Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Category: Picnic

Sydney’s Most Leisurely Bike Rides

by Alacoque

Concrete Playground features Sydney’s Most Leisurely Bike Rides http://sydney.concreteplayground.com.au/news/76336/sydneys-most-leisurely-bike-rides.htm

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Let’s go for a ride baby!

by Alacoque

Dear Tillie and friends,

as you saw yesterday we had Wilhelmina’s bike seat fitted on the weekend and we couldn’t wait to try it out. We took her for a little cruise around the local foreshore, sticking to shared paths to allow us to both get comfortable with her on the bike before tackling traffic. We had to stop once or twice to fiddle with her helmet (see if you can spot the shot where she’d pushed it down over her eyes) and by the time we got to the park we had things all worked out. In fact on the ride home she was so comfortable she conked out (so cute)!

Thank you to my darling husband for being so snap-happy and capturing the moment. Tillie I hope you noticed the Sydney icons in the background- just for you!

Love Coco xx

Happy Mothers Day!

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

I was so lucky on Sunday. My mother came to Sydney to have a picnic lunch with her adoring offspring. My sister and her husband picked her up from the train station and I rode down to the park. My rather hungover brother made it down a little later.

We had the most wonderful picnic lunch! My sister, Sophie, is THE best cook! She made a platter of gorgeous sandwiches- cucumber, salmon, chicken with pistachio, and egg. She even made a little plate of special sandwiches for little old gluten-intolerant me! There was sparkling wine and sparkling water for those of us driving/riding.

After sandwiches I presented my contribution to the fare- chocolate pavlova with raspberries! It was the first time I made a chocolate pavlova and I was pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t perfect but it was delicious!

After our desert my sister borrowed my bike to ride to the café at the other end of the park for tea & coffees. When she returned she commented on how everyone looks at you when you ride my bike. It’s true, you do get a lot of stares on my bike. I think it’s because people are not used to upright bikes, the only kind of cycling people in Sydney know is the lycra clad sporty type. I like to think just being seen on an upright is educating people, challenging their perceptions.

Oh and the highlight of the day? My mother decided she was not to be left out of the bike riding fun so she hopped on my bike! It was her first ride in, oh, at least 30 years? She looks like a natural! And of course she loved it.

Go Mum!

Love Coco xx

PS. I rode the whole way there and back sans helmet. I kept it visible in my front basket but as I didn’t ride on the road at all (shared paths the whole way) I thought I’d get away with it. And I did. I even rode past two police women on the way home and they didn’t give me a second look. Maybe things are changing? Here’s hoping!

Long time no talk!

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

So sorry it’s been ages since I’ve written! Naughty, naughty Coco! Let me fill you in on what’s been happening (admittedly not that much).

For Easter my husband and I went away with my parents, sister, and brother in law. We drove out to Lake Cargelligo, central west New South Wales, where my Mother’s side of the family live. It’s about an eight hour drive inland from Sydney and we shared the drive with my sister and her husband so we had to pack light, that meant no bikes. There is actually a lovely bike path that runs along the side of the lake (in case it wasn’t already obvious the town is built on a large lake, hence the name) but the only people I saw on bikes in the whole time we were there were visitors staying in the caravan park. Sad really. The town is quite small and a bike would be an ideal way to get around. You can walk around the whole town in about an hour, and it’s flat, so riding everywhere wouldn’t be a problem. Even though I missed my bike I was able to occupy myself with some fishing (we only caught carp, an introduced pest) and trashy magazine reading.

My husband’s favourite POV

Hugo really getting into the fishing

This is the smallest fish I caught and of course the only one my hubby took a photo of!

A highlight of the trip was catching a glimpse of the new Solar Thermal Power Station they are trialing 2km outside of town. I’m always curious about new green technology and this just fascinated me. Luckily my Dad had managed to meet with the head engineer a couple of weeks earlier and was able to explain it to us (I have no idea how Dad manages to rock up at a secure site and not only get invited in but get a private tour!). Basically large blocks of refined graphite (think the size of shipping containers) are mounted onto stands with the bottom of the graphite block exposed. Surrounding the blocks at ground level are mirrors which reflect and focus sunlight onto the bottom of the graphite blocks, heating them to an immense degree. The refined graphite is unique in its thermal properties, i.e. it heats up quickly but loses heat very slowly, which means it can hold high temperatures for days, even if it’s cloudy. Inside the graphite blocks are pipes which pump through water, which is turned into steam by the heat, that steam then powers turbines which feed electricity back into the grid and power the town. It’s brilliant!

Driving back to Sydney we also spotted some wind turbines. It was great to see green energy options being implemented.

If only more people used our favourite form of green transport- the humble bicycle!

Love Coco xx