The last time I drove into North Quay I parked on a dusty vacant block next to the accountant's building and was charged $32 for the dubious privilege. So last time I rode in and parked my bike in his foyer. From memory it was February (yes, I have a habit of late filing), hot and I was rather sweaty from the ride. This year I came up with a brilliant idea at the 11th hour. A quick shout out for information on http://www.mtbdirt.com.au/ about the Brisbane Cycle to City service and I had a solid plan to avoid re enacting the smelly meeting with my accountant!
Jim, one of the local hard men, had seen my post about riding into the city and as a regular commuter he offered that I tag along with him. So...it wasn't going to be a gentle roll along for me!
We met at the appointed hour, right on official sunrise and began my first commute. Now there are a few rolling hills here in Cornubia that really get your motor up to temperature very quickly. In no time at all I was reduced to gasping out snippets of conversation while Jim chatted away freely! We rolled on along bits of Logan Rd as well as the South East Bikeway before arriving at Southbank. We hopped the bridge to the edge of the Botanical Gardens where I thanked him for dragging me along. It had actually been a hoot for me even though I slowed Jim waaayyy up. So, thanks for the ride Jimmy.
Now to find the Cycle to City station. I found my way to King George Square easily enough but strangely the "King George Square Cycle to City Station" isn't in King George Square! It is along the road a bit toward Roma St station. Go figure!
Making my way underground I quickly found the entrance with a smiling young girl behind the counter to welcome me in. I explained my need and she quickly sorted me out. Apparently the gas had been cut to the city overnight so the showers were cold! I was wondering if my accountant had anything to do with this?! Karma!
Anyway, the facility is absolutely top notch in my humble opinion. I was very impressed with the super friendly greeting, the layout of the bike storage and also the locker room and showers. All very clean and modern. Even the iron was pre warmed so I was looking spiffy in no time at all. If I was a city based worker I would join up without hesitation.
A quick bite and a coffee then I was on my way to do business. The financial stuff out of the way and I was back to C2C for the reverse process, except I would have empty streets for the ride home, being ten in the a.m.
Being a glorious, cool, clear morning I took the return ride a little more gently. Just me and the path for most of it.
I did venture into a couple of bike shops during the ride home, just to see what was new. I could barely move in 99Bikes Underwood for all of the stock they had on the floor. There must be some demand for new mountain bikes despite the all of the rain this year.
Back home at about eleven thirty with 68km and 850 metres climbing, according to the gps, I reflected on what it might be like to commute to work. Despite having done the ride several times from Eight Mile Plains, it adds another dimension to ride from my front door to the City and back. Combined with finding my way around a largely unfamiliar city and experiencing the Cycle to City service, I really enjoyed the "doing something new" feeling. I had a huge amount of fun today. It would no doubt wear a little thin having to do it five days a week, but the upside is that you are getting about 350km a week for free. No telling the kids to blend their own smoothy to make time for a ride. :-)
Now, how do I come up with another excuse to use Cycle to City? I have a feeling my tax return might be done before the end of July this year......