My suburban cycling commutes into the unknown...

It’s 0500 and my alarm just woke me. It’s raining outside and I can hear a rooster croaking nearby. I start thinking to myself that it was just over a week ago that I would wake up at 0620 usually when commuting by car. I would drive in my car, banana in one hand, iphone in the other using Shazam to advise me of the songs names on the radio so I can download later off Limewire. It’s quiet an amazing program.

Yes, I would be in my car, in traffic going like a snail and I would see commuters on motorbikes and bicyles pass me by. For the past weeks on journeys like this I would think and ponder ‘is this it, I still have another 20 years of commuting to work how can I make it more pleasurable, more exciting?’.

And that’s the day that I purchased my MTB. I’m glad that I did because over the weeks of pondering, my tyres became completely bold and there was a very good chance that I would of aquaplaned into oblivion somewhere. Either that or my brakes would have failed as my pads were very low.

My 1st commute to work was by train, ferry and the cycling from Manly to North Head, and vise versa on the was home. Even though that was up a steep hill it was only a weeny 2km or so each way.

Today was my first commute to work by train from Lidcombe to Milson’s Point and then cycle from there to Mosman / Geaorges Heights which was 6.98 km. I did take a few wrong turns though so it’s probably more like 6.5km.

The train ride was smooth catching the 608am at Lidcombe arriving 623am at Milsons Point. There were more people that I expected on an early Saturday morning but most of them were people going to work. I sat on the seat next to the doors. In front of me was a guy sleeping looking a little hungover, ready for a day of gyprocking, and next to him a couple asleep holding hands.

I got off at Milsons point and looked at the Map My tacks app on my iPhone to figure out the best route. I then pressed GO to start recording / mapping my journey.

I found that the signage was adequate, I initially just followed the ‘Mosman signs’, there were a few areas with Bicycle makings / lanes on the road. There are 4-5 hills along the way which made me think I am going to enjoy the trips back to the station more going down hill J

It was raining, I was drenched. I still don’t have any wet weather gear except for my back pack which has a water proof cover that comes out the bum of it and wraps around it. And it’s reflective.

I’m half way up this steep hill using the 2nd or third lowest gear on my bike, my left knee is aching a bit and then suddenly….no power. I’m peddling and peddling and I’m going no where! I turn to the footpath and I look down. The chain was no longer where it’s supposed to be. I thought ‘well %^*@ me’. Like in one of those war movies where you see a soldier standing in the rain looking at a mine about to explode and everything goes quiet, but the soldier is calm and at peace and is not aware of what’s going on around…there was I. But I was aware of what’s going on, I was standing in the rain, drenched half way up a hill with a chain malfunction on my bike. It took a couple minutes for me to fix the malfunction and luckily there was some ‘junk mail’ in a letter box that I could wipe the grease off my hands.

It took me 41 minutes to arrive to my destination which I was happy with, if I did not take a few wrong turns it would probably of been 35 minutes and as I get fitter and become more experienced cyclist I could probably even turn that into 25 minutes.

On the way back going down the hills It could even take 20 minutes.

What a wonderful, exciting morning it has been.

Views: 48

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on July 31, 2010 at 1:18pm
Well done Alexander. You were better than me this morning. I have been kicking myself all morning for not riding because I thought I would get wet. Such a wimp. I will definitely go tomorrow and really push hard.
Comment by Littleteapot on July 31, 2010 at 8:43pm
Well gv8pe4b, I am riding pretty much on suburban roads and footpaths when I'm commuting to work.

On the weekend I have tried a bit off road. I can feel the vibration from the knobbly tires when I go down hill at 50 km and I think they are slowing me down. When I bought the bike I wanted first and foremost something to get to work but also to have a bike that I can take anywhere and have some fun.

I might buy a set of wheels with road tires, bang them on when I'm working and then put the others on when I want to go bush.

What kind of tires would you suggest for a MTB for general road and footpath?
Comment by Littleteapot on July 31, 2010 at 9:13pm
Yeah, that's a good thing about cycling. It's pretty much affordable for the average joe blow to have 4 or 5 bicycles all for different purposes. Or all for the same purpose?

4-5 motor vehicles are not affordable.

Above average MTD, ROAD, Whatever $5000 each?

Above average 4WD, Sports, Whatever $50,000 each...
Comment by Littleteapot on July 31, 2010 at 10:59pm
Thanks John. The pair I got on there now are Rocket Ron Schwalbe. Your right, I can't be bothered changing wheels and tyres. It's better to have a small fleet of bikes for different purposes and I suppose more interesting. I am a notorious spendthrift, why not blow all my money on bicycles? They are good to look at, fun and useful.

I might buy one and hang it up on my wall as an art piece.
Comment by Colin on August 2, 2010 at 5:35pm
Don't be afraid of getting slick tyres for your mountain bike. Slicks are much better on the road, even in the wet, and they're even better a lot of the time off-road. Slicks are fine on grass and hard-packed dirt and gravel. The only time they're bad off-road is if you're in soft and deepish conditions - soft mud or soft dirt or something like that.

I guarantee you'll love slick tyres - they're faster, quieter and smoother.


You need to be a member of Sydney Cyclist to add comments!

Join Sydney Cyclist

© 2020   Created by DamianM.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service