Kaete Walker

Kaete Walker

* Bicycling

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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 Macqaurie 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.

I recently bought myself a second bike. This, for the shorter commutes I do 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.

There were two advantages, I thought: the first, that I wouldn’t wear out the Gazelle as quickly as I might otherwise do, and the second, that with the new bike, I’d probably get more exercise, as it requires somewhat 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.

The Giant ‘Roam 2’ bike I bought, is described at http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-au/bikes/model/roam.2/12052/57484/#overview

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.)

On the other hand, if one is looking for a touring/trekking bike, one that is capable of going long distance, carrying very heavy loads, then I’d suggest perhaps one of the below, and all around the $2400 (2016) or so mark:

  • The Gazelle Fuente Trekker.
  • The Vivente World Randoneur.
  • The Surly Long Haul Trucker.

The Gazelle Fuente Trekker, and the Vivente World Randoneur, are the ones I 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 bright coloured 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.

kind wishes from me,


Former Secretary, Bicycle Federation of Australia.

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

~~~ ~  @
~~ ~ _- \,
~~ (*)/ (*)

Written by Kaete

March 31, 2013 at 14:08

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