Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Roadies are Assholes. It's official.

It looks like a road-bike, doesn't it?

I thought when I got a road(ish) bike some of the Lycra-Cowboy set might warm to me a little and the odd wave or greeting would be returned. No-way! Still the same bunch of arrogant assholes that depressed me in a previous post. Is it because I just wear shorts and a t-shirt when riding? I don't know, but moving to a 700c bike with drops has made no difference whatsoever. 

I must just be a big-softy because I actually feel a bond with all cyclists, be it a spotty kid on a BMX, a professional road-racer or grandma on the rusty Raleigh 20. We share something don't we? Especially in a country like New Zealand where cyclists are treated with such contempt by the general public and law-makers. It would be different in Holland or Denmark I'm sure. There you're just an average citizen going about your day and you just happen to use a bicycle for transportation like most of your community. 

Yesterday I hooked-up the Cross-Check to the trailer for the first time and the Midget-Assassin and I headed off to the Takapuna library for literary refreshment and teddy-bear torturing in the children's area. I was getting along at a good clip on the flats and even passed a couple of roadies (how embarrassing), but Lycra-Cowboys were blasting past us left, right and centre in total silence, and I swear they were trying to get as close as possible without hitting me. I thought that move was the domain of the tin-top driver!

So I'll have another go avoiding eye-contact, keeping my waving-hand firmly on the bars and resisting communicating with fellow bikers, but it won't come easily.

Saddling-up for the weekly library run

I felt a little uneasy leaving my new pride-and-joy locked-up in public (the bike, not the child)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The Queensland sky and some guy

Thanks to my lovely wife who spotted a cheap airfare I hopped over the Tasman this weekend to visit my father on the Gold Coast. The temperature was about double Auckland at 32ºC but with a sea breeze I managed a quick ride on dad's old mountainbike without passing-out.

It just goes to show you don't need a flash bike to have an enjoyable ride, well not on the flat anyway. Once I had scraped the dust off the seat and coaxed some air into the tyres I set off for a quick jaunt around Palm Beach. It's billiard-table flat terrain with a myriad of bridges that cross over the man-made canals. Every road I ventured down had a well defined bike path painted between the parking spaces at the curb and the traffic lane. This was much safer than a typical Auckland bike lane that is squeezed up against the curb where the storm-water grates, nails, broken glass and parked cars hang out. 

I felt a bit of a maverick not wearing a helmet but relaxed somewhat after seeing several others flouting the law. A police car even pulled up beside me at the lights and didn't say anything, it must be a common sight. 

If I lived there I would buy a beach-cruiser immediately, it would be a no-brainer. 

I'm writing this 24 hours later after riding home from work in 12ºC and drizzle. Can't wait to get back over the ditch!

Bike paths everywhere

40lbs of thumb-shift'n steel goodness