Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Smoke and hard starts

Geeze I am off the boil. People (who don't cycle) admire me for getting out there most every day, and I do, but this morning it was hard. I just wasn't in the mood, and then I checked the emails to find out the bush around the campus was on fire. A quick crane of the neck off the front deck and yes, my destination is a wall of beigey grey roiling cloud. And it was cold.

I didn't want to get on the bike. Lucky we only have one car, and I hate taking the bus, so I got on and off I took. Chill wind through my jersey. I can smell the smoke already. OK, I'll stay on the north of the river - the fire is south of the campus, and I'll go the short way. But I got to the turn off and I felt stubborn about my 30km acceptable minimum, so I held my course to the bridge.

I'll cross to the south at the bridge and then decide. Not too bad, big chunks of ash as I turn towards the Uni. I climb up to Angus Smith Drive and the lines of flame are almost to the ridge line. There is a strong wind off the Mountain - Mt. Stewart starts his day with a mighty exhalation most mornings, and warm ash is hitting my cheeks. I stubbornly stick to my usual route, (the southern loop) giving me about a half pack of cigarettes equivalent on my ride, and I arrive at the office smelling like a campfire. But that is OK because the map library smells the same.

It wasn't much better coming home, but I did my full ride. I was pleased to be able to drop my 30kms into my spreadsheet. I only ever regret NOT riding, I am glad I don't have a car, and a choice.

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