Gayness, and another bikepacking trip.

Sharing a few thoughts on ‘gay’ felt like a maybe useful idea but I have an ingrained bias based on life experience, and therefore too much firsthand knowledge of truth to be politically correct. I know who loitered around Piccadilly Circus looking for a beautiful young male body to rent as a living sex doll, and therefore know it was not just ‘rich and powerful heterosexual-identifying men.’ There was indeed a disproportionate number of such men, which should tell us something about homosexual feelings as they exist within the human species because the same, as just one example, was found by journalists investigating the call-boy scene in Houston, Texas, in the early eighties: that being a high number of men sourcing boys had control over a significant number of other people. Warlords in Afghanistan are also well known as collectors of beautiful boys, and show them off as social-status symbols on par with a collection of exotic sports cars. The same occurred in many other cultures, and for as long as humans have existed.

The issue is complex and cannot be reduced to a list of persecuted minorities, but then again, it’s quite simple – the capacity for homosexual emotional responses is ubiquitous within the human species. Why, is complex. Really nothing much more can be said, and as is always the case, if an attempt to regulate a natural system does not reflect the full complexity, or distorts the true nature of that system, then that attempt will be defeated by the system it seeks to control.

Honestly – who gives a fuck anyway?

Another bikepacking adventure is already back on the table. The previous one ended with storms giving me an excuse to turn back with the main problem been I just wasn’t mentally ‘in to it’, which greatly affects the physical ability to tackle a series of steep hills as well. Strangely, struggling up a hill south of Ulladulla, NSW south coast, for whatever reason I snapped into a better mental state, and immediately uphill speed increased quite significantly. Could have simply been the prospect of a cooked breakfast sitting at a table, rather than sitting cross-legged on the ground eating muesli mixed with powered milk.

Australia Day…

Today I went for a walk in the city and stepping out of Sydney’s Central Station came across lines of police and what turned out to be an ‘invasion day’ gathering of Indigenous Australians and their supporters in Belmore Park. Flat white in one hand and bacon and egg roll in the other, I was looking for a place to sit, and having found a patch of grass, I settled down to enjoy breakfast listening to speakers screech about discrimination, stolen children, foreign invasion, the torrents of hate a broadside of ‘fucking’.

I remember out bush in 2012 having an Australia Day conversation with an Indigenous man of about my age who was doing the round Australia retirement trip, but without his wife whom he said had passed away before they were able to realise this long-held dream together. “I’m doing it for and in memory of her”, he said. He was a grandfather and as two older men, we found immediate agreement in wishing our children and their descendants live as one people in a united and peaceful nation.

Just as Martin Luther King said in his powerful “I have a dream” speech in 1963,

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

Having finished coffee and bacon and egg roll, I wandered down to the harbour where a navy frigate was parked near the Opera House, an F35 did a fly over, and a dozen or so persons on jet skies were playing follow-the-leader at Circular Quay, for reasons probably only known to themselves. Caught a train back to the suburbs.

Putin’s love affair with the LGBT

More outrage in the media about Putin extending the reach of the Russian government’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws. Focus of the outrage is on how this affects adult gays such as a Saint Petersburg transsexual who now feels forced to move to Paris, as reported by the BBC. Western media mainly report these laws as political opportunism in that they exploit a genuine fear of homosexuals within the Russian public. What is not discussed is why this fear exists.

To understand that we need to look back and acknowledge that Russia, and other eastern block nations, were and remain socially conservative, and religious despite the best efforts of their communist governments to stamp out religion. It could be true that such efforts reinforced religious belief rather than eliminating it. To make matters worse, as far as homosexuals are concerned, Russia and ex-Soviet block nations at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union did not have laws prohibiting the production of child abuse material, and the combination of widespread poverty, corruption, and the collapse of the state system including institutions such as orphanages and juvenile detention centres, etc, meant there was an ample supply of socially-isolated Slavic children for criminals to prey upon. In her book, “Putin’s Russia”, and discussing military recruits been hired out as slave labour, Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya (murdered Moscow 2006) wrote that such hiring out to businesses was not the only money-making scheme, and there is ample evidence that boys in military school, like those in juvenile detention facilities, were forcefully used in the production of child-abuse material.

Cities such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other eastern European cities, became prime destinations for western sex tourists, and as mentioned emerged a production of child-abuse material on an industrial scale primarily catering for the Western European and North American markets. To the citizens of eastern block nations who for seventy years had remained isolated behind the Iron Curtain, such was their first encounter with what appeared to them as accepted western morality, and first impressions are lasting.

Further confirming this negative view of western societies came in recent decades the push for gay marriage, and the ‘trans movement’ with reports of preschool children being encouraged to ‘transition’, and of children undergoing irreversible ‘gender-reassignment surgery’. It should surprise no one that Putin is able to describe these practises as satanic, and many in the west agree with that view fuelling, together with issues of mass migration, population replacement, and fear of loss of culture and national identity, a strengthening of the far-right in western nations as well.

Samantha X – words of wisdom from a great woman.

Just another and quick post for today, the article linked below is about high-profile Sydney sex worker known as ‘Samantha X’, real name Amanda Goff, whom I found based on replies she gives in a recent ‘News’ article (link below), to be an impressive woman. As an ex Piccadilly Circus boy, I find her replies are also spot on, and especially when she says she has no regrets. About her time as Samantha X she says,

“The lessons I’ve learned, the compassion, empathy, resilience & the authenticity I’m now armed with I wouldn’t change for the world.”

Most often boys quit ‘the game’ at about the age women start, that being late teens or early twenties and so it’s true the underage factor and homosexual nature of a rent boy’s work make it by far more psychologically damaging when the fact the majority of boys are straight and only do what they do out of economic necessity, is taken into account. Nevertheless, living the rest of life in anger and self-pity, or worse, seeking revenge, will only perpetrate the hurt and damage. The abuser abuses you still. The right attitude to have is indeed compassion, and from that have the ability to genuinely forgive. Forgiveness is an incredibly powerful thing, and so it’s no surprise that it is central to Christian practice.

It has to be said as well that in the early seventies we, the infamous ‘Dilly Boys’, were a living expression of the counter-cultural revolution, and when having adapted to the lifestyle, and realised the emotional power we had over many ‘punters’, we could be more dangerous to them than they to us.

Read the article

Riding south and the coast.

Arrived back in Sydney last night, the ride was not good. It started out OK riding down the highway south of Sydney, but was not feeling ‘into it’. The highlight of that first week was washing away days of sweat by jumping into a river and in that beautiful place, lying in the shade of a gum tree gazing at the sky. From Goulburn, I took a back road to Bungendore which is just south of Lake George and then south again until, and fortunately having already set up camp, a thunderstorm broke out, and checking the weather bureau website, I found storms were predicted for the following few days. Next morning I headed back north to Bungendore where rather than shoot straight up north to Sydney, I took the Kings Highway east across the Great Dividing Range to Batemans Bay on the New South Wales south coast.

Dawn landscape with fields of long yellow grass, morning mist, and sun just breaking over distant hills. Photograph Paul Nyssen.
Up at about 5.30 AM, I was able to catch this beautiful sunrise just north of the township of Tarago. What makes the bikepacking worth the effort.

Just short of Batemans Bay the bike’s back tyre sprung a leak, and of course, it started raining. Hours later I finally made it to the sea, and lost my way in one of those new MacMansions-by-the-sea suburbs, the rain intensified, I took refuge under a bus stop expecting to spend the night.

Dawn on a wet and cloudy morning looking out over the bay towards the ocean. Batemans Bay New South Wales Australia. Photograph Paul Nyssen
Misty and wet dawn Batemans Bay.

Next morning the rain stopped and after a pit stop in town for coffee and bacon and egg roll, I started the ride north along the Princess Highway to Ulladulla, a nice little town and fishing port. I carried on to Nowra, and had enough of hills, bad road surface and in places, the absence of a shoulder to ride on. Meaning you have to compete for road space with trucks and retirees in four wheel drives pulling caravans. From the experience of thousands of kilometres of bikepacking over the past few years, I find truck drivers best understand cycling along some of our beautiful highways is a dangerous pastime, and do all they can to give you room to fall over without getting run over. They also know their rigs compress the air in front of them, pushing you sideways, and immediately followed by a vacuum into which you get sucked.

Photograph of the bad condition of the road shoulder on Kings and other highways forcing cyclists onto the road itself. Photograph Paul Nyssen
No other traffic in this picture of the Kings Highway shoulder but as the main route between Canberra and the coast, it can get very busy and dangerous for cyclists. Other older highways in New South Wales are no better and often worse. The drop where the shoulder has crumbled away as I’ve seen in places, can be thirty to forty centimetres.
Kings Highway looking west with wide open spaces, distant hills and near cloudless blue sky. Photograph Paul Nyssen.
Again the Kings Highway and looking west. Here there is actually an intact shoulder but as nothing is perfect, the surface of the shoulder is like gargantuan sandpaper which when you hit it, can cause you to downshift a gear or two, and even mean peddling in a mid-range gear to keep the bike and trailer moving on slight downhills.
Bike and trailer on Kings Highway and picture looking west to distant hills and gathering thunderstorm. Photograph Paul Nyssen.
One in a series of scattered thunderstorms in south east New South Wales that caused me to head for the coast.

In Nowra, or more exactly the small locality of Bomaderry on the north side of Nowra where the station is located, checking the train times I found that because of track work the train would not go further than Dapto which is on the south side of Wollongong.

Bike and trailer in the fishing port of Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, with fishing vessels in the background and blue sky with storm clouds gathering. Photograph Paul Nyssen.
Always liked Ulladulla, and maybe because it still has a working harbour, and not just a marina full of plastic yachts.

Getting out of the Dapto / Wollongong area is a problem for the heavily-loaded cyclist and checking possible routes on Google maps, I found there was no escaping long steep hills, but the train-replacement bus driver was a decent human being and where many others had refused saying the bike and trailer needed to be ‘boxed’, he let me stuff everything into the coach’s cargo space. Then, and after a few hours of traffic jams and been entertained by the conversation between two lesbians sitting behind me, conversation which included the singing of nursery rhymes including classics such as, “All the babies on the bus…”, I finally unloaded bike and trailer at Sydney Central, and lit a cigarette.

Back in Sydney I didn’t feel too inclined to do another trip, but that won’t last. Bike and trailer went well aside from the bike’s rear derailleur needing some adjustment, and as for the new Burley two wheel trailer, I think the next one will be a single wheel again. The two wheeled does disproportionately increase drag as soon as it starts going uphill compared to a single wheeled. It’s a great but way overpriced trailer for doing the shopping, but not great for bikepacking, and especially when riding narrow tracks in the woods looking for a place to camp. I also managed to flip it on its side twice…

Burley Nomad trailer outside Leppington station at the beginning of the ride. Great but expensive trailer for doing the shopping, but not so great for bikepacking.