Boorowa Ride

This past week I did my first 130km ride to a country town called Boorowa and back.

Boorowa

Old Butchery in Boorowa

I didn’t go super fast, but I had a really good time.

A couple of things I noticed during the ride:

  • country roads around here undulate endlessly: they go down, then up , then down, then up….when will it end?
  • my entry level aluminium road bike with 25mm tyres is awesome and MUCH more comfortable than I imagined it would be. Carbon/steel/titanium are apparently even more comfortable, so when I eventually upgrade I will have a lot of fun test riding some of my options.

Boorowa is a small, but very pretty town on the  south-west slopes of NSW, Australia. It is famous for its wheat and canola production and for being the home of the endangered Superb Parrot, which is a very brightly plumed bird. I saw quite a few Superb Parrots on my ride. I’ve seen so many around here and where I live that they don’t seem too endangered to me – at least not around here. But it’s good to make sure they are looked after eh?

Superb Parrot

Boorowa also holds its annual Irish Woolfest in October each year, which features “The Running of the Sheep”, Boorowa’s equivalent to “The Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona, Spain. For a light-hearted look at the event, see the video below.

The most beautiful part of the ride is the road into Binalong on the way back from Boorowa, which is lined with green trees and shady patches.

The picture below is on the slight uphill before you get to the greenery. As you can see the day was bright and clear.

Hughstonia Road on the way to Binalong

The towns on the route include Yass, Rye Park, Boorowa, Binalong and Bowning.

Between Yass and Rye Park, there are about 10kms of gravel, but it’s mostly not too rough and was easily covered.

I recommend the ride to anyone who wants an enjoyable day on the bike.

Keep riding!

BungoniaWhiteTrack view of the Shoalhaven from Mt Ayre lookout

Short hikes in Bungonia National Park – White Track

After our adventure on the Red Track at Bungonia, my son and I decided to do an overnight camping trip down the White Track to camp on the edge of the Shoalhaven River.

The day was bright and clear as we headed down the slope to the River, once again quite steep, but not quite as bad as the Red Track.

BungoniaWhiteTrack view of the Shoalhaven from Mt Ayre lookout

The view from the top was awesome and you can make out our campsite right at the bottom of the slope.

Campsite

We found a great little spot which was actually on Bungonia Creek, but also only 50 metres from the Shoalhaven River. The birdsong was just gorgeous – have a listen here.

We set up camp, then swam and explored the area before cooking some dinner and resting up for the night.

In the morning we explored some more by the banks of the Shoalhaven River and relaxed and watched the bubbles coming up from what we assume were turtles looking for food in the river.

By midday we had packed and were ready for the climb back up, which was steep, but we encouraged our efforts by counting our steps and guessing how many steps it would be to the top.

Bungonia White Track climb out

It turned out to be about 1500 steps or so to the first flat area.

On the way up

Once back at Mt. Ayre lookout we rested and then tramped back to the car and drove to Goulburn for a coffee and some cheesecake at Greengrocer Cyclery before heading home.

Bungonia White Track Mt Ayre Lookout

It was a great trip. If we do it again, we will spend a few days down in the valley hiking further along the river and maybe head up to Tallong at Long Point Lookout.

BungoniaGorgeRedTrack

Short hikes in Bungonia National Park – Red Track

Over the past few weeks of school holiday time, I’ve spent a couple of days with two of my kids hiking and camping in Bungonia National Park, which is situated in southern New South Wales, Australia, about 25km from the inland town of Goulburn.

Officially, Bungonia Gorge is Australia’s deepest gorge and the hike down and back up the Red Track takes you right to the bottom of the gorge and back up again after traversing the gorge’s creek bed for a while.

Bungonia Gorge Red Track

The track in and out is very steep and the sign at the top telling you that the walk needs a high level of fitness is probably justified.

BungoniaGorgeRedTrack

The track bottom includes a section of huge limestone boulders as big as houses and tumbled over one another, which are interesting, challenging and fun to scramble over, under and through.

My 11yr old son simply used his budding “Parkour” skills to hop from one rock to another, but my daughter and I played it safe and found slower, more certain paths through the maze.

BungoniaGorgeRedTrackClimbOut

Bungonia is famous for the gorge, its many limestone caves, its excellent rock-climbing and abseiling and the nearby Shoalhaven River, which winds its way north and then eastward towards the coast.

The Red Track is only 3.8km long but the estimated time to walk it is 5hrs return. We took about that time and that included two stops to go swimming in the cool creek water for refreshment on what turned ut to be a fairly warm day.

We saw lots of lizards and thankfully no snakes. We were also greeted by some wild goats on the way back up to the car park, and a protective ram with big horns who gave a loud snort of disgust before running off when I pointed him out to the kids as he poked his head around a bush about 20 metres from us.

All in all, we had a great time. Our legs ached the next day from the climb out, but it was well worth it!

Ella Home

New women’s focused cycling site – Ella Cyclingtips

The boys and girls over at cyclingtips.com.au have just introduced a women’s focused sister website called Ella, from the Spanish for ‘her’ or ‘she’.

Ella Home

As some of you will know it’s supposed to be pronounced ey-ya, but in Australia it will no doubt be pronounced el-la and that sounds good too.

Tell all of your female cycling friends and don’t forget to bookmark it even if you’re a male cyclist. We all need to raise the profile of women’s cycling.

Well done cyclingtips!

Ella Home.

Saddler and Co | Fine Saddles and Leather Goods

A plug for a very talented saddler and leather worker from country New South Wales, Australia.

Bede Aldridge of Saddler & Co. crafts saddles and leather goods from the finest quality leathers at his workshop in Dubbo , NSW, Australia.

He has launched his online store with a stylish range of quality saddles and leather goods available for sale, but he also makes saddles and leather goods to your own specification.

The online store sells leather belts, bags, iPad & iPhone cases, whips, knife pouches, covers for (paper) notebooks, bridles, reins, tack and saddles, among other things.

I’ve seen and caressed some of his beautiful leather tote bags with my own eyes and hands and they are a delight to the senses as well as being practical and solid in construction.

Check out his online store and get in touch with him if you need him to make some specialised leather goods you just can’t find anywhere else!

Adventure cycling – Berlin to Prague without a map

I really like this video.

Setting off on a ride without a plan or a map and just having a fun time – maybe that’s what we all need to do sometimes.

via 8bar Adventures – Berlin to Prague without a map on Vimeo.

Just ride!