Sunday, November 04, 2007

Beni-Wongarbon loop

After today's BUGs ride, I rode out through Beni Forest with Paul. He was going out to the MTB track at Geurie to help with a working bee, and I felt like a bigger ride, so I rode out halfway with him.

It's quite a windy day, with a strong westerly blowing, and I knew the ride back would be hard work. Ordinarily I'd have gone straight home, but I was in a good mood after an easy 30km ride, a cup of coffee and a chat, so I made the decision to keep going. After a couple of stops, to tell partners where we were going, and for me to buy some jelly snakes for fuel, off we went. The 30km/h tailwind had us at Beni in no time, and last night's rain packed down the sand on the road through the forest, so it was an easy ride. We saw a few grey kangaroos, one with a joey, and a flock of apostle birds. After the forest, on the road into Wongarbon, a couple of rabbits crossed the road in front of us - a big day for wildlife.

At Wongarbon I left Paul to continue along the highway, and I took the dirt road by the railway line back to Firgrove. I was getting tired by this point (about 60km - seems to be a magic number for me) and stopped for a rest at the Eulomogo fire station. I was full on into the headwind now, but the trees by the road and the general downhill slope helped here. I was still in a great mood - even an enthusiastic magpie tapping on my helmet couldn't take the smile from my face.

The last few kilometres into Dubbo were hard work - uphill and a stronger wind, but I used the granny ring and took it easy.

Total distance (including the BUGs ride) 84km - not bad considering I was planning on 30! In contrast to other recent long rides, I paced myself and enjoyed the ride more as a result.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


If you've been following Elena Filatova's adventures over the years, she's got on her motorbike and been back to the exclusion zone around Chernobyl.

Great photos and videos of the way nature is reclaiming the land now that the people have gone, accompanied by hard-hitting commentary on the broken social and political systems that caused the disaster, and, Elena says, are still seeking to sweep the problem under the carpet.

If you haven't heard of Elena's adventures before, start with Ghost Town and the Land of the Wolves.