Archive for the ‘Perth Western Australia cycling’ Category

No I am not about to sing. One of my Chinese names has a ‘Suan’ in it, and loosely translated, bears close affinity to some ‘big mountain’ I’m guessing that I like to cycle up big mountains (and down as well) and that there’s no reference to mid sections and unflattering body parts.

After the Mandurah scorcher, the weather eased with some cloud cover and cool days of 25 deg C. A prefect time to do a ride in the Swan Valley and as our 2 weeks draw to a close, a Swan Song post. Cheesy I know, but you’ve lasted this long, a few more pics of our bicycles wont hurt.

Some one is a bit agitated as we missed the train and the next one is 17 minutes later

When in Perth, it’s time to ditch the stress and mayhem of commuting of Singapore, and as I always say, ‘Another one will come along’ but don’t take my word for it, if it’s past 12.45 am. Looking at the lack of crowds after a mild rush hour, I took a seat and admired the contrasts of old and new architecture in the train station. Being an interchange of sorts two stations are now underground and we had to walk our bikes up to ground level many a time.  With tiny lifts serving basements one and two, we saw some frazzled nerves and angst breaking out from 3 larger than life mothers with prams.

Apparently they were cussing and hissing at um, fatter commuters too lazy to take the escalotors, thus clogging up the tiny slow elevators/lifts that they wanted to ride in. What about full sized bikes then?  We moved to another lift when we saw the sparks flying. We actually let 2 other loads of people take the lift first. Even then, I saw one of the moms walk up to a transit guard, gave me some ‘dagger looks’ and complain about us, ‘with the bicycles’ who took up space in the lift.

The guard who was leaning and digesting his breakfast, I think couldn’t care less having to hear all manner of complaints day in and out. He did not move an inch from leaning on a bench. They don’t pay him ‘enough’ ha ha….just only Au$60,000 a year, a princely sum if you know how to manage your expenses and take 30 day vacations in….Thailand !

We had a hassle free ride to Guilford and had a chat with an elderly couple on their city bikes. In as many days, strangers with bikes always gave us a friendly nod or smile. We non conformist pedaling types, we have to band together, for our own protection and very survival !

Guilford Station is a single building

Guilford Hotel has seen batter days

Old skool MP 3, His Master's Voice

Historic Guilford town lies at the southern entrance to the Swan Valley, famous for it’s wineries, a chocolate factory,  animal parks and lately hordes of cyclists plying the many manicured  bike paths, while taking in views of faraway hills in this vast valley. Our ride to Whiteman Park about 20 kms north of Guilford was pleasant enough with light cool winds all day. The recently opened  Yahava Koffee place was a delight. Free tastings, sips rather, and a nice patio complete with bicycle racks, for a  kaffiine fix.  Would be great to ride from Perth itself and have a few leisurely cups while gazing into the horizon. Beans roasted on site and a great change from the crass commercialism of ‘that chocolate place’  One minus though, the food menu’s a little grim, just $8.50 sandwiches. Pack a lunch. I didn’t and had to settle for a so so bacon and egg sandwich from a gas station.

Hey cameraman, faster lah !

B L I S S !

Free koffee shots, where do I queue ? http://www.yahava.com.au

As if bike lanes on the both sides of the road wasn't enough, they've put in a shared path heading north

Whiteman Park had a lot of open cycle paths and sparse vegetation, burnt out trees and the odd surprise like two mating bob tails which we nearly run over. I missed them by inches and Coleen’s screams thereafter must have awoken the rest of the animal life for miles around. Surprisingly there were no entrance fees and we took the bike path near the gates, which were much shorter than the vehicular roads. It was eerily quiet riding with dry grass all around and felt like outback Australia with the odd sign post pointing to Whiteman Village. Lunch, ice cream ($4 magnums!) toilet break and we were done.

an animal planet moment

another victim of lightning

Whiteman Station

Not quite, there were some loose ends to tie up with some downtown shops. Perth’s downtown is quite compact and a bicycle beats walking and aimless window shopping. I recall visiting a huge  outdoor shop in 2007 and it was right outside the station.

Ready to outfit an army

Rambo shops here !

Wellington Surplus is an adventurer’s dream. 4 or 5 shop units merged into one.  Row upon row of outdoor and camping gear, knives and swords,  clothes, boots and shoes, outdoor electronics to peer over. Stern, surly sales staff who know their stuff and will leave you to browse at leisure. You wouldn’t want to mess with guys who know their weapons. I sheepishly asked how long the average customer browsed and was pointed to a bunch or guys in a corner, friends I guess.  ‘They’re here from opening to closing !’

I left with a pair of the latest in footwear. Eco friendly walking socks made partly from bamboo fibers. Coleen wasn’t done too. She had to pick up a pair of wedge shoes to add to the hundreds back home.  We had  10 minutes to spare before the 4.30 pm bike prohibition on the trains. If you don’t already know there’s a 2 hour grace period for you to get off at any station and continue your trip on the same ticket. Just marvelous for appointments with the shops in the city. So for the final time, we brought our bikes two levels underground for our ride back to Bull Creek.

My dear Cateye odometer that clocked 341 kms thus far can go take a breather now.

This sums up our 3rd tip to Perth ! Bring a bike, any bike !

Come every Wednesday or so, I knew that Al and his cycling buddies, or kakis (Malay for legs) as we say in Singapore, will be off on a long ride somewhere. I know this because Al told me so. What I didn’t want to know, but had to face was the 5 am wake up call as the ‘kakis’ like to start early. Seeing that the sun rises at 4.55 am in October, and that Mandurah Ken was waiting for us  in sea side Mandurah 60 kms south of Perth, and that we had to catch the first train out of Bull Creek at 0607 hrs, Tues night was going to be an early one.

That and Wednesday’s picnic lunch had to be packed on Tues night. It’s not easy, this bicycle touring lifestyle. Rising with the sun, checking camera angles and fading light, early Tuesday nights. Seriously the many kms of therapeutic cycling I ride, is there to forget about the many preparations behind the scenes, for the benefit of you the reader, wallowing in the comfort of home or office pretending to be working. Forget home office, nothing gets done ! And waking up at 5 is hell, for on this fateful Mandurah ride, November the 3rd, the temps hit 36 deg C at mid day.

5.05 am I woke up 'late'

The 6.07 am train to Mandurah arrived at 6.15

The 60 km train ride to Mandurah, the southern most point on the local transit costs $6.70. With the smart card it’s $6.15 or so. A return trip will set you back $12.30. If you have 4 in a (Japanese/Korean) car, it’s cheaper to drive. When public transport costs more than private, it’s gets you thinking. You can get the ‘Day Rider’ card which will cap your fares at $9.00 max. for each day you exceed $9 worth of training. Then I found out that you don’t have to buy a specific day rider card. Just use your existing smart card kindly borrowed from your generous host. Works the same as a Day Rider, but with a $10 pre paid for an empty card. Can’t win them all. I spent about $40 worth of train rides in 2 weeks, but I had the novelty of bringing a big, long wheel based touring bicycle on board, even when I wasn’t tired.

Posh homes along the Peel Inlet

OK the early wake up was worth it. 25 kms of this

The rolling hills along this coast is a cyclist’s dream. Anyone and everyone on two wheels of varying sizes, wore a big smile as we greeted each other. Even the dogs seemed to be smiling. I must add that a dog’s life in this part of the world is filled to the max. Running on the beach, playing fetch and swimming in the sea, and sniffing each other out sure beats waiting in an apartment waiting for play time. I had a labrador run in a straight line front of my bike at about 30 kmp/h without batting an eyelid, turning back once in a while to check my speed. His owner behind me said that he hates to be overtaken and wants to lead the pack always. Sounds like some cyclists I know 😉

Even on a weekday, other cyclists, rollerbladers, moms with prams, joggers and happy dogs were out on this shared path. It must be quite crowded on the weekends. Apart for a few blind corners (hence my big ding dong bell) I could see far enough to pick up speed on the downhills. Cycling was effortless as we crested one small hill after another in the big ring. The nice palatial homes by the beach seemed shuttered, no occupants around. Ken said that these were just weekend homes, although with the property boom, some have chose to live here with nothing to do all day but walk and cycle the coastal paths.

A shadow shot at 25 kmp/h along a dirt road. Risky but 'blog worthy'

Looking at the shadows, I think we're cycling in the right direction 😉

It's not sun tan lotion

Poor K one of my host’s cycling friends of the Dahon persuasion was in town with his wife and daughter. Poor is a misnomer as he describes himself as belonging to the ‘middle / sandwich class’  of working Singaporeans struggling to amass millions so that they can holiday with a bicycle every so often.  I guess the term refers to being sandwiched between the upper and poorer echelons of citizens and has nothing to do with bakery products, although some sandwiches in Australia bear astronomical prices. Before I am hit with a lawsuit, I shall quote my genial host and refer to K as being ‘sandwiched’ between two pricey penthouses back home.

Back to poor K, it was his first and only day cycling in Perth on a folding bike comparable to a sports car say on par with a Ferrari, even though it was birthed in Taiwan (and which bicycle isn’t?)  Rounding a 90 degree bend on the seaside bike path strewn with sand at high speed, both bike and rider had different trajectories in mind. To sum up I saw K on the ground lying on his side with the Dahon Speed Pro on top of him. Scrapes on the left arm and shoulder and leg. We went into the shade and played with my mini first aid kit. Al and Ken resting further ahead under some trees were surprised to see a swath of bandages and blood. After determining that his scrapes were not life threatening except for some shoulder pain, which we personally could not feel, we (un)selfishly decided to carry on with the ride, but timed our return with 10 kms less than planned.

Breakfast with a view

Heading back to town

Am I p*ssed or is this a good way to pick up a chain ?

The fun was not over yet with 10 minutes to home base, Ken’s home that is, read cool shade and cooler drinks, the chain on Coleen’s bike that Al was riding left the scene at the chain rings, and was in front of me as I rode by. As usual I opened my first aid kit for the bike, pressed out the offending broken link and installed a SRAM quick link, that didn’t require messing with a chain tool. Kindly Ken had one too, but a thicker 7 speed version which will not work on the 9 speed.

Note to self and others : Remove  brand new gloves, roll up sleeves before playing with dirty grimy oily chain ! Sadly also, no wet wipes as wife wasn’t around ;-(

A hat’s off to to Coleen too who rode with an annoying ‘clickity’  sound on her chain for 12 kms a few day’s ago. It seems that link wanted to die there and then already. I could have fixed it when she told me of ‘funny’ gear changes, but if you recall,  I was still reeling from having 4 flats in 3 days and wasn’t looking forward to loose links.

Ken heads for a bit of shade

K gets a proper 2nd dressing from Mrs Ken, a former nurse

The less wounded are tasked to get lunch at Woolworths

A previous plan to sip expensive latte at the Merchant Coffee and Tea, in trendy  ‘new’ Mandurah was put on hold as once we were in the shade of Ken’s place, the temps dropped 10 deg C . While K was attended to, Ken and I cycled down to Woolworth’s, got some bread rolls, salad and cold cuts and  we spent the next 2 relaxing hours, eating lunch, shoes off and were basically on screen saver mode. It wasn’t so bad as night time temps usually drop to 12 deg C or so. Wonder what the wife is up to ?

Wallowing in AC comfort for 60 kms on the $6.15 (but capped at $4.50) train ride back home

 

…with the sound of huffing and puffing.  Well except for local rider Tony who wanted to show us that Perth wasn’t entirely flat.  Tony, Al and I met at Bull Creek Station at 830 hrs on a quiet Saturday morning. Headed for downtown Perth and switched trains toward Kelmscott and Armadale. Having different circular zones on the mass transit here meant that even after changing trains and doing an almost double back or U turn to one’s destination, the fare for staying in Zone 2 still read at $3.15. No objections here. Tony also nonchalanntly carried his Giant MTB up on the escalators, a serious no no, in the stations here. As an ignorant tourist I followed suit.  The nice elevators were small and painfully slow, and overweight and yawning transit guards didn’t bat an eyelid.

Big bikes welcome on the mass transit here 😉

With earphones and sunglasses she looked like a bodyguard for my bike 😉 but I guess she was a 16 yo student going shopping

Loading up on sugar

Kelmscott station was deserted as we rode out into the hills. Although on the heavy side, Tony warned us of the hills ahead. An easy one and a steep one. Great. Good thing I put on my road tyres and removed my mudguards. As a tourist I stopped a lot to take pictures for the benefit of those reading in the comfort of home or work when the boss is out. Tony soon went out of sight if I did not keep up or took a photo. Al was somewhere behind., taking more photos. We appreciated the stops for free range fruit like raspberries and loquats (Japanese plums)

There were just 2 big climbs in 10 kms before the road flattened out into a simmering hot valley where we took cover in a gas station. An elderly couple hiding in the shade asked if we were training for the Olympics. Tony went on about how he cycled in the Alps and France etc. That was when they returned to their coffee and croissants. Me? I needed the bathroom. We rode a bit on a dirt trail  (Tony loves the off road here)  where one car too many drew comments like, “The traffic’s heavy on Saturdays!”

I counted  all of 3 cars that passed us.

With more small towns in the hills, one could actually ride a 300 km triangle of 100 km days, but Tony promised us a shady sweeping down hill through a botanical garden’s ring road in which 75 kmp/h on a road bike was easy. I managed 58 and decided to take it easy not wanting to tempt fate, after the sweaty climbs.

Road kill and Tony checking if it's....edible

Sizzling hot, the temps are climbing and so are we !

No thanks, I have a ham sandwich in my bag

Soon after this we turned right into a dirt road and 8 kms of downhills awaited us. Yes !

the cockpit and some shade finally

A farm in the hills and the all important water tank

Tony did not pack a lunch not even a banana, as he was eating off the trees !

they were really good....and free

Of course Al and I were still hungry and had our burger and air con fix 2 km from home

Although our total door to door milage read  only 55 kms, there’s nothing like riding up hills in a new route, not knowing what awaits round a bend and beyond a summit  (like sheep poo ha ha) for your pounding heart and legs to tell the rest of the body, that you ARE alive. And at times I wish I was riding my 8 kg road bike. Boo Hoo.

 

A vicious circle, ride more eat more

With some of our non cycling ‘duties’ located north of the Swan River, it was inevitable that  the quaint neighbourhoods of Subiaco and Leederville required a revisit. On our last trip in 2007, we were blessed to stay near Lakes Monger and Herdsman with the city center a 5 kms ride away. I remember my uncle riding downtown to work but clocking 25 kms before his shower and breakfast in the office. Such is the attraction of the city’s bike paths and lanes. Take the long scenic way!

Although the north was a little congested than the suburbs of the south, there were always more nooks and crannies to explore and this time we were more well versed with what to revisit and see. Who knows where all that time went, flying by so quickly. I know. The eateries, the boutiques, the bike shops,  idle chit chat with the girls…. On our bikes we covered ground more quickly, and sure enough got hungry faster too, a good warm up for the longer rides in the hills.

The discreet pole is actually a water fountain !

On the Canning River shared path

@ Pigeonhole boutique

It was nice to see the humble bicycle as  window dressing. Wife looks at clothes while I ogle the bikes. No racy stuff here (unless there’s lingerie) the bikes were utilitarian commuters, Kronan from Sweden and gorgeously built and painted in Perth, Sexy Bicycles. No photos allowed of the bikes in the shop below, but I am not so easily dissuaded.

,

Sexy Bicycles dot com, born and bred in Perth

Ortleibs, Brooks and seatpost AT risk

I say AT risk because, as itchy hands will tell you, that quick release on the seat post is a quick way to loose a Brooks, seat post and tail light ! And who knows what bonuses there are in the panniers. I guess one gets complacent after awhile in laid back Perth. Like me the owner of this very European (set up) bike  spent about an hour at the Subi market. Our bikes had 3 intertwined locks on them.

Bling Trek hybrid outside Subiaco station

From the bottles out front, this library has drinks !

what about bacon ?

vintage clothes

According to those in the know Perth fashion is ‘evolving’ PC word for quite not there yet. Lots of vintage and limited edition stuff  (that’ll seal the deal for the desperately rich Asian) but I can’t bring myself to splash $99 on a t shirt or $399 on faded jeans. Shimano parts? That’s a whole parallel universe of joy. The girls were photogenic too. 😉

Remember guys, shopping is therapeutic and fun !

 

Posts and photos of food are going to be a recurrent theme on this trip to Perth. Just as man (and some women) cannot live by bread and manic cycling alone, here’s some of what goes on behind the scenes and into our stomachs before and during our rides. And just to maintain the ‘integrity’ of this blog there will be bicycle related photos, more bike paths and a ride up a hill to a  former asylum, at Heathcote thrown in.

Laksa ! with a smiley former fish just for a Japanese friend. Ask Chef Google for the recipe

$5.00 x 1.30 Mee Pok slightly confused with yong tau foo parts from Emma's in Northbridge. Best heated in a steamer for maximum moisture infusion and not microwaved as I found out

$9.00 Turkish breakfast sandwich is a contradiciton as most Turks will object to the layers of gourmet bacon between the perfectly toasted Turkish bread, but this is in Fremantle

With the absence of meat, this turned out to be yummy not because there was no meat but the chef was my dearest first and only wife

Discount lasagna means a 2 kg portion for 6 can be finished by 2 guys in say 4 portions in 2 days time before expiry and reprimands set in

Although this might be edible in some cultures, I preferred to photograph it

Photos for blogging is hard work but someone's gotta do it

I've made my bookings, the bike path is just outside !

Ooh la la.....

“Taking what Pinarello had perfected in the Prince one step further, the Dogma 60.1 is the ultimate in riding pleasure.

The Dogma 60.1 is the beginning of a new generation of frames that will revolutionize the concept of racing bicycles. It is the first completely asymmetric racing frame which represents the point of no return for fans of extreme performance. The asymmetry helps create a frame that is smoother yet stiffer, stronger and safer yet lighter and quieter on the road than any previous carbon fiber frames.”

Frame Set Only — $5,500  Campagnolo Super Record — $10,500  Dura Ace Di2 — $12,900

Fulcrum 1 Wheels / Most Talon Bars / Fizik Antares Saddle

The prices above are in US dollars, so buying in Aussie dollars is even cheaper!  As I have one sour grape left, I must add that the nonchalant latte sipping owner of this obscene slut of a bicycle has a sizable paunch stretching under Italian lycra.

Getting back to our attempts at plebeian food,

My attempt at a fried rice noodle breakfast. Generous greens air dropped by lovely wife lurking nearby. Green is a great colour for the camera sensor.

My attempt at a 'healthy' fried rice picnic lunch fails when I throw in some leftover ham and sour cream and onion chips. At this point on South Beach in Fremantle, the banana's for decoration only. It was a lifesaver 2.5 hours later.

 

Mon 25th Oct

A shortish ride north into downtown Perth to get some lunch and groceries shouldn’t be too difficult, or so we thought. On the maps, today’s ride read a 28 or 30 kms round trip from our base at Bull Creek, a quiet suburb on the south banks of the Canning River. Factor in some deviations, getting lost and “I think it’s that way” we rode a total of 52.5 kms. Much too much just to do lunch and stock up for dinner.  For a first day’s ‘long ride’ we did pretty well, battling the relentless winds of the Fremantle (Witch) Doctor * and got re acquainted with the sights, smells and sounds of Northbridge, Subiaco and Leederville.

Much has changed since Feb 2007 as 2 train stations have gone underground, and the city has took on a more Asian immigrant feel. While I shouldn’t get into a debate on the pros and cons of that, the city centre seemed busier than years past and the economy’s booming. Good times for West Australians. Heck even Elite Racing Cycles has taken over it’s neighbour, and for a few magical moments I was transported into Eduardo Bianchi’s bike shop in Milan.

After looking at some menus and getting over the initial shock of their prices, we settled down into an early and slow Vietnamese lunch. Hunger had set in at 11.30 hrs and we knew that the Vietnamese portions were huge. Bring on the sodium and complex carbohydrates of grilled pork and broken rice.

Close to home, this Spitfire from the RAAF Museum is a sight to behold each time we ride by. Today it's 1000 hrs and a late start.

Although just 6 kms long the exposed bike path along the Kwinana Freeway is no fun with buzzing traffic inland and strong headwinds from the Swan River. Even the roadies were suffering

As much as I tried I couldn't make it over 100 kmp/h

There's a nice toilet nearby but I still cannot figure out what's below their waists ?

Are these convenient or what ?

A no entry sign I can live with

A naughty part of Northbridge

Eduardo Bianchi would be proud

Postman's bike with front hub 'assist'

An all time record low price for.... coffee

Yeah....right

To make the most of our downtown day, I whipped out my 5 year old Perth CBD map and decided to take a longer way home while avoiding the CBD proper. This brainwave probably added another 10 kms or so of  “I think it’s that way”  but truth be told we did see a few very expensive townhouses in very exclusive neighbourhoods, rode a few down hills (can’t complain here) crossed the Swan River at Victoria Park and ended up on a beautiful foreshore bike path (along Sir James Mitchell Park) opposite the city, before we found ourselves on the dreaded next to the Kwinana highway bike path, right under the Narrows Bridge. Where did our 7 hour outing disappear to ?

Perth city at 4 pm

The amazing bike lane under the Mt Henry Bridge, but our fun's almost over, as we still have to cook dinner ! Time check, 4.50 pm

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremantle_Doctor

Sat 23 rd Oct, Sun 24th Oct

Blistering as we were not accustomed (yet) to Perth’s intense UV, deep blue skies and low humidity. From previous trips we knew the drill : moisturise ad nauseum and apply copious amounts of sunblock before greeting the sun which I might add makes it’s appearance at 4.55 am in October. On the flip side, snuggling under the comforters in 9 deg C weather  with a warm tummy took no effort at all. Many many thanks to our host Alvin Lee and friends for feeding us too well.

http://lovethefold.blogspot.com

Deflating as the demon in charge of broken glass, thorns and construction shrapnel besotwed our lightweight rubber with 5 yes 5 punctures in 3 days. 2 tubes actually gave up the ghost and leaked at the valve stems. With one exception all were slow leaks and were dealt with after dinner in the comfort  of Alvin’s backyard. With 2 spare road tyres, 5 spare tubes and 2 dozen patches in hand, I will not be defeated or is it deflated ? Plus I was beginning to like the smell of contact glue ! All was well after the 4th day. Then Coleen’s Dura Ace / XTR chain decided to outstretch itself on Day 10 or 11. More on that later.

a slice of Gondwanaland

cranking in my Church shoes after Church on Sunday....wohoo

Huge mansions by the Swan River that can hold a lot of bikes !

an enlightened shopper

At the Fremantle Markets

New visitors to Perth, or for that matter Australia will soon realise that eating out often will seriously deflate their wallets. It’s much better to channel some of that money into a bicycle or two. So besides cycling, cycling to the weekend markets to stock up on groceries and sometimes cheap meats (to the utter horror of our womenfolk) in places like Food Bank*, is part and parcel of a life down under. The farmers’ markets open / operate on a 3 day work week Friday  to Monday (leaving 4 days for other mundane chores like tending to the farms of possibly cycling?)

So Friday mornings are the best time for the 10 kms ride to the Fremantle Markets or a 15 kms ride to the Subiaco Markets in downtown Perth. We made a total of 4 trips in 14 days, as my food intake skyrockets on active vacations like this. Besides produce, a lot of money can be made just by catering to locals and tourists averse to fresh vegetables and those reluctant to jump on the organic bandwagon. Funnily enough this segment has a higher percentage of males, who find delight in jumbo burgers, fish and chips, comparing bicycle parts, reading witty T shirt slogans and randomly looking at other non male shoppers.

For your sake we hope so too !

I am on a higher plane as my wife’s and invariably my groceries (meat expires tomorrow!) are hauled solely by me in my panniers for many head wind ridden kilometres. A 20 km roundtrip to Fremantle and 30 plus kms for Subiaco, which we did only once. Somehow a bike path next to a noisy 100 kmp/h speed limit Kiwnana highway, with gale force westerly winds all day, does not make for a joyful ride.

Although I don’t show it, deep down inside, I am ‘broken’ as my  bike, built for a round the world trip, managed no more than 23 kmp/h. With all my effort put in, the speedometer should read  46 kmp/h. Then a puncture 10 minutes from home……

Abnormal if you ride this in 4 or 5 days. Google Perth Albany Audax

* Please ask my good friend Dr Google about ‘Perth Food Bank’ but seriously, that ‘PAP Audax’ is much more interesting. Kudo’s to the only Singaporean entry who made it back alive and is still quivering.

 

 

Washed and waxed, sliced and diced, cut and dried our bikes are set for 2 weeks in and around Perth. Just about an hour spent on elbow grease for each bike. Waffling and thinking about the trip? More than 12 months.

Sanitized to keep Australian customs happy. Half baked mudguards to accommodate 1.95 tyres

Zero grime on the chainrings

Mirror like White Industries Tracker hub circa 1992

Bar end shifters forever

Miss Marin still at a very svelte 10 kgs even

Don't ask !

I reminded Coleen that she will be asked by other cyclists about her strange looking fork. esp from those not into mountain biking in the early 1990’s. Her answers, as in 2005, was to point to me and  say ‘Ask him’ or Google AMP Research.

Nov Update : True to form, her fork stopped a jogger in his tracks as he did a double take, turned around and stared and started touching the fork. We saw all this from inside a Vietnamese restaurant while having lunch. The other jogger presumably a wife or GF stood arms akimbo, jogging on the spot. WTF ? What tantalising forks ?

Prophetic headset cap

My wax of choice is Eagle One’s Billet Aluminium Polish. The stuff that prepares cars and chrome wheels for shows and exhibitions. Sold. It’s been replaced by it’s ‘Nevr Dull’ metal polish series. http://www.eagleone.com/pages/products/product.asp?itemid=1006&cat=5006

For painted surfaces good ol Johnson wax or Armor All does the job perfectly.

It has been a long time coming . About 3.5 years. Come late October, we’re flying south to the remotest capital city on earth, Perth. Western Australia. Unlike Coleen who has one mountain bke, I can’t decide which bike to use, yet. I sort of know, but it’s always ‘fun’ to think of, what if I used another. If I could bring a fast one and a slower one that’ll be just right, but it’s silly wasting time and effort tinkering with bikes when the great outdoors, open spaces and fresh produce (wife’s input) are waiting. About 700 kms worth of cycle friendly bike paths and more.

I shall do the tinkering back home but as usual, pack a mini workshop of tools and a slew of parts, mostly tyres and tubes, saddles and clothing to suit the rides. Our home base for 14 days will be at a good friend’s who already has a Brompton and a Dahon Speed Pro, ever ready to bolt out through the front door. Then there’s the  um ‘harem’ More  later after we come back in November, or not 😉

Hope to see some real ones this time

Space and respect for bikes

No parking woes at the market

Paddling not pedaling

Another dawn to dusk ride