In the early days of rail travel it was thought that the human body couldn’t withstand speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour. Apparently doctors claimed that irreparable damage would be done to one’s internal organs. They said we simply aren’t designed to travel fast.
Nowadays, we think nothing of flying across the skies at supersonic speeds or zipping along the highway at 100 kilometres an hour encased in a metal and glass, air conditioned bubble.
On tour with fully loaded bikes we travel at a average of 15 kms an hour: Part of, not seperate from, the natural world we are moving in. My senses have become attuned to the environment. I recognise the fox scent, bird calls and gecko clicks. I feel the wind and watch the sky. See, hear, smell, touch, taste; embracing it all without fear and accepting what the day’s ride offers.
In the mornings we wait for sunrise before cycling off and know the places where the kangaroos or wallabies are most likely to cross the road. On clear nights we use the Southern Cross as a reference point to study the consolations, sometimes rewarded with a shooting star. Casuarina trees, blood woods and lemon scented gums all have a particular unique aroma that changes during the course of the day.
Up and down the rises and cuttings, following the colours of the land through a succession of micro-climates.
Cyclists are the natural inheritors of the classic Australian rural legend of the self sufficient bushman , life condensed into a moment. At one with the world and happy in their own skin.