Monday - a long weekend. A nice break from the daily grind of going into town and back. With that spirit in mind, I went in the opposite direction from the CBD, heading out through Homebush towards Parramatta. I thought about doing an early morning ride, but the mercury was struggling to get above 14, and it looked nasty, cold and windy. I have to put up with that sort of crap weather all the time when getting to and from work - no sense in having a morning of misery on a weekend as well.
After stuffing myself with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, I found I couldn't ride for hours - just too much fatty food in the guts. That eventually subsided around 2pm, and off I went.
Me and about 2 million others. Every Sydneysider must have decided that this would be the last spot of good weather before winter bites, and did their best to enjoy it. I couldn't get above 30km/h anywhere - there were just too many bikes and pedestrians about. Especially the weekend type cyclists, who pootle along slowly (and rarely in a straight line). Hey, the weekend is their time on the bike, so I'm not going to complain about them. It was nice to actually ride casually for 45km without suffering from Warp 9 burnout syndrome.
The logo at the top of this jersey caught my eye - NSW Institute of Sport. Nothing else.
I followed the bike path that runs along the northern bank of the Parramatta River. I thought I'd get all the way to Parramatta, until I struck this thing. I stopped here and looked at it for about a minute, thinking "You must be fucking kidding". It's not that I mind climbing steps - I used to carry the bike up the steps at the Harbour Bridge every day, so that's not the issue. It's the fact that the damned things are so narrow - lugging a bike up and across that thing would be a bitch. So this is where I did a U-turn and headed for home.
Good thing too, as it started to get nippy as the shadows lengthened, and I hadn't packed any warm clothes.
Things I found:
- Feet went numb after 20km or so. Never get that on the commute, as my longest leg usually is 20km.
- Hands started to hurt after 35km or so, even with comfy gloves. Again, don't usually ride for long enough to get sore anywhere.
- Did most of the ride without unclipping - only had to stop at one red light. That was a long time in the saddle for me without a break.
- With a nice, long casual warm up, I went like stink when I had to (on a few rare occasions).
- Geez it's flat out west - I can't remember breathing hard at any time during the entire ride.