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Category Archives: Reasons to Ride

Giro d’Perth Alleycat Ride – 17 March 2013

This was a really cool semi-organised scavenger hunt style ride which took us through many back alleyways in Perth in search of clues.

They have a website here.

the map and questions etc

the map and questions etc

Read the rest at my new blog perthcyclist.net

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Offbeat, Reasons to Ride

 

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Bonus Cherries!

These are on the underpass that I ride through twice a day near East Perth. I don’t know how long they have been there, but one day I just happened to look up at the right angle.

I love this kind of street art, it is so subtle, but it made my day when I first saw it. Now I look up at it every time.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Commuting, Reasons to Ride

 

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The Return of Spring

There are ducklings and baby coots almost everywhere you look at the moment. It’s been a good year for them.

The sweet cool breeze that dissipates the sun’s mild heat is a reminder that warmer days are coming. The sun will intensify until a morning ride will illicit twice the amount of sweat for the same amount of effort. As I make my way along the beautiful riverside bikeway, I begin to appreciate the headwinds for their cooling effect. I welcome the sound of the wind roaring past, whistling through the straps of my helmet.

It is time to hang my softshell in the closet for another year. If there is any rain in between now and next June I will rejoice in it, not cover my skin with water-repellent clothing. It is time to rummage through my drawers to unearth my lightweight, trendy Coolmax garments, whilst stocking up on sunscreen. Maybe this year I’ll even invest in one of those insulated water bottles, so that I can squirt some water into my mouth on a long ride without receiving third degree burns.

I will plan rides taking into account exposure to hot roads and walls, perhaps avoiding the freeway bike path for a month or two. I learned this lesson the hard way a few summers ago, being caught out in the middle of kilometres of black tar with the air temperature sitting on 40 degrees Celsius. The only other riders I saw that day were cowering in underpass tunnels, or making their way to the nearest train station for a ride home in air conditioned comfort. Being the stubborn type I struggled out to the coast and went for a much needed swim to cool off, then used the train as my sag wagon for the trip home.

Whilst I am not looking forward to the inevitable run of 40 degree days, I will enjoy the here and now. I know that in a few short months I will be baking cookies for the dogs on the dashboard of my car.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Everyday cycling, Reasons to Ride

 

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Once you start riding you will never be ‘normal’ again…

Ah Facebook! A couple of weeks ago I saw that a friend-of-a-friend had posted “yay, I got a new job, bye bye stinky public transport, hello 3 minute drive to work”

I don’t know this person, and their security settings only allowed me to read their post but not reply, but I was thinking “WHAT THE? WHY BOTHER DRIVING 3 MINUTES!!!!”

There was a time in my life where I did drive 10 minutes to work. I would not even give it a second thought now. Say if you drive 3 minutes, and the average speed you are travelling at is 40 km per hour (which is pretty standard for urban/suburban areas when you take into account roundabouts, stop signs, traffic lights etc), then in 3 minutes you are going about 2 kilometres. That might be a bit far to walk, but you would barely notice it on a bike. Say you are a newbie, or have a cruiser bike and are riding very slowly at 15 km per hour, then it would only take you 8 minutes, and you aren’t going to need a shower, so it doesn’t matter if the employer doesn’t provide lockers/showers. No need to spend much on the bike either, so you don’t have to worry much about secure parking for it.

The bad news is the commute, only being 16 minutes a day isn’t going to quite get you up to the 30 minutes a day of exercise that is the BARE MINIMUM everyone should be doing. You will need to go for a walk at lunch time.

But seriously, why not ride?

 

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Reasons to Ride: Scaling Down

When you are on a bike, you aren’t insulated from the city you are travelling through. You have great vision with no windows or pillars in the way. You are travelling more slowly so details jump out at you. I took a little time to document my ride home so that you may share the riches I enjoy on my way home every day.

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You might hear, and then see a powerboat on the calm waters of the Swan, practicing for the upcoming Avon Descent race. The sun sets on the city in the background.

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I  quite enjoyed this small, and somewhat sloppy bicycle stencil on a wall between two principle shared paths.

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Upon seeing this very small stencil, you may break into a rendition of ‘C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me, C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me, C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me, Cookie Cookie Cookie starts with C!”

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This red dog stencil looks a little like the iconic ‘dingo flour’ sign on a big old building down near Fremantle. I am not sure if the resemblance was deliberate, but it’s more food for thought as you pedal along.

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The sun will continue on it’s journey below the horizon as you continue on your journey home. The pink and orange hues reflect off the calm, glassy water.

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Humpty dumpty threatens to fall and break all over my bike… but you would never spot him from the road, or the train.

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Sometimes you find small signs that humans are in general good creatures. I hope the owner of the computer/heart rate monitor sees this sign before it rains again!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Commuting, Reasons to Ride

 

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Training: Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer, 1000ks in June

This weekend I fell behind a little bit progressing towards my 1000 kilometre goal. Since last month I came off a base of 350 kilometres, the 1000km target has left me pretty stuffed. I am surprised overall how well things are holding up though! This morning the only niggles are a red patch that looks like it wants to become a blister on the outside of my right foot, and some tired(ish) legs. I still have a fighting chance of making it.

My progress chart

I have already started thinking about goal setting for July. I am thinking that I will give myself a bit of a recovery week, and then since I am really in training to do back-to-back centuries, setting some weekend based targets. I am thinking 1 x 100k weekend, 1 x 120k weekend and 1 x 160k weekend with a minimum of 600ks for the month. It is going to be a bit less ‘neat’ in terms of plotting my progress but I’ll do some ride reports of the longer rides.

 

 

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Training: Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer (1000ks in June)

We have had a bit of rain, and that has slowed me down a little bit but as you can see below I have managed to stay on target so far for this month. 

graph: target vs actual kms

My progress towards my 1000km target for June

After a week where I struggled to ride much because of the weather, I managed two good rides on the weekend. Nic & I went for 58 kilometre dawdle out to Bells Rapids on Saturday. The rain meant that there was some nice water flow at Bells and even a couple of kayakers practicing for the upcoming Avon Descent race. They were still getting stuck on the rocks, but hopefully as we get more rain over winter the rapids will be high enough to kayak through.

On Sunday I went for a ride with a mate up to Mt Helena. I had never done a ride in the Perth hills and I was quite surprised with how well I went. I ran the Gopro on my handlebars, but I had a problem with it fogging up after half an hour or so. I’ve never had an issue with fogging while using the Gopro on the bike before – the only time I really had fog was diving with the whalesharks up at Ningaloo.

Anyway, here is a bit of footage that I got from the ride. It was very scenic and a good work out. My legs are still a bit tired now.

Now that the rain is back I expect my little ‘actual km’ line on the graph will dip a little bit, but I can always make it up on the weekend and there seems to be some sun forecast.

 

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