A Bike Ride

By Anna Foster , August 30, 2019

Read time: 2 Mins

A Bike Ride Image

Grown adults riding in too low a gear. Manic legs move at triple speed. There is no sight more joyful.

That factory that smells like burnt toast in the mornings.

A man wearing a Cycling Institution top with matching Cycling Institution socks (pulled up). Just above his back wheel, he’d tied a clipboard with ‘Cycling’ handwritten on the front cover.

Pigeons eating crackers outside a Vespa repair shop.

A man on a motorised scooter. A giant among seated, scurrying others. They pedal furiously, trying to keep up.

An accidental chase. A youngish boy with spindly legs. I hope he wasn’t too frightened.

Being struck by flecks of rain. Not enough to complain about, like the gentle spit of someone when they tell an animated anecdote.

Heatwave night. The dusk sky stretched, endless. A blue void, slipping into the dark. The creek was dried up.  An amber streetlight shone on a gum tree, an artificial imitation of the golden hour just gone.

40 degrees and a man at the crossing yells at the man behind me for yelling at me. “It’s too hot to be on a bike,” he said, fatigued.

Halfway up the hill, you realise you’ve been ambitious. Maybe about things other than this, too. Who do you think you are? But at the top, you see the city skyline. It’s changed. You’ve changed. You’ve both learnt a lot.

Stuck at an intersection. A no-nonsense cyclist takes me under his wing. As he rides up, he gives me a quick glance, “Right, we’re going at the next one. Ready? Off we go”. He pedalled away before I could even say thanks. He wore a thick raincoat despite the sun and a full brim beach hat under his helmet.

Full shade and side-eye from a little girl at the traffic lights. She can’t have been three. On the back of a tandem bike. Flaxen fringe, pure fire.

A possum and a bat, sharing a phone line.

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