to one final climb, a clattering of metal as my chain come off. Luckily it goes on again easily and then it's just a roll in to the beer garden.

A couple of beers and bowls of chip are consumed while stories are exchanged and compared. We decide to take the train back to Sydney resting our legs as the banter continues fueled by a few smuggled ales.

A fantastic ride and probably my last in Australia. Thanks to everyone involved and looking forward to a "Summer Classic" when we return.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Farewell

To reward you for your diligent reading we are throwing a farewell get together Saturday night. All are welcome and it would be great to see you before we head off.

106 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills
Time : 26th June 7.30pm onwards

Only 6 days left!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spanner in the spokes

On closer inspection, Marcus concluded his bike wheels were already too worn out to make the whole journey safely.
So a purchase of Mavic A719 rims was made to replace the old Alex Adventurers.
By his calculations it would be an easy swap over and he didn't want to replace the spokes if possible. So it was off to good friends Jason and Dale's house to do some wheel building.
Most DIY projects usually encounter something unexpected, a spanner in the spokes.
But on the contrary with this particular undertaking everything went perfectly!
We had one wheel built by lunch, stopped for a delicious soup and homemade bread (thanks Dale) and after lunch we tackled the rear wheel.
This one took a little longer but got it finished by 6, not bad for a days work.

We have also had a chance to try out our sleeping mats, sleeping bags and the tent by doing a little test run in our apartment. A very strange sight indeed!! And not just for one night but two consecutive nights!! It wasnt too bad although the -5 degree sleeping bags were a little ill suited to our temperate indoor climate. 

25 days to go. 

PS We have just organised accommodation in Stockholm, more about that next.