I've been riding my bike a lot lately. This is partly because I want to regain some lost fitness, and partly because Esther has simultaneously challenged and bribed me to lose a few kilos, and partly because I'd forgotten how much I enjoy riding.
I've dropped about five kilos in the last couple of weeks, putting me two kilos away from the first level of bribery. That level ought to see me acquiring a new bike to complement the old, probably a Fuel EX5 or EX6. Mmmm.... nice. There are other levels to follow that, but they may be quite a few weeks away at current rates.
Anyway, I'm now becoming very familiar with the Bay To Bay cycleway, which runs from Homebush Bay in Sydney's West down to Botany Bay in the South, via the Cooks River and Brighton Le Sands cycleways. One thing I've noticed here, though, is that the pedestrians of these areas don't appear to know their left from their right.
There's a rule on the cycleways which promotes co-existence. It asks pedestrians not to take up the whole path, and for cyclists to give way to pedestrians when necessary. For the most part, this harmony is observed, aside from in some special cases, where a blissful couple or happy family has decided to take up the whole cycleway for themselves, line abreast.
Local councils recommend the application of a bell in these cases, but I much prefer to call out, in a jolly fashion, "move to the left please!", and then say "thank you!" as I ride past.
This doesn't always work.
One couple in particular took so long to realise what was left and what was right that I ended up bouncing off the side of the path after shouting "Move left please! No, left. No, other left. SERIOUSLY, LEFT. Oh for fuck's sake. [thump rumble thump thump clonk]".
And apparently I was the "fucking idiot". Get a grip, The Inner West. Left and right are taught as basic lessons in very early childhood. How come you can't grasp the difference?
<--- LEFT IS OVER THERE.
AND RIGHT IS OVER THERE --->
The other problem is that Brighton Le Sands portion of the ride, passing as it does through a popular beachfront suburb. I pass through after sundown, equipped with pretty good lights I admit, but it does seem that Brighton has quite a lot of drunken 20-something women who like to partake of excessive alcopops then waddle down to the beachfront in large, unsteady, giggling packs. These packs are a lost cause on the left/right thing and I just have to deal with that as it comes. So far I haven't run any over, but I think it may be a matter of time. Occasionally they utter shrieks of surprise as I jet past, which at least shows a degree of awareness, I suppose.
Anyway, I did a 60km run last night, in a bit over three hours, out almost to Kurnell on the tip of Botany Bay NP, turning round at the 30km mark not far from Cronulla Sharkies Leagues Club, and it was marvellous. So marvellous, in fact, that I've decided to take it upon myself to work on updating Wikipedia's Bike Paths In Sydney article, which may take a while and many more kilometres. And I'd like to invite any readers of this blog to suggest paths, trails and notable cycling destinations around the area for inclusion. There's a contact link somewhere on the page, or just comment below. Or hit me up on Wikipedia, where I am user: StopThatAstronaut
Oh, and here's the flyby of last night's ride:
posted @ Monday, January 30, 2012 2:53 PM