341 to 474: Lachy Larmour Reviews a Morning Bike Ride

Posted on October 12, 2011

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From the outset, I won’t lie: since finishing uni, getting up at a normal time has been quite the challenge. So much so that each morning I ponder the possibility of quitting my job, just so I can have the extra hour’s sleep-in. I open my eyes, turn off the alarm on my iPhone and think to myself, “it’ll be fine, just open your eyes and put your feet on the ground.” Dramatic, yep. Traumatic, oh, shit yeah.

Nevertheless, the start of another working day has begun. Hello world, I’m awake. Look out.

I’m loving my little house in Brunswick, whose number is 341 (I won’t mention street names here as the net is full of freaks out to get my address). The sun shines through the kitchen window as I warm my muesli and pour my coffee. I reassure myself that the world’s looking semi-decent today – I’ll ride the bike to work at 474 St. Kilda Rd.

After munching of muesli with Kochie and Mel letting me know that the world outside is bright and shiny, I drag myself to the shower, where I think about what I’ll wear that day and what I’ll do for lunch: whatever doesn’t need ironing and whatever’s in the fridge…and not rotten.

The bag’s packed, I’m in my sweats and I set off out the front door on my bike. I head down the street,  dodging the already numerous frozen-food trucks that live on our street and seem to begin moving as soon as I decide it’s time to head off. It annoys me how they obstruct my course. Do they not know my day is but young, my patience is still growing?

A cheeky right turn takes me past a recent crime scene where I remind myself daily how lucky I truly am to be living in such an edgy, vibrant and left-of-centre area of marvelous Melbourne. Society-Murders are so last week, Toorak. Mugging and the slicing of throats is where it’s at.

Lachy's 'edgy' and 'vibrant' Brunswick (Sydney Road).

As we approach Royal Parade, another right turn takes me through the intersection where I grapple with peak-hour commuters hating on cyclists. The beauty of Princes Park gets me as I cycle down its bike lane, dodging joggers along the way- and of course passing the trio of Nonnas who I see daily on their walk around the park, one with a Harrod’s shopping bag. I wonder daily what they’re talking about. Husbands who work too hard at the nearby fruit and veg shop? Sons whose cars are too powerful? What’s for dinner?

Curving to the left, I come close the the university colleges where I try to imagine the fun the undressed people are having in there now. Little less than a year ago, I was a resident. I cross the road near Queen’s and continue past Newman where I see the Malaysian kitchen-hand arriving in the College’s side entrance. I remember her from dinner there once. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me.

The view down College Crescent/Royal Parade.

I cross again at the University of Melbourne tram stop and continue down Swanston Street in the bike lane, separate to the rest of the road. Watching out for international students with headphones in is highly important here. Crashing into one of them will mean a few things: 1. Someone may get injured 2. I could be late for work, and 3. The gadgets connected to their headphones probably don’t even exist in Australia yet, so potentially are very expensive.

We arrive in the CBD where roadworks force me to footpath-it and weave around RMIT students who are probably dealing with the same morning struggle as I. Come to think of it now though, things have gotten better. The sun is shining, I’m going kind of fast. And most importantly, I’m beating the trams as they rattle their way along the same long course. Win.

Melbourne CBD, from the Southbank side of the Yarra River.

Crossing the Princess Bridge near Federation Square, I look each morning to my left and see the sun just above the MCG, just as the school rowers are bringing in their boats. It’s really the best part of the ride, improved only by the smell of the changing of seasons from the trees along the Arts precinct. Yum. Usually around this area I spot a random person from work who too is on a bike. It’s awkward. Should I say “Hi”, even though they work in a different department? Should the conversation continue as we wind our way along St Kilda Road towards work? Potentially dangerous, but potentially a good career move? Hard to weigh up. I opt to ride alone.

The Melbourne Grammar kids crossing the road force me to slow down as I’m powering towards the finish line. I begin to think about work. Annoying, considering I’ve come this far without thoughts of material deadlines, branding, logos, pack shots or scripts popping up in my mind. All good things must come to an end.

St Kilda Road.

As I power along St Kilda Road I have work in sight. I’m almost there. The brakes come on, I slow down, cross the road and go into the underground car park to get the lift upstairs. I’m alone with my bike in the lift. I fix my post-helmet hair to give it that ‘just off a bike, yet ready for a big day’ look. Babin’. I’m there, I win.

I give the bike ride from home to work 7.5/10.

Lachy loves a good morning bike ride. How do you get to work? Is your morning journey as enjoyable as Mr Larmour’s? Comments!

Lachy Larmour is (apparently) You’re Dripping Egg’s Director of External Communications. For another review of a different mode of transportation, check out A Review of My Driving Lesson.

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Posted in: Opinion, Other