Monday, May 01, 2006

Bike Friday Canberra

We went on our first Bike Friday group ride this weekend. First ever and first in Australia. Quite nice. Though we did manage to cover a little distance (55 km on Saturday and 35 km on Sunday), it was mostly some peddling between coffee stops and sightseeing. And though it rarely rains here, we had to set off in a downpour on Saturday morning. Glad we didn't talk ourselves out of it though as we saw some new parts of Canberra and got to know some local cyclists. And the sun was out by early afternoon. Hopefully there will be some photos of this soon.

I've noticed a funny thing. It's fairly obvious that I'm either from Canada or the states, but no Australians ever ask if I'm from the US. They always ask if I'm from Canada, assuming that I won't be offended if I'm an American. It seems they think a Canadian, on the other hand, might not like to be confused with an American. I take my fair share of good natured criticism as "the American" but rather enjoy being able to add my perspectives. Australians are pretty well aware of world events...they are certainly more aware of what's going on in the US than Americans are of what's happening in Australia. How many of you knew that in 2003 massive bushfires raged through the capital, destroying hundreds of homes on the outskirts of the city? I think the whole world would have known had Washington been on fire. For that matter, how many of you knew what city is the capital of Australia (before I came here anyway)?

Anyway, here's an interesting bit on the bushfires if you're interested in further reading. Damage is still visible everywhere once you leave the city, mostly in charred trees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra_bushfires_of_2003

Have a great week!

4 comments:

  1. Interesting. At least the fires were started by lightning instead of stupid campers, hikers, or lit cigars thrown out of car windows. Lots of controlled burning in Western USA, which many opposed. Delbert worked in the CCCs in the late 30s and/or early 40s out west (e.g. Wyoming, Montana), primarily helping to establish the first fire break lanes in those regions.

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  2. Great second link on Yanks Down Under on the previous post. Read all the differences in food names. Many I knew from England and previous Australia visit, but lots of interesting stuff. Jan is going to look for chili flavored tuna around here, or try it when we visit.

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  3. So I'm just curious: do you ever say yes when they ask if you're Canadian? I agree about the fires. If it was Washington the whole world would know. In fact, one of the most amazing things about the Katrina experience was to find that not only did the rest of the world know about it, but they sent aid!

    Glad to know you had a good bike ride. It sure sounds like you're having a great experience.

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