Archives for posts with tag: Road Riding

In Australia we celebrate the Queen’s birthday around the second weekend of June. It is the official start of the ski season in Australia, and we get a three day long weekend. Never mind the fact that Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is on a different day. So I took the opportunity to take the family on a mini road-trip to Country NSW, South West of Canberra. My Uncle and Aunt in their retirement have just moved to a town called Cootamundra, so this is a perfect excuse to go for a trip and pay them a visit. Even better, we had a second excuse for a trip to visit my cousin (their son) who is doing his medical studies intern year at a town called Young, some 50km North of Cootamundra. If I was going to go on a road trip, I had to bring the bike.

The first stop on our trip was the major regional centre of Goulburn. We chose this town to break up the trip for the kids, and grabbed a bite to eat at the local Worker’s Club bistro. But I was also lining up a morning ride around the town the next morning. Little did I realise that this would be ill-fated. At 6am it was -2 degrees Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit) and foggy. This is the coldest weather that I had ever set out to ride in and the one thing that I don’t have in my kit bag is gloves for this temperature. I was wearing full-fingered gloves, but they were only temperature rated to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). I was struggling after 2km in, where an intense pain began attacking every single one of my fingers and thumbs. By 4km the pain was so intense that it felt like screws being driven into the bones in my fingertips. This is the first time I had to cut short my ride due to weather. I couldn’t even pull off my gloves and helmet when I got back to the motel after 9km. If only…

On to Cootamundra

The morning was not all lost, so after the kids took to the local park in Goulburn we headed off to Cootamundra. It is a couple of hours drive Southwest from Goulburn (which itself is a couple of hours drive Southwest of Sydney). The weather had warmed up to a beautiful bright sunny Winter’s day with a gentle breeze, topping out at 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit). After a hearty welcome from my Uncle and a tour of their new abodes in Cootamundra, I kitted up for round two for the day. No maps or planned routes, just the new Speed Steed and a couple of bidons. Off I set and it was glorious. First I headed Northwest, into a very light headwind. I hit a dead end at the foot of a small hill where the road had gone from paved to compacted dirt gravel road. Unfortunately my attempt at riding “Strade Bianche” style would have to wait for another date as this road continued onto private property.

I doubled back on my route, heading back into town. But the ride didn’t stop on my return, and I headed out again but this time West towards the town of Griffith. The road was nice and wide, with little to no traffic and no dead ends this time. Then about 4km out of town was an intersection where I saw a rider coming towards me from the right. The locals always know where to ride, so I turned right and headed out North nodding my thanks for guidance to the rider as he passed me. Ahead of my on the horizon I could see another rider probably about 2km in front of me. That is how straight the road was, I could see more than 2km ahead on the tarmac. More importantly, I had a target to catch. My Cervelo S3 responded and the I picked up the speed past 36 clicks. 10km later I caught my prey, who started struggling when the road picked up to over 5% gradient. As I overtook him, I gave him a shout and even though he didn’t have the legs that day it was clear he was enjoying his ride too. I climbed another hill a further 5km ahead and then judged that daylight was waning – time to turn around. But not before posing the bike against the beautiful countryside.

Riding_Cootamundra_0023

The return into town was great, and mostly downhill. I took the longer route back into town which landed me South of where I started. A few more detours with some short sharp hill climbs and it was time to wrap up the ride before sunset with the inevitable descent of winter night chill. That was not before I swung by the local bottleshop in the town centre to grab my Uncle and Aunt a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, which is the Australian version of the Burgundy drop.

I will definitely come out and ride here again, given that my relatives have set up base here. The roads are not perfect, but are decent enough to have a good spin with lots of different routes around and neighbouring towns within an 80km round trip. The day may have started with a painful abort, but finished with a beautiful winter day ride leaving me with a smile on my face.

So life and work (and not necessarily in that order) have put a damper on my blog over the last 6-12 months. The bike has also become a secondary priority. My road steed, my 2009 Trek Madone 4.7, has been getting fat grazing in its stable (or was that its engine). The bike really did open my eyes to a different world of fitness, exploration, and adventure. And with it I had made a whole heap of new friends with a common interest – cycling. But it, like its owner, has become old and creaky. I have taken good care of the Trek and prolonged it use with regular replacement of the consumables. I gradually introduced upgrades to the point where the only original thing left on it was the frame and forks. Now, even with all the TLC, it creaks with every pedal stroke. The mechanics at my local bike shop through the last couple of services have arrived at only one conclusion – the carbon frame is getting long in the tooth.

I have been eyeing up dream bikes and replacements for a few years now, but my fussiness and budget have limited my selection. The criteria: aero but comfortable, aesthetically striking but not garish, fast and stiff, bang for the buck, and clearly better deserving than its future engine.

My dream bike? A Cervelo S3. You know, the one Thor Hushovd won the World Championship with in Geelong. The one that Jack Bauer used in the ultimately futile attempt to hold off the peloton at the TDF. The one a young Dutchman named Dylan van Baarle used to stick it to Kwiatowski and Wiggins at the 2014 Tour of Britain to take top spot. Now with the 2015 models being disposed of to make way for the 2016 models (with the main difference being… a paint job), I am able to pick up an older year model for a bargain. I saw my new steed online a couple of weeks back, got fitted up on it on Saturday, and with the adjustments to the contact points will pick it up later this week. I am giddy like a kid at Christmas – can’t wait!

Cervelo_S3_rsz

With Summer gone and the long slow approach to Winter now set in, I love getting out on the bike. It is dark early in the morning, and the air is fresh and crisp. Call me a sadist, but I love it even more when it is wet. So when my riding buddy AC looked at the weather report for Sunday, wet and windy, my response was simple – “Let’s Roll!”

So as the spray was flying up from my wheels I got to thinking “why do I love riding in the wet so much?” Here are my 5 top reasons to roll in the wet.

1. It brings out your inner Belgian

Admit it – when you are watching the Belgian Spring Classics, and it is wet and muddy, don’t tell me that you are not a tiny bit jealous of how much fun those guys are having? And the crazy Belgian cycling fans enjoy watching the races with a beer in one hand and fried potatoes in the other. Extra kudos if your wet ride route will include some pavé. Extra extra kudos if you can ride like Boonen.

wip0407_102. It hones your riding skills

Wet road, the detritus of trees all about, puddles, potholes, and your rear wheel sliding out… all makes for a better rider. It is a pretty intense riding experience too because you are riding in a heightened sense of alert.

gty-4519078943. Keeps your core body temperature down

So long as you have a good gilet or waterproof shell, your body will remain cool. Except for that squelching sensation between your socks and boots – LOL. Compared to riding in the stinking hot Australian Summer and draining my bidons every 2 hours, I know what I prefer.

WRJ02-Loc-AW14-01BTW – look how happy she is to be riding 🙂

4. The routes are empty

All the fair weather cyclists are nowhere to be seen. Mostly they are hiding under their [pick all that are applicable] doonahs, duvets, quilts, blankets. The fair weather car drivers are noticeably absent too.

nature_trees_forest_wet_roadsHeaven huh?

5. There is no excuse not to clean your bike afterwards

Every wet ride must be followed by some TLC for your steed. This is quality bonding time that you should cherish.

How-to-Wash-Your-Bicycle

When all is said and done, at the end of a wet ride you feel a massive sense of achievement and joy, no matter how slowly you rolled to stay upright. You feel Iike you are ALIVE! Just ask Heinrich Haussler…

WATSON_00002082-045-659x440

So next time rain is forecast for your ride, rug up, hi-viz up, and ride 🙂

For the record, my wet Sunday ride was 50km of damp goodness.

It’s a public holiday long weekend in Sydney, so my riding buddy AC made the call – time to go for a ride 120km of epicness. Sounded good to me. The proposed route would be to head south of Sydney, through ‘The Shire’ and into the Royal National Park (RNP). With the return leg via some out of the way roads following one of the train lines. Here is the route, and the profile (yes a bit of uphill ouch in this ride):

RNP_Route

Now Sydney is not known for being friendly for cyclists, us riders wish it was, but it is not. If you want that, then go relocate to Melbourne or Adelaide. So for this ride we set off at 4am, not to get a clean run down to the park, but to avoid the dreaded Sydney traffic on a Saturday on the return. Yes, 4am is when sparrows are farting before they wake up, but hey. This was a tough ride, but also one of the strangest that I have done in a long time.

Firstly I made the mistake of dressing for the cool pre-dawn conditions, and not the warm morning temperature. I got cooked, and received multiple visits late in the ride from the dudes who live in cramp city. Those dudes are buggers, and I am sure they are mates with the ‘Man with the Hammer’.

Secondly after about 30 clicks into our journey, just past 5am, we came up to this rather large guy in khaki shorts riding a flat bar hybrid bike with pannier racks. Our pace was much quicker than his, but as we were coming to overtake him, he looked at us and then buried himself just so we couldn’t overtake him. It was hilarious. He even ran a couple of red lights to get ahead. We were toying with him like a lion does with a mouse, after all we had nothing to prove and had another 90 clicks to go. But as we neared the road that would take us to the RNP we dropped the hammer and dropped him.

Thirdly we had fun(?) on some stupid gradients as we climbed out of the first of several valleys we would be hitting for the day. Only to be buzzed and yelled at by a couple of kids on their learner plates who probably don’t even shave. That would have been around 6:45am – seriously boys, don’t be idiots and get a life.

The final bit of weirdness though was in the final stretches of the ride, with our end in sight. I was cooked and AC rode ahead through a roundabout turning right. I was a good 200m behind him at least, struggling with those cramp city dudes. As I came to the roundabout I signaled with my arm that I would be turning right. I had right of way and the oncoming traffic by law would have to yield, particularly as I was already in the roundabout turning. Rapidly advancing towards me was an Mercedes AMG C63, a car I wish I could afford to drive. But instead of giving way, the Merc sped up and flew into the roundabout cutting me off and forcing me to slam on the brakes and hold the back end of my bike from flying out. The driver didn’t even indicate his change of direction. This is not the first time this has happened and probably won’t be the last, but…

This NEVER happens on a bike ride

The Merc driver took off with me waving my hand at him for the danger he had put me in. Then another large sedan, a Holden (GM) Commodore, came flying past me from behind with its engine revving. This was strange indeed. The Holden flew up behind the Mercedes, almost bumping him. Then a set of red and blue lights in the Holden’s rear window started flashing. The siren came on, indicating to the Merc driver to pull over. Sure enough an unmarked police car witnessed the whole incident and the Merc driver was about to cop a fine or two. The real rub for the miscreant driver is that given it is a long weekend in Sydney it is also double demerit points off your license for any traffic infringement. Ouch! This never ever happens, never! I rode past the cop and the miscreant driver, shaking my head at him. AC was waiting for me and he asked what happened. I gave him the low down, and his jaw dropped – “No way!” The miscreant driver ended up catching up with us, and as he drove past he tapped his finger against his head. Lesson learnt perhaps, I hope so because as riders we are very vulnerable to any metal engined machine on four wheels and we always come out second best.

I am not sure whether I should buy a lottery ticket or not, but thanks to the cop for taking my safety into consideration. And thanks to AC for pulling me along on an epic and weird bike ride.

 

 

So my Brother was up from Melbourne for the weekend for a mate’s birthday party, and with that was some good news – we were going for a ride!

My bro has not been in too good a shape with a nasty hip injury that has kept him out of the saddle for quite a while now. But he is edging close to fitness, but he has a lot of work to do to get his base back. For me, it was good to see him keen for a ride.

But the best news was when he said that he was dragging out one of his mates along as a newbie rider. The newbie was looking to cycling as an opportunity to get fit in a sport that doesn’t put stress on his knees. He and I both share a common injury history in that we have both had ACL knee reconstructions.

Now newbie was lucky in that he was starting with a pretty good setup. My brother’s wife tried riding and… didn’t take to it (she now keeps fit with other things such as pilates). So her bike went to the newbie, lucky guy. I have posted before about my own adventures on this bike, when I was working down in Melbourne. Here is the steed, a pretty much brand new Giant Defy:

Riding Melbourne - #2

So for a newbie, a pretty good starting point. For sure it is not a carbon beast with a top end gruppo, but having ridden this one myself I like how solid it is. The plan was to drive out to his place and kick off from there.

The Induction Begins

I never realised how much a newbie has to pick up when starting from scratch, particular when he is going to jump on a road bike. My fellow blogger Jim over at Fit Recovery has written a lot about his own personal journey of going from a newbie to a speed demon. But I forgot my own personal experiences of learning to ride a road steed.

Our mate fortunately had acquired some padded bike pants, but not realising the effect of wind at speed he only had a short sleeve shirt general fitness shirt. The weather was grim, and we were lucky that it was holding off for our ride. I thought this might have been the case for him, so I had my first wind proof long sleeve jacket on hand (which is now too loose on me). Clothing sorted. My bro had brought up my sis-in-law’s helmet, so that was the lid sorted. I was thinking of posting a picture of him but this was his journey as a newbie, not mine.

Then we had to fit him to the bike. The last person that rode it was me, and it was one size too small. The seat post was quite high for our mate, and we spent a good 20 minutes lowering it gradually until he had good position of his legs and feet over the pedals (at the bottom of the stroke, leg slightly cocked, knee vertical to his toes). Once adjusted properly, I told him to go for a quick spin down the road.

He grab the cross bars, then the drops, but not the hoods – new to the game. But for a newbie he had two things; i) balance, particularly with his head and upper body, and ii) poise in the saddle when he pedalled – i.e. his back and butt were shaking around all over the place when he turned the pedals. Fortunately for him the bike fit perfectly.

Now when I say newbie, he is not new to sports. He has played football ever since he was a kid. So our mate had a base level of sporting prowess which would put him in good stead for the ride.

30 Clicks for a New Guy

My bro and I didn’t really have a plan, other than to see how far he would last on his first ride. Our mate lives close to one of the best cycling routes in Sydney, the M7 Motorway cycle path. Along its full journey, it is 80km of uninterrupted riding with over 650m of climbing and plenty of deviation to keep you on your toes. It is a great bit of tarmac and I wish there was more of it in Sydney.

From where we started, the first 7-8km of the route are flat. This was good for us all to get our legs. Our mate was holding his own, feeling out the gears, and like I said before he held his line because of his balance.

We both took turns to ride alongside of him and give him a few pointers, but not school him. And we told him the golden rule, we stay together on the flat and hold our own place on the climbs – always regrouping.

On the flat, the newbie was tapping out 20-25km/hr. Pretty impressive really!

I warned him of the climbs ahead, and my bro dropped back to keep pace with him. I was given the go ahead to ride hard up the main climb of the day which is a long one peaking at 6.5%. I am not fond of the climb because of its constantly changing gradient, so I knew that this was going to be a challenge for our mate. But we all rode it and checked in on how he was going when we reached the summit. He was enjoying it, but respected the journey he had just begun. We decided to push on to the 15km mark to see if we could make it a 30km round trip.

Checking in with him again, the call was now his for when to turn around. He called it, but not before both him and my bro gave me a gift.

They told me I could ride on and put down another 10+km while they turn back. I was off the leash, and  hammered! All the power training at Velofix had been paying off, and I put in my fastest times along most of the segments as I rode to put down a very quick 45km in total.

The ride out from the Southern end of the M7 is mostly climbing, but that means Chesire Cat grin inducing descending on the return leg. We all regrouped and I was greeted with a big smile on the newbie’s face. He was hiding the fact that it was challenging on the main climbs, but was hooked when he was rewarded with some awesome downhill bombing.

We returned to his place to give his wife the lowdown on the ride and have a cuppa before returning home. Good times! And for the record, I beat my bro in the sprint.

The Verdict?

I think he is hooked, and with such an awesome route on his doorstep it will be easy for him to go for a spin and build a base. While it wasn’t the fastest of runs, it was an awesome ride with a mate who discovered the joy of two wheels.

Looking forward to the next ride with him 🙂

 

I haven’t posted anything cycling related for a while, and I think we could all use some inspiration. I hope to be riding in another 40 years time too.

BikeWar

Something for all of us to look forward too.  What will our grandkids think of our carbon bikes then?

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The Easter long weekend has come and gone in Sydney. While I did not spend as much time on the bike as I wanted to (though I did get to spend some quality time with my wife and son), I was able to plan a ride that I have been itching to do for some time now – West Head and Akuna Bay. Ever since I had the opportunity to ride up at Bobbin Head the other cyclists in the office have been telling me about West Head and Akuna Bay. What surprised me about this route was that I had no idea where it was. I have lived in Sydney most of my life, but I really had no idea where this ride was.

I spent the week leading up to the weekend scouring Google maps and finding the best place to kick off the ride. I used Mapmyride to check out the route that we would do, out from Terrey Hills to the West Head and then back with a detour via Akuna Bay back to Terrey Hills. This whole ride would be pretty much within the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs. The route wasn’t long, but the vertical climbing was racking up. But I have been caught up before by Mapmyride and its false gradients. The gradients tend to be very undercooked, especially when you lengthen out your ride route. So I took it with a pinch of salt knowing that it was going to be tougher than what the software indicated. On a side note – unless Mapmyride fixes this and a few other niggles I struggle to see why I would use this website over say Garmin Connect or Strava.

So I picked up my riding buddy AC at 4:30am, strapped the bikes on the roof, and headed off to Terrey Hills. We were on the saddle ready to roll by 5:20am, and headed out to the West Head. What greeted us was the best ever tarmac that I have ever ridden on. It was smooth as a baby’s rear end and perfectly laid. Diving down into McCarrs Creek gave an indication that we would be doing some climbing – again contrary to the Mapmyride ride profile. Once you climb back up out of it, then we found ourselves rolling up and down over some quite steep gradients while not ever climbing more than 30-40m at the most. But the fun part of this ride is the high speed descents that you get to enjoy off the back of each of the climbs. I was struggling a bit, with AC powering on, but boy did I have a grin on my face.

The total distance that we would cover would not be more than 45km, so getting to West Head from Terrey Hills was only some 18km out to the head. But boy what a reward! The view of the mouth of the Hawkesbury River was epic. We had to stop and take pics. Here is the panorama shot of the view, with my camera phone not doing justice to the wow factor. And yes the Southern Head on the right is Barrenjoey Head at the end of Palm Beach (or for people who watch the awful soap opera Home and Away – it is Summer Bay)

West_Head-140420

Returning back proved just as challenging, but my lungs had opened up a bit more and the rising sun had taken the edge off the air. Getting back to the intersection that pointed us to Akuna Bay, we relished the opportunity to dive down into Akuna Bay. The road surface got a little rougher, but still way better than Bobbin Head, Berowra Waters, or Galston Gorge. Akuna Bay itself is magic with a brief but heavenly route hugging the water. The route takes you past the massive but secluded d’Alboro Marina. I could have stopped again to take another photo, but we were powering on. Being right at sea level meant that we would have to climb back up out of Akuna Bay back to Terrey Hills. The climb is a good one – 3 km long at a 7% gradient, never really peaking above 10-11%. In the sun and amongst the trees in the National Park, while tough and challenging, it was fun riding this climb.

By the time we got back to the car (for the record, AC kicked my butt) we both had huge smiles beaming on our face. Without conferring with each other we both reached the conclusion that this was quite possibly the best ride in Sydney. Here is the map of the ride and elevation profile of the ride from Strava (a lot more accurate than Mapmyride):

ride-West_Head-Akuna_Bay

I can’t wait to do this ride again, and if any other Sydney riders have a different opinion I would love to know. This is not an easy ride, and you really need a good fast road steed to enjoy it, but I reckon West Head – Akuna Bay is the best ride in Sydney.

If there is one spot in the world that I have found to be as close to idyll, it would have to be Port Stephens on the NSW coast about 30km North of Newcastle. It is an absolutely beautiful part of the world and less than 3 hours drive North of Sydney. The port itself is a drowned valley estuary, and the large natural harbour that it makes is 134 square kilometres (52 square miles) in size. Here is what it looks like from the sky.

Port_Stephens-Google_Earth

For me it has everything that I want for a holiday at the beach, and one day I will live there (maybe when I am old(er)…). If you want water sport activities and fishing – tick. If you want quiet harbour beaches with no surf – tick. If you want bushwalking – tick. If you want sand dune adventures – tick. If you want relaxing by the beach – tick. And if you want riding then big tick.

So when my wife said “let’s go up to Port Stephens for the Australia Day long weekend”, I was dead keen to go up there again. This would be the first time my boy would be old enough to comprehend that this would be a fun trip, so a family trip was the order – with my road steed on the roof racks ready to go. This is where I thank my wife profusely for allowing me to indulge in some two wheel exploring of the port, and over the course of the long weekend I managed to squeeze in over 180km.

The riding is mostly flat, but when it does get to the hilly bits then it is a bit Jekyll and Hyde. What I mean by that is that it is either flat or stupidly steep. There is one hill leading from Corlette to Nelson Bay which hits 16% gradient – ouch! The steepest road I have ever ridden up is in Corlette, and it would definitely be over 25% gradient. I haven’t run the GPS over some of these routes yet, I will keep that for another time.

It is so picturesque riding through here, even when you are in the suburbs. There are many roads like this, with the beautiful and natural Australian bush right on the side of the road for kilometres on end.

Riding_0087

With all the surrounding national parks and preserved bush and wetlands, you are bound to see the natives. If you look closely you can see not one but two koalas in the same tree.

Riding_0081

A ride around the area always involves destinations like the serene Soldiers Point, which looks Westward and in the evenings to a setting sun. Early morning is not just the dominion of us cyclists, the fishermen love getting out on their boats too. But what is awesome about Port Stephens is that even at the boat ramps you can still find one that is not bustling.

Riding_0082

From Soldiers Point, to the West you can see a similar location known as Lemontree Passage. As the crow flies it is only some three to four kilometres away, but a round trip on the bike is close to 50 kilometres of riding. Of course I had to do that ride, and I was greeted to an awesome sunrise at the boat ramp at Lemontree Passage.

Riding_0085

I had to get a shot of my road steed posing with the boats of the Marine Rescue of New South Wales, who voluntarily commit to supporting the saving of lives on the water – 24 x 7. I never knew about this organisation before this last weekend, until I had the opportunity to talk to one of the volunteers who was raising money to keep their operations going. Just in Port Stephens alone last year they went out to over 100 calls.

Riding_0086

Finally, I had to snap this shot of a sign that held very true this last weekend. Yes Australia has some nasty critters, and Port Stephens has many of them. You have been warned…

Riding_0088

I often joke about the fact that the critter danger in Australia is overhyped, but on my rides I had to twice swerve to avoid a couple of small snakes on the road shoulder. No problems at 30+kph. But the crap my pants moment came when we spent the day at Fingal Bay where my son was begging to go for a ride on his balance bike. He got very tired after 3 kilometres in the heat and I ended up carrying his bike in my left hand with him sitting on my shoulders (as usual). Gazing at the beach and not looking where I was directly walking, I stepped on something rubbery but fleshy. As I turned around I saw what I didn’t want to see, one of these scurrying off into the sand dunes.

Eastern Brown Snake

And it was big, at least two metres long! Yes, I crapped myself. Because while I was trying to deny it what I had just stepped on was an Eastern Brown Snake – the second most venomous snake in the world. But he was scared, I was scared, and we called it a truce. My son from his perch said to me “Don’t worry Daddy, he is a nice snake because he didn’t eat us.”

I can’t wait to ride up here again next time – hopefully minus the serpents.

One of my workmates, PD, organised a long overdue ride on the weekend. He called the shots as to location and I brought one of my regular riding buddies, JB, along for the ride. This might come as a surprise for most Sydney cyclists who live ‘North of the Bridge’ but I have never ridden up this way before. We kicked off into the National Park at Bobbin Head and proceeded to take what is known as the “3 Gorges” route: Bobbin Head – Galston Gorge – Berowra Waters. What a magical ride! The day was perfect and the scenery equally so. I quickly realised that I am not getting enough climbing in on my rides, and the quiet fact that PD has a life of triathlon riding under his belt including the Hawaiian Ironman. Needless to say PD belted us, but it wasn’t a race and I loved it. How can you not love a ride where you get scenery like this (taken when we were waiting for the water ferry to cross at Berowra Waters).

Riding_0080

This ride was 62km in total, but had some bite to it with 1,130m of vertical. No nasty pinches, but some good hard climbing and some great downhill bombing.

Northern_Sydney_3_Gorges

I can’t wait to ride up here again, and probably need to add this to my list of local routes to tackle. There are some other routes out here that are now on the wish list too!

So I have seen some pretty weird stuff on my rides. Most times I am on the handlebars pedalling away wishing I had a camera in my eye like the 6 Million Dollar Man (yes, I just showed my age but gee that was an awesome show). But sometimes I just have to stop and take a quick snap with my mobile phone in my back pocket. This morning I saw the biggest yellow rubber duck I have ever seen in my life. I think it is part of the Sydney Festival, and was here in Sydney last year.

Rubber Duck - Sydney Festival 2014

For the record my ride this morning was a struggle as I was pushing against a mild bout of office communicated man flu. Still, my mate JB and I pumped out a good 80km and I fought through it to get some of my fastest Strava segment times. We took a detour through Sydney Olympic Park on he return. Perfect Sydney Summer morning for a ride, no wind, few riders, perfect temperature, and low humidity.

80km_Parramatta_Ride

Off to the beach this arvo I think.

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