Cycling in Brisbane, Photo by Zhimai Zhang on Unsplash
And if… I’m back on the pedals, a few weeks to redo Uber Eat in Brisbane!
Did I miss it? Not really! But it’s the most flexible and easy job to do when you’re just passing through a city, so… Here we go again for hours on my bike!
On an electric bike !
So if Perth was going up and down, Brisbane is just a roller coaster ! If you want to rent a bike, you might as well rent an electric one !
But what a happiness ! Definitely, it made me earn more money, because I was riding much faster, but it also allowed me not to get tired too quickly, to do more hours, to do less pestering, to see things on the right side.
It’s simple, with the electric assistance, when you start the bike you fly, one touch on the pedal and the bike goes on its own.
I had 6 levels of pedaling assistance, level 1 helps mostly at the start, or when you really don’t go any further, and the higher the level of assistance, the more power you get.
Well sometimes, level 6 at the start gave me a few scares. Push the pedal and turn at the same time, and I’m close to running into the neighbor’s fence.
Or at standstill, I just want to readjust the pedal, while I’m not even on it, and the bike goes away by itself without me !
Brisbane the city of a thousand hills !
Here, it’s no joke. The slopes are sometimes so steep that it’s almost impossible to climb them! Yes, yes, even with the electric assistance ! Speed 6, legs on fire, and I see the speedometer starting to approach zero. A few more meters and I was going backwards! I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the slopes were around a 70 degree angle.
And the descents… Oh my God, the freak that I am has thought several times that I would die! And again, at that time I had brakes. But when I see my computer reaching 55 kilometers per hour, and I know my precarious balance on a bike, yes, I start to think that my life was too short !
The hazards of cycling in summer or in Brisbane…
The problem of the summer compared to my hours of cycling in Perth is the … sun !!!! So yes, I sweat, yes I get a nice tan like a pair of shorts, and then of course some sunburn.
But there are other problems related to the sun… My phone is overheating. Impossible to leave it more than twenty minutes on its support, otherwise it’s overheating, and in this case, network shutdown, we’re screwed.
The solution is to stuff my phone in my bra. Here again, it’s not without risk… Look at the map, memorize the path… And make a mistake, otherwise it’s not funny.
The second problem is the… Spiders ! And yes, it is summer and the spiders are out. Except that at night… Well, you can’t see the webs or the spiders. I took two or three webs, and I can tell you that I frantically searched for the damn spider! Ok, they are not dangerous, but if I could avoid carrying it on my back !
It’s also the period of the bats ! They kept me company at night, when I pedaled in the dark streets, their vampire silhouettes were drawn in the sky.
So, yes they kept me company, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they were my friends, since one of them let loose on me ! And a bat poo, one!
The hazards of Uber
As in Perth, the biggest hazard is waiting! This time, I took my pain in patience, my reader, or my book, and hop, on a bench, in the shade, I waited patiently. But with the electric bike, I went further, and as a result, if the races were longer, I waited less!
Well, my main problem with the bike… is me ! I admit it, I’m sometimes a public danger, and as here the drivers are not very attentive either, I got a few honks of the horn, a few admonitions from the pedestrians and they got a lot of bird names in French and an invitation to go have sex with themselves.
Well the streets of Brisbane are as dimly lit as those of Perth… At night, it’s… fun !
A little problem of urbanization…
So Brisbane has more bike paths than Perth, clearly, and that’s quite nice.
The only worry is that the designers of the cycle paths may have been a bit drunk when they designed them?
Imagine, you are there on the bike path, then the bike path stops, you have to cross the street to take a bike path in both directions. Fifty meters later, you have to cross again. And then, 100 meters later, here we go again.
And here, it’s like Perth, crossing is hell, you wait 5 minutes for the pedestrian light to turn green.
The helmet gag…
If you imagine me with my hair in the wind rushing down the slopes, you’ll be stuck in your eye, in Australia, helmet mandatory! And beware, the fine is salty otherwise.
The helmet was included in the rental of my bike… But it was impossible to adjust it properly. I could tighten it around my head, but I was choking with the strap…. A gust of wind, a downhill ride, and the helmet was vertical behind my skull, and I was suffocating, strangled by the strap….
The curse of the brakes…
I’m cursed… I don’t know what I did in another life, but bikes hate me.
Okay in Perth, my brakes didn’t work anymore at the end, but it was an old bike and the brakes were worn out.
But my rental bike was almost new! The brakes were never very efficient, but it wasn’t that bad. And then one day, TAC, the rear brake broke down, the cable was cut.
Give me a screwdriver, pliers, and I fix it…
It lasts a few days. And one noon, I pedal, TAC, again, the cable breaks a second time. Well too bad, I continue, I would use my front brake, it’s not the first time, it won’t be the last.
For half an hour, it goes well… Until the moment when in the middle of a descent, I brake and TAC, the front brake breaks too. I’m at full speed in a descent, a stop is at the bottom of the descent, and I have no more brake. My feet try to slow down my run, but I can’t.
I scream, I pass the STOP at full speed. OUF… I’m alive… I was lucky this time!
Brakes repaired by my buddy Romie, but I decide to give up the bike for a while. I return my bike the next day. Too bad for the last races, I’ll find a job in Noosa.
I start again my request
The first time I published about Uber, I talked about those unbearable house numbers that are just invisible. A country like Australia, which regulates everything and anything, should standardize house numbers.
20 cm, black on white, to be visible at night. No convoluted police. No Roman numerals either. No, even less numbers written in full letters!
So during the day, yes, I have a hard time finding these cursed numbers, sometimes hidden by a bushy bush, sometimes because the 17 is after the 13… The 15 has disappeared. But at night, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!
Oh, she doesn’t stop complaining! Look at these small examples, we’ll talk about it later…
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