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.

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.

Bicycle ride, and the Exorcist.

Sunny weather, have packed the trailer, pumped up the bicycle tyres, and with any luck will hit the road tomorrow morning. Third attempt at this ride south, the previous two ended with mechanical breakdown. I’ll be pulling a brand new Burley Nomad trailer with about 30 kilos loaded, and will post how it went when I get back to Sydney.

The original plan was to do some landscape photography but the extra weight had a lot to do with the two DNF’s, and so will only be taking the Sony RX100 III (point and shoot) I use for street photography, a mono pod, and a Contour helmet cam. The Sony has a Zeiss lens and takes great pictures for a camera that fits in the palm of the hand.

I’ll be happy to finally be back on the road, being so bored and frustrated that this afternoon for example, I watched a panel discussion on the subject of demonic possession. It was interesting because the panel was made up of Jesuit academics and the author of the novel “Possessed”, which told the story of the 1949 exorcism of a 14 year old boy, an event that was also the basis for Peter Blatty’s novel “The Exorcist”. In a nutshell we got the who, what, where, and how – to a degree – but not the ‘why’. I found it interesting that when the time came for the panel to take questions from the audience, not a single person asked what I’d say is the obvious question of why would Satan do it? Send millions running for the nearest confessional?

Given both God and Satan cannot be anything other than what they are, and therefore do not have freewill, both can only act through entities that are both good and evil, and that having freewill can freely choose between the two. That being humans.

Broadly speaking Satan could not ‘possess’ anyone unless some opening was created. In the movie and both books, it was the kid playing with a Ouija board, which I’d say is more silly than evil and if looking for an example of a kid opened to evil, I’d point to a little girl outside a ‘church’ in the US, and holding a sign that reads, “God Hates Gays”. Wrong in every way it can be wrong; God cannot ‘hate’ (a negative human emotion), and to teach a child He can is for sure doing work for the opposition. Evil most often presents as a greater good, which is the reason we are to date incapable of acting on the climate disaster.

Anyways – bring on the peace and beauty of the outback.