My neighbourhood bicycle-scape around 16:29 [winter]

The afternoon was moving to a close and I needed to organise something for dinner. I grab four calico shopping bags, my wallet, glasses and mobile, drop them into my pannier, attach the second pannier to my bicycle and ride out for a spot of quaxing.

Over the next ten minutes, my neighbourhood bicycle-scape criss-crosses my ride:

A young man, no helmet, shoots through the narrow path under the highway, riding a weathered bike… returning from the creek.

At the traffic lights, a retiree, tanned, wearing royal blue lycra, sweats atop his Italian racing bike waiting in the bicycle lane for the green light… getting some exercise.

Over the grassy park, a woman and man, maybe thirties, summery clothes, old bikes, helmet-free, faces filled with smiles, float along… on an afternoon bicycle date.

A woman beside her bicycle by the kerb, a bicycle trailer attached and a young girl in a school uniform, checked and crushed by the day, lounges inside the trailer, while middle-age aunt and young boy stand nearby… an afternoon visit, a chat, a laugh.

One, two, three young boys on small bicycles, weaving around the pine cones that scatter the bike path, the first waves, all smile hello… playing after school.

A woman riding a mountain bike, heading towards the creek, speeds by with an outrigger paddle sticking out from her backpack… on a mission, might be late.

A big body spins the pedals of a BMX bike, wears streetwear and a skateboard helmet… he’s coming home from work.

Small girl in fluorescent orange leggings that match her bike races along the grassy verge… on an errand to a neighbour.

A bearded twenty-something rides a woman’s retro bicycle, holding a fishing rod on the handlebars, a black plastic milk crate tied to the back rack with his skateboard strapped across its top, wheels up… man of many interests.

In all its diversity, activity and mild eccentricity, I love my neighbourhood bicycle-scape!

14 Comments on “My neighbourhood bicycle-scape around 16:29 [winter]

  1. Gail, thank you for my word of the week quaxing, trending now!!
    I enjoy your writings and it gives me a break from journal articles.


    • Thanks Robyn. It was really interesting to see how many different types of people, bikes and pursuits were on two wheels in a brief window of time. I was simply quaxing and then was struck by this eclectic mix of people of people on bicycles 🙂


  2. Love the term quaxing and your post. It sounds like you get as much of a kick out of seeing the variety of people on bikes as me. I remember my joy when I first visited Byron Bay a few years ago and saw all the cyclists there. Most were just doing their ordinary commuting and shopping. There were bikes with baskets/crates parked outside shops and I even saw my first Brompton. I returned to Byron more recently and noticed an absence of riders that day. I’d been told that there had been a crack down on cyclists. I hope that’s not true. Thanks for sharing your neighbourhood bicycle-scape. Lovely writing as always! 🙂


    • Thanks Jane. It’s great isn’t it to see people bringing their personalities and lives to bicycles.
      As for Byron… that’s an interesting observation. I’m heading there next weekend for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival so I’ll have a glimpse of the BB bicycle-scape around town 😉 … and at the festival.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I love that new word ☺and I’m so glad it’s inclusive of walking to do the shopping. I take my carry-on wheeled backpack down to Coles a couple of days during the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You see so much more of the vibe of your neighbourhood when you are cycling or walking.


  5. I cycled over to my friends offices the other day and I noticed that the car park was full of executive type cars, different makes and models but pretty much the same. But when I parked my bike in the bike storage area it was a totally different story. Mountain bikes, lightweight Italian race machines, tourers, fixies.
    I think this says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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