Eclipse – April Ride 2 – Easy does it

27 and 28 April 2019

40 kms (25 miles)

ANZAC day has come and gone. The rains have not yet come. Usually, ANZAC day coincides with the autumn break, and everyone suffers through a cold and wet dawn service. (ANZAC Day is like Memorial Day in the US, but without all the “USA!-RAH-RAH-RAH!” chest-beating patriotism.)

So the autumn break, when we get our first big dump of rain for the wet season, is late. It is looking it might come late this coming week. Or maybe that will be just another cold front and it will go back to being dry again. April is going to end up with only one day of the month where we had any precipitation  at all – and even that was only 4mm.

This does mean that the weekend weather is perfect again. Read more

Eclipse – April Ride 1 – Lookout!

13/14 April 2019

127 kms (79 miles)

There is something about the angle of the sun. There is something about the temperature. There is something about the light winds and stable atmosphere that make autumn in Southeast Australia somewhat serene. It’s as if there is a collective sigh of relief when the temperatures become humane again, as if we’ve all survived another stupidly scorching summer and get to indulge in a just reward. Somehow the light, the temp and the atmosphere all beckon the outdoorsy to live it up for the few weeks each autumn where the weather is just perfect. Read more

Eclipse – March Ride 1 – Sense of urgency

15/16 March 2019

106 kilometres (66 miles)

This ride is driven by a sense of urgency and by a sense of betrayal.

There is a sense that the good days are numbered, if you can call these good. After a super-hot and miserable summer, there is a feeling that you MUST get out there in March and April to take advantage of the ‘good’ weather before the autumn break and the winter rains come. Read more

Eclipse – Feb Ride 1 – The Devonian

10/11 February 2019

Total Kms: 70 kms (44 miles)

It’s a part of you. It’s not something you can change. You can push it back – hold it back – refrain from acknowledging that it is who you are. It’s like eye colour or hair colour or body shape. It’s not a choice. It’s just who you are. It’s psychologically damaging to be told it’s a choice. It’s physically damaging if you ignore it.

Because riding a bicycle is just a piece of your identity – something maybe you didn’t ask for, but something that is life-changing once embraced. Read more

Eclipse – Introduction

We rode in the shadows of the earth under a deep dark sky. The boys were ahead as always, pedaling maniacally down the dusty paths of early autumn.

Of course, we rode most every night during university – a group of 3-8 of us. We rode down dirt paths following the curving irrigation ditches, through town on bike paths, off dirt jumps and curbs, down and up and over the landscaped stairs of buildings in downtown. We had all sorts of ‘routes’ scoped out and tore around in dark clothing with no reflectors or lights on our bikes with the stubborn and stupid immortality of youth. Read more

Plan B – Dec Ride 1 – Last 3 Rides of 2018

23, 25, 26 December 

Total kilometres: 115 kms (72 miles)

Total kilometres 2018: 4006 kms (2489 miles)

We’ve whipped around the sun again. The year is coming to a close. In some ways, the year has dragged so slowly. In other ways, it’s hard to believe that another 12 months have passed. Sliding into the holiday season, I see one final opportunity for an overnight ride before the heat sets in. Read more

Plan B – November Ride 2 – Wind and a cold

24 and 25 November

Total Kilometres: 53 kms (33 miles)

Total Kilometres 2018: 3791 kms (2356 miles)

The low pressure system wound up. It curled into a tight ball with lengthening rain bands and spun its way across the state. On Wednesday the rain came from the north in long north-south bands. On Thursday the temperature plummeted from a high of 15C at midnight to 9C by mid-day. They got 5-6 inches of snow in the mountains. We got band after band of heavy rain that fell in torrential sheets interspersed with moments of sun. The wind strengthened. The rain bands came from the west. On Friday, the rain and wind came from the west southwest. On Saturday, low, scuddy clouds intermixed with the sun, and the wind stayed strong but moved to the southwest. Jumpers (i.e. jacket or sweatshirt) were required. It was our last taste of winter and it was definitely a blustery blast that felt like late July instead of late November. Read more

Plan B – November Ride 1 – So, this is Plan C

3 and 4 November

Total Kilometres: 48 kms (30 miles)

Total Kilometres 2018: 3643 kms (2264 miles)

It’s a change in the wind. It’s the angle of the sun. It’s a smell. It’s the way the cloud moves over a stand of trees. It’s these things, sometimes together, sometimes on their own. It’s other things. But it’s always some flash of familiarity or a momentary stutter of sight, smell and/or sound.

Something makes a neuronal connection and a flash of the present brings forth a memory from the past. All of a sudden I’m in Nebraska in May pedaling against a strong quartering headwind with storm clouds receding. Read more

Plan B – October Ride 1 – Back in the saddle

7 and 8 October

Total Kilometres: 51.23 kms (31.83 miles)

Total Kilometres 2018: 3996 kms (2110 miles)

Time slips away. It silently rolls on while we’re sleeping. It ticks by slowly in the hours at work. It jumps forward an hour in spring. And so, it feels like just yesterday that we were riding through the canola at the end of August. And now, we’re already into the second week of October and daylight savings has made the days seem longer.

Of course, my goal for September was not to ride at all. Read more

Plan B – August Ride 2 – Kooringal and canola

25 August 2018

Total Kilometres: 58 kms (36 miles)

Total Kilometres 2018: 3326 kms (2067 miles)

Today is the first day that really feels like spring. It’s something in the way the angle of the sun finally meets the warmth of the air and the waft of floral pollen on the wind. The start of spring is late this year. Temperatures have been a couple of degrees below average most of the month. There’s been no real temptation to go camping in early August like there is in many years. But here we are, end of August, not many kilometres on the odometer and not many days left this month to add to the total. So let’s go! Read more