… which isn’t so bad if work requires me to fly to the other side of the world where it is the height of summer.  Not great if the location is in the middle of winter.    Very confusing if one’s travel is via both in the space of a week.

I have just got back from a recent business trip that took me from the UK to Washington DC (landing right in the middle of the protests surrounding President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from certain muslim countries), and on to San Francisco before doubling back to the UK and then across the equator to Sydney, Australia.

Work commitments, weather and the exorbitant costs of flying with my bike with United Airlines meant that I didn’t take my bike on the first leg of the journey to North America.   So during this time my training was confined to the pool to continue building winter fitness.  I am not a technically proficient swimming and am very inefficient in the water so it doesn’t take long for me to wear myself out.   My wife is a beautiful swimmer and can swim for hours on end whereas I am finished in half an hour.  In spite of my lack of proficiency I find the swimming a well fitting compliment to the bike training.

img_2520I still prefer being on the bike and so I was pleased that for the second part of my business trip I was able to take my bike with me.  Thank you Emirates Airlines who have a decent sports equipment transport policy.  Also the weather forecast for Sydney was definitely more favourable for riding.

I arrived late Sunday night Sydney time and unpacked my bike ready for an early morning ride with Rapha Cycling Club Sydney before heading into the office.   One of the benefits of being a member of the RCC is that it is a global club and the opportunity to get out for club rides in foreign cities makes the whole route planning piece a lot easier.   So I joined the RCCSYD Monday morning ride out from Surry Hills for a quick ride that had me back in the hotel by 7.30am.  The temperature was already 26 degrees at that time in the morning.  A far cry from the -7 I had just left in Toronto two days earlier.

I just happened to be in Sydney when the next day  it was hit with heavy rains bringing flash floods but also a brief respite in the soaring temperatures which had reached 40degrees the day before.  For me it was back to the pool for a couple of days.

Being in a timezone 11 hours ahead of the UK and 16 hours ahead of the east coast of North America meant that I had conference calls and meetings at all times of the day and night. It did seem to stave off the jetlag and also meant I was up bright and early to go out for an early morning ride. So was able to get out on both Thursday and Friday mornings with RCCSYD before heading into the office.    On Friday I had planned to get a little further afield and make it to Akuna bay, but by 8am it was already 35 degrees and so I cut short the loop I had planned and headed back to the hotel and the sanctuary of air conditioning.

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Also managed a cheeky evening ride across to Bondi beach to get something to eat and take a couple of conference calls.

My flight back to the UK was on early Sunday morning so I had some time on Saturday to do a slightly longer ride out of the city and into one of the many national parks surrounding the city.  Taking the recommendation from a member of RCCSYD I opted for heading south to Stanwell Tops via the town of Waterfall.  I left around 5.3oam and quickly found myself surrounded by other cycling clubs heading out on the popular route to waterfall.  The majority were in time trial mode so I kept my own pace and kept heading south west steadily climbing until passing Waterfall and climbing up to the top of Bald Hill overlooking Stanwell Tops for breakfast.

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After a break at the top of Bald hill I switched on the Garmin again and headed back towards Sydney through the National park dropping down to the beach at Little Garie.  As it was getting close to 10am by this point and the temperature was already at 36degree I decided to forgo the hassle of trying to fight my way back to the hotel through the traffic in the middle of downtown Sydney and hopped onto the train to get back to the hotel in time to pop over to the beach for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

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