Friday, 22 February 2013

VLine - no care, no responsibility

The other day I was very impressed with how easy it was to put my bike on the train. It is still easy - but unfortunately, leaving your pride and joy with the conductor is no guarantee that you will get it back in the same condition that it went in.

As I mentioned, I was meeting Jules in the city on Wednesday to do the Capital City Trail. I duly left my bike with the conductor, and mentioned to him that it needed to lean against something as we had tried using just the bike stand before and the bike fell over.

So at Southern Cross station, I went to get my bike and it was lying on its side in the conductor's carriage. Clearly it had fallen over. When I picked it up it had fallen over onto its right side.

I had a quick look, and it seemed OK so off I went.

Now I have a great metal drink bottle I use on these rides. It keeps drinks cold and is very sturdy. I put my drink bottle inside the pannier and not in the pannier bottle holder when I put the bike on the train. But when I took my drink bottle out of the pannier, it was badly dented.

Now the drink bottle was inside the left pannier. So clearly the bike had had at least one major fall on its left side and then, later on, another fall onto its right side where I found it at the end of the journey.

Good work VLine L.

On riding the bike around Melbourne I also noticed there was a 'click' in the the left pedal, and it didn't feel right. 

Back home after the ride Mr Aggy had a look at the bike and agreed that something was wrong. I put a panicked call to Sean at MySpokes, and he told me to bring it up.

So the next day I had a long, worried drive from Geelong to Mooroolbark. And yes, there was a problem. The left pedal crank was bent. (Now I'm really, really annoyed with VLine.) Fortunately Sean could give me a crank off another bike. He also replaced my pedals, fixed something on the handlebar stem and did a general straighten up of things. 

A plug here for MySpokes  - even if it is not the closest shop to you, it is well worth the drive. You get really knowledgeable advice and great service. (Why else would I travel from Geelong to Mooroolbark?) Thank-you Sean!

So the train trip to Melbourne for the Capital City ride turned out to be an expensive exercise. However, I'm going to use the train again. If I don't, I really limit my range, and thus my fun, on the Gazelle. Next time I think I'll insist that they lie it down in the carriage. Or if possible I'll try to get a VLocity train, where it comes on with me.


  1. Non cyclists don't see bikes as anything other than a toy

  2. Yes, you may be right :(

    I was wondering about trying to get some a velcro strap like they use in the VLocity train, but I'm not sure there is anywhere to attach it in the conductor's carriage.