Monday, August 30, 2010

link love

I don't often 'advertise' websites, and I am especially cautious about linking to map ones, because I have MANY bookmarked and I figure the average punter who cycles would get map fatigue pretty quickly. But Google Maps Mania had a really cool link this weekend, and it especially hit home because, well, there are links to home. The Virtual Paintout is a site that has a " Main Rule:
The artist must use a view found through Google Street View as the reference for the painting or drawing. "

This month the "exotic location" is PEI (Prince Edward Island) which is dear to me because my Mother is from there and many wonderful summer holidays were spent at my Aunt's cottage and my Grandparents house in Charlottetown. A few months back (I think it was November) the location was Bluenoser's back yard, and I really enjoyed that too.

I wish I was an artist, and not just a technician. I make beautiful maps, but not art. I think when I have time, I will do some art classes. And I know where to look for inspiration.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

meh squared

I am just so off the boil. The racing season has ended and I hardly raced because there were hardly any races for me. There used to be a race every Sunday come hell or high water so my sports license gave me lots of opportunities, but this year was a different crew and way less opportunities and I have kind of just lost my way.

But I still support my club, seeing as they are all I have, so Boab and I showed up at a "cent sale" this arvo because it was a fund raiser. Well it was also a rare cultural experience. Think bingo, without the required skills.
You buy a lot of tickets (50 for a dollar) and fill up a bag, then chuck some tickets in a bucket that comes by with an item up for grabs that you might like.

Now I thought this was going to be a cycling sort of a function, so Boab and I donated some jerseys and bike parts, but the audience was actually mostly die hard cent sale regulars who are looking to get something for very little. I was pretty funny. The only thing we won was a dire collection of rose scented unguents and candles which I returned to the table for another go round. LOL I wasn't the first! They may still be there.

It was a strange sort of Sunday spent with a demographic we don't often hang out with, which is a good thing. Very comical, hopefully rare. I have a photo of BoaB I am not posting, but which sends me into paroxysms of laughter, mostly because of the surrounds. I am keeping it for blackmail purposes...

And it is raining in Townsville, speaking of rare. And I have to go to court tomorrow *sigh*

Thursday, August 26, 2010

betting on September 1st

I have observed over the 15 years I have lived here the spring just 'arrives'. September 1st is like somebody flicks a switch, and it is hot.
Don't be fooled by this summary. Today was freezing (OK it got up to 21) so I don't know where they get off saying it was a nice, mild 25. I may have to put a fluffy blanket on the bed. Anyway, you can see that there is no prediction of a sudden change to 29-30 max on the first of September, but I figure that will be the go. I notice it every year, and while this may be a slightly weird year I expect to be hot after Wednesday. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

feeling fragile

OK, I have not gone for a ride this week. I am on jury duty and I was crushed by the responsibility of being on time. No margin for error, no room for a flat tyre. BoaB is away and I have no back up, so I stayed home, caught the bus to the city, went to the court on time and did my duty.

I am lucky I guess that it was a case where nobody died, or was even badly hurt. 'Easy' it seemed, to listen and weigh and find a verdict. But it wasn't, it was hard. I am too empathetic, and too clinical. I need data. I am analytical. At the end of the day, for reasons I can't recall someone made a joke about dooring cyclists (and this had NOTHING to do with the trial) and I burst into tears. I guess I was all done in. I don't suppose 11 other people will look at cyclists again the same way, and that is a good thing.

I did my best, we all did. Back to work tomorrow, but I need a long ride on the way. I have to give a lecture at 11, I wonder what I will say? I am totally unprepared to talk about datums. Life is just so complicated. 4 weeks to go on jury duty.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

something about August

August is such a nice month in Townsville, but I seem to always struggle to ride enough in this month. I have conferences, I travel, this year I am on Jury duty and busing to the city instead of cycling to Uni via the dam. So I am worried about my 1000 km monthly imperative, I am trying not to stress about it.

Normal people don't fret about long rides, but I guess I stopped being normal some time ago.

I'll have to make a very early start tomorrow to ride and get to court on time but I'll do it. I can't sit still all day if I don't. Hope I don't doze off after lunch though...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

election day

Thanks Mae for an election day giggle. Hmmm... maybe next time... The pay is pretty good but there is too much travel for my liking.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

what he said...

yep, that works for me. Just ride.

when the blogosphere gets real

We all know that Bloggers are real people. When I met the Bluenoser last year he was already an old friend, we just hadn't had the chance to hang out together yet. Through one of my real local 3D friends I was put onto this blog:

A young couple is doing what we all dream of doing, chucking it in, getting on bikes and heading off to see the world. *sigh* And now they are in Townsville, staying with my friend, who met them on the Otago rail trail in New Zealand a few months ago.

They are as real as it gets. Genuine and interesting people, doing a big thing that will change them forever, and make them a whole pile of new friends. Some of us got together for a winter evening of drinks, food and conversation.
Food in great abundance. Aussies have an absolute horror of arriving at your house empty handed, so are the easiest people in the world to feed.
The hosts with the travelers. This is the second time they have had cyclists on a grand tour to stay, and I suspect it won't be the last. The visitors were exposed to Australian political debate (sorry Yvonne!!) and everything. I hope it was a real cultural experience.
That is my good mate and opposite debater, who actually agrees with me (we think) but may not be talking to me any more (just kidding) but who now knows I am a dangerous socialist.

Do follow Emily and John on their adventures, and wish them well (and offer them a bed, they are really nice) if they are coming your way.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I had a very soft week last week. Lowest kms in ages, and being away at a conference this week won't allow me to catch up at all. I am getting used to the new bike. Some of my chronic pains are easing. I am using different leg muscles so I am not as strong as I was on the old bike, but I know I will get there.

I have given away the hunger for a few weeks. I need time to adjust my body. I am wrapping my brain around the different feel, compact gearing, aggressive set up. I feel like a newbie again, nervous and getting the gears all wrong. But I know I will get there, and the hunger will return.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Hey, I am on TV! I was interviewed by the ABC last Monday as I set up the JCU BUG booth at O-week club and society day.

I am near the end. I really love my hair now it has been set free to be silver!

I'll be glad when the election is over. What a mess and nobody capable of sorting it out.

bike pics

Another winter day in Paradise. It is BoaBs b'day today, so we slept in a bit and rode to the coffee shop on the Strand. It was really foggy offshore, but perfect where we were.
My new steed. A Specialised WSD like the old bike, but the top of the range. Very nice indeed. I wanted a bit of a change in size, and while this is the same frame, it (so far) has a longer stem and I am stretched out a bit.
I think it is fair to say I am a bit too stretched, but I have niggling shoulder issues, and was suffering a stabbing upper back pain on long rides. When I tested this bike we just set the seat at a good height and I took off and did almost 50k. No pain. They then did a proper fit, changed to a shorter headstem and I did around 25k, stabbed again! So I got them to put it back to the way it was and I will ride and fiddle, then get the bike fitter I like best to do a proper long session.
You know what they say about the view not changing much unless you are the lead dog.
Winter on the bikeway. I love my bikeway, the best way to travel later in the day when the traffic is building up. Notice the bright bloom ahead. The mango trees should be setting a lot of fruit this year if the bloom is anything to go by.
Well the bike can't be too slow if I can get this far ahead of BoaB!. He was obviously to busy clicking photos to peddle. Nearly home, time for pancakes and strawberries!