Sunday, 1 July 2007

Cycling and walking

Today I met up with Leonie for a bike ride. We headed off in the general direction of my work - I've been thinking about riding to work if I can manage the hills. I'm glad I asked Leonie to come along with me as she knew the general area, and saved me a lot of time. We took the back streets across, as the main road is quite busy during the week. The roads twist and turn as they gain elevation, so we ended up asking a local resident which way to go. They recommended the main road. *chuckle*

We headed back over to the main road and crossed to the other side. Canberra has bushland all over the place, and this side of the road is a mixture of suburbia, national park and rural property. We tried a few different options. I mentioned the other day that the 'rural road' part of the trip was a bit of a worry, with a couple of white posts down. Well, we found a way across the bushland, a formed dirt road that will be lovely for walking or running and means that I'm nowhere near all the traffic that's hurriedly rushing to or escaping from work. Not so good for riding in rainy weather though and I still have to get across to it.

We tried turning left instead of right when leaving work, thinking we'd find a flatter route that would take us down to Lake Burley Griffin. I was a bit nervous as we were riding on the main road, but it was fun too, coasting down a long gentle slope. I was tentatively enjoying the ride when I suddenly realised that if I took this option it would be a long hill going up. It was an adventure as we were riding on the road for quite a while. Thank goodness we were only contending with Sunday traffic.

We finally got onto the bike path that skirts the lake and headed back towards town. It was really windy by the lake, so we were glad we hadn't been planning to ride around it today. A brief stop off for a coffee at the mobile coffee kiosk and then we headed home. All up, I was out for almost two hours.

The ride towards the lake was fun in a white-knuckled sort of way, but it's not really an option for going to work. The main road is an option, but it's got an enormous hill and requires riding on the road in some sections. A combination of the main road, walking paths, and heading across country looks like being possible, although I think I'll be walking / running this option rather than riding my bike. I think I'm safer on my feet than I am on the bike at the moment.

Later in the day I met up with Alex and we headed off to walk up Black Mountain. We walked across to the Botanic Gardens from my place. That took us 25 minutes. We then headed across the gardens to the walking path up to the Telstra Tower. Unfortunately, we got geographically confused by construction work, and didn't make it to the tower path. It was my fault. We came to a choice of paths, and I chose the one that went uphill, on the grounds that we were going up and we didn't want to lose any elevation. Apparently it was the wrong choice. Instead, we ended up back at the gardens cafe, where we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea that more than compensated for the calories we'd burned off on our way up hill.

We eventually headed home, travelling much more slowly on the return journey than we had when we set out. Alex was really feeling her calves and my legs were reminding me that they had more than done their duty today. Even though we missed the mountain we added 14000 steps each to our team total for the walking challenge so we weren't too disappointed. We're going to see if we can get there another day, but we'll drive over to the Botanic Gardens instead of walking across next time.


jojo said... must be a bit tuckered out after all that

Celeste said...

I can heartily recommend the bicycle commute to work! If it's uphill on the way to work, then it's heaps of fun on the way home!!!! I'm not sure how far it is for you, but my ride is only 6km. It takes me 25 minutes on the way to work and 15 minutes on the way home!

Andrew(ajh) said...

Cycling with friends is great isn't it !

laura - your niece :P said...

Hehe hi Kathy i cant believe i get a mention in your blog!!

im so excited!!

hey and staying with you in canberra was so much FUN.

hehe and i dont know you or Michael :P

i think its great how you have set your goal and are getting closer and closer to it.

I'm proud to have you as my aunty.

I love you lots,
your only niece,