Ignoring the rain forecast, the plan was to visit all nine beaches from Manly to Mona Vale for a bit of damp fun. Manly Cove looked gloomy at 7:30am and the Beach was deserted. From Queenscliffe Beach, you could see the rain falling on North Head.
Pretty little Freshwater Beach was also empty. Obviously the regular crowds had more sense than me, but the view off Freshwater Headland was magnificent. The clouds and ocean were connected, with lots of lightening flashes to brighten things up.
The Curl Curl pathway had stormy views to the south as the rain started. A bus shelter had become a community centre full of chatting strangers, while we watched the lightning bolts on the horizon.
When the clouds opened up the question was: do I head home or press on? I made the right call, as beautiful lighting was promising a special ride. I rode on to the Dee Why rock pool and the usually crowded Dee Why beach.
From Dee Why beach, I took the Cromer cycleway direct to Narrabeen Lake which looked lovely in the post-storm light. From the Lake I headed north east towards Narrabeen Lagoon as sunshine appeared.
There is a bit of climb up to the Mona Vale headland, but worth every pedal stroke. Mona Vale Beach and Warriewood Beach never looked so vivid. Notice the beach walker’s footprints.
From the Headland, I rode down to the Narrabeen Lagoon. Normally you can walk across it but the monster tide and storm had transformed the beachscape.
I stopped at the Collaroy Beach pool which was submerged, then took the Long Reef Beach headland track that runs behind the Golf Course.
The 360 degree views from the peak of the headland are simply glorious.
The trail down to Dee Why follows the cliff line behind the Golf Course. Its an amazing part of the world.
I was so glad that I did not abandon this ride when the storm struck. The change in lighting was extraordinary; there were very few people around; the temperature was balmy; and the views exquisite. This was a wonderful ride: 48kms in under 3 hours that I shall long remember.