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.

26 Comments on “Back in the neighbourhood

  1. glad you’ve had a good time. when we leave just before 6.00am , dawn was about an hour before so we don’t have to ride in the dark. wait until the end of August and you can really tell that the days are shortening for us. Today , we actually have a sunny , summers day – we could be in Aus!! its about 30C and too hot . heehee

    Liked by 1 person

    • That IS hot for your part of the world Brenda. What a wonderful day to be out cycling! 🙂
      We’re mid-winter so the days are short with sunrise about 6.30am. It doesn’t last for long and the days will be lengthening again. It was quite pleasant to ride in the dark in the early hours. And yesterday, it wasn’t as cool in the early hours because we’ve had an unseasonal northerly bringing warm winds. I even had a swim in the ocean today! 🙂


  2. That picture says it all! I am so excited, Gail!! In about 10 days I will be by the ocean too (although not in Australia) I have never seen the Pacific Ocean so I am jumping up and down like a little kid inside 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, I can’t believe you’re going to see the Pacific Ocean – what a wonderful destination to cycle towards – and in only 10 days. No wonder you’re excited Bri. I would be too! A trans-continent adventure.

      Last year, one of my friends cycled across to the West coast of Australia over three months (I wrote a story about her setting off on her adventure: ).

      I can imagine seeing a whole new ocean would be truly amazing …and after so much time pedalling inland.

      Looking forward to reading more about your adventures Bri 🙂


      • That’s right. We don’t seem to have had one. Interesting statistics coming from meteorological circles. Seems despite disclaimers, the climate is definitely warming up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We had a cool burst at the beginning of July when all that snow fell in Australia’s south but now it’s quite the opposite. The forecasts of erratic weather is certainly true. Patterns changing.

        Liked by 1 person

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