Had a few tears of elation blowing back from the corners of my eyes today as I flew down the Capital City trail and across the bridge at Flemington Road for the second time this week. Felt so good. Love those uninterrupted free rides down hills on bike paths. Today was especially good. Perfect autumn weather. Twenty-five degrees. Light breeze.
I've been playing solitaire a bit these hols. Haven't done the usual catch-ups with a couple of friends. You might say I'm resting my voice. That, or I have no friends.
The cycling has been terrific; a selfish indulgence. I don't have to interact with anyone, well, apart from the waitress at that cafe at the marina opposite Docklands today. (Can I help you? Earl Grey tea? I'll bring it out to you. Nice weather. They say this'll be the last of the warm weather. It's going to be 27 on Sunday. $4.00 thanks.) And that woman coming the other way on the Upfield bike track. (Perfect timing, she called, because I'd pressed the button at the Dawson Street intersection and she could just bowl through.)
Never lonely on my bike anyway.
Two days back I had no intention of cycling so far - 26k round trip. Was just going to the local shops but thought I'd circle through Princes Park first before weighing myself down with a pannier of groceries. That's when I discovered that the Royal Parade underpass was under construction. Too easy for me to keep going down the hill through Royal Park and on to Docklands. Stopped for something to eat at Fish Bar, or whatever that place is called.
'How much is the fish burger?' The list of ingredients on the chalkboard looked tempting and why not? I'd cycle it off on the way back.
'The fish burger is off.' Okay, best not to eat an off fish-burger.
'Two steamed dim sims, please.' Well, aren't dim sims the complete food? You've got your 'meat', your cabbage, maybe 12 grams of carb each.
'No steamed dim sims. Only fried.'
'Hmm. Okay. Two fried dim sims. And a Diet Coke.'
'Haven't got Diet Coke. Only Coke Zero.'
Grabbed a table in the shade to enjoy the ambience. Lots of paunchy balding business men in shirts and ties, singles and pairs, enjoying the sunshine, light playing on the water, yachts in the marina. One man was on his mobile. (If I'm in the mood, don't mind eavesdropping on those obliviously loud one way conversations. He was planning dinner - something with caramelised onions - while he ate his fish and chips.) A couple of families. A grandfather and grandson out for a ride.
My dim sims, when they arrived in their brown paper bag, were overcooked. I pronounced them delicious anyway.
My ride continued back along the Yarra river through that very impressive South Wharf, Exhibition Centre, Polly Woodside precinct. Looks amazing. The river had the glossy, chocolatey consistency of that river in the first Willy Wonka film.
Cycled through the crowds along Crown, over Sandridge bridge and along the Yarra to Batman Avenue, up Flinders and Spring Streets then along the Nicholson Street 'shared' path.
One negative. For the life of me I can't understand why one can't cycle through the gardens around the Exhibition Building. The Rathdowne and Nicholson Street footpaths are invariably busy. Nearly hit two women on Nicholson today, who at different times decided to throw themselves under the front wheel of my bike. And there are only ever about ten people in all that park with all those empty paths through the trees.
Back along Canning Street through Carlton. Had some wedding photos taken on the centre nature strip there, under the old palm trees, back in the day. Always think about it as I cycle along in the dedicated cycle lane that didn't exist back in the 'eighties.
And back onto the Capital City trail in Park Street to the Upfield Bike Path north and home.
Added bonus on today's ride was my son cycling towards me. Stopped for a quick catch-up then went our separate ways. Glad he's got the cycling thing too.