Cycling north along the beach with the wind at our backs, the sun shining, and the surf endlessly rolling in, we could only just see our destination. The headland, far off in the distance, the salty haze making it shimmer in the distance. There was almost nobody around. Someone walking their dog, another person fishing, a surfer out the back of the break. Then miles of empty beach.
I always like the idea of a bike ride a lot more than I like any actual bike ride, and this time was no different. Even with the breeze behind us, the patches of hard sand gave way to sludgey softness in places, and my legs started to complain long before we reached the end.
When we finally got to the rocky point that marked the end of this stretch of beach, I was glad to stop. He was much fitter than me, had set a cracking pace with barely any effort. I, on the other hand, got stiffly off my bike, feeling every strained muscle, pride forcing me to pretend I wasn’t relieved to have a moment to rest.
Of course he knew I was spent, was annoyingly cocky with it, bouncing around full of energy and verve, his face gleeful with amusement when I stifled a groan. I squinted at him in mock-annoyance, which made him stupidly happy.
With a ‘shush’, I bade him sit beside me on the warm sand. Leaning in close to each other, we sat in silence, watching the waves crash on the rocks, looking out to sea for humpback whales on their migration path. It was peaceful, calming.
Eventually, I broke the quiet. “Food?”
He smiled broadly. “Yes, Ma’am!” He was always hungry, this one.
Huffing, we schlepped our bikes up into the soft sand and carried them through the low dunes, finding the path through the trees that led to the road that runs along the river.
“There’s a cafe near here,” I said when we got there, looking left and right, trying to get orientated, to get my bearings. Nothing was far from anything here, not really, but I didn’t want to head off in the wrong direction.
I made a gesture to the east, where the winding road disappeared around the headland.
“I think it’s just around the corner. We’ll go see, and if it’s not there we’ll head back.”
He agreed amicably, and I led the way, pedalling the riverside path around the point.
The cafe was right there, closer than I had anticipated, tucked away like a little hippy hidey-hole.
We parked our bikes in the brightly-painted rack outside the cafe. I wandered the outside seating area to find a spot overlooking the river, finally settling on a yellow bench seat where we sat side-by-side with a view of the river, and perused the menu together. He wanted a curry, I was keen on a tropical cocktail made with vodka, ginger, and chilli.
We sat there overlooking the river, chatting about nothing much, gently touching and laughing together over silly observations and random nonsense. We lingered there until the food was eaten and the drinks were drunk.
The ride home by road was along the river. Easier, though not nearly as pretty.
Later that afternoon, he was naked, trussed up in a clumsy hogtie, face-down on my bed.
. . .