Friday, April 30, 2010

loving Tour de Romandie

I have been sneaking away a bit early and scalding it home to see the Tour de Romandie at 5pm. Boab is home sick so this is a nice way to relax together and see some cycling. It has been lovely to watch. I know it is a bike race (der) but the sights of the spring countryside in Romandie has tugged my heartstrings. The verdant green of the pastures, dotted with yellow blooms (primrose? Dandelion? daffodil? ) blooming pear, cherry and forthysia. The architecture of the houses, the quality of the hedgerows. So lovely, and all in bloom a full month ahead of eastern Canada. It amazes me still that the climate in Canada is so harsh. I never really thought about when I lived there.

A bonus today was the sound of a familiar name as 'Arthur Vichot' broke away at about the 10km mark, and although he finished lucky 13th it was a thrill to see Australia's 'adopted son' do so well. It is nice to get to know some European riders and he looks like a great young talent.

Yet another long weekend this week (I love Australia) but we will see how we go cycling with BoaB fighting a chest infection again. I am at peace because I got my 1000kms for April and May awaits. I probably need a rest day - the last one was the 18th. Time files when you are having fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


After a soft training ride around the V8 track yesterday, I wasn't looking for much today. BoaB and me did about 25kms of lappies, and I got better and better at the corners. It is never a soft run because the headwind as you head north on the eastern straight cannot be ignored. But then you turn south and the tailwind gives you a break and around the corner to the headwind.... I love the rhythm of it. Dig deep, soft pedal, repeat.

As we were finishing the time equivalent of Sundays warm up and race (not the effort equivalent!) I mentioned to BoaB that I would have to adjust my pedals when we got home. I have worn out my second pair of Richie MTB Pro v4 pedals, so I swapped the newish pair on my seldom ridden dual suspension mtb bike to the road bike. They were set way tighter, so I wouldn't loose my clip when bouncing over stuff, and the lack of float was making my feet go numb. The road from the track to the bike way is rough aggregate, and it must have vibrated my pedals because as we approached a road intersection I could not unclip my left foot. I am seriously left footed, and I struggled til I was to the must stop part of the intersection. It never occurred to me that I have a right foot (der) and so I fell over, as you do.

Boab broke out the tool kit and loosened the pedals there and then. A nice motorist doubled back to see if I was OK (just embarrassed thanks!) and we rode home. I had a very swollen elbow, but a good icing put it right and it only hurts if I roll over on it while attempting to sleep.

So not an auspicious start to the week, and I rolled out this morning with no expectations. And my ride was magnificent. My legs felt strong and I made good time to the dam and then work. I powered up my hill with a smile. I don't know what was wrong but I am better. Joy in my heart. That is all I want from my ride, and it has returned.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a good day

It was a good day. ANZAC day means the dawn service, which means the roads are busy pre dawn, the Strand is packed out for the parade, and you may as well stay in bed and not ride. Sleep in, have a couple of coffees and a nice breaky, then do some housework and putter in the garden.

There was a criterion with registration starting at 3, and I was excited. I ate a good protein and carb lunch watching the noon highlights of the Tour of Flanders, pfaffed about and was ready to go too early. BoaB was amused. We rolled out and were first to register, then we rolled around the track til race time, a good long warm up. This is the last race on the v8 track til September, and I am sad because I really like it. I will continue to get on it to train until the armed guards stop me, because it is just a wonderful place to ride.

Anyway, this was my maiden run with a proper license in hand and my own transponder, so it was a bit special. I think I went pretty good for me. There was the usual head wind on one leg, but it has been worse. I got lapped by some unknown ringers at 10:45 of a 15 minute race, a minute or so later BoaB went by but that is OK. I managed a good sprint at the finish and was not SML. I had fun, I stayed upright, if I ever learn to power around the corners I will be in with a chance.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I don't know what I will do. Got to be a ride in there somewhere...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

old and slow

I am going backwards. I am 'old and slow', a bit of a Cycleccinos inside joke, (scroll down for the after cycle chat, but beware it is LONG and you probably won't get it). But seriously, I AM feeling totally off the boil, I am slow AS, and it is really starting to piss me off.

I actually yelled at myself as I laboured up a hill I normally fly up. What gives? What is wrong with my legs? I gave up wine. Nothing. I had a few extra wines. Better. I actually ate some breakfast, I felt sick the whole ride. I am cross with myself, and snappy at work because of that. I am going to ride longer, try harder. I don't know what else to do.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

living like a normal person

This is Rusty. He is 14+ years old and he has a big tumor on his knee. He gets around well for an old encumbered dog, and has earned the right to sleep in my bed when he feels like it.

Last Tuesday though he woke up with his good knee too sore to stand on, and with BoaB away I had to carry him down the stairs (I still can't believe I managed it), get to work, phone for a home visit vet, change appointments, get back home for the vet. Of course I drove the car so I could cope with all this, and although he came good really quickly with a pain killer and muscle relaxant, I drove the car the next couple of days as well so I could get to other appointments and check on Rusty, and generally leave as late and get home as early as possible.

It has been years since I have driven a car for 3 days in a row. So I lived 3 days like all the 'normal' people who clog up the roads and I have to say, they can have it. I am over it. My last appointment of the week was Thursday, at my own Doctor's. "Your blood pressure is a bit high" she says. !!! Well I drove here in the CAR, of course my blood pressure is up! I am stressed OUT! And I haven't ridden my bicycle for 3 DAYS! "Well you had better get back on it soon".

So Friday Rusty was looking bright as a button, so I rode to work. Saturday was a good coffee ride, and I am starting to feel like a real normal person again. My kind of normal I mean.

Monday, April 12, 2010

pasta master

If you are from Queensland the title rhymes. And pay no attention to the date on the photos, my camera is obviously suffering a breakdown of some sort.

I am lucky to know some ladies who treat me very nicely and invite me when they are doing something fun. So when a lovely Italian friend decided we should all learn to make pasta, I got to attend the master class.

Rosie started with 2 kilos of flour. I have never used two kilos of flour at one time for anything in my life.

When the dough was ready we made some macaroni, and a lot of what I would call tagliatelle, egg pasta with a flat shape. If you want to make a lot of fiddly pasta, get the Cartographer stuck into it, they have an infinite capacity for boring piece work.
The other gals mastered the machine to work the dough and then cut it into perfect pasta.
Lots and lots of pasta...
Which was cooked fresh and embellished with the best bolognese sauce ever...
Top lunch, the best pasta I ever tasted. It was silky smooth, and light. With champagne and dessert and a good espresso, it was a lumbering 5 kms home on the bikeway. I had to have a nap, I am not used to such a feed at midday.

Thanks ladies! I am going to hold the next master class, early June? Indian cooking, no jars of paste allowed!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

holiday mode

I am in holiday mode. I thought this would mean endless hours rolling up big miles, but such is the state of my house after a very good wet season, that I am cleaning instead. I tried riding some decent distances with BoaB every day of the Easter weekend, and I was just useless for the rest of the day. I can ride heaps, but I can't ride heaps and have the energy levels I require to gad about and do the chores.

So no epics this week, but by the end of the day tomorrow my house will be very clean indeed, the gardens are (mostly) all weeded, a veggie patch is planted, the linen cupboard has been culled and refolded, and ditto my sock drawer and my t-shirt drawer. I have even culled some cycling knicks that were "no longer group ride friendly" - or maybe I should say they had gotten too friendly...

My wardrobe was getting too full because I hang up my jerseys, and I seem to have accumulated a great number, so I biffed a lot of my clothes. Who needs clothes anyway.

Now I just need to tee up the external house washers, and then I will be ready to start painting. *sigh* I have over 30 days of leave to use up, and I will need them all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

junk miles

Actually, I don't believe there is such a thing as junk miles. Every turn of the crank, in anger or repose, is a good thing.

So yesterday found me in recovery from sickness and with 60+ kms to go to make the magical 1000 kms a month nice round number. Early morning rain kept me in bed for the 5am training option (BoaB is a hard man and went anyway) and I had pretty much given up hope when I finally got it together to roll at 7:48. I had no intention to go to the dam, so I just packed a water bottle for the commute to work, no breakfast, no endura, no up-n-go for a quick breakie on the run.

When I got to the turn to the bridge and work I just couldn't do it, so I carried on and went to the dam, and it was easy, and running on empty didn't seem to matter (I had pasta for dinner) and my legs felt strong. I got to work elated and sad to stop pedalling, but the rain hit me as I turned into the campus and the last 10 minutes on the bike had me soaked to the skin and shivering, so a hot shower was in order. Time to stop. 34 kms, 9:10 arrival. So I am late. Shoot me.

Do you feel your employer could do more for you? That you deserve those perks that executives enjoy? Ride a bike. Then a long hot shower at you workplace is your perk. And a wall mounted hand dryer is provided to dry your hair. And you can sink into your standard office steno chair with a sigh and enjoy a physical rest, while your brain works hard.

End of the day, kit up, do an extra special run to the end of the bikeway and back, then meet up with BoaB to deliver some sample lights to a fellow cyclist, then home and 1004 kms for the month. Just like that. It is easy once you build it into your life.