Wednesday 12 August 2009


Wednesday. A day of disorganisation. I try my best to have my shit together every morning, and still I fail on a regular basis to have everything squared away as it should. This morning, I left the house without my vest. I was halfway down the next block when I realised the wind chill on my chest was slightly stronger than normal, even though it was 11 degrees rather than the usual 8 (cloud cover to thank for that). I'd left my vest in the cupboard.

Not that it mattered. I was sweating by the time I reached Lilyfield Rd. I waited at the lights with a couple of blokes in thick showerproof jackets, and they were sweating profusely. Everyone dressed too heavily this morning.

Except for when I hit town and motored down Hickson Road towards The Rocks. The city is always a few degrees colder than the surrounding 'burbs - all those canyons of shadows cast by mighty office blocks. I decided to crank the pace up a bit to see whether my Wednesday legs could make 40km/h for the entire length of the road.

Nope, 36 was all they could do. However, the wind chill was something else. You'd think that the faster you go, the harder you exercise, so the more heat you produce, so the hotter you get.

Hmm, nice in theory, fail in practice.

My back was pretty toasty from the quick pace, but the rest of me was a lump of ice. The heart just couldn't pump heat to my extremities fast enough to keep up with the wind chill. Slower is warmer.

Well, bugger that. I just kept my feet on the throttles and put up with the cold. I half expected to be dug out of a glacier in 3000 years time like a frozen mammoth.

I detected a reasonable level of fatigue on the way home. On the way home on Monday, I hot foot it up the approach to the ANZAC bridge in 3rd or 4th gear. I know I am doing well if I come out the top of the chicanes in 3rd - it means the legs are not tiring, even with a high power output.

(For the uninitiated, getting onto the bike path on the bridge requires the negotiation of a steep set of U bends. I compared the rise in elevation to the nearby office blocks, and guessed that the climb is the equivalent of running up six flights of fire stairs. Try that at lunchtime).

I can generally do the same on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, I am taking the U bends in 2nd. On Friday, I am grunting up them in 1st. The legs have nothing more to give. I could plot my fatigue on a graph, but all you'd see is a straight line drop off through the week. No real surprises there. However, I am sometimes happily surprised when I'm cranking home and the legs get that "I could go forever" feeling. When that happens, I usually either take a detour and lengthen the ride, or I do a full power burn around the Bay, seeing if I can take it up to 50km/h on the long straight flats and holding that speed for as long as possible.

Of course that also means I am generally utterly shattered the next day, so I try and only do those things on a Friday when I have the weekend to sleep and recover.

Now, I must go and get organised for tomorrow. I have to change my nightly routines so that I set things up before going to bed, rather than trying to get it together when I've just crawled out of the farter.

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