Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ride to work....

The M7 cycle track.

With the troopcarrier at work and with no prospect of any help to get it home, I decided that I had to ride to Liverpool from the Blue Mountains. A trip of about 80km. Having got over the small "pity party" I had yesterday, I thought such a ride would do me good. I was right!! The ride was positive and uneventful, with the first 15km largely down hill. Coming off the mountains at 650 metres and dropping rapidly to the Hawkesbury River at 50 meters the trip begins quickly!.

However, its a steady climb out of the valley for much of the trip. Passing Richmond and Windsor there is a bike track which leads to the "new" M7 motorway. This Motor way has one of the best cycle paths around. Fenced, lit, and safe. Why is that critical? Because most Australian car drivers treat bike riders with contempt. True! You are run off the road, food and cans thrown and recently a driver smashed into 50 riders on an Olympic training ride- Frankly, its disgusting.

So its with much relief that I entered the bike track. The M7 is clever! Lots of waterways for birds, Interesting scenery, and A cycle path that incorporates hills, and zig zag. It keeps you on your toes!

One of the interesting structures is the Light Horse Interchange. For those who do not know- IN World war one. Australian mounted Infantry charged the Wells at Bathsheba. This was in direct disobedience of the English officers. These men were not Cavalry, but mounted infantry whose job was to ride to a battle , dismount and fight. However, in this case they were without water. The Australian Whaler ( the tough Aussie Horse), was their mount. It was critical that they capture this town or they would die.

View from the track.

The Australians charged the wells. The Turks expected them to dismount, but the Australians did not. They raced across the ground, ( I get goose bumps thinking about it!) and the Turks could not adjust the guns. Horses whipped up by the smell of water charged over the towns walls, many dying and still running on. It was an awful battle. but victory was for the Australians. This structure that I ride over was to remember the heroism of this event. I felt strange.

Further on, the track snakes its way over and under the motor way, before I exit and do battle with traffic on the domestic roads. The last 10 km are difficult, requiring sprints from traffic lights, high speed and being alert to what comes behind. However I arrive in one piece and collect the troopcarrier.

The work done this week was to fit an air compressor which is used to pressurize the water tank, fill tyres and engage the diff locks.

The air compressor. Isn't it beautiful??

Its a handy item to have and perfectly positioned under the rear seat.

The trip home was quiet and I felt good having spent the morning on the bike. I have to say there were birds a plenty. Yellow Tailed Cockatoo, Soldier Bird, Bell Minor, Indian Miner, Nankeen Kestrel, Mallard, Swamp hen to list a few. I enjoyed the birds as I rode and drove.


  1. Mate, I imagined that the air compressor was to pump up a double air-bed! Runcible fellow!

    A great account mate, I remember you showing me that memorial, yes, very moving. And I know where you observed the Bell Miners!

    Incidentally, did you happen to pass any cottages on your way down from the mountain? Do they have cottages in Australia?

  2. Yet another cloudy Sunday but a good way to spend it! I'm sorry, but I can't see the beauty in air compressors... I'll change that last sentence, I'm not sorry about that at all ;)

  3. Oh No Anon! they are beautiful! I maen you can pump up air beds and zodiacs and bike tyres, and pressurize water tanks....

  4. Sounds more like an adventure than a casual morning ride to fetch an auto!

    Very cool story too - thanks for sharing part of history!

  5. Ahhh Simon - that is hysterical - my daughter loves it - we might even have to change Basil's name becaues that is great!!!!!

  6. Hope your health heals before the weekend Simon ;)

  7. Think of all the CO2 you saved! And then you go and spoil it all by picking up your gas guzzler!


  8. I forced myself off my flu deathbed to bring over some homemade soup to share with a fellow sufferer but was blown away by your post.

    I am ever amazed that your locale names have parallels over here. As you named them, I mentally plugged in ours and, for a moment, imagined your trip as covering 2 or 3 thousand miles. What a wonderful trip it would make though.

    NICE addition with that compressor!

    The last fund-raiser I organized was for a Norton owner who got violently cue-balled off the road on his racing bicycle. Two-wheeled anythings seem to remain fair prey to idiots.

  9. Lin- I have the flu too.. quite ill, but have an auction today so I have to rally... Yes the parallels are amazing!

    Anon:- thanks! :o)

    TCA- Gas guzzler? yes! if I drove it everyday. But I average 13.5 litres per hundred which is not bad for a vehicle which weighs 3.6 tonne! And I only use it for holidays. :o)

    Susan- Any dog named Basil should be called Herb!