Tag Archives: cycling

No ride to work but carpark was good

Today is Ride to Work day in Australia.  It is a day encouraging workers to ride instead of drive being promoted all over the country.

I woke up at 7.05AM this morning, ready to cycle to the Art Gallery and join fellow cyclists for a free breakfast. 

I got changed, had a small breakfast, packed my bag – all while still coughing a chesty cough and blowing my runny nose.   My cold from the weekend is sitll lingering.   I checked the Bikewest maps for how to get to the Art Gallery.

Wifey stirs and queries “You’re NOT cycling to work today are you?”.   Even Miss 10 yesterday said, “Dad, you shouldn’t cycle to work.  When I have a runny nose and do sports, my nose gets cold and even more runny!”.  

Argghhh..  I hesitated and decided it was better to not subject my sick and congested respiratory system to 35 minutes of rushing cold air. 

My kickstart to start cycling to work again since Winter has failed. 

I was disappointed.

Driving to work today, I looked around for cyclists.  I didn’t notice many bikes on the road – nothing more than usual, but maybe that’s because they would’ve cycled earlier or taken routes into the city?

But at work, the difference is definitely noticeable.  Our normally overflowing, double/triple parked carpark was actually manageable!   There were even a few empty spots this morning!

How did everyone else go?  Did you see a noticeable difference with parking at their workplace?

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Race photoshoot

A few weekends ago, there was a cycle race held in Leederville.  My brother in law asked if I wanted to have a look, partly as a photoshoot expedition.

The racers were amazingly fit.. and I really envied their bikes!   Such slick looking machines doing laps up and down the coffee strip.

I’ve never taken photos of a cycle race, so I was quite confused for a while, wandering up and down Oxford Street, taking some random crappy shots.   I decided – I just need to take this experience as an exercise to try things out and so took heaps of photos, and unfortunately, most were duds.   I just couldn’t figure out what made a good cycling shot.    Luckily, as the cyclists did quite a few laps, I was able to try various things.

Armed with my 17-55 and my 70-200, I tried some panning shots, some zoom shots, etc.   Here’s my pick of the better shots of the day.

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First 2009 cycle with Trailguru

The weather forecast looked not too hot yesterday so I decided to cycle to work. My first cycle in over a month and I felt it! Half way to work in the morning, my legs started feeling like concrete posts.

I thought to myself, “I’m going to phone wifey and ask her to pick me up.”

But then I thought, “Stuff it! I’m going to continue cycling, but at a leisurely pace and enjoy the view!”.

For my ride home, I decided to try out an iPhone application called Trailguru. Trail Guru is yet another reason why the iPhone is cool. It’s a GPS tracking application – you basically click “Start”, and then it will track where you are, how long you’ve been going, what your current speed and altitude is, and then let you review all this when you’re done.

Screenshot of trip on Trailguru website
Screenshot of trip on Trailguru website

It’s sort of like Sports Tracker on Nokia phones. There’s another application called “Track Thing” that I tried on the iPhone previously, and even though Track Thing has pretty graphs of speed over distance and time, it doesn’t save your route or statistics for future reference. Trailguru does – and it can upload it to the Trailguru website where you can accumulate your total distance covered, look at graphs of speed and altitude over distance and time, and review any trips you’ve uploaded previously. Cool!

Pretty graphs of my trip on Trailguru
Pretty graphs of my trip on Trailguru

I love iPhone applications that combine 2 or more features of the iPhone together. Trailguru does this by:
* GPS + Camera – you can take photos during your trip and it will geotag them and associate them with your trip
* GPS + Google Maps + Data connection – it will track your position and trip and show this on Google Maps immediately by downloading the maps from Google Maps
* GPS + Sound – it can beep every kilometre when you’re on a trip
* GPS + Data Storage – it records an overall odometer so you can see how far you’ve travelled in total
* Data + Internet – you can upload your trip from the iPhone to a website to analyse later

Trailguru also bridges the gap from iPhone to internet by providing a website where you can view other people’s trips and shared routes, photos and it even plugs into Google Maps.

If you’re cycling, running or whatever, and you have an iPhone, you need to get this app!

As for my actual ride itself – hard work. I’m going to try to cycle more regularly this year. And note to self – need to have work pants at work to wear!

Riding to work again

Last week I decided to try to ride to work again.  But this time, after sending the kids to school!  I was wondering – is it feasible to send the kids to school, come home, and then ride to work?  What time would I get to work?

So here is my time log:

8.35 – Leave home to send kids to school.  A bit earlier than usual!
8.42 – Reach school, drop them off through the drive through.
8.50 – Back home again.  Get bike out of shed, check tires, check bag.
9.01 – Start cycling to work now!
9.10 – Reached Northbridge.
9.25 – Crossed the Windan bridge (spent considerable time at traffic lights in the city)
9.38 – Reached the office (37 minute cycle).  Lock up bike, shower, change, drink.
9.48 – At my desk and turning on PC ready to work.

Hmmm…   over an hour between leaving the house to send the kids to school and actually starting work.  At least I didn’t have to drive around for 5-10 minutes looking for a car park, but it is a pretty late start.   I’m determined to improve on this time!

Good news about my cycle home though!  Although it was right into the seabreeze, I actually overtook 2 other cyclists!!  Unfortunately, they were stationary 😦   The most demoralising part of my ride was near the end.   I thought I was pushing really hard but was easily overtaken by someone around twice my age!  I’m not that unfit am I?

I cycled to work!

Ha! I did it!  I managed to cycle to work without fainting, giving up, crashing or getting lost.  Well, nearly got lost.

Amazingly the first leg to Northbridge was much easier this time, I managed to get there in about 10 minutes this time.  Then I was in new territory.  I decided to follow fellow riders, crossing over to Roe Street then meandering along the railway line.  My legs were turning to jelly, I couldn’t keep up with other cyclists but this time I had to keep going – I had to get to work!  The ride didn’t seem that enjoyable anymore..

After the climb up and over the Graham Farmer Freeway, I took the scenic route along the river.  The beautiful Perth morning and the view along the river was refreshing.   However I was beginning to slow down, thinking about the free breakfast I was about to receive at work, and getting my sore arse off the hard seat!

And then finally, I saw my work building and felt like Cadel Evans reaching the finish line..  yay!   Total trip time was about 40 minutes for about an estimated 11.2 kms = 16.8 kms/hr average.  Pretty crap but not bad for my first ride to work I guess!

I’m beginning to think I need a lighter bike or at least road tyres.  When I was riding – I was thinking – the amount of surface area that my tyres have in contact with the road is probably more than three times what a slick bike tyre has – meaning better grip but at the expense of energy wasted in friction.  And the big knobbly bits probably absorb lots of the energy that could be going into forwards momentum.  Hmm…  it’s giving me a better physical workout I’m sure, but making it easier to ride to work can’t be a bad thing right?  Imainge the amount of greenhouse gases and petrol money I’ll be saving!  Hmm..  now to try that logic on our family head of finances – my wife 🙂   Pity there is the small problem of me having to do the kids dropoff to school.

And I now have realised – I need to cycle home tonight..

Testing ride to work day..

Ride to Work day logo

Watch out Perth cyclists!  I’m not sure what came over me, but when our workplace advertised that they were forming a group to register for the Ride to Work day, I decided to register my name.  Was it the thought that I live closer to inner city that would make it easier?  Or perhaps the thought of that new mountain bike sitting in the shed being hardly used?

Yesterday I decided that I better do a trial ride to make sure my bike still works, and that I haven’t forgotten how to ride.  Whoa.. that bike seat is hard.  And am I unfit!!   At first I thought it was the knobbly mountain bike tires, but I was being overtaken by other cyclists on mountain bikes too!!!  And compared to the cyclists on racers and hybrids, I might as well be walking!   I started getting pretty tired and sore when I reached Northbridge.  By my calculations today, only about 3.7 kms!

I took a breather, thought about how I hadn’t even cycled half way to work, swore that I forgot to bring any water then turned around and cycled back home – my legs starting to feel like jelly.  The track was very flat, but there were slight inclines for overpasses, and even those killed my legs!  I was working the gears down until it felt I was going at a walking pace!  I was glad to get home after ~30 mins.  That is like..  15kms/hr??   My friend planned to run that speed in the Melbourne marathon last weekend for the whole 42 kms!!   Boy I suck.  I’ll blame it on my fitness and the mountain bike..  it’s just so hard to get moving and once it does, it doesn’t coast very easily.

Oh well..  at least I know my way into the city.  I’ve calculated the total length to work at about 11.2 kms.  Tiny really, but daunting for me who does no exercise at all, except for the odd hour or two of swing dancing a few times a year.

So if you’re a cyclist riding from the North across the city tomorrow..   I apologise in advance!!  I will stick to the left, but please don’t laugh at me!