Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A day out with the Fly6

The Rapha Women's 100 is coming up in a couple of weeks - I'm definitely not prepared for it, but I know that I'll get through the day as long as I get some riding in before then. I've spotted what the course could possibly be (thanks Strava) and I know I need to get some hills in.

I'm lucky that I can actually access quite a few local bumps on roads with bike lanes - this is important because I am crap at climbing. It's partly my 13kg bike's fault, partly my 80kg body weight's fault and partly my fault for not actually getting all that much climbing into my legs. So I've started to venture north-east from home towards Research and Kangaroo Ground. I like that I can get a 30km ride in with about 450m of climbing and not require the use of a car. I'm just riding on my own, which is why I am appreciative of bike lanes and roads with shoulders.

Of course riding alone has its downsides, but I think I'll generally be fine. In past group rides I have been the one who has dealt with other people's flats, provided spare tubes, and fixed random mechanical issues (although there has not yet been anything too serious). I may have encountered some arseholes on the road during Breeze group rides, but I've been lucky so far when riding alone. That did not stop me from ordering a Fly6 combined rear tail-light and camera on Kickstarter, and my first ride with it captured zero stupidity. While I notice that cars often give me space or hang-back until it's safe to overtake me (and I flick my right hand as a thank-you when I notice), the footage the Fly6 captured really shows that the traffic around me is often fantastic and that I don't thank nearly enough of them for being courteous and safe!

Even on roads which have bike lanes, I often have to claim the main lane due to the presence of parked cars, skips, and debris (Melbourne's recent windy weather dislodged a lot of branches of all sizes). Some roads have only a shoulder, although it's not always possible to ride in that as the surface quality can be, well, quite shit or have a severe cambre. I really enjoyed watching the footage the Fly6 captured on these occasions as most vehicles gave me heaps of room - even when I was in the bike lane.

Parked car up ahead so I sat a little out of the bike lane. Overtaking car gives me HEAPS of room. ❤❤❤

No shoulder on this road, and cars are still being nice despite the double-lines. ❤❤❤

Aren't they lovely? ❤❤❤

Super-crappy shoulder, but no pressure from the traffic. ❤❤❤

A different crappy shoulder, still lots of love on the road. ❤❤❤

I am clearly in the bike lane here, but this car still moves to the outside of their lane when overtaking! ❤❤❤

No bike lane here, but there's still plenty of space when overtaking. ❤❤❤

This Camry just sat behind me for this section of Williamsons Road. ❤❤❤

This was another lurker who waited until they could change lanes to overtake me. ❤❤❤

And lots of space was given when in the dooring zone. ❤❤❤

The Fly6 is not intended to be a sports camera, but I think the image quality is good enough to share on occasion. It was school holidays at the time, so it was great to see some kids out and about on their bikes despite the grey skies and chilly wind.

I can also share this climb - I really like separated paths when going uphill as I don't have to worry about how crap I am at climbing. The paths are especially loveable if they're pretty like this section that goes through Alan Morton Reserve in Park Orchards and runs adjacent to Park Rd.

And here's a yappy dog for good measure.

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