14 January 2015





It is with great pleasure that I, Harry Handlebar, as President and Founding Member, of the Cyber Riders Club, announce that Kylie Minogue our long serving Patron has stepped aside to allow Gail Rehbein to take up the position of Patron of The Cyber Riders Club.

I was talking with Kylie last week and she felt it was only fitting that in recognition of Gail’s decision to use her bike for her sole mode of transport as much as possible during 2015 that she should take over the role of Patron.

Accordingly Gail has been granted full membership with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

Gail is a long-term friend of mine and she tells me she will commit to riding through all seasons, getting helmet hair and turning up sweaty or cold.

She said “Some destinations will be difficult to get to – how will I go bushwalking, how will I get to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival and there will be others that I can’t anticipate? What about transporting my surfboard the two and half kilometres to the beach? These are things I love to do, places I love to be.”

Her great idea will see her enjoy success, honour and be raised up on the podium of life.

All the best to our new Patron.

You can follow her stories on her blog, A Bike For all Seasons

Current membership of The Cyber Riders Club



  • Life Member   Kylie Minogue (Past Patron)
  • Harry Handlebar member no 1
  • Daisy Chain member no 2
  • Tim Tyre member no 3
  • Court Racing member no 4
  • Northern Bell member no 5
  • Anna Spanner member no 6
  • Dennis Downhill member no 7
  • Pat Puncture member no 8
  • Ian Innatube member no 9
  • Bruced Balls member no 10


Yours from the desk with wheels.

Harry Handlebar





Start of the bike ride at the Big 4 caravan park Narooma

Start of the bike ride at the Big 4 caravan park Narooma

Narooma is a little town five hours south of Sydney and it’s a great place for a cycling experience. We chose to ride along the coastline from the Big 4 caravan park where we were staying, at Wagonga Inlet, to the Dalmeny shops.

It’s a return distance of 16 kilometres and is an easy grade ride. There are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views and at the right time of the year you can even see the migrating whales.


View of the Wagonga inlet from the Narooma bridge

View of the Wagonga inlet from the Narooma bridge

From the park you cross over the bridge but make sure you take in the views of the inlet from the bridge and the amazing colour of the water.

looking back at the narooma bridge

looking back at the narooma bridge

After the bridge, there is a short but steep section and a boat ramp at the bottom. Watch out for the bollard at the bottom it’s in a dangerous position and is easy to hit.

the fish cleaning tables

the fish cleaning tables

seal playing on the surface

seal playing on the surface

You are now on the Mill Bay boardwalk, a 700 metre wooden structure, from where you can see the fish and rays in the clear waters and seals that bask on the surface near the boat ramp and the fish-cleaning tables.

the bar at Narooma

the bar at Narooma

another shot of the Bar, it's just so wild

another shot of the Bar, it’s just so wild

looking back from the northern breakwater

looking back from the northern breakwater

vegetation along the edge of the coastline

vegetation along the edge of the coastline

We rode on to the northern breakwater and watched the waves rush in through the heads. The small fishing boats coming over the bar have a hard time of it but it’s very entertaining for us.

fantastic coastline

fantastic coastline

blue as blue can be

blue as blue can be

old beach house

old beach house

golden sand

golden sand

Heading back on to the cycle track we ride off to Dalmeny. As you ride along there’s bush on one side and the ocean on the other. The colours of the water and rocks of the coastline are just spectacular.

rock pools

rock pools

southward toward Narooma, and Montague Island

southward toward Narooma, and Montague Island

to the north, the cliffs and headlands of the Eurobodalla National park, with Tuross in the distance

to the north, the cliffs and headlands of the Eurobodalla National park, with Tuross in the distance

There are two viewing platforms with great views, southward toward Narooma, and Montague Island, and to the north, the cliffs and headlands of the Eurobodalla National park, with Tuross in the distance.


It’s 3 degrees with frost covering the grass. A 12 km/h east south-east breeze cuts across the start line as I head out of the hub riding from Orange to Millthorpe via Forest Reef.

From the canopy of trees emerges a clean frosty sunlight which sharpens my shadowy shape and I begin to chase my silhouette eastward toward Forest Reef.

I ride through vast country farm land, sneaking glimpses up private laneways that I imagine make their way to cosy country farmhouses.

Forest Reef a small hamlet, 10km west of Millthorpe, was a former gold mining village. It’s small today but in the past had 6 hotels.

After 35 kilometres I arrive at the 1840’s town of Millthorpe. It’s just like stepping into yesteryear with the charm of the old buildings still remaining.

I end the ride with a fabulous coffee and lemon meringue tart. It was a delicious combination of sweet pastry crust, lemon curd filling, and airy meringue and the coffee aroma perceived by the tongue made soaking up the warmth of the autumn sun in this beautiful country courtyard at the old mill cafe. It is a fitting end to my two-day journey.


…………….and they said that this year’s “Gong” ride was “best ever event.”

 “The Gong Ride”  is a one of a kind fundraising event. It’s a 90km bike ride from Sydney to Wollongong on the first Sunday of November.

With 10,000 fellow riders you pedal in support of people living with MS. This year’s ride has so far raised over $3.8 million.

I decided to do the short and scenic 58km course that starts at Cooper Street Reserve Engadine rather than the full 90k ride. The shorter ride takes in all the best bits of the ride including the Royal National Park and Seacliff Bridge so I’m more than happy with that.

My bike is a Trek 72 FX 2012 that I recently purchased from Fraser’s cycles just over the bridge at Taren Point. I’m happy with the FX as essentially I’m just a weekend rider who likes to use riding for fitness.

The power in the legs to push the pedals of the Fx was gained at the gym where I do RPM classes. It’s the All Sorts Fitness centre at Alexandria, South Sydney and James Sutherland, the General Manager, and his team were so helpful and supportive in putting the team together and working out all the logistics so the ride was fun and successful.

The idea was to raise much-needed funds for MS and for the record the Allsorts team raised over $15000, with a combined IPMG team effort of over $100,000.

I was together with 10,000 other riders but yet I felt I had escaped. That’s what bike riding is, it’s a joyful escape.

It is one of the best ways to experience the world that we live in. If you enjoy being outdoors and being part of the beauty of all that is around you then get your bike out of the garage, let the wind be in your face and the smell of springtime flowers be inhaled.

Fill your head with the sounds of fallen leaves being crushed beneath your tires and head off through a canopy of trees. I love a long bike ride on a beautiful day and today is a great day for riding.

I’ve been riding for a while now and have left all my cares some 8 kilometres back in the park at Engadine.

I’m confronted by the first of two major descents of the ride. I now prepare to glide down the descent from Waterfall at the entry to the Royal National Park.

A chap, named Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, came up next to me and said that riding was his special gift. In fact he declared that it was his chiefest sole delight.

He then smiled and turned his cycle down the hill and just like a silver streak he whistled down that awful slope. I didn’t see him again but I can just imagine how much he must have enjoyed his slice of joyful escape.

We have our lunch stop, in the Royal National Park where we relax in the shade at Red Cedar Flats. I had some energy bars, water and sausage on a roll to help keep the engine room filled with power.

The Royal National Park was established way back in 1879 and is the world’s second oldest national park – after Yellowstone in the USA.

The Park’s terrain rises from the coast to a series of  rocky ridges and plateaus. The sides of the valleys are also rocky and  are covered with ten metre (30 foot) eucalyptus trees. At their feet small silver streams run down to the valley floor.

Heading slowly away from the Red Cedar Flats lunch stop, the road now moves through denser bush and ferns, as it climbs, and climbs, and climbs some more, towards the Otford lookout which has great views over the sea.

Riding deep in the valley we feel the cool air which is a relief from the heat of the sun. We ride through the shade of 50 meter tall Australian cedar, eucalyptus and Morton Bay figs surrounded by ferns, wattles and small-sized bushes of all kinds.

Some parts of the Park look just like a rainforest with birds continually singing their chorus of welcome. No matter how intently I stare straight up through the hundreds of Cabbage Palms to the canopy and on into the sky above the songsters stay out of sight in the dense scrub.


Those who haven’t ridden to the Gong before, arrive at the Otford Lookout and feel they have conquered the ride  but unbeknown to them ahead are a few short sharp punishing hills that are like a jab to the stomach and in the heat of the day sap out valuable energy.

We now head on to our next water stop at  Bald Hill and there can’t be a better place to stop for a breather and a rest a while before the last scenic leg into Wollongong.

I was resting on the hill next to the Lawrence Hargrave statue when he caught me looking down at Stanwell Park Beach.

I’m sure I heard him say “Yes, it was a long time ago. In fact it will be 117 years next Saturday, the 12 November 1894.” I knew what he was talking about because when I see the A 380 Air Bus or a 747 I just wonder how they fly. And I knew he was fascinated with machines that fly in the air.

And it was down there on the beach below, at Stanwell Park beach, that Hargrave successfully lifted himself 16 feet off the ground under a train of four of his box kites.

Hargrave (seated) and Swain demonstrate the manlift kites (labelled A, B, D, & E), sling seat and spring balance in the parkland behind Stanwell Park beach, November 1894.(from Wikipedia)

This experiment and others with flying-machine motors and cellular kites proved to be the first stable aerial platform. The principle was then applied to gliders, and in October 1906 Santos Dumont made the first officially recorded flight in a box-kite aeroplane.

Hargraves once said “The flying machine of the future will not be born fully fledged and capable of a flight for 1000 miles or so. Like everything else it must be evolved gradually. The first difficulty is to get a thing that will fly at all.” And he was so right, just relax and things will evolve gradually.

Well my day is gradually evolving and I must get this body back on the Trek 72 FX and conquer the 28k to the finish line. Thankfully the next few Ks are downhill.

We gather at the top of Stanwell Park before undertaking the second of the major descents of the ride down Lawrence Hargrave Drive from  Bald Hill 28 km (17 mi) north of the finish line at Wollongong.

The descent is long, winding and fast and I control pedal all the way to make sure I make it comfortably to the Sea Cliff Bridge

This balanced cantilever bridge is 455.6 metres (1,495 ft.) long and is one of only seven off-shore parallel to coast bridges in the world. It was constructed in 2005 due to regular and dangerous rock falls that closed the old road in 2003.

The ride flattens out over the next 15 to 20 Ks as we pass the glorious sea-side towns and beaches of Coalcliff, Scarborough, Wombarra, Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul and Bulli.

Stuart Park, North Wollongong is the finish site for the ride. A bike tent city had sprung up for the occasion.

IPMG provided food, drinks and a shaded resting place in the corporate tent which I
for one appreciated.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved.



This  weekend was the 28th annual Spring Cycle ride in Sydney. I chose to do the 55km ride from North Sydney to Olympic Park at Homebush.

This  year there was the added opportunity to take part in the “Largest Choir on Bicycles” Guinness World Record attempt. Wanting all the fame and public adulation I can get, without actually doing anything, I pulled  out all stops and went for it with my larynx and lycra.

We rode with renowned sopranos, mezzos, tenors and baritones from Opera Australia and the well known shower and bathroom baritone Steve “Motorbike’ Brown, as we sung and cycled our way across the Sydney Harbour  Bridge.

The  spring weather was just fantastic with buckets of sunshine, truckloads of fresh air and acres of sweaty backsides that made their way through the streets of Sydney’s suburbs along the Harbour and Parramatta River to the finish line  at the home of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

I’m  pleased to announce that once again I’ve made it into the Guinness Book of  World Records and expect my certificate of achievement to arrive in the email very soon.

Uhm what can I do next? What about a world record for forgetting my car keys the most number of times in a day, or is that just because I’m getting old.



I know that people do crazy things to get their bit of fame and so it is with a touch of awkwardness that I admit that I too crave fame. If Paris, if Sanjaya Malakar and if Kevin Federline can do it so can I.

To satisfy this longing for fame I decided to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Not shining at any particular sport, craft or skill you can imagine just how excited I was when I discovered that I could get into the record book by doing  something I like. Yes, and that was, downloading computer programs.

To my surprise Mozilla were arranging an attempt at a world record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours.

It’s history now but I was one of the total 8,002,530 million Region Downloads of Firefox 3 that day. Yes, I did it, and I’m in the record book.

United Kingdom 1,203,968 Israel 139,377 Italy 764,954 Iraq 1,763 Iran 535,970 India
491,690 Indonesia 145,097 Uganda 1,601 Ukraine 98,998 Uzbekistan 2,251 Uruguay
9,153 Ecuador 20,510 Egypt 62,779 Estonia 44,067 Ethiopia 1,239 Eritrea 50 El
Salvador 9,461 Australia 458,522 Austria 221,602 Aland Islands 652 Oman 3,806
Netherlands 444,104 Cape Verde 198 Kazakhstan 10,854 Qatar 12,488 Canada

And here’s the certificate to prove it.

A few years have passed and I feel that yearning for fame has returned so I cast my
thoughts back to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Good fortune shines upon me and opportunity meets desire. I discover a chance to feature in the record book once again and as a result satisfy my need to gather more fame.

Early on Sunday morning the 16th October 2011 I will be a participant in the attempt to set a World Record for the greatest number of singing cyclists ever recorded.

That’s right singing and riding at the same time for a full 5 minutes. I have now entered into an activity requiring a high level of skill and co-ordination.This is far beyond my wildest dreams.

The plan

  • At 6.55am there will be a rehearsal on the stage GWR requirement.
  • We do not go with any other group, the GWR singers will be sent off as a group and marshalled to the other side of the Harbour Bridge.
  • We start to sing on the start line and continue singing for at the very least 5 minutes, then we start singing just before the Harbour Bridge and have to sing the full length of the bridge continuously for 5 mins, and this is also monitored, so we will  travel slow about 12km per hour, as it only takes a couple of minutes to cross the bridge.
  • Yes it will still go ahead if it is raining – let’s hope not! (I have trained by singing in the shower so this won’t worry me).
  • Waltzing Matilda is the song we will be tested on by GWR so please learn the words before the day – it’s pretty difficult to ride a bike and read lyrics at the same time and we don’t want any mishaps!

There are some GWR guidelines that must be followed to make the attempt valid:

  •  3 singing performances – the first is the rehearsal and 2nd on the start line and 3rd will start on the approach to the Harbour Bridge and must last for 5 minutes, finishing by the end of the bridge – so remember we will ride slowly!
  •  both performances must last a minimum of five minutes, during which time the bicycles must be in constant forward motion if we are to get the World record! We have to sing the full length of the Harbour Bridge continuously for 5 mins, and this is monitored.
  • The song is only 3 mins long we will do  repeats. (why didn’t we get a 5 min song, I guess that’s why I’m a participant not an organiser).
  • This also applies to the start line; yes we all start singing just before we set of for a full 5 mins!

I am so excited at being part of this World Record attempt I can hardly sleep. I’ll report in tomorrow after the event but no doubt you’ll see it on television.