The Lake Cycle

Apart from the National Gallery’s and Australian Museum’s blockbuster exhibitions, the best thing about Canberra in summer is being by the lake.

And as Canberra is very much a cycling city, the best way to appreciate the radiant blue skies and sparkling water is by bike.

You can stop at the major cultural institutions like the Australian National University, the National Library where you can enjoy a coffee on the outside deck or at any of the coffee stands around the lake.

But in these days of climate change, with over 35 degrees celsius plus for 10 consecutive days, you have to leave the house early.

When I get into the rhythm of cycling, all sorts of ideas enter my head and being near the lake I contemplate it’s names. It’s strange isnt it, that the lake at the centre of the nation’s capital is named after an American architect. Walter Burley Griffin was an innovative, if not radical architect and landscape artist who designed much of Canberra. Of course there is no indigenous name for the lake because it is man made but the water itself has been redirected from the Molongolo river.

According to Wikipedia;

The Moolinggolah people of the district around Captains Flat probably gave the Molonglo its name. … The word molongolo is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning “like the sound of thunder”.

Perhaps the river raged in the days before European settlement but the water in the lake is now of a placid variety, enjoyed by dogs, toddlers, walkers, cyclists and boat people alike.

This is my favourite form of exercise; healthy for the body but also a feast of beauty for the spirit and tranquillity for the mind.

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