July Challenge – Some monochrome without a chromoly frame

The weather was warm – unseasonably so. It would have been a great weekend for a two-day ride. I would love to say I did an ovenight ride in mid-winter! So I tried to think of a way I could still manage that given I am quite unwell at the moment. But there was just no way my body was going to agree to a loaded ride or anything of any appreciable length. (My current riding capacity led me to purchase the shirt in the feature photo!)

So the guys and I took the new bike (which is aluminium – not chromoly – hence the post title) out for some 10-15 km rides on the dirt tracks along the river on Sat and Sun. It is good to get a feel for the new bike and think about what I want to modify (e.g. I do not like the 11 degree sweep on the handlebars). There are a few places where the dirt tracks dip and dive through some dry anabranches that let me test out the shocks, etc. My general feeling is: WOW! I can roll over tons of stuff. Just point, aim and don’t even worry about it. I can just mash right on through things I would have to pick my way through on The Wizard.

Here’s the guys on their first real ride on the bike on Saturday. They like their bike position. The weather was perfect – 17C, sunny, light winds. I was sad not to be doing an overnight ride.


Monochrome water tank.


Some monochrome green. Only in winter do you get anything this green – the only time of year the weedy clover grows.


That was supposed to be monochrome sky, but I hurt in too many places at the moment to get low enough for a better angle that includes the whole bike but eliminates the ground.

Lake Moodemere – used for non-motorized water sports a lot, particularly rowing. This was one of the last areas that the Pangerang tribes retreated to when white settlers stole their lands. This was a very spiritual place, too and a major source of food and fibre. The main river is also just behind me a few hundred metres.


Down in the red gum forest on the flood plain where the view is just thick trees in many places.



I am really confused about rule interpretation this month – but here we are with an orange/red brick wall, orange bike and orange short and helmet. The green guys refused to get out of their blue bag – so please excuse them.

Next weekend, I have booked the cabin up at Beechworth again. It’s a one-bedroom cabin with a spa bath. I did the same thing last year in August with part of my tax return. It was such a nice weekend, I’ve decided to treat myself again. I’m not sure how much riding will be done – as the weather forecast doesn’t look especially conducive, but a weekend just sleeping and relaxing in the spa bath would be just fine, too! Things have been a bit rough lately – you do not want whatever I’ve got.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

16 response to "July Challenge – Some monochrome without a chromoly frame"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: July 7, 2019

    What a great post, Em! Love the orange shot! And your t-shirt which inspired me to post one with a t-shirt of mine. 🙂 You might be low on energy, but it seems you still have a lot of creative energy in you.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 13, 2019

      I loved your tshirt, Suzanne. Over here, they’d say it was a bit ‘cheeky’. So glad you’ve got such great opportunities right out your front door now.

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: July 7, 2019

    I’m glad you are bonding with the new bike!! I too am still “futzing’” with my handlebar angle. It’s those fine tweaks that make all the difference. The spa weekend sounds great……enjoy.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 13, 2019

      Thanks, Janet – I think I will be ‘futzing’ with the bike for awhile. What I learned from my touring bike was – if you think you might want to change something, just do it. I wish I had changed out the gears on my touring bike many years before I finally did it!

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: July 7, 2019

    Good pix, Em. Love the sloth t-shirt and the red/orange shot. Hope your health improves soon. Good on you for battling through it.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 13, 2019

      Thanks, Bill – I’ve been living vicariously through all of the really great places you’ve been riding this year.

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: July 14, 2019

        Thanks. I’m flattered. I’ll try to find more interesting venues for the Ogre while you take care of yourself and regain strength and stamina.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: July 7, 2019

    I need to join that bike team! Or at least find the shirt!!!!

    Sorry you are not well enough to take your overnight trip, but you do seem to find a way to at least get out for a few miles/kms ;’-) I admire you. That orange photo is quite the find, and just right for this challenge. That gum forest too ;’-).

    Enjoy that spa treat and keep on getting better day by day. It is always nice to see you here and read your story.

  5. By: Scooter Posted: July 7, 2019

    First off – what a great T-shirt! I want one of those.

    Your entries are all just fine, Navigator. The rules we’re intentionally flexible and the theme easy this month because I felt badly about overchallenging the team last month. I like your sky photo too, with the dirt creating a nice contrast. The brick/orange one though – wow! I think special commendations may be called for at the end of the challenge, if the jury’s aging brains can just hold a thought for that long.

  6. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 7, 2019

    Great photos! I especially like the floodplain forest one.
    Glad you and the Salsa are coming together — it only took me a couple decades to figure out the ideal set up for my Raleigh! 🙂 (True)
    Hope your momentum returns soon, the Salsa sounds like the perfect ride for your adventures.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 13, 2019

      Thanks, Rich – I’ve got a few things I already know I want to swap out on the Salsa… and a few other things to think about as I get to know the bike better. I will never have all the bike colours you have though!

  7. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: July 9, 2019

    That tee shirt picture describes exactly how I feel right now. There is a crap cold surging through Tasmania at present and I have been knocked out by it for a week. This morning, feeling slightly better, I began to catch up on the site.

    Your new bike looks the business, sturdy and very red. Oh to fit the rear cogs on my trike!!

    • By: The Navigator Posted: July 13, 2019

      The new bike is the business, for sure. I’m hoping it will carry me all over the Alps on 4WD tracks… once I get better, too! Hope you are over the worst of the flu…. it does just mean you will definitely have to devise a tour to compensate for lost kms 🙂

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