Thursday, February 21, 2008



I'm about to ride my bike into town. Sounds harmless enough doesn't it? It's a new challenge for me however. The distance isn't the factor. 20 km isn't the issue any more, and Marc and I often ride that, another 30km, and then return, on the tandem of a Saturday morning.

It's the first time I'm riding solo down the highway though, with the first part being a bit 'light on' for shoulder.

So that's with a side order of adrenalin. Trucks and cars... please move to the other side of your lane rather than to the left and onto the shoulder!

I'm probably barking mad, but I decided I was ready for this challenge.

One, because it will save petrol on running into town twice in one day - which I already did yesterday. (I'll pick up the car from Marc's work, do my business, then drive home, sort the kids out, and drive back in and pick him up so we can go together to a BUG meeting, and possibly dinner.)

Just call me the eco warrior. Heh.

Secondly - well, we ride it on our tandem - and I suppose I just want to tick the 'I did it myself' box, and be able to say 'I rode into town.'

Future challenge, lobby for a bike path all the way to town, so more people feel they can do it. Yeah right.

Spare tubes. Check. Tyre levers. Check. Waiting till around 9.30 so that traffic has thinned out a bit. Check.

Deep breath. Check.


I made it! Just to make it more fun, I had a bit of a headwind to contend with, as well as the traffic - which is really only an issue in parts of the first 10km, where the shoulder of the road may as well not be there.

I wouldn't have liked to do it with any more traffic (ie. earlier)... and nor would I have liked it without my little mirror that attaches to the arm of my cycling gasses. Best thing since sliced bread! (You can see me 'wearing' it in the picture at the top of this post.) I can see what's coming, and brace myself as a big truck passes, and maybe just edge over to the left a teeny bit more. Or use the actual car lane (which is generally smoother) if I can see the road behind is clear. I can time my run through parts where the shoulder disappears (like over creeks!- Next time you are driving, imagine you are riding a bike along the shoulder of the road, and watch how many times the shoulder itself all but disappears!)

So, I am still on a bit of an endorphin high from doing it... though weariness is starting to set in a bit now. It's a harder ride than the same distance without traffic, that's for sure.

But I'm happy. Mission accomplished. Over and out.

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Oooh - I hope you get there safely! You are a far braver woman than I.
I hate highways - go safely.
I was hit by a car once a real jerk - three lane highway Sunday morning - no other cars in any lanes.

He takes me out by being smart alec and trying to scare me but his side mirror clipped me.

Good on you for giving it a go.
Well how cool are those cycling glasses. Riding a bike on a well trafficked road gives me the heebee jeebees. I also feel rather nervous when I pass bikers riding in the road, feel that I want to give them plenty of room.
What I can't get my head round Tracey is the distances we're talking about here. 30km? TO TOWN? Blimey. I don't think there is anywhere in the UK where it's 30km to a town. Well, maybe in Scotland. But I don't go there often...
hooray! Well done! Kudos for wisdom and courage!!
Yay for conquering a bugbear!
Yeah, I am pretty nervous. There are some idiot car (and truck) drivers out there. Your story freaks me out baby~amore. Sadly it doesn't surprise me.

I am feeling more confident as I get to be a better rider...

PM, I think you wouldn't be the only 'European' to be totally amazed at the distances in Australia. What I am talking about here is chicken feed compared to some parts.

We're in a regional area... and on the coast, which is a bit different to inland towns/cities.

Technically the 'town' I am referring to is a city.. and we live sort of on the outskirts, so to speak, towards the northern end of the 'city' (local government area) boundaries. We are 25km from the 'city' centre... one of a number of smallish village-type suburbs in between the 'city' and a bigger beachside 'town' (only 7km from us). The suburbs we live in are sort of unusual in that they are kind of beachside hamlets separated from each other that you can only access from the Pacific Highway. We are one of the few cities/towns not yet bypassed, and the bypassing can't come soon enough to get the highway traffic (particularly the trucks) away.

Gah, that doesn't explain it at all really! We're not as isolated as the 25km sounds, but yeah, it is a hike to get to town for more major shopping requirements, (Marc's work), hospital, and Cait's rep netball.

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