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Top 20 Outdoor Fitness Activities in Manly

Top 20 Outdoor Fitness Activities in Manly

As originally seen on OzSquad. How many have you done? Can you tick off all 20?! Manly folk are an active bunch and our beloved village by the sea was recently voted Australia’s best beach. Here therefore, are our top ways on how to get out, about and active outdoors, making the most of what […]

The Freaks Come Out At Night Night Mountain Biking It’s the time of year when the days are short, the nights are chilly, and the trails are still calling. It’s time for night rides. I was thinking about writing something about night riding and then I remembered that I had done some articles on the subject a few years ago… make that about 17 years ago! I published a couple of articles in 1999 on the subject, in Men’s Health and Fitness and MetroSports Boston. So, for a blast from the past, here’s the version from MetroSports Boston… My writing really is timeless. Night Mountain Biking The Freaks Come Out At Night... On a recent ride in New Hampshire, some friends and I witnessed a beautiful sunset from atop an overlook. But rather than this sunset heralding the end of our ride, it marked the beginning. With our lights strapped on to our handlebars and helmets, we set off for a biking adventure much different than the one that you can get during the day. What's that? You've never thought of going out for a night ride? Well, while you do need to take a few extra precautions, night riding is easier than you may think. It can be challenging, it can improve your overall riding skills, and as the days are getting shorter, it may be your only option for mid-week rides. Night Mountain Biking The night puts a whole new perspective on your favorite trails, and can make old boring rides new and exciting. Obviously you may have to tone down your speeds a bit, but these tricks of the night can help sharpen your reactions, and you still get a good workout because even though it’s dark, the hills are still just as steep. Night Mountain Biking Assuming that you've already got a bike and all that stuff, the most important thing you'll need for successful night riding is a good set of lights. The $15 department store lights that take "C" batteries might be good enough for a paved bike path, or to make you visible to cars at night, but if you are going off road, you'll want a serious set of lights. (Ed: Ha… C batteries!) Plan on spending anywhere from $100 to $500. (Ed: prices have come down...) You can have a light mounted to your handlebar, your helmet, or both. The handlebar mount lights come in single, double, and now triple beam. They are usually stronger than the helmet mounted lights (which are single beam) but only shed light where the handlebars are pointing, where as the helmet lights illuminate where you are looking. Serious riders, like many of the racers who participate in 24 hour mountain bike races, use both set-ups. You really don't need to worry about a red tail-light unless you are going to ride on the road. If you do decide to do any road riding at night, you definitely need the red tail-light (head and tail-lights are required, by law, on bicycles at night) and you should also look into some reflective clothing. Reflective clothing has come a long way since the bright orange vest. Jackets and pants actually look normal in the daytime and then change at night when light hits them. Night Mountain Biking When you head down to your local bike shop, you may feel like you need a scientist with you to explain Xenon bulbs, NiCad and NiMH batteries, Ohms, watts, Lumens, Lux and battery memory. It would take quite a while to explain it all right here, but the shop employees should be able to answer any questions you have. (Ed: I love my LBS, but it’s 2016, who isn’t going to Amazon.com?) Pretty much all of the lighting technology is comparable with all of the quality light manufacturers. Your buying choice will probably come down to cost and desired features. Are you ready to take on the night yet? Here are some tips to help make the nighttime the right time: · It's a good idea to always ride with a buddy. This way you've got someone to reassure you when you hear strange noises in the bushes, but more importantly you've got someone around in case you get into real trouble. (Ed: I’m pretty sure my buddy and I were stalked by a pack of coyotes last year) Since you can't always find someone to ride when you want to, at least let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back home. Remember that you'll probably be going a lot slower than you do during the day. · If none of your friends are willing to brave the night with you, then check with your local bike shops for groups that ride at night. Many shops have group rides that go out, and if none do, then maybe you could post a sign and start your own group. · When you first begin your nocturnal adventures, stick to trails that you know, and slow down and have fun. No matter how well a lighting system works, a steep drop off or even a cliff can be a nasty surprise. It will take a while to develop lightning fast reactions, so in the meantime, chill and enjoy the night. · Of course you already carry a spare tube and some tools, but now you might want to think about some other equipment as well. A small flashlight and a roll of electrical tape will do wonders in backcountry emergencies. If you crash and break your light mount, you can tape it in place. If you break your light entirely, or your batteries run out, you can use the flashlight to walk out, or tape it to the bars and ride out. · Most lights have different power settings, so it is important to try to utilize your battery run time so that you don't get stranded. To conserve battery power, shut your lights off if you stop to talk or rest, and run the lights on low when you are on easy sections of the trail that you are familiar with. · Without the all powerful sun, the night can get quite chilly, especially as fall and winter descend upon us. So, not to sound like your Mother, be sure to have the right clothing to stay warm and dry. · Arriving at the trail head without a charged system is as lame as forgetting your shoes or front wheel (I've done both). Get things ready the day or night before so that you are packed, charged, and prepared. We would have been smart to have followed some of this advice while on our ride in New Hampshire. Chris, one of the guys on our ride, crashed early on and broke his light mount. No problem, I just let him use my helmet light. This worked out for a while, until my helmet light, which was running at its brightest, ran out of juice. So there we were, in the middle of nowhere, trying to rig up a light mount using a Velcro strap, and a bandanna. The "MacGuyver" of our group got it going and we got back to my van without further incident. I guess that's one more thing I forgot to mention, always ride with a "MacGuyver". Now go out there and ride, Thomas Edison had this in mind all along. Night Mountain Biking

The Freaks Come out at Night – Mountain Biking

It’s the time of year when the days are short, the nights are chilly, and the trails are still calling. It’s time for night rides. I was thinking about writing something about night riding and then I remembered that I had done some articles on the subject a few years ago… make that about 17 […]

20 of the Best Surf Movies of all Time

20 of the Best Surf Movies of all Time

As originally seen on howfarfromhome.com During our recent visit to Western Australia, Stevo’s oldest brother took it upon himself to help tick off number 68 from our Wanderlist, by helping us “learn to surf”. And so a few days before we had to leave, with surfboard beneath both my and Stevo’s arm, we trotted off […]

10 Ways to Improve Your Mountain Biking

10 Ways to Improve Your Mountain Biking

You want to ride like the wind. You want to be fast. You want to roll over rocks, shoot up hills and smoothly descend near-vertical downhill sections. You want the fame, money and prestige that comes with being a pro cyclist. Or maybe you just want to ride your local trails without crashing. Well, no […]

Top 10 Best (& Affordable) Overnight Surf Trips from Sydney

Whether you’re a surfer that’s just starting off or a seasoned veteran, no one can deny the allure of a quick getaway from the ceaseless hustle of the city. Australia, whilst literally as far as you can be from anywhere else in the world accommodates its lack of Grecian party islands with an empty coastline […]

Meteor showers in Sydney 2017 2018

Are you Geminid Meteor Shower Ready?

It’s no exaggeration to say that life moves at a tremendous pace. Through the constant flow of time, evolution and progression it becomes harder and harder to simply take a second to look up at the night sky and realise just how small we really are. On the 13th and 14th of December is the […]

Sydney Summer Adventure Guide

Sydney’s Summer Adventure Guide

There are thousand different things we could be doing every day. The trouble is finding your own pathway through the endless possibilities and live the experiences we want to, instead of simply wishing, dreaming or floating along the loam and letting the current pull you whichever way. Living in Australia, and more specifically Sydney, we’re […]

Ku-Ring-Gai National park and what to do there

Living within an ever-expanding city it’s easy to lose your connection with nature from the blinding glow of neon lights or car horns which tear up the otherwise tranquil silence of the night. Within Sydney we’re lucky enough to have a plethora of different outlets to feed our adventurous side. From surfing, skating, walking and […]

Where to watch Orionid Meteor Shower in Sydney

Where to watch Orionid Meteor Shower in Sydney

Every year in October we have a chance to witness an amazing spectacle. It’s not Halloween, and it’s definitely not Global Handwashing Day (which was on the 15th if you were wondering), it’s the Orionid Meteor shower. The Orionid Meteor shower is one of the brightest and fastest on the astronomical calendar. The meteors themselves […]

Kayaking and White-Water Rafting with James Rowlinson

Kayaking and White-Water Rafting with James Rowlinson

Nature is the creative man’s playground. Whether it be under the water, on land or in the air, there’s no limit to what someone can create for a means of having fun. This week we met with James Rowlinson, a competing freestyle white water kayaker and a local northern beaches frother to discuss everything from […]

Nature adventure explore

From the Hands of Nature

There is no greater sense of freedom than to feel connected with nature. We as humans have removed ourselves so far from the natural world that it’s become a strange concept to imagine ourselves roaming the wild with no neon lights, cars, and mobile phones to distract us. As a result of humankind’s rise to […]

Top 3 beginner surfboards

Top 3 Beginner Surfboards

Surfing is the ultimate lifestyle sport. It’s not often that we find an activity in our lives that provides us with amazing experiences and a sense of greater purpose, all whilst being cradled between the hands of nature. We live in such a beautiful area its hard sometimes not to just drop everything and stand […]

Comparison of Fishtail cruisers, longboards and penny boards. Pros and Cons of of Fishtail cruisers, longboards and penny boards.

3 of the best Summertime Skateboards To Ride With Friends

Skateboarding is one of those activities which brings out the pure enjoyment of our inner child. In the Northern Beaches we’re lucky enough to have a plethora of different crafts and skate spots to suit all abilities and interests. Whether it be cruising along the beachfront, or bombing hills with your friends, here are three […]

Sponta Beginners guide to rock climbing

Beginners Guide to Outdoor Rock-Climbing and where to start

Being out of the city smog and into the fresh air of nature is a good time. Add a little bit of fun, challenge and exercise and you set yourself up for an incredible experience. Rock climbing outdoors is one of those things that unfortunately requires a little more than just enthusiasm and a sense […]

Friends to do activities with, adventure crew

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

Step back and take a look at all the people in your life, especially those you spend a lot of time with and see frequently. This might be your friends, family, co-workers or even team mates. Imagine that all these people each had a vibrational frequency figure. Using the mathematical equation of averages, your vibe […]

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