Showing posts from February, 2023

After 6 Days Off

Admitting I've been pushing it hard, but lovin' it. Back "on the trail" again today. Seven and a half kilometres down the public spaces along the Mernda Railway line, then a train back up the hill and another 900m from the station to home-away-from-home. I feel good. There's always a little achillies tendonitis at the end of anything 5km and longer, though. I never get that on longer bike rides - multiply distance by 5, so today's walk is the energy burn of 38km on a bicycle over level ground. I have spent most of my adult life spinning pedals for anywhere between 12km commuting (usually higher) and 100km touring (sometimes a bit less) a day, apart from the odd rest day. Never really had any achillies pain. Are my muscles "wrong" for walking after 40+ years of bike riding? I'm not calling this bad enough to take another 6 days off for recovery, though. Overall, I feel like today was really beneficial. I figure I just have to do more

A Bunch of "Kiwis" Ride Le Tour A Day Before The Race

" One Day Ahead " is a film that asks, "Can an ordinary bloke complete the Tour de France?" Eight riders from New Zealand, one a former olympic cyclist, but none from the pro peleton, get to gether to ride every stage of the 2018 Tour, the day before the official race goes through. "Just ride it to enjoy it... ...'cause there's no room in the car." I'll be watching this tonight and maybe adding a bit more to this post tomorrow, when the reel has been watched. Twenty hours later: Watched it, great tale! Would have liked to have seen more riding and scenery, but there was enough, and I kept spotting places I know from the official Le Tour coverage on SBS every year. That said, I highly recommend this film. For cycling and non-cycling reasons pretty much alike. The eight riders, the cameraman/support crew mate, his wife, and the odd other person close to the riders, set out to see if, as ordinary blokes, they could complete the entire

I've Been Nursing Injuries... AGAIN!

Admitting I've been pushing it too hard... Image from Haven't walked since Thursday night. While I cranked out 18km, I've had pain in my right arch, a "shoe scuff sore" at the top of my right foot, heal spur pain and calf pain. I'm coming to the realisation that, while, after a lifetime of cycling, I could crank out enough training in 8 weeks to do 450km bike ride in 3 days, walking is not my primary "sport." So, the EGRT is going to be delayed. The trouble with this delay is that the intended time, last weekend in March, is about the latest I can do it safely. Daylight saving runs out the following week, and I need to be able to cover the ground of each stage with enough time to relax, make camp, prepare food and pitch my bivi before nightfall. Tomorrow (March 1) is officially autumn, so late March is heading back into bad weather to be outdoors. SE Australia is usually great in March and April, cool, clear, bright and s

Meanwhile, Enough About Me

Some trail details for you. Orbost to Waygara. The East Gippsland Rail Trail (EGRT) is a former section of railway which served farming, grazing and forestry, as well as general commerce and passengers, in Victoria’s east from 1916 to 1987. In 1993, local authorities and the community began turning it into a recreational trail as mountain biking boomed, but it’s mostly well made enough even for a reasonably sturdy gravel bike and certainly worth riding if you’re a velo-cross nut. Shred, baby, shred! Orbost Viaduct, by Steve Bennett (stevage) - Own work, CC BY 3.0. So, I’m walking it in late March, early April 2023 or 2024, depending on whether I can manage my training to a satisfactory standard to walk 100km in 3 and a half days. While, according to wikipedia, it’s “…a popular cycling route,” many walk it, usually in stages, over time. I want to make an adventurous (foolhardy?) long weekender of it. My first day is the easy

And Now, Nursing an Achilles Injury!

I've been able to manage this one better, though. So, my walk from McKinnon to the CBD, last Thursday, pulled my achilles tendon. I nursed it on Friday, keeping my foot mostly elevated, but kept doing a few light odd jobs about the place. Then I took delivery of an elastic ankle support and that helped me walk just under 4km yesterday (Saturday), as I write this, and another 2 or so kilometres after dinner at Mordialloc last night. Today, the achilles tendon is coming good, but my calf is “on the grass”, discussing strike action. I think it’ll see reason. This is training and prep for an old bugger. It’s a fact of life. An 8 week training schedule in my 40s was easy. At 61, it’s a tad of a struggle. That’s the second law of thermodynamics - a closed system tends toward maximum entropy. If I can’t do this before early April, it’ll probably have to wait until next year, but I have other Weekend Adventure projects I can plan, train for and blog, and a year of diverse training for a

15km in One Session!

In less than 2 hours, 55 minutes, too! Training for the East Gippsland Rail Trail is back… wait for it… ON TRACK! Lol! That is all :-) This was the route.

Poor Footwear Choices...

...and other #wardrobeMistakes I have been working through my walking shoes, trying to figure on the best footwear for doing my rail trail walk at the end of March. I’ve tried both pairs of walking boot and, surprisingly, the cheaper ones (a slightly loose fit) are better than my high quality Colorado walking boots (a slightly tight fit, yeah, I’m halfway between half-sizes), so the former are first on my shortlist. Most of my other shoes are either dressy or overdue for replacement, but my Keens sandals are really light, so I thought I’d try those for my third 10km training day. My feet are hammered! For around the house and yard, these things are great. I also remember them being great for my cardio rehab walks, but they were short walks the first few weeks. 10km (6 miles) is too far in these “planks!” While not quite blistered, I’ve lost 5 days from my training schedule until I can get back home from a friend’s place and pick up my walking boots. I’m nearly back to ready to do a

Take Nothing But Photographs

...and other environmental cliches. We’ve all read/seen/heard it before but, that which goes without saying should rarely go unsaid, and the saying I’m especially talking about is, “Take nothing but photographs. Break nothing but the silence. Leave nothing but footprints.” The take nothing, break nothing, leave nothing cliche only seems a cliche because it’s so familiar to us now. Even people who “don’t care for the environment” know and mostly appreciate this. In fact, I’d even say avoid breaking the silence, too. Maybe not to “monastic” levels of devotional vows of silence, but think of others who you may not have seen, but who may only a be a “within-earshot” ahead or behind you on a trail. Walk, ride, boat or other means of travel with a low-noise footprint. Part of the appeal of nature is the gentle noises - birdsong, wind in the trees or scrub, the gentle flow of a trickling stream. And then somebody whoops and cheers loudly, swings in on a rope and splashes down noisily in

My "First" Wacky Weekend Adventure

I've been weekend adventuring all my life but this is the first I'm blogging under that handle. I’ve done cycle tours, I’ve bikepacked, I once rode a bicycle from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, Vietnam, bussed to Hue, took a motorcycle taxi to Hoi An, caught another two buses to Da Lat, bought another bike (never travel in Tet, long story, painful, too, involving a bike I built with my bare hands from a frameset having to be left behind), then rode from Da Lat to Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve ridden from Melbourne to Sydney in 11 days and raised $1500 for charity. So this isn’t my first Weekend Adventure, and that’s why I’m qualified to blog this stuff. I’ve also worked in broadcasting, so I’m qualified to “toob” it, too. Maybe This is my first bushwalk in a very long time, though, so I’m in training. Pretty intensive training. My cycle adventures have involved a few 100km and 200km Audax brevets, so I know how to train for intensive workrates, even though I’m not an athlete. Truly, I’m not.

What Is A Weekend Adventurer?

Simple answer: you are. Do you seek challenging or exciting adventures? Do you hanker for the open road, trail, sea or sky, yet don't have the time or resources to pursue these pathways? A weekend adventurer is one who would explore the world, but has only the time, resources or freedoms to pursue local adventures. We choose family and friends as a priority, and fit adventure in where we can. We have careers and/or children, as well as dreams and ambitions to be out in a wilderness, exploring our limits. We have disabilities or health issues which deny us a summit or a solo sea crossing, yet still we find ways to explore - if not Everest, our backyard, if not a circumnavigation of the world, maybe a circumperambulation of our cities’ walking trails and rights-of-way. I have been one of these explorers of my back yard for most of my life. Be it taking an unknown live music group on the road to places that never get the known ones because the town’s too small, or cycle touring my

Shinyhappyrainbows' Wacky Weekend Adventures

Welcome to a new section for this blog! I've had an itch I can't seem to scratch ever since my heart attack, just a little over 2 years ago. I want to get out into the wilds more! I miss my bicycle adventures! I also want more types of adventure!!! I started this as a standalone blog over at Substack, but the boring "weekend adventurer" title has been used by all sorts of capitalists, all over teh webz, so I've rebranded it and brought it back here as a layer of Shinyhappyrainbows. I could have Clunkerbiked it, but this is more than biking. It's bush walking, it'll be boats of various kinds, all the diverse physical challenges. (No running, though, I don't run.) So, beginning this week, I'll be stripping the Substack posts and reformatting them for here, one by one, labelling them WackyWeekendAdventures (so that blogger can give you a specific URL) and topping them with that ugly masthead up there. Enjoy!

This Is The Dawning of the Age of Apocalypse

On the ABC today , Australia's national public broadcaster, is the linked article about the birdflu pandemic. This is serious shit, this is where the next pandemic is coming from, and it is jumping species, it just hasn't been confirmed yet as mammal-to-mammal capable. Evolutionary biology teaches us that this is only a matter of time. My headline may be alarmist, but one of Paul and Anne Erlich's predictions in their 1968 book, The Population Bomb, is pandemic. This is also a common prediction drawn from global heating theory. Monkey pox and covid are just a tentative beginning. However, there is stuff we can do to protect ourselves, and they're not in the least selfish. Wear masks in public! This is a no brainer. It's quite the opposite of "fascistic," it's choosing to protect others from the pathogens we may not yet know we have. It'll keep standard influenza rates lower, it'll keep covid and bird flu rates lower. Covid hasn't &qu

Roger Waters is Dead to Me

In The Guardian today... Pink Floyd Ukraine denounces Roger Waters as ‘another brick in the wall’ of Moscow propaganda Pink Floyd are, too, if the rest of the band don't denounce the twat's pro-Russian stance.

Fixing a Droopy Box With a Naughty Bracket

The "Rude Bracket" My trusty Reid commuter tourer, "Buster", the Urban X2 with a wide drop bar conversion, has a Wildman head box on the bars for snacks, "occy" straps and other small tat that one might need on a shopping run or longer. The trouble with this otherwise cavernous, yet light, headbox is it gets "the droop" every time the front wheel hits a bump. So I designed and printed the above "rude bracket" to provide a counterforce against the underside of the stem. The Headbox, featuring the solar panel that keeps my lights charged. Now at the proper angle. Aside from keeping my solar panel reasonably in the sunlight, when the headbox droops enough, it rubs against the front tyre. The carbon fibre reinforced, 3d printed, PETG "rude bracket" screws onto the top of the headbox mounting frame, under a custom branding "Clunkerbike" badge and rests against the underside of the stem, as per... The "Rude Bracket