Today is a day for quiet contemplation and for a cyclist like me the meditative rhythm of a road bike ride seems to be the best vessel for doing that.
Note: this article contains the name of a person who has died.
Brisbane’s V1 Veloway is a long, dedicated bikeway through the city’s southern suburbs which makes it a great candidate for such a ride because it eliminates the need to worry about motor traffic and allows you to concentrate solely on what your legs and mind are doing. Combined with part of the River Loop and some ghostly quiet CBD streets, I cobbled together a ride that gave me the head space I wanted.
Rain normally gets a mixed reaction from the road biking set and depending on where you sit on the continuum of anal retentiveness, your reaction is going to be somewhere in the range of welcome relief to apathy to disconcertion about some kind of perceived bicycle implosion. Anyway, there were several short but reasonable drenchings along the way which initially started my mind toward the “tighter” end of the continuum but I quickly managed to loosen my stance, care less and just enjoy the ride. After all, temperatures are hovering around 30deg C, even most of the nice road wheels have sealed bearings in them, frames have drain holes and I’m running a set of 28mm training tyres at low pressure on my roadie. Most importantly of all, bikes are made to be ridden not mollycoddled and there’s no way a road bike will completely avoid the rain all it’s life.
This isn’t a part of town I normally ride in so I brought along my GPS just to prevent me from getting lost, then frustrated, then turning back and going home the way I came and I have to say that it worked out well. The kilometres slipped by all too quickly on this grey morning and, if anything, left me wanting more. But I think given which day of the year it is and what I had actually come out here to think about, the most significant part of the day would have to be this mural of Australian Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira, which I completely randomly stumbled upon near a railway underpass around the Fairfield train station. It felt almost eerie to have found this mural and to read his story later redoubled for me the need to reflect on the meaning of this day.
Then it was time to start heading home so I slipped through some back streets and onto the Brisbane Corso before heading home though the still deserted CBD.
Ride safe and see you out there some time.
The producer of the Velo Moda website acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where I create and publish content from, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise their continued connection to the land and waters of this beautiful place.