Tuesday, December 20

The End of the 'No-Mow' Experiment

Having received a Fire Hazard Abatement Notice from the Shire of Swan, I realised my flirting with 'no-mow' gardening had come to a crashing halt and that I'd better leg it out and get a whipper-snipper before the lovely Fire Officer, Rod, lost his patience with me. (Apparently, between the months of November and March it is illegal to have your lawn higher than 50mm and the shire will employ a contractor to create fire-breaks and invoice the ratepayer which, although expensive, may well save lives and it is not possible to put a price on personal safety . . . according to Rod).

It was one of those rare occasions in the year when the trailer seemed necessary. The Croozer has a 1980's mail-order-catalogue look to it that invariably leaves me feeling like a soccer mum when I tow it. Aesthetics and 'street-cred' aside though, it has it's good points. Being made of hollow tubing with canvas sides it is very light to tow. The base is sturdy and it is surprising how big a load it takes easily (especially if you balance the heavier items over the wheels). It comes with a cover, which I don't tend to use, preferring elastic straps, and when not in use, twisting a few knobs has it flat-packed in seconds. It also attaches really quickly.

Whilst leaving it unattended at the shops, it's easy to lock to the bike through the frame. I find for use in the 'burbs a 2-wheeled trailer is incredibly stable. It almost feels like I've put trainer wheels back on the bike! The Surly, as always, purrs like a kitten the second it has a load, settling quietly to work and allowing me to forget that I'm even pulling a trailer . . . and therein lies the rub.

It's going to seem blindingly obvious and you may wonder why I even mention this, but, when pulling a trailer around the metropolitan area (as opposed to heading down a straight country road with no intersections) it is really, really important not to be an absent-minded great-aunt and be constantly aware that, as a vehicle, you are now twice as long and, with a 2-wheeled trailer, a good bit wider.

It is no longer possible to bunny-hop to the 3-foot wide island in the middle of the dual carriageway without your arse sticking precariously out into oncoming traffic. Unless your trailer has suspension, corners have to be treated with respect and given a slightly wider berth. Also, just because the bike will pass the pedestrian bar at the traffic lights, it should not be assumed that the wheel on the wider trailer will not hook around the metal tube bringing your fledgling race start to a (bitumen) grinding halt. Go on, ask me how I know!

Friday, December 16

Bikey Christmas Tree

Walking through the Perth Cultural Centre, (a title that has spring to mind robustly-muscled women, depicted in head-scarves and dungarees whilst joyously working the land for the 'Collective'), I happened across this Christmas tree.

OK, it's not the most aesthetically pleasing or festive, but, who cares? It's made up of front forks and bicycle wheels! Spray-painted a cheery gold, with stars sprinkled here and there, I'm convinced the City of Perth put it there just for me! 

Hope everyone's Chrissy plans are ticking along nicely.