Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sunrise over the 'ville.

6:52am Saturday, 28 April 2007, Douglas trails.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cars are coffins.

Further to my rant about the miserable lives of non-cyclists, I would like to outline something else I noticed during my two week episode off the bike.

I was too sick to ride to work so I chose to drive my car, commuting at peak hour in Townsville, a city of 150 000 people. My usual cyclo-commute [patent pending] takes me on a 14 km journey from my riverside home to my riverside work, you guessed it, along a river. I like to think of myself as pretty dam lucky to have such a picturesque, peaceful and safe commuter route. For the two weeks I was car ridden I commuted through suburbia, onto a freeway, through various traffic lights and roundabouts and into work. This sucked. Little did I know that 149 984 people in Townsville choose to drive to work every day in individual cars, leaving only 16 people to risk their lives dodging between these lonely auto-commuters [patent pending]. It took me freak’n half an hour to drive 13 km one afternoon, what drugs are these people on!!!

So I came up with a few benefits of cyclo-commuting [patent pending]:

1. I bet you thought my number one benefit would be that it keeps me fit. You were wrong, I actually prefer to think of it as keeping me from looking like a fat jam roll wedged between a steering wheel and a head rest.

2. Although you do technically need to be awake to drive to work, half of the people on the road in the morning are functioning at about 17.6% of their mental capacity and don’t reach anywhere near their max until well into little lunch. My morning ride wakes me up like a hot cup of java.

3. It takes me 30 mins to ride to work, or 20 to drive. Riding is free and saves the planet. You do the math.

4. Cars hold up cars.

SO, in summary, cyclo-commuting [patent pending] is cool because it stops you from becoming a dumb, oil burning, traffic blocking, stop-go lump of lard.

Burn fat not oil!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scaring Pia

Things I like doing (in no particular order) no. 1: Scaring Pia.
This photo was taken right before Pia told me to hide somewhere in the hedge maze we were in, then got scared when i ruffled the bushes as she approached. She makes it so easy!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

End of the line.

So there I was on a perfect summers day, half way between Albury and Tallangata on an old disused railway line that had been converted to a tourism trail. Riding along peacefully and enjoying the views of surrounding natural wonders, I was aware that some way up ahead was a large valley, the maps hinted that there would be a bridge there and and if there wasn't, surely there would be signs or an alternate route marked. Realising that if there was no bridge I would have to backtrack five or so kays and ride the bitumen around the valley, I rode on. No signs, no alternate routes, no bridge; just the cement pillars that once held it aloft. Life isn't always fair even though the view may be beautiful.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spare time?

Being diagnosed with some obscure virus that mysteriously has all the symptoms of Ross River Fever (but isn’t), has really got me thinking about what all those people out there do with their spare time if they are not a cyclist. I’m sick so I haven’t ridden a bike since Saturday morning a week ago. After the 106 km ride up Harveys Range and back in the rain, I felt a little under the weather and have felt the same way for the last week. So instead of riding I have spent some quality time beside my bikes: cleaning, replacing parts, adjusting and shopping (I swear I needed that new Giro Atmos helmet, safety first!!). I even spent one afternoon packing for a 24hr race that was to take place in Brisbane but I eventually had to cancel due to my ‘virus’.

So if someone isn’t riding their bike (or replacing the sub-standard but perfectly functioning FSA headset on their Karate Monkey with a beautiful brand new blue Chris King version) then what are they doing with their lives?

The weekend saw me pondering this and as much as I hate shopping with the hordes, Pia and myself needed to venture into the city to visit the travel agent and pay for our trip to Vietnam in June. I needed some CDs and Pia wanted to do some clothes shopping. We visited two of the city’s largest shopping centres and here’s my observations:

1. Fat people congregate in home entertainment retailers checking if there are any DVD titles that they don’t already own.

2. Young men feel individual by driving the same overpriced car and wearing the same overpriced brand names as every other young man (and think bikes are for people who aren’t cool or individual enough to do the same).

3. Young women think makeup and tight clothes (not lycra knicks) are the meaning of life.

4. Having a family may relegate you to an infinite tradition of wasteful materialism (shopping for junk food, junk movies, junk toys and ways to shut your screaming kids up without actually paying them any attention).

5. Most people are getting out of bed just after you have returned from your morning epic ride through the picturesque mountains surrounding their town.

SO, judging by the rash generalisations above, I would say most people who aren’t cyclists are busy wasting their lives away avoiding effort, worrying about how others see them and living lives steeped in miserable tradition; waiting to die fat, old and bored. That tyre pressure looks a bit low, where’s that pump?