Archive for the 'Paddle Feet' Category

The Daily Commute… Photo Gallery.

In the interests of community service, I have decided to put together a little tour of my daily commute. I realise that this may seem excessively interesting, but believe me, it won’t be.

lygon1

Here we are at the top of the tour, or stage one of my gruelling three stage commute. The becoming trendy north end of Lygon St. Here we can see that the road is unusually clear. This is because I happened upon a red light which was holding back the hordes of motorists waiting to speed off to the next red light. Also notice that there is no marked bike lane in this section of Lygon St. That fact should help explain why I took no further photos for the next few kilometers, as I was too busy either dodging rear view mirrors or riding in the gutter. Oh the joys.

lygon2
This is the only section of my commute where I use a ‘shared’ bike path. Again this morning it was unusually clear. On any given day there are normally people walking their dogs, sans leash, piling their kid out of their cars with their strollers in the middle of the path, etc. I only use the shared path as a shortcut to the next section of my ride….
weaver1

… Which joins the shared bike path with the next on road bike track. Here you will see that I have caught a glimpse of a common sight, the Paddle Footed Weaver. If you look closely you will see the shadow of your intrepid writer, thus proving that I am not a vampire.

weaver

Here is a close up of the Paddle Footed Weaver’s pedaling style. This is a common version of Paddle Footing, where the rider slots the pedals in between the ball of their foot and the clunky heel of their boot. This makes for a winning combination of unpredictability and wobbliness.

cardigan1

Next we come to a stretch of road with a beautifully wide and bountiful bike lane going south towards the city centre. Unfortunately it is also wide enough for a car to fit down, and there normally are a few in it. Also worth noting is the car park to the left, which north driving motorists enter across the bike path without looking or giving way to cyclists. A treat.

cardigan2

The next section marks our entry in to stage two of the daily commute: entering the CBD. Here you will see a car parked in the bike lane. You will be happy to know that he wasn’t just trying to park, or talking on the phone, he was just there.

swanston1

Next we zip past RMIT University, once again encountering an obstruction in the bike path. This is a common sight and we happily cruise around it.

swanston2

We now arrive at one of the major intersections in Melbourne. Here cyclists are required to give way to passengers boarding and alighting the trams. Of course this often doesn’t happen as you can see by the cyclist on the right continuing to ride through the stop. The gentleman on the left is walking his bike along in order to continue his commute. I did have a chat to him this morning, and he was very pleasant indeed.

stkilda1

Now leaving the CBD and onto sage three of the commute. Notice the second cyclist along, who is riding a freewheel singlespeed with no rear brakes and trick pegs. He is successfully combining the aesthetics of fixed wheel culture with the practicality of BMXing, albeit on a much larger and less maneuverable bike.

stkilda2

Further along St Kilda Road we see that not only the bike lane has been removed, but also the entire left lane, forcing cars and bikes to come together in a touchy feely communal way, not seen since the late 1960s. This section is made more interesting by the entry of busses into the left section of the road, who usually make the cyclists swerve violently in order to not become squashed.

stkilda3

Another St Kilda Road obstacle, but as this is a garbage truck, I don’t mind that they are in the bike lane. They really have nowhere else to go to do their job. It isn’t their fault that there isn’t enough room for them to unload the bins without blocking the bike lane. They are a bit stinky to pass though.

punt1
Here we are at the next major intersection of my commute. We are in the home stretch now. These lights take an awfully long time to change, and I just missed the lights here by moments. Normally I would take advantage of the time it takes to cycle though the the changes to cycle through the lights, but as you will see, a police vehicle was right at the front of the pack waiting to take off. Just above the nose of the police car you will see the local bike shop whose proprietor got awfully snooty at me when I asked for a chain link to fix my ailing singlespeed chain.

dandenong1
Almost there now, and as you will notice there has been yet another accident in this intersection. I’m unsure if the accident was caused by people not knowing how to manage the ambulance trying to cross the busy intersection, or if the ambulance was crossing the intersection to attend to this scene. It didn’t seem to be a very serious incident, but one never can tell, unless you are on a bike, in which case any incident is always serious.

I hope you have enjoyed my first foray into the world of photojournalism as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you.

Ride safe.

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