In a showing that would make a NSW Cup rugby crowd look huge, cyclists have again failed to take advantage of the best riding day of the year. Official figures, gathered by me, show cyclists riding in the lowest numbers on Christmas Day since records began in 2009, a mere 35 whom I saw on my ride. (I'll ignore 2012's feeble effort of nine {yes, 9} because it was on a totally different route.)

This morning my annual research took me on a 70km or so loop – distance indeterminate because Garmin battery went flat :-( – from Artarmon via The Spit, Mona Vale, Church Point, Akuna Bay, Pymble and back to Artarmon. It was overcast and dull with mist obscuring distant features though the temperature was ideal, in the high teens, I guessed.

Typically for Christmas morn, there was virtually no traffic between 0600 and 0700 and what there was seemed dominated by garbage trucks, their sickly-sweet-scented plume of gases generated by putrescible rubbish filling my nostrils as each passed. I didn't even see another cyclist until Military Rd and the next two were on the climb of Battle Blvd. Wakehurst Parkway beyond Seaforth had a couple but numbers only started picking up on Pittwater Rd where they reached double figures.

I passed Santa (#11) just before MV shops. Still cycling in his fur-trimmed red suit with a sack of toys over his shoulder, he seemed overdressed for the humid conditions. I couldn't understand what he said back when I so commented. It may have been "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas" or "F@#$ off and mind your own business". Whatever, it was muffled by that thick, white beard.

In the normally cyclist-thronged Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park there were riders in ones and twos more often. The guy who sucked my wheel after I caught him near the top of the climb out of Akuna Bay was number 27. He said he was doing a loop from Narrabeen. By the exit of the park my count had reached 30. Which means there were only another five to be seen all the way from there back to Artarmon via MV Rd and Pacific Hwy, a distance of ... oh, I don't bloody know coz the Garmin battery was flat ... but it's probably at least 20km.

Amazingly, that last 20km was very relaxing with still-light traffic approaching 0900 despite me using normally extremely busy major roads. It capped off a great ride. You don't know what you missed if you didn't get out there this morning.

So, now it's your turn. Let me hear your feeble, pathetic, snivelling, contrived excuses* for not getting any exercise on the best day of the year for it. I've heard them all before, of course but, please, feel free to trot them out again. I know you wanna. Make my day. Punks.

Go on. Do it. Do it now! There's plenty of virtual space below.

*I will accept excuses like "I was cooking Christmas lunch for 14 people".

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Comment by Michael O'Reilly on January 1, 2015 at 3:56pm

Had you but chosen to cycle along the Cape Town coastline from Milnerton to Melkbos, N/A, you could have sighted and counted me among the faithful. 

Comment by Neil Alexander on January 1, 2015 at 4:13pm

Unlikely, Mr O'.

I would have been back home and back in bed by the time you were out on the road. ;-)


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