Dardanup Open C grade Report

What an incredible race this was. It was a lovely day down in Dardanup, one of those little one pub towns just out of Bunbury. It was nice and overcast, so my ranga skin wouldn't burn, but didn't threaten with any rain and a nice stiff breeze blowing in from some direction (north maybe). SPR was well represented in C grade, with 7 of the 30ish riders.

In the SPR jerseys: (left to right) Ashley, some guy (Chris?), me, Carlos's head,  Daniel (spoiler: he got 3rd)

The start was very relaxed and the first 20km were pretty civil. Most of the SPR guys were sitting up towards the front of the group for this period. I found myself falling off the front a couple of times before a nice gentleman from Collie CC informed me of what I was doing.

Dardanup Open

The Dardanup open is on this Sunday morning. This will be the 3rd road race I've been in, the others being the Peter Clarke memorial up in Carabooda and the Tom Lowry memorial in Collie. Got 7th and 12thish in those races. I'm hoping for a top 5 in this one, that would be pretty sweet. Sounds like there's going to be a pretty big field for this one, with a lot SPR riders (I think we make up around a quarter of the entrants across all grades.. sweet hey). Hopefully there will be a lot less crashes than the Collie race. There were 3 in C grade/under 17s (they put us together for some reason, made for a confusing race), one of them was a dog running into the middle of the bunch. Took out 5 or so riders ala Marcus Burghardt.

Anyway, now is as good of time as any to introduce my trusty steed (his name is Francesco, long story.. well it isn't really, he's a poncy try-hard Italian bike.. of Taiwanese ancestry). Say hello Francesco!

Errrmmm... ciao!

The South Coast Track, Tasmania

Tasmania is breathtakingly beautiful. When I first visited in December 08 I vowed to come back and hike. So in february 09 I planned a month long hiking adventure with the Overland Track as a warm up to the South Coast Track. I'd been warned of the dangers of hiking in Tassie and spent a lot of time making sure I had everything I needed...I would recomend anyone considering a first time hike in Tassie to seek out local advice and check out this great forum Bushwalk- Tasmania

Here is my (somewhat longwinded!) account of my first 'proper camping' hike in Tasmania

The South Coast Track
Starting a Melauca in the west and finishing at Cockle creek in the East the South Coast track is one of Tasmania's most famous walks. The 85km long track winds it's way through the mountain, plains and coastal areas of the wild south west. While relatively tame by Tasmanian's standards this drought adjusted West Australian hiker still hasn't gotten over the mud!
The mud..oh the mud!
Day 1 Hobart-Melauca- Coxbight
I start my journey in Hobart, having enlisted Jonas, a young and keen German backpacker, as a walking companion . To get to the start of the South West track we must fly in to Mellauca, an old alluvial tin mine with no access roads. We arrive at the Par Avion airport on the outskirts of Hobart, I’m limping a bit having badly sprained my ankle on Cradle Mountain a few weeks prior. In the airport’s small waiting terminal it soon become apparent that we are the only two setting out on a hike today, everyone else are daytrippers. The pilot explains where we’ll be flying over. He talks about the South West track and glancing sideways at us comments that day 3 is the hardest “at least 8hrs to get over the Ironbournd range, and there’s no turning back after that”. Jonas looks at me slightly horrified; maybe I neglected to tell him about that part…

Walk of Madness

So the next rogaine is on the 26-27th of June. Its a 24 hour one, which I suppose means its going to be a tad more demanding than the 12 hour one we did a couple of weeks ago. Now that we've got the navigation down pat (hahahaha.. lies!) we thought we'd see if, you know, we can actually walk for 24 hours. How are we going to do this, you may ask? Well good sir/ma'am, but conducting the inaugural Walk of Madness (the italics are supposed to make it look more impressive than it is)! Well what is that? one may respond. And I would say, hold your horses, I was getting to that.

You see, the team who came first in the Carolless rogaine managed 69km in the 12 hours. We managed about 32km. Suffice to say those guys are some sort of mutant human/horse/google earth creature, but if we can manage the same distance in 24 hours, I'd reckon we'd be doing pretty well. So the plan is to try walking 70ish km in 24 hours. So where could one walk 70km, thats close to perth, without the need for much navigation (cos you know, we kick ass at that). If you said the bib track, you would be correct! If you said anything else, then you're obviously wrong. From the northern terminus in Kalamunda to Brookton Hwy is 69.7km (we might have to walk in a circle for a bit to make up the extra 300m). It passes through 7 huts, so we don't have to carry to much water, and also has some spectacular views, most of which we'll be passing in the nighttime. We're planning to start around 10am on a Saturday and plan to be finished around 6am on the Sunday, which is an average of 3.5km/h including rests. The extra four hours is a bit of buffer for tiredness, injury, mind loss or death resulting from arguments.

Hi, my name is Wagul, and I'll be your guide for this evening

Can we make it? Only time and stupidity will tell. And by we, I mean Shan and me. If anyone wants to come along for a section, you're more than welcome!

Commute Time Lapse

This will probably be the first in a series of shameless plugs for my other hobby, timelapse, err, movies, photography. Timelapse art. Yeah, there we go. This is my commute to uni as shown from the point of view of the handlebars.

The Carolless 12 hour Autumn Rogaine Report

Well I was finally convinced to delve into the world of rogaining. I'm a big fan of hiking, but somehow I thought that all that navigation would take away from the enjoyment of it all. But I think, in hindsight, it kept things interesting.

My partner for the event was Shannan, who I've hiked with many times before, and I can safely say is crazier than I (she did the end to end on the bib track in one go, by herself.. I know, bonkers..). We drove up to the hash house/camping area bit with a few other friends that were participating. For some reason I had it in my head that everyone there would be hardcore, lightweight hiking types. But what lavishness I saw! Caravans, spot lights, the odd generator or three. Wow. I spose it must be to compensate for the harshness of the rogaining. We took a tent and some thermarests to sleep on. Yeah. Next time it'll be mattresses!