Spokes(Wo)Man

Scared of traffic ? No bike infrastructure ? Too Far ? Helmet hair ?

 

Fuck it, ride anyway

And with a bound ...

Commute no5 – uneventful.

Commute no6 – the ride in, uneventful.

Commute no6 – the ride home, an event !

Commute no7 – events all over the show !

Commute no8 – Boom !

On a quiet day at work we’re done by 4.30. No-one there is a great believer in busy-work for the sake of it, so if we’re done, we’re gone. Besides, riding in gets you to the office between 7.30 and 8am, so come 4.30 it’s not unreasonable to adios.

Buuut, I then have a 45 minute wait for the first ER Grand Depart of the evening. And I could be halfway home in that time – so the question arose, was I ready to ride home by myself ?

Turns out, yes indeedy I was. With a little trepidation and a muesli bar I set out, and while I will always be so appreciative of the group for it’s valuable teachings, support and sheer physical mass on the roads; the guilt of knowing you’re last and probably slowing everyone down is real. So riding north over the Sydney Harbour Bridge at my own pace was dee-lightful,

  The Good  ...

The Good ...

epic infrastructure fail notwithstanding.

  ... the bad and the definitely ugly.

... the bad and the definitely ugly.

Popping up in North Sydney amongst the buses and homeward-bound cars, not nearly as busy as after 5pm. Usually it's like a game of Whack-a-mole, with yours truly feeling a bit like the mole. The route, not that difficult to recall, the nature reserves and national parks just lovely to take a spin through. I rode for just under 2 hours on my own, I took 2 turns wrong but realised pretty quickly and corrected, and it was all great.

Commute no7 was also the day of the protest against the idiotic new cycling laws proposed by Minister for Cars Duncan Gay and weasily supported by the Teflonesque NSW Premier Mike Baird.

Sprocketman and I both wanted to attend and yell “Shame” and “Booo” at the appropriate moments, but to do so we had to leave around 6am -  45 minutes before my usual inward-bound group. I refused to ride along the ill-named Pacific Highway, so instead Sprocketman would ride with me all the way along the ER route.  As long as I could remember it.

So I lead him out just after dawn, we two arrived at Martin Place without incident, although not with out a grumble from my SO that my journey in was too winding and chop n’ change. I think he prefers to point himself in the direction of the city and ride like a one-man Panzer tank , flattening all before him and leaving nothing but a sonic boom in his wake.

We collected one of my other cycling friends RGH, made new friends with a lovely German lady who doesn’t ride in Sydney because our cycling laws are so fucking restrictive; and off we went to hear from politicians of all sides give the Liberal Party coal-industry fanbois some stick, and generally boo and hiss as required.

That evening, I nonchalantly donned my lycra and rode home, alone again, cheerfully.

Commute no8, I went solo both ways without even thinking about it.

It occurs to me that while I have been commuting by bike since October 2015, for various reasons, holidays, weather & medical, I had only actually ridden in 5 times before I graduated to making the journey alone.

I think for someone as utterly scared as I was, this is a terrific milestone. For anyone else who’s afraid to ride, or to ride in, or dithering about something else entirely; I hope this give you lashings of encouragement.

So what else am I afraid of?