Back in the neighbourhood
The hour before dawn carries a stillness like no other part of the day. Something fresh is happening. A new day is beginning. And its sights, scents and sounds spill gently into this quietness. Today, I was pedalling my bike pre-dawn to fit in around work commitments.
Stepping outside into the cool air, my sleepy head soon woke. ‘There’s the saucepan’ I said pointing at the three stars that form Orion’s belt. They sparkled and blinked as the breaking day chased them across the eastern sky.
Cycling along suburban streets in the darkness, cars with commuters flash by. Bicycles with lights as big as cars pedal past, some carry voices, some simply whoosh by. Everyone leaves silence behind them.
The scent of somebody’s first cigarette seeps from a house, wafting past our drift.
In a driveway, a man walks silently with heavy shoulders, opens the boot of his car, slings a backpack into it and closes the boot quietly. 5.52am. The air is still. I feel the quietness of this early hour as I pedal.
Then the veil lifts gently. Darkness fades. Light seeps in. I can see where I’m riding.
And I love it. Sights of the Coral Sea tickled by a fading swell. Salty air and sands that have changed since I last saw them. Surfboards tucked under arms. Wetsuits being pulled on. An outrigger crew returning to shore. Paddlers stroking the water on their stand up paddle boards. Cyclists in twos and fours and mores pedalling somewhere exchanging cheery good mornings. I see Hugh on his daily commute, a recumbent rider like Barry and fishermen waiting to net the mullet.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been away travelling. We packed the campervan, loaded the bicycles on the back and went on a road trip. As you can imagine, I’ve collected some stories. During the trip, I posted some photos on my @abike4allseasons Facebook page but over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting a series of stories from our road trip.
In the meantime, it’s great to be back in the neighbourhood.