I rode into town yesterday afternoon along the trail with the Chariot in tow (literally). Short's cunning route through the university worked a treat, with all the cars turning right from the RH lane leaving me my own lane to get around the corner and into the safety of the side street quickly!
I love the new bits of surfaces between Burwood Hwy and Warrigal - I've only ever ridden this part once in its entirety, and I worked out that was nearly 2 years ago to the day, my last full commute I did
The underpass at Warrigal is great, and I hadn't realised they'd put that much new trail in on the other side, around the council housing. I'd kind of expected to be directed straight up to the road and around that way.
Believing that the bridge wasn't open yet (and I don't think it was until today, by the looks of the Boroondara website), I chose the quietest streets possible and manoeuvred my way around to Dent St. Virtually no traffic, and just as I was coming up to the trail to turn on (I'd eschewed Winton Road as there is a nasty non-trailer-friendly barrier on the path), a car was driving patiently behind me as there really wasn't room to pass. I was in a haze of lovely weather and endorphins and goodwill of the few cars I'd encountered, but as I turned onto the path the driver (of a ute, what else) wound down his window and let out a torrent of abuse at me, along the lines of 'You have to be f@#$king nuts to ride on the road with a kid in the trailer, are you F@#$#$ing mental or something, you have to get your head checked etc. etc. '
It really put a dampener on the rest of my ride, and made me question whether I do need my head checked.... I've only ridden a bit on the road with it, and always quiet back streets (apart from that tiny bit on Burwood Highway). I've never been more cautious with looking out for every possible car coming out of side streets, or driveways, I can hear any car coming up behind and have easily a very good view of them as they approach, given that it's only ever a 50kph speed limit. Anything coming faster than that I'd hear and be watching out to get right out of the way or off the road... Thoughts?
Anyhoo..... the closest I came to having an accident all day was a few stooopid wacky racers coming towards me (given I was riding between 5 and 6pm) who came around blind corners in the middle of the path, and one candidate for the Darwin awards who was trying to overtake coming up from under Toorak Rd, around a corner, on a particularly narrow stretch, and who very nearly took me out
Anyway, 22kms from home to beer, grand average speed of about 19kph
, and I didn't use my smallest chain-ring once. I never thought we'd actually be able to get into town easily with the trailer so I'm really happy, especially given that the Solway Bridge is now open. I didn't ride home, but with more uphill it might be a harder prospect
Legs'o'steel here we come.
More to the point, did I see any forumites commuting towards me in my travels??
Still a cyclist, albeit one who never rides any more....