Saturday, 13 March 2010

City Cycling

As part of my fitness campaign I've decided that when I go to Uni by public transport, I will ride to Flinders St station and take the bike on the train, then ride from Frankston station to Uni. For those non-Melbournians, Flinders St station is the main station in Melbourne through which all suburban trains run. I live in West Brunswick just north of the city which is 5.5km from Flinders St. So we're not talking any long distance here. The main issue for this only-just-getting-into-cycling cyclist is the city traffic. I'm riding in peak hour, so the traffic is not moving quickly, but there is a lot of it. For those who know Melbourne I ride down Royal Parade, through the roundabout at the top of Elizabeth Street and then down Elizabeth Street to Flinders Street. I keep envisioning a car door opening on me and I keep having to change lanes in Elizabeth Street due to the right turn from left lanes we have in Melbourne because of the trams. So whilst it's not physically hard riding, I have to keep my wits about me.
Coming home I ride up Swanston Street to meet Royal Parade at the cemetery. I do this because whilst it's OK riding north to south through the Elizabeth Street roundabout (I just stick to the left), I won't ride south to north through it. It sometimes feels like a suicide mission in a car, let alone a bike! Coming home is more difficult as there is a slight gradient most of the way home, and it's the end of the day! Whilst it's not far, hopefully a couple of times a week will see me finding it easier sooner.
I can't believe how many cyclists there are in the city. They are all dressed in different ways, everything from the full lycra to full business suits, some women riding in skirts and high heels! It was a good feeling to be a part of this phenomenon.
I think I'm going to a spin class tomorrow morning, That may well create a whole different feeling!

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