Lifeproof iPhone 4s Case - Product Review

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After looking at several GPS options for a six week cycling trip around Europe, I finally settled on buying a Lifeproof Phone Case ($AUD79.95) for my iPhone4s with a Bike Mount Attachment ($AUD39.95).

I then used the ViewRanger App for viewing larger country scale maps for planning (all downloadable for free), and Gaia App ($AUD19.99) for more detailed regional and town level planning.

It was a brilliant combination and will be my 'go to' solution for future trips until I find something better.

I've now had my phone encased in it's LifeProof case for three months and it's not only survived the European trip, but has come back to Tassie with me and survived several mountain bike races, hikes and a few kayak paddles and it's still going strong.

Everything fits together and holds securely.  The bike mount is incredibly easy (think 10-15 seconds)  to mount or remove from a bike and inserting the case onto the mount and locking it in is quick and easy, and becomes automatic very quickly.  There's also none of that movement I've seen with cheaper bike mounting systems.

I've never had a problem with the case leaking and would have no hesitation buying another one when I next upgrade my phone, but there are a few limitations worth knowing about:

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Forestry Tasmania Stakeholder Engagement

If you're one of the many cyclists who enjoy riding tracks on State Forest like Montezuma Falls, Hollybank, the Dial Ranges, the Blue Tier and the Southern Forests and you've lost track with what's happening in the forest debate lately, then it could be time to re-engage.

Forestry Tasmania have just commenced a stakeholder engagement process inviting people interested in our State Forests (now called Permanent Timber Production Zone Land) to fill in a short survey and/or register as an interested stakeholder so they can be involved in future consultation about how these forests are managed.

Given that as part of the legislative change currently going through Parliament, Forestry Tasmania will lose it's multiple-use focus, activities like Mountain Bike riding are likely to slip down the priority list, and so if you're an active or interested recreational user of State Forest it might pay to spend five minutes filling in the survey or registering as a stakeholder so that the importance of forest roads and trails to mountain bikers aren't forgotten.

The other side of what's happening through this legislative change is that many areas of State Forest, including most existing Forest Reserves, are transferring across to Parks and Wildlife.  Whilst my experience in dealing with Parks and Wildlife has shown them to be very supportive of mountain biking, it's worth keeping an eye on what's happening with your local trails and if necessary making sure that the local parks staff know we're out there and using these areas.

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October 2014 Event Update


With the postponing of the Launceston Mountain Bike Club’s Geard Cycles Giant 275 Enduro to December due to poor track conditions, the MTB event of the month has to be the Cranky Penguin MTB Marathon which sold out before the early bird period had even closed.

Disappointing for those who didn’t get their entry in early, but a great sign for the rising popularity of mountain biking events in Tassie.

If you didn’t get your entry in, don’t despair, also on offer on the same day is a Dirt Devils Hellfire Cup Adventure Ride providing a great opportunity for anyone who wants to go down and check out the new trails at Kellevie.

October also sees the summer outdoor event calendar getting underway with the Freycinet Challenge and the new Launceston Cataract Challenge multisport events kicking things off, and for those looking for something different there’s the RAW challenge down south and the Derby River Derby (which could be combined with a day’s MTB riding around the blue tier, just to plant a thought...)

Looking further forward, the Launceston Mountain Bike Club has released the dates for the Sprung 2hr Super Sprint Series which will be run over summer in conjunction with the Cradle Coast Mountain Bike Club, and for those who believe in their own invincibility, the Cradle Coast Mountain Bike Club have put up the dates for the 2013-14 Interclub Downhill MTB Series and Championships (being run in conjunction with the Dirt Devils MTB club).

Also getting my attention recently was the release of event dates for both the Blue Dragon Mountain Bike Challenge (8-9 February) and the Pure Tasmania Cycle Challenge (22 February).

Finally, if you’re quick, you can still put your name down for the Great Cycle Challenge where you get to ride as many kilometres as you can and raise money to fight kids’ cancer.

I think that’s a cause worth turning the pedals for and have signed up, so even if you don’t want to ride, feel free to make a small donation as I try and chalk up my 500km target for the month. 

So there’s plenty on, and you can view it all in the events calendar.

Let’s go play ....

PS. If you're wondering about the photos, I couldn't resist ... they're from my recent ride up Alp D'Huez.

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Dorset Rail Trail - Update


Progress on the Dorset Rail Trail between Tulendeena and Legerwood has stopped because local landowners have raised concerns about the next proposed section of trail.  

Their concerns apparently include that the trail will be too close to a slaughterhouse, and that if built, the new section will result in the closure of the slaughterhouse and local butchery.


The 18km that have been completed has apparently been very successful and communities have reported a great deal of activity along the trail. This is obviously invaluable for these communities through attracting interstate visitors, stimulating the economy, encouraging healthy activity and promoting positive environmental practice.

However anyone who has ridden the trail would appreciate that it currently begins and ends in quite remote locations and that the proposed extension would be a real bonus.
 

So tassietrails.org isn't into political lobbying, but apparently the overwhelming number of letters sent to local Parliamentarians has been against the extension, so if you like the trail, want to voice your support for the project and even up the numbers a bit, you can find the list of current members for Bass here and what you write is up to you. 

Over here in Europe, where I'm currently cycle touring, I've followed many major tourist cycle routes that have weaved in and out of farms, sawmills, logging operations and quarries and so I know that it is possible for these activities to work side by side.

We just have to get past the fear of the unknown and new, and look for some real solutions that suit everybody. 

Source: based on a Tbug newsletter received 27 Sep 2013. 

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Greater Hobart MTB Master Plan - September Update


The September 2013 update from land management agencies involved in the Greater Hobart Mountain Bike Plan has been released.

This update outlines what projects the land managers are currently undertaking or planning to undertake in the near future.

Unfortunately it looks like quite a few initiatives are stalled pending funding, but that shouldn't overshadow all the great work that has been done, and things will proceed.  One only has to look back over the last five years to see how far we've come.

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