How far are you willing to drive after the low fuel indicator light comes on? How low do you let your mobile phone battery go before you know you absolutely have to plug it in before it shuts down on its own? Do you turn on “battery saver” and eke out a few more minutes of work and conversation before you finally go find somewhere to recharge?Read more
There is one final overnight ride in December. Like the rest of the year that was 2020, there is a headwind that wasn’t forecast and the ride goes down among much uncertainty.Read more
7-8 November 2020
Last weekend when I left Nigel’s house, I had this feeling that I was forgetting something. I get that feeling a lot these days with my short-term memory issues, and sometimes it ends up just a creepy feeling. And sometimes I really have forgotten something. Not being able to figure out what it might be, I drove home.Read more
115 kms (71 miles)
We’re pedaling up through the bush on a gentle uphill, the tires emitting white noise as they part the sandy granite on the track. The sun is warm, enveloping, continuing on its trajectory toward longer, hotter days. The high will be in the 80s today, the first time since last autumn. And the wattles are all in bloom – a yellow pox of pollen spread across the slopes of the hills like a histamine rash on skin.Read more
18 July 2020
72 kms (45 miles)
Kermit the Frog has a couple famous songs. His song, ‘It’s not easy being green’ was featured on the first season of Sesame Street. That show has always been at the forefront of addressing tough social issues in a way that children can understand. “It’s not easy being green” sees Kermit feeling undervalued because of his colour, an analogy to race which, 50 years after being written, is just as relevant as ever. Read more
13 July 2020
52 kms (32 miles)
It’s an out-and-back ride today. We’re finishing up unfinished business. Last week we tried to ride to Eldorado, but fog sent us in another direction. So today I make good on the promise to take the guys for a float at Reedy Creek. Read more
6 July 2020
48 kms (30 miles)
It was a cool night in southern Sydney, but the pub was warm. The cover band played at one end of the main bar. A sprinkling of people, who had already had enough to drink to loosen inhibitions, danced to the ‘70s and ‘80s rock. The pub was probably ¾ full, and there was a line at the bar for drinks. The atmosphere was comfortably middle-class bogan hanging out with friends.
Then, the band launched into its next song, and it was as if the Sirens of Homer’s Odyssey had called. Everyone in the pub seemed to pause for a moment and turn toward the band. The dance floor filled quickly, the line at the bar evaporated, and people got up from their seats. And then nearly every person in that pub started to do a line dance with specific moves that EVERYONE seemed to know.
For as strange as this was to see, all those people could have been up there sacrificing a goat or partaking in any cultural ritual from around the world that you never knew existed until you stumbled upon it.
I watched in awe. It was my first Australian cultural experience related to this phenomenon. Read more
24 May 2020
70 kms (44 miles)
Things are coming to an end. The exotic dancers trees are starting to disrobe, concluding their brilliant and flashy show this year. The COVID-19 restrictions are unwinding. I trust Nature’s signals more than I trust the government’s, but I do forecast that winter 2020 will be an interesting one to see how it all unfolds. What will the weather do? What will the mixing of people in the traditional flu season do? We’re all an experiment in one big petri dish right now. Read more
148 kms (92 miles)
Everything is confused. The humans. The flies. The plants. The birds. Perhaps this is what happens when you cross a pandemic with climate change. It’s like a cross-crisis punnet square with inheritance probabilities that edge toward certainties. Read more
Earlier this year, everything was on fire. Or so it seemed. It was estimated that 80 percent of the Australian population suffered through the effects of long-duration smoke. The area burned was so extensive across the country, and the fires lasted for so long, that it is now called Black Summer. We’ve had an Ash Wednesday (1983), a Black Friday (1939) and a Black Saturday (2009), among others. But yep, this time we got a whole summer.
And so that seems a long time ago. We’ve moved on to another crisis – extensive in its impacts and effects on human health, the economy and ‘life as we knew it’. It makes summer feel so far removed. So when the leaves began to fire up this autumn, it has been hard to believe that we are just ending a summer that feels at least three seasons ago. Read more