You want to what?
Hi. I’m Max. That one over there, that’s my mum. Hence MaxiMum. Get it? Now that we’re acquainted, let’s get into the thick of it, shall we?
To be honest, I can’t recall quite how I got it in my head that I wanted to go bike touring. Not that long ago, Mum and I went on Cycle Queensland, an annual, 9-day ride around parts of Queensland. This year, we rode from Goondiwindi to Brisbane. It’s the third time I’ve done CQ (my previous CQs include a loop of the Darling Downs in 2009 and last year’s CQ, from Yeppoon to Bundaberg). It got me thinking about how (if) I’d enjoy doing such a bike ride on my own, or with Mum. But unsupported. No trucks to carry our crap, no meals cooked for us, no flushing toilets, no hot showers.
Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? But my curiosity was piqued. Some time back, I joined the Brisbane Bicycle Touring Association. I didn’t join it because of an interest in bicycle touring. No, I joined it because I’d ridden with some of their members in loosely organised group rides, and in the course of one of these rides, they showed me a shortcut to get home. I figured that was worth the joining fee, so I paid up. It was only later that I realised they might actually be a useful resource for, you know, bicycle touring.
Anyway. I think this idea has been festering in my brain for a few years now, but only recently emerged from the murky depths of my synapses. Thinking hard about it now, I think it started sometime after reading about Avanti’s new commuter bike on the Australian Cycling Forums. This bike was marketed as the commuter’s wet dream: flatbar roadie with disc brakes, internal gear hub, belt drive, room for mudguards and mounting points for rack/panniers. This, in turn, got me researching IGHs, which in turn got me researching Rohloff’s Speed Hub.
And anyone who knows anything about bike touring (even me!) knows that the Rohloff Speed Hub is considered the ducks nuts by tourers and commuters alike.
So this got me looking at touring web sites and stories and so forth.. and before I knew it, I was thinking to myself, “hmmm… I’ll have long service leave in 18 months or so… maybe Mum and I can go on a bike tour! A big one! Like weeks!”. And here we are!
Now, I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading; half-hearted reading, but reading nonetheless. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s way too much information out there. I can’t possibly keep it all in my head, and trying to send emails back and forth to Mum with this and that, and what about this, and how about that.. it’s all too hard. So we’re blogging it instead!
Stay tuned as I update this site. There’ll be links to stories, reviews, manufacturer web pages, community sites, forums.. you name it. Anything that makes us more informed about bicycle touring.