Date: Sunday 12 March 2006
Time: 2pm to start body painting
Location: Smith Reserve, George Street and Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy
Ride report by G Brunya
You can also read this ride report on the Yahoo! group.
What a great day!
The weather was toasty and the overwhelming number of observers and bystanders were encouraging of the ride as it passed some of the Inner North's busiest streets.
About 15 people gathered at Smith Reserve between 2pm and 3pm and began the dressing down and body painting session. Bystanders and swimmers in the pool next to the park were bemused by the group as they began to realise what was happening. One very impressive rider was as yellow as he was the day before on the Aolian ride, but this time for a very different reason! The police drove by and spoke to one of our clothed helpers, but no instructions were given, and so the ride began.
A bicycle mounted sound system added to the party atmosphere as the riders moved south up Napier Street and the over to Smith Street. Several bystanders asked "what's it for?" to which we replied "for fun!" or "to protest the obscenity of oil dependence!"
A quick stop in a lane off Gertrude Street allowed a few members to further 'debrief' as confidence increased. We then continued on our way North down Brunswick Street. Another group of police were grappling gently with a gentleman in the Atherton Gardens Estate. They waved. Yet another police car passed us going the other way up Brunswick Street. They waved too.
After a cut west across Nicholson Street, the ride made good use of the Canning Street bicycle super highway for a short way and then it was up the short hill to Lygon Street. We regrouped as we began the Lygon stretch and moved the sound system on to "The Baby Elephant Walk". The café strip greeted us with quite a few perplexed looks and double takes as we cruised down the slope towards Queensbury Street. Yet again however, the majority of people were happy to see us. Next we rode east (in the GL; Games Lane) towards the Carlton Gardens. A few laps of the Exhibition Fountain entertained some people in the park, including a wedding party.
The final stretch took us east back along Gertrude and a second lap of Brunswick Street, where once again we were greeted by cheers, smiles and waves. Plenty of bystanders whipped out camera phones and we expect to see these pictures on this Yahoo Group soon!
A quieter pedal into the wind was taking us up past the Lord Newey Hotel, when we heard the friendly 'woop' of a police car. Pulling over, we were asked to clothe our bods as `there had been a complaint!' Hard to believe, considering that the overwhelming majority of bystanders were happy and entertained to see us – still there's always one! And it only takes one to spoil the fun.
Considering that we were nearing the end of the planned route, and since they asked nicely, we did as we were asked and the police officers thanked us and drove away with a smile and a wave. Finally refreshments were acquired at Piedemontes in North Fitzroy and we retired to a quiet spot on the banks of the Merri to discuss our victory.
Thanks to all who participated, and all who encouraged us. Special thanks to Alex and Deb for making it happen!
– G Brunya <email@example.com>
- Edwards, Paul On yer bike Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 2006. This travel article about cycling holidays rates WNBR among the top 10 great bike rides in the world.
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