Partner in crime

In out and about, ozstraylia, travelling on April 14, 2010 at 2:42 am

This journey is taking me to places that I haven’t been, but always wanted to go to, warm places, iconic places. I’m filling my head with experiences and memories, trying to capture them on the camera (two and a half thousand photo’s and counting), but the experiences are diminished if you don’t get to share them, which is why travellers always seem to spend a lot of time regaling each other with what they’ve seen and what they’ve done. To keep the memory fresh and warm, to make it live again in the retelling.

But there is nothing better than sharing the experience with others, of them being there to see the delight/dismay ripple across tour face, and to remind you with the memory for as long as you know each other. There have been many times when I’ve seen something and wanted to turn and tell someone WTF, but there has been no one there, so I take a note on the iPhone, take a snap with the Ricoh and add it to things to blog about when I get to an Internet connection.

So I was delighted when Erin announced she’d be in oz during my travels and that we’d try to meet up one weekend, which eventually ended up being my last weekend in Sydney, actually my last weekend in ozstraylia.

Erin is the sister of Lori who is the girlfriend/other half/old lady of Joe, a senior member of south beers, one of the regulars and a man who I’m glad to call a friend, I’ve cadged many a rollie from him so we’ve been joined at the hip pretty much since south beers started two years ago. Joes also the architect of THE forum track days down at Herne hill velodrome, last remaining venue from the 1948 olympics which is still in use today.

So I’ve l known Erin for a year and seen the change from cycling ingenue to card carrying n+1 member, where n is the number of bikes you already own.


Erin flies in bike in tow, big hair tied up and after breakfast, needed on my part I’d had a big night the night before and needed the sustenance, bike built up it was off for a quick pootle round town, to show Erin what I’d seen and knew about Sydney. Joey of the brazilian drum band had invited us out to Manley to try kangaroo burger (gamey and tender) and hang by the beach and I hadn’t been on the ferry, so decided to head over, and we rode over and down, via a stop at the opera house, which I’d taken a tour through earlier that week. We passed the afternoon, rolling along the beach front of Manley, down the dedicated bike paths, enjoying the scenery, before riding back the way we’d come and sit on the beach to enjoy the weather, which though slightly overcast was still warm, well hot enough for Brisbane raised Erin. Rolling back through central Sydney we headed over to Robocog, to talk bikes with the boys over there. The geezers faces light up when they spy Erin’s Giro, NJS track porn is lusted after over here, and the bike gets looks wherever it goes, a bit like David’s Bridgestone, not for the first time I wish I had a better, sexier bike.

House and the boys at Robocog invite us out for drinks for the birthday of another guy in their group. It’s over in New Town, and it sounds like fun. So that fills  a hole for the Saturday night. The rain which has been coming down intermittently, since we returned to central Sydney stops long enough for us to make a run for it upto the Cricketers Arms, which I’d been taken to by Tui and Adam, friends of Gus’ from old London town, the night before.

I like the Cricketers arms it’s where the Wednesday Night rides start off from, and it feels like a Melbourne bar, quirky, with a nice music selection, and a décor which makes it feel like no place else that I’ve been to here. We swap stories, catch up and generally just bask in not doing anything, whilst beer is consumed, and then head back to the hostel. We get caught in the intermittent rain, but this time it thunders down just after we head uphill. We manage to duck into another bar and wait it out.  With another drink of course.

Later on that evening, we head over to Newtown, and I take Erin to my new favourite hang out in Sydney, Eating World. Where we have don kashiage, gorgeous, and hook up with William, a guy from Taiwan who makes little custom bits and bobs which remind me of Sam’s little furry animals. I’ve seen him at Robocog and he’ was out on the Sunday afternoon ride, that I was on last weekend. He’s going to the same party and takes us on a shorter route than I had planned. But as we ride, it starts to rain, lightly at first, then heavier and heavier, and heavier. I’m not dressed for rain, and neither is Erin and as the rain continues to fall, I’m convinced it won’t stop until its soaked me completely. So I head for an awning, as William keeps on riding through the rain.

The rain slows and after twenty or so minutes stops, enough time to change tops, and wipe the water off my face, and bitch and moan about the weather we’ve been having. I didn’t come to Australia to spend time in the rain.

Finally we head to Newtown, and see William on the way and after much toing and froing, and asking of directions we find the party.

Later we ride back to kings cross. The place is heaving, the streets clogged with people and cars, hands on horns, bodies in the roads, shouting, voices, raised, just mayhem. Imagine all of Soho lumped into one street, one long street, and everyone is trying to get into the same places, and the mixture of sleaze and sex shops, tourists and party goers, drunkards and exhibitionists is an overwhelming one. The  bars are big, and the overflow just gets in the way and I want to take Erin to the place I’ve found round the corner. Tonic. As I want to see what its like on a Saturday night.

It is better than I expected and we dance and drink into the small wee hours. Bikes locked up outside.


We wake late, but it doesn’t matter, today is a lazy day, lots of hanging out, plus the Sunday afternoon ride. We’ve made some friends yesterday and one of them Sophie has told us about the café she works at which we’re going to roll past before stopping in at Robocog, and then over to Polo, and then taking in the Sunday Arvo ride, wherever that decides to take us.

We ride down to the café, but I’ve got the name wrong in my head and as I find out later and am told by Erin, the address as well. Finally we find it. And sit down for coffee and breakfast, well more like lunch. As we sit and chat, Brad, Faz and a couple of other bods who went out on a long run early that morning to a national park, eventually end up at the café as well. Sweating and red faced after their exertions, the lunch turns lazy and extended and before you know it, we’re way behind schedule for our encounter with the polo bods. But its an enjoyable way to spend several hours, so its not something that I’m wanting to cut short.

After a quick drop in on House and the Robocog boys, we spin down to Polo which is out at a court in Redfearn. Find them, which is pretty easy, then it’s a run for beer, which proves to be surprisingly difficult, despite the directions I’ve been given, and a leisurely afternoon of watching polo for me, whilst drinking good cider, and playing polo for Erin.

The sun beats down, and I want to laze around in it forever, no desire to leave the warm embrace of the grass. I’ve got the floor and everything’s just peachy. I’m roused from my lethargy and say goodbye to the polo bods I’ve met as I won’t see them again before I leave, then we roll over to Martin Place for the start of the Sunday Arvo ride. The ride which was long the last time round is short this time, over the iconic harbour bridge to a trick spot on the other side, some lounging around before we’re heading back the way we came and over to Eating World, where the food is oh so good once again, and then its over to Mr B’s for an evening full of drinking, and chatting, and laughing.


We wake late, I make breakfast. We roll round to see Sophie, at her café, and as we head down towards Oxford St, we come across Kat a woman we met on Sunday whose managing a bike shop Sable and Argent which is just round the corner from the hostel and knows some of the bods I hung out with in Melbourne.

We drink coffee and chat with Kat and Sophie, before we drop by the skate store 99 degrees that Faz works at, House is there as well. And we shoot the breeze and say our goodbyes, I buy some stickers, and then we head off to the shop, Supply, where t-shirts are bought, for ourselves and friends.

It’s a quiet day, a soft, blurred at the edges day. We ride, we talk, we take things easy. Erin’s flight is in the early evening, and there’s no point in trying to stuff too much into the day.

We head down to Sable and Argent and marvel at the bikes on display, Kat is super excited because they has been a delivery of the latest issue of Cog magazine, and as we look around the pristineness of the shop floor, and the Rapha on display, some Volume Cutters are delivered as well. Which makes Kat very happy.

We say our goodbyes, grab some stickers and mooch back to the hostel. Erin is fiending for sushi, and I grab a burrito from next door and we break down the bike into its constituent components and bag it up.

And just like that the weekend’s over, and I’m getting a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

But the memory remains, and this one is not just held in my mind, but shared with Erin and that makes it all the sweeter.

  1. What a lovely account of a brilliant weekend. Summed it up perfectly. I still rave to anyone who asks about my weekend in Sydney with you. Excellent travelling companion that you are. xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: