Today’s #RideDiary is about a trip down to La Perouse last Friday. I’ve done this ride so many times that it could be boring… but that’s not how I see it. Any morning on the bike is a good way to start the day!
This is the story of my ride on Friday, 19 August 2022.
– A blog and video by Rob Arnold
Ever noticed how quickly your mood improves if conditions are good when you’re on the bike? I’ve ridden from near the city of Sydney to La Perouse so many times that I’ve lost count and yet it remains a regular route from my cycling menu, and it often still feels fresh.
Of course, it helps if the weather is good and traffic doesn’t get too nasty. When that happens, even a regular ride can seem novel, new and even a little bit exciting.
The ride to La Per’ features often the #StoryOfMyRide videos and I uploaded another one last night.
“Story of my ride: Rant and review – to La Perouse with new cycling shoes and plenty on my mind” (see link below) is the latest in a long series of YouTube videos that document thoughts that come to mind while I’m riding.
Click the link below to watch the #StoryOfMyRide to La Perouse… again!
You get to see some scenery as I go from near the city of Sydney to two regular turnaround points: one at La Perouse proper (ie. the loop at Botany Bay down by Bare Island); the other overlooking the ocean at Cape Banks where I’ve been hundreds of times… but it always feels special.
Sometimes it’s the experience that counts more than the exercise. Just getting out on the bike is a treat and it’s easy to forget how much it raises our spirits and helps get the day underway, allowing us to leave some of life’s other hassles behind… even if it’s only for a few hours.
I’ve been saying for months how much I’m looking forward to travelling again, and although the world is opening up and we’re free to roam, the #RegularRide still holds appeal.
There are many ways to you can get from the city to La Perouse, but the most popular route is the most direct one, up through Kingsford and Maroubra Junction via Anzac Parade… onwards past ‘Long Bay Correctional Complex’ and nearby the site of the old Prince Henry Hospital.
Then you dip down to the intersection with Bunnerong Road (another option for the ride south) and the sweeping left turn before going past the snake pit and onwards to the loop past Bare Island.
If you ride in Sydney, chances are you’ve done this trip… and, most likely, you’ve done it more than once. And still, if you’re like me, you too just keep going back morning after morning – often just out of habit.
The time will come when I do venture further away from my city, and that has actually started to happen in recent months. Now I have another ‘regular’ destination: Wollongong – UCI Bike City, host of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships (which begin in just 26 days).
I’ve also ridden in Wollongong often over the years and it is a city that’s ideal for cycling. The local council is fully behind the world championship project and it won’t be long now until all the road works are finished and smooth, new bitumen is fully laid, and the buzz begins to build.
There are plenty of concerns from Wollongong locals about the interruptions that they have endured already – with more yet to come – but hopefully they will soon realise what a great showcase of their city the cycling world championships will be.
With the memories of my overnight stay in ‘The Gong’ a few days earlier fresh in my mind, I set off relatively early on my Friday ride last week. I had new shoes, new pedals, and a good attitude.
I enjoyed hassle-free traffic and… if I’m frank, a long conversation with myself, as I pedalled towards La Perouse and then Cape Banks.
It’s not a new destination but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. A bike ride is what you make of it. Last Friday the mood was good at the beginning and it improved the further I rode.
The title of the latest upload to RIDE Media’s YouTube channel says, ‘Rant and Review’ but really there’s very little reviewing and plenty of ranting.
I do mention the pedals (Wahoo Powrlink Zero, complete with power meter) and the lovely white Giant Surge Pro shoes which are getting a good workout since their unboxing a little while ago. But excuse me if you’re expecting more from the video… it doesn’t exactly offer a great deal of additional information about those fantastic cycling products. (That said, I will explain more about the pedals and shoes during other rides in the coming weeks and months…)
The ‘rant’ element is also relatively tame in this latest video (especially when compared to the days when I’m trying to work my way around Sydney’s emerging bike path network… another story for another time). Still, I do verbalise a few thoughts while I ride, and I clear my mind of some of the things that build up inside as we get near the end of winter and arrive in the spring of 2022.
This is a great time of the year in my part of the world. Jasmine is almost in bloom, the days are getting longer and warmer, and there’s a mood of optimism and energy that comes when September is on the horizon.
In Sydney in August 2022, there’s a lot for cyclists to look forward to. In less than a month, we can ride down to Wollongong and watch world-class racing (almost) in our backyard. We are blessed to have a chance to see some of the best riders on the planet coming to ‘our’ town(s) and cycling should be a headline act in NSW for the next little while.
If the script of #Geelong2010 is repeated, there will be a coming together of the cycling world for a couple of weeks when world championship fever hits. We will savour the chance to show off this great part of Australia and share it with visitors from near and far.
I’m excited about the worlds. If you haven’t experienced the buzz of this level of competition before, be sure to make some plans for a few weeks’ time.
Wollongong is waiting and while it seems apparent that the locals down there don’t seem to realise quite what’s coming to town, they’ll soon understand how cycling can transform a city. Near the end of September 2022, there will be racing and there will be crowds. There will be an exciting atmosphere and there will be winners and losers.
There are many stories of many rides about to be written, but for now I’m happy enough just to be on the bike… riding one of my regular loops and talking about the things I see when I’m doing what I love.
There’s already plenty of content on offer on RIDE Media’s site and social media if you want to find out more about the routes for #Wollongong2022, and there’s still more to come.
The worlds are coming to town. The weather has improved since the wet start to the year. The days are longer and warmer… and the conditions are ideal for cycling.
If you ride, you know what I’m talking about. Every ride is an experience, even if we find that we’re going to the same place over and over again, it’s still great to be on the bike. I hope you agree.
If you see me out there – on the bike or in the crowd in Wollongong – be sure to say hello. And please let me know what you like about cycling and perhaps even share the story of your ride with me. I’d love to know what makes something that we often do still seem special… even if you find yourself going to the same place time and time again. You might know exactly what to expect but that doesn’t mean a regular ride is even close to being a boring one.
– By Rob Arnold
#StoryOfMyRide #Cycling #TouristInMyTown #Sydney
More about the 2022 world championships in Wollongong (below).
Subscribe to RIDE Media’s YouTube channel, click here.