Across Continents

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Night rider

Acceptance. When you know you have to do something. Even if you really don’t want to. Makes it easier. Stoic. I’d pulled off the road. Dark in less than twenty minutes. Quick phone call to friends. They were expecting me. Wasn’t exactly sure where I was. Just an inkling I’d quite a way to go. Two. Maybe three hours. Could be more.

I’d reached Gosford at lunchtime. Making satisfactory progress from my overnight stop at Swansea. Brief break for coffee. Centrepoint town. Lower social demographic. Benefit office mainstay of the local economy. Cheap looking shops. Salvos – Salvation Army – second hand store doing a brisk trade.

Couple of cyclists had spotted Emma, my trusty steed, outside the cafe. Guessed it was my bike. We chatted for a short while. Soon apparent the final fifty miles into Sydney’s northern suburbs would be slow. Lengthy, if steady, climbs. Wooded valleys.

Sun fading fast now. Lights rigged. Fresh batteries in the rear set. Quick snack. Been on the road since eight. Anxious to press on. Headlights bright enough to be seen. But insufficient for picking my way along unlit roads. Needed to make the most of the last glimmers of daylight. Striving to reach the comforting orange glow of street lights on the outskirts of Sydney.

There’d been a steep gradient at the end. Too tired to ride. Suburban street. Checking letter boxes for house numbers. Needed evens. But which way did they run? Then a shout from down the hill. Welcoming party. We’d made it. Sydney.

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