Beyond Bananas – April Ride 1 – 3 gaps and a million corrugations

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.

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Beyond Bananas – March Ride 1 – Days 2-4

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.

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Beyond Bananas – Feb Ride 1 – Day 1

4-6 February

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.

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Beyond Bananas – Introduction

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.

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