Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cremorne to Bondi Junction

As reporters covering the ultimate cycling job, we won't just be expected to take some decent photos of the tour - although we think we've got that covered. We won't just have to find interesting and unusual ways to light up the internet with eye-catching information about our rides either - although we think we've got that covered too.

We want to be able to paint the word-pictures which will leave you informed and entertained - and maybe a little bit jealous - as we wind our way through the beautiful regions of France.

Since we aren't in France, however, we've decided to make do with what we have here and tell you about Mark's commute to and from work.

By way of background, Mark lives in the beautiful, leafy suburb of Cremorne. Newly married, Mark lives with his lovely wife Anna, and travels by scooter (Vespa, no less ... très européenne!), from his home in Cremorne to his work in an office in Bondi Junction.

Mark and his beautiful wife on their wedding day. Mark has promised not to wear his kilt while riding in France.
The last few weeks in Sydney have been unseasonably mild, allowing the local rural fire brigades to conduct hazard reduction burns - a fine sheen of smoke haze has settled over much of Sydney most mornings, leading to some stunning colours as the sun rises, and making the evenings quite spectacular as well.

Mark's ride to work takes him across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge is no less impressive up close than it appears in all the tourist brochures, with the intricacy of the metal work similar to that on the Eiffel Tower, although on very much more of a monumental scale (sorry Paris).

For all of you trivia buffs out there, you might like to know that those four pylons at the ends of the main arch of the bridge...they're there for purely aesthetic purposes. They don't actually help hold the bridge up at all. They were added to the original design to hide the fact that the entire bridge rests on just 4 load bearing pins, each of which is just over 4 metres long and just over 36 centimeters (yes, centimeters) wide. But it's ok - each of the pins has a maximum load bearing thrust of around 20,000 tonnes.

Sydney Harbour in the evening
Once over the bridge, the daily slog through traffic starts. Although Mark believes in the adage that you aren't stuck in traffic, you are the traffic, his trusty Vespa allows him to zip around the edges (using legal methods only, of course) of those stuck in their steel cages. Thankfully, he works away from the central business district of Sydney, and the traffic soon eases. Riding past the large Centennial Park that dominates Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and heading for the beach-side suburb of Bondi isn't really that bad a way to start the working day. It's a leisurely 30 minute trip to work, mostly against the traffic flow, and to his desk where one of his first tasks is to check what's been happening in the world of cycling.

As nice as Mark's daily commute is, he'd be willing to trade it all in a flash for a trip around France reporting for CyclingTips. We hope we'll get the chance to make that dream a reality.

Keep pedalling.


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