Friday 28 August 2009


Friday already? What happened to Thursday?

There was no riding on Thursday - I had a boozy after work engagement in town, so I took the bus one way and a taxi the other. Catching the bus every now and then is good for my motivation. Although the bus was clean, the people didn't smell, no fat shiela's sat down beside me and wedged me into the side of the bus with a meaty arm and the driver actually drove with care and consideration - it was still a completely bogus journey (I've been watching too much Bill and Ted).

Sitting on a bus really is such a collosal waste of time. Frequent riders of buses must make model prisoners - they are well atuned with the idea of sitting around quietly all day staring into space and doing nothing.

So on Friday, I rode. Going into town was not easy - the legs had no fire in them at all. My guess is that they really do need two days to recover. Normally, by Friday, my legs would be dead and I'd be in a certain amount of pain. The pain masks the deadness - it hurts too much to push them, so I don't bother.

However, with a one day rest, the legs were dead, but I felt no pain. One day off was enough to eliminate the pain, but not rejuvenate the muscles. Hence I crawled into town like a lightly salted slug. Everytime I gave the legs a nudge, they faded. They didn't complain, they simply went limp. Maybe deflated is a better expression.

Interesting way to get your work clobber to the office - this woman has a blouse hanging off her back pack. I'd be worried about catching that in my chain, or in the back spokes. It takes all sorts.

The ride home. I left later than usual, which meant battling idiot drivers on Sussex St. The only saving grace was the large number of bikes about - I used to feel very alone in peak hour traffic, but now, we are everywhere. Although it looks like there are three bikes in front of me, there are actually six, and there were more beside and behind me. The packs are growing bigger every year. Safety in numbers is looking like a workable concept.

Before I left town though, I rode down to the water to have a look at the bridge and North Sydney at twilight. That blob of light in the bottom left is Luna Park.

There's a train going over the bridge in this next photo, although you can hardly see it. I think each carriage weighs 40 tons - that means a 320 double deck behemoth is rumbling over the bridge, but the train is completely lost in its massiveness.

The ride home was a cracker. I hit the ANZAC bridge at 1750hrs, and figured that the 1750 would soon be right up my clacker. That spurred me on to new heights of madness. Although the sun was in my eyes and I could hardly see a thing in front of me, I really cranked it going up the bridge, overtaking everything in sight. By the time I hit Lilyfield Rd, the legs were really warmed up, and the morning cobwebs and lethargy was long forgotten. I was starving hungry - stomach rumbling and so on - but there was no lack of energy. I can't remember taking the Lilyfield Rd hills at such speed for a long time.

Normally, I'll build up speed on the first downhill, cruise on the flat at around 40, then slow down dramatically on the first hill. Not through any desire to ride slowly and safely mind you - more like age and mass taking its toll.

Tonight was different - it was 50 on the flat, then 30 or more on the hill. I just kept going and going and going, and the legs and lungs just kept giving. There's something rewarding and blissful about taking a hill at pace.

I have no idea what happened to the 1750. Maybe it was beer o'clock at work. Maybe I was just too fast for them (for once). Or maybe we need to synchronise watches.

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