Monday, September 15, 2008

Cleo Love

The results of the time trial are in. They prove conclusively that my love for my bike is justified, and they prove Kathryn wrong when she argues that a new bike doesn't necessarily make you faster.

Out of 24 riders I came in 9th equal. I was the fifth woman home. I beat Kathryn (who finished the Grape Ride 10 minutes ahead of me), if only by a few seconds. I came equal with one of the veterans of last year's Taupo squad. This woman finished the Grape Ride over 25 minutes faster than me. I am not a sprinter; I am a climber, so to do so well on the time trial is remarkable. I have a secret goal, planted in my head by evil trainer Duck at the very end of our last session. Her passing comment showed that she knows how competitive I am and how to push my buttons. I am totally on track to meet my goal.

I guess this is the point at which I stop protesting that I'm slow.

I managed step one of this week's homework programme today. I was out the door and on Cleo by about 6.50am. I wasn't so happy with the huge backpack I had to carry and my legs felt dead on the short little climb up to the Ridgway. My eyes watered badly in the early morning air. All the same I made it safely down Brooklyn hill and managed somehow to hit nearly every green light all the way up to the Terrace. I was on the gym floor by 7.20, ten minute earlier than I would have if I'd caught the bus. I raced through my circuit programme then hit the showers, only to discover they were once again stone cold. That was the only hiccup on an otherwise smooth day.

I left work early with the one hour homework ride to get out of the way. I have to be honest and admit that I wasn't looking forward to it. It had been overcast and windy all day and I was tired. However once I was out there I found myself enjoying the ride immensely. I treated it as an easy recovery ride so kept my pace steady but easy. Sure, the wind made things interesting but I just chose an appropriate gear, tucked in and slogged onwards. Turning right onto the Southern coast at Lyall Bay the sun was out and the mild temperatures had coaxed a number of walkers and their dogs out into the evening.

I was a bit over it as I rode up through Happy Valley to Brooklyn. The headwind was hitting me full on and I was in a far lighter gear than normal. I had to grind up Mornington Rd, having used everything on the long, slow climb up to Brooklyn. It was wonderful to turn down onto Farnham and then left onto the short flat street leading to home. I realised that I'd actually had fun and that it had felt a lot easier than when I'd last ridden that particular commute on Lola.

I'm signed in for Dee's 6.30am RPM tomorrow and it will be hard not to enthuse about how much I'm enjoying riding at the moment. Riding is the high point of my life right now. It's helping me get through a particularly difficult patch at work.

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