Sydney - Past Couple of Days

I left the Western Suburb of Balmain yesterday morning to explore a different half of the city. A Star Course / school friend of mine, Adam, has been studying in Sydney and lives in a house with 30 other students in Coogee, on the East end of Sydney's suburbs right on the beach (next to the famous Bondi Beach). We explored some city markets and Vivid Fest, a city-wide art installation focused on LIGHTS! Everything was exactly on par with my educational interests and my senior design project, so I was pretty into it most of the time. I'd also ridden in the night before to check it out, so there's a mixture of photos of the same things. There were a bunch of standalone LED-driven things, as well as giant 3D projections on several buildings (even the Opera House). Anyway, here are some pictures and videos.

These spheres were my favorite and completely amazing. I think we watched them for an hour.

I spent the morning looking at maps and FINALLY finding a place that stocks my camp fuel (white gas, or "shellite" here) about 3 miles across town. The last few days have been mostly acclimation to the terrain, climate, general city riding, and, oh, riding on the opposite side of the road. I think I've almost gotten used to it by now, but I was mentally unable to make right turns for the first couple of days. It's a LOT more difficult than anywhere else I've ridden before. For instance, this morning, about 75% of the trip to Bondi Junction to get my shellite was uphill. Up STEEP hills, too. On the way back, finally downhill, the wind whipped so hard coming off of the bay that I had a hard time even getting above 20mph going downhill in some places. Cars lined the left side the entire time, too, so I've been working on finding the best medium between not getting knocked off the road by traffic and not getting doored by unsuspecting drivers leaving their parked vehicles.

What's wrong with this picture?

This place is so awesome and the coast is so beautiful, I don't really want to leave. These folks are really fun and friendly, too. Hey, maybe I won't leave - it's my trip, after all! I could use a day of beachgoing, guitar playing, and hanging out. Provided that I do leave, I'm going to take it easy, only do a few miles (~30?), and find a campsite early so I can make sure I know how to set up all of my gear before it gets dark, then fire up my little stove (thanks to the Healy fam for the useful gift) with some sausages (called "snags" here).

Oh, and here's what my bike looks like all loaded up!

That must be difficult to ride, you say! That must be really heavy, you say! The bike alone with added racks and fenders weighs about 35 lbs. The panniers weigh between 40 and 50 lbs altogether. The hardest part is getting momentum going when starting. Once I'm rolling, steering isn't that much different. This is partially because I decided to leave out a handlebar bag - the lower your weight is, the better. Alas, it is no longer fun to carry it up flights of stairs.


1 comment:

  1. Those lights are awesome! Please build that in Bloomington, IN when you have time. :)
    Good luck powering up those hills - I saw some really intense bikers in the Canadian Rockies (actually, all Canadians seem extremely fit & impervious to cold).