Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A New Venture for 2017!

Hi there I am still alive, alive and searching, searching for a way to fulfill one of my childhood dreams to follow the flow of the river Danube from the Black Forrest to the Black Sea. The distance is over 2800 km. Too long a trip to undertake for a novice, but I could manage Black Forrest to Budapest 1300 km. and if all goes well I might continue in 2019 and spend my 80th birth day on the shore of the Black Sea.

My trekking with a backpack in 2015 taught me that anything more than 25 km a day is a real struggle for me. So, I decided to re-learn the art of riding a bike after neglecting this mode of transport for 60 years. Riding 50km a day I could do it in just over 30 days including some days for rest and time to visit some of the wonderful old towns along the river.

Before getting too involved with planing the itinerary I had to find out if I could actually ride a bike for that distance.

During my walks, I often passed by a sporting goods store in Victoria Gardens shopping center where I saw advertised a bike for $199.00, 7 gears, 2 wheels etc. ideal to test out my fitness.
My bike... soon to get a back rack and panniers to make the ride more realistic.
 The Capital City Trail is  just a few hundred meters from the store so I decided to ride home on the new bike. I had to walk the bike up to the top of the hill  a number of times, but eventually I made it home.

Did I just waste $270? [ bike +pump, helmet] or do I have a big job ahead?

Fortunately  I still had my old exercise bike at home that I bought after my heart surgery [but gave up on it for  walking], so I got on it to build up my strength for outdoor riding.
Dights Falls after the rain.
Some weeks later I went back on the road and my performance gradually improved so much so I realized [with some advice from my son] that my brakes were useless and could not stop the bike when going down hill. I took the bike back to the shop. After trying to fix it for over a week they had to admit defeat and exchange it for no extra cost to a $300 bike with 21 gears and still 2 wheels.

A nice drop for my birthday.
 It has-been some month since I got my new bike and I ride 30-50 km on most days, I need to get to 60km. a day with a pair of rear panniers to carry my belongings in, and I have 6 months to do it. I think I will make it, so its time to start planning and continue my routine 5-6 times a week, it is hard work but anything worthwhile is.

Just a thought - is the pleasure achieving a goal commensurate with the effort put into it, or would it be just as satisfying if achieved with no effort?
Heavenly Queen Buddhist Temple along Maribyrnong River Trail.