Not staying at home..

Um, yeah, 2020….. well – not a good year so far.

The virus has meant a lot of people are at home. I’m not, work has me involved in their COVID working group, so I’m actually busy again. Similar to when the bushfires were on. I’m back to commuting to the city again, possibly for months? So far this year I’ve spent more time away from my regular desk than at it. Not a good sign I suppose.

However the commute through the city is a little lighter. Look at the difference here.

Before COVID-19 (This was only about a month ago, maybe 6 weeks)
After (and yes, it’s not such a nice day)
Before again
And after. But the weather is starting to clear up.

So far, my family is safe, healthy and Mrs and I still have jobs. Seems like that’s becoming a lot to have these days. I hope your families are well and safe too.

Big Bikes do commute

I spent the rest of Jan and all of Feb commuting to the city. This made for an interesting experience for me on the largish Ninja. I’ve always commuted by bike, but almost always I’ve travelled either against the main flow or at weird times, so have generally avoided most heavy peak hour traffic. That’s not to say I’m not confident in riding in this amount of traffic or of filtering through lines of stuck cars, its just not my usual commute.

For almost two months, it was my daily ride. Taking about 50mins each way and costing $32 in tolls per day I was still glad not to be driving. I think that would have added at least 20-30mins every day. (I checked public transport, it would have taken around 2 hours).

I’ve actually managed to make a video, so check that out. BBB 41 – A new commute, which will give you some idea of what it was like.

Overall I found the Ninja very capable in the city. Of course there were times when I was just too wide to fit through. To be honest, I think there are times when it doesn’t matter how small you are, you’d be stuck. Having the top box was excellent. I was impressed with one rider splitting with a pannier (though it was a narrow bike and only the right hand pannier).

The bike never seemed to get super warm, often a problem (the VFR was always doing this, though never hot enough to be a problem) for big faired bikes in city traffic. Basically, if my mirrors fit, then the rest of me did too.

Car Drivers are …

I couldn’t think of the right adjective, maybe you can by the end of the story.

Yesterday I filtered to the front of a LONG line of traffic to find a guy trying to push his car across an intersection (this street was really busy, but everyone was turning left or right, straight ahead was quiet and a good place to option for the broken car). He was at the head of the queue, holding all these people up.

I thought I could help out, so pulled in behind him and hopped off the bike. A pedestrian crossing in front jumped in behind as well. As we did another filtering bike turned up and hopped off to help. with the 4 of us, this was an easy job. Actually on flat, pushing a car is pretty easy, its trying to steer/brake as well as pushing that becomes awkward.

So the lights turned green and we pushed off. About halfway we started to yell at the driver, who was pushing from the drivers door, to hop in the car so he could steer and brake. Caused a scary moment as he almost tripped getting in, but he was in and the car pushed across.

We headed back to our bikes just as the light went red, so it was perfectly timed. This meant we had the whole red cycle to get back on. In my case this meant taking off my gloves to fish in my pockets as I couldn’t remember which had my keys.

Not a single car driver moved, the whole time, to help this guy. I don’t know how long he had been there, but the queue behind him was pretty long. As riders, and the pedestrian who was crossing the street, this stuck car would never have held us up. Wasn’t in our way at all. But we all decided to help out. The car drivers, half of whom (there were two lanes turning right, the car was in one of these) were stuck behind him and basically couldn’t move until the broken car was moved….

They just sat there.

Car drivers are….

Commuting we will go…

It’s dark.

It’s cold.

It’s been wet sometimes too.

Commuting has been fun the last few weeks.

Winter eh!

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We’ve had a few storms. So it’s pretty sometimes too.

But cycling to work suddenly became a challenge when it dropped to 2C. I bought a pile of warm clothes to ride in. After not riding the next week waiting for it, I headed out last Monday.

So of course it was 13C. Too warm to really test it.

Tomorrow it’s 1C again. So see how I go.

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