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!