It’s the in-between time – the time between rides. It’s a year or less of work and trying to put away as much money into investments as possible. It’s time to rebuild the touring fund. It’s time to top up the emergency fund. It’s time to assess how to make the big leap into the unknown at the end of the job contract and leave all the comforts of office work behind.Read more
I like the stories with happy endings. Or the ones that end up being a start in a series. You know, like when Police Academy 2 was better than the original movie. Never mind about movies 3-6 or 7, of course! I also like stories where the end is really the beginning.
And so Beyond Bananas is coming to an end. There will be no more weekend rides or day rides.Read more
7/8 September 2022
Starting elevation: 9606 feet; Highest elevation: 13,651 feet (4161 metres)
Distance: 8 miles? on foot
Dawn is coming soon. First light has arrived and the sky is no longer illuminated only by the almost-full moon. Off to the east, the sun is shooting up rays that are about to reach the horizon.
But it’s still dark down here in Hoffman Park at about 11,500 feet. The sky overhead says ‘first light’, but down below the ridge, everything says, ‘why the heck are you up so early’?Read more
29 August 2022
13.5 miles on foot
Starting elevation 9606 ft; Highest elevation 12,935 ft (3942 metres)
We’re making a beeline for the treeline so we can head up higher to that sweet spot: the tundra.
There really is nothing better than being alpine and doing a ridgewalk across tundra and talus on the continent’s western spine.Read more
18 August 2022 (21st anniversary of moving to Oz)
Starting elevation 8930 ft. High point 11,970 ft.
First light is back there somewhere. Its dim illumination of earth had just started to spread over the Arkansas Hills as we headed west. But the light has not reached this cleft in the mountains yet. It is dark and moist and COLD. It was only 42F when we left the house, and we are about 1000 feet higher here.
Still, I’m moving quickly up through the thick forest, each crunchy foot fall drawing me higher. It’s 6am when my dad drops me off at the trailhead. And it’s 6.15 now as I follow Fooses Creek uphill. I’ve got a couple miles to walk up a rocky track before the trail proper starts. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!Read more
3, 9, 12, 17 August
Like all parents, mine indoctrinated me. They planted the seeds. They fertilised the seeds.
They took my brother and me hiking on many Sundays in our youth. When our friends and family were in church pews in Bible Belt Indiana, our family was out hiking the trails of the state parks of Indiana.
My brother and I would race ahead, sweating and swatting bugs in the humidity of summer or kicking through thick leaves in fall. We were always instructed to wait at the signposts at the next trail junction. When our parents caught up, my Dad would unfold the map and show us where we were and where we could go.
This all helped to instill in me a love of maps and the great outdoors. (It didn’t really stick for my brother)!Read more
10-20 miles or so at a time on the bike – 3-14 miles or so at a time on foot
I sat around. I hung out with my parents. It was slow and sedentary for that first month in America. It was okay, I had used a whole lot of energy in May and June wrapping up work and that section of life. A bit of rest and relaxation was in order.
But then… that level of couch potato was just too much. I have energy again. I want to use it. And I want to build a little bit of fitness, so that jumping on the bike when I get back to Oz is not quite so painful in those first weeks. Plus, people come to places like this for ‘high altitude’ training. Let’s take advantage of that.Read more
18 July 2022
6 miles on foot – elevation gain >3000 ft – end elevation a bit under 12,000 ft
I’d like to say we dove straight in the deep end, but that would suggest that we went down. And we definitely didn’t go down. At least not at first.
The trail went up, not down. In fact, it was a whole lot of up. Like 3000 ft of climbing in 3 miles. And my dad and I had not done much hiking at elevation prior to the hike. It will end up being the hardest hike in elevation change we’ll do together in my time in Colorado – and it was our first hike!Read more
15-17 April 2022
120 kms (75 miles)
Daryl Brathwaite and John Farnham are like Vegemite – to be able to stomach them you need to have grown up with them. Otherwise, you just can’t understand what all the fuss is about.
While I’ve been hanging around Australia now for around 24 years, I still don’t like Vegemite. Or lamb. Or cricket or any code of footy.
But I do agree on one thing that is very Australian. Easter is for camping. Yes, Australians go camping en masse over Easter. The cities empty out and the people who may only use their caravan twice a year hit the road for the bush.Read more
11-13 March 2022
228 kms (142 miles)
DAY 1 – 73 kms (45 miles)
Sometimes what you think a ride is going to be is not what it ends up being. You might have some ideas in your head of the route you’ll take or where you’ll stay or what sort of approach you’ll take (e.g. hard and fast, slow and exploratory). But then you get out there on the road and things morph.Read more