Gra Nomad Wanderings

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Great to finally visit the Bike Friday heaven... where they are all made and sold. We had a good chat with Terrific Tim the bike mechanic (he's the one with the beard!) Then we had a tour of the operation with Peter Berra (they call him kookaberra in Australia). He's wearing the black T. While they were servicing the Banana Split, they loaned us a tandem to try out! A fast tandem with STIs and Ultegra gear! It was as light as... as Fay is trying to show you. But, we really like ours and the way it is set up. I told Fay we would've got over 80 kph the other day on the grey bike... but she prefers comfort to speed any day. 79.8 is quick enough she reckons!
Next... Corvallis for the NORTH WEST TANDEM RALLY.
Cheerio beautiful bike friendly Eugene, and thanks heaps to Laura, Gary and Ellen. (Strawberries willbe posted next time.) Great meal Laura!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Do you like boating? Toad loved "messing about in boats" as I remember. It is fun. We've traded cycling for riding around in Bill's powerboat - Billabong - and also sailing in Bobby's Hotspur. Much fun. They even have a pub out in the harbour, called Dinghy Dock Pub. A popular spot.
The Vancouver Island area is well known as a water playground. We've enjoyed our time here and have met heaps of great people. (They're nearly all golfers!) Thanks Dave (Comox), Neil & Betty, Glen and Elena (& Marty & Claudia), Bobby/Kendra, BJ/Kathy (& Ian and Cameron) for looking after us. Special thanks to bro Bill for having us (and loaning us his truck!) Heaps of photos, but here are a couple.
Depart Nanaimo and off to Olympia (south of Seattle) tomorrow and then on to Eugene and Corvallis (Oregon) after that. Then...
PS Now (Monday) in beautiful OLYMPIA, WA!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Went cycling on Gabriola Island. Much better roads than Saltspring Is. Found a hill which was very steep... and we did nearly 80 kph! I was stoked! Those little wheels can really go eh?
Other photo is Bill on his old "iron horse" with us. Good to see he can still ride at his age!
We're still in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and will head to Washington on 25 June and then on to Oregon on 27 June. Big North West Tandem Rally is on 1 July in Corvallis, OR.
Thanks Dana for your suggestion re Fay's 60th birthday present.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


In an upstairs apartment in a city of four million people, lives a lady I know. It's currently winter there (though I haven't seen a winter for 3 or 4 years unless you count the week we spent in Chicago at the end of March this year!)

This lady is in the area of education. A noble art. She was recently recommended for an award to recognise her work. She thought.... bah humbug! I don't believe in such things. But she was finally persuaded to attend a function to honour herself and other such people. Then came the crunch....Could you please send a recent photograph of yourself? No way! That's infingeing on my privacy, she thought. However, she finally realized that she needed to send a photograph. (This is a very recent story by the way.) So... wait for it... she sent them the photograph below... of a young Kate Hepburn! Isn't that neat? (I am also a huge Hepburn fan.)

Congratulations my dear. I'm proud of you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


They say a picture tells a thousand words... maybe mine only tell 500. Here's a couple.
Was pleased to get a hummingbird in action and also one of brother Bill "in action" too! That's him cycling with Fay and I on Vancouver Island.
Fay and I ferried to Gabriola Island today and did a creitable 52 km on our Bike Friday with a maximum speed of 79.8 km/h!! Beat that! You can't do that in Dubbo.
Fay's 60th birthday on 26 June. What should I get her?

Friday, June 16, 2006


Yesterday Fay and I put Banana Split together (our Bike Friday tandem) and road the hilliest, roughest surface and narrowest 2 lane roads we've ridden on... maybe ever.... well, nearly Jim. Gears were not working 100% which is essential if you're in hilly country on a tandem. Did 25 km which I was happy with.

So, where the hell is Saltspring Island? Does anyone know? It certainly can't be Kansas or Missouri can it? Right! There are some very wealthy people on this island and a bunch of hippies. If we'd stayed here overnight we could have ridden round the whole island probably... if we like hills and rough bitumen and narrow stuff. Bit different to Dubbo! Oh, alas... we were supposed to be riding BAK as I speak......

So, where the hell is Saltspring Island?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Boy… things are going too fast:
* Katy Days in Parsons, KS was good fun - annual fair
* Sad farewelling Ken and Corrine and heading to Wichita (actually Derby) KS
* Attended Derby Days in Derby (where else?) - annual fair

* Learnt about Equal Exchange – fairly traded gourmet coffee, tea & chocolate from Latin America, Africa and Asia
* Went to Cosmosphere – Hutchinson, KS where we saw two IMAX productions – ROVING MARS and MYSTERY OF THE NILE. Both incredible films.... Mystery of The Nile... what a trip! Not for the faint hearted.

* Collected a couple more license plates from Kansas – I collect plates (tags) everywhere I go… got quite a collection back in Oz.
* Saw quilt displays and shops (Fay)
* Danced to THE BEAT and The BENDERS at Derby Days
* Packed another box of stuff to send back to Australia
* watched tennis and saw Hingis beaten by Clijsters and read where Hewitt got beaten in French Open
* Ron/Chari are taking us to Kansas City on Friday 9 June
* We’re flying to Vancouver on 13 June from KC
* I haven’t got a Kansas Uni shirt yet!!

* or license plates from Delaware, Dist of Columbia, Maryland and Rhode Island