Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, October 24, 2011


 Never leave your good hat when you're off wandering the countryside as a road support for a bike ride. UNLESS, you leave it at the NARRANDERA BAKERY, 108 East St, Narrandera. Ph 02 6959 3677. Thanks Nic and Margy for returning my cherished hat. If tyou're in the vicinity, drop in and have a cuppa. Great place. Nice folk. You might even catch Jules there - old teaching buddy from Dubbo who now lives in N.

Would you believe I found two (2) of these critters hangin' around. A bush tick. Can cause a person quite a bit of discomfort and can kill a dog. This guy was pretty healthy until I cremated him.

 On Saturday Fay and I attended a training day in Nowra put on by Anglicare. Top day. Well done and we may be useful in the event of a disaster eg bushfire, rail crash etc.

The bride (with a bit of help from her husband), has done a heap of gardening, weeding etc. Tremendous. We can now see the front door!
This week is very special. It's 5 years ago today that we lost Bob Pritchard (Perth). What a loss. So our thoughts have been with Wendy and the family.
This week's also the week that we lost Jim Smart - a mate of nearly 50 years. We say farewell tomorrow at a memorial service in Nowra. See  

Friday, October 21, 2011


Why is it that blokes so often have communication problems? Especially with their partners? Even fellas who’ve been married for quite a while and have “good” marriages.
How come men just don’t see some things coming… or going?
What percentage of blokes are romantics? So, what happened to the rest?
How can a bloke “lift his game” and win over his chick like he did back in the olden days? Is there a formula?
What are the consequences if he doesn’t improve the situation? Did you see Constable Bradley in Heartbeat recently? Mrs Bradley has “met someone”. Else! Zing! There goes the marriage! He was too busy to notice. The same night I watched a Ruth Rendell movie on the box. The bloke there – Colin Firth – couldn’t communicate with his young bride. She was only 25.
How many marriages can be saved? How many are saved? How many will just dawdle along without ever reaching the heights they once soared to?
How many people settle for … average? 
If you have a problem, mate, who can you share it with? Where to from here? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Annette (with 2 kids in her chariot) on the left following Deb (with 2 kids in her chariot.) Always special to cycle over the bridge. Thousands of cyclists ride the Spring Cycle each year. Weather conditions were excellent.
 Let's roll the clocks back to 6 am. At this stage, the three little pigs were still sleeping.

 The bikes (and everything else) are ready for the day's event.

 From the top of the stairs, we had to get 2 bikes, 2 chariots and 3 kids down to the platform ready for the train. We made it with several minutes to spare.

 Then it was time for breakfast! Yep, weet-bix on the train.

 Deb towed her chariot with two 20 kg five year olds in it. Congratulations Deb.

 Annette did extremely well seeing she'd only ridden this bike a couple of times. We've just gotta get her into lycra I reckon!

This was my load! They only allowed me to carry 1 kid.

Deb and I wore our Bike for Bibles lycra. At this stage we were nearly home at the end of our ride. Maybe I rode 35 km - under load!

Then later in the arvo, we got into party mode. Good stuff as we celebrated Jeremy's birthday.

Here Jeremy chats with ex Coom-ite Alex Burridge. Great to catch up with folk we don't see too often.

Friday, October 14, 2011


OK. Computer on the left cost about $20. Computer on right  is a  $100 computer.  Expensive one doesn't work.  It is a VDO C3 model. It replaced a cheaper VDO model (also expensive) on the BH road bike.  It didn't work either. So, off to ALDI where we purchased the cheap Bikemate computer. It has more functions and even gives the temperature. Unreal.  

 While I was there I managed to purchase this bike pump. It cost a big $19.95. Strike. I had figured I was going to need to pay $65 for one. Fingers crossed. Works ok so far.

 Here's the trusty BH. A beautiful steed. Hasn't had a great deal of work this year due to unforseen circumstances. Do you like the pink handlebar tape? That's my Amy Gillett handlebars!!!

And to round things up - I bought a combo front and rear light. You guessed it - it cost not very much either. Ten bucks! Haven't mounted this as yet. [Have now.] The lights will go on the TREK 4300. (Mountain bike.) Then I'd better get riding eh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Indoor/outdoor shots of these "three little pigs." Ages are 1, 3 and just turned 5. If they're this good, maybe their parents should have half a dozen!

Kids love roasting marshmallows when they come to visit their grandparents. Also their mother and grandfather get to satisfy their sugar intake.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


 Connor, at 16 months, just needs to wear his helmet even when just wandering round the house. He's pretty safety conscious! Guess he's always ready if there's a bike ride on.

 Meals are always interesting. Here's nos 1 and 2 of the three little pigs. Add in 2 Mayne kids and presto - five preschoolers!

 Seems the boys love roasting marshmallows. Sorry about the sugar content Deb.

 Bike lesson from an experienced road cyclist - Logan and his Mum, Deb. Can you see Hannah and Lachlan in the background? With their Mum, Annette.

 Connor seems to have his sights set on this model. He's keen this fella.

Looks like the lesson is working. Confidence is growing.
We enjoyed having the 5 kids and their mums for several days. Weather allowed us to do plenty of outdoor stuff including beach, movies and Swan Lake. Now it's a few valium and some restful evenings.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


They say what happens on the ride stays on the ride (or in Canada they say what stays on the ride, happens on the ride!) Well... that might be so, but when one of the team planks like this.... you've just gotta share the good news.

Narelle and son, Eric, are just 2 of the wonderful folk from Yass that look after us. Our team of 44 (dwindled to 40 following eliminations), were very well fed and showered by the kind folk from Yass... yet again. They have big hearts. Thanks very much.

I think this fellow was "parked" outside the Royal Hotel at Cullerin.
Georgie didn't ride as much as she'd have liked due to ill-health. She was a big help to me in looking after A team. Thanks Georgie. Get back to full health and maybe have a crack at it next year.
The A team were really happy to reach Goulburn after a tough 100 km. Thanks Dave C and Gordon the Yellow Dog for looking after the team. Special thanks to Jim Blaxland, Graham Stokes and Karen Stokes for the tremendous amount of work they have done in preparing for this ride. Very much appreciated. And I heard a bunch of people say... SEEYA NEXT YEAR!

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Sadly, Mark has been voted off. It had to happen. Couldn't stand the pace! Good try mate.

 There's certainly a few dollars tied up in the bikes. I've been trying not to covet.

 I did find one that might suit me. Here Dave is checking the brakes before I take it for a test run. It went well, but was a bit too heavy. Still looking.
 From Young we travelled through Harden-Murrumburrah, Binalong and Bowning before arriving at Yass. The riders reckoned it was probably the toughest day of the week. Went through some lovely country. 99 km today.

Team D were quick again... as expected. Sadly they often miss out on seeing the kangaroos, emus etc that abound around us.
Tomorrow we head from Yass to Goulburn - our last day. It's been a bit tough on a few riders, with John, Georgie, Lani, Alec, Daniel and Levi all having a turn in a vehicle at some stage today. Certainly looking forward to getting back home after being a roadie for RIDE4RETINA and then BIKE FOR BIBLES.