Journal Comments - Pandemic Inspired Cycle Touring - CycleBlaze

Journal Comments

From Pandemic Inspired Cycle Touring by Graham Smith

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Graham Smith replied to a comment by Gregory Garceau on A Taste of Orange

Greg an amusing observation is that Orange is surrounded by apple orchards, but oranges aren’t grown there. And yes the Orange region is very green. The green environment there is also a contradiction because it is the only electorate in Australia with a Shooters Party (very non-green) Member of Parliament.

The world is full of puzzling concurrences.

1 month ago
Gregory Garceau commented on A Taste of Orange

Hi Graham, things are looking pretty green for inland Australia and for a town named Orange. I did see a little orange in that rainbow though.

1 month ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by Susan Carpenter on Acknowledgement of Country

Thanks Susan.
A brief ‘Acknowledgment of Country’, and/or ‘Welcome to Country‘ are often done in Australia nowadays prior to the start of meetings, conferences, seminars, or similar gatherings.
A welcome can only be done by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island person on their own country.
An acknowledgment can be done by anyone.

A full Welcome to Country can involve a campfire and smoking ceremony by putting certain types of eucalyptus leaves on the fire, then each person in the gathering passes through the aromatic smoke. I’ve participated in quite a few of these ceremonies as part of my work in remote north west Australia. It’s a very moving and unforgettable experience.

4 months ago
Susan Carpenter commented on Acknowledgement of Country

Thanks Graham for the thoughtful and informative comments.

5 months ago
Graham Smith commented on Acknowledgement of Country

Thanks John. Over the past few years I’ve worked with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait people and have had the privilege of visiting their communities and learning much more about their cultures and history. I also have Aboriginal relatives.
Indigenous cultures are a fascinating and such a precious part of contemporary Australia. Our ancient and continuing living Indigenous culture is a distinctive feature of modern Australia.

5 months ago
John Saxby commented on Acknowledgement of Country

Well written, Graham -- thanks.


5 months ago
John Saxby commented on The Trio of Lookouts

Nice safari through your neighbourhood, Graham. The hills are special, aren't they?

The siting of Canberra within a ring of hills reminds me of Pretoria. Kruger commissioned five forts to be built surrounding the city in the 1890s, anticipating the conflict that would soon come. A little more than a century later, we lived there for 3 years (2003-06) and I visited some of those forts, and rode my bike across and around those hills. I don't have anywhere near the number and quality of photos that you have, though :(

Ottawa, by comparison, lies on the flat-to-very-gently-rolling south shore of the Ottawa River. (The Ontario side of the Ottawa valley is generally less steep than the Qué side, hence has better farmland, especially east of the city, towards Montréal.) Our hills for day rides are lovely indeed, but are all on the Québec side of the river, currently off-limits unless the virus relents. There are splendid hills on the Ontario side, especially N and W of Ottawa, but they are a full day's ride away, hence better suited to overnights. We'll look at such trips when the social distancing regulations are relaxed -- mid-late summer, if we're lucky.

Enjoying your stories, Graham -- keep on keeping on, and stay safe.


5 months ago
Susan Carpenter commented on Quaxing

Quaxing - love it!

5 months ago
Susan Carpenter commented on Mt Majura Circuit

Thanks for the nice comments. I'm looking forward to learning more about your home turf.

5 months ago
John Saxby replied to a comment by Graham Smith on Quaxing

Enjoyed your circuit de Burley Griffin, too -- we managed to see some of that shoreline on our visit.

I've managed a couple of short rides around Ottawa since our quarantine ended just before the Easter weekend, drawn to a couple of our rivers as always. Have posted some notes and a couple of photos on the Thorn Cycles Forum, in the "Rides of 2020" thread.

(Have still to post my notes & photos from the Gold Coast -- as you can guess, that seems long ago and far away right now.)

I'm guessing/hoping that the current distancing regulations will be eased later this summer, but I'm not assuming that even a short 5-7 day tour would be feasible. My first priority in any case will be family visits to Hamilton, around the end of L Ontario from Toronto. Our daughter, Meg, lives there with her partner, and they are expecting a baby in just 3 weeks' time. Not sure when we'll be able to see them -- tho' it will be a treat to have a grandchild in the same time zone! :)

Take care, John

5 months ago
Bill Shaneyfelt commented on a photo in The Lake Circuit

Down tube shifters! I had a bike with those in the late 60s to late 70s! Really prefer bar end.

5 months ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by John Saxby on Quaxing

Thanks John. It is a great time of year to be out cycling in and near Canberra. Thankfully it is still allowed. I hear that in France of all places, not even cycling is permitted. Their lockdown is very tight.

Thanks to cycling, gardening, dog walking, outdoor cooking, Zoom link to work and most family being close, the COVID19 situation hasn’t felt too bad at our place so far. The only major difficulty is separation from the NZ family. The rest of the quarantine constraints are easily managed with a few adjustments.

5 months ago
John Saxby commented on Quaxing

Good photos, Graham -- love the colour! (He said, a little enviously: we're still in early spring here, the buds on the trees just beginning to open.)

Nice to see you're enjoying your immediate neighbourhood. From our brief visit to Canberra in late January 2018, I have some sense of the cycling opportunities available to you.

It's interesting that both Aus and Canada have small-ish capital cities (tho' Ottawa has grown substantially in the last 30-40 years), and that residents of both cities can enjoy accessible and beautiful natural environments. Ours are rather less accessible than usual at the moment, especially the hills of W Québec across the river -- the four bridges across the river are closed for the moment. There'll be a mad rush when they reopen...

5 months ago
Graham Smith commented on Quaxing

Thanks Kathleen. I have found it interesting to start looking at my own locale through the lens of cycle touring. One tends to think of the hometown as place to leave from and arrive back to, rather than the actual cycle tour route itself.

Yesterday I had a ‘rest day’ off the bike. I’m about to do a journal entry to keep the ‘tour’ journal continuity rolling.

5 months ago
Kathleen Classen commented on Quaxing

Another journal to read. Thank you. I am really enjoying this. We are getting out on our bikes and had a beautiful Easter ride today. Happy Easter, stay well and keep blogging.

5 months ago