Recently I took my own advice on being open to life-long learning, and set out to learn something.
Specifically I decided that after years of riding mountain bikes, I should learn some proper technique when it comes to jumping. I can get down most trails, and have fun doing so, but jumps are something else. I like staying in contact with the ground, rubber firmly in contact with dirt, as it where. But at one of the places I ride there is a new trail littered with jumps, and while I can safely roll through them, it struck me that it would be more fun if I knew how to jump.
So I found myself on the trail with Peter, a friend and on this occasion mountain bike coach. We covered lots of technique, body position, movements, bike mechanics and so on, before I started repeatedly rolling through a series of turns and into the first jump on the trail. Continue reading →
Whitehaven Beach, on Whitsunday Island off Queensland’s central coastline, is an amazing place. It’s regularly named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, and it’s no wonder. 7km of stunning sandy beachline, backed by pristine coastal forest on an island that is 100% National Park. Apart from a few picnic sheds up one end, and the steady stream of visiting tourist boats anchored off-shore, you could be forgiven for thinking that the beach hasn’t changed in centuries.
On the day we visited it was overcast and moody….the brooding clouds dark on the horizon lending an amazing atmosphere to the beach and the surrounding islands. Swallowtail dart swam around us as we floated in the pristine waters (wearing our seasonally necessary stinger suits of course!). Even without a postcard blue sky and sunny day, it was astonishingly, achingly beautiful. The natural world at its very finest.
Except that only moments before diving into the waters we had wandered along the beach, beyond the designated tourist area. There on a 15 minute walk along these pearly white sands my eye kept being caught by things that didn’t belong. Bits of plastic, and rubber and rope. A face mask that had protected someone from COVID. A used bandaid. A piece of pipe. Some were fresh – likely bits of deck rubber from stand-up paddle boards that came in with tourist boats that dotted the waters off the beach – but others were weathered and windblown, clearly washed up on the tides from who-knows-where and who-knows-how-long ago. In 15 minutes we collected a couple of dozen bits of rubbish, from the fist-sized to the tiny.