Sunday afternoon ride

August 19, 2010 at 18:24 | Posted in bicycles | 2 Comments
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On Sunday afternoon two weeks ago I had a Big Band rehearsal over in Lane Cove. Normally I drive, but Mrs Chillikebab was using the car. The perfect opportunity to try it on the radish!

I had been meaning to do this since my last trombone expedition. That journey was very short, however – how would I fare on a longer ride, along what is perhaps the least cyclist-friendly road in Sydney?

As it happens, I was very late leaving. Such is the way of things when Baby Chillikebab is involved. By the time I set off, trombone strapped to the bike, I only had half an hour to get there – and it’s a journey that takes twenty minutes by car. I texted to let them know I was running late, and set off.

The radish really is fun to ride. You sit bolt upright, and just cruise along. Yesterday I bought new pedals for it, so was able to ditch the bizarre ‘light up when you spin them round’ ones with a more sensible pair of bmx pedals. These offered much more grip on the bottom of my trainers and allowed me to get my feet closer together, which made for a more comfortable ride. Given that it was a longer journey, I was also wearing cycling knicks under my shorts, and that also helped. I don’t find chafing a problem, but when riding the radish to work I had noticed it making my buttocks ache. This problem was much improved with the change of clothing!

It wasn’t a fast journey, but the bike performed admirably on the somewhat bumpy paths – even with about twenty kilos of stuff strapped to the back. It does jump gears a lot, though. I’d asked the shop to take a look at it to adjust them, and whilst they were improved they still aren’t great. I think the chain is just so long (and the gears are only so-so SRAM models) that it just tends to hop over the cogs a bit, especially when going over bumps or changing down several gears. I am considering adding another chain tensioner between the cranks and the derailleur, so see if it helps. (The solution I really want is to install hub gears, but that’s an extravagance I can’t justify – yet).

It took me thirty-five minutes to get to Lane Cove. This surprised me; I had expected it to take over forty-five. it really just does bring it home how driving is really not as quick as you think. Riding a ponderous bike, loaded to the gunwales, along a bumpy, twisty, up-and-down path really doesn’t take much longer than taking the car. Why do people drive? Especially when on a bike you can stop and enjoy the view from the top of Gladesville Bridge (see photo above). I was only a few minutes late, and wasn’t even the last one to get to the rehearsal – others arrived later after getting stuck in traffic. Ha ha.

Coming home was even quicker (more downhill!). I managed to crank the thing up to about fifty kph coming down Burns Bay Road; a few drivers did a double take as this fellow on a sit-up-and-beg bike with what looks like a small coffin strapped to the back overtook them. I felt like the Man with Rubber Pedals.

I can see riding to rehearsals becoming a habit!



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  1. YOu need to install one of those automatic bubble blowing machines on the back of this bike. I was walking to work the other day and a guy rode past with exactly one of these things and it really did just make my day seeing all of us corporate suit types being covered in these gorgeous bubbles of the back of this guy’s bike. I can see you doing that on your bike

    • Oooh, what a fabulous idea! I shall have to get one…

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