I have been doing our old “around-the-block” dog walking loop each morning with my dog Roxy
We used to walk the dogs every day when the kids were little, in back pack child carriers when they were too small to walk.
As they got older we would take them through the bush reserve along the creek and then back onto the course you see below which I will start doing next week
Now they are both at high school and leave home at 7am so its just me and the dog and my Garmin
Around Xmas I bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 920XT which is a training tool, GPS bike computer and “Smart Watch”
Mine is the Triathalon model – different colour ( not as garish) – subtle black and grey compared to the bright blue and black or red and white
It comes with both a pool and a running/cycling HR monitor
I haven’t spent much time configuring it yet but it seems to work “öut of the box” ok
It is a pretty fancy piece of kit with a Heart Rate monitor that connects to the watch which connects to my phone that connects to the internet and uploads the activity to Garmin’s Connect website which you can manage your activities and then connect with other Garmin users…… Lots of connecting !
Once logged onto the Connect site you then can edit and share the activity with the “community” on the Connect site or Facebook etc
I have chosen to embed the code in my blog so you get a summary and the option to click the link on the image to “View Details” and get all the stats of the session
It also lets you add the gear that you use – another social media marketing concept where you can see what others are using and be inspired to “Keep up with the Jones’s”
Like anyone is going to care about my 10yr old The North Face Hedgehog Gore-Tex XCR shoes and 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR mountain bike.
Anyway I will be posting some more activities and gear reviews soon
Angus and I are doing a night ride at Lake Parramatta tonight – stay tuned
Its not just a misheard lyric of the ACDC song Long Way To The Top….
It’s a long way to the shop if you want a Sausage Roll
Making sausage rolls is easy and ones from the shop taste like crap
Without having to make up a mince mix my method of sausage rolls is easy as !
You only need a puff pastry sheet, three sausage rolls (thin), one egg and an oven.
Place the frozen puff pastry sheet on a chopping board to thaw – i use Pampas
Once thawed cut in two
Cut one sausage in half
Cut the sausage long ways from top to bottom to split the skin and peel the skin off
I used 1 1/2 Spicy Italian and 1 1/2 Moroccan Lamb and Lime
These are from Mc Farlands Butcher in Northmead NSW
Place in middle of each section
Break egg into cup and whisk with fork until white and yolk are mixed uniformly
Brush onto both sides of cut in pastry with fork- give your dog the leftover egg it’s good for their coat !
Roll up the pastry to over the first sausage and peel the plastic off then tuck under to seal with egg
Repeat to other sausage then chop in half and then in quarters
Brush with egg and use fork to make stripes or dots to differentiate type of filling
Place on oven tray and cook for 20min on 200c
Craig Katen Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc. Member of the Month Report
How long have you been riding?
About 40 years, I started out riding friends mini bikes around 10 years old and eventually ended up with a family hand me down which I out grew and handed back. At age 14 my friend’s parents had purchased a holiday farm property up the North Coast and bought him a Honda XL 125 on which we took turns riding around a scramble track in a paddock. We also used to go exploring around the fire trails and bush tracks in the area which got me interested in Enduro / trail bike riding.
What bike(s) have you owned?
After leaving school I landed my first job with a motorcycle products importer/distributor which eventually became Monza Imports. I used to place the orders for parts and accessories , look after the computer systems and warehouse and quickly became interested in getting a bike .
I bought my first bike, a 1983 Honda XR200R, from one of the guys at work and I got involved in trail riding and Enduro racing.
In 1985 I then purchased a new Honda XR350R which was a mistake, a total pig for racing, 135Kg and 20Hp – soft, heavy and not much quicker than the 200 and after a year or so I realised that to be “competitive” you needed to have a European 2-stroke bike.
The answer was a 1986 Maico GME250 Enduro which for me made an amazing difference. It was fast light and incredibly easy to ride. Weighing 100kg and having 49 horsepower, 300mm/350mm suspension, front and rear disc brakes it was like going from a Nissan Cedric to a Group B Audi Sport Quattro rally car. A proper race bike, It went, it stopped, it handled . I joined a club and raced it in the NSW Enduro Series and I’d dare say it would be competitive even now.
1989 at Watagan State Forest
1989 at Watagan State Forest
A career change, relationship, buying a house, going overseas, friends moving on and a change in hobbies all accounted for a bike sitting in the shed for 15 years and me not riding any motorcycles what-so-ever.
During that period, however I became a keen mountain biker which kept my riding skills up to a certain degree.
Royal Enfield Purchase
Sometime in July 2012, I did a job in Sydney and was passed by a bike that I had not seen before “in the flesh”. It was in military spec so I assumed it was old, it had a single cylinder motor with wartime Harley Davidson looks about it. I followed the bike for a while in the traffic, along South Darling St, across the harbour and lost it about Falcon St.
I have always had an interest in choppers but had become more interested in recent years after watching the American Chopper series, I even bought a classic cruiser push bike with similar looks to the Enfield – black frame with chrome bars / wheels / etc, springer seat and full mud guards as there was no way I could afford the $50k required for a custom Harley.
I considered other classic styles of bikes, Triumph, old BMWs even Ural but it was still out of reach. A friend of mine has a 2005 Triumph T100 Bonneville and I always thought I’d like to get a similar bike one day if I had the money. I had heard of the Royal Enfield brand before and knew a bit of the history (well, enough to know it was originally British but then made in India) They originally made guns and then bikes and went broke like BSA, Norton et al with the Jap bike revolution. So I went on the Internet and started investigating out of curiosity. I had no idea they had been revamped, were imported into the country and available new here as I assumed the bike I saw was a private import and old.
The Enfield seemed to “tick all the boxes” – Classic look and feel, affordable, not too powerful, easy to ride, customisable, no work compared to buying an old bike. After a couple of visits to the local dealer Motociclo who were great , I eventually went on a test ride. No brainer – within a month of seeing one I had one!
Maico GM250E 1986 Restoration
After reviving my interest in motorcycling by purchasing a Royal Enfield , and being asked by my son Angus “Don’t you already have an old motorbike in the shed and…. CAN I RIDE IT !!!!! ? ” I decided to restore my old Maico which had sat in the shed under a shower curtain since the 90’s.
After it had been dragged out and dusted off with most parts accounted for and an engine that started after only a few kicks I stripped the bike down, commissioned the brakes to be totally rebuilt , replaced the air filter, chain and front sprocket and here it is. Needs a carby service and new tyres and as you can see the rear guard has gone chalky.
2012 Almost 100%
My old gear still fits !
Pacific Park 2012 First ride in 15yrs
Then I really got the bug and bought the kids trail bikes and me a 2014 KTM 500 EXC Enduro in 2014
Bikes I’ve owned
Mini bike at age 10
Honda XR200Rc 1983
Honda XR350Re 1985
MAICO GME250 1986 – Present
Royal Enfield C5 Classic Black 2012 – Present
KTM 500 EXC Enduro 2014 – present
Have you done any interesting rides and where to?
Having been an off-road only rider for so many years I did not ride on the road except for pre-race tuning and warming up the engine before an oil change. I had not done any real road rides at all until I started coming along to Royal Enfield club rides.
The way weekend rides are organised by the club lends itself to being partner friendly and soon Jenny was interested in coming along too.
We really enjoy the “Ride somewhere – Have dinner and drinks – Stay overnight – Ride home next day” format. Jenny recently had a hip replacement which has made long trips easier but prior to that she had trouble getting on and off and discomfort after about 30mins in the saddle.
On the 2014 Bundanoon trip she had a ride in John Wrights sidecar and last month on the way back from Orange we rode Mike Floyds’ Moto Guzzi California which she almost fell asleep on it was so comfortable.
We are still looking at getting a bigger touring bike to make long trips more comfortable and allow more luggage but until then we are happy touring around on the Enfield.
Do you have any other interests, hobbies which may be on interest to your fellow Members?
In summer we are involved in a Surf Life Saving Club where I am a Nipper coach and Jenny is Nippers Secretary and a SLS Official.
Jenny ,our daughter Emma and I are patrolling members and our son Angus is a Nipper competitor so most weekends are spent working at the club, patrolling the beach or attending surf carnival competitions.
In Spring and Autumn we try to do some downhill mountain biking at Thredbo or dirt bike riding or camping.
In winter we are keen downhill and back country skiers spending time at Thredbo and in Kosciusko National Park
I also maintain an internet blog site www.k10stuff.com.au which I use to chronicle my adventures and sell some gear.
I have included links to some articles of interest. ( this is a work in progress as I am changing hosting platforms and design layouts)
Do you have any special skills which may be of interest to other Members ?
IT Equipment Sales and Support , Website hosting , e-Commerce and Blog site setup
Electronic Security, CCTV, access control systems
Technical writing and documentation
Do you have a ‘wish list’ for bikes you’d like to own in the future?
BMW R1200RT or BMW R1200GS
Ducati of some description
Harley Chopper – if I won lotto and could waste $50K on a garage ornament
Is there anywhere you’d like to ride in Australia or overseas?
On an Enfield there would be 2 destinations – India then England
On an adventure bike Central Australia
On a touring bike down the east coast then to Perth
Any suggestions for RECOA rides?
Mid North Coast / Hunter Region
I went for a walk with the dog this morning and noticed that the shape of the clouds indicated some fast moving air in the upper atmosphere.
This is usually an means there has been a system come thru and at this time of the year it would probably be snow-bearing.
I checked the BOM and sure enough there was a Severe Weather Warning -DAMAGING WINDS FOR PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST
I then looked at the snow forums and Thredbos website they had had their first snowfall of the season (so I copied a few pics)
Most of it will disappear before any lifts open but to quote the weather forum mantra “ït will cool the ground” if nothing else
Thredbo Mountain Biking – Anzac Weekend 2016
Thredbo – Anzac Weekend 2016
Scroll down for latest posts
Since it was the end of school holidays combined with Anzac day, Angus and I thought it was a good opportunity to have a last ride on the mountain before it closes for winter on the 1st of May. Craig Martin was coming down after work and another mate Chris Curtis was also riding this weekend who I was keen to catch up for a ride with. I used to ride cross country at Lake Parramatta with Chris but have not ridden downhill with him.
We left home about 430pm and had a quick trip being a Thursday, stopped for the obligatory Maccas, this time at Goulburn and then stopped again at Cooma to clean the windscreen and stretch the legs.
Slight rain had activated my rain sensing wipers smooshing all the bugs that we ran into on this balmy autumn night to the point that it was becoming difficult to see properly. It was 28 deg.C when we were stuck in some traffic on the M7 and about 20 deg. C when we got to Goulburn at about 7pm.
I wanted to have good vision for what I knew was waiting for us on this unusually hot night as we approached our destination of Kosciusko National Park. In fact we didn’t have to wait that long as the first roo jumped out on us somewhere between Berridale and Jindy.
From then on it was like a video game, Angus was spotting for me calling out roos in the darkness of the paddocks and ones lurking in the shadows on the side of the road. Then we hit Penderlea and all hell broke loose with deer running everywhere. I slowed down untill we got into the park proper where the terrain was too steep on either side of the road for them to be a menace.
We made it to Thredbo safely in the end and went to sleep about 11pm. I was woken about 4am with heavy-ish rain.
I got out of bed at about 630 to re-check the weather, the rain had eased but the BOM forecast didn’t impress me so I took a few photos and turned on the laptop.
Not the best thing for mountain biking.
I can see a Cascades breakfast coming on !
Mid Morning Update
The mornings weather didn’t improve but the rain did reduce to a slight drizzle
We were worried the weekend was a write-off however I was assured by Craig Martin that the rain would produce some “hero dirt”So we headed to Cascades and had breaky as expectedAs an experiment I wanted to attempt a blog update via mobile deviceBeing Google affiliated Blogger does not support the browser on my iPhone – kel surprisSo I used my work phone a Samsung Note running Android and it was an absolute pain in the arse and made my breakfast get cold. Long live Windows. I will need to get a Microsoft Surface.
Eggs Benedict is my weakness …..as are pancakes for Angus
No bikes on those lifts
We finished off breakfast and went over the bridge to check out VT. ( Valley Terminal)
There was no one in sight, the first person I bump into is Old Mate the chef from Avalanche Cafe, cheery as usual. Then we walked up to the lift concourse and again it was empty so it was back down to the bike shop to talk to Dan.
I asked about the track conditions and luckily enough he had just ridden and opened the Flow track. He said it was a bit greasy in parts but OK. I immediately purchased a new back tyre a Maxxis Minion DHF 26 x 2.5 57 DUR (nice and sticky) since mine had been given to me by cousin Dibble about three-quarters of a decade ago and had gone hard like a piece of chewy from under a school desk and all the centre knobs had ripped off. The new one had the consistency of brand new bubblegum, just what the doctor ordered.
We headed back to the van and fitted the tyre and geared up. The rain had abated and the track had a chance to dry out a bit so we we looking forward to a ride. The temp was still cool as there was no warming sunlight, even so we dressed lightly, Angus re-attached the bottoms of his MX pants and I put on some Skins and a thermal T-shirt under my DH jersey, summer gear basically.
In the end it wasn’t that cold and from time to time we were encapsulated in the clouds which saturated us in a fine mist.
A few runs necessitated a re-fuel so back to the van for some home cooked health food 😉
After lunch the sun came out and we set up the GoPro on the chest mount.
Every time I use the GoPro it involves a bit of experimenting to get the angles right and it always seems to be pointing at the ground. It is hard with the chest mount to get the aim right particularly since your body position changes when you bend over etc if affects the view angle. The fish-eye lens also makes things look further away and if you are following someone riding a bike or skiing you have to be right on their back-side to get good video.
This one is an old Hero2 HD and takes video in 1080P at 30fps and 720P at 60fps so I’m not about to upgrade in a hurry. However, I was talking to some Thredbo locals in the pub last night and one mentioned that the Hero2 is fish-eye and the newer ones have a normal lens that doesn’t cause that problem. I don’t really want to upgrade, notwithstanding Angus’ cheap $99 Jaycar GoPro copy gave up the ghost so he may inherit mine if I deem a better device is required for this type of filming.
I need to edit web website settings to allow larger uploads so no videos on this blog at the moment