I caught the train from Central to West Ryde.
Easy part of the cycle. Got me to where I wanted to begin and it got me there pretty quickly.
Once there I got off the train and began making my way south. There was little issue and it didn’t take too long to reach and cross John Whitton Bridge.
I followed the path and let it carry me to the bridge that runs from Rhodes to Wentworth Point.
From here I headed slightly west, then north until I reached another cycle path and then followed that west until I reached a point with two cargo cranes. I had a brief break here before resuming my cycle down south and further into the Olympic Park region.
Around there is where I got a little lost and had to do some backtracking at parts in order to continue on the route that I had set for myself.
Everything was still pretty easy. I was tiring a bit, but I was holding out better than I had anticipated.
There was plenty of green scenery and despite the pathways kind of clashing with nature, it was a pretty peaceful experience, as far as I’m concerned.
I slowly made my way through and eventually was able to leave the Olympic Park region. The path took me through mangrove areas, past a pond and around an oval.
Whilst heading further south I saw a road that looked rather familiar to me. It was one that I had crossed a number of times when I was much younger than I am now.
It made me think of how I lived (relatively) near that area at a few points in my life and brought back vague ideas of memories. It was not necessarily something that I wanted to think about as I’d done enough thinking about and living of those experiences.
It was not long before I was in Strathfield. I had the option of going past Strathfield Station but instead I went past Homebush Station as I thought it would make for an easier path to Cooks River.
I’ve cycled along Cooks River a number of times so I think that I know the path pretty well. Following it was how I wanted to finish my ride for the afternoon.
I crossed over Hombeush Station and on the other side, hopped on the bike once more and found that the rear tyre and tube had been punctured. Rather annoying. It was a good thing that I was carrying spare tubes.
I managed to get the tube changed and inflated in around twenty-five minutes. It’s the fastest I’ve changed and inflated a tube.
At this point I was considering catching the train back home. The valve of the new tube was one of which I was unfamiliar and I was questioning my ability to complete the ride before dark as the sun was setting at this point.
After I inflated the tube I decided to continue.
I went south down Homebush Road for a few minutes, headed west, then after a few minutes I headed south. The route took me to where The Cooks River path started and also past a place in which I used to live.
The sunset was somewhere behind me and it was nearing the end. I got a move on for a few minutes and tried to keep a fast pace.
I had to stop for a minute or so in order to rest my legs and I also wanted to see how much longer I had left before I would reach Tempe Station.
About nine kilometres. I believed that I could get that done in roughly thirty minutes.
I moved as quickly as I could, stopping occasionally for a quick rest and at one stage to put the lights onto my bike. It was getting cold but I was doing well for time and speed.
I felt as though in some parts I was gliding and in others I was dragging. I may have been pushing a little too hard, but I really wanted to reach the goal. It wasn’t long before it was dark which only exacerbated my desire to have the cycle completed.
I’m glad that I knew the path fairly well as it enabled me to go a bit faster than I normally would, or at least think that I was going a little faster than I normally would as it took around forty minutes for me to get from where I saw there was nine kilometres remaining to Tempe Station.
It was a good thing that I didn’t have to worry too much about people on the path as it was wide enough and there weren’t many people around.
I saw Tempe Station less than a hundred metres in front of me. It was night at this point. There were some people working around the base of the concourse and around one of the tracks.
I peddled up to the stairs leading to the concourse and saw that there was a tape across them.
I called my partner and let her know that I was going to be back later and told her why. She let me know that she knew and that Wolli Creek Station was still open and I should go there as it wasn’t far away.
After a bit of grumbling to her I hopped back on my bike and cycled over to Wolli Creek Station.
The area around the station looked almost exactly like many other areas that I’ve seen before. Due to that, for a brief moment I found it slightly confusing to navigate. Still, it was not long before I reached the station.
I went down to the platform and took a photo of my bike once I found a place on the platform to stop. Someone came up to me and asked if I was a photographer, or something along those lines. I can’t remember the entirety of the conversation, but they were asking me if I wanted to come to this thing that was not a play. It might have been a seminar. I knew that it was being held in a theatre. Anyway, it was something to do with proper use of energy and communication. I think. It sounded interesting, but I was not something that I wanted to do so I declined. I declined multiple times. Someone in the person’s group was a marine scientist. We had a brief conversation. I remained curt. I was tired and I wanted to be left alone to my thoughts.
The train arrived and I wasn’t able to get on in time due to the need to put my camera away in my bag and need to walk bike onto train. The person who asked me to attend looked a little sad and waved goodbye as the train departed. There wasn’t much of a wait for the next train, thankfully.
I hopped on, got off at Green square and then cycled the rest of the way home.
The cycle to Wolli Creek took almost three hours in total. Getting to Tempe Station was meant to take roughly ninety minutes, but I imagine that it took longer due to stopping a few times, taking photos, going the wrong way and changing the rear tube. With that being said, the actual cycling time was around two hours so I think that I did alright regarding time.
Going through places I was familiar with was kind of saddening. Seeing a bunch of apartments go up where there were once houses (near Strathfield) made me think that, whilst the previous structures were not that good, the new ones only served to remove the character and history of the area. Despite appearing somewhat interesting, they were far too reminiscent of sterile homogeneity; the kind that far too people seem fond of in Sydney.
Few areas remain the same forever. Change is an inevitability. That doesn’t mean we should settle for the removal of history and culture in order to accommodate the development of a bunch of bland apartments.
Strathfield is going to become different to what I once knew, but it disappoints me that it, like Glebe, Redfern and a slew of other places will loose their character and what various things will bring to the area. Too many new buildings lack character. They bring nothing to an area other than their hideous blight. The Sirius Building has character. It might be ugly, but it’s a better building than most of the refuse nearby. It is genuinely interesting and served a purpose of genuine benefit.
The Wolli Creek area reminded me of other places that I’d seen. I don’t consider this to be a good thing. Everything appeared to be calculated which was fine, but it appeared sterile and lacked any real character. It was almost as though it was a facsimile of other places that have followed the same style of development; buildings that all look the same in an area that is meant to feel recreational but is distinctly artificial. It was redolent of the urban estate developments that feel like a maze to navigate around, but on a smaller scale.
It would be remiss for me to not mention that this is only a part of Wolli Creek and the rest could be different, but I was not impressed with what I saw.
With that out of the way, the cycle was good. I got to see some interesting things and it was something that I enjoyed.