I cycle about 6km across Newcastle to my clinical job in a large suburban group general practice, and I like to do it summer and winter, rain or shine. My job is interesting and I have a diverse range of challenges every day, but it is all done sitting down indoors. By the end of a day indoors I love to get outside for the 20 minute ride home. It puts me in touch with the day, the season, the sunset, the headwind or occasional tail wind. It gives me time to think over the days events, a short peaceful gap before the evening with my family.
On a rainy winters morning in a strong southerly I wonder if cycling is a good plan, but in full wet weather gear I feel like Im setting out mountaineering, and by the time I get to work I have had some of the excitement of a day on the main range.
Newcastle has plenty of quiet backstreets, and although I cross some busy roads I never ride along them. Victoria St would have to be my favourite street as on summer afternoons it often has a cricket game underway that stretches right across the road. The bowler pauses if there is any traffic, and the batsman is down a driveway. Its a very Australian scene. Eventually we will reclaim all residential streets as multiuse open space rather than surrendering them to the motorcar.