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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Bikey No Worky
Man, I had a mildly annoying evening.

Well, actually, it started well. I joined some folks on a bike ride from East Melbourne to Port Melbourne, to the pier where the Spirit o' Tasmania docks in fact. A cyclist called Greg was off on a month-long bicycle tour of Tasmania and, for some reason, my friend Geoff decided he needed an escort.

His bike was fitted with an impressive array of panniers, I have to say, including some rather spiffy front panniers... Not that bicycle touring is something I'm likely to take up any time soon!

The ride from East Melbourne to Princess Pier was actually pretty uneventful. The boat was still unloading when we got there - turned out it was very late. There was a whole set of interesting touring bikes parked around the area.

Here's what looked like a folding bike with some seriously customised bags:

And this very interesting (and very long) touring tandem with trailer!

We somehow got up to the observation deck next to the boat by cramming four bikes into a tiny lift. Here's a tip - putting your bike up on it's back wheel takes up less space! The guy, Greg, who was off to Tassie, didn't actually make it to the railings for us to wave him off, so we took our bikes back down an escalator and rode off.

Anyway, we rode home through some weirdly quiet and very industrial areas of Port Melbourne. Geoff, my riding companion had to get to Kensington, so when were in the back of the docklands, I headed over the bridge at the end of La Trobe Street. This is where things started to go astray. I noticed the gear selector for my my rear derailer would let me change down but not up gears. I was effectively stuck in in one rear gear, darn it. I was also feeling crap, so I decided to hop on the train, since I was more or less next to Southern Cross station. After being told to get off my bike whilst riding in the station itself, I found an ATM, then realised that the machines wouldn't take the combination of notes I had to give me a ticket! Luckily there was an open ticket office - but by this time I'd missed the Epping train. So I hopped on a Hurstbridge train, me and ninja bike...

And of course, tonight is the night they'd replaced trains on the Hurstbridge line with buses! They dumped us out of the train at Victoria Park. Although in retrospect, the Epping trains might still have been running - I missed the various announcements. So I ended up having to ride a bike with effectively three gears through Clifton Hill, after getting over the freeway on a pedestrian bridge...

It actually wasn't to bad. Took it easy through some parks and back streets. In a park behind the Clifton Hill pool, I spotted possibly the most interesting thing I'd seen all day. Sitting on the back of a park bench was a substantial bird. I glimpsed it briefly, then actually turned back to have another look at it. It was an Owl! Possibly an eastern grass owl, although I didn't get much of a look at it before it flew away.

Anyway, I made it home in one piece.