We were walking along Hay street yesterday (the 26th), when we saw a bike shop advertising bike rentals. We popped in and briefly spoke with a lovely gentleman about our desire to bike to the Indian Ocean. He said it was a leisurely 2 hour ride, and we figured we could do it in 90 minutes. We were wrong.
We came back this morning and got two rental bikes. They couldn’t open until they got some of their bikes out of the shop, so I ended up giving ’em a hand. It’s great I finally got a job in Australia, but it’s a bit late and didn’t pay very well.
Our rental bikes were pretty heavy, with low pressure tires and suspension, and cost $50 for the two of us. We wanted to bike to Fremantle. The route takes you along the Swan river for approximately 22KM (or 13.67 miles.) It was a beautiful ride, and not too difficult, other than a strong headwind.
The Swan River is named for the black swans that frequent it. These are just swans, but they are jet black. Very beautiful creatures, and I’m glad I saw them. I wasn’t sure what the swimming situation would be, so didn’t take a camera or an iPhone.
Once we got to Fremantle, the clarity of the trail disappeared, and we found ourselves in a somewhat industrial port city. We eventually made our way to the water, and after a bit more wandering found a beach – Bathers Beach. There was a very nice woman with fake boobs that Justine was infatuated with, two guys who didn’t seem to notice her, and us. Other than Justine, we all were topless. We went into the water, and I swam a little bit (it was quite cold.) The temperature was in the high 80’s, so the water felt good but not great. Bathers Beach was next to the Round House – the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.
After the swim, we grabbed a bite in a Gloria Jean’s Coffee. It was quite bad, but it was food. We walked around a bit, and saw some of the downtown (?) area. It was pleasant and pretty expansive given the size of the town (very possibly the result of lack of WalMartization, which allows small businesses to survive.)
The ride back was a bit easier in that we knew where we were going. Most people may not know this, but Justine is a fantastic athlete. Her natural pace was a 6:30 mile when she was running, and I don’t think she’s that far off it now. She’s equally as proficient at biking as running. I’m in good shape, but nothing like her, and it started getting to me about the time we got to the ~20 mile mark of the round trip on these heavy slow bikes. We eventually made it back before the shop closed, but crikey I was tired. We were both sunburnt which didn’t help, nor did Justine being kind of perky (see above) while I was dragging myself through the streets of Perth.
I’d broken my sunglasses on the ride (still don’t know how), so I needed a new pair. Oz is a sunny country, and you don’t want to be without sunglasses. Most shops seemed to close at 5, giving us a short period of time to get a new pair before the big day at Wave Rock. We went back to the room, showered, avoided falling asleep and headed out again. Glasses, a dinner at the hotel, and an early night was a welcome relief from biking.
All in all, it was our best day in Oz.