Friday 28 August 2009

Wednesday redux

I planned on photographing various chunks of the route in, but the camera went flat and that was that.

How do I get to the city? The key is the Bay Run. I think of it as a hub, from which various key spokes run. Depending on how I am feeling in the morning, I will either take the long way (which involves riding under the Gladesville Bridge and then joining the Bay Run at the Birkenhead shopping centre), or I'll get onto Barnstaple Rd and take it down to the Bay. These are just two of many spokes.

Barnstaple Road has a bike lane down both sides, it's nice and wide, the hill is not that steep and the surface is pretty good. On the downside, the occasional idiot uses it as a drag strip, and rat runners have a bad habit of roaring out of side streets on the left and failing to give way at Stop signs and the like. When the sun is low in the morning, you're riding right into it, and that can make it hard to see the rat runners emerging from the left. Sleeping drivers also wander groggily out to their cars and open their doors right in front of you. There are a reasonable number of them that are such patheticly bad drivers, they are unable to park a small Hyundai buzz box within the designated parking lane. I can understand a truck having its bum poking out, but a Hyundai?

Many cyclists like to jump off Barnstaple and rat run down Arthur St, because it is a shorterroute to the Bay. I take the red route, whilst many go the blue (or a version of it). I don't see the point in the short cut - I normally take way out of the way detours in order to lengthen my ride.

The ramp that gets you onto the Bay Run at the bottom of Barnstaple is a rather odd bit of engineering. By "odd", I mean it's the sort of thing I would engineer after a weekend of bingeing on vodka and acid. A long weekend binge. Or even in the midst of such a binge. The lines that you have to take on a bike are nothing short of ridiculous. If cars were forced to make such idiotic detours, hordes of pitchfork and flaming torch wielding ratepayers would have burned down the council chambers by now. Only cyclists get treated to such engineering novelties as this.

But once you get onto the Run itself, it's a well made, nicely engineered bit of work. I guess the pimple-faced dyslexic aprentices got to design the bike ramps, whilst the grown ups laid the paths.

I should mention that the Run is good whilst it meanders through the Canada Bay area. As soon as it hits Ashfield Council, it goes down hill, and it is a complete goat track in the Leichhardt Council area. Greenie Leichhardt councillors seem to have an aversion to putting down smoothe, well laid concrete. It can't be for lack of wogs. Wogs just love laying concrete. Wogs don't spray weeds to get rid of them - they just lay concrete over the top of them. Maybe it's that our council lets the wogs get on with their business of covering every square inch of the earth with concrete without fuss, whilst Leichhardt wants to sit down and discuss secret women's business before every concrete laying planning session.

I am therefor surprised that the Leichhardt mayor, who is a completely mad greenie, has not been deposited in the middle of the Bay in a set of custom made concrete boots.

Shortly after the above photo, the camera died, but I managed to coax some more shots out of it on the ANZAC bridge before it expired. Here we have a quick snap of the memorial at the western end of the bridge, with wreaths at the bottom. Go visit 1735099 and read his recent posts for a possible explanation for those wreaths.

And here we have my normal happy snaps of cyclists on the bridge, grunting into work. This guy is further to the right than you might normally expect, but what he is doing is keeping his head in the shadows. At this point, the sun is rising on the left. See the shadows on the ground cast by the rails to the left? The trick is to get your head in a spot where it is in the shadow cast by the pipe at the top of the rails. Otherwise, you are riding through a constant blip-blip-blip-blip of light/shadow/light/shadow/light/shadow, and that's enough to bring out the epileptic in all of us.

And that was Wednesday.

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