Saturday, August 23, 2008

Serious Bike Crush

I am seriously in love with my new bike! My ride today was, in one word, exhilarating. I can not believe how different Cleo feels compared to Lola. I own the large chain ring now! On Cleo I just zip along the road. She even seems to corner better.

After realising yesterday that I was a lot lighter on the scales than expected I relaxed a bit after work and had a few drinks with my colleagues, along with a few too many potato chips. Hamish wanted burgers for dinner so I then had a chicken, bacon and avocado burger from Burger Wisconsin and some fries. All of this was a big mistake! I spent the whole night feeling seriously ill. Note to self: you have once again proven that you can not eat junk these days without your stomach seriously hating you for the next twelve hours. Do not do this again!

I was still feeling sick when I woke at 7am to a stunning, stunning Wellington morning. The forecast had been for showers later today and when I went to bed last night I had been hopeful that it might hold off long enough to get a ride in. I could never have hoped for weather this perfect. Outside it was sunny, warm and calm, perfect Cleo weather. Nevertheless, the nausea kept me in bed long enough to hear the 8am news before it finally abated enough to let me get up.

After my standard breakfast of porridge I drove down to Freyberg, pulled Cleo out of the car and set off. I was so thrilled to be riding in this city on this gorgeous morning on this bike. It was so warm that I didn't really need my legwarmers and I left my windbreaker in the car. I was feling very happy to be feeling so fresh from my single day off. The harbour was a deep blue and perfectly still. Now that I am no longer riding so stretched out I was able to sit a little more upright and enjoy the view. As I climbed steadily up Mt Crawford I played with my new gear ratio, finding that I had a much wider range of gears to play with and that I was maintaining a much faster cadence. Wellington stretched lazily out to my left as I ascended.

Stopping at the top prison carpark for a drink there was no sound other than the Tuis singing. Such an oddly appealing place to have a prison! Starting off again I rode downwards. At Awa Rd I automatically turned right instead of left and ended up back in Miramar so I rode back through the cutting and hung another right to head around the Bays. Riding a little further than intended wasn't going to be a great hardship. With no headwind I was humming along, only being overtaken by a couple of people. I wasn't trying to ride too fast, concentrating more on keeping my heels down and enjoying the scenery.

Turning right at Lyall Bay I cut back through Kilbirnie to head back to Oriental Bay. As I slowed to approach the first set of (red) lights a car honked at my shoulder. A blonde, middle-aged, middle-class woman in the front passenger seat turned to abuse me. Even as I type this I'm still not sure exactly what she was upset about. I thought at first she might have been upset that I moved into the edge of the straight-ahead lane rather than hugging the shoulder. As I rode past her car window (the driver was stopped at that same set of lights) I looked in at her and commented that I had simply been riding in my lane. It may also be that she thought I was riding too slowly and holding the driver up (in which case it's unfortunate for him that the lights were still red, holding him up from his obviously urgent business even longer).

As tempting as it was to stop and knock on her window to query the matter further I wasn't really in the mood for confrontation. The only other thing I could do was shrug my shoulders in confusion. Their car moved off past me a little further down the road without incident and the rest of the ride back to Freyberg passed without drama.

Back at my car I really wasn't in the mood for the day to be over. The fountain in the Bay was pluming into the air and small children thronged around the climbing frame in the playground. Grabbing a quick drink I was pleased with myself for having had the foresight to bring my running shoes. I whipped off the leg warmers, ditched the helmet and changed my footwear. My cycle shorts make it look like I was running in nappies but I swallowed my pride and headed back out of the carpark for a quick brick.

My legs felt heavy for the first few hundred metres but loosened up more quickly than I expected. It occurred to me that I'd cycled at least 40km today and that if I now had to run 10km I could totally do it. So now all I have to do is, as I've said before, learn to swim!

Back to the present day though, have I mentioned how much I love my bike? Have I mentioned how much I love this city on a good day? Have I mentioned how much I love riding my bike in my city on a good day?

Pity it's supposed to rain tomorrow!


SUB6 said...

It definitely was a great day to be out early on the bike ... I watched the sunrise over the lakes around Rotorua this morning from my bike ... gorgeous morning :) Pity is looks like it's not going to last :(

Pip said...

Yeah, I think I'm going to take advantage of the horrid weather to sleep in tomorrow. I think it's supposed to be better in the afternoon and it would be nice to get a ninety minute run in if it clears a bit.

The sunrise over the lakes would have been stunning. I'm envious!

Steve Stenzel said...

I first read your title as "Serious Bike CRASH" and was worried. I was reading your post, wondering when it would get MUCH worse. But then it was just over. I read the title again and felt like a dumbass.

Glad you like your bike (and you haven't crashed it!!)!!


Pip said...

Hehe, yes I can see how you would have read it that way! Oh well, nothing like a bit of false drama to suck in the readers. After all, women's magazines do it all the time!