Tag Archives: Cycling

New bikepacking gear

New bikepacking gear by Andrew Gills
New bikepacking gear, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Stop the presses! My new bikepacking gear has arrived from Bike Bag Dude. I am totally thrilled with it and can’t wait to test it out. I have a pile of gear here in my office that needs to be taken home (I’ve been too lazy to carry it in my backpack). I think tonight it will all fit on my bike.

This almost completes my gear preparations for my Tasmanian Trail trip. I just need to work out which 1:25,000 maps I will need (I have the guide book but the maps in it are fairly average).

I don’t leave until Christmas Day so that gives me plenty of time to train and test out the gear.

Special thanks to Bike Bag Dude for making me a chaff bag as a birthday present. That was very kind 🙂

Continuing the love affair

Summer is here by Andrew Gills
Summer is here, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I had university classes last night so didn’t get a chance to go riding. I found myself rather sad, like a love-sick teenager missing my girl. So it was with great excitement that I got out this morning to cycle commute.

It’s strange to find this rekindling of love for moving on two wheels. I used to feel this excitement and passion in my twenties, and feeling it again is fantastic.

Today’s commute will be about 30km in total (I broke the cycle computer on my MTB). Instead of riding on the road, I have been playing on the grassy verges and off-road concrete cycle paths. It’s good training for my Tasmanian Trail trip in December.

Total: 30km cycle commute

Fun play commute

Fun play commute by Andrew Gills
Fun play commute, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

One of the best things to come out of Cycling for Hope is a renewed sense of comfort and joy in cycling. And one of the best things about Cycling for Hope being over is that I can play on the bike without worrying about having to stay out on the road for 100km.

This morning I wanted to get out to play. But I didn’t want to get up early or ride in darkness. So I added a couple of kilometers to my morning commute by riding some short sections of trail. I continued my playfulness by cycling on the wide grassy verges alongside the road instead of cruising the bitumen. Sure, I did have to ride the concrete for a little while but I still got a good half hour of play into my ride.

Tonight I’ll ride home. Maybe I’ll play some more because it will get me off the main roads during the dangers of dusk.

Total: 30km commute (including tonight’s return ride)

A new way to travel

image

I discovered bike packing and Bike Bag Dude through some blogs I follow. So when my partner asked me what I want for my birthday it was easy: bike packing gear.

This is the kit that I have ordered from Bike Bag Dude. A seat post bag, half frame bag, handlebar bag and sling. I chose storm trooper white because I have a thing for white gear. It looks fast.

I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can start cycle touring. The frame and seat post bags will fit both my bikes while the handlebar bag and sling will probably only work on my MTB.

I have felt a bit lost this week without a goal or project. But that’s an important part of the process. And knowing I have a new mode of travel arriving soon is exciting.

I just couldn’t help myself

Scenic commute by Andrew Gills
Scenic commute, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I was going to rest this week. But after two days of inactivity I felt totally lost and restless. So this morning I jumped my my 29er (which I didn’t ride during Cycling for Hope) and rode the scenic route to work down the gravel road and then along some footpaths.

It felt so good to be on the bike. This is the bike I’m taking to Tasmania later this year when I ride the Tasmanian Trail so I was excited to give it a burn after riding the roadie for the past 31 days.

Total: 30km commute

Cycling for Hope – I FINISHED!

The finish to Cycling for Hope

The finish to Cycling for Hope

I am too tired to write much tonight. But the picture says it all. The signs were totally unexpected.

Total: 104.5km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 3,144.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 30 – The penultimate day

The end is in sight

The end is in sight

The end is in sight! Today was day 30. It is totally surreal to think that tomorrow I will have achieved something so enormous. I will have cycled just over 3,100km in 31 days while still going to work and university. To put that into perspective, it’s:

  • 3,100km from Brisbane to Katherine in the Northern Territory
  • 3,100km from Melbourne to Townsville via Sydney and Brisbane
  • 3,030km from Darwin to Adelaide
  • 2,600km from Amsterdam to Istanbul
  • 3,200km from Los Angeles to Chicago.

And I rode it all while still going to work and university. Of those 3,100km, I only had company for 330km. I rode the rest of the distance on my own with no one to break the wind for me or keep me motivated.

Today I rode down to Victoria Point to follow the waterfront back to Redland Bay before riding to Mum’s house to collect her to ride the next 45km together. It was fantastic to ride with Mum. We cruised along chatting where the road was wide enough. I haven’t ridden with Mum in a couple of months, so it was a real treat. At the end of our ride we wandered the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Manly together with my partner and dad. It was lovely.

Unfortunately, after my ride with Mum, I was still 3.5km short of my 100km target. But it wasn’t all bad because my partner wanted to go out for a 5km walk, so I just rode my bike alongside her, which was lovely.

Total: 101.5km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 3,039.9km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 29

Swamp lands

Swamp lands

Today was my final weekday of Cycling for Hope. And, being a Friday, I treated myself to a sleep in until 4:30am because I finish work an hour early on Fridays (at 4pm). This morning I rode an easy 55km loop along the waterfront and on to work. I didn’t stop to take photos but just cruised along slowly. My legs are sore but it’s almost the end now so I’m trying to soak up the memories and experience before it is over.

A local road near my home

A local road near my home

After work I didn’t feel like traveling too far so I just did some laps around local roads. The first roads were semi-rural. We live in area with pockets of acreage near the Logan River flood plains.

I've seen these horses and goats eat often this month

I’ve seen these horses and goats eat often this month

And where there’s acreage, there’s cute horses. And in this case, goats. I have watched these horses and goats share their hay biscuits quite regularly this past month. The goats never eat with the big horse; they only eat with the little pony. I also rode laps of roads a little nearer home, which are more suburban.

Total: 100.2km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,938.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 28

Cruising

Cruising

Yesterday morning was beautifully foggy. By the time I’d ridden 30km, I could see little water droplets on my eyelashes (I have long eyelashes) and helmet visor. Good music was playing on the radio (I get bored with the small music collection I’ve bought so have just been listen to FM radio) and I was making good progress.

Morning fog

Morning fog

I rode town the V1 towards the Gold Coast because I didn’t feel like being creative or riding too many hills. The roads were quiet and I just spun along until the 51km mark where I turned around. A group of three cyclists were riding back in the direction I had come from and I saw that two of them were wearing t-shirts instead of jerseys. I took that as a sign that they were probably traveling at a pace I could keep up with. So I hooked onto the group and rode the 30km back to work with them. It turns out that they also work in the same building as I do. It’s a small suburban office building with just five tenancies. What a small world.

This is where I do my laps

This is where I do my laps

After work I had to go to my local shopping centre to volunteer as a Justice of the Peace for two hours until 8:30pm before I could ride home. I wanted to look a little bit respectable in my role as a Justice of the Peace so I sat at the table with my cycling clothes on and my business shirt over the top of my jersey. Good thing I could sit down while doing my shift because as soon as I stood up I looked ridiculous: cycling shoes, compression long johns over cycling shorts, business shirt and backpack with high visibility vest draped over it. After my volunteer shift was over I rode home, doing some laps along a 1.6km (1 mile) out and back loop near home.

In other news, my son’s fifth child was born yesterday: a healthy baby boy.

Total: 101.8km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,838.2km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 27

Dawn on day 27 by Andrew Gills
Dawn on day 27, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I had the day off work today to spend time with my partner, who is on holidays for the next five weeks. With all the cycling I’ve been doing, I’ve been quite an absent domestic partner – if I’ve not been cycling, working or at uni, I’ve been sleeping like a log. So the day off together was a real treat.

I woke early to get as many kilometers done before the day started. I managed 80.5km of riding along the water. I watched the sun rise until it got so warm I had to remove my thermal and cycling sleeves. It was positively summery.

Today was a public holiday in Brisbane for the Royal Queensland Show (locally known as the EKKA). And the cyclists had taken over the roads. I counted well over a hundred cyclists along my 80km out-and-back route, and that was just those I thought to count. Most were riding in bunches of at least ten men (I didn’t see any women riding in the bunches.

Despite my good intentions, I fell asleep almost immediately after my shower. My partner, who is the real hero of this challenge, let me sleep until I woke at about 11:30am. We went on a lunch date for fish & chips by the water before I ducked out to ride the final 20km.

For my final 20km, I just did laps of some local streets. It wasn’t terribly exciting but the roads were fast and quiet.

Total: 101.2km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,736.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.