Wanting to complete the series around the Seafarers bridge I was distracted today in a rather ironic (also humorous) way. Navigating along the treacherous section of wooden wharf brought up in Slipping Surface and despite travelling extremely slowly and carefully I still had a spectacular fall, sliding as predicted a scary distance along the uneven surface. All is fine with myself except for my knee which through a thick pair of pants still received a solid abrasion, the pants losing their fly button in the wrenching.
Showers on and off during the day had left the surface damp, surrounding asphalt and concrete had no significantly different friction to when dry but this wood is special. Passing pedestrians did not even stop to ask if I was ok, which is par for the course but my companion was able to return back to me and have a laugh about it.
The front wheel picked up some strong torque as it tried to cross the parallel running strips pictured below, possibly from either the rapid change in friction between the wood/metal and the gritty non-slip surface, or as is slid off the raised edges of the metal. That jolt was enough to send the bike sliding out from under me despite entering the route with a solid stance to try and keep control, crossing rivers on slimy wet stones is easier than this section. Some close inspection of the dimensions around where I came off will now be needed to check if anything is an easy non-compliant example or if this will end in a complicated and fruitless exercise.
We’ll have to see what the council makes of this, having reported it through their usual channel for path hazard reports (ie their generic webform).
A few additional sore joints appeared in the shoulder, hip, and neck but the knee is healing nicely. Measuring the step changes of the metal plates no single step could be found greater than 8mm so the danger appears to be only attributable to the friction of the surface. The council did respond with the following prize:
Unfortunately the area of South Wharf Promenade is not governed by The City Of Melbourne as it is privately owned.
You would need to contact the owners directly for assistance with your enquiry. Owner details can be obtained via the Land Titles Office:
Should you require further assistance, please contact us quoting your Service Request Reference.
So we’re back with the old gem of the council promoting their 2010-2015 bicycle strategy, of which this route is a “Priority Route” and which is described as “Existing with Proposed Upgrade” yet they disclaim any responsibility over it.