Forty-one (41) other riders, in 65km between 0615 and 0845. That's all I saw out this morning on my Artarmon–Church Point–Artarmon loop. A ratio of less than 1 c/km, to use the official measure.

Now, we've been through this all before, in 2009, in 2010, in 2011 and last year. I just don't want to hear your feeble, snivelling, self-serving excuses this time. I mean, I can trot most of them out from my own storehouse of pathetic rationalisations for lacking cycling motivation. If I ever ran out of them, I could borrow from Mr O''s bottomless barrel of barely believable justifications for not riding. I doubt, though, even if I had his skill, I'd ever need to resort to O'Rwellyan changing of the past, making things simply cease to

Where was I going with this?

Oh, yes. I just wanted to say again how great an early Christmas Day ride can be. There is practically zero traffic, including cyclists, something so rare around Sydney during daylight hours that it must be remarked upon at least annually.

Notwithstanding this morning's paucity of fellow pedallers, there were some of note. The very first other rider I saw, in Cammeray, sported, I only realised later, a Russell-Moore-designed road shirt identifying him as an Audax rider and participant in the 1999 Paris-Brest-Paris Randonnee. Given the minuscule number of such riders on the North Shore, chances are that I had met him previously, but I could not put a name to the face behind the helmet and sunglasses.

Later, as I proceeded in an orderly fashion along Pittwater Rd approaching Church Point, I spotted a rider I could put a name to. He was a red-suited, red-capped and white-bearded gentleman pedalling briskly ahead of me, despite a whole load of tinsel and decorations tink-a-link-a-link-a-ling in his rear wheel. It was Santa, no doubt heading north to the Pole via the scenic McCarrs Creek route. I really should have asked him as we passed what he had done with his reindeer and sleigh but it was good to see him falling back on sustainable transport.

So, I urge you not to miss your next opportunity to ride on near-deserted roads which could be as early as tomorrow, Boxing Day, or early next year, on New Year's Day itself, though that could be a riskier proposition given the number of drunks driving home after a night of partying and the extra broken glass lying around.

Because you never know who or what you may see.

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Comment by Michael O'Reilly on December 26, 2013 at 9:44am
Comment by Eleri on December 26, 2013 at 11:40am

DHBC had 2 rides on our calendar for Christmas Day.  17 people went to La Perouse with a subset of that convening for a post-ride coffee in Marrickville.  About 8 others headed off down the Royal National Park.  

I went to La Pa.  A lovely ride with courteous drivers and only a very light sprinkle of rain. 

Comment by Neil Alexander on December 26, 2013 at 6:21pm

Thanks, Mr O'Rwelly, I enjoyed that. Very apt, though I am a bit surprised you didn't go for this one.

Comment by Neil Alexander on December 28, 2013 at 9:05am

Lots and lots and lots of cyclists out on the West Head Rd through KCNP this morning, and on all the roads leading to the Park.

Were you among them?

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