Hazards of NE Victoria

Most weekends of the year so far were taken with packing, moving, cleaning the old place, cleaning the new place and unpacking. I spent so much energy on the weekends, I didn’t have much energy to ride on weekdays after work, as that has been crazy busy, too. I guess the greatest hazard for me is doing too much with too few ‘cylinders’ firing! I have been going for 5-7 km walks in the evenings each day after work though, exploring surrounding neighbourhoods on foot that I would be unlikely to ever ride through since they don’t really go anywhere.

However, last weekend we got out for a short ride around town and a hike up the hill behind my place. You can check out those short adventures here: https://rambleoutyonder.org/2021/02/08/the-waiting-feb-ride-1-new-town/

We have come across some hazards, as below. Forgive me, as I didn’t get the bike in any of the photos it appears!

Bushfires, there’s always the risk of bushfires for about 9 months of the year where I live. And it’s kinda funny that the Council and the sign-writers both neglected detailed proof-reading and the sign reads: Keep you dog on a leash.
Domesticated wildlife hazard. You really don’t want to nail a cow on a fast downhill.
You really don’t want to hit a kangaroo either. They are a bigger hazard than cattle, particularly around forested areas at dawn and dusk. Roos are the Aussie version of deer. They can dart out of nowhere right in front of you.
Biggest city hazard. Vehicles. Particularly at double lane roundabouts like this. This one is absolutely horrid for cyclists. I’m on a bike path here where you cross the lanes of traffic outside of the roundabout. The problem is that people are terrible about indicating when they exit, so you never know if those cars are going to turn in front of you as you try to cross. If you are riding with the traffic and aren’t taking the first exit, cars can take you out as they try to exit while you are riding through (cyclists are allowed to ride in the outer lane all the way around).
Aggressive birds, blue green algae, submerged logs… you’d never think a suburban park could be so hazardous! There was a notorious pelican here a few years ago that I think they eventually had to remove.
Zebra crossing. Pedestrians have right-of-way but some drivers are oblivious.
Yeah, you’ve heard about our magpies. It is not magpie season (that is July-Nov), but it is good they leave the sign up because it tells me where I won’t want to ride later this year. Every time you move towns you have to figure out where all the really vicious ones are and avoid the worst of them. You can’t avoid them all, there’s too many!
Disappearing bike lane just when you need it most. Luckily, this isn’t all that busy and doesn’t feel unsafe ever, but there are plenty of disappearing bike lanes that do disappear right when you need them most.

So Victoria has been plunged back into a 5-day lockdown. They have an outbreak related to one of the quarantine hotels in Melbourne. This time they’ve locked down the whole state instead of just Melbourne because it is too impractical to put up the ‘ring of steel’ around Melbourne for such a short time. This means we can only leave home for the 4 essential reasons (shopping for essentials, caring/caregiving, exercise and work you can’t do from home). We can only go 5km from home. Luckily, for me, if I leave home for exercise, I live within 5 kms of the border and NSW has no restrictions on. So the plan on Sunday is to go for a ride that direction where I can ride as far as I like once I get over the border. It’s been many months since we’ve had any cases here and we’ve never had any community transmission in this area.

So many people said 2021 would be so much better and I’ve been saying all along…. “it’s got a long way to run yet.” And so it does. Very grateful it’s not been a hazard where I live yet in the way so many places have experienced though.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

12 response to "Hazards of NE Victoria"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: February 12, 2021

    It seems you really do have more natural hazards in your part of the world than we do. Traffic we have in common, though. And of course, our corona hazard is far greater. Merkel is for far stricter lockdown measures than many of the regional politicians (idiots) which isn’t helpful. Too many are making decisions based on politics instead of science.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      We’ve done well with the aggressive suppression strategy, but our immunisation strategy sucks. We’ll go from being a world leader to way down the list. Our fed gov has put all their eggs in one basket – the Astra Zeneca basket – and that vaccine has only 60 percent efficacy. That means you need to vaccinate 90-95 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity which is unlikely. Plus, people still have a pretty good chance of getting the virus with so low efficacy. So, if you don’t achieve herd immunity, what next? Of course all those decisions were about $$ and politics, too. Such a shame since we’ve done so well so far, but appear about to screw up the next bit!

  2. By: NancyG Posted: February 12, 2021

    More (natural) hazards than I would have thought. Those magpies seem like quite the nuisance and dangerous! As with Suzanne, we have a lot more corona hazard over here and too many idiotic people not listening to — or believing the science, thus not being stricter about following safe protocol. It is quite maddening.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      Yes, the politics over public health and choosing to get vaccinated or not because of your party affiliation is just so dumb. I’m glad you are just about to get the second shot, though. Hopefully it can take away a teeny bit of the constant vigilance.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: February 12, 2021

    Em, your photo of the roundabout reminded me of another hazard. At least hazardous to me. As I have proved repeatedly (both pedaling and driving), lefthand traffic as in Oz, UK, and elsewhere could easily be the death of me. Too late, I’m afraid, for me to alter my hard-wired circuits for keeping to the right, which way to look, etc.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      Yes, Bill, I can see that. I think I had trouble the first 3 years whenever I went back and forth. But then, it just seemed okay and I very quickly could think left or right in whichever country I was in. The funny thing is that when I first moved Oz I would dream on the right. I would have dreams that took place in Oz but everyone would be driving on the right. Then, after a while, I had dreams that were mixed – sometimes people driving on the right, sometimes on the left. I guess I knew I was fully Aussie when I started dreaming on the left. (They don’t test for that when you take out citizenship, though, lol).

  4. By: gregblood Posted: February 12, 2021

    I don’t know if it’s a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or simply random eye contact, but the very first thing I noticed on that sign was “Please keep you dog on a leash.”

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      Yes, I notice those sorts of things, too. Funnily enough, I didn’t see that when I took the photo, probably because I didn’t read that part. I was just thinking about bushfires. But when I went to upload the photo, it was the first thing I noticed, too.

  5. By: Rocky Posted: February 12, 2021

    I can personally attest to the dangers of kangaroos! When we were cycling near the Grampians, I had one right in front of me and I was barely able to stop.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      Oh, I could see how that could happen in the Grampians, there’s such a big roo population there! I think most cyclists here that ride in rural areas here has had a “hard brake!” moment with a roo at some point. Luckily, they usually hop along the side and then take off in the opposite direction… but not always!

  6. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: February 13, 2021

    Moving house and double lane roundabouts really suck. {That’s why I haven’t moved in 20 years)

    • By: The Navigator Posted: February 14, 2021

      I don’t think I could live in the same place for 20 years, I would get bored and depressed. I think around 4 years would be ideal, but on average, I think I’ve moved every couple years for the past 20 years for various reasons. I do think of Albury and the surrounding area as home though, regardless of what town I’m living in within the region. I keep my driver’s licence and rego there.

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