Cycling or ‘cruising’ – a more fitting descriptor for what one does on an e-bike – gives me the opportunity to observe my surroundings. It’s better than a car because you don’t go as fast so you see more and, if you’re on a bike path, you’re less likely to crash and die which makes my commute much less stressful.
Today I realised how powerful my bike is. This morning I managed to get up the super big hill outside my house with no worries at all (which has nothing to do with my level of fitness given I’ve been sitting on my arse studying for the last 6 weeks). Everything from then on was cruisy. Cycling through the forests and parks that lead to the south-east freeway bike path is so enjoyable – even in the rain as was the case this morning although the sun did come out eventually so I was able to stop and ditch the raincoat.
Pedestrians along the bikeways have great etiquette and keep left. I still ding my bell just in case they do strange spontaneous things as is their want. I find women pushing a pram and walking a dog rather a challenge to negotiate. Add a set of headphones to that and it’s a particular worry. There were none of those this morning.
Sometimes I flip the bird at the Liberal Party headquarters. I didn’t do that this morning, but I thought it. In fact I think it everytime without fail. I stopped the angry gesture as I didn’t want anger to consume me, but it doesn’t seem to stop my brain from thinking anger. Go figure.
I arrived at work and copped a bit of a ribbing from my boss who had a go at me for choosing a rainy day – of all days – to start riding my bike to work again. But I came to work with a smile on my face and health in my heart, so that’s the main thing right?!
The journey to work was generally uneventful and beautiful and relaxing. The journey home was a bit of a challenge. The lighting’s no good at night so I’m unable to backtrack the same route I take in the mornings. Instead I am forced to negotiate footpaths and on-road bike lanes along Annerley Road and Ipswich Road during peak hour traffic. Joy!
– A car that ran a red light at high speed while pedestrians and I were crossing. If I was a hoon of a cyclist I would’ve got hit by it as another car created a blind spot and I didn’t see a thing until the car zoomed past. Because I’m a fairly chilled cyclist, I was too slow to get hit. The pedestrians on the other side yelled abuse on our collective behalf given they too also almost got hit. Thanks!
– A big fella at a bus stop who was standing on the footpath facing my direction and saw me coming along the path. Instead of being polite and letting me through by ducking back into the bus shelter, he instead turned the other way and stood taking up the whole footpath. It was a strange gesture. Was he simply not thinking? Or did he do it intentionally, daring me to ding my bell so he could abuse me? Am I paranoid due to bad past experiences? I do not ding my bell at pedestrians when I’m on a normal pedestrian footpath. I slow right down and go around people. Most people are polite and do super nice things like intentionally get out of the way and leave lots of room. When someone’s a dick, that therefore also seems intentional. Bus stops are danger zones for dances between pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians will suddenly pop out at you on the footpath with no warning. My bike wheel ends up going this way and that while I figure out how best to go around the human. I take it slow because I can see myself toppling one over one day leaving two bruised humans (one in tears). It’s me I’m worried about the most. I WILL NOT FALL OFF!!
– A dead flying fox. Given I was constantly swerving around storm carnage (e.g. branches, rubbish), I quickly managed to get around it, but then felt guilty about maybe running over a wing so went back to make sure the little guy was OK. He was not. He was dead. Not much I could do for poor Mister Flying Fox. 🙁
P.S. My new Qld Rail locker is working like a charm. I tested it yesterday so all is good and right in the world again.