Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunset Coast Ride 1 through 6

'Decided to attempt the rest of the Sunset Coast Ride today, so here's Ride 1 to 6 of the Sunset Coast.

Turn around point of the ride is Burns Beach (underlined in red), Iluka, Joondalup.

Getting off Leach Highway and Canning, and making a left on to Marmion Street.

A right on to King Street brings me to the beginning of Ride 6. The neighborhood of King Street, with its quirky architecture and even quirkier inhabitants, reminds me of Berkeley, California. As I passed a house, a gentleman with his wife and teenaged son were taking down 3 Specialized Epics from the garage wall. They broke into grins when I gave them the thumbs up  :-D

Though King Street descends quite steeply towards Swan River, speed freaks would be disappointed (or unpleasantly surprised) as there are at least 3 speed humps on the 500-meter-long road.

Stirling Bridge. Temperature is a balmy 75 F (23.9 C).

Another look at the kerb-protected bicycle lane on Riverside Road. Queen Victoria Street runs over Canning Bridge bridge in the picture.

10.5 miles (16.8 km) later, after a near-head-on-collision on a descent (I forgot for a moment that I'm in Australia, not North California, and rode on the right), I reached Port Beach, North Fremantle.

Port Beach, North Fremantle.

Continuing north.

Leighton Beach.

Lots of happy pooches here.

I am impressed by how well dog owners socialize their dogs here. 9 out of 10 times, as I rode (slowly) toward dogs on shared paths, owners would command their dogs — leashed, unleashed, and sometimes, even from a distance — to sit , and the dogs would immediately stop and sit. With no moving obstacle (or bared fangs), there's no guesswork for the cyclist involved. Needless to say, there's no lunging at the leashes or nipping at the heels either. No wonder poor Slinky was appalled by what goes on at dog parks in Singapore.

Mosman Park. Parallel to the bike path is the road, Marine Parade.

A swing set by the sea.

Higher and higher.

South Cottesloe Beach.

Feathered sentinel.


The Port of Fremantle looms in the background.

Onwards to Ride 5.

Further north lies Swanbourne Beach.

After Swanbourne Beach, the path detours east, skirting around Campbell Barracks, home of the elite Australian Special Air Service Regiment, and a rifle range.

From this point, the bicycle path parallels West Coast Highway for the next 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles). Having ridden the shoulder of this section of the highway on the return trip after dark, I do not recommend it — it is unlit; storm drain grills, spaced apart wide enough (5+ cm or 2 inches) to even snare mountain bike tires, protrude half-way into the road shoulder; high-beams of oncoming vehicles blind you to everything but the thin white line of the road shoulder; meanwhile, vehicles (including large trucks) zip by you at high speed. Not fun.

Not sure if this is Rosse's Wattle (Acacia rossei) or Mudgee Wattle (Acacia spectabilis). It's pretty, all the same.

On to Ride 4.

City Beach, the town of Cambridge.

The view during lunch. Temperatures continue to be in the balmy 73 F (22.8 C).

Lunch. Products manufactured in USA are frightfully expensive here. For example, an equivalent bottle of Gatorade™ would be priced at AUD$5 at gas stations, twice the price of Powerade™. A Garmin™ Forerunner 201, sold for US$120 by, is priced at AUD$308 in Perth. (Currency exchange link.)

Northwards to the city of Stirling.

There are #@*%! snakes on the plane on the beach!

Scarborough Beach.

A brief climb, then it's an open cycle path again. This gentleman has an interesting method of avoiding grease stains on his right pants cuff — just roll it up and get a chainring tattoo instead  :-P

A wider view of the path on Trigg Island. Beside the bicycle track is West Coast Highway. Web cam view from Trigg Surf Life Saving Tower.

Ride 3 beckons.

North Beach. This reminds me of the coast of Big Sur, Central California.

A clicking sound made me stop to inspect my rear tire. This glass shard was about to make my afternoon more interesting.

Entering the city of Joondalup.

Looking back.

Ride 2 is next.

Evening at Sorrento Beach.

More magic under the surface here.

Sorrento Quay, or, better known as Hillarys Boat Harbour (practically a large mall with all its shops and restaurants), lies to the left. A web cam view.

At the northern end of the Hillarys Boat Harbour is Perth Diving Academy, Sorrento. Just around the corner, 75 meters from the harbor sea wall, lies Boyinaboat Reef, a fascinating dive with numerous ledges, drop-offs, small caverns, and swimthroughs — not unlike the reefs of Chebeh Island, northwest of Pulau Tioman, West Malaysia.

A sign at Mullaloo Beach. If I may be so bold to propose an addendum to the penalty for non-compliance: offended parties (i.e. non-smokers) are authorized to engage the services of a bat or cudgel (e.g. baseball bat, cricket bat, hockey stick, 2-by-4, et cetera) to soften the heads of scofflaws  :-P

Moving on to Ride 1.

I guess this is how Sunset Coast got its name.

No voice but the wind; no sound but the sound of waves.

Looking south atop a sand hill. If you look closely, you can see eastbound rain showers moving in.

Continuing north.

The final stretch to Iluka.

It was a little dicey negotiating curves with one hand on the handlebar, and the other operating the camera, whilst dealing with the buffeting wind.

What the sign says.

Burns Beach, Iluka.

The northern terminus of the Sunset Coast Ride.

On the return trip, as I rode past a pub in Scarborough, a drunk threw a bottle at me. Goddamned cheapskate! It was empty! Anyways, it missed me, and so, I continued on my merry way.

After riding down Marmion Avenue and West Coast Highway (Route 71), I became cold and tired. Then, as if on cue, Hardyesque, it started to rain  :-D

In the town of Mosman Park, at Curtin Avenue and Victoria Street, I spotted a gas station with a rather large mini-mart and went for it.

They are open 24-hours, and, more importantly, serve hot food and drinks. Seeking shelter from the wind, I sat at the bus stop on the right to refuel (and reheat) my body.

A couple of curious posters at the Fasttrack Victoria Train Station across the street.

They don't mince words, do they?

Southbound, from Port Beach, it started to pour. Stuffing my wallet and camera into the AquaPac™, and donning my rain gear (SugoiStealth Jacket and full-zip Mountain Hardware™ Epic Pants), I crossed the windy Stirling Bridge and rode eastwards along Leach Highway in the deluge.

Total distance:  cyclo-computer 71.3 miles (114 km) / GPS dead
Total elevation climbed:  Altimeter 3330 ft (1015 m)
Temperature range:  50 F to 75 F (10 C to 23.9 C)

Ride conducted solo.

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