Sunday, December 11, 2011


A necessary evil this one, but somebody should know the route you plan to ride.
Had we not met a logger driving a vintage Landcruiser or a bunch of Christian 4WDers we may well still be out in the jungle right now.
20k isnt very far in most places but in the Crocker Range National Park where there are only hills that go upwards its a bloody long way.
Out of water (schoolboy error), on the wrong road (ditto) the only thing that went right for us today was the fact that it was overcast. Had the sun been out we would have fried.
When we finally found a way out and made it to a small village, there was only rubbish Indonesian Cola for sale, no water! the obligatory sunday drunkards got free entertainment as Mark dispensed a tuneful belching session thanks to the over carbonated beverage.
Alls well that ends well or so they say, and apart from a little chafing we are none the worse for the experience and in a funny way it was a good day out on the bikes.
Grown men in their 30's and 40's, with more than a little experience riding mountain bikes in remote jungles of Asia, we really shouldn't be getting into scrapes like this should we? Theres no fools like an old fool...........

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wakey wakey!

You'd need to be a bit short of adequate mental faculties to have escaped the non-stop battering from both the 'Arab Spring' and the Global Financial Crisis.
We are, as a race committed to an awareness of the wider world and its goings-on. Tsunami in Japan, Russian space station, US presidential elections, whatever. There is no reason why many of these things should impact our lives but we choose to know about them. Knowing about them gives us perspective, enables us to reflect on our own lives and influences and enables us to become more rounded human beings.

In the Middle-East people are rising up, enough of the brutality of dictatorships they are saying and many are giving thier lives to the cause, nothing is more noble than sacrificing your lives for the benefit of the future of your people, nothing.
In the world of global financial wrangles there is almost the opposite going on, self-serving minorities of privileged people draining the world of its heart. Sucking out the hopes of millions of hard-working people and injecting vast quantities of despair where they had built hope and the facade of opportunity.

I was mulling these issues at the weekend as I watched the sweat stream off the end of my nose onto the hard-packed gravel on what felt like the worlds longest hill. My thighs were burning, not just from the exertion but the sun was stripping my flesh with no wind at all to cool me.
Its an abstract existance we have, so little of what we consider comes from direct experience, while I can get irritated by stupid European polititians whacking each other with their pathetic egos I dont really need to know this stuff, its makes little difference to me.
What did make a difference was the fact that every time I go out on my bike I realise that there is something that I meant to fix after my last ride that I never got around to. On this particular occaision it was sticky brakes, on the uphill that is far more irritating than anything Sarkozy or Cameron can say in a news conference.
Damn Juicy 5's have some glitch with the return spring on the levers and they just stick the pads against the rotor preventing the wheel from rotating freely. I am sure the resistance is tiny in real terms but on a hot uphill it feels disastrously unfair and I feel like a seal pup being beaten to death by a cruel Alaskan just because Sarah Palin needs a new purse.

The new carbon frame continues to be a source of pleasure and I remain happy with the gamble on buying unbranded from China. I guess it could blow apart any day but so, so good.