week 61...
go the fro! go the wallabies!


Angels? Well, we're stretching it a bit. Ian actually brought us here, after a little help from the RTA to get us to Hyde Park (Ian's kind of an angel, if you squint). But hey, we're finally in SYDNEY!
We just got even more interactive!

go to the chatroom now! say hi to boffo!
the wizards of syd...
Second only to the Nullarbor, Sydney is notorious in the eyes of Australian motorists for killing and maiming cyclists. Second only to the Nullarbor, its overwhelming notoriety is completely untrue. If you listen to who starts the rumours, it's the car-driving swines who have never been on less than four wheels in their lives, who probably saw a news bulletin a few years ago about a dead cyclist on a busy Sydney intersection.

Sydney's actually pretty cycle-friendly. Sure sure, some of the downtown bits you need to stick your elbows out a little, but if you use common sense, instinct, and the occasional footpath, you can even pilot a four-metre tandem recumbent trike through the streets of Australia's largest city without so much as a scowl in your direction.

Like I said before, we had some help from Ian, an Australian cyclist so experienced that he was an editor of Australian Cyclist Magazine AND the Lonely Planet guide to cycling Australia. But we had to get from Wollongong almost to the Opera House on our own. Here's how we did it:

How to Cycle Through Sydney Without Dying
1. Coming out of Wollongong, the coast road was closed, so we ended up on Bulli Pass. Not recommended. However, this got us to the Motorway, which DOES ALLOW BIKES. Find your own way to the motorway, and you'll get a nice wide cycle lane all the way into Heathcote!
2. Stop at Legendary Fish & Chips, which makes a pretty decent fish & chips (though not something Peter Jackson would make a movie about).
3. As you approach Sutherland, they take away the shoulder and replace it with a traffic lane. Not cool. Hop off somewhere around Kingsway or The Boulevarde which will put you into suburbia (Kirrawee/Miranda).
4. Take a left on Taren Point Rd, or just follow the signs to the Captain Cook Bridge. There's a bike/walk path on the bridge.
5. Once over the bridge, go east until you hit the ocean, where there's a kick-ass bike path all the way up the "beach".
6. There are plenty of blue bike signs, but you need to use a bit of instinct around Rockdale. Basically, you eventually want to be hugging close to the airport on Marsh St footpath, so follow signs to City or Tempe.
7. Marsh St becomes Airport Drive or Qantas Drive. Keep following the signs through Mascot and Beaconsfield.
8. Somewhere around here, we cut over to South Dowling, which is a pretty direct route straight on up.
9. South Dowling abruptly changes from industrial/business to townhouses on your left. Around here, cut over to Bourke St (one block West), which has a bike lane. So does Crown (two blocks) and Riley (three).
10. Once you hit Oxford, you're practically there! Now it's time to get tough. Get on the road and start "taking over lanes". Sydney drivers are pretty used to aggressive cyclists.
11. Left on William. Right on College (next to Hyde Park). College curves west, then turn north on Macquarie.
12. Watch out for car doors. Stay on Macquarie until you see some funny sailboat-shaped buildings on your right! You did it!
the other australian idols...
Adam and Tess wanted to know how cartoons are made on the computer, so we made one... starring them! Now they're celebrity superstars and Peter Jackson wants them to star as orcs in Lord of the Rings Part IV : Gandalf Saves Christmas. Wow! That's the second Peter Jackson reference on this page alone! That should up our hits.

In any case, we now present Adam & Tess, in...
The Lollyshop! (Flash, 132Kb)
Side Walk:
Age: 57
Home: Williamstown
Job: IS Manager
Eyes: Blue

Favourite Beer: Cooper's
Favourite Movie: Bladerunner
Fav Footy Team: Saints
Favourite Michael: Palin

You could meet Michael Walker by popping into chat.beimers.com!
meet michael walker
As you've probably noticed by now, Beimers.com has a Chat Room. Now and then, we schedule chats where we pop in and say hi to all the little people. Well, Michael's one of those little people! So instead of answering his questions, we asked our own...

Shouldn't you be at work? Yeah, but I'm at home with the flu, so it's fine.

What's your claim to fame? I've competed in two Australian Ironman races. That's 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and a 42.2km run.

Holy Frickin Frack! How long did that take? First year 11h 25m, second year, just over 12h.

So you're saying it doesn't get easier the second time around? Nope, guess not.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? Lance Armstrong, I think.

Who's the first girl you ever kissed? Lance Armstrong, I think. Just kidding, it was a friend of my sister's, I don't remember her name.

Have you ever played Mario Kart? I play it with my 12 year old son, but he usually wins.

How would you describe yourself? I'm just your average Aussie.

*Chat is a place for short questions, short answers, and short attention spans. Usually our interviews have a little more continuity. Not so on this one.
Okay, when's the last time you were standing in the express checkout lane at the supermarket, and some yellow-toothed jackass strolls up to the cigarette counter, and the checkout girl goes over to help him before she helps you? Since when should smokers get served before Skinnylegs? Never. That's friggin' when.

Just the other day, I had to wait in line with my one item, exact change in hand, and wait for some dumb broad to pay for her 11 items with a friggin' cheque, so you can tell I'm already a bit peeved. Then, as the cheque finally clears, Joe Smoko walks up, and the cashier pops over to help him. THEN, he wants to take out friggin $40 Eftpos, wasting my time further. Dork. I hope he gets tumours.

They should make cigarettes the most inconvenient thing to buy. In fact, you know what? Tobacco should be sold in liquor stores ONLY. You gotta be 18 to buy either, right? So, why can you get ciggies at the corner store but have to drive somewhere else to get beer? Man, if Skinnylegs ran the world, you'd see some changes around here.

I'm Mr. Skinnylegs, and I reckon that's crap.

Be sure to read "I Reckon That's Crap" every week, only on Beimers.com!

*The opinions expressed by Mr. Skinnylegs do not necessarily reflect those of beimers.com. If you have any complaints, direct them to mrskinnylegs@beimers.com.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Connellan Family
Told ya he looks like an angel. If you don't squint, he looks more like a cartoon bug. Ian, Jane, Adam and Tess housed us and fed us for our five day stay in metropolitan Sydney, and told us the best way out of the city to avoid the traffic. Thanks everybody!
Alan, Alex & Bill
Since we had an hour to wait for the Palm Beach ferry, these blokes called us over to the Barrenjoey Pub for a quick drink and a couple of yarns. Actually, the only "bloke" was Bill, since Alex was a canuck and Alan was a pom. Go Maple Leafs!
James & Angie
"Why pay for a caravan park when you can stay at our place and spend that money on beer?" Can't argue with that logic, James. And so, off we went to the Terrigal Pub. (You'll learn more about James and Angie next week. Why? Because we got stuck at their house.)
Sunday morning we thought we'd seen the last of Terrigal. Sunday afternoon we realized we were wrong. Here's what else we realized: it's easier to hitch a ride on a ute when you're 20km from town, not when you're across the street from the Mall. Luckily, Jeff drove by. Thanks for the lift, Jeff!
wally's amazin' facts!
There once was a man from Wollongong,
Who was stuck in a house for way-too-long!
  When all of his friends
  Got kicked out by the end,
He was given a cheque for half-milliong!

Okay, so I'm no Robbie Burns, but I think you' know who I'm talking about by now. Wollongong is the home of Peter, winner of Big Brother Two! Lucky stiff!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: While Kevin & Aimee were screaming with the rest of the adoring Australian Idol fans, I took a moment to examine the architecture of the Sydney Opera House. It was designed by a Danish fellow named Jørn Utzon. The funny thing was, once he drew it, he couldn't figure out how to build it! It was too weird! Finally, he came up with using concentric arcs of a sphere, each with the same radius. This way, they could prebuild parts off site and truck them over later for easy assembly!

My question for you is... how did this breakthrough come to him? Answer next week!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 116kmDistance since Day 1: 15203km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 421: Harbour Day
Distance Travelled: 50.2km Temperature: 26°
Time on Trikes: 5.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Easier than we thought
End Location: Ian's, Manly
false finish
If we had started in Sydney, we'd be done by now. Boy, would we be excited! That said, we're still pretty excited to be here. Just, not nearly as much as if we were done.
   And how could we not be excited? We're in Sydney! We haven't been in a city this big since we left America (Say it like I say it! "Ah-MARE-heee-kah" It's fun!).
   We're thrilled, we're proud, and we're pumped. Now let's go see what Sydney has to offer a couple of crazy cyclists, a stuffed wombat named Wally, a plastic volleyball flagtop named Wilson and a headless unscary monster named Mr. Skinnylegs. Bring it on.
   (By the way: just to avoid any confusion, we're not staying with anyone named Adelaide while we're here.)

"Car driving swine..."
- Ian.
Day 422: Everybody Loves Chili!
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 28°
End Location: Ian's, Manly
beans get the musical boot
There is nothing less satisfying than cooking for children. Especially when they're twins and they can gang up on you. We thought we had a winner with Kev's Chili - it's simple, it's served with corn chips, and hell, EVERYBODY loves Kev's Chili! It even uses the Connellan Family Food System that stipulates that Food Toppings Must Colour Coordinate With Food Bowls.
   Little did we know that, although they like the concept of chili, Tess and Adam don't actually like the individual ingredients of chili. They disected the meal with more scrutiny than Grissom gives a Las Vegas murder victim. Tess didn't like the beans (the key ingredient of chili). Adam didn't like the meat (the secondary ingredient of chili). To their credit, they made a very good show of separating the two and picking at the tertiary remains. In the end, I think the only part of the meal that passed muster with these two mini food critics was the cheese. It's hard to mess up cheese.
Tess: "Yuck. This tastes like zucchini."
Ian: "No, Tess, it's cucumber. You like cucumber."
Aimee: "Actually, it's zucchini."
Ian: "We don't HAVE zucchini, Aimee. It was CUCUMBER."
Aimee: "I'm pretty sure it was zucchini."
Ian: "No, AIMEE, it was CUCUMBER."
Aimee: "No, it's... oh, yes CUCUMBER. Organic cucumber, in fact."
Ian: "Yes, Tess. It's ORGANIC CUCUMBER."
Day 423: Bring Back Millsy!
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 26°
End Location: Ian's, Manly
day title title title
We're planners. We like to plan things. That said, we do limit our planning to the large-scale items. Such as: Let's Cycle Around Australia. And: Let's Do a Website. We like to let the smaller details fall into place as the mood hits. When we were approaching Sydney, we had a few things in mind:

1. Eat Krispy Kreme Donuts. Americans will understand this. Penrith, a suburb of Sydney, is the only place in Australia that has a Krispy Kreme store. It was on the must-see list. Or would that be the must-eat list?

2. See the Opera House. There are very few things in Australia that you're meant to stand in front of and snap a pic. One of these is the Opera House. The other is Uluru. After that, one big open space is pretty much like another.

3. Become a part of/appear on Australian Television. It was our goal to try to make it to an eviction show of Big Brother, or spend a morning chatting up Bert Newton. We'd even be happy being the "Who's in the Swivel Chair" for Rove. We just wanted to be somewhere for something.

Well, all three of these things happened, but not how we expected them to. We didn't have to go out to Penrith for our Krispy Kreme fix, because there was a girl selling them right in downtown Sydney! At highly inflated tourist prices (can you believe $15 a dozen?), but we're highly inflated tourists today, so that's okay.
   The last two goals came together with a bang. As it turned out, the very day that we'd planned to tour around Sydney corresponded with the Australian Idol Grand Final, at none other than the Opera House!
   The evening unfolded in a characteristicly Aim & Kev way... we showed up at the Opera House thinking that it would be overrun with screaming teens wearing afro wigs. We were partially right, but mostly what stood between us and a decent view of the outdoor celebrations was a highly sophisticated security system that separated the haves from the have-nots. Those that "have" yellow wristbands were the "haves". We did not have a yellow wristband.
   It looked as though we were in for a night of looking through a lighting rig to catch a glimpse of the back of a roadie's head when our luck started to change.
   It was all because of a blind beggar. Yup. That's right. A blind beggar.
   He had passed us by earlier asking for money and we shrugged our shoulders at him in that kind of "I've got no money" way. Perhaps he couldn't see the shrugging because he was back just a few moments later to whisper to us that if we snuck under the Opera House and out the other side, then we'd have a much better view. This accomplished two things: 1) we did in fact get a much better view; and 2) we felt very guilty for not giving him 50 cents. Not that we did afterwards either. Pay it forward, that's what I always say.
   We didn't have much time to feel guilty because as soon as we got to the other side, the powers that be decided that there weren't enough wristbands to justify the helicopter money shot. And so, they decided they'd rather let in all the no-wristband-wearing riffraff like us instead of having the Opera House steps look half-empty. THUS, it is yours truly (yourses trulies?) who were escorted right to the FRONT OF THE STAGE for the Australian Idol Final! We got to see it all - the singing, the cheering, the fros! And we got to see the amazing Opera House lit up with a fireworks display. Bert Newton himself couldn't have made it any better than it was.

"That was funny, though, rather predictable."
- Jane.
Day 424: Regarding Tess
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 26°
End Location: Ian's, Manly
ask a nine year old
Spending the week with Tess & Adam gave us a chance to find out what's really going on in the minds of the nine year old population of Australia. And, judging by their photographs, you can certainly tell these are nice, polite, and above all, normal nine year olds. Let's find out about Tess...

Middle Name: Annesley
Favourite Movie: Lilo & Stitch
Favourite Singer: Nikki Webster
Favourite Book: Harry Potter, and anything by Roddy Doyle
Best Friend: Sophia Priskomon
If you could spend a day with anyone? Tatiana Gregoriova (Pole Vaulter)
If you could go anywhere in the world? Ireland, or Italy (for the food!)
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life? Pasta Carbonara
What's your hidden talent? I can stick my bottom two teeth over my top lip. Ooh, and I can stretch my feet behind my back and touch the back of my head!
What's your musical talent? Jazz & Ballet dancing
Describe what your mum does at work. She, um, teaches other lawyer how to do the law, and goes to lots of conferences
Tell us your best joke: Okay, I made this one up. Wally and Dill were going to ride a tandem bike. Dill says to Wally, "Wally, I think there's something wrong with the bike, it doesn't look right." But Wally says, "Shut up and get on the back." As soon as they start Wally starts jumping in his seat and saying, "Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop kicking me!" And Dill says, "It's not me, you made the pedals too big! I told you there was something wrong with the bike!"

"That's lost its novelty."
- Adam.
Day 425: Madam I'm Adam
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 22°
End Location: Ian's, Manly
ask another nine year old
Yesterday we took care of the girls, now let's ask the boys. Parents: if you're looking for Christmas gift ideas, and you have a nine year old, well, go look in Toyworld, not here.

Middle Name: King
Favourite Movie: Finding Nemo
Favourite Singer: Crowded House
Favourite Book: Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz
Best Friend: Roddy Miller
If you could spend a day with anyone? Steve Waugh
If you could go anywhere in the world? Ireland
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life? Honey Soy Chinese Noodles
What's your hidden talent? I can make a clicking sound with my throat
What's your musical talent? Drums
Describe what your dad does for work. He edits books on the computer, and on Fridays we goes into the city to work. And he makes our lunches.
Tell us your best joke: A priest is watching a man play basketball. The man throws the ball and it misses, so he shouts, "Buggah! I missed!" The priest says, "Don't say that, or God will punish you." He throws again and misses, "Buggah! I missed!" And the priest says, "One more time and God will punish you." He misses a third time, "Buggah! I missed!" Suddenly, the sky begins to rumble, and a lighting bolt comes out of the clouds and hits THE PRIEST! Just after, a big, booming voice from the sky said, "BUGGAH! I MISSED!"

"Because our wonderful liberal government decided that instead of supporting the US in Iraq, we'll just send them Shreddies."
- Nolan, the Last Canadian Republican.
Day 426: Third Time's the Charm
Distance Travelled: 55.6km Temperature: 17°
Time on Trikes: 6.5h Water Left: 0.5L
Terrain: Broke the stupid cog again
End Location: James & Angie's, Terrigal
kaBOOM clink clink clink...
Oh yes. It's happened again. The stupid-ass BMX Freewheel Cog has conked out again. At least this time it had the decency to die right outside of a bike shop.
   Whose idea was this friggin' cog anyway? Oh yeah. Wayne. It was WAYNE'S IDEA!!! Well, it was a good idea at the time. And even the second time it was a good idea. Now, on the third go, it's looking a little skeptical. We're beginning to realize why he's called Half-Way Wayne... because the damn BMX hubs only make it half-way to any given destination!
   On thing Wayne was right about though... the hub is a real bitch to get off. Here's a joke: how many people does it take to get a track cog off our bikes? Answer: Four. Three to hammer it out and one to laugh maniacally in the background.

"I will not chop off my toe!"
- Tess.
Day 427: Out like a lamb
Distance Travelled: 10.1km Temperature: 22°
Time on Trikes: 1.0h Water Left: 0.5L
Terrain: Broke the stupid cog AGAIN
End Location: James & Angie's, Terrigal
four is a four letter word
What was I saying about the number four yesterday? Yup. You guessed it. We left Terrigal this morning and within hours we were hitching a ride back. The frickin' frackin' freewheel busted again. AGAIN. This is a different bust from when it busted yesterday, just to clarify. That makes the FOURTH bust. FOURTH. Frick.
   Let's start the day off with a calculation, shall we? If we've got about 25 days left in the trip and a BMX Freewheel costs around $20 to replace, and we're replacing it every two days, then how much will it cost by the end of the trip? That's only about $250. That's not including lost time for repairs, the cost of caravan parks while we wait for the part to arrive from Sydney, the charges for overnight shipping, and extra food to make us feel better while we wait. That makes the total about $1000. Is it worth it?
   I don't think so. I think it's about time we claim the BMX Freewheel as the victor in this game and park ourselves at James and Angie's house until the proper Surly 16-tooth Track Cog can arrive from America. How long will that take? Will we be able to get to the Big Pineapple in time? Darned if I know.

"I TOLD you you should have stopped for ice cream."
- Aimee.
mug punter: (sl.) Joe Average. John Q. Public. Literally, it translates to "Face Guy-Who-Bets-On-Horses", but the idea's basically the same.
"If Shannon couldn't win Australian Idol, what makes you think a Mug Punter like me stands a chance?"

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this would
have been a
much better picture
had we actually

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