Sun, 06 Jan 2008
2008 Amy's ride // at 18:00
Slightly different to last year's ride — instead of a stinking hot, dry, dusty northerly blowing, this year we copped a rather bracing cool southerly. Made the last 20km North from Breamlea to Geelong a "breeze", but certainly was a demoralising slog for most of the second half of the ride along the southern side of the Bellarine peninsula.
For a ride that seeks to promote cycle safety and good relations between motorists and cyclists, and indeed between all people on the roads, two incidents stick in my mind from the day. Neither from the ride itself:
The first was during the drive in to Geelong in the morning; close to eight a.m., increasing traffic, nearly every car seemed to contain one or two bikes and riders. As the traffic slowed from an 80 to 70km/hr section and slowed further for some traffic lights I saw an idiot approach from the rear. Swerving through the three lanes of traffic he was obviously very important and on a very urgent mission. As he passed I saw that not only was the idiot on the phone, steering with one hand and zig-zagging through traffic, but that the bike was on the rear seat and he was on his way to the start of the ride.... Approaching the lights he must have received last minute phone instructions as he served from the right-most lane, across three lanes of traffic, over the start of the traffic island and made it, tyres screeching, around the left turn and towards Corio bay.
The second was on the ride back around the bay from the finish to where I'd parked the car. A massive blast on the horn as an old Ford passed, four yobs hanging out the window, waving arms and fists like mad and screaming abuse.
Unfortunately I can't see the Amy Gillett foundation changing anything much around here in a hurry.
[2008-01-07] Update: Cadel Evans, runner-up in last year's Tour de France, who guest commentated at Amy's ride:
“THERE is nowhere on Earth that Cadel Evans feel less safe on his bike than here at home.”