Quaxing - Pandemic Inspired Cycle Touring - CycleBlaze

April 12, 2020

Quaxing

The Long Way Home from the grocery shop

Day 2 of this COVID19 inspired ‘tour’ was a short but beautiful ride. It was going to be a simple ride to the local shop, pick up a few groceries for Easter Sunday Dinner, and return home. Instead I extended the pedalling to have a look around the suburb and return via a dirt trail rather than streets. 

‘Quaxing’ is a word occasionally used to describe the process of shopping by bicycle, so today’s tour was motivated by quaxing, but became a longer ride. I wonder if quaxing will ever become a popular word.

One of the advantages of this hub and spoke type of touring over normal touring, is that I can swap bikes to suit the course. Today I rode The Red Bike (Thorn Audax light tourer), because I needed extra pannier room, whereas on yesterday’s ride the old blue MTB better suited the hill tracks.

Our local grocery store. The panic buying seems to have slowed. There’s plenty of good fresh food available, though for reasons unclear to me, toilet paper is still in short supply. Plenty of flour, but yeast is hard to get.
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Groceries bought and loaded.
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Sculptures at the local shops are well prepared for COVID19
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Even the snail sculpture at the local shop is taking COVID19 seriously.
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The sculptures of the aquatic fauna also dressed for the occasion.
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The main thoroughfare through the suburb. Very quiet, and the pin oak trees are starting to put on their mid autumn colours.
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More autumn colour appearing in local backyards.
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Eye catching mural on one of the local houses.
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I’ve left the shop and suburban streets to explore a different route home.
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Eucalyptus tree bark
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Grassy woodland nature reserve which is adjacent to our suburb.
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Water in these channels is a pleasure to see. They have been dry and hard baked for years. This autumn is the best I can recall for at least five years.
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A signpost for The Centenary Trail. It’s a 130+km multi purpose trail around the Australian Capital Territory. I rode several kilometres of it yesterday and today.
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Back home and the magpies on the back deck are social distancing.
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The dog is on the lookout for rabbits.
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Looking over the back fence. This trail could lead to many day adventures over the next few weeks or months.
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Today's ride: 10 km (6 miles)
Total: 35 km (22 miles)

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Kathleen ClassenAnother 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.
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5 months ago
Graham SmithThanks 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.
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5 months ago
John SaxbyGood 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...
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5 months ago
Graham SmithTo John SaxbyThanks 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.
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5 months ago
John SaxbyTo Graham SmithEnjoyed 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
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5 months ago
Susan CarpenterQuaxing - love it!
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5 months ago