Ride to work with me!


My commute on the map.

My commute on satellite.

Looks like a nice day today, 15/3/06.

Which shoes today? I think the sandals. Thanks for sending them, Eggplant Jeff!

My stuff for the day. Sweat band, arm warmers, helmet, sunnies, banana in double layer bubble bag, muesli & yoghurt, 2 slices of bread, egg, apple, phone, bike gloves and full finger knitted gloves. And a Topeak bag which also contains tube, tools rain gear etc.

Hello boys! Did you miss me?

Quiet, you!

My commuter: Singlespeed 46x16x700c, polished frame, Salsa carbon fork, carbon bars, titanium stem, butchered Brooks B17, Topeak seatpost rack, Vittoria Randonneurs 700cx28, buggered SKS chromoplastic fenders, Crank Bros candy pedals, Biopace chain ring.

That's where I have to go now - the road in front of my house.

ready steady go!

Both brakes needed for the steep gravel bit... Of course I have only one brake right now so press the left foot into service.

Clear to the left...

Clear to the right...


Bye Luv!

Bit of singletrack to the left. Boggy patch near the bottom. Not for SS.

York Rd. Have to turn left. Always very busy, and very narrow.

Left turn, on gravel shoulder.

Meet up with service road.

Check that Mr Airfix isn't coming out - he never looks.

Children's school. Only my daughter now goes there, others are all grown up!

Everything still there? Check.

Cross side roads with care. Drivers never expect anybody. And I'm supposed to give way anyway.

Continue on service road. Magpie attacks here during October.

Legs feel a bit chilly...

Left and up this steep bit...

OK. Must remember to put Loctite on this titanium stem.

...and down this path on the right.

Check for sticks...

... and join the road.

Swansea Rd ahead, suicidally busy.

But that's irrelevant, I'll be taking this gravel path.

Tyres crunching on gravel.

The path stretching out ahead of me.

Rat race on the right,

peace on the left,

and boggy clay patch ahead.

"Good morning!"

Big water-filled holes. I broke 2 SKS mudguards near here

Join the service road.

Crossing side roads with care...

I have to join Swansea rd just ahead.

Quick check in the third eye helmet mirror... Go!

Rejoin the side walk. There's never anyone there anyway.

You have to admit it's better than the road.

End of sidewalk. What are pedestrians supposed to do here? Quiet side road again.

I've lost some weight, that wind vest was a lot tighter a year ago!

Dandenong Tourist Rd ahead. I'll be going right.

My 2-weekly time trial route is up the mountain to the left...

... but work is to the right.

Most people are still in bed.

puff puff puff

There's the rat race. I'll be going left at this roundabout.

A whole lane just for me - wheeeeee!

Highest point in the commute - Montrose hill, 195m.

Melbourne eastern suburbs lie below in the distance ahead.

I can get over 70km/h down here if traffic doesn't block me. Today this truck is going slow.

Zooming along at about 50km/h behind that truck.

Traffic piles up at the traffic light. I use the left lane meant for buses (but taken by rude drivers; hence, 'rude lane') to go past the truck.

Rude lane ends. No shoulder ahead. Take yer chances and use 3rd eye mirror. I am now ahead of that slow truck.

About 45km/h here on the level stretch. Pedalling as fast as I can, bouncing on the saddle.

Ahhh, wide shoulder again. Time to turn left into Colchester. Site of vicious magpie attacks.

Since the light is red I'll be taking a short cut on the left...

... through this industrial estate....

... and rejoin the road here.

Just turned on to the road after this car passed.

Nice bit of smooth fresh tar.

Musn't crash into this truck or ride up its ramps.

This brand new wide shoulder has just been freshly tarred since yesterday, so today it is my own personal bike lane.

Hang a right here.

And back into quiet suburbia. I see my shadow. I must be late today.

Ah! The sun has just peeked over the Dandenongs behind me.

Time for some speed.

Luggage still there.

Another right turn. About one third through the commute, 9km.

BMX playground.

Whooshing along.

Bike path in sight just ahead.

Ahhhhh, peace and quiet.

They had some extra tar mix left over, so made some slaloms to use it up. The track on the left shows not everyone likes the slalom.

"Oh, hello!" One of the regulars I see many mornings.

Tunnel under Dorset Rd. Floods during heavy rain.

Coming through!

But where's the creek?? Underground in a pipe on the left. With heavy rain the pipe fills up and the rest runs over ground.

Like this, taken a few weeks later.

"Ding ding!"

"Morning!" Another regular.

Cross through creek to the other side.

Past Siemens.

pedal pedal pedal...

...and through the creek again...

...past another tight slalom with blind spot - on the way home watch for other cyclists who tend to cut this corner like I'm doing right now. Keep left cretin!

Approaching another tunnel under a main street.

Watch again for cyclists.

Good thing the creek isn't flooded today.

Footy field on the left,

... defaced memorial sign on the right.

Uh, gudday.

If I'm on the MTB I bomb through the creek on the right, today I take the bridge on the left.

Looking back, the creek comes above ground at last.

Another Sir Hubert Opperman memorial...

... and its signpost. See? Lance was not the first cyclist to "dance on the pedals."

"Morning!" Another regular.

Through under the railway.

"Ding ding ding!" Warn opposite traffic through that tight right turn ahead. Had many a tight scrape here.

Past the giant ropes course on the left.

That says "FLOODWAY". Yep, I had floods here a number of times.

Right here. Gotten the bottom bracket soaked, not to mention my feet. This taken a few weeks later during a mild flooding.

More traffic.

No time for playing this morning.

Must make speed, *puff puff*

"Ding ding!" *quack quack*

One day coming home, the creek was polluted which gave it this vivid red color.

Exodus 7:20 Moses ... raised his staff ... and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood.

I'd rather ride in rain than drive through traffic. A very simple inequality that keeps me on the bike in all weather.


Down bike. Wade through dewed grass.

Look! Horsies on the other side!

Bugger! My socks are wet now. And the sandals are a teensie weensie bit large for me, but they work just fine.

No wading through wet grass for these birds - they are keeping their feet dry.

Riding on...

and on...

pedalling the single speed... do you see the crack in the rear mudguard? From a stick flipped up and caught in the spokes, catching against the mudguard stays.

Boy I am lucky.

Does the fun ever stop?

My eyes! what's wrong with my eyes! Must drink water!

Ah, eyesight is clearing... "Hello!"

Another floodway.

Gets a bit narrow here - tight when other cyclists come bowling around the bend.

Lots of traffic today... I think this is Kam, a very friendly regular.

The lads having a quiet game. Don't you have jobs?

They're building a freeway, correction, TOLLway over here.

It will cross the creek and path with a bridge. Finish 2008. A bike path next to it will join up with this one and make most of my commute on bike paths.

"Gudday, maaaaate!" This dude has da beat organised, check under his chair.

Gotta cross this bridge and leave the creek trail.

Right here.

Going over...

The creek comes from the Dandenongs...

... and continues on its watery way to the bay. With 50 magnificent km of bike path all the way.

Slippery boardwalk when wet. I crashed here some months ago and injured my shoulder.

The steepest climb in my ride. This 15% slope detemines my gear ratio of 46x16, I can only just make it uphill if I don't stop. You can form an idea of the slope by the horizontal bits of the white and brown fence on the right.

A final look over the creek valley.

Of course I stopped for the previous pic so now I have to walk the rest of the hill.

Cresting the hill.

Don't crash into this truck parked in the bike lane.

Canterbury Rd up ahead again which I left about 10km ago.

Looks quiet this morning. School holidays.

My home is about 15km thataway. I'm about 2/3rds through the commute, about 18km.

Green light at last.

I can go via back streets...

where I never see any traffic...

or I can go through another park with a trail...

and some singletrack. Same distance.

A local BMX playground at the singletrack exit.

Yet another roundabout.

Despite taking the lane this one edges right by me.

Left up ahead onto bike paths again!

First this gravelly bit...

then a tarred section past the water retarding basin...

which is only retarding some dew this morning.

Cross this road

then onto the Somers trail.

Priti priti trail...

with a babbling brook ...

and rustic rails ...

to keep old ladies and their dogs from falling in.

On through a park

and back on the road. Right turn ahead.

Like so...

Speed bumps. Meant for cars only.

No bike computer. Just good clean fun.

Another roundabout before crossing under the same railway from waaaaaay back.

Crossing this main road, Maroondah Highway.

I'll be going there...

on quiet, shady suburban lanes...

with many traffic cooling down measures...

and endless roundabouts. Roundabout # 4,167,442. Turn right here.

More cars here...

Roundabout # 4,167,443.

Roundabout # 4,167,444.

The lady in this white car drove patiently behind me through all those roundabouts while I took the lane.

Mitcham Rd. Rat race. Turn right.

"Hi Gladys! Nice day today!" That's the lady who conducts school children accross. Only she's not there coz it's holidays, see?

I'm taking the lane here, whether you like it or not.

Crossing freeway, correction TOLLway, at the start where contractors park their stuff. Once finished, my bike route will be bike paths 2/3rds of the way.

So instead of entering the Koonung trail here, I'll be coming from the left already on the trail for miles.

Sound screens for people living here. For me, irrelevant, I just have wind rushing in my ears...

Another tunnel, under Springvale Rd. These save much time.

Crossing Koonung creek.

Going past a rock face chasing another commuter. You didn't know this was artificial rock, did ya??

Creeks and graffiti artists go through there...

cyclists through here.

Yeah right!

Over the creek we go.

Can you guess what the top right sign said?? Something about dog poop...

Getting close to work. Cross the eastern freeway here.


Just a ways down this gravel bit...

we finally leave the path. hp on the left.

A small bit of sidewalk riding... This is also the lowest point in the ride, 70m. Home is 160m.

and we're there! (No, we don't make ice.)

sneaking in the back door

workmate's ride. He's not as zealous as me, he wusses out when there's rain.

Seeya later!

Thanks for the ride! My best average speed is 30.0km/h for the 27+ km. That day took me 54 minutes. Usually it takes about 60 minutes.