Riding home on the coldest day so far this year, on the third last day of what is officially winter. There was a frost this morning and it was cold and still all day, thankfully with a clear blue sky so any time you could get out in the sun you felt warmer.

Around 8°C as I left the building, the sun still above the horizon for another half hour or so. North up through campus to exit at the gate on Bayview avenue and I found that the roundabout was completely full of stationary traffic. Squeeze down the left and make my way past stopped cars all the way to the end of Gardiner road and round the corner. Still full of bumper-to-bumper traffic as I made my way up the to the lights at Ferntree Gully road. When our lights went green nothing ahead had moved, but a few motorists behind me still moved forward to block the intersection, perhaps hoping things would move soon – perhaps not caring. At least there’s a minimal gap down the left until the bike lane resumes.

On down the bike lane beside more stationary cars the length of Forster road to the next lights at Hardner road, where the intersection here is also half-blocked from people who’ve driven in with no way to drive out. There’s a bit of honking, a bit of shouting, but no moving. The merge lanes to get onto the freeway are also full… and also not moving.

The lights go green and I zigzag my way past the blockages, down under the freeway, two or three hundred metres more of Forster road and turn left onto Scotchman’s Creek trail. There’s an instant drop in temperature away from the road, in under the trees and near the creek, and only a muted rumble of the traffic on the freeway, nearby, but nearly invisible.

Then a cold cold ride back to Oakleigh; hardly any other cyclists, pedestrians or dog-walkers out today!