Great Marketing from a Port Melbourne Bike Store

Wandering around in Port Melbourne yesterday, I noticed a bike store on Bay St providing a simple yet brilliantly conceived service to every cyclist in the area. Chained to their sandwich board at the front of the store was a high-pressure floor pump for all to use.

You see, nearly every bike store in the world will happily pump up your tires if you just take your bike in and ask. But here in South Melbourne they are reducing the work they have to do while making it easier for you to perform the already free service, all the while they are building up goodwill with every random cyclist who rides past. Brilliant.

Recurring Dreams

When I was a kid, I often had this nightmare, wherein I was being chased by another fat kid. When I say fat I don’t mean fat like a normal overweight person, but fat like collagen injected lips, but all over. Now this kid kept chasing me as he slowly got bigger and bigger, I kept running away, running over bridges (and I suppose under dales though I don’t recall that). I think I always woke up before anything happened, probably in a cold sweat.

Like all nightmare’s it wasn’t particularly a pleasant experience, yet, when I think fondly back on it now, I wonder where recurring dreams have gone in my life. I often have recurring themes in my dreams, but since that nightmare left me, I can’t remember having a real recurring dream.

What got me thinking about this business of Recurring Dreams was my ride to work on Friday. Each day as I ride off the Indooroopilly foot bridge, my thoughts start to move to the ride.I start finding a rythm, down the hill sweeping right, sigh in sadness at the deserted Chelmer Bowls club now make sure I don’t hit the potholes, but I noticed a few months ago that there is a man across the road from the bowls club that is often tending to his lawn. This really shouldn’t seem strange, but over time I have realised that it is only on Friday mornings that he is there. No other day of the week.

I have started building a character for this man in my head, I think he might have been the groundskeeper for the bowls club, may be he only works a 4 day week now. He’s old, maybe his wife has a carer on Fridays.

This Friday morning as I rode past, I saw him again trimming the edges of the gutter, and I thought to myself what if he wasn’t there. Would my brain tell me that he actually was there? That’s rediculous I told myself, but then I thought. What if he isn’t there, maybe I’m just reliving a dream from last night, that I have every Thursday night.

Maybe he is just a Recurring Dream.

The Cost of Riding to Work

Early in the year I sold my car (1987 Nissan Exa) and bought a flat-bar road bike. A Giant CRX-4 to be precise. So far I have been extremely happy with it, the 12km commute to work every day takes me about half an hour and I think driving would only be about 10 minutes quicker.

Today I was thinking about what the cost saving of riding everywhere is. I price the petrol of driving a car at approximately $1 per 10km (this is actually getting further and further from the truth as petrol gets more and more expensive), registration is around $700 a year and insurance is about that again. I think I can just about justify to myself the money I have spent on my bike. That is without factoring in how much fitter I am.

Female Observation Skills (or lack thereof)

When I am riding I often ride past speed cameras. If this happens, I make sure that I try and warn any oncoming traffic to slow down and not get a ticket. I do this by waving my hand up and down, and if I think the driver hasn’t quite understood what I am doing, I imitate taking a photo with an imaginary camera.

Nearly every man sees me and then gives me a thumbs up or a wave as if to say cheers, but very rarely do I catch the eye of a woman and when I do, they give me a weird look like I have something on my face. This may seem pretty contrived but since I have been riding my bike regularly each time it happens I have the same results.

Now I know that girls can do a “girl look” and find something lost about 10 times quicker than a guy but when it comes to spotting the weirdo riding along the side of the road making strange hand gestures, they just don’t cut it.

Sweat

It doesn’t happen normally, whether it’s the air pushing back the tide, or just keeping you cool. It always happens when you stop, the sun beating down and your body temperature rises. Then you feel it, it starts as a stinging in the corner of your eyes, but by the time the light turns green you can hardly see. You push off and halfway across the intersection you are thinking about how to wipe your eyes but you know your arms are covered in sweat too.