Going for a ride

November 18, 2017 at 09:08 | Posted in bicycles | 3 Comments
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I went for a ride. That might not seem an especially remarkable thing, especially for someone who writes a some-time bicycle blog. But in fact, it is an extremely rare event. Since the junior Chillikebabs came along, I almost never just ‘go for a ride’. I mean, I ride my bicycle a lot. I go to work, to the shops, take the kids places. There’s rarely a day when I don’t ride somewhere. But the whole business of just going for a ride for fun just rarely seems to happen.

That’s not a ‘woe is me’ comment; some kind of misogynist male-entitled rant about how wives and kids ruin your life. Far from it – if I wanted to go for more rides, there’s nothing (much) stopping me. Rather it’s just that there’s lots of other things I’d rather do. Like staying in bed, for example. And playing with the kids. After all, I didn’t become a father just to abandon them every Sunday morning so I could ride my bike. So I suppose what having a family taught me was that I wasn’t really that fussed about going for a bike ride. My transformation from leisure rider to utility rider is pretty much complete.

Anyway, I did go for a ride the other day. I pootled out to Bondi Beach, nurdled around Centennial Park and generally rode around aimlessly.

It just so happened that the day I chose for my ride was the day of the Sydney Spring Cycle, so I kept getting caught up in road closures, police patrols and hundreds of people riding along. Which was sort of fantastic, and also sort of frustrating. I kept trying to get away, and everywhere I rode, there is was again!

Oh, and I found a piano on Oxford Street. So I stopped and played it for a bit. Try doing that when you’re driving a car.

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Annual jaunt to Watsons Bay…

January 1, 2011 at 09:57 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Well, I did make it out for a ride yesterday, and given the time of year thought I should make my annual pilgrimage to Watson’s Bay on the fixie.

Amazingly this is the first recreational ride of 2010 that I have done on my own. Ive been out a handful of times with friends this year, but not on my own. Strange to think it was something I did pretty much every weekend in 2009. How things are changed by having children!

I was slightly trepidatious as I set off; I’ve done a lot less riding this year and even less of it on the fixie. How would I manage? Would I get up the hills?

As I started the first modest hill climbing up after Double Bay, I started to have doubts. It just seemed like very hard work, and the little derailleur devil started in my ear, telling me I should have brought the ‘wife’ out for one last ride before I sell her. I struggled on, however, and it began to get easier as I found my rhythm.

By the time I got to the big hill up to Vacluse I was well into my stride. I just danced up it (well, puffed and panted a bit, but in a fun kind of way). I love my fixie – and was reassured that riding the Radish hasn’t caused all my leg muscles to atrophy! I whizzed down the hill into Watson’s Bay; my one concession to tiring legs was to use the brakes to slow down. Eighteen months ago I’d have used back pressure on the pedals to moderate my speed, but it only felt like cheating a little bit…

After a quick pit stop at Camp Cove, I headed back. The climb out of Watson’s Bay is one of the steeper stretches, but any attempt to get up some speed to attack it was thwarted by a couple of cyclists coming around the roundabout from the other direction with right of way. I had to go past them, as they were pootling up (using, as I understand it, these new-fangled things called ‘gears’…) which gave me an incentive to push on to the top without pausing for a breather!

I took the Old South Head Road back, taking a detour to Bondi to look at beach; the preparations for the NYE party were in full swing and things were a bit chaotic so I continued through and up to Waverley Park and then on to Centennial Park. I scooted around Centennial, but then remembered it was a place with possible ‘H’ issues, so made my way home.

All in all a great ride. Whilst riding with friends is fun, and it’s nice to share the experience, I do like riding on my own. Alone with your thoughts, going at your own pace, pleasing no-one except yourself. Perhaps in 2011 I’ll try to get out more than once!

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