🚲 Riding around Rottnest

I first learned how to ride a bike when I was 14. Usually that is considered a rather mature age. I was pretty scared, the embarrassment of using training wheels made me so anxious and scared of riding a bike at all. One day I decided to try and ride a bike normally. I swear it was so much easier and the anxiety just fell off my shoulders immediately.

I don’t know what I was so afraid of. I got overzealous and rode around the park terrifyingly fast and I really liked it. A couple of falls left me feeling pretty dejected, though, because I hated being a teenager who couldn’t ride a bike. One fall was when I ran into a tree, I was wearing my dance gear because I had a presentation in the park, and I don’t know what this big family near the barbecue was thinking when they looked at me – were they confused by my clothes, or just thinking about what an idiot I was crashing into a tree?

Another time, an older boy refused to move out of my way, and instead of stopping I crashed into a barbed wire fence. I tried not to let these incidents get to me, but for all I knew, I was still afraid of riding a bike.


On Saturday, Nick and I visited Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth. We caught a train and then a ferry, which was quite a bit of travel time, but it was worth it for the fun day we had.

I’ve never ridden a bike on a road, on a pathway, or even on a bicycle track. I’ve only ever ridden a bike in enclosed parks. I feel like I was made to think that riding in a more open space was not safe. So naturally, I was terrified.

Truth be told, I had the time of my life! It was very fun riding around the island. It was a hot day, and I put sunscreen on my face, arms and legs, because they would be exposed, but I still got sunburned. Right on my nose (always happens on the nose…), but also on the tops of my hands and my thighs. A little awkward, but it makes sense because those parts of my body were right in the sun. Nick got sunburned pretty bad. He was awfully red for the next few days. 🦀

I think we definitely rode close to, or over, twenty kilometres in total. It was tiring but very rewarding. We hadn’t gone to the gym on Thursday because of our flight, and normally we go on Saturdays but all that riding was a good cardio workout! When it came to riding up hills, it was a bit hard, but sometimes I just pressed on. It was much easier to press on and feel my thighs burn than to stop and have to get off and walk my bike up the hill. Heheh. I think I actually really enjoy bike riding.

We stopped at quite a few beaches along the way. My coworker Phil, who lives in Perth, suggested checking out Salmon Bay for snorkelling. We didn’t end up going snorkelling but had a look. It was pretty busy there.

Me and Nick with Salmon Bay in the background
Me and Nick at Salmon Bay

We went around a large portion of the island and passed some pretty busy beaches before we found one that only had one family going for a swim. We decided to have a break there. The water was actually really, really cold, despite it being very hot. We wanted to cool down… but not that much!

We got amused digging holes into the sand and trying to dig one deep enough that we hit water. It had certainly been a while since I played with sand. 😄

As I mentioned in my previous post, we saw little quokkas, an animal native to the island. They don’t eat anything besides plants. We saw a couple walking around while we ate our lunch. When we went riding some more, we spotted even more, and got pretty close to some of them. They look a bit evil close-up when you see their eyes. But sometimes it looks like they are smiling!

A quokka eating a plant around a seating area
Nom nom nom
A quokka up close, looks like it is smiling
“Say cheese!”

Here is the selfie I took that I shared in my last post. Taking a selfie is apparently a very touristy thing to do.

Me taking a selfie with a quokka on Rottnest Island
Selfie with a quokka!

Nick went back home on Sunday night, because his job requires him to be physically present most of the time. I’m lucky as a developer in that I can do a lot of work without being physically near my team. I do love their company though – I don’t think I could work remotely for an extended period of time. I may be introverted, but I get lonely… 🙂

I did my presentation at the Localhost meetup last night, and it went really well. ☺️ I will write more about it in a future post, but I have updated my speaking page if you are interested in seeing the slides or the code examples.

If you want to see more of my time in Perth just follow the #georgiedoesperthagain hashtag on Twitter or on Instagram.

Do you like bike riding? Do you think the quokkas are cute or creepy?

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Comments on this post

Ahh bike riding…I, like many, learned to ride a bike at a very young age. I say “learned” but it was more like constant scrapes and band-aids. I’ve never been much of a bike rider, honestly. I’m just extremely clumsy by nature, sooo bike riding seems like disaster to me.

That being said, David wants to move closer to his dad, actually in the same city as his dad, and since even the suburbs of Columbus are big he wants to get me a bike. I’m like, uhm, no no no. Too old to be busting my ass in front of hipsters thank you!

All joking aside, he probably really is going to buy me one and make me use it, and I’m terrified 😄😄😄

Ha, oh man! I really enjoy bike riding but if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. Perhaps you can go for a run instead, it might be more appropriate? Good luck in the weeks coming up to the move, though. You mentioned that you are bad at planning – I am not sure how to plan for moving, but cutting down on the things you own, gradually, can help. Not everyone is a minimalist, but personally I always try to think, “If I had to move tomorrow, how many trips would I have to make with my car to move all my stuff?” It makes me think of whether I have too much stuff or not.

OHMYGOSH. I’m dying. The picture with the “Say Cheese!” caption is literally the cutest picture ever. Look at that smile and those chubby cheeks! That’s so cool you got to see them up close!

Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun biking! And the weather in your pictures looks really nice too.

And I had no idea you had a speaking page! I will definitely check a few of the ones w/ videos out sometime! :3

Haha yes, the speaking page is only new. I was going to put it in my main navigation but there’s a little lack of room there at the moment. 😛 Hope you enjoy the videos!

I didn’t learn how to ride a book until I was 14 as well! I was pretty similar in that I was pretty embarrassed that I couldn’t ride one, so I just never tried. One day my friend learned that I still couldn’t so she told me she was going to teach me and I learned pretty quickly! Now it’s hard to believe I never could, though I still wouldn’t say I’m great. I’ve only ever rode my bike around my neighborhood, so actually riding out in public is kind of daunting to me, too! Way to conquer that fear and have a great time!

My nose always seems to get burnt, too, no matter how much sunblock I use. Twenty kilometers is a lot but I guess when you guys are as fit as you two are it’s not as bad. #goals

I’ve never heard of quokkas before, but I think they are kind of cute! I don’t think I’d want to get too close though, haha.

You know, I never learnt how to ride a bike until I was about ten or so, and it took FOREVER for me to ride it properly. Today, if I were to get on a bike, I’d have so much difficulty. My depth perception and sense of balance are horrible, so being on a bike doesn’t bode well with me. I constantly feel like I’m going to fall X_X I’ll write a bike, but only if I can get extra wheels to support my balance, haha!

Sounds like you had a blast! I’m glad to read you had a wonderful time biking. The area you biked look super nice. Sucks about the sunburns, though! I remember that one time I sunburnt my nose, and it really hurt!

Those quokkas are adorable! I’ve never heard of them before, so thank you for writing about them! Those photos you took of them are awesome, especially that selfie one 😊 The cheese one also! It looks very happy 😆

I love bike riding! As a kid I used to ride around on a bicycle a lot… on proper roads.
I have been riding the non geared bikes from the age of 16 I think, on my mom’s bike and now since I started working I am trying to save up some money to buy myself a new one sooon! *fingers crossed

That Quokka animal is sooo cute! It’s the first time I have heard about them. I first thought it was a street rat!

I forget what age I learned to ride, but had to be in grade school I think. I don’t really remember being scared of it ever. I kinda miss riding my bike. I just rode it round my yard and up and down the driveway. 😆 We have a busy street, so yeah. Plus no sidewalks.

Sounds like you had fun! Kinda makes me want to go bike riding somewhere!

And those quokkas are cute! Like giant gerbils!

I can’t ride a bike. I attempted to learn back in 2015 with my ex, but that was a complete failure and I haven’t tried since. It would nice to learn how to ride, if only so I can use a tandem bike in Amsterdam with a future bae (no idea who that be, though 😆).

I’m glad you had fun riding around the island! The weather looks gorgeous and definitely the perfect conditions to ride a bike in, despite it being hot. Quokkas are so cute! I remember that one picture that went viral of a quokka smiling into the man’s camera whilst he was taking a selfie with it. Hahaha. Glad you managed to take one too, lol.

That sounds really fun to bike around the island! I haven’t been on a bike in years. I hope I still remember how to do it. I used to bike around all the time as a child, and I kind of miss doing it. I learned when I was young, but I didn’t try to roller skate until I was in high school. I think I felt the same embarrassment of not knowing how that I gave up. (I still can’t skate!)

Wow, you guys did a lot of distance! I’ve heard about quokkas. I feel like they got really popular on the internet because of their smiley faces and people taking selfies with them. They’re so cute! I love the selfie you took with one!

I’m glad you had such a fun trip!