26 was today's number. I had thought this might either give me the chance to challenge Clare's lead in Cairnlea streets visited or do some sprint training on the VU St. Albans map, but both are mostly on 25. Instead I started not too far on the far side of the E.J. Whitten Bridge (am I the only person who thinks it somewhat ironic that the principal purpose of a bridge named after Ted Whitten is to make it easier to avoid going to Footscray?) and did a loop in the eastern part of St. Albans.
This is fairly standard western suburbs suburbia, a mix of 1970s in the west and 1990s in the east (the latter, in classic 90s style, has lots of cul-de-sacs connected by small parks which means you register lots of streets completed even when you aren't really trying). I've always thought of it, perhaps because of the affiliations of the more prominent local soccer teams, as a place of the Maltese and those of the former Yugoslavia, but in fact these days a substantial slice of its population (and, on the evidence of the signs I saw, almost all of its real estate agents) are of Vietnamese origin. I suspect that it's hard rubbish season here which meant it looked a bit scrappy (notwithstanding a sign which said rubbish dumpers risked a month in the slammer, which I think is unlikely unless the dumping is as egregious as this
), but the proportion of waves to people in front yards which were reciprocated was at the upper end of the historical average so I'll classify it as friendly territory.
(There's an interesting thread
going on the subject of Strava heat maps as an indicator of segregation in American cities; I had a look at the Melbourne equivalent and while the west is a bit lighter on than the east, in general it tracks not too badly with population density, with certainly none of the stark divides that you see in the U.S.).
The terrain was pretty flat, notwithstanding the existence of an establishment called St. Albans Heights Primary School (elevation 62m, compared to 59m for St. Albans Meadows Primary School, which I also passed). My run was similarly flat, and I don't think I can really blame this on being out earlier than usual on a Saturday (partly to avoid the heat, partly to get back for Thea's first birthday gathering), but at least it was consistent and nothing hurt too much.