Monday, 23 July 2007

New Tasmanian Cycling Forums

If you're new in Tasmania, just looking for a new cycling experience or travelling to Tasmania and want some local knowledge, get on the new Tasmanian Cycling Forums, hosted for free by It doesn't matter if your into racing, BMX, road, off-road, touring, commuting or campaigning, TasCycFor is for discussion and sharing of the cycling experience.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Getting Serious: Day 2, Stage 1, Weilangta-Triabunna

This is the hardest day on the East Coast, traversing Orford and Swansea to Bicheno, so have a good breakfast!

0.0km: Head along Weilangta Forest Rd to Rheban Rd.
11.3km: Left off Weilangta Rd onto Rheban Rd and head north to Spring Bay and Orford.
26.0km: At Orford, continue north along Tasman Hwy (A3) to Triabunna.
33.7km: Morning Tea in Triabunna recreation Ground.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

New bike! Vale "Iggy"? Not yet!

"Iggy" my trusty mount for the last (nearly) 14 years, a British racing green 1993 Giant Iguana, double-butted, chromoly, no-suspension mountainbike, is about to clap out. Not surprising really, in her heyday "Iggy" probably pounded Hobarts roads and bridges on average an hour a day - and has probably seen as much as 30000km. So, "Iggy" won't be my mount on the Circumcyclogation.

Instead, some time early next week, a new Cell S2200 will become my main ride. I picked this up while researching the piece below on cheap folding bikes, finding Cell's road bike range to be amazingly good value, the S2200 itself being one of Cell's best sellers, at AU$448.

It's only got generic Shimano triple-ring, 8-speed groupset and downtube shifters, but in my local area, you pay twice the Cell price for an equivalent, 7005 framed bike with generic Shimano. It's a good base frame for casual upgrading, with chromoly fork, 7005 heat-treated alloy frame, Samson double-walled deep vee rims and reasonable selection of frame sizes. I'll post a review once I've had a week or so in the saddle.

Of "Iggy's" fate? She's becoming a single-speed. With a seizing bottom bracket, sticky chain and shark-toothed chainrings, it's the cheapest rebuild path for a trusty old faithful that's not worth selling anymore. Surprisingly too, its only as I've come to write this post that I've realised I don't think I have a photo of "Iggy" other than a head-on shot on the Tasman Bridge and all you can really see is me, the Bramha bars and a Tioga Cityslicker front tyre.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Bendy Bikes II

According to Cell Bikes, their Cell Compact model is...

The most compact and lightest geared folding bike Cell carries, features a tough alloy frame and 6 speeds for efficient and easy riding.

  • Alloy Frame
  • fold up dimension:35cmx83cmx63cm. easy put into any boot.
  • Strong Double-wall Rims
  • Shimano Gear System 6 speeds
  • only 10kg

"Bendy Bikes" tend to be expensive, so a 10kg alloy folder isn't going to be cheap, right? Surprisingly, wrong! The Cell Compact, while not a race horse, is a very cheap AU$349.00

Without having a test ride I can only say that, while the price is good value, it would have to come at the cost of basic group set and an overall cheap build quality. The straight fork looks like speed wobbles waiting to happen, too, but I'll reserve judgement until I can get a ride.

Still, for a second bike, for quick and dirty family rides without racks, or for an airline traveller to save on public transport while on holidays (one bike plus one backpack ;-). the Compact looks like it might fit in anybody's stable of steeds. It's also got quite sturdy looking rear rack braze-ons.

Getting Serious: Day 1, Stage 3, Dunalley-Weilangta

The third leg of the first day's riding will take us from Dunalley up into the hills of Weilangta Forest.

0.0km: Dunalley, the last chance to buy decent groceries for dinner at Weilangta camp. Head north-east up Arthur Hwy (A9) to Bay Rd.
2.4km: at Bay Rd, turn right off Arthur Hwy (A9) heading for Marion Bay.
9.2km: Marion Bay is the home of the Falls Festival in Tasmania. Continue north on Bay Rd.
12.8km: Turn right from Marion Bay Rd to Bream Creek Rd, heading for Bream Creek.
22.3km: Turn Right from Bream Creek Rd onto Kellevie Rd.
23.6km: Turn right from Kellevie Rd onto Franklins Rd, heading for State Forest.
30.9km:The day's riding ends in beautiful Weilangta State Forest picnic area. (You did remember to pack stuff to cook for dinner, didn't you? Last shop of note was at Dunalley!)

It's important to note that this is an unofficial campsite and additional respect for the area, above normal good camping practice, should be given. If you carried it in, you can carry it out, don't light fires, leave nothing behind but footprints, and keep those to a minimum.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Cannondale: The Pannier for "Suits"

Lets face it, when it comes to commuting, panniers are not a good substitute for a briefcase, and when it comes fitting the bike, a brief case is no substitute for panniers. Cannondale must be God because their new pannier is an answer to the corporate cyclecommuter's prayer.

From the handle on top, to the black fabric and the fold-away Rixen-Kaul clip system, it has a style that merges the funkiness of a classic gladstone bag with a pannier and a briefcase in a stylish whole greater than the parts. It will carry a 14" laptop, but don't go rock hopping with such a precious cargo, it's for work, not play, stick to the smooth paths and arrive fresh. I think this could actually make me switch from my aging Mountain Designs courier bag!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Now This Should Keep The Cars Away!

I wonder how this would work as a touring machine? Do I need to mention that I WANT one... BADLY!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Row Row Row Your B... er BIKE?!

Not sure, but I think this is madness! Still, I'd love to have a crack at one, although, not sure I'd be happy to own one for much more than a bit of passing fun. BTW, It's a rowing action. Your next bike, Dan?