Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Road trip #1 Sydney

This is the heavily delayed story of a recent jaunt to the east coast, part of the delay was down to my week old, 2nd hand Mac having a meltdown immediately upon my return, what a bargain!

It had been far too long between road trips, so when I noticed a couple of interesting events on consecutive weekends in Sydney and Melbourne it was time to book in for some airline food. Taking the bike seemed like a good idea, so I packed as light as I could for a cold week, and cranked to the airport at the crack of dawn.

Once landed in Sydney I reassembled the bike in the middle of the terminal, repacked, decided on a destination and sought some directions. After the soon-to-be-familiar looks of bewilderment, the helpful staff member gave me some advice about riding in Sydney. The first was to be expected; that the local drivers are shocking, the second was a little less helpful; her directions landed me down the M5 tunnel!

That was the most terrifying 4km sprint through a polluted and noisy cavern, with a concrete wall inches from my left hand and 80kmhr traffic inches from the right. The recovery truck driver who picked me up after I'd emerged completely exhausted from the other end, was quite insistent that I shouldn't attempt that again!

First stop had to be Dues, partly because a trip to Sydney wouldn't be complete without a visit to the temple of enthusiasm, and partly to justify the trip expenses as a tax write-off. A brief sales pitch for my day job, a quick drink and an extensive trail of drool later and I was out the door.

Sunday morning saw the first event for trip, the Sydney Tweed Ride (there are many better photos than I have in the Flickr pool). A 50 strong group of dapper riders headed out for a leisurely roll around the sights of Sydney, it was a great laugh and a reminder of the fun to be had in social side of riding.

The rest of the weekend was spent riding, drinking and eating with my ever helpful Sydney tour guide Ohoh2. I've been to Sydney a few times before but this was the first time I've ever left and immediately started concocting ways to get back soon. That's the power of local knowledge, knowing the little friendly back street pubs, sketchy shortcuts and interesting sights.

Much time was spent just wandering around and getting semi lost, I rolled out to Bondi and had a drink with some backpackers, battled the traffic in peak hour through the city centre and explored the quiet lanes and back streets. A bike is the perfect travel companion.

*(trying something different with image uploading, you may have to click the image to see the full size, possibly with captions)

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