Up early this morning, just as it was getting light, for an early morning bike ride.
I thought I'd be a little more adventurous, and loop round through the gorge road, which wends its way, with quite a bit of up and down along side Reid's creek through the remains of nineteenth century gold workings (there's quite a few places you can see abandoned pits, still with the drill holes in the rock, where they were following a seam).
While narrow, the road's mostly bitumen, apart from a kilometre or so of dirt. Despite the heavy rain at the start of the year, there's nothing in the way of washouts, and only the odd pothole and the dirt section has been graded recently, making it an easy ride.
Once on the gorge road, and in the woods, I was planning to turn off my bike lights in the hope of seeing some wildlife in the pre dawn light.
Not a bit of it.
Despite having ridden round the gorge in daylight a few time, I didn't realise that the track, and some of the woodland paths, were very popular with the serious early morning cross country runners. ( I know the type, I used to be one once.)
Well the runners had disturbed the wildlife which had clearly all hopped off deeper into the forest, so I kept my flashing front 'see me' light on so that the runners could see me coming.
Strangely enough keeping my flashing front light on didn't seem to faze the one bit of wildlife I did see, a black wallaby, which sat for a minute or two in the middle of the track looking fixedly at me the way wallabies do, as if trying to work out whether I was any sort of threat.
Eventually, before I got at all close, it decided I was just another bloody human and leisurely hopped off into the trackside scrub.
Other than that, not an animal to be seen.
Still it was a good ride, and I looped back up Mellish Street to the bike path along the old railway track, and home following my usual route along Balaclava Road.
Took about an hour, and not a bad start for a chilly late summer morning ...