Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

Standing out from the herd…

The Painted Cow, Toogoolawah, Queensland

Toogoolawah, Queensland
MOO-ve along, dearie… nothing to be seen here! (We don't just talk funny, we look funny, too.)

The building behind the painted cow is the semi-restored Toogoolawah Station which is next to the rail trail, which is how I came to be in this quaint country town.

Toogoolawah Station, Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, Queensland
My upcoming Italy bike tour buddy is back from her haunted east of the mountains, and we're riding again 😁!

Started out on the paved trail next to the highway - safe, but noisy with the Friday traffic heading to the ferries for a weekend off the island.

When we left the trail for the rural roads of central Whidbey, we came upon this "family" taking a break from plowing to greet passers by:


This shot is overlooking the prairie where farming has been the way of life since the mid 1800s:

For Dodgeman 😁:

The red barn used to belong to the family of my ride buddy - she was happy to see it looking so well kept up!

Looking West to the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains:

Our bikes:


And, our ride:


Another glorious day!
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The pictures are from the last few rides. I'd driven past the propeller for many years but didn't realize the beauty of the thing until I stood in front of it. Hawks (raptors) have long interested me. Years back after noticing in a tall oak (the mexican's chicken coop nearby) a Red-Shouldered Hawk family I posted Ted Hughe's fine poem Hawk Roosting for anyone passing. This hawk on the wire's name escapes me but is a smaller, more delicate killing machine. I witnessed this species from my deck glide down my pasture then a hundred yards past turn and vector towards my feeders at great speed ultimately crashing into the thick cedar where a life and death struggle rustled the branches.
Hawk Roosting excerpt

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot.



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Tried a new Anglian Water reservoir yesterday. This time, Alton Water, near Ipswich in Suffolk

The ride was pretty enough but with some steep hilly bits in places. However, the water was hidden most of the time by the tree line.

Similar to the other reservoirs, there are signs of a water shortage as you can see that the levels are quite low.

Had the usual two picnic stops with some very nice views.


Found some more Blackberry bushes and, lots of them. Ended up picking about 2.5kg of fruit.

Before the ride, I changed my bar ends as I found that I’ve been getting some discomfort recently. Going from the Ergon GP3 to the GP5. Much bigger and quite comfortable, offering more hand positions.

Came across these cobwebs glistening in the sun, which made for a nice photo.

Plus some Highland Cows, which I’ve not seen in England before.

Due to the dry weather all the grass was brown and dusty. By the end of the ride, the bike had quite a covering of dust.

Albeit a nice ride, it was a long way for a day, being about 110 miles. Might do as part of a holiday if in the area, but for a day trip with the price of fuel at the moment, probably not.


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BYO soup spoons…

Another dreadful start to what should have been an idyllic morning. The usual culprits: too many cars (99%, including my little fuel miser, with no passenger accompanying the driver).

I had left home thirty minutes later than normal and therefore, because of the increasing traffic resulting from tradies going to work, arrived at the ride's start one hour late. Grumble, grumble!

Ride with GPS

Well, as I started one hour late, my hot chocolate stop should come one hour early! I needed it: now! After just three kilometres I pulled off the Kedron Brook Bikeway and took a break beside a pond which was essentially the same dimensions as the pool at Brix—she is with you?—and Stefan's azienda. It wasn't quite as clean; in fact, it was disgusting with who knows what pond life lurking in its murky silt.

This was the ideal refreshment spot for my soon-to-arrive avian companion who came equipped with its own pair of soup spoons and immediately set about searching the muck for delicious titbits. Yummy!

Appetite sated, it was gone almost as soon as it had arrived—not once acknowledging my presence. (I was right next to you, bird!)

Royal Spoonbill, Kedron Brook Wetlands, Brisbane

Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)
Beside Kedron Brook Bikeway

  • Birds of the World—sorry, there's a paywall guarding the website—describes the Royal Spoonbill's habitat as 'freshwater wetlands including swamps, flooded pastures, lagoons, sewage works, pools and shallow parts of lakes and reservoirs'. This species isn't fussy about the restaurants it frequents!
  • The arterial road dominating the map, Southern Cross Way, takes its name from the first aircraft to fly the Pacific. In 1928 the Southern Cross landed immediately to the south of where I was taking my recuperative break beside the Kedron Brook… and there it can be found, in pristine condition, the best part of a century later.
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Bikeless Somewhere In Tuscany...

View attachment 131361
Warsaw Modlin – London Stansted – Pisa International. Quite a trip.

View attachment 131362At an azienda in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy.

View attachment 131363No Italian azienda could survive without a swimming pool!
View attachment 131364Too small a car to transport bikes! 🤣

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A Tuscan supper.
The brother in law has just bought a place in Tuscany, 40k he paid for it.
Its 3 rooms in the absolute middle of nowhere.
So a trip to the Lakes on the bikes with my friend ended outside his house, all packed up and the starter motor expired.

The registration plate on UK vehicles is such an insight into British snobbery.
We put the year a vehicle is produced on the plate, for the sole reason it lets everyone know how new your car is, and to push new sales.
They decided yearly wasnt enough and now its every six months, so that van is 2014 and the 6 means it was registered after june that year.
Does anyone else do that with car plates?
Does anyone else do that with car plates?


Q : Queensland
J : Jen
D : David
72 : Married on 3 August 1972.
Z : Filler. Just remember to pronounce it 'zed'.

Don't even think of fitting a bike rack to your car unless it has its own registration plate!

These are from Jen's car (now sold); my rego is QDJ72Z. The registration numbers are our property and can be reused or, heaven forbid, sold.

Stars (below QLD) : Southern Cross
Salvat Itiner = Safe Journey

What you will never see on our roads—well, I haven't in over fifty years—is a car with a registration plate from another country.
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Just wanted to tell you what I saw on our restaurant car ride of yesterday's evening (Italian restaurants open 7-7:30 pm).

The local roads here in Tuscany are narrow, steep, full of switchbacks and they are sometimes made from gravel. Driving in medieval cities located on top of hill such as San Miniato is challenging! Narrow streets lead between ancient townhouses, require sharp turns, handling inclines and declines, riding through gates, switchbacks, just name it.

I could see a man riding a premium e-bike up very steep hill like a boss! Not many e-bikes here but when you see one, it is a good bike!
Barn of the day. I see a name and year on barns once in a while. I never know if that is when the farm was purchased, the year the barn was built, or one and the same. I did 16 miles, about 3 of which was on loose gravel. I’m not taking that road again soon, my bike just isn’t meant for gravel.