A Bicycle Riding Holiday: Day 1 – Goulburn to Collector

Anzac Day 2018 I wanted to ride someplace quiet and beautiful. I chose the area around Goulburn, New South Wales. This is the telling of that journey in words and pictures. I’ve split each day into three pieces – the story, some history, and the details (of route, accommodation and food).  Saturday 21 April 2018 I’ve woken to a gorgeous, sunny, slightly cool day and have made my way to Greengrocer for breakfast. A grupetto of MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra) encircle an outdoor table littered with the debris of their post-ride breakfast. They show no more than a …

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Bicycle Riding Holiday Around Goulburn: Prologue

After my mid-life gap year, after my foray back into American politics, I came home to Sydney and began looking for work. In time, I got a temp position, which became a permanent position and, with permanence, came paid leave. This is the first paid leave I’ve been eligible for this century, it’s such a novel concept it’s taken me a while to get around to using it for a holiday. During the week of Anzac Day 2018 I wanted to go for a bicycle ride someplace quiet and beautiful. I settled on the area around Goulburn, New South Wales …

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Beach No 51: Milk (Sunday 11 February 2018)

Since 2010 I’ve been visiting Sydney’s beaches in alphabetical order. I’ve reached number 51: Milk. As I hop on my bicycle to ride to Milk Beach at 9:30 am I’m thinking of a recent conversation with a friend about Being more and Doing less. The irony of spending my leisurely bicycle ride through Sydney on a beautiful Sunday morning thinking about how to Be rather than Do isn’t entirely lost on me. But, obviously, I am off in the shrubbery of my mind as I ride through Centennial Park. The road is one way and I ride right past my …

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Beach No 50: Maroubra (7 January 2018)

Since 2010 I’ve been visiting Sydney’s beaches in alphabetical order. I’ve reached number 50: Maroubra. We’re set for record-breaking heat today. It’s supposed to be in the high 40s in the Western Suburbs. My old schoolmate, Tracey, is visiting from Chicago – and no heat is too much heat for her.  My friend Matthew is coming along too – he’s becoming a regular here at Sundays the Beach with this to be his third (after Little Congwong and Manly). The Maroubra Beach high street, the shops, the reserve behind the beach, the beach itself, and the area between the flags are …

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Beach No 49: Manly – 10 December 2017

Summer has arrived and the beaches beckon. It’s a gorgeous, golden, shimmering day. There’s heat in the sun and cool in the shade. It feels, as it should, like early summer. I meet Aaron, Giancarlo, and Matthew for a late breakfast at Kansas City Shuffle in The Rocks. We eat, drink coffee, talk of politics, and life, and whatever else comes to mind – an enjoyable, engaged, all-in conversation. This was just the sort of thing I missed while I was travelling alone through France – this sort of free-flowing dialogue among people with enough in common to understand one another yet …

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Beach No 48: Malabar – A winter solstice beach (25 June 2017)

In 2014 I heard a story on the radio about ceremonies people create for themselves. A caller described a women’s winter solstice ceremony she had been conducting for years. The Winter Solstice, marking the moment when more light begins to fill your days, is the beginning of a new cycle and a nadir. The caller’s ceremony involved letting go of the past year – which I then sorely needed to do. I had then run my worst turn around the sun to date and was, finally, starting to recover. I’ve missed marking the solstice in 2015 (I was in the northern hemisphere) and …

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Long Time a Coming – Long Reef (No. 47*: 16 April 2017)

You’d almost think I’d grown weary of this project given how slowly I’ve returned to it after my time away, but that’s not it at all. I continue to love the idea but sometimes it just becomes hard to get there. While unemployed, my weekends weren’t a break from my labours – I could just as easily search for jobs at the weekend as any other time. Even if I wasn’t looking for work at the weekends I felt the pressure that, perhaps, I could be, I should be.  While unemployed, I was also more conscientious of spending money and …

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Getting Naked on Little Congwong Beach (No 45, 2 January 2017)

No 45: Little Congwong (Monday 2 January) Little Congwong is not officially clothing optional and yet it is. So it was appropriate that I should visit while my friend Matthew is in town. Matthew recently rode his bicycle from Eindhoven, the Netherlands to his hometown of Adelaide. I had been following his blog as I was preparing for my own big bicycle tour and, one day in December 2014, I was catching up on his story when I watched this video, and thought it was excellent. I complimented the video, and, knowing he was summering in Australia (wisely not riding …

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