50before50: #25 ride bike 50km in one day

When I recently replaced #25: see a moose in real life with ride bike 50km in one day I thought it would be very much a stretch goal.

Turns out I hadn’t factored in how determined we can be in pursuit of a target.

Yesterday’s ride was FIFTY FIVE KILOMETRES!

We started out with intentions of riding to Homebush Bay via the really excellent Cook’s River bike path and return home via suburban streets.

I had a couple of freak-outs early on, the first when we were at a quite busy intersection and had to make a right turn across traffic – with no turn arrow. I’m not a very confident cyclist, so naturally this filled me with extreme terror and I was a bit shaken afterward. Another when I was almost collected from behind by a bunch of Proper Cyclists when I had to swerve to avoid an unpredictable wandering pedestrian.

Once we got onto the actual path and to Homebush Bay, it was glorious. The weather was fabulous, the surrounds just beautiful:

There was a huge canopy of spiderwebs in the wetlands at Homebush Bay – filled with hundreds, possibly thousands, of Giant Spiders:

The suburban streets idea was excellent in theory, terrible in practice. In some areas of Sydney, bike “paths” consist of a bicycle painted on the road in the middle of a lane of traffic – indicating that you should share the road – in others the marked path shares with parked cars, stops without warning and dumps you into the middle of the vehicle lane. This is okay around where we live, but that straight section at the top of the map was a very busy 4 lane road with both of those features. Don, being the dare-devilish sort he is, braved the cars. No-one was actually using the foothpaths for their intended purpose, so I felt completely comfortable riding on them for that section (and I would cheerfully pay the fine for doing so) because the crazy Sydney drivers filled me with complete terror.

We stopped for a (very bad) coffee at the dog park on the way home, checked the distance and saw we were at 45km. We figured it was so close to 50km that we should keep going and so ended up doing the small loop at the bottom right.

Who knew I’d be able to ride so far, so soon?! Especially as I’ve had less than 10 bike rides since I was a teenager. Could it be that we could actually participate in the sydney to wollongong ride in November? Maybe just the short (58km) course!

Afterward we were a little sleepy, but unscathed. We celebrated our achievement with wine/beer and fried chicken at our (once again) favourite local pub:

I’m totally looking forward to the next outing, where I will choose a route which avoids main roads entirely.

And that makes 6 out of 50before50 items completed. I guess 12% isn’t too shabby, and some are partially completed, but I’d best keep up the momentum if I want to see this through!

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