Monday, May 5, 2014

Homeward Bound

Along the estuary on the run into Mandurah

Keith and Sue McBurnie on the home leg

Hills turned to flats, forests became suburbia and 13 KPH averages became 21 KPH.

Kleber Claux once again demonstrated his passion and skill at putting together a memorable tour. Despite a barked shinbone and a bruised rib cage cyclists reached their destination safely. Smiles abounded, stories shared and friendships made.

Thanks Kleber, thanks friends old and new.

Kleber Claux at the final dinner - Silver Sands Tavern

Day 13 - The Iceberg Club in Dunsbrough

Mike Murtha
After a couple of glasses of red at dinner I extended an invitation to cyclists to join me for a 7am swim on Quindalup Beach. Five goose-bumped water nymphs  took up the challenge and dived into the icy water for the H2O shoot.
Nicole Gentz

One of the 'Icebergs' was Nicole Gentz who flew from Berlin to join the 40th Anniversary Ride. 

(Nicole  was  CTA Secretary in the mid 1970s and designed the CTA logo.)

Joy Stewart

Hilary Beck

Rob Thacker

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 12 Prevelly to Dunsborough

Technology has changed a bit over 40 years.

Gone are the Sturmey Archer 3-speeders and panniers made from disused wheat bags. Now we have high tech disc brakes, computers and GPS navigation. Aluminium and carbon-fibre frames have replaced Reynolds 531 steel frames. Tony's new bike has done away with derailleur gears and sports an 18 speed German gearbox. He looks like he's driving a Big Mac truck.

I photographed for the morning and threw my leg over the saddle for the run into Dunsborough. It was all downhill, sunny with a  tail-wind that kept us pumping along at 30KPH. (Plus there was nobody shooting at us).

Marg Neill (centre) meets local ladies  Bobbie Micklejohn (L) and  Kerry King (R) in a Cowaramup coffee shop. (Paul Kelly above)

Just like 40 years ago I scanned the horizon for the three towering pines; a welcome landmark. I felt  like an old horse smelling the home water trough.

Boranup Bunyips

Heading into the Boranup Forest
There was more than average grunting and gasping as Bruce Robinson led his group on the dirt road through the bunyip-infested Boranup Forest.

Christine Liddiard in the Boranup Forest
Dr Tony performing emergency surgery on Kleber
The rewards were a traffic-free two hour ride followed by respite at the Boranup Gallery coffee shop. The Boranup scones had obviously been made with steroids and the jam and cream explosion added  to the fuel burn. There was time for Doctor Tony to extract a  splinter or two from Kleber's fingers using a sharpened stainless steel spoke and a rubber mallet.
Roy Stone disguised as Little Red Riding Hood's Granny

The ride from Hamelin Bay to Prevelly was one of the most peaceful and beautiful rides on tour. Although close to the chardonnay tourist mecca of Margaret River, Prevelly Park is a quiet camping spot and stopping off point for Cape to Cape walkers.

Day 10 - Augusta to Hamelin Bay

Tony Humphreys and Ann Wilson - Augusta coffee break
The weather man got it wrong. The thunderstorms, lightning and hail didn't eventuate but it was a heavy sky that bade us farewell for the 25 km rpedal to Hamelin Bay.

The night before in Augusta a few of us gave our tents a rest and booked rooms at the Backpackers or Augusta Motel. The saving grace was a tailwind to push us along the quiet back roads to Hamelin Bay.

Hamelin Bay

Pedal the K's, Read the Book, See the Movie

Participants in the CTA 40th Anniversary Tour received a 10 minute audio-visual memento of the tour. Here's a sample.

If you didn't have headwinds and uphills
You'd never appreciate the tailwinds and downhills

(Life's a bit like that as well)

Sir Hubert 'Oppy' Oppermann
on the occasion
Presentation of Audax medals to CTA 1986

White Line Fever - Day 9

Beware! One should not sleep on the main road between Nannup and Augusta when the line marking machinery is at work. Matt King was struck down by white line fever on the long haul to Augusta, a wet, windy, blustery day.

Matt King taking a well-earned rest from life in Canberra
In the early days of the CTA Matt was known for a certain amount of 'innovative' riding, particularly riding bikes off the end of jetties into the Swan River. In his more serious moments young Matt was a hearty CTA committee member and an astute bike mechanic at Avocet Cycles in Claremont.

(Matt now resides in Canberra, a keen mountain biker on Mount Stromlo and a year ago participated in the London to Paris bike extravaganza.

Kleber's Hill - Day 8

One of the highlights of my cycling CV was descending Weldborough Pass in Tasmania on the '83 CTA Tour. A long, winding descent through a dense, green, fern-lined forest. That put me on an absolute high. I sailed past the group and sat quietly in the forest to collect my thoughts.

Not far behind Welborough Pass is Kleber's iconic S bend between Pemberton and Nannup. I first rode this hill on the inaugral CTA South-West Tour in 1975. However, it wasn't until 1988 when I shot a CTA peloton on the Bicentennial Tour that I appreciated the visual impact of this tuart forest curve.

Vicki White leads her husband John down Kleber's Hill 

26 years later on the same bend in the road photographing 43 CTA cyclists gliding effortlessly around the S band like a group of brightly coloured parrots. Few sights make a cyclist's heart zing more than this. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 7 - (Anzac Day) rest day Pimelea (Pemberton)

Pimelea Forest SAtay near Pemberton
ANZAC Day in Pemberton

Christine Liddiard & Rosalee McAulliffe at the ANZAC service in Pemberton

Its not every day you turn 70. I woke up to a dozen red balloons and cakes courtesy of Bruce Robinson.

We rode into Pembertn for the Anzac Service at 11am followed by a BBQ at the RSL hall.

Mary Roglich at Smokey Woods

Then it was High Tea at the Smokey Woods Gallery - a venue that could teach Perth coffee shops a thing or two.

Day 6 Shannon River to Pimelea

Ann Wilson & Tony Humphreys
Hilary Beck on last climb into Pimelea
We've left the city behind and are surrounded by the tall timber of the Pemberton forests. If you're riding on your own you can hear birds cheeping in the foliage and see the odd kangaroo hopping and bandicoot scampering. If you stop, you can even hear a leaf that falls.
Tony Humpreys & Ann Wilson at Northcliffe
I found the 'ideal' vantage point to take some shots of riders freewheeling down a steep hill. I chose a  large mound of leaves and bark at the foot of a giant karri tree and set up camp. I was concentrating so much on the riders flashing by I hardly noticed the bull ants biting on my bum. It was next day when I felt the large red whelts on either cheek - a reminder on where to sit in the bush.

Pete Treasure at Pimelea near Pemberton

Day 5 Walpole to Shannon River

Gus and Barb King near Shannon River
It was still dark when I heard the rustling of tents and the clicking of gear levers. Holey shamoley, these folks get up early! I tried to disguise my bacon, egg and tomato breakfast at the Walpole Café as home grown muesli with kangaroo milk but only fooled a few.
Peter 'Mitch' Mitchell
Ben Carter
With light winds and clear blue skies the group of 43 sailed along between the forest trees with hardly a care in the world. High tech has arrived. Several bikes are equipped with satellite navigation GPS systems which monitor every pedal stroke of the journey. Some claim their GPS monitors their stocks and share investments and can predict who will win the Dockers/Eagles Derby.

Day 4 Denmark to Walpole

Some might argue that Denmark is the Cinderella and Walpole the ugly sister along the Great Southern edge. Not quite so.

Cycle friendly coffee shop in Denmark

Nicole Gentz from Germany

Barbara King leading the meditation group at Coalmine Beach Walpole
We lined up for dinner at the Walpole Hotel at night and were the only ones without utes and dogs. I donned my one and only checked shirt for the dining out occasion. A good looking young guy greeted me at the hotel and said 'Gidday Dale, Gidday Margaret, enjoying your bike ride?' For the love of me I couldn't place his face, or for that matter, the rest of his body. Eventually after an hour, I ate humble pie and approached himn and his good looking girlfriend Alison and said,
'OK, I give up, who are you'
'Dale, its me. Damon from MPQ (Mill Point Quartet).
I won't forget him in a hurry next time.


Day 3 Albany-Denmark

Kleber Claux and Ann Wilson
The Russian judge awarded Roy 9.3
I discovered the bar was set high. Not only are the modern cycle tourists riding carbon fibre bikes rogue tent peg the night before.with 18 speed gears but they are gourmet chefs as well. Roy and Trevor look like being competitors in the next MKR.

Sue McBurnie in Albany
The run from Albany to Perth is close to idyllic; off the main roads with a couple of little general stores along the way. These stores sell everything from hand knitted beanies to home made pies and tractor diffs.
I spent the day driving the car with an ice pack on my right knee after having an altercation with a rogue tent peg the night before.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 2 - Rest Day - Albany

John & Vicki White 
Rest day means everyone does their own thing. For me, that meant ice packs, muscle relaxants and red wine to address my bung knee. Yes, an errant tent peg jumped out of the darkness and tripped me up the night before.

Vancouver Café waitress Kersti
Then it was off for a meander around beautiful downtown Albany and lunch at the folksy Vancouver Café, home to artists and musicians. Our waitress, Kersti, hailed from Estonia ands was on a working holiday with her boyfriend. Chef Hugo was as Italian as Mama Maria's spaghetti bolognaise. Our waitress ordered her own lunch  from Hugo.

'Please I want eggs a little bit poached and a little bit scrambled with mushrooms'.
When her dish was ready Hugo insisted on calling out ding-ding-ding instead of ringing the bell.

Middleton Beach

Down at Middleton Beach families were playing Easter games and frolicking in the cool water. Kids don't feel the cold, only us old ones.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day One Sat - Perth to Albany

After a slight hiccup at the start when Roy Stone forgot his bag an orange us full of orange cyclists headed south towards Albany on the south coast.  Albany is a delightful port town and the place first settled by the Brits in 1826 ( three years ahead of Perth) to keep those Frenchies out.

We managed to erect 35 tents in a space the size of larga local restae tea towel and headed off to a restaurant in the Whale Motel for our welcome dinner. The meals arrived with military precision according to Kleber's magical colour codes.
Blue == Roast
Green = Fish
Purple = Bandicoot


Friday, April 18, 2014

Where we are pedalling


Day 1     Perth - Albany by coach (Albany Gardens Holiday Resort)
Day 2     Rest day in Albany
Day 3     Albany - Denmark 62km (Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park)
Day 4     Denmark - Walpole 80km (Coalmine Beach Caravan Park)
Day 5     Walpole - Shannon River 72km (Shannon River Camping Ground)
Day 6     Shannon River - Pimelea 70km (Pemberton Forest Stay)
Day 7     Rest day at Pemberton Forest Stay
Day 8     Pimelea - Nannup 72km (Nannup Caravan Park)
Day 9     Nannup - Augusta 90km (Turner Caravan Park)
Day 10   Augusta - Hamelin Bay 21km (Hamelin Bay Holiday Park)
Day 11   Hamelin Bay - Prevelly Park 47km (Prevelly Park Beach Resort)
Day 12   Prevelly Park - Dunsborough 59km (Dunsborough Beach YHA)
Day 13   Rest day at Dunsborough Beach YHA
Day 14   Dunsborough - Australind 96km (Australind Tourist Park)
Day 15   Australind - Mandurah 96km (Timbertop Caravan Park)
Day 16   Mandurah - Perth 80km

Hello from Rosemary

Greetings all. See you tomorrow. May the wind be at our back.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First ever CTA Cycling Tour 1975

In 1975 we made panniers from old wheat bags, cooked sausages on fencing wire and wrapped old socks on our hands to keep out the icy cold. There were no helmets, computers or electronic gears. There were twelve of us - the 'Dirty Dozen' - including one female, but it was a little difficult to identify Robin from the rest of us.

The 'Dirty Dozen' at Noggerup YH on CTA First South West Tour 1975

On the 'rest' day we cycled from Bridgetown to Balingup, to Nannup and back to Bridgetown. Two of the group rode the whole tour on  single speed fixed gear bikes.

The photo here is taken at the Noggerup Youth Hostel, about half way between Collie and Donnybrook. What no internet???? There was no electricity or gas and we carried water from a rainwater tank. Together we made 'Noggerup' stew and cooked it on an old Metters wood stove. We ate the stew courtesy of a Tilley kerosene light.

Seeing 40 years have gone by I feel somewhat safe to mention that we occasionally 'borrowed' apples and fruit from farmer's paddocks along the way. From that motley crew today we have a fair smattering of some of WA's leading doctors, lawyers and environmental workers.

First hello from Nicole

Nicole's first post
I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody on the bus tomorrow morning - I've come a very long way to do this !!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Keep Me Clean

Well, I've received my shirt and maps and I'm sort of ready to go. I became a bit concerned about teh massage with my official shirt - the one that said 'Keep me clean for the bonding dinner on the first night'.

I've discovered the ageing process comes with the development of certain personality traits. One that I've noticed is the development of food magnets in my clothing. The moment I put on a clean shirt (especially if its white) and i'm within five metres of any food, particles of food fly through the air and adhere themselves to my shirt.

That said, I'm doing my level best to keep my impressive CTA  short in a pristine state. So when I went fora  swim at South Beach with Miller this morning I wore my rashy and not my CTA shirt which is under lock and key.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Matthew King almost ready to roll

test mini tour ----all but the bars worked well

Matt King from Canberra in training

I hope your training is going well

Im really looking forward to the tour and catching up with various  people and spending a decent amount of time with you all  
My training has gone ok. I’ve done around 1000km since being allowed back on the bike in Jan and I have  being doing some miles loaded up with most of the gear I will have on the tour. Boy does that slow you down !!!!!    So long as I don’t try to keep up with the youngsters I’m comfortable I have enough in my legs to get to Perth
I’m flying into Perth on the Thursday evening and staying with Mary Ellen and her partner in Cottesloe  till they drop me at the bus on sat morning -----she is flying overseas a few days later so I won’t see her when we get back so I plan to maximise my time with her.
I fly back to Canberra on the tue evening post ride
My father is planning to meet up with us in Albany on the sat, sun and to wave us off

The photos attached are from a overnight ride to Wee Jasper

if you can open these files check out the trip profiles ----the hills where a challenge !!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Shake-Down Ride 1-3 March 2014

Dwellingup: Numbers were allocated on the basis of good looks
The Dolly Parton lookalike barmaid at the Waroona Hotel stepped from behind the bar. Twenty sweat-laden eyes fixed on 'Dolly'.

Water nymphs at Baden-Powell

Cooling off at Baden-Powell water spout
'Jeez, you guys look so damn hot'
Dolly then proceeded to spray us all with her water atomizer she had rescued from the ironing cupboard.
Dolly was right. We were hot. We had just completed 76 kilometres in 35 degrees plus temperatures and  we were baked and slaked.
That first shandy I sunk was the best shandy I had tasted in my life. It was like liquid gold.

Shake-down leader Stan Wiechecki in Waroona

Our shake-down ride was a practice for the big one - the 4oth Anniversary  CTA Tour from Albany to Perth covering 800 kilometres. The ride was meant to give us a taste of things to come.

A spokeful of thanks to Stan Wiechecki for finding all the best eateries, coffee shops and restaurants.

And a special thank you to my stoker Margaret who kept helping up the Dwellingup hills.

Really looking forward to the push off in Albany in a couple of weeks.