Monday, 28 April 2008


Rain, rain, go away. And then the temperature plummets. With no cloud cover for the first time in two weeks, the city was freezing today. A side benefit was a beautiful, clear morning - the first in ages. It was so crisp as to be utterly blinding, since I ride directly into the rising sun if I am up early enough. For most of April, I have been heading off around 7am, and it has been gloomy enough to require lights at that time of the morning. Today, I left at 6.30am and required sunglasses and a visor. I can't even put up any photos of the morning ride, since they are all washed out by glare.

The only photo that vaguely worked is this shot of Canal St, where some little turd has taken the time to climb the power pole and scratch away the first letter of the sign. Very funny.

I bet a few people regretted their choice of clothing this morning. I went the whole hog - jacket, thick knicks, leg warmers and fingered gloves, and even then I felt a chill. I went past quite a few people on the way in and out who wore nothing more than shorts and a T-shirt. All looked frozen. The chill was that bad, my little toes went numb on each foot. My new shoes are beautifully ventilated for summer riding, but the wind howls through them on a winters day. I will be wearing my shoe covers from now on, which means I will be striking a horrendous yoga pose each morning. The covers zip up on the outside of the foot, rather than the inside as you'd expect with say some zippered boots. Since they are made of stretchy stuff, you actually need 3 hands and the body of a contortionist to do them up. I guess it's time I went to work on my flexibility.

I certainly need to do more work on my fitness. I joined a group of three blokes tonight as we went through Pyrmont - they seemed to be a regular group that meet and train together, and they looked like they were going my way, so I jumped on their tail.

By the time we got across the Anzac Bridge, I was winded. Totally winded. By the way, here is a photo of the new statue on the Anzac Bridge - now we have a kiwi as well, which makes sense. Otherwise, it would have been the Aac bridge.

Anyway, back to riding. These guys were cruising at a fast tempo, and they just ripped my lungs out when I tried to keep up. I could match them on the flat quite easily, but as usual, died a sudden death on the hills.

Then again, they all looked at least a decade younger and 20 kilos lighter. At least that is what I told myself as I puffed into our street, totally winded and knackered.

About the only reason why I kept in contact with them is that I finally managed to clean and tune the bike on the weekend. After several weeks of riding in the rain, every part of it had collected a thick coating of mud, and the drive train was starting to sound like the Amityville Horror - you've never heard so much shrieking, creaking and groaning from a simple chain and sprocket. Nothing like a bit of degreasing and oiling to banish the demons from the cogs. The bike was almost silent, which meant that I was able to sneak up on joggers and scare the crap out of them (unintentionally of course). I'm used to being audible at 100 paces, so I couldn't figure out why the buggers were not getting out of my way this morning. Maybe I've taken this cleaning business too far.

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