A 10km cycle after the wind

It was a terrible day here today. By mid-morning it was already 40°C and there was a strong north wind turning everything inside out. I certainly don't miss hot northerlies — the winds that blow in from the desert interior — because I associate them with bush fires. The roar of swirling gum trees is enough to put my teeth on edge.

The wind and the heat scuppered my plan for a longish cycle (and my mum's plan for a picnic at the beach). I stayed inside and did some reading, surfed the internet and began packing my bags for my long haul flight back to London on Thursday night.

But at 4.45pm the wind died and the temperature dropped by an alarming 20°C in a matter of minutes. Time for a quick bike ride before tea, then!

"There'll be loads of fallen branches on the road," warned my mum.

"She'll be right," I said, donning my helmet and jumping in the saddle.

Within five minutes I was on the rail trail and confronted with this:


It was worse a bit further along, with a giant limb from a gum tree on the ground. I had to get off the bike and haul it off the track.

Fortunately, only about 1km of the track was like this. The rest carves its way through open farmland. The only thing getting in my way there was the odd rabbit jumping across, a cat (!!) and quite a lot of magpies.

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