Chasing Crab Migration

On the March

Spider Crab PortseaEach year in the waters of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, the march of the spider crabs takes place during April-June. For years I’ve been eager to see this phenomenon as it plays out under the cover of the bay. Each year I’m stumped by schedule clashes or near misses.

This year appears no different.

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What it takes

JC, Border Crossing
JC, Border Crossing

A little while back my friend JC was on the verge of returning home to Adelaide for Xmas from Melbourne.

A keen cyclist, keener on going up rather than anything else and in the shortest and steepest fashion possible, especially off-road, he has a certain knack for the pedals.

Back in the Day
Over the course of months riding together the mountain bike rides extended from 3 to 4 to 5, even 6 hours duration covering all the landscapes around Kinglake, the Dandenongs and further afield.

The dial really got turned up when JC began to ride to the start of the rides. A 2-hour commute to the beginning of a 5-hour ride became normal. The same ride home just a warm-down.Continue reading “What it takes”

Cycling elegance, sans helmet?

Cyclists, Vondelpark, Amsterdam, NL
Cyclists, Vondelpark, Amsterdam, NL

“…many European researchers say the test of a mature bike-sharing program is when women outnumber men.”

NY Times, Sept 2012.

From the Article: To Encourage Biking Cities Forget About Helmets

The other day I was aghast to read that Melbourne’s Bicycle Scheme is losing money.

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Collioure. A place to hide, ride and escape

Sunrise over Fort St Elme, Collioure, France

Over the weekend I ran into an old friend and by chance we meandered through the conversation to discover we’d narrowly missed paths 7 months earlier in the little publicised French seaside town of Collioure.

He’d cycled about 1000kms and gained 23,000 metres in altitude with a bunch of friends riding over the Pyrenees from Biarritz in the West. As they hooted down the last of the mountainous terrain they welcomed the site of the Mediterranean at the claws of the Pyrenees, at Collioure.Continue reading “Collioure. A place to hide, ride and escape”

Each goal starts with a pedal stroke

Another of the rewards, Mt Buffalo VIC
Another of the rewards, Mt Buffalo VIC

Every mountain climb starts and ends with the same thing, a revolution of the cranks, a pedal stroke.

What’s the significance in that?

It is but such a small effort, but it’s not just a lever propelled by a shapely leg to get you over the top, often it’s a lever that’s pushing a big hairy and heavy personal goal.Continue reading “Each goal starts with a pedal stroke”

Local knowledge and lingo

Fancy a Frenchman telling you that there’s a great adventure to be had in Spain, and he knows just where it is. Stranger things have happened, but thank goodness for local knowledge.

Rodolfo, a very accomplished cyclist who resides in one of the most delightful of places in France for outdoor activities, was to be my local source.

Local knowledge, so often transmitted to us via a guidebook or internet portal these days, is probably the most valuable of intellectual capital on the planet.

But what if the print and digitised media hadn’t caught up with a particular little morsel of cake sitting proudly on the counter of a tiny boulangerie in a little town between here and there?

I think we all need a Rodolfo to share a coffee with.

I’m going to call it The Dali Loop.

The border of France and Spain on the Mediterranean has a rich history across many channels, Continue reading “Local knowledge and lingo”