I love my bike.
This morning was rolling down my driveway, down to the river.
My bike loves me.
I ride without my hands and he responds to the slightest shift of weight.
We squeeze under Canterbury Rd, and speed past the sugar mill and try not to fall off the ricketty bridge. He protects my from the crazy dog.
The gears go up and down with the hills: 5, 6, 5, 4, 5, 6, 7
“Slow down and keep left while under the bridge”.
We wait for the bike shaped pedestrian light and we brake at the sharp corner under the M5.
We nearly hit a small child.
Andrew Katay’s sermon is still going on my ipod.
We rattle over the bumps in the pavement and look out over the market gardens. We nearly get strangled on fishing lines.
I look down at my watch (strapped around the handlebars). 45 mins, a new record. I think we can go farther.
We set off around Botany Bay. My goal is the oil refinery, but it is just a shadow on the other side of the bay. I can barely see it through the summer haze and smog. It’s very hot and there are lots of people swimming. I would like to join them but I’d have to leave my bike. The track is exciting because I have never been on it before. It’s also easy – it’s nearly completely flat, with kinks in it to keep it interesting.
“Shared cycleway – give way for pedestrians”.
Here is the park where I once stopped with Sarah and looked out across the water. We pass the spot quickly and keep heading south. I can see the green of the Shire very clearly now. And the grossness of the oil refinery (how romantic!). There is a sprinkler on. Are we allowed to have sprinklers anymore? Oh well, we don’t waste the opportunity – we detour and ride through to cool down.
And there is the bridge! The hill up is steep and we are tired. The bike rattles and I promise myself a drink as soon as we get to the shire (I forgot about that promise until another 20 minutes later). We reach the top of the hill and begin gliding down. Our speed picks up. At the point where the bridge touches the ground there is a small bump is the pavement. My bike shudders over it. Welcome to Taren Point! We made it to the Shire in an hour and 15 minutes.
We never got to Kurnell. It was hot and we were tired. We stopped at Caringbah for a drink. Andrew Katay’s sermon finished. Riding around Caringbah was nice. I love places that are rarely visited but still hold lovely memories. Going to Caringbah today, I only had three memories to mull over. We rode past Caringbah Bizzos and I remembered getting out of the car and it was raining. We stopped at a pedestrian crossing and I remembered waiting there with Wilmo once when I visited him. We rode past a sign to the seventh day adventist church and I remembered wondering the streets in search of Caringbah Baps. Each memory had heaps of room because there weren’t too many other geographically inspired memories to crowd them out.
We took the train back home. We waited at Caringbah station. I ate mango without a spoon or anything with my helmet hanging around my wrist. My face was red and covered in mango and I looked like a mess. I sat next to a girl with straightened hair and a mini skirt.
My bike is my favourite travelling companion. He leaned on me on the train home and I leaned right back. I fell asleep with my head resting on the seat.