Christmas means travelling for many people, much of it by car. The highways become clogged with traffic, some people travelling short distances for a day trip, some travelling longer distances for an extended summer holiday. Cars carry surfboards, bodyboards, fishing rods, bicycles, camping gear, loaded in and around the car, on rooftop racks and in elaborate trailers. They might be families on their way to a beach holiday over the school break. They might be like me, travelling to visit family for Christmas.
With the roads swollen with traffic, it’s a good time to ride my bicycle but a long haul trip of 472 kilometres to be completed within a week carrying Christmas gifts and food, says ‘car journey’ to me. Of course, the bike came along for the journey too, loaded onto the new bike rack that brought an unexpected turn on day 2 of this experiment. Taking the bike meant that once the car was parked, I used my bike for moving around the small coastal town of Bargara, the place where I once lived.
While I was there over Christmas, I rode my bike to breathe the warm salty air into my lungs. I rode it to explore the bike paths, the lands they wandered through and the views they gave me of the Coral Sea. And on Christmas Eve, I rode my bike to visit my brother’s home for dinner and joyfully was accompanied home by him at 10.30pm in the fresh night air with the stars overhead and our bikes wheeling freely and our cheeks laughing and our hearts alive.
I’m glad I took my bike on holidays.
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