Kaete Walker

Kaete Walker

* Bicycling

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Kaete and daughter Nonni near Gosford, NSW, whilst training for an MS Sydney to Wollongong charity ride, 2009.

Dear all,

Folk who know me very well, know that I’m quite a bicycling zealot, that during the early eighties I formed a bicycling club, which, since then, later transformed into The Port Macquarie Cycle Club, based in Port Macquarie, NSW, and that I was, at one time, also the national Secretary, the now extinct, Bicycle Federation of Australia.

Some recent years ago I bought myself yet another bike. This, for the shorter commutes I did around town, and to work and back. I reasoned that it was better to use this bike, for the shorter commutes, rather than use my more expensive Gazelle Fuente Trekker (GFT) touring bike, and the Vivente World Randoneur. The Giant ‘Roam 2’ bike, and since now given my sister, who quite loves it, is described at http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bikes/model/roam.2/12052/57484/#overview There were two advantages, I thought: the first, that I wouldn’t wear out the Gazelle and the Vivente as quickly as I might otherwise do, and the second, that with the new bike, the Giant, I’d probably get more exercise, as it requires a little more effort than the GFT to pedal. (Those having GFTs will likely attest, similarly me, that it takes GFTs little effort to pedal, and, thus one need go greater distance, in order to get the same exercise induced beneficial effect.) There was yet another advantage I perceived. This being that the new bike, being somewhat shorter in wheelbase than the GFT, and, too, a little lighter in weight, would be easier to get into the trains I regularly travel. I added front and rear heavy duty racks (for the front and rear pannier bags, which I already had), plus two water bottle cages. This brought the total cost to $700. The front and rear lights, I already had, so didn’t need to buy. (Suitable flashing lights can be bought reasonably cheaply, at e.g., Kmart and Big W. The more high powered lights, if needed, through bike shops, or via internet.)  I also added Schwalbe Marathon tyres, said to be the toughest in the market available.

On the other hand, if one is looking for a touring/trekking bike, one that is capable of going really long distance, carrying very, very heavy loads, then I’d suggest perhaps one of the below, and all around the $2700 or so mark:

The Gazelle Fuente Trekker, and the Vivente World Randoneur, are the touring/trekking bike ones I currently have. Both come with added several extras, which the Surly Long Haul Trucker seemingly, as far as I can ascertain, doesn’t.

There are also others, too, now available on the market. I guess it depends on what one needs the bicycle for, whether one wants to travel long or short distances, whether one wants to go on road, off road, or a mixture of the two.

Bicycling is a great way to get around, doesn’t cost much, and is physically, mentally, and socially, healthy.Make sure you ride safe. Wear brightly colored and reflective clothing, avoid riding in the car door lane, use front and rear flashing lights at night, and wear an approved helmet. The latter, in addition to protecting the head, also useful for repealing those occasional magpie attacks here in Oz we get, and very handy to attach an extra light or two: -)


George Ayres

George Ayres, my maternal grandfather: the photograph taken Lancashire, England, circa 1920.

Gazelle near Dungog

The Gazelle Fuente Treking, on a ride Maitland to Dungog and back. Absolutely beautiful scenery!

kind wishes,


Former Secretary, Bicycle Federation of Australia.

Click here for my (2000) Australian Cyclist article, ‘Get a Buzz from a Bike’.

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Written by Kaete

March 31, 2013 at 14:08

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