Tuesday, 12 August 2014

First Australian Ride: Straddie Ferry Reccie

How ya goin? Is the standard greeting out here in Queensland. I quite like it! I'm not sure if it's a genuine enquiry or a bit like a Northants 'alright?' Which is never to be answered with anything other than a return 'alright,' or at worst 'yeah you?' The standard reply appears to be 'good thanks.'  Today on my first Aussie ride I got lots of nods, the odd wave and a mix of hi and hey. Lycra loonies are the same the world over it seems.

The route today was a practise for tomorrow when we go on 'holiday' to North Stradbroke Island. My sister has bigged the place up to the max so I'm really excited. I sort of joked about making space in the car by biking to our holiday home destination of Point Lookout and like all good cyclists when others agreed I decided it had to be done. More on Straddie tomorrow when I've done the ride. Today 
it was about testing the route to the ferry using the 150km of cycle path the Queensland government 
have kindly provided in their quest to create an East coast cycleway. My steed for the day, which I have named Claudius, is my brother in law's full suspension Claude Butler Ark. As Andy (mention) used to sell these I believe he's a bit excited about seeing the old girl.

Standard view on the route

Disappointed no Koala's today

I do love a good war memorial

Made it to the ferry

Can't wait!

Dear KBC and NCC this is a cycle path!

Stuff like this is everywhere

View from the cycle path...slight improvement on the Grand Union Canal

Clearly marked

Some more good stuff

The route is a mix of dedicated cycle paths and clearly marked lanes on roads. Nothing had any sign of a pothole, I did not encounter broken glass and even the under path was decorated in a fantastic mural and did not smell of wee. I like it here...can you tell? My average was hampered by a few factors, Claudius is in good shape but isn't a fast bike and the rear suspension means you lose power transference climbing. I'm not complaining though, I'm quite taken by the classic red BRITISH bike. I did keep checking the route on Strava, which performed pretty well but unlike a dedicated sat nav doesn't have a way of keeping you on track. However like my bike for the holiday it's free so I won't be a whinging POM. Finally it's just so bloody stunning and interesting that I'm spending more time taking in the sites than getting my head down.

It's winter here now and the Aussies are saying it's cold. I've seen people in coats! Well to me it's warm. The weather forecast last night was hilarious. It was all doom and gloom and cold and rain! Well they've said that every day and it's dribbled down for five minutes about twice. So I checked the met office for Brisbane. What the Aussies warn of as big chance of rain, our lads in blighty were calling sunny intervals. Do check my pictures and make up your own mind!

One last thing. My ear worms on today's ride were bizarrely Supergrass - pumping on your stereo and more logically Madness Prince Buster because I sing that to my sisters dog Buster who we've all fallen in love with.

Buster Dog

So some things are the same and some things are different but there's one thing that remains ever constant: I absolutely flipping bloody love riding bikes.

Happy Pedalling

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