On yer bike

Chris's bike at its new home, my house I scored a bike. Chris has gone to Canada for seven months to work and he left his bike in my loving care. While Chris is in Vancouver (via Perth, via Warwick, Qld) he’s going to be my North American blog correspondent. Chris aka Dr Jones is a real doc. You won’t be able to ask him what ails you, but he could sequence your DNA.

bike love at UWA by Monique on Flickr I’ve been making good use of the pushy. Despite not having ridden for 15 years, I haven’t lost the knack. I was a bit wobbly at first, but I’ve worked it out now. I might even get fit!

one less car in Melbourne I ride to my parents when I take Sheeba (formerly the sk8 dog, now the bike dog) to be puppy-sat when I go to work. She runs along beside the bike and loves it. She has been known to run in front of the wheel, causing me to drop the bike once or twice. Luckily we’ve both survived such incidents and we’re improving our team work. I also ride to Stirling Train Station. You can’t take a bike on the train during peak hour and my dad suggested I go later so I can take the bike with me. I prefer to go at eight and put my bike in a bike locker. I can store my bike for the whole day, I just need to bring a padlock to lock it in. I don’t ride when it’s raining, but if it did, the bike wouldn’t get wet. Perth has a world class network of bike paths, helpful because it can be a bit scary negotiating cars on the road.

bike love Vancouver style by Dr Jones I live on top of a hill, which is a bugger to walk up, and even worse to ride up. My parents’ house is along the ridge of the hill, so that’s not a problem. Stirling Station is down the hill and then some. The ride to the station is exhilarating. There’s lights at the bottom of the hill and it’s fun to see how far down the hill I can go before putting the brakes on. The ride home is not so fun. The next hill south has a slightly less inclined slope, but it still kills me. I only manage to make it to the park at the top. Then I get off for a rest and push the bike through the park. Chris tells me I just need to practise. The day I don’t get off, I’ll know I’m fit. If I go directly to my parents from the traino to pick up Sheeba, the hill is slightly shorter. It doesn’t kill me quite as much, but I’ve still had it at the top.

Sheeba cooling off after a bike rideChris's helmet ready for scaring magpies The more southerly hill runs next to a park, where a nesting magpie swooped me. He only hit my helmet, but it scared me just a bit. I put a face on my helmet to deter the maggie. I did this with white tape and black marker and my mum said the eyes weren’t big enough, but it’s worked once. My mum also said the nose and mouth, which I was very careful with, especially those teeth, are not important – little does she know!

Bicycle Revolution in Brisbane The bike has a handy milk crate attached to the back, good for going shopping. I have a tendency to buy a lot when I shop, so most of the time I have too much to fit everything in the crate. But when I go to the fruit and veg shop my food fits nicely in the crate. Even eggs (free range and locally laid) survive the ride home on the back of the bike. I just have to make sure I don’t launch off any big curbs.

I’m enjoying riding so much that I’m going to get my own bike when I have to give Chris back his.


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