I haven't ridden for nearly a fortnight since having 'flu. So after lunch today I fiddled about with the rear suspension preload, squirted a bit of wax lubricant around the chain and put my helmet on. I hadn't the faintest idea of where to ride. I didn't really want to go far (has anyone really been far as decided to use go want to do look more like?) so I let the clutch out and decided to ride to Suntop. With a name like Suntop, you might expect fairly amazing things of the place - it reminds me of the names of ski resort runs - but in fact it is just a rural locality with a nice view east over ranges. I turned off the Mitchell Highway at the village of Geurie on to the Arthurville Road where, last weekend the mayor of Dubbo had "a nice vomit" while competing in a mountain bike race at nearby Bald Hill went on and across the timber bridge over the Macquarie River. Even away from the irrigated river flats the countryside is green, too green for an El Niño year. Every farm either has Spring-Summer crops coming up or sheep and cattle making the most of the green grass. The road here is fairly relaxed, long straights and slow bends. The recent rain has caused pot-holes and crumbling edges but it is a quiet road and not too badly damaged. The big-sky views east across the shallow Macquarie Valley are hard to take. Signs here and there at the verge said WARNING - CYCLISTS AHEAD and I wasn't sure if the signs were for the benefit of cyclists or I was about intercepted and savagely beaten by the local carbon-fibre peloton outlaw club. I went on and stopped briefly before turning left on to Suntop Road at Arthurville, another locality with grain silos, a house or two and low hills to the west. The cyclists appeared ahead in several groups of adults and children. A motorcycle escort rider behind them waved to me and I rode on unscathed in what I consider another small triumph of leather over Lycra. Another few minutes ride past the abandoned corrugated-iron chapel, the stand of pandanus palm escaped from a long-gone farm house garden and I was in the bright sun at Suntop looking down to Finger Post and Curra Creek. Suntop Road ends at a T-intersection on the Renshaw-McGirr Way, the main road between Wellington and Parkes. Here I turned left again and started along one of the two 'best bits' of this ride, eight kilometres of twisties as the road follows the eastern side of the Mount Arthur range and the bulrush-lined Curra Creek. Stopping to take the previous photo I could hear Curra Creek trickling away below. I walked through the trees and scrambled down to where the road used to be. It was a still afternoon and it was warm in the sun, very pleasant after the very cold and windy Winter weather. I stood still and watched fish in the creek below, the rock faces across the creek and listened to the birds for a few minutes. Maybe it is middle-age or something but these days I feel as though there's never enough time to enjoy things like this. Today was no different, always having to move on because there's something to be done or somewhere to be but I am thankful that motorcycling offers a reason and the opportunity to go out for a couple of hours at least.