Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bike Expedition To Gladesville Skatepark

I work rostered shifts covering various news programmes at the ABC. This week I'm on Lateline (if you live in Britain, you can understand this as Australia's Newsnight). The shift starts at 2pm and ends at 10.36pm. There are of course bad things about this, but one good thing is the big chunk of daytime to play in before work. Sometimes I indulge in lengthy peregrinations on my bicycle, like yesterday, when I rode out to the Gladesville/Henley area of northwest Sydney to visit a skateboard park there. 

The journey was around 13kms, which I extended a kilometer by taking a wrong turn, as you can see on this map:

I strapped my board to my bike and was soon on the peaceful canalside paths of Haberfield, but it wasn't long to busy Lyons Road and the grim multi-lane Victoria Road, where a ute-load of passing bogans leaned from their windows to deliver a doppler-distorted roar of abuse. I crossed the Parramatta River by the Gladesville Bridge, where I tried to follow a presumed bike/foot path on the left-hand side as I rode northwards, but had to stop and lift my bike over the barrier onto the treacherous 4-lane road when the path became too narrow to continue. What the hell, Sydney. A lovely blast of salty harbour air punched through the vehicle fumes as I reached the apex of the bridge, and it was not far from there to the skatepark. 

The small park has a 'V' formation that makes good use of the limited space, you can see that on the plans:

There's a couple of interesting obstacles: a jersey barrier:

 ...and a weird origami-style folded metal flatbank:

Then there's the usual - a transitioned quarterpipe, rails, some manny pads and ledges.

It was the first time I'd skated a jersey barrier, and I managed a few wallridey kickturns on it. The metal flatbank was clangy fun. Here I am doing a pop shove-it body varial (sex change?) on it. Yes, I'm wearing a cycling jersey and jeans. You saw it here first.

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