Fri 19 Jan 2007
So Tuesday this week was hot. 40 degrees Celsius hot. And I decided to ride home - all 20 km - with two bottles of water to help me. There was a gentle breeze as I started out, but that died out soon. Not to worry, I was riding by the side of the Yarra river; surely that would provide a bit of cooling. Wrong! It just wafted a brakish smell over the trail, which was better than the rotten stench under the freeway.
Anyway, all was well enough (with a bottle top up at Kooyong) until I got to Huntingdale road. This is only five minutes from home on a normal day, but by then the heat had got to me. Puring water from a bottle over my head didn’t help much as it was warmer than body temperature. The final km home was rotten.
That evening the temperature dipped to around 28 Celsius - and only got warmer during breakfast. In the evening I rode home again feeling very cold - it was 19 C - and looking forward to a warm shower. Unfortunately the kids are not back in school yet (term 1 starts on 31 January) and I encountered two of them on the bike path. One had stopped and the other was still going but slowing. He decided to stop as I called out “passing”…
What should one do when being passed by another bike? Maybe keep going and move left? (We’re in Australia.) Or stop and move left? Either would do. But no, this kid decided to stop, hop off and move his bike into the middle of the path (to turn around, one presumes). All of this at the entrance to a bridge that the path takes over a creek. (This is the *only* direction that the path takes - one has to turn.) It shows up on google maps quite nicely (use the satellite view).
The end result was that I ran into the bike (at low speed) and went over the bars. According to my mate it was quite good, and worthy of a video, but sadly there wasn’t one available. No-one was hurt, and my mate reminded the kids of their obligations when riding on public paths.
Hopefully there will not be a next time.
For those interested, there’s a fair graph of the Melbourne and Sydney temperatures here. It uses data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, so is vaguely accurate.
And I almost forgot to mention that this was the day that most of Victoria experienced power outages, so many traffic lights were out, and the restaurant that we went to only managed to serve us because they cook on gas