Eclipse – Conclusion

31 December 2019  and 1 January 2020

13 kms (8 miles) and 25 kms (15.5 miles)

NEW YEARS EVE

It’s the end. The end of innocence? No, Black Saturday should have taken care of that. The end of ignorance? No, humans are surprisingly capable of not learning from the past and acting only in self-interest. But it’s the end of something. You can feel it in the subdued atmosphere at the shops this year. There’s an anxiety in the air amongst the holiday festivities. Read more

Eclipse – December Ride 2 – Not quite the tradition

25 December 2019

55 kilometres (34 miles)

 

I have a tradition. It’s a one-day-a-year tradition. It’s something I look forward to each year. It is a Christmas Day gift. You see, while everyone else is inside celebrating Santa in the morning on Christmas Day, they leave the roads very empty. For an atheist with no family within many thousands of kilometres, it is a great gift. It means I can ride narrow, shoulderless roads that are normally too busy to consider. Read more

Eclipse – November Ride 1 – Putting the pieces together

23/24 November

85 kms (53 miles)

The dam broke in 2017. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

You see, I’ve always seen life as a bit like being a kid building little rock dams in creeks to hold back water. Only in life, all the rocks are people, places, resources, jobs and such – the pieces you put together to build your life. You assemble all these little rock pieces of your life within the current of the universe. And once you’ve got all the pieces together, it holds back that current for a time and creates calm waters as you tread its safe depths.

Yet, that current is always moving. It’s a force that takes pieces away but also delivers pieces to you. The water can bring you lots of resources quickly, or slowly, and it can take them away quickly or slowly, too. Erosion, or life, is not an evenly-spaced sequence of events. Read more

Eclipse – The September Rides

Multi-month bicycle touring will change your life… in so many good ways. It teaches you resilience, mental toughness, flexibility, adaptability and how to appreciate the small things. It shows you the landscape and its people at a very human pace. It teaches you patience on the uphill and/or headwind sections; it grants you tremendous joy on the thrilling downhills. It makes you giggle with glee on those days with ridiculous tailwinds.

But multi-month bicycle touring has a few downsides.

In one way, it ruins you forever… Read more

Eclipse – Intermission – Who I am

There was a moment. Just a short moment. On the plane. On the way home from America back in June.

We were about six hours into the 15 hours of flight time. The flight was full. The agitated and odd man across the aisle from me was out of his seat, pacing back and forth up in the bulkhead again. The very tall American man squeezed into the middle seat beside me needed to get up and stretch and use the toilet.

I was sitting on the aisle. So I paused the music I was listening to and took off my headphones. I skinnied myself out of the seat in that 45-degree-angle way you do when everyone is crammed in with seats reclined after the dinner service. I stood up into the aisle, and then…. Read more

Eclipse – August Ride 1 – Questing

17 August 2019

57 kms (35 miles)

Sometimes I lose myself in a string of bicycle touring videos – usually solo cyclists taking on remote and/or difficult routes in far-flung places. Sometimes it’s places I’d like to ride myself – sometimes it’s a journey far more difficult than I would ever want to accomplish. But there are other times when inspiration comes in more domestic and day-ride sorts of ways.

There is a gentleman on the Cycle365 site who posts about his Questing rides in the English countryside. I love these write-ups because he casually cycles among Roman ruins, ancient hedgerows, verdant pastures and historic thatched roof homes. It is so different to Australia in its climate and Australia’s infant European history.

So today’s ride is one that I’m sure would be in the checkpoint book, if Questing were a thing here. Read more

Eclipse – July Ride 1 – A new record

20/21 July 2019

70 kms (44 miles)

There were times when the earth warmed. This happened over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. And then there were times the earth cooled, over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. And it did this again and again, on timescales too huge for most to comprehend. There were five mass extinctions along the way, wiping out 70 – 96 percent of life on Earth each time.

And then man arrived. And then there was the Industrial Revolution. And then the climate began to warm at unprecedented speed – in a couple hundred years instead of thousands or tens of thousands. And so also began the 6th mass extinction event – we are living it now.

I’ve gazed at the KT-boundary in walls of rocks – that thin line of history 66 million years ago that saw 76 percent of all life wiped out. Such a thin line. And so we tread another one now.

Anyone with any understanding of geology and the time scales involved cannot help but be alarmed by the trend lines on those climate graphs. There is nothing to believe or not believe about climate change. You either understand the science or you out yourself as scientifically illiterate.

Yet those humans and their contribution to a rapidly warming climate are helping me set my own record this weekend. Read more