“I run around town, around round the town, with the pedal to the me… The pedal to whatever.” – Mark Ronson, The Bike Song
It was 10.30am Sunday 27 March, and the GoDo team donned the necessary protective clothing (safety first) and embarked on our first famil for the year – a four-hour cycling tour of Sydney.
This tour started at the base of Sydney’s “Iron Lung” – the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The giant hinge that takes all of bridge’s weight took our attention, and we learned it can move up to 18cm during periods of extreme heat or cold – unnerving as it was, this was a very impressive fact. Other impressive things to note about the bridge included its 16 million rivetts (ony 10% contribute to the structure of the bridge) and that it takes seven years to paint it in its entirity.
Through picturesque Argyle Cut, we made our way towards the Garrison Church at Millers Point (a truly sustainable place of worship built from the stone quarried from the Argyle Cut itself!) and heard tales of the plague that lead to the rebuilding of many buildings in the area, including the replacement of the wooden wharf to its current concrete structure.
A short incline tested those in the team with only a mild sense of athleticism (read: the author of the blog) – but the sight from the bridge was worth it. “On a good day you can see the Blue Mountains,” said our guide Jules – perhaps trying to entice us back for another ride, as the overcast skyline skewed our view of the hills.
The Sydney Observatory was our last stop before lunch. We took the opportunity to dry out with a pork pie and a pint (or a pony for some) at the Lord Nelson Hotel. Its microbrewery put a smile on the dial of many of the GoDo crew (I heartily recommend the Quayle Ale). A serendipitous reunion for one GoDoer with an American friend who’d just dropped down from the Hunter also added to the warmth of the place.
Bellies full and thirsts quenched, we hopped back on the bikes for a meander along Darling Harbour and a quick stop for gelato, and waved goodbye to one of the team (who perhaps was aware that the gastronomic portion of the tour had come to an end?). We carried on without our trusty software developer on a spin past Chinatown and its magical cream puffs (aha! This is why you must always finish what you started!) and completed “carbing up” for remaining 90 minutes of the ride.
The ride continued through picturesque Hyde Park, the Domain & Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Tower, with a roll past the Sydney Hospital in Macquarie St (whose snout we couldn’t help rubbing – it brings good luck).
The weather was sometimes inclement at best, but that didn’t stop this hardcore little team to pedal on to the finish line – a look under the impressive Sydney Opera House. This Australian icon was originally planned to take four years to complete at a budget of $7 millon – but was actually completed a staggering 14 years later at a blowout cost of $100 million!
The tour was a cracker, and we all had a great time irrespective of the damp – and here’s the special part of the whole thing: we each scored an “I Rode Sydney” t-shirt for our efforts.
SYCY100: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
Get on your bike and try a cycling tour for yourself!