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How’s the serenity?

Last Saturday I went out for the usual club ride with other members of the Dutton Cycles Racing and Recreation Club (very soon to be renamed “Moreton Bay Cycling Club”).  The route is not always the same but, thanks to Strava, always fun to see if we can beat our own PBs or others on the various sprint or climb segments uploaded to the site.

The ride last Saturday was one of the most frequently ridden, leaving North Lakes and riding via Petrie, Strathpine, Albany Creek and Zillmere out to Shorncliffe before finishing off around the Redcliffe peninsula and the jelly-legged sprint up Mango Hill for coffee and cake.

There is always much to see en-route: other bunches (some of whom don’t know how to acknowledge other cyclists); bogan drivers (who only know how to abuse cyclists); the rear wheels of others in the bunch as we rotate through; and of course fantastic views such as the one below.

Sandgate foreshore panorama (images taken at southern end of Flinders Parade on an iPhone and joined using AutoStitch)

Although not the halfway point of the ride  (in fact it is over half way) it is the regular stop for us and many other bunches.  Some riders will use the 5-10 minute break to catch their breath, others to talk incessantly.  Most however will use it to snack on whatever they packed for the ride yet forgot to eat until then, get some more water or get rid of other “water”.  Which brings me to the reason for this post…

At the southern end of Flinders Parade in Sandgate there is an amenities block.  Toilets and washbasins are provided and there is a small gazebo with benches and tables adjoining an electric BBQ.  All these are maintained by Brisbane City Council.  Those exercising along the foreshore make good use of the facilities which, given their frequency of use, are usually found in good condition.

However, riding in to the rest stop last Saturday it was clear something was amiss.  A gentle S/SW breeze was picking up and until I was passing the BBQ I was unaware of what was actually “cooking”.  Looking towards the gazebo I saw a bloke with some bags, one of which obviously contained food.  The glum look on his face told me he was not impressed at something but I didn’t for one second think it would be down to the BBQ.  But a split second later, as the vapour of piss emanated from the BBQ, I realised that some feral bogan, too lazy to walk the ten metres to the toilets, had used the BBQ plate as a urinal.  What had not evaporated in the early hours before the arrival of Glum Bloke and the hordes of cyclists stopping or just riding past must have collected in the trap below the plate and was now being warmed by the generated heat on the plate.

The stench was overpowering, so much so it was the unspoken encouragement for many of us to cut short our break or even forego it altogether.  The below image I sourced from my helmet camera.  Note the wisps of urine steam rising off the hot plate and Glum Bloke sitting on the bench in the shadows.  There goes the serenity…

The stench of piss on a BBQ is enough to taint even the most perfect morning for a ride

To give the reader the full experience I have made the image “scratch and sniff” enabled.

Use your imagination.

You’re welcome!

The day of pain looms

This Melbourne spring has got to be the warmest I have experienced in the few days of the past few years I have been coming here.  For someone acclimatised to Brisbane weather, where overnight temperatures in the low teens is the norm for this time of year, to arrive in Melbourne and be able to wear shorts and no jumper or jacket is a bonus and bodes well for tomorrow’s ride Around The Bay.  Whatever the weather though, I will be feeling the pain tomorrow afternoon and looking forward to the spa tomorrow night.

Qantas engineers and ground staff came to the party yesterday and didn’t unduly delay my flight south and I arrived in time to get to the Optus store at Prahran to pick up my pre-ordered black iPhone 4S 32GB.  And there I met the sales person with ADHD.  You’d think she’d have the nous to concentrate on one customer at a time and leave the one looking after the counter to deal with customers of the shop floor; or leave the answering of telephones to one of the others waiting to sign up customers eager to get their mitts on a new phone; or maybe, perish-the-thought, not try and deal with her colleagues customers as well?  But, alas, no.  She was so busy with everything except my transaction that she stuffed it up half-way though!  It only took an hour and ten minutes but now I am armed with the latest that Steve Jobs (RIP) has to offer.  The wife has now inherited the trusty ol’ 3GS.

The gathering of “Team Dave” this afternoon involved much setting up of bikes and packing of various bits of kit.  As usual for this ride we are preparing for everything from summer sun to winter sleet after some light rain and cold winds swept through Melbourne.  Tonight we filled up on carbs at Café Grand Forno in Ashburton and after a belly full of pasta and wine I’m sure none of us will be looking forward to getting up just after 4am tomorrow, especially if the wind and rain are still around.

“Rouse” is now 5h away…


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