The Bubble Race – Strava Art

Fellow Bike North Members,

Here is my story on what you can achieve as a group in a world without contacts. 

On the 9th of July I asked fellow trail designer Andrew from Bike North if he thought I should run some sort of relay event around Sydney to link up people in different locations.  He said, give it a go.  So I posted this in my small Greater Sydney Bike Trail Facebook group with 150 followers.

OK – Greater Rides of Sydney are over, due to the 10km (as it was then) radius rule – Or are they? The Olympics were going to start in 2 weeks, so why not have a Baton Relay around Sydney?  I have a baton.  I can cover the east of Sydney and I imagined that Tanya can ride around the Watson Bay area and bring it to me in Coogee.  Now we would need takers from at least 5 other areas to get the baton around Sydney.  Andrew lives in the North West and showed interest.  In Facebook, I wrote: ‘Put your name and a suburb in the comments if you are in 10 km of either the Greater Sydney or Condensed Sydney trails and lets see if we have a team to do this.’

Three days later and we were half way around Sydney so I posted this to the group:

‘What an effort, we are past half way. Andrew has done a huge section near the M2 to Epping, Catherine did the Eastern Suburbs, Anthony did the north end of the M7 in the dark, today Ken did Lane Cove to the bridge steps and Tanya did the east to Watsons bay. We have a unicycle booked for the section from Epping to Shrimtons Creek and Steven is doing the southern end of the M7 to Bankstown airport. We have riders doing a big side trip to Narrabeen Lagoon and the section to Captains Cook Bridge is lined up too.’

By the 15th of July things were really cooking and I posted the following:

‘It was Ladies Day out on the Greater Sydney BikeTrail today. Debra did Botany Bay from Wolli Creek to the top of Captains Cook Bridge. Linda brought out the Unicycle and took the dirt track down Terrys Creek to connect Andrew’s Epping finish to Johns trip up Shrimptons Creek.’

Linda loves a Unicyle selfie.  So far (not including the Northern Suburbs), 210km of connected bubble.

By the 17th a few riders did the areas to the south, when I connected with Sydney Commuters and NOBBS.  BJN did the final dash to fill in the section from Woronora to Panania / East Hills. It was just in the knick of time, with Revesby onwards into much of the Western Parklands going into a stronger lockdown from midnight that night. There was a rider slotted in to close the Mosman northern section soon, weather dependant.

It was 246km for the big loop with no side add-ons and 19 riders participated in the whole ride, 300km if you take the full outside loop.  It was an amazing effort from the riders and even those who watched on. Who said I was retired? 

So, it took eight days in total to complete a loop of Sydney, with everyone riding their own bubble, no actual baton and surprisingly to me, no one needing much more information than here is an approximate ride and here is your starting or end point.    

The result is shown here in Google MyMaps, which is the best way to combine GPX files:

And the video that compiles all the photos taken on the ride and the different sections is here:

That’s my big cycling story.

Garry Robinson
new Bike North member from Clovelly