2021 The Waiting – Introduction

2019 bled into 2020. The drought, the fires, the extreme temperatures. It seeped into the new year like the bushfire smoke seeped into our homes and lungs. There were no fireworks in the new year, since there was enough fire in the landscape already. Celebrations were subdued. And so began the year that was 2020.

2020 has bled into 2021. We’re all still working from home. Virus restrictions are still in place. The virus has seeped into the new year like it seeps into nasal cavities. There were no fireworks in the new year, except in Sydney, since authorities didn’t want people to crowd together to watch. Celebrations were subdued. And so begins the year that is 2021.

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Shifting – Oct Ride 1 – Re-emerging

Oct 2-3
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.

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Shifting – July Ride 3 – Bein’ Green

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

Shifting – July Ride 1 – Independence

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

Shifting – May Ride 3 – Gone gravel

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