After failing to go for my ceremonial last ride of the year yesterday — something I’ve managed to do when I can on December 31 each year — I took myself out on the bike today.

First bike ride of the year; an easy 38km ride from Lorne out along the Great Ocean Road to Wye river, on for a couple more headlands, stop and look at the ocean for a while, then turn around and make my way home. An inauspicious start as I was knocked over by a woman in a station waggon in bumper-to-bumper 5km/hr traffic in Lorne — she turned left into a parking spot as I was alongside her without looking or indicating — she stopped pretty quick from my yelling and hammering on the door. Once I extricated myself and the bike from between her and the car next to it the rest of the ride was almost event-free.

The Great Ocean Road was its usual mix of spectacular views and mind-bogglingly stupid motorists; highlights being a mix of foreign tourists in unfamiliar tiny hire-cars who don’t believe they can squeeze past a bicycle, Aussie holiday-makers in 4WDs who don’t care and go roaring past an inch from my elbow, retirees towing caravans and forgetting that the van is wider than the car trying to remove my elbow — they are a minority, but its the oddities that get remembered. Thankfully, at least 99% of the drivers either ignore — or are ignorant of — the law about crossing the centre lines, and pull onto the opposite side of the road to pass, so that magnificent piece of new road rules that makes Victoria’s roads more dangerous for cyclists doesn’t come into play1.

Nothing too strenuous, nothing too complicated, but more riding than I’ve done for some time, what with only commuting to work two days a week and having the rest of my time fully occupied with toddler-wrangling. Not that I’m making any new-year resolutions or anything, but I’m certainly planning on spending a little more time on my bike — or bikes — during 2010 than I did during 2009!

Here, according to my nearly-always-present Garmin Edge 705, is a summary of 2009’s not so impressive cycling:

Count 383 Activities
Distance 2,342.48 km
Time 127:46:21 h:m:s
Elevation Gain 20,820 m
Avg Speed 18.3 km/h
Avg HR 145 bpm
Avg Run Cadence
Avg Bike Cadence
Calories2 87,086 C


1 As of it is now illegal for a motorist to cross a single or double line to pass another vehicle. There is still an overriding requirement to “overtake safely”, but given the “overtake the damn cyclist at all cost” attitudes of most of Victoria’s road users I suspect motorists are now more inclined to overtake dangerously, paying more attention to not crossing a painted white-line than they do to not running cyclists off the road!

2 Meaningless, since I think they’re calculated in some way based on the weight of the bike, but I manage to move my GPS between my road bike, mountain bike and the tandem, and either of the latter two could be towing 16kg of trailer and 12kg of toddler!