MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World - 2009-01

Cycling - Around lake Burley Griffin in Canberra
Cycling - Caringbah to Wollogong
Project Vegetable Patch - Nearly there!

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Cycling - Around lake Burley Griffin in Canberra

Posted on 2009-01-19 17:00:00
Tags: Cycling in Australia, Cycling in Canberra, Cycling

For the people who know me, Canberra has a magical attraction for me: It's cold in the winter, flat, fully designed and the size a city shouldn't be allowed to grow over. If it wasn't for the rejection of the people of TPG Australia I would be living there now...

This Saturday I had the pleasures of being in Canberra, having to take care of both Dirk and Hanorah and being close to lake Burley Griffin, in other words: a good weekend for cycling around the lake! Again!

Again? Yes, two years ago I did the full trip around the whole lake with Dirk on the back seat, from southern Canberra to the south/west point of the lake, back via the north and then back to south to the starting point. It was cloudy most of the trip, because when the clouds disappeared in the last fifteen minutes I felt like I was being roasted alive.

So this year with the three of us, I in the front and Dirk and Hanorah in a trailer. Hanorah has been on the bicycle a couple of times, but never for longer than 30 minutes. This 16 kilometers / 60-90 minutes trip around the western basin of lake Burley Griffin would be very long for her...

If you are staying close to the northern part of the Commonwealth Avenue bridge, the best place to hire a bicycle is Mr Spokes Bike hire. They have normal bicycles, tandems, with trailers and tag-a-longs. Oh, and pedal cars which I don't want to talk about.

The first five minutes of the trip they both were laughing and having great fun in the back. And from there it went uphill for me and downhill for them: Hanorah didn't like the helmet so I took hers off, Dirkie got bored so he got my cap, my map (you don't need a map to go around the lake, just follow the path), my bottle and my keys. That seemed to entertain them and we kept on going!

My trips with Dirk on the back has trained me to drag extra weight along but the ten extra kilos of Hanorah and the absence of a front gears made it impossible for me to go as fast as I liked, instead I rolled on nicely.

There are three uphill parts: The bridge at the exit to Belconnen, east of Government House and the Commonwealth Avenue bridge. But unless you are dragging a trailer with you, they are really nothing to worry about.

At a little bit less than two hours we came to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge and I wondered if I should do the central basin of the lake too, but a quick peek in the trailer showed that it would be disastrous for Hanorah so I called it a day, returned the bicycle and we went swimming in the pool.

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Cycling - Caringbah to Wollogong

Posted on 2009-01-10 21:00:00
Tags: Cycling in Australia, Cycling

According to the map, this trip is only 66 kilometers, which should be doable easily in four hours. Unfortunately we are not talking about a flat country like the Netherlands, but hilly south-of-Sydney-in-Australia...

The summer in Australia has been a very nice one: Not day-after-day a blue sky with awful hot days, but a lot of clouded days with nice 20-25 degrees Celsius: Ideal for cycling!

So, the first part, to Heathcote went as normally in 75 minutes. As I have written before, the part between Waterfall and Helensburgh via the Freeway 1 is not a nice one, so I took the Old Princes Highway. Which is nice and windy and with trees, but also with one hill near the exit to the Woronora Dam Road which kind of went wrong in every way: Just before the turn, I gave Dirkie an apple and started eating a banana. So I needed my breath for eating and breathing. Then Dirkie found out that there is a hole in his apple (at the core) and doesn't like it anymore, so I had to eat his too. Another number of breaths gone, and I was still going uphill. Short story long: I walked the last 20% of the hill.

In Helensburgh we had late lunch, Dirkie played in the park and the sky opened to a full blue sky and the temperature soared up. So we didn't get further than Stanwell Beach where we got picked up by Naomi for a swim.

Next time we will do the last 28 kilometers between Stanwell Park and Wollongong, but not today. Not today...

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Project Vegetable Patch - Nearly there!

Posted on 2009-01-04 21:00:00
Tags: Project VP

The hobby of growing vegetables is pretty simple: turn some earth, grow the seeds, remove weekly everything which doesn't look like vegetables and water it every other day. Compare it with the hobby of having a dog, which is pretty intensive (walk it twice a day, play with it, buy food for it etc), and at the end you are not allowed to eat it! (Bad joke, I know)

Anyway, the leaves on the carrots have grown very nicely and the top of some of the carrots stick out above the ground, showing that they are nice and thick. The pumpkin plants, five of them, have had (and still have) nice yellow flowers in them, but the lack of bees in this country (or is it only Sydney? I can't remember having seen bees here, but there is honey so there should be bees too) kind of worries me for the possibilities. But like I said, just keep watering it, maybe I get lucky!

This week will be the end for my carrots, I'm going to pull them out somewhere this week! Then a new batch will go in. And if I really feel brave, the patch will be extended in size.

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