Turning a 25-minute commute into a 3.5-hour rollerblading half marathon on a Wednesday morning seemed like an appropriate challenge for Talia on Ride2Work Day – but convincing two of her colleagues to join her was what truly made it an adventure.

 

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Turrbal people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

As an advocate for active transport, I was keen to make Ride2Work Day a significant event at my workplace in Meeanjin / Brisbane.

Given that I often ride my bike to work, I wanted something a little more unique to make the day memorable. It still needed to be some form of leg-powered wheels, so I decided to hire some rollerblades.

Read more: How to Live an Outdoorsy Life in The City

‘I’ll plan us an adventure!’ I said to two of my wonderful, but perhaps naive, colleagues. Maybe they thought it would be e-scooters, but when I turned up with three sets of skates, helmets, and knee, elbow, and wrist pads, they realised it was going to be a tad more challenging.

A ten-minute skate lesson determined that years of rollerblading around caravan parks as a child had left us in adequate shape for the 22km journey, but none of us knew how to brake or stop!

 

A 4am Rollerblading Commute to Work, rollerblading, microadventure, brisbane, a lady taking shoes off and putting on skates and protective gear outside

A quick lesson from Rollerblading Brisbane after work, with all the relevant safety equipment

 

That didn’t seem too essential so Anna, Lisa, and I set the alarms for 4:10 am the following morning. That night, outfit themes were discussed and pictures flew back and forth as we pulled out old one-piece bathers and tight bright shorts.

There was anticipation and apprehension as we rolled out of bed and strapped our skates on for the wackiest ride of our lives. Our commute began at the Regatta Ferry Terminal in Toowong, with the aim to finish 22km later in Hamilton, Northshore.

 

A 4am Rollerblading Commute to Work, rollerblading, brisbane, microadventure,

Lycra and leotards turned some heads at 5:00am…

 

We pumped a 70s party playlist and, much to the bemusement of early morning cyclists and pedestrians, began to YMCA our way along the bike path. There were some minor spills along the way.

Lisa got up close and personal with a parked truck (she’s fine!) and, at one point, chose to throw herself into a hedge rather than continue at the slightly-faster-than-anticipated downhill speed she had accidentally achieved.

We waved hello to friends, cursed inaccessible curbs, and generally boogied our way along the riverside toward work. We used the Brisbane CityCat Ferry to cross to the other side of the river when the going got too rough.

We nodded along with the captain, agreeing that yes, it was too early for a pub crawl, and explaining that we had indeed chosen this as our morning commute. Yes, on purpose!

 

A 4am Rollerblading Commute to Work, rollerblading, brisbane, microadventure, woman in red leotard and rollerblades posing for a photo in front of the story bridge

Over bridges where what goes up, must come down (slowly, holding onto the hand-rail)

 

With only a few kilometres to go, we drew the attention of every patron in a corner café as Anna unceremoniously ran into a pole and I caught an edge of the pavement and windmilled to avoid a stack.

Rolling around to check on the last third of our party, we saw Lisa attempting to hold onto the café window to slow her descent down the hill. While effective, she rapidly closed four windows in a row as her hand smeared along the poor café’s exterior!

 

A 4am Rollerblading Commute to Work, rollerblading, brisbane, microadventure, woman rollerblading along the river in brisbane

Attempting to stay out of harm’s way along the riverside

 

After a final giggling glide along the road, we arrived at the door of our office a cool 3.5 hours later. Knowing that at least 100 people would be working inside, Lisa proposed a victory lap around the open-plan office.

I wasn’t sure if our workplace health and safety might veto that, so we made a quick decision to turn up the Beach Boys and roll on in before anyone could do a more thorough risk assessment.

 

A 4am Rollerblading Commute to Work, rollerblading, brisbane, microadventure, three friends posing for a photo infront of red sculptures on the world expo '88 public art trail

Three troublemakers causing havoc along the 22km journey

 

Feeling every bit the professionals that we are – clad in skintight iridescent lycra no less! – we toured up and down the rows of desks to a bewildered but gradually enthusiastic standing ovation. We’d made it to work, we’d made colleagues and passers-by laugh, and we’d had a damn good time doing it!

So what commuting adventure will we dream up next? I’m convinced that we should try something with fewer wheels and have been looking at procuring some second-hand unicycles.

The girls are less convinced, but rumour has it they’ll compromise for a wheelbarrow…

Read more: How To Squeeze More Outdoors Time Into Your Workday