Last night’s Sydney city CBD night ride was epic.
I made my way over to MC Cyclery to meet up with Grant (Thursday night closing time is 7PM). Ash is back from his 3 weeks away in Japan and I tried my best to concentrate on a few of his crazy stories, but in reality I was huffing and puffing hard from the small ride to the shop from my place. In the back of my mind I was already thinking of quitting the ride due to my sorry state of fitness, then… it started absolutely pissing down rain.
Grant and I were thinking of bailing out but we knew that all that was needed was a little shove, so I called Felix, who was already at the memorial rendevous point in the city and he said the weather in there was perfect, so to hell with it, off we went.
The rain was so hard that it felt sharp on my face. Not sure what it is about Sydney drivers, but some of them tend to speed up even more in the rain (perhaps because they’re frustrated with the drivers that do slow down). On Anzac Parade we had one fucker in a 4WD horn the fuck out of us. It reminded me of why I don’t like riding on the roads for sure.
I tried my best to keep up with Grant on the ride in. I was riding my Reign and he was on his fixie (brakeless too). Watching him skid around in the wet on Anzac Parade was awesome.
We made it in, late (sorry guys!) and we had a healthy crew of blinking lights at Hyde Park, diverse bikes too. A few fixies as expected, Adam had a DJ bike, Tom brought his BMX and Matt brought his cool commuter Boulder (I like it!).
We decided to head into the Australian down at the rocks. My fault for being on the side path on Elizabeth St but a lady in an Audi came lunging out of a carpark and almost took me out. So glad I was on the Reign and not my fixie. I would definitely have gone down.
Grant did the hugest skid on his fixie near the Opera house. It was almost as if skidding made him go even faster and seeing the cars and busses roll beside him whilst he was sliding down the road just looked so fucking rad. Blew my mind, blew Matt’s mind too who was sure he was a dead man! Can’t believe he was riding so fast, in the wet and running no brakes. Such a great sight which made me wish I could ride my fixie with so much confidence.
The group was split up due to confusion. A few of us headed to the Opera House whilst Tom and Andy headed straight to the Australian. Brandon scored a flat and Grant went over the bars trying to get up some steps on his fixie (?!).
We all met up at the Australian, Jarod left us at this point (too bad Jarod it only got more hecktic afterwards!!!), beers, chicken wings and pizza were consumed and with heavy bellies and cold wet feet/shoes (fuck it was uncomfortable) the havoc began.
We decided to hit the hustle and bustle of George Street which was rad. Seeing Tom getting loose and hopping up 4 consecutive park benches pretty much set the mood (get this man more beer! he was on fire!). Riding the bus lane felt right. If only it was a cycle lane (one day…). We then hit Oxford Street and stopped by the Local pub on South Dowling which was serving up some strange German beers on tap.
I said my goodbyes at this point and did the lonely ride back to Maroubra Beach from here. I just paced it, was cold and boring but I got home at midnight on the dot.
EPIC! The excitement of riding a bicycle was renewed for me, riding in a crew in the city felt safe/r, even for the guys who had never really ridden in traffic before, seeing them on the road was cool.
I knew a fair few fixie guys were going to be there so I thought I’d slap this sticker on my bike.
Grant, Felix and Andy @ Hyde Park.
Shit! Rabbits under the bridge!
Brandon, Matt and Adam on George St.
Locked up bicycle pyramid outside The Local pub on South Downling St.