Posts Tagged ‘bike’

Daily Triathlon

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

After being back in Perth for a month, I am now feeling more ‘at home’ as I have found myself a morning routine. I like to say that I complete a triathlon every morning before work but that may be a slight exaggeration.

5.50am – My alarm goes off and I regret having set it the night before. It takes me 20 or so minutes to roll out of bed, wash my face and get changed before going for a run. Most mornings I will do a 7 kilometre run, trying to get back home just before 7am.

7am – I drive to the beach with Mum, Dad and Cali for a quick swim. The last few mornings have been absolutely glorious – the water has been calm and clear and you can spot fish swimming around your legs. After a quick paddle and splash about in the ocean, we get back in the car and head home.

north cottesloe beach

Mornings at the beach.

8.45am – Having showered, dressed and eaten breakfast I quickly throw together my things for work and jump on my bike. The final leg of the triathlon is a 3 kilometre ride on my 3-speed, dutch style bike, avoiding hills as much as possible. Unfortunately the route to work requires me to go uphill, and while my bike is super stylish, it is in no way designed to go up hills.

By 9am I am at my desk having completely a fairly pathetic triathlon. And then I fall asleep.

Le Tour de Sheffield

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when super-skinny, lycra-clad men ride around on bikes for the entertainment of us less-skinny, less-lycra-clad folk. The hipsters are excited – Le Tour de France has begun and this year it started in good old Yorkshire, land of puddings. There has been plenty of build up to the big event with an increased interest in bikes and the colour yellow. I was visiting my brother in Sheffield over the weekend, which happened to coincide with the York to Sheffield stage of the Tour. I had hoped to see the bikes in action but the route didn’t pass anywhere near the centre of the city and my lack of transport and inability to plan ahead meant that I didn’t make it. Instead, my brother, Dad and I stood outside the Sheffield town hall and watched the riders do their thing on a very large screen. The atmosphere was charged, we had a great view of all of the action and we could listen to Phil Liggett. The Tour isn’t the Tour without Phil. Oh and we waved to a camera man in a helicopter and appeared somewhere in an aerial shot. FAME.

Bikes on a big screen.

Bikes on a big screen.

Two years standing on the Champs Elysée and this year next to a large screen in Sheffield – that must make me a regular Tour attendee. I should get a tshirt.

 

Odd.

Friday, October 19th, 2012

I saw a policeman on a Velib city bike today. He was holding on to the side of a police car and being pulled along in the middle of peak hour traffic. Seulement à Paris…

Biking in the Bourgogne

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

A few months ago, my friend Becky mentioned that for her birthday she wanted to catch a train to the Bourgogne region, hire bikes and ride for the day. I placed my hand into the air and solemnly declared that I would be joining her. Excellent idea.

Becky’s birthday finally arrived this last weekend and she, her husband Vivien and I caught a train at 8:56am to Montbard, a town not far from Dijon. Once we arrived we walked across the road to the tourist office and picked up our hire bikes. It was so simple, painless and inexpensive with the bike hire being just 18 Euros for the day. The bikes were nice and light and had 7 gears which was sufficient for the canal-side bike ride most people would do. Plus they were yellow. Who doesn’t like a yellow bike?

Bike hire in Bourgogne

Speed mobile.

The Canal de Bourgogne runs through Montbard and extends for over 200km. We rode approximately 25 kilometres (in each direction, making an amazing grand total of 50 kilometres!) and went inland in search of hills. This was Becky’s idea, and seeing as it was her birthday she got to choose. Honestly, while the canal is beautiful, it is very flat and a bit of undulating countryside is always nice.

Canal de Bourgogne

Canal de Bourgogne

We rode to an area called Alésia, where a battle between the Romans and the Gauls took place. Julius Caesar was victorious but there is a statue of Vercingetorix, the head of the Gauls, on top of a hill. We rode up that hill (well, Vivien did. Becky and I pushed our bikes up) to see the statue and discovered a man with a very impressive moustache and long hair. He was probably very handsome in his day.

Vercingetorix

Such impressive hair growth.

View from Alesis

View from the hill

Our next stop involved another upwards climb, to a medieval town called Flavigny where they produce aniseed flavoured lollies in an old abbey. I’m willing to ride up hills for sugary treats and I managed to arrive at the top of the hill first. Red polka dot jersey for me! It was a beautiful little town with lots of old houses for sale. At first we walked around picking which house we would buy, but then we started thinking about the actual reality of living in such an isolated town at the top of the hill. So we rode back to Montbard.

House in Flavigny

I wanted this house because of the turret

View from Flavigny

The beautiful countryside surrounding Flavigny

The ride was fantastic – it was a beautiful sunny day and the views were spectacular. It was a relief to escape the noise and grime of Paris for a day and to be outside in the country. The only down side (because SOMETHING had to go wrong considering how my past few weeks have been going with the entire universe turning against me) was that I fell off my bike. Typical really… I wasn’t exactly surprised and I could see it coming as I attempted to roll down a gravelly slope and felt the bike slipping from underneath me. I knocked my shin on the bike peddle, which was probably the best outcome as there isn’t much blood between your skin and your shin bone so I could patch myself up without too much excessive blood loss.

Cut on my leg

A boo boo.

Still, I now have a lovely purple scar on my leg. Perhaps that’s why no French men have tried to kiss me lately.

Lots of Lycra

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

My presence on the Champs Élysées for the end of the Tour de France has become an annual occurrence – yesterday my friend Brandon and I joined the crowds of British tourists to watch the boys in lycra roll into Paris. It amazes me how easy it is to actually do this – I always imagined pushing and shoving and hordes of people lining the grand rue for the final day. Instead, Brandon and I met 50 minutes before the riders’ expected arrival and managed to find a spot right near the finish line without any problems.

Tour de France

Le Tour

Paris finally brought out the sunshine and it was a glorious day. The atmosphere amongst the crowd was very positive and it is such an exciting experience to watch the bikes zooming past. They go a LOT faster in real life than they do on television. Absolutely amazing.

Tour de France

Allez!

I was particularly thrilled to see Jens Voigt, the craziest and awesomest German bike rider EVER, heading the group for most of the way. He was clearly telling those legs to “shut up and do as I tell you”. Amazing.

Jens Voigt

GO JENS!

There were a few amusing moments, too. Last year I complained about Tina Arena singing the Australian national anthem when Cadel Evans was standing on the podium – this year was even WORSE. Perhaps it was my proximity to one of the speakers, but the opera singing who screeched out God Save the Queen burst a few ear drums amongst the crowd. It made me screw up my face in horror, this then resulting in a girl standing near me laughing. It was truly awful. So I say “Go Tina!”

Then there was Wiggins’ speech, which he made in English and that wasn’t exactly the most inspirational thing I had ever seen. But there was then a French translation for all of the non-english-speakers in the crowd. I’m not sure if this translation was shown on the television but it was absolutely terrible! Firstly, the translator was a girl. This just seemed strange. Secondly, she then ‘beautified’ the rather crude things that Wiggins’ had said, and said that his father’s dream of seeing his son winning the Tour de France had come true, rather than his mother’s dream as Wiggins had stated. Wiggins had also asked the crowd not to get too drunk, which was not translated at all and somehow turned into him thanking the crowd with all of his heart. Good work, translator.

The third amusing element was the overly dramatic music that was pumped through the speakers before the presentation of each of the jerseys. It was all violins and rolling drums. It certainly ‘added’ to the atmosphere. Amazing stuff.

So another year of the Tour is over and next year will be the 100th! Looks like I will have to stay in Paris in order to participate in the festivities.

Le Tour est Ici

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I’m so excited! For years I have wanted to stand on the Champs Elysées to watch the arrival of the Tour de France riders on the last day of Le Tour. THE DAY HAS COME! And to make matters even more exciting, Cadel Evans, Australian biking hero (according to Tony Abbott), is going to win. I suspect there will be a few screaming Australians standing on the road side today but instead of screwing up my nose at them like I normally would, I might join in and cheer on the riders.

To be honest I haven’t been watching the tour this year for two reasons:

  1. I’ve been busy
  2. The coverage is on during the day, instead of the easy post-dinner viewing time that we get in Australia. It’s much easier to watch it in Perth!

I only discovered last night that Cadel was going to win – I knew he was in the top three but I then automatically assumed a Schleck would come and take over. So may aim for today is to get as close to the Champs Elysée as possible, as close to the finish line as possible, and as close to Jens Voigt as possible. He’s hilarious.

Like a Gazelle

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

My parents are going on a two-week cycling tour of Holland next year as part of a project to stimulate discussion and change to cycling in Australia. By going to one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries, there’s hope that Australian governments will realise that bike lanes ARE a good idea and will instigate them in our cities. As a bike rider myself, I’d much prefer to have a safe path to ride on rather then being squashed under a car by a loser driver who is impatient to get to work.

The trip will be filmed by two of the bike riders in the group of 30 and they’re currently looking for monetary support. If you pay them enough then you’ll get a free bike! AWESOME!

Look close enough and you’ll spot my Dad. I’ll most likely write more about the trip next year in May when it all happens.

It’s a Beautiful Thing

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Last time I really, really wanted something, I wrote about it on here, dropped enough hints and to my huge surprise and absolute delight, some wonderful people picked up the clues and gave me a red felt travel wallet for my birthday! Christmas is only 95 days away (yikes…) and I have just been introduced to Ron D. Swan, the swan in Castlemaine, Victoria who makes beautiful pannier bags. Such a clever bird.

Look at these:

Ron D. Swan bag

I can't believe a feathered creature could make such a nice bag.

Saddle bag

Look! It comes in red!

The bags clip to the side of your bike for easy storage while cycling and can then be taken off and worn as a shoulder bag. Genius! They’re made from recycled canvas so they’re also environmentally a-okay. Not exactly cheap, but they’re so beautiful!

A Few Months Too Late

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Don’t you  hate it when you buy something and then a little while later you find something even better? I’m having one of these moments right now as this morning I discovered a Melbourne based bicycle company who makes some beautiful dutch style bikes. And they come in red. While I love my Electra Amsterdam and I am completely content with my decision to buy it, it isn’t red. Those of you who know me well will understand why this is an issue for me. Everything I own is red – most of my shoes and clothes are red. My purse is red. Ninety per cent of my jewellery is red. But my bike is not. Interestingly, neither is my car. Perhaps this is a sign that my transportation does not follow my colour preferences and I am in fact capable of ‘mixing things up’. Anyway, luckily my bike is black which is my second colour choice in most things so really there isn’t an issue. But look at this:

Red Papillionaire bike

Made by Papillionaire

Don’t you just want to zoom around wearing a wonderful jacket, stockings and scarf with the wind in your hair, waving to everyone you pass? I do. Plus it is the greatest brand name ever – Papillionaire. Maybe I need two bikes…

Because I Have To

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I can’t not put this up: