Had one of those fun event filled rides home today, a little bit of everything.

Thursday is detour day, no trailer, no toddler, and my choice of route home. Decided to go off along the bike path and check out @BattleMoose’s favourite bit of bike lane along the way. Minor hazard #1.

Under the dual-use freeway/carpark (Monash freeway during peak hour, err, hours) and left onto Scotchman creek bike path, through the bush and back through the pitch black tunnel under the freeway, then up and over the bumpy sandy hill along one of Monash City Council’s less well maintained paths. Oops, front wheel hit one of the tree root ruts and flicked out hard to the right. Caused me to swerve out a lot and put me smack in the path of the guy coming the other way around the curve. Sorry mate, I guess you think I’m an idiot for being where I was. We made it past each other without words or body fluids being exchanged.

Around past Huntingdale wetlands, avoid the loose dogs and bewildered lead-swinging owners wandering aimlessly, on towards Huntingdale road. DUCK! I forgot that I was a bit more upright on this bike. I forgot that Monash council appears to do stuff-all to keep paths clear of vegetation, although they do have rules about it that us rate-payers are supposed to obey. Feeling the branches scrape over the helmet I stopped, took ‘em photo and reported it 1(again). Maybe this time the council will do something about it before someone breaks their neck running into it in the dark.

On past the golf course, more badly damaged path surfaces and Oakleigh’s resurrected pool, then through the middle of a film crew! No idea what was going on but there were crew trucks and a couple of coaches, cables, bollards and signs all over the place on Atkinson street.

Now up the hill to visit the LBS that I usually avoid, but where I bought my Limar 525 in mid-November, not quite 4 months ago. That’d be the Limar that is falling apart because the cheap little plastic clips that hold the strap together are falling out and the helmet is held together by cable-ties. “Never seen that,” says new shop manager and offers to send it off to be replaced – providing I can find my receipt. I told him that my last Limar helmet, a completely different model, has also due to the straps falling out. He was, or at least he acted, surprised.

I’m not sure if I’ll bother to get it replaced, all I’d get is another helmet with presumably the exact same crap plastic clips holding it together, and unless I’m given a loan helmet in the interim, I’d have nothing to put on my head to keep the policeman off my back2.

Around and through Oakleigh to Hughesdale, down Paddington road and across the railway line and a sudden wild swerve to avoid … helmetless idiot coming head-on at me on unregistered motorbike. After a quick sneer at my expression of disgust he’s swerved up the footpath and turned off down the bike path towards Hughesdale station on his shiny black Honda CT110 (newly repainted ex-postie bike by the look of it). Around the corner I pulled over to the side of the road, dialled 000 and went through the hoops of reporting it to the police, then finally got to ride the last few blocks home.

Bike commuting, wouldn’t miss it for the world. :D

Footnotes

1 So far I’m moderately impressed by NeatStreets; Monash council seems to take reports that come via the NeatStreets website a little more seriously than they do emailed or phoned reports direct from the public. No idea when — or if — they’ll do anything about it.

2 Just on 24 hours later as I was leaving work I realised that the other clip had broken or vanished, running late already I had to turn around and race back to the office to grab another cable tie and fix the other side of the helmet.