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Guest Blogger — Biker Guy

Guest blogger—Steve

Steve, an ardent cyclist, was off bikes for three weeks here in Australia.  He didn’t even have access to a stationary bike.  He’s such a great writer, that I asked him to let me share the email he sent to the family once he acquired a bicycle.  Enjoy.

Ahhh, the sweet caress of Lycra against one’s nether regions.  After nearly
four weeks of searching, reading ads, and going to bike shops, I now have a
bicycle with which to practice my art upon the paved surfaces of
Queensland.  I didn’t realize that I was such a bike snob…well, maybe I
did; but I was nevertheless able, with a sense of humility, to climb aboard my
well-used Mongoose Double Bison Super Anvil Turbo mountain bike this
morning for a (stay-left-stay-left-look-right-look-right) lap of the city.
I bought it at a bike shop that does a small amount of business in used
bikes, and the owner said he’d give me some money for it at the end of my
stay.  We’ll see how that works.

The shop where I bought it was about 15 km out of town, so riding it back
to Brisbane center city yesterday was an adventure in itself.  But, this
morning was my first real just-after-dawn-with-no-traffic ride.  Very
pleasant; even on the Super Anvil Turbo.

We also this weekend took a motoring trip to the Glasshouse Mountains and I
managed, in our little rented stick-shift Hyundai Getz (named, I think,
because it “getz” you there), to drive on the left side of the road for a
large majority of the time.

Plus, I now have an Australian bank account.  I think if I can discontinue
sounding the consonant “r” as I speak, I believe that I will be able to
vote in the local elections and will qualify for benefits in the Australian
national health care system.

After a week of being back on the bike, Steve’s tolerance of other people on his earth has readjusted to normal, meaning greatly intolerant, but his writing skills are still superb.

This morning as I began my bike ride, I noted that the weather had changed
from “wow-this-is-a-really-nice-day” to “damn–this is a picture postcard
perfect day.”  I guess some Brisbanites have some lofty standards for their
outdoor exercise requirements.  There is usually a pretty large crowd of
cyclists and runners and walkers sharing (and at some narrow passages
between the river and the cliffs, dangerously sharing) the extensive
non-car highways.  The earlier it is; the better the conditions are.  At
05:00 the cyclists are all hammering and obeying the rules; the runners are
all running with purpose and pace and obeying the rules; and the walkers
are all home in bed.  By 06:00, there are morons on bicycles weaving
around, walkers three or four abreast with dogs on long leads, and a few
runners left trying to keep a reasonable pace under these conditions.
Today the weather had brought out the exercise equivalent of Easter
Christians.  Great hordes of people apparently unaccustomed to the early
hour and certainly unacquainted with the rules of the road.

I went on my downstream route today — beginning by heading toward the
ocean on the south side of the river.  By the time I got back into town,
there was great congestion at some of the usually lightly congested points.

At one point I muttered alloud but to myself, “Get out of the damn way, I’m
trying to get some exercise here.  I’m not out here for my health!”

A few pedal strokes went by before the apparent oddness of my complaint
registered.

Had anyone actually heard me, there’s a danger that I might be quoted in
the future in a jocular way like Vic Morton* when he said before an
audience of a hundred or so, “I don’t know why we can’t church at eleven
o’clock like it says in the bible.”  I believe, however, that I can defend
my complaint whereas there is no defence for Vic’s.

*name changed to protect me from lawsuits or hexes

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One Response

  1. YEA, Steve! So glad you now have a bike and can be a biker-boy again! Enjoy!

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