Sunday, May 27, 2012

North of the border

For a change I decided to do a smaller ride sticking to the roads in the Gold Coast hinterland which I have not been riding much lately.

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Dawn over the saw tooth skyline of the Gold Coast

Today was the first proper Winter ride and I noticed more than a few new riders looking a bit cold so I will try think of a half a dozen or so tips for cold weather riding for people who may not have, or want, to wear winter gear starting from the cheapest.

1. Try some anti-fog on your visor so you can fully close it and your vents. I find if my head is cold then I will be cold.

2. Give a scarf a go or better still a Buff. It is essential to stop the cold air going down back of neck. A Buff has the added advantage that you can pull up over your chin or even nose which I find makes a huge difference when really cold.

3. If you do not have winter gloves then try a pair of glove liners, cheap on eBay and when it warms up just roll them up and pop into your pocket.

4. Try a pair of really good winter socks, not the stuff from local shop but a specialised product. I have some Alpinestars winter boot socks that sure help keep my lower legs warm and wick moisture to keep my feet dry in boots.

5. Jeans/Draggin’s do not work so well in winter, on the road your legs are going to be pretty cold until the day warms up. If you are a jeans only person and touring in them in winter then you can get thermal mid-layer pants from any outdoor shop or cheap from BCF to wear under your jeans until day warms up. The textile pants do really make for a more comfortable tour when it is cool.

6. If you have a jacket without a inner or external storm flap then the wind probably blows right through the zipper to chill you. Simply enough to wear a windproof mid layer, any outdoor shop can help you there but I have found the cold air getting inside your outer layer via zipper when in really cold weather means you are less ne whole layer of warmth so if that happens then you can try using your rain jacket to stop the wind getting in. A good winter textile jacket like pants does make a huge difference.

7. I ditch the cotton t-shirts in winter and use cycle riding base layer t-shirts instead.  I like the merino T’s from Ground Effect but any outdoor shop has this type of thing. One of these with my Alpinestars WP10 jacket (with liner fitted) was warm enough to not require an additional mid layer riding in snow.

8. If you do have pants and jacket that can be zipped together then try it, makes a big difference to stopping drafts.

Well that's all I can think of at the moment, but there is many things you can do to be warm when winter riding. Now back to the ride report. Todays route is here but I completed it in reverse to what I drew up on Ride with GPS site night before. (just on a whim)

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Bottom of Springbrook

Still damp riding up Springbrook with most of the road in complete shadow until the sun rises further. A few bikes out I tried to get a coffee at the top but the English Gardens cafe all closed and another cafe signposted nearby in a lodge seemed closed also so I decided to wait until lunch for a coffee. The upper section of Springbrook does not see too many riders as tend to turn off on Pine Creek road but nothing wrong with the ride to the top, surface has been improved over the years and curves are plentiful.

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Top of Springbrook

Took it easy on Advancetown road. With the recent tragic accident I was expecting some police presence but there was none. You really need not go fast to enjoy this road as you can enjoy a lot of ‘hang time’ on the corners at regular road speed on most motorcycles. It’s only the sports bikes rider that feels something lacking at regular speeds. A case of less equals more when riding on public roads.  

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Beechmont

A lot of repairs on Beechmont from embankment slips. A huge crowd of riders and motorcycles at Canungra. The town has really captured a good thing as I see more shops open now than ever before.

Next I took a spin up O’Rielly’s mountain which I had not been to for a very long time. A lot of cars, used to be hardly anyone but today a convoy of slow moving rubber necking folks were out. I managed to blow by most of them quick enough but it did discourage me from making too many stops due to the thought of having to  pass them all again.

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My target was the Kamarun lookout which IMO on a good day is the best lookout South of Brisbane. My photos above and below do nothing to capture the views which extend from the ocean to Mt Lindsey and most everything in between.

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I had a quick bite at the Alpaca ranch, the cafe has reopened 5 weeks ago by new management and the food range is very limited but the location is good. They need a bit of luck I think so I hope they can give place a lift.

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Back down I refuelled at Canungra and then made the mistake of riding Mt Tamborine to the M1. In my route plan I was going to do this ride in reverse first thing in morning before the crowds but changed my mind this morning. Well as I should have expected it was ultra slow stop start in places with very heavy traffic. The ride down from Eagle Heights was so slow I stopped to break the monotony and do a bit playing about with new camera on it’s first outing.

What a great Winter’s day.

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4 comments:

  1. I wish I could just get on my bike and hit the open road. Being stuck in the city really has its disadvantages.

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  2. It's good to get away from the concrete, I too live in the CBD.

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  3. Awesome pics IC, can't wait to re-discover those roads on my Harley!!

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  4. Hey, I going to your blog now to check it out :)

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