Riding to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

At the outset of this experiment, my thoughts roamed – sometimes leisurely sometimes briskly carrying concern – around what this project might bring. What decisions I might need to make. Last week I met one of them.

It had been nearing. And nearing. Then it was here.

How will I get to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival?

The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival brings me a lovely dose of literary life over three days. It’s an annual trip that I really look forward to. I thoroughly enjoy the writing community it brings me and I always leave feeling very inspired to keep my work moving along. It also brings me an interesting annual ‘marker’, one that helps me trace, note and reflect upon the unfolding of my writing life.

Byron Bay is about 75kms down the road by car and more like 82kms by bicycle. It’s a little longer by bicycle because the cycle way that crosses the Tweed River is more winding than the M-One, the main highway. Also, it’s better to avoid riding on the M-One, and ride smaller roads through the coastal villages of Kingscliff, Bogangar, Pottsville and Hastings Point. Yes, I’ve thought it through.

At some point though, I’d have to enter the M-One for about 20kms. It’s along that stretch that a bridge bears the colours of a rainbow. Each upright in the bridge rail is painted a colour of the rainbow, colourful, yet a piercing reminder of where a local woman died riding her bicycle. It’s sobering and a little haunting but not enough for me to say no I won’t ever ride that way.

In the earlier months of the experiment, I planned to ride to the festival just because I could – and for the adventure of it. But realistically, what happens when we get down there? We’d have to camp in a tiny tent for three days, which I don’t mind but not when I want to spruce up each day for a literary feast. Or we’d have to pay for beds somewhere.

Hmm, isn’t that a campervan we’ve got sitting in the garage downstairs?

It seems to me that if I take on the adventure of riding my bicycle to Byron Bay, it’s going to takeover my whole experience of the weekend when my main aim is to enjoy this much-loved annual dose of literary life and inspiration.

So the campervan it is! With the bicycles carried on the bicycle rack that brought an unexpected turn early in this experiment.

And just like in years past, we’ll park our small campervan on a beachfront site at the campground, sleep comfortably listening to the sounds of the ocean, leave the campervan there for three days and each day ride our bicycles to the festival!

14 Comments on “Riding to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

  1. Gail, I’m impressed that you even contemplated riding your bike to Byron. Riding to the festival everyday will certainly be more convenient for finding a place to park. It will also allow you to soak up the sights too. I’m sure there will be plenty of good ones.

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  2. Sounds like a perfect compromise to me. Campervan and bikes! Enjoy all the wonderful delights of the festival. I was hoping to go this year but have too many commitments. Byron is one of my favourite places to visit (although usually when it is not so busy!) I look forward to hearing your thought about the place. 🙂

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    • I think it’s a good solution too Jane. Thanks for your well wishes. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful first day of the three day festival. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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  3. Well being green is one thing, but risking life and limb is not always the most – ahem – sustainable choice I think. Have a fab weekend, and get lots of inspiration to continue your environmental crusade. Cheers, Paula

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right Paula 🙂 I’ve always wanted this project to be a source of longer term solutions so meeting these different situations is bringing my choices into a sharper perspective as to what’s really involved.
      Thanks for your well wishes. Day 1 has been very enjoyable!

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  4. Now you’re thinking like a Bromptoneer. Just because you ride a bike, or want to take your bike, doesn’t mean you have to ride it the WHOLE way there. It’s about having options. And when it folds up nice and compact, you have even more options.
    Enjoy your festival, enjoy taking the caravan, and enjoy your rides. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Bromptoneer… a great word! 🙂
      I saw a few foldaway bikes over the weekend around Byron, Dayna. Not all Brompton brand but all travellers I suspect. Plus in the campground I noticed a few caravans and cars with bicycles perched on a rear rack ready for travelling. So the idea is catching! Just as you’d expect for such a great idea! 🙂

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  5. The longer I follow your blog the more I have a stronger feeling that you are experiencing more and more freedom as your experiment continues. I find myself envious! Gives me reason to work out why this feeling is rising up in me. Must be freedom I am seeking and not yet achieving. Love your writing Gail!

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    • That’s quite insightful Roz. It’s given me something to reflect on.

      I think you’re right… as the experiment progresses, I’m finding it easier to ‘sort out’ the decisions it’s asking of me – what works, what doesn’t, what I’m prepared to do, and what I’m not. And making those choices does seem to generate a sense of freedom… of expression I guess.

      I’m also guessing that ‘sorting out’ has a place in any part of our lives.

      It’s great to know you’re enjoying these stories. Thanks! 🙂

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