When I was a small kid, we used to balance a piece of wood on top of a roller skate and set off down the hill near where I lived. There were inherent problems with this behaviour, the hill in question was actually a road called Chase Road on a junction with Ambleside Drive.
Of course, every caution was taken to ensure safety. We would position one of us in Ambleside Drive to check there were no cars coming before the skateboarder would launch himself down the hill. The trick for the kid on the (early version Mk 1 circa 1965) skateboard was to turn the corner into Ambleside Drive without falling off.
The trick for the lookout kid was to make sure the skateboard kid didn’t get hit by a car.
What could possibly go wrong?
Fortunately for us, nothing did, barring a few scraped knees and knuckles. Since those days, I’ve not been a big fan of extreme sports; I put that down to my legendary sense of imbalance and intense dislike of pain. But extreme sports are a part of life and very much so here in Australia.
I was reminded of these kinds of sports today when I noticed in the news that the council are going to warn mountain bikers on Mt Gravatt Outlook that their activity is illegal there. Anyone who takes no notice risks of $500 fine.
Mountain biking is very popular here and I never knew, until today, that Mt Coot-tha is the only Brisbane City Council parkland where mountain biking is permitted.
So, let’s go mountain biking in Mt Coot-tha….
I’ve been to Mt Coot-tha many times, I like to drive up there and return back down again in the safety of my car. With my seatbelt on, of course.
But not everybody is like me.
Some people like to come down a bit faster, as fast as 140 km/h apparently, by luging or sledding down Mt Coot-tha. It’s quite a popular sport here I’m told, they even have their own club. Here’s their video…
Looks like fun, but this is a very dangerous activity. Just last year, a 50-year-old woman lost her life when she crashed at high speed after losing control on a bend.
But that won’t stop people from luging though, and the sport has come a long way since we stuck a lump of wood on a skate. These boards have brakes and the lookouts have mobile phones or radio contact to warn of approaching cars.
But I’m not thinking of returning to the sport any time soon, I’ll stick to football. Let’s round off with an illegal luge from Brisbane’s north…