Straddie

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Sorry, no good excuses, just sheer laziness.

However, I have been out and about. Last weekend, I flew to Brisbane, and hopped on a bike for a short cycle tour.  We had a great combination of bikes – a tandem, a steel framed tourer towing a BOB trailer, a flat bar roadie, and a hard tail mountain bike.

 We loaded our bikes, and headed out from Taringa. We rode through UQ, over the bridge and wended our way down Old Cleveland Road towards Cleveland, making it to the ferry with enough time for a coffee at the ferry terminal before boarding the ferry to Stradbroke Island.   

Waiting for the ferry (sorry about the bins in the shot)

Waiting for the ferry (sorry about the bins in the shot)

The ferry ride was a very comfortable 45 minutes, with a cafe on board.  It cost us $30 return (including the bikes), which was a far cry from the $150 it costs to take a car across!  It was a beautiful day to be on the water.  Flat seas, blue skies, and we even saw dolphins.

Beautiful weather!

Beautiful weather!

The ferry dropped us off at Dunwich, on the westerly side of the island, leaving us about 20kms to ride to reach our campsite at Point Lookout. The going was hilly, however traffic was light and the drivers were all supportive.

We arrived at the campsite at about 2.00pm, giving us enough time to set up camp, and have swim. The campsite was right on the beach, which certainly made for convenient swimming!

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The next day, we ventured out to a cafe for breakfast, then had a look at Point Lookout where we were lucky enough to see whales and dolphins. It was then time to ride back to Dunwich, and head back on the ferry.

Whale watching

Whale watching

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Waiting for the ferry

We decided on a slight change of plans, and took the train from Cleveland back to Roma St where we rode home.

Great weather, good riding, good road surfaces and really fantastic traffic.  In addition to this, having the bikes on the island made it super convenient for getting around.  All in all? A great trip.

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Perth cycling

After a several day train journey, we arrived in Perth. Our hotel, Sullivans,  had free loaner bikes which was the reason we chose it and was located across the road from a bike way. There was a threat of rain that didn’t eventuate and temps where high teens.

Perth city has a fantastic bike way along the banks of the Swan River which made for a great day out. We saw dolphins in the river as well as a visit to the zoo. Riding along the banks of the river was very scenic.

The city center has plenty of bike parking and drivers generally seemed amicable to cyclists on the 40km/hr city roads.

Thoroughly enjoyable day out after sitting down on the long train journey. A must do for visitors to Perth.

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Southern States Super Tuesday Bike Count

Yesterday was Super Tuesday Annual Bike Traffic Count for the Southern States.

Preliminary results showed that female riders made up to 45% of traffic in some count locations.  This is wonderful news on the health of cycling in those areas!  It was the first time that data on gender was collected.

It is also being reported that despite the rain in Melbourne, most sites reported a 10-25% increase.

Queensland and NT’s Super Tuesday is usually in September.  So make it on your calendar.

 

Two thumbs up – business providing customer bike facilities!

I went to the dentist today and whilst that is awesome in itself, it’s not the story I want to talk about.

The dentist in semi-suburban part of municipality had a bike rack in the car park in the shade!  I was astounded that they would provide such facilities and was impressed that they weren’t tucked around the back or really inconvenient to access.  They were right at the front of the building closer even that the regular car parks!  I was expecting to have to lock my bike up on a tree or railing or street post.  Certainly made my day (I’m easily amused).

Great work!

New Year’s Cycling Resolutions

I’m not one for ever doing any New Year’s Resolutions.  So these are both belated and aspirational rather than resolutional.

Ride when ever I am able.

This is deliberately open ended.  Riding is already my primary means of getting to and from work but I could probably move more journeys to the bike for social events, to and from sport, the shops, etc.  Some of these, I currently bum a lift or catch the bus/taxi.

Buy Australian made cycling products.

If possible, I hope to buy Australian made cycling products.  I bit of a long shot for many things but plenty of the things that make cycling fun and add novelty are made in Oz.

If not Oz made, then from the Local Bike Shop.  If not from the LBS, then from an Oz retailer.

It’s unfortunately all too easy to get that thing you want online from overseas much cheaper than here.

Try to normalise cycling.

Both to myself and others.  Even though I ride every day as my primary means of transportation, it still doesn’t feel normal.  This is a terrible admission on my behalf and probably a bit of a reflection on the poor state of cycling in Australia.  Cycling doesn’t feel like something normal people do.  I’m going to try to wear normal clothes, cycle to normal everyday activities, talk down cycling short comings and encourage others to give it a go.

More advocacy.

Write more, tweet more, contact members of government more.  Join the local BUG.  Complain when important public facilities have no/inadequate bike infrastructure.  Take down number plates and report to police poor behaviour.

Don’t forget to ride for recreation.

I do a lot of commuting.  It’s easy to forget that riding for the sake of it is fun.

Cycle to the beach

Something I’ve wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to.  It isn’t even that far!

Rockhampton Cup on Wheels

Over the weekend, I went to the Rockhampton Cup on Wheels track cycling meet.  I hadn’t been to a meet before.  It was run by the Rockhampton Cycling Club and attracted both local, interstate and international competitors to the event including special guest Anna Meares.

If you haven’t seen much track cycling before, it is kind of like the last stage of the Tour de France where they are doing the laps of the Champs-Élysées before hitting the sprint finish but inside a sloping closed circuit track.  So pretty much just the most exciting bits.  I had watched track cycling on TV before but seeing it in “real life” is much better.  They go really fast!

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Consultation on Centenary Trail

Consultation on Canberra’s new Centenary Trail route is open until 16 December.  This 133km 3 day cycle/129 km 7 day walk has been proposed to showcase Canberra and celebrate its historic icons.

The proposed route starts at Parliament House and loops around the ACT through locations including ANZAC Parade and the War Memorial, Parliament House, Lake Burley Griffin, Mount Ainslie, Mount Taylor, Red Hill, the National Arboretum, Stromlo Forest Park and Mulligans Flat Sanctuary.  The proposed route includes campsites.

The feasibility report was completed last year, and is up for discussion here.

3 day cycle! Sounds awesome to me.  Comments are open till December 16, so get in and have your say!