As I flew out of JFK in a slughy blizzard, in a matter of minutes (775 to be exact) I found myself in the captial of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Sadly, I got bumped from business class on the plane, but Etihad Airways had such an amazing media center, i was so entertained and drunk the entire time that I hardly noticed. I was only in Abu Dhabi for the night, and since my luggae was still checked, didnt have a chance to go for a desert skate. However, i did meet someone in the airport who shamefully admitted a longboarder had overtaken him on the scenic beach path the other day while cycling to work. Bikers, when will they learn to respect the speed of the longboarder?
The next day I winged my way into Sydney, checked myself into a graffiti covered hostel called Asylum, and went for a skate. I wasnt able to meet the other Aussies for a rip, but instead decided to explore all of Sydney solo. I started skating through a large waterfront park similar to Central Park called the Domain. This was scenic and smooth, and leads right up to the space ship known as the Opera House.
I then continued around the bay towards the bridge. I decided while there, i might as well give it a skate, and found it simlar to the GW bridge in length and grade. I found a huge series of hills on Upper Fort Rd near the observatory, a great series of ramps to assist bikers up the stairs, and then began my descent into downtwon Sydney.
The city is not very hospitable to bikers or skaters, with no bike lanes to speak of and frantic traffic, but I jumped in and did my best to dodge trolleys, monorails, and gorgeous asian women. The sun is brutal here (thanks to the massive hole in the ozone layer directly above) , and although it was overcast most of the day, i still managed to get a wicked sunburn. Although i wanted to stay a bit longer, I am leaving today for Dungog (about three hours north on the east coast) to work on a farm for a week. I will keep traveling north until it gets too hot or I find something better, before coming back south. I still need to return to Sydney to go for a skate, and get a new passport ( i was detained by Australian immigration as my water damaged passport was suspected to be a not so clever forgery). Looking forward to some country mountain skates in the rolling hills of theHunter Valley, so stay tuned….
– J. Hayes