Ah, the bliss of an early morning ride. The coolness and crispness of the air, the longness of the shadows, the relative absence of traffic. Good luck if you can actually get out of the house though at that time of the day.
I was up before dawn, but I have a simple cardinal rule of morning riding - no poo, no ride. There is no way I am leaving the house before a morning movement. Having to do trousers down next to a tree in a park because every public dunny is locked is not my idea of a relaxing start to the day.
So once that was out of the way, I started my preparations. Filling water bottles, checking battery life in the camera (but forgetting to clean the monkey finger marks off the lens), checking tyre pressures and so on. And just as I prepared for a quiet exit, the kids woke up. A nappy change here, a bottle there, setting up some entertainment on the idiot box - before you know it, half an hour is gone.
Still, by the time I got to Homebush, the dew was still thick on the ground. The grass in this photo is supposed to be glinting in a glintingly gleeful way in the morning sun, but it just didn't come out that way.
Arty-farty art in the park. I can't stand this stuff. Not even little kids who climb over everything will bother with clambering over this.
Arty-farty spaceballs in the distance, rising above the trees. "Eeek, look Mildred, them Martians have landed!"
I tagged onto the back of this small group for a few minutes as we wound our way through the shrubbery. For some people, going for a ride is just an excuse to have a gossip. This lot talked about high priced coffee in fancy cafes and something else that I have already forgotten about. Packs of cyclists must spend a lot of time talking about where to get good, reasonably priced coffee. If some cafes are wondering why the place up the road has 30 cyclists sitting around drinking coffee and eating food like there is no tomorrow, and your place is full of chirping crickets, just remember this - word gets around.
The chick on the right had one noticeable problem. I was not actively looking for this, but as we went through a sunny patch, I noticed that I could see right through the back of her shorts, and could see her G-string. If I was Chook, I would never have left this pack when they turned left about 500m down the road. I would have followed them wherever they led.
Like I said, long shadows at that time of the morning - and this is half an hour after setting off.
More to follow.