Mt Mee to Caboolture

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It was a pretty routine ride today. Four of us — Benny, Me, Ryan and Ventura. Nothing too eventful except some random mist at Petrie and another puppy sighting! (Dee is always interested in these eventualities and I do my best to capture these moments.)

It was horribly humid and not really pleasant any time we were in the sun. Almost 1600m of climbing and just on 100kms from start to the train home from Caboolture.

I managed to accidentally swallow TWO flies. URGH! That really sucked.

As always we got our dose of abuse from a few random cars on the last 21k leg from D’Aguilar into Caboolture. It wouldn’t be a proper ride if that didn’t happen.

And we all managed to independently order the exact same thing at the Dayboro! We do this all the time! LOL

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O’Reilly’s Ride

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So Tom and Ryan and me did something a bit “Fred” today — by Ryan’s sandards anyway. We did one of those “all pile our shit into a car and drive to somewhere exotic and ride our bikes to the top of a mountain and then do the exact thing but in reverse.”

This climb to O’Reilly’s is rated quite highly on the interwebs. It gets a mention now and then as maybe the best mountain ride in South East Queensland — so we just had to check it out. And all told it certainly ticks a great deal of boxes and it does have a lot going for it. But here is my critical analysis:

PROS:

1) The gradient is pretty even and super-civilised. It averages just 4% over the 1000 metres up. That sort of incline means you can hold a decent conversation, you can sit up and enjoy the scenery and you’re never truly suffering. (It should be said there is a brutal, brutal section right at the end which hurts.)

2) The scenery is fucking amazing. Really, really green at the dairy farming section on the plateau. And initially you get to climb up on the left (east) side of the mountain and then transfer to the other side just under halfway up. All the way you get some super-amazing views of this section of the Scenic Rim.

3) We got to see a lot of wild life. Heaps of kangaroos and wallabies and some lorikeets.

4) The descent is the longest I’ve ever experienced. Hardly any pedal-action for about 15ks. But that has it’s own complications (see below).

5) For a summer ride — it was 29 degrees max today — it was really cool. Lot’s of shade and even chilly at the very top.

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CONS

1) The monotony. It feels a bit “samey” for a lot of the climb. The switchbacks provide some interest but even they become a bit too familiar. It’s like you have to go through three sets of GRIDS and three sets of switchbacks before something new comes up.

2) The shitty road surface in the last 5kms. It meant a lot of suffering for your arms and hands. It’s not dissimilar to that annoying buzzy feeling you get post-operating a whipper-snipper for ages. Ryan’s water bottle jumped out at one point and it got stuck in his back wheel. After that I kept checking my bottles after any break in the jolts and they had always moved into dangerous positions.

3) I should mention the potential conflict with cars. The road at the top is very narrow. For a few kilometres it resembles more a bike path than a road. And it does make for some close passes. But it should be said generally the cars (and trucks) were fine. Yep — we saw three trucks (and one insane Australia Post vehicle) on their way up while we were on our way down.

4) Going downhill for such a long periods really targets muscles, other bits in your body and your brain. It’s a workout. Those bits aren’t used to being that way for such a period of time. On paper coasting for 14ks down a mountain looks magical. But it’s not. I shouldn’t really complain, but it needs to be said. Apart from the soreness in your back from being excessively at that reclined angle and the evil feeling in your arms and hands from supporting extra weight and braking all the time, you have to really concentrate cause there were sheer cliffs on one side, sometimes they looked like death if you strayed. Tom went off the road at a switchback cause he wasn’t concentrating enough.

5) It’s kinda inaccessible to Brisbane riders. So it feels a bit cheating having to drive to the start. Really it is an overnight ride from Brisbane or at least a very long day catching a train there, riding for 130 odd ks and then catching a train back. Once upon a time we did Binna Burra like that and I left at 5:30am and wasn’t home until 4:30pm. Makes for a very, very long day.

BACK TO THE RIDE

So It was certainly memorable. When we picked up Tom we had to get him into the car first while we sandwiched him into the backseat with two bikes wrapped around him like medievel Tetris-torture. He didn’t complain. He was pretty much trapped in there until we could free him at Canungra.

After we re-assembled our whips we set off at 7:30am. At that hour the wildlife were still about and we were graced with some sweet encounters. The kangaroo that hopped along side us for a good 100m was impressive, even though we were constantly worried it would dash in front of us at any moment. And I got to see a little joey poking its head out from in her mum’s pouch.

Bizarrely at some point we saw a car that had gone off the road, on the wrong side and then down the ditch at the side and then smack into a tree. Car drivers are such goobs.

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Tom was up ahead while I was still trying to work out whether the car was just awkwardly parked and the look on his face of sheer “LOL” was amazing. I missed capturing that on camera by milli-seconds.

At the cafe at the very top we got a few peeps enquiring about our adventure in their usual “are you guys insane vibe?”. On previous rides we had encountered this malaise and eventually decided we needed to nominate someone to do all the talking when this situation arises.

For a few reasons: a) so there’s no awkward silence when some random comes up to us asking gooby questions; and b) so we don’t contradict ourselves (Tom’s very impressive logic). Like you don’t want one person to answer the gratuitous question of “How hard was it?” by saying, “Yeah it was really tough” while the other person at the same time says, “It was a piece o’ piss!”. Awkward.

TOM’S DISASTER

So when we were almost down Tom was suddenly absent. And so Ryan and I stopped and looked back. We had just caught up to a car that had passed us at the top while we had completely stopped while Ryan checked something on his bike.

Anyway. Tom appears and then pulls up and I say, “All good?” And he starts squeezing at his right brake lever and it moves in this useless pattern. I start thinking he has snapped a brake cable but then he turns the bike around and I see his entire rear brake calliper is missing. Holy shit!

All that braking, all that PASSION (as Dayne would say) was too much for those callipers. RIP. Poor Tom — he loved those brakes.

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IMG_0108Just like the old fixie days!

OK HERE ARE THE PICS

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A rare photo of me taken by Ryan.
IMG_0053 IMG_0056 IMG_0067 Not sure if Ryan was impressed with me taking this picture!

IMG_0075 I am pretty impressed with this pic of Ry Ry!

IMG_0087 IMG_0095 This is Ryan on his way up that super steep section at the end

IMG_0096 The dodgy Stinson replica avec Segway eiders. Bizarre.

IMG_0097 We had a cheeky guest for our mid-morning re-fuel snack.

IMG_0100   IMG_0110Tom’s cage!

The Stone Roses documentary

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So let’s talk about The Stone Roses.

I first heard them seeing the truncated Fool’s Gold video on this clip show on Channel Ten called “Spin”. It used to run at 4:30 every weekday afternoon and just play music videos for half an hour – no commentary. It was just like RAGE except even more primitive.

I first saw the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on that show.

Anyway. I loved those intense disco beats married with super-amazing guitar (and bass) sounds. Just sounds I couldn’t imagine coming from a guitar. Indeed I spent my entire childhood thinking the bass was just another guitar. (How could a bass sound like that? And why would you want a bass to sound like that?)

That shit that is raining down from Squire’s strings at 5:57 is incredible. And then at 6:23 it just gets NEXT LEVEL.

But then, even though I had the CD, I forgot about them for years and years until I had this friend who had a British boyfriend and he made me listen to a bunch of stuff from he Old Country like the Manic Street Preachers and Tricky and PJ Harvey and Black Grape and eventually The Stone Roses. And so I dusted off that bad-boy and gave the album another listen. And yeah — I had grown up enough to appreciate it.

THE DOCUMENTARY

And so I think this documentary had so much promise — but I think it turned out kinda crap. It felt too “official”. It felt like the band had too much say. I maybe wrong about this but it was comprimised. Even if it wasn’t the band’s fault — certainly Meadows, the sychophantic story-teller. Initially I found this awesome — as I could identify with it. And it reminded me of DIG!. But steadily, and sadly, it became just another ad.

Perhaps cruicially I really found these people — apart from John Squire — just spoilt brats. CHILDREN.

So unlike anyone I would really want to have much to deal with.

It did dabble into their brattish behaviour and their contempt for the press — like it was a term of endearment. Their violence and their bust ups was not explained or rationalised. No real insight or detail or explanation. And it didn’t show that clip when Ian Brown went nuts and cried “Amateurs“. The irony.

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There was a tiny bit of reflection from John Squire about the break-up — but that was it.

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HIGHLIGHTS

But there were some good things which made me stay watching until the end.

John Squire talking about how when he got his first guitar and was just thumbing away and being crap (seemingly) forever wondering how long it would take before he got good.

The documentary guy (Shane Meadows) snaffling the note Reni left for him.

The rehearsal of “Waterfall”.

The free concert sequence went on too long — but was pretty amazing. The sickly fandom documented brought back some memories of my own behaviour.

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And maybe check out the One Band a Week entry. I haven’t read it all but it just might be worth a look.

Taking pictures of people taking pictures

The comment, “Argh. Can’t ‘gram it — got no reception” would have made absolutely no sense to me as little as three years ago. Nowadays it happens almost every ride.

And then there’s photos of people taking instagram photos. And at the cafe at the top of the mountain we discussed taking a picture of someone taking a picture of someone taking a picture. Like Instagram Inception. We decided to have a go at this later. But the photo didn’t turn out too well.

Anyway — about the ride. I was so rubbish today it was embarrassing. Don’t really know what the problem was but I suspect it was a combination of too much partying and dehydration.

So it was me, Jesse, Nate, Scott and Scott’s mate Jeremy from Planet Cycles. It was a Goat Track loop and everything went well except for the fact I suck. Also of note was there was a LOT of discussion about socks for some reason.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

IMG_0072 That’s Jeremy at the start of Samford Road in Alderley

IMG_0076 Nate getting serious. Nate has an awesome BMO tattoo it should be said. And he had it done before it was cool!

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IMG_0086 Scott was riding a test bike from Planet Cycles. It some kinda top-end Specialized with Di2. He andRyan are now converts! It truly is friken awesome.

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So this shot of a shot was taken by Scott. Note — if you can — my mismatched socks.

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This is actually how Scott ‘grams. He had no idea I was taking his photo. TRUE STORY.
IMG_0107 This creepy tree near the top had all these kids toys in it. I couldn’t help but wonder if they each represented some dead kid — like some pagan thing. It was a tiny bit Wicker Man. I got the hell outta there. 

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What is Scott doing with his beard?

IMG_0110INCEPTION! (We might have a better go at this one day.)