Port Victoria to Point Pearce

For today’s reccey we drove to Port Vincent from Wallaroo. After your typical fish & chips lunch and the obligatory walk on the jetty (by heck its cold out here) we cycled off towards Point Pearce.

From the jetty there is no sign we could locate to where the walk the Yorke trail continues. Although truth be told.. there are not many options. We went down a little path near the foreshore which needed up in front of a number of holiday shacks at the local caravan park. Be where if you take this path you end up walking up stairs – which we did.. but there are not on many.

The path to start off is bitumen.. but don’t let this give you a false sense of security about the rest of the ride. The path takes you along the foreshore with picturesque views out to sea. The path directional signage takes you on to a rocky path.. but as a bonus we managed to see 5 pelicans.

After a few turns the trail takes us inland through the Nharangga Aboriginal Lands and Point Pearce. As we were cycling along we saw a large number of holes in the ground. Based on the signage the area is home to the Southern Hairy-nose wombat. Unfortunately we did not see any – just lots of evidence of them being in the area.

The direction we cycled was into the wind. If you have ever cycled into the wind on a sandy rocky track you can imagine how slow the ride actually was. If you had a mountain bike it might of been better for the conditions – but not much. Along the way there are seats and signage about the area. I must admit they look a little like you are waiting for a bus… but I know one is never going to come. As we were cycling there was the fence to our right and lots of shrubby plants on the left. It was so peaceful, with no other sounds apart from birds… oh and us on bikes.

Despite the wind we made it to the mid-way point, and saw clouds get darker, and decided it was time to head back. Unsurprisingly the cycle back to the turn off was only 20-25 minutes as we had a tail wind nearly 1/3 of the time!

Slow tour comes to Japan: Day 5


Whenever we are in Japan we try to attend Brompton in Palace meets. They are wonderful group of people with a common desire to ride their Brompton bikes. Brompton in Palace used to meet during Palace Cycling, which is when roads near the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo are closed each Sunday to enable safe cycling.

Disappointingly, bureaucratic intervention has meant that Brompton in Palace had to move to a new location in western Tokyo. It is a great shame that Palace Cycling has lost a group of supportive and friendly cyclists. But, I am here to report that Brompton in Palace is still going strong and as enjoyable as ever!

Meeting in western Tokyo opened our eyes to some of it delights that, despite of our many visits to Tokyo, we have never seen including Showa Kinen Koen. On day 5 we rode (and walked) around 17km.

Show Kinen Koen is:

  • a massive national park in Tachikawa.
  • known for its beautiful ginkgo row of trees.
  • the most beautiful in autumn, with the maple and ginkgo trees blushing in fiery red and yellow.
  • located a few minutes on foot from JR Tachikawa and Nishi Tachikawa Stations. 
  • one of the nicest park I’ve ever seen in Japan. 
  • a lovely park with bike and walking paths, a lake for boating, a formal Japanese garden, water parks and, in winter, an outdoor skating rink and Christmas light show. 

Tachikawa Cultural Factory

The formal part of the Brompton in Palace Meeting is held in the grounds of the Tachikawa Cultural Factory.

Tachikawa Cultural Factory is an activity base for cultural creation where professionals gather using valuable resources such as the school building and gymnasium of Tamagawa Elementary School, which was closed in 2004.

Utilizing this wonderful environment and the place of learning of a former school, Tachikawa Sogoya has four businesses: Incubation Center Business, Film Commission Business, Cycle Station Business, and Community Design Business. As a pillar, we will develop a wide variety of programs while walking with people in the Tama area and people who are responsible for the culture, as well as local people, and will disseminate them widely in cooperation with each facility.

This formal part of Brompton in Palace is about meeting people and learning how they adapt and use their Brompton. This meeting also had important briefing about insurance and riding in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand too much of that briefing!

Informal part – lunch and park

Following the formal meet, the group breaks up – some stayed at the cultural factory for lunch others went to good fast udon (I want one of these restaurants in Adelaide PLEASE!). The group that remained then went to Showa Kinen Koen, which as the internet quotes earlier in this post points out is one of the most amazing parks I’ve seen in the world.

The park comprises of a number of different parks within a park, which is connected by both walkways and dedicated bikeways. It is a fantastic place for a family to safely go cycling.

Mayumi is the key instigator of Brompton in Palace. I know that everyone values her effort and dedication to Brompton in Palace. Helen and I thank her for making us feel welcome.

Slow Tour comes to Japan: Day 4

Ikidane Cyclist Hostel to Onomichi

I say Hostel. You don’t think gourmet breakfast, do you? Well let me tell you Ikidane Cyclist Hostel had a great breakfast. The perfect start for any cyclist doing any part of the Shimanami Kaido. Please note the shoes left outside of the sleeping quarters.

On this day we were completing the ride from Imabari to Onomichi and then taking a Shinkansen to Tokyo. Onomichi is:

  • a quaint town located along the Seto Inland Sea.
  • known for the Temple Walk, a network of paths connecting 25 temples.
  • a famous sightseeing place that is characterised by a townscape that is brimming with a retro vibe.
  • probably most well known as the small port town at the starting point of the Shimanami Kaido.
  • nicknamed the “Town of Hills and Cats”.

Our route was 45kms and is shown below.

Morning of discovery

The blue line is the official route, but some times going off-piste provides rewards. This is certainly true this day. I found it hard to limit the pictures in the gallery below. Because we:

  • discovered a mikan inspired toy capsule vending machine on the side of the road.
  • were alerted to the possibility of a close encounter with a wild boar.
  • were encouraged to have a beer by a portly statue.
  • became reacquainted with Cafe Via, who you might remember lost their Tokyo cafe in the recent typhoon.
  • discovered a famous korokke artisan.

This was all before lunch!


Again Takero used his local knowledge and language to find a unique lunch spot just a little bit of the blue line. On Innoshima island went to Manda Fermentation an international company, that unsurprisingly, specialises in fermentation.

Manda Fermentation at its headquarters has a garden, foot bath, store and cafe. I personally believe that all cycling routes should have a foot baths to revive cyclists tired feet.

We had lunch in the Cafe and a tried Manda’s amazake. Wikipedia tells me that amazakeis a traditional sweet, low-alcohol drink made from fermented rice. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods, made using the koji mould, that includes miso, soy sauce and sake. I say oishiii!


On the way to our final destination we came across the wonderful 70 Cafe with a beautiful view. At that point, I seriously contemplated resigning and opening a cafe…. It can’t be that good all year round can it?

I thought the name of 70 Cafe was because there was about 70kms to Imabari. But, its named after the owner’s pride an joy – the Toyota 70 Landcruiser.

It is surprising to learn that after all those amazing bridges the “New Onomichi” bridge does not have a lane for cyclists! But it does not matter because there is a frequent and cheap ferry service that is available for pedestrians and cyclists. When we arrive there was a small market along the foreshore. The foreshore does have a converted warehouse with food, accomodation and wonderful local goods.

We didn’t have enough time to explore much more of Onomichi as we had to catch the train. Perhaps next time we visit!

Takero, arigato-gozaimashita. Helen and I look forward to riding with you again.

Day 7: Slow Tour of Yorkshire

Hull to Fort Paull

Day 7 sees the Slow Tour return to Hull for start on a special route created by us based on bike maps and Google. The route leaves from Hull on a rail trail towards Hedon ending at the Fort Paull Musesum, which is:

  • Yorkshire’s only remains Napoleonic fortress.
  • a gun battery situated on the north bank of the Humber.
  • full of Underground tunnels and rooms.
  • the home to the world’s only remaining Blackburn Beverley aircraft.
  • in need of renovation badly, a clean up with a duster wouldn’t harm the place and a fresh lick of paint.
  • very interesting and informative about the history and uses of the site.
About 21km according Strava


The ride starts in the old town of Hull. We stayed at the Hideout Hotel in the old town – well located near markets and good food.

The ride moves to the Museums Quarter of Hull, with the Streetlife Museum, William Wilberforce House and the Hull and East Riding. We checked these museums out as part of this ride.

The ride towards Hedon is mostly traffic free following the Humber River east. Thus taking in some industrial sites including the Siemens factor making wind turbines. The route then transfers to a rail trail, after a crossing the busy A63 road.


After crossing over the rail line with a bridge, the rail trail starts of quite well with a pleasant tarmac surface. About halfway along, however, it turns to a very narrow mud track, great fun if you have a BMX. This where Google let us down – the Sustrans paper map did have an exclamation mark on this part of the route suggesting that it might be rough!

Hedon is a pleasant village with a nice church and shopping area. It has all the services (and a range of barbers) that a local village needs. I had a Hawaiian gammon for lunch!

This was quite tasty – almost as good as my cooked ham


Paull is a Humberside village that includes the Fort Paull Museum. I think the dot points above fairly summarise this place. Below are some photos for you.

We caught the 79 Bus back to Paragon Hull interchange. Be careful they are infrequent.


Day 6: Slow Tour of Yorkshire

Driffield to Burton Agnes

Taking advantage of the good weather, and in search of old historic houses we decided on the final destination to be Burton Agnes Hall. However, to get to the start required a train trip. Please ask Kym about transport costs, it will be a rewarding conversation.

Why Burton Agnes Hall?

  • It’s an old Elizabethan stately home (constructed 1598-1610)
  • filled with variety of tapestries, art and ceramics
  • English garden and woodland (although end of season)
  • Good pub stop on the route.


Starting out at Driffield, had us going through the centre of the town. It was also market day – so we had a look around the stalls which comprised of bread, pork pies, tarts, olives, Turkish delight, cheap clothes, shoes, toys, concrete garden objects and plants.

Stalls face the shop fronts
Best pork pies we ate while in Yorkshire

Getting out of Driffield was pretty simple (oh … love small towns), and we were soon on the country roads. Surprisingly we did encounter traffic lights near roads works and building development on the edge of town.

Country Roads

The country roads are truely a pleasure to cycle. They may be one lane in both directions, but the drivers so far have been respectful. Once you get even further out from the little towns the roads are really only wide enough for one and a half cars. The below picture is a prime example. There were hardly any cars, and the most traffic we encounter on this day one these types of roads were two cars, a tractor, a couple of cyclists.


As you expected Kym had found the perfect stop for lunch at St Quintins Arms – menu below.

While the menu looked good – we both went for the lamb specials (apologies non meat eaters – on the bright side these people knew how they were looked after, where they came from etc). The taste was incredible, and match with sitting outside we were not disappointed by the entire experience at this place. If you are in Yorkshire – GO HERE.

Probably where the lamb came from… cute eh?

While we enjoyed sitting outside we had to get going… back on the bike to the hall.

Just one of the signs we followed

Railway Crossings Yorkshire Style

Along the route there were two occasions where we had to cross railway tracks through gates. These required checking to ensure no train was coming before going across the tracks. We were saying “I bet they hardly ever get used… “ when we crossed we saw lights down the track.. just to prove us wrong. These are only used by locals based on the signage.

With train!

Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens

In addition to the house, there is also an old church and and Norman building (at least I think that is what it was). The art works are of a broad range, as the family collects art and fine furniture. They even commissioned famous English tapestry designer Kaffe Fasset (yes Vivienne!) do create an original for their house >> see below.

The grounds are large and have a walled vegetable section – with maze. We only got lost once. In addition there is a children’s outside playground and woodland correct with wooden carvings. Like many of these places you can also grab a bite to eat and purchase plants. We had a quick food stop before catching the bus home – yeah for folding bikes! After 4pm it gets cold quickly and its best to be on the way home.

Truely a fabulous day on the Brompton bike

The library… nice place to sit with good views of the garden.


Second day…

As any seasoned rider will tell you – the second day of a riding tour is the worst.

Day 8

However, I don’t really remember this until I’m on the bike – at least that was the case today.

At the end of the second day you remembered how, at times, uncomfortable the bike seat can seem.

It’s also those last few kilometres to where you are staying… when you keep thinking “how much longer….” and “why didn’t we find a place closer”.

Day 8

As you can see it was long – and as Kym said “At least we got here before 6pm”. On the bright side it will all be forgotten tomorrow!

Brompton in Palace… Tokyo 

One of our goals while on holiday was attending the “Brompton in Palace” meet and ride, which falls on the second Sunday every two months. While booking our flights we were careful to ensure we were in Tokyo the right day. Thankfully we were as over 100 Brompton owners & their bikes turned up for the event.

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

It was very impressive, seeing all the modifications and adjustments individuals had made to their bike.  From customised parts to personal creative designs for different fittings.  Impressive passionate owners!

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Once everyone had turned up after the appointed time, the number was counted – in Japanese of course, which I understood.  The bikes were then placed in order of colour.

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

…and they certainly looked impressive 


Every Sunday between 10-3 the road in front of the Imperial Palace is closed for cycling.  A cycling group provides lessons for younger kids to have a go. You also see a wide range of cyclists – roadies, families, tandem, and tourists. Not everyone wears helmets either- it’s up to the individual.

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Brompton in Palace - Tokyo

Afterwards a large number of people had a pasta meal, which was enjoyable.

Sadly, it was the last meet. A permit has to be obtained prior to each meeting, and the organiser has been told they group are not able to meet there anymore.  It will be interesting to see what they continue to do as there are a number of passionate owners in Japan who meet and talk bikes. 


The person is this photo is Mayumi, leader of Brompton in Palace, and she initiated the meets starting.  Full credit to her, as it’s not easy to arrange something voluntarily for people to attend.  The numbers on Sunday certainly demonstrate support for the event. We had a really great time and grateful and appreciative of the kindness showed by everyone we’ve met associated with Brompton bikes in Japan. We look forward to seeing what develops with the group- but hopeful we will cycle with them again!

So here’s something that happened…

I won the female category in the endurance race, at the Japan Brompton World Championship 

Believe it or not. Here is the proof. I did the most laps and fastest speed.

The endurance race involved competitors cycling on a car race track for two hours. The track it self was undulating. Had a few great downhills… But the uphill section could really take it out of you. I know this as I started off the ride too hard, for the first lap, which then exhausted me for the first couple of laps. Kym suggested at one point (around the 45 minute mark) we could go in take arrest, or only use one tag. Thankfully, we didn’t and stayed out there.. just going round, round, and round the track. I will acknowledge I had no idea I was winning until I was told with two laps to go I was in the lead of the female solo riders. Nothing like that type of news to keep you going! When we finally crossed the line two hours later, I was really pleased to get off the bike.

After the race, as you have just got off the bike, every participant received a medal. The medal for the endurance race was silver, and gold for the Race. At the presentation ceremony each of the top three, received a Brompton prize, and mine was a bag. Woo-hoo! Not bad result given cycling 40+km the day before.

We had a really great day. It was good fun, and we met some great people.