Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday ride, team ride

Dist: 150 km
Time: 5h 21 min

Fun... 100%!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Brisbane's Australia Day Ride but they weren't there...

It was Australia Day and Lance and Robbie weren't there. It's was a bit disappointing because it was a great morning and they could have drawn a huge number of cyclists and collected a lot of money to help one of the national charity organisations.

Actually, the numbers weren't huge this year. Some people were training, some people were racing and for many people riding 25 flat kilometers in the city is enough for a week, they couldn't make it. Nevertheless, there was enough riders doing their best on all sort of bikes to get up to Nebo.

Enough riders congregated at the top for a chat and drinks, if Lance and Robbie had come up, they would have made a lot of money by simply going around with a donation box. Imagine that, without having to pay for the TV commercials, security, police permits, the stage, lights and sound system, the bimbos and the glamour... The profit would have been huge, I am sure.

OK, it sounds too simple and life is not like that, is it? But, again, it is a shame because it was a beautiful ride and we could have had hundreds more cyclists riding up Mt Nebo road to celebrate Brisbane cycling and Australia Day.

Still, there was plenty of bling at the top...

Next time, I will call the TV stations to say that Lance will be there...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We are already nearing the end of January and I haven't stopped to think what I am going to do in relation to racing this year. There are a few things I need to look at in my life, or in life, and I might just have to put them before racing, for a change.

It doesn't mean I will ride my bike less. In fact, one thing I have already decided is that I want to ride more. I even started the riding year with a ride on Sandra's PeaceMaker, something she has been telling me to do for a while now. I am glad I did, the ride to the city followed by a ride to West End for coffee at a newly discovered cafe was what I needed to bring back that need to ride feeling. All uber cool!

Next, I did a couple of commutes to work. Fast, 13 km rides which I just loved doing. I don't even know for sure why I stopped riding to work after three years doing so. OK, more commuting into the year's equation!

That brings me to bikes and what bike I am going to use to do all this riding because, as I have mentioned a few times, it just doesn't feel right to commute or to do coffee rides on my racing bike. Therefore, I need another bike. But do I need a single-speed, another road bike?

Whilst I am ashamedly concerned about what bike I am going to buy and doing lots of virtual-window-shopping, life keeps going on and people keep battling on. On that, it is nice to see people creating things for whatever reason and also including cycling and cyclists in it. Watch this YouTube video - a few times if you wish to support the YouTube appeal - and perhaps remember it next time you want to buy a car.

Have a safe ride and enjoy Australia Day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Floods in Rio and the YouTube appeal

A full pictorial of the Rio floods here.

Reuters is reporting 741 deaths and more than 200 still missing in Rio de Janeiro. And these are not final figures, they are still working hard in the huge flood affected area.

Whilst our beautiful Queensland and its misfortunate residents still need our assistance, the folks affected by the floods in Rio de Janeiro can also do with a little help from us. YouTube decided to jump in and give a very needed hand: YouTube appeal.

To get things happening, simply watch a heap of cycling videos or this video I discovered while holidaying in Rio... Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leaving Rio and finding an eerie picture of Brisbane...

Pieces of Rio

It was dark when I arrived at the Academia da Praia, and it was raining. I waited for a while hoping for the rain to ease and for a couple of brazilian riders to show up and take me on a ride around Barra da Tijuca. Neither of the two came about so I rode towards the beach and jumped on the bikepath for the trip home. Yeah, I was starting to feel like I was home.

Along the coast and unexpectedly, the clouds started to break up and the sun revealed itself, in a genuine attempt to give the Cariocas another warm and sunny Thursday at the beach.

The Thursday turned out overcast, the cariocas didn't mind. New Year's evening was near and they had to give their tan a final touch... The beach was packed. And NY eve? The beach was also packed!

Rio had become an even more colourful place than I remembered. Not just the ocean, the beaches, the street markets... but the shopping malls, the food, and now the walls of the city as well. Everywhere, we saw work by graffiti artists. Some good, some very good as Toby pointed out.

We were amazed by everything we saw and experienced during our stay in Rio. A walk in the Floresta da Tijuca gave us the chance to appreciate the immensity of one of the world's largest cities and beauty of the world's largest urban forest, astonishing views and refreshing water features.

It wasn't just time at the beach, the rides and the forest, we enjoyed visiting Rio's business district and the harbour, and looking at some of the historic sites of this city.

And there was the time spent with our family and friends. This time was what this trip was about. But I will have trouble putting words on something that was so special for Toby and I.


Landing in Brisbane

Although the news of the floods in Queensland had reached us, we had a true shock when we learned of the full extension of the disaster and damages around the state.

Not much to say... time to give a hand.

Another calamity

Sadly, we left Rio exposed and poorly prepared for a similar natural disaster. The town that I wished to visit by bike, Teresopolis, was bombarded with a month's worth of rain in less than 24 hours. The result... hundreds of deaths.

And cycling... not just yet.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Message from Rio

Again, we met at a local bikeshop, RE Bicicletas, and again only a small number of riders showed up for the planned ride to Cristo Redentor. The bunch from WT Coaching had also planned to meet the bunch from Zona Sul (Southern Zone), which leaves from an area North of Barra. OK, that sounds peculiar but Rio is a peculiar place.

The ride was what I wanted to do, with lots of climbing through verdant coastal rain forest, the
Mata Atlantica, and beautiful views of this great city. I think it would be one of those rides I would be doing twice a week if I lived in Rio, again.

I hope the photos give a good idea of the ride - the bling - and the places in Rio de Janeiro. It was, probably, the last one for this trip - lots of things to do and people to meet - but one that was perfect as the last ride of a year full of fantastic rides with lots of great people.

Time: 2 h 50 min
Dist: 55km
Asce: 1245m

From Rio, I wish you all a terrific 2011!

Obrigado a todos,


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