The rain pelted down. It ran in streams and sheets down the gentle slope. It had started as a few warning drops around 5.45 pm, but turned into a steady rain by 6pm. Of course, we knew it was coming. We’d driven through 3 hours of rain on the way there, only out-driving the rain in the last 30 minutes.Read more
15-17 April 2022
120 kms (75 miles)
Daryl Brathwaite and John Farnham are like Vegemite – to be able to stomach them you need to have grown up with them. Otherwise, you just can’t understand what all the fuss is about.
While I’ve been hanging around Australia now for around 24 years, I still don’t like Vegemite. Or lamb. Or cricket or any code of footy.
But I do agree on one thing that is very Australian. Easter is for camping. Yes, Australians go camping en masse over Easter. The cities empty out and the people who may only use their caravan twice a year hit the road for the bush.Read more
The magpie flies overhead and calls as it lands on the power line stanchion. The angle of the sun has settled further down in the sky at mid-day. There’s shade in the yard from the nature reserve trees well into the morning now.
The passing of time is always cause for reflection. Autumn has always said to me that things will be okay, even in those really hard times in life. And here we are in autumn again.
Oh, Maggie, you swooped me when I would walk through the nature reserve behind my house. But you never swooped me in my yard, even when your young one came to hang out in the afternoons with me in September. He had no fear.
And so time is moving on. I’ll be on the road when you launch your next brood and are swooping again, dear Maggie.Read more
11-13 March 2022
228 kms (142 miles)
DAY 1 – 73 kms (45 miles)
Sometimes what you think a ride is going to be is not what it ends up being. You might have some ideas in your head of the route you’ll take or where you’ll stay or what sort of approach you’ll take (e.g. hard and fast, slow and exploratory). But then you get out there on the road and things morph.Read more
DAY 2 – 0 kms
The support acts start around 5am. It’s just a drop or two of rain at the start – the kind that makes you think: oh, man, did a bird just crap on the tent?
There are light showers that follow – spritzes of water thrown against the tent like someone flicking a paint brush to dry it. Steadier, light rain commences, a light drumming on the tent that sounds more like fizz popping than splats.Read more
4-7 March 2022
136 kms (85 miles)
Day 1 – 30 kms (19 miles)
Sometimes a good idea comes out of nowhere. So you pounce on it and make a plan. The logistics of the plan all come together quickly like when all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle suddenly start to fit and the image becomes apparent.Read more
Day 3 – 38 kms (24 miles)
First light. Far in the distance a kookaburra chortles. The grey shadows make the vegetation seem indistinct. The pale greens of the eucalypts bleed into the darker greens of the cassias. There is no dew, but you can see your breath. Just.
And the mozzies can smell your breath, too. They are already flitting about the tent.Read more
5 February – 14 kms (9 miles)
I don’t really know where I am. Lost in a forest…. (that’s a Cure song). Or maybe not. How can you be lost if you don’t know where you’re supposed to be?Read more
Day 1 – 35 kms (22 miles)
The cicadas are playing their abdominal tymbals. It’s a high shrill waxing and waning of an insect orchestra with first, second and third trees instead of chairs. I imagine an unknown conductor coordinating the crescendo over in the iron bark tree just as she instructs the cicadas in the box tree to quiet down until the next rising chorus. They play for hours, a rise and fall from tree to tree, over and over until darkness falls.
The start of the cicadas always heralded the end of summer in my hometown. When the cicadas started up, you knew you would lose all your summer freedom and be relegated to the classroom soon. Therefore, I always hated cicadas as a kid because they heralded the end of the long summer nights and carefree days.Read more
I could see that he was curious. He was looking over at me with one eyebrow raised and the opposite eye all squinty. It was as if he had picked up an odd insect to study that he’d never seen before in his garden. Hmmm… is it poisonous? Is it eating my plants?
I was filling my water bottles from the tap outside of the public toilet block. He was standing nearby. As I moved back toward my bike… there he came, standard six questions in tow.Read more