Friday, December 31, 2010

final tally

Well I may as well do my sums and get my mileage up for the year. I wanted to ride today, but we had thundery showers here on the coast, and the roads on the inland loop I was thinking of are closed due to flooding. So we went for a hike up Castle Hill instead, sticking to the road as it was a bit wet and slippery. We caught a shower near the top and were grateful for the cool off!
(image from wikipedia, a nice entry about the hill)
286m climb over 3.3 km. I cannot even imagine doing it on my bike. I always tell people who chide me for not having a go that I have to save something for my 60th birthday. That gives me 9 years to get psyched up.

In case you are wondering, we live just beyond the upper left hand corner. That strip of beach is the Strand. Not sure why Townsville opted for the German, while Cairns went with the French Esplanade, and neither uses the obvious term 'Beach'. We have coffee on the strand with a big gang of other cyclists every Saturday morning.

Mileage - well it seems I only slightly bested last years total. Pretty bad when you consider I was away for 6 weeks and more last year, and hardly left town this year. Now that I am properly dialed onto the new bike I hope to get my weekly totals back up. This wet season could be a challenge though.

I use a super spreadsheet by Mark D Pankin (available here) to keep track of my daily kms. This years has some improvements like including last years monthly totals and best totals for inspiration. I think I am going to need a bit of that!

Happy New Year and safe cycling!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

stuff and bother

I am probably going to move in 2011, we have a huge empty house and I grow tired of cleaning it. We migrated to Australia in 1995 with suitcases, and now we have a 5 bedroom high set house that is FULL. Where did all this stuff come from? I am NOT packing it and moving it.

I spent part of the day trying to revamp my files. Honestly, how much paper do you need to hold on to? Is there any point in retaining 10 year old rates notices (except to lament that it was cheap then, and now it is dear??) I am trying to focus on the now. If a cyclone wipes us out, what do we need to have at hand? If I get killed while riding, what does my family need to know, and is it all in one place?

I tried, really tried, to toss old cartographic equipment today. I will never use a ruling pen again, or a scriber, french curves, texture boards, erasing shields... but I couldn't do it. *sigh* I will take it to the office where it can languish in style. I may have occasion to shock and amaze young people with the way it was "when dinosaurs ruled the earth".

So much accumulated stuff, what a bother...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas day for us usually starts with a group ride, but it was raining hard this morning so that didn't happen. So a few coffees and phone calls with family, breakfast, then presents and pottering around. The full turkey monty lunch. It was lovely, if a bit dark while the rain pelted down. Certainly worth leaving the tree lights on all day, the house would have been gloomy otherwise.

Then our son went home, and we were left with nothing much to do in our empty nest. The sky got bright, and I looked at the radar and there was no "incoming" in sight. Quick! Lets go for a ride!

We had a fantastic ride to the dam. It felt wonderful to put all that turkey to good use. We carried on to do an additional loop around the back blocks, and the rain caught us. I really thought we were in for a decent break but I was wrong. We were just over that half way mark and made towards home in conditions that were sometimes blinding, with gusts to 50km hour. Thank heavens it was nice and warm!

So we got home completely drenched, elated, and with another 40+ kms under the wheels. What a great Christmas day. Now after a hot shower, with the old dog fed and content at my feet, a glass of champaign in hand, I hear-by declare this an excellent Christmas day. I hope you had a ripper too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thanks Greg!

Thanks Greg and Gwen for the lovely flowers for the holiday season. They are the perfect combination of Christmassy and tropical. Looking forward to the smell of lily taking over for a few days.
p.s., I love the red holly leaves and I hope I can keep them for next year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

seriously on holidays

number of kms cycled this morning = 49.4
number of give ways to wallabys crossing the road = 1 (for 2 wallabys)
number of peacocks clogging Hammond Way = 4
number of cyclists overtaken = 1 that matters, and he was on a mtn bike!
number of hills climbed = 1 and it was too easy
bliss quotient = very high
litres of sweat lost = many
happiness factor = 1001
dogs still present = 1
exercises done = all
laundry done = ditto

am I bored yet? a bit, but very happy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a spell of weather

So while I am just ramping up into the cyclone season, it seems that my old stomping grounds on NS, Canada is having a spell of weather
That is my cousin Paul looking at the damage to his business in my old home town. Sorry to see it happen, hope the insurance payout is stress free mate. Images and story from The Chronicle Herald (or the Comically Horrid if you are a local). Thank goodness it was warm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

space alien

OK, I have long suspected it, but now I know. I am a space alien. After all the hype and press I saw that Oprah was on at 8pm, so I turned on the TV ( a rare even) and settled down to watch. And I just couldn't. What a display. What pathetic losers and weirdos were screaming in the audience. It was weird and scary. I don't get it.

I think I'll read a book now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

sounds of summer

Nothing like a proper tropical downpour. It is raining less hard now, but lots of thunder and lightning. The mold is starting to appear already! *sigh*

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas flowers

I am on holidays, so Christmas is really happening around here. I am a real home body, so I like nothing more than pfaffing around the house and fluffing my possessions.

The lights are up in the yard, the tree is up and decorated, and I have just cut a Christmas bouquet.
Heliconia may seem a bit weird for Christmas, but this is when they are really coming on, and you have to admit the colour is pretty perfect.

Add some Canadian Christmas kitch and there you go! Sadly, my much loved snow domes are getting pretty yucky inside. The snow has dissolved and they have eerie slime clouds... just don't shake them and they look OK.
The full effect, we have had the same fake tree for more than a decade, so I guess that is pretty green. New LED lights this year though, and I will free-cycle the old ones. We are having a party before Christmas to cycle around and see some Christmas lights, so I have the motivation to get the house decorated. The Aussies love my Canadian take on the Christmas tree (a lifetime of accumulated, meaningful decorations) and I love thinking about everybody who gave me a special decoration over the years as I take them out of the box and place them on the tree.

I am feeling rather blissful. I have shopped online and gotten BoaB's gifts all sorted. I have a few things to get my son, but that will be fun. Rusty is still with us! (but he is very sleepy). Should be a good Christmas break.

Alarm set for a 5:30 start, I may be on holiday, but I have to ride!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the rules

I get a kick out of reading blogs, and you tend to develop loyalty to a few bookmarked favorites. The velominati are a blog I follow. I find the male tribal lust for conformance and acceptance quite amusing, and I have perused all the rules they have cooked up that you must follow to be a true 'keeper of the cog'. They almost lost me with their anal take on road cycling, but the reference to commuters in the "yellow vest of righteousness" was so funny and clever that I was won over. Try being a sports cyclist and President of a BUG and you will treasure that too.

Then another true treasure of blogdom: ONCE KNOWN AS THE BADGER commented: "According to the Velominati and The Rules (they're a bunch of guys overburdened with the glories of the past because they never lived through it. And they have way too many rules...)"...

and I didn't feel so 'outside' any more. I totally respect and revere OKATB, he is my hero, up there with the very best and hardest of the life long hard men. So here is an old(er) women's take on the rules:
Rules 1, 5 and 10 are the only rules that matter. Live by those.

Be proud to be a cyclist. Rule 7 separates the sheep from the goats.

Rule 12 is your justification for shopping. nuf said.

Some rules regarding placement of tire pumps and seat bags and other nonsense should be ignored if you are a commuter. And I wear mtn bike shoes on my carbon road bike. I may have to walk some days, get over it.

Make cycling your own, develop your own style, be the best you can be. Apply rule 5 daily though, it isn't raining all that hard...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

the sauna of summer

Steam heat. I love leaving the house without a hesitation due to cold. I love not having my nose drip and my eyes water. I love the fluid caress of the humid breeze. The cicadas shrill and frogs grump along the river. I am serene as I ride in this liquid world. Then I stop and my body gushes sweat. Rivulets cascade from my elbows and my eyes sting with salt.

Summer, my season.