welcome to my world of bicycle touring, touring bikes, and touring and camping gear...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Brisbane Valley Gravel Grinder

Years ago I lived for a short time on a grazing property at Johnstown, via Nanango, Queensland, at the head of the Brisbane River. At the watershed actually, with the Brisbane River catchment on one side and the Burnett River catchment on the other. On our infrequent trips to the big smoke, we followed a very scenic road which crossed the Brisbane River around 30 times before emerging onto the D'Aguilar Highway at Moore.

It's long been on my mind to revisit the area, so I planned a ride which took in the Brisbane River Rail Trail to Linville then continued on to Elgin Vale and Manumbar, before heading back through Jimna, Kilcoy and Woodford to Beerburrum. I did actually set out to ride the route at Xmas 2016 from the Beerburrum end but reached only as far as Kilcoy before turning back in fierce heat. A few days later a motorbike rider died in the Beerburrum State Forest from heat stroke.

So I'm now going to ride the route in spring between work assignments (if I can get away). The plan is to take the train to Ipswich and ride the BVRT and camp a night at Esk, then at Linville, At Linville I'll leave the rail trail and follow the river road to Elgin Vale, to camp in the old school (now CWA) grounds or maybe continue to Manumbar and camp at the hall/campdraft ground. 

From there I'll head south to Jimna and camp at PeachTrees, the next day continue on through Kilcoy and Woodford to Beerburrum and get the train home.

If anyone wants to tackle this ride you can download the route from RideWithGPS. Search for BVGG - you should find seven tracks by Arefkay, but there may be copies others have made. I think you will need to sign up for a free account to download the tracks. 

This link should work. RideWithGPS

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What is in the bags?

 Grasshopper in Frankton (Queenstown) New Zealand.

A few people have asked: What is in the bags?

Hmmm. That is quite a long list so I won't go into the detailed specifics, but generally it goes like this.

Seat bag:
  • Long pants and polo shirt
  • Thermal top and leggings
  • Running shorts
  • Bike jersey and liner shorts
  • Down jacket 
  • Socks, jocks, gloves and beanie
  • First Aid kit.
On the outside, ultralight sandals.

Frame bag.
Lower compartment:
  • Spare tube
  • Toolkit and assorted spares
  • Sealant
  • Pump.
Upper compartment:
  • Sawyer 2 litre gravity filtration system  (4 litre total capacity)
  • Tent poles.
Side compartment:
  • Cable lock
  • Maps and documents .
Handlebar bag:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Wind shirt
  • Rain jacket and gloves
  • Rain legs
  • Leg warmers.
 On the outside, tent (Tarptent Protrail)

Front Pocket:
  • iPad Mini (in a Zagg folio keyboard case).
Anything bags:
Left bag:
  • Food.
Right bag:
  • Cooking pot, stove and mug etc.
  • Gas canister
  • Meds/toiletries/personal hygiene.
Top tube bags:
  • Auxilliary battery
  • Camera
  • Smartphone.
  • Six port USB charger and assorted cables.
Chaff bags (2):
  • Snacks
  • Sunglasses
  • Headphones 
  • Passengers.
  • Air mattress.
And of course I’m wearing another set of cycling clothes - jersey, baggies and liners, MTB shoes and socks, and cycling cap

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A few bags more...

Yesterday, with some idle hours on my hands, it was timely to pay a call on one of the local bike stores (River City Cycles) to check out their range of bikepacking gear. I've never visited the store previously, but knew from his blog that the store mechanic (Troy) is a keen bikepacker and endurance racer, and that the store sells bikepacking bikes, fatbikes and gear.

This visit was intended to be a scouting mission. With the xmas credit card statements in the mail I had no intentions of spending any more money. But when the BikeBagDude products on offer caught my eye they were irresistible. BBD gear is usually only sold via the web, so this was a rare opportunity for a hands-on inspection.
After briefly considered a pair of Salsa Anything bags but finding the finish quality somewhat lacking, I came away with a pair of Salsa Anything cages with BBD Anything bags.

The BBD Anything bags feature an innovative design with a loop on the bottom to fit the foot of the cage, and an integral hook and loop strap which secures the bag to the cage wings.

So I was finally able to answer the question that has been on my mind for a long time - will my Tarptent Protrail fit in an anything bag? Yes it will as you see in the picture above. And it also settled in my mind whether an anything bag will be big enough for my food - again the answer is yes.

Ended my visit with an interesting chat with Troy about his preparations for the 1000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, a winter endurance race in Alaska from Anchorage to Nome. Entry to this event is by invitation only to athletes who have completed a recognised qualifying event. To even qualify is an endurance feat in itself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bling for the Fargo...

Hmmmm, the Fargo frame uses full-housing cables and has braze-on cable guides under the top tube and along the stays. I've assumed that the housing would be fastened by cables ties, but while poking around the Jagwire site I discovered there are special c-clips to use with the guides.

Never knew about them before but they should make the cabling nice and tidy.

A bit more digging and voilà - bling for the bike. Anodized c-clips in five colours. Cool!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bags in the Bag...

Very exciting delivery today from Bedrock. From Bedrock Bags that is, not from Fred and Barney.

I ordered them on back on 1 August. Andrew Wracher of Bedrock has been busy and has a longish production queue, but I was happy enough with the wait.

Quality, finish, workmanship is impressive, so it was well worth it. So now it's time to think about a practice pack to find out what fits and what doesn't.

Top: Custom Frame Bag - Dual Zipper Main Pocket With Divider And Non-Drive Side Map Pocket - super deluxe
Centre/Under: Entrada handlebar Bag with Pocket.
Bottom:Coconino Seat Bag with Railwing

So the question arises - just what is the capacity of the Bedrock bikepacking bags I'm going to use.

According to Bedrock, the seat bag has a capacity of 12 litres.

I calculate the capacity of the frame bag at close enough to 10 litres and the handlebar bag at 7 litres.

In addition I'll be using three bags on Anything cages at 5 litres each.

That gives a total capacity of 44 litres - about the same as a pair of Ortlieb Back Rollers.

And that is not counting the pocket or cockpit bags, which don't add much to the total capacity but will carry a multitude of small items.