Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back on the Bike

So after a long intermission due to breaking my leg, I have finally resumed riding my motorbike. My friends who had been looking after it for me brought it back to me last week. My first ride was sooner than I intended, but when I missed the bus on Friday I figured it was a better option than catching a taxi. I got into work all right, and decided to park in the car park attached to the building I work in. On the way out I learned that when they got rid of the car park attendants it meant they got rid of the cheap parking for bikes, so instead of paying $4 for the day, I paid $8. Still, cheaper than a taxi.

Sunday was when I was planning to get back on the bike. My friends who had been looking after the bike are members of a motorcycle club, and the club was having an open ride to which they invited me along. The ride started somewhere south of the river (I forget the name of the suburb), and we started out riding along the highway to a small town whose name began with a C I think, where we stopped for morning tea/coffee/beer as per people's preference and legal options. Then we went along the back roads to Wyvenhoe Dam. This really highlighted the advantages of a large engine, as at times I was going full throttle and still falling behind the main group. Riding across the dam was interesting as on the right you. Had dry land down below you while on the right the water was unnaturally high up. We had a BBQ lunch in the park near the dam, which gave everyone a chance to chat with each other. After lunch the Brisbanite contingent headed home via Mt Glorious, where I again fell behind the pack and took my time getting up and over the mountain. I spent most of the way up in third and fourth gear, on occasions getting into fifth and once or twice dropping down to second. A final gathering occurred at the petrol station on the other side of the mountain (I was only a few kilometers from having to use my reserve tank by this stage), and then everyone parted ways. I did about 250 kilometers and all in all it was a rather pleasant way to spend a day. I will try and remember to put sunscreen on my neck next time.

Overall getting back on the bike has not been too bad. I'm not entirely gracefully getting on and off yet as I don't have the full flexibility in my knee that I used to yet, and after riding for a while my knee gets a bit sore and stiff (but that also happens if I sit at a desk for too long or walk too far, so that's life really). I am a little bit paranoid about things happening on the right hand side of me and am a little rusty, but that will go away as I get back into things. I think I'll wait a bit longer before regularly commuting with the bike, as the free off street parking has been relocated due to the old location now being a bicycle hire stand and the new location is a bit further away from work and doesn't look to be the flattest walk (downhill slopes are still annoying to walk down)

Group photo of the riders taken at the dam

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