Oh boy... and you thought that the Australian roads were unsafe for cyclists...
Short background: All my life (until I moved to Australia that is), I have been a fanatic ice-skater and rollerblader. In the winter on the frozen water, in the spring, summer and autumn on the road and bicycle tracks. And life was good :-)
Then I moved to Australia, where there is no frozen water nor bicycle tracks... In the first years, I used my bicycle to go everywhere (within reason). And got a lot of abuse from it from the car drivers. So much, that when my bike got stolen, I didn't bother to replace it, and walked everywhere. Yes, it took three times as long, but it was a million times less stressful.
Recently I found my backpack with my rollerblades in it. This weekend my wife and baby went to Canberra for a bridge contents (she, not the baby) and I thought "let's rooooooooolllllll.". Oh dear.
In the summer in the Netherlands, it is easily light till say 21:00 - 21:30. In the summer in Australia, it is barely light after 19:30 during the longest day. In the Netherlands, on the roads you have on constant distances street lights. In Australia, you have street lights on corners. Now the problem with rollerblading is that you go fast (unintentionally) and then a little bump in, or rock on, or gravel on, or whatever on the road has to be anticipated. Not seeing them is the same as asking to fall flat on your face.
In the Netherlands, in general, outside suburbs, the cars are not parked on the side of the road but in parking bays which are not part of the piece of the road where car drive. In Australia, roads are two-and-half-times as wide as a car and these cars are parked on the outsides of the cars. With the result that on the left hand side you have parked cars and on your right hand side you have cars driving. And since the favourite car of the Australian citizen seems to be a four-wheel-over-two-meters-high-landrover-tank, you have absolutely no idea what is happening on the at the car ports.
Last but not least, the Netherlands is flat and thus the roads are flat. Rollerblading there means: if you put effort in it, you go faster. If you don't put effort in it, you will go slower and slower until you're standing still. This might take some time, but it will happen. In Australia, even if you find a long stretch of road which looks flat, it's not. It's never flat, it's always sloping. So even if you don't put effort in it, you will go forward. And faster. So if you see something which might take some caution, you will go faster and faster to it, and faster and faster. Even a little stretch of say 30 meters will give you a nice speed when you're at the end (and not able to see what is going on on that road due to the stupidly high four wheel tanks).
So... first attempt to rollerblade again in Australia has turned out to be a huge disappointment. Tomorrow I'll try the road to Kurnell and see if I can figure out the four kilometer track in Miranda...| Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter