Sunday, March 27, 2011

just being

I want to be a cyclist, but sometimes you have to be content with just being. I was ill much of the week, and I am feeling poorer for the experience. I wasn't up for a time trial and a road race today, so I just went for a ride. The time trial was up Hervey's Range, which I have never successfully climbed. It is only 4 kms of 9%, but is beyond me. I had a go, ahead of the field while they pffafed about with registration, but I remain defeated. So if you are going to fail, at least take photos.
The usually dry tropics enjoying the prolonged wet season provided by La Nina. The mountains are all rocky and shed water for ages. So special.
Sunrise over the coastal plain. Because I had stopped for a walk I could catch my breath, and hear the rainforest chorus at my back as I gazed across the (usually) dry plain to the Coral Sea.

Amazing vegetation. It is blooming marvelous after all the wet and I saw gullies that were artistically arranged with native plants. It was like the very best landscape artist had made the gardens, but then I do think nature is the designer most worthy of emulation. I saw native gardenias, and button flowers, a wisteria that is new to me (?) and the air was heavy with sweet molasses grass.

OK, so I failed (again) to climb I hill. It is still there and so am I. I'll try again soon. If only to fail again on a warm, fragrant morning with all of the best blooms of the monsoonal dry tropics spread before me. Life is sweet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a busy weekend

It was not supposed to be a busy weekend. But sometimes shit happens. Like the wing beat of a butterfly in the distant past, a small event casts a very long shadow.

Wednesday evening we were watching TV. We seldom watch TV but we like the New Inventors on ABC so we were watching that, and then inertia led to watching the next show because we like Adam Hill and hope his new show gets interesting soon.

The picture on our old CRT had gone distinctly hourglass shaped and weird, but I was insisting that we could still see what was happening, and we watched most of our TV on the internet anyway, so why buy a new TV. Then the picture sprang out to full normal size. "see, says I , it just needed a proper warming up period!" Then the smell of burning wires, and actual smoke rising from the TV signaled the end of CRT television at our house.

Thursday evening was a festive shopping trip with our son as advisor to look at new TVs. We had room in the old layout of the lounge for a 36cm TV. But such were the dazzling displays of larger and more useful and energy efficient TVs that I decided to rearrange the room to accommodate a 42in LED. For the environment of course.

So Saturday I empty the bookcases, because we are moving the room around.
So now my usual weekend cleaning regime is overtaken by rearrangement chaos. And I tell BoaB that I just need some time to vacuum the dirt and wash the walls. And I do that and we look around and he says, "well, we need to wash the ceilings too" Except they don't wash up that well so we need to repaint
And meanwhile I am looking at other walls in other rooms and you would think this house was occupied by ferals! So I share the ladder and scrub the walls in other rooms while we paint the TV room.
Day two and I am just staying out of the way thanks. While this is going on there is laundry to be done, and toilets to be scrubbed. Racing was canceled today (Sunday) because the roads have totally broken up, so I have all day and all my energy to deal with this. Well I cleaned and washed well beyond that room.
We managed to get things functional for cycling central at 5. Yes this is dusk in the tropics.
All surfaces washed and things starting to return to normal.
So this is the thing that destroyed my weekend, Too heavy for me and Boab to to lug downstairs, we will have to get a dumpster and a couple of blokes to dispose of it. And the wall behind? Stripped at last of the brackets and strips of a bookcase. Welcome to my new hobby. Wallpaper online. Bold and reto thanks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

wildlife rescue

When I rolled out this morning it was looking promising for a decent ride. But before I even got to the end of my street I came across a poor, stunned and bedraggled female supurb fruit dove. I had never seen one before outside of books, so I stopped, planted myself in traffic to protect her and took my JCU polo out of the knapsac. I dropped it on her and scooped her up.

I confess I cried, I was so sad to see such a rare bird so far from home and in strife. This is a rainforest bird far from the rainforest, and I was sick with worry. I got her home and into a box, where she promptly fell asleep. I gave her some berries but she was too tired to care.

I called the local Wildlife Carers and someone came to my house and collected my wee girly. She would recuperate with a number of her own kind, and then be released. Hopefully there will be more fruit in the trees by then. I think she was just weak with hunger.

The government of Australia has given a lump sum to those of us who were affected by the cyclone. I took mine with glee, because I had a plan. I would spend it on things I value and that my taxes don't support. I have given a big chunk to the NQ Wildlife Care mob. Bless them all for doing such an important job out of the goodness of their hearts.

Monday, March 14, 2011

not just a road cyclist

Since the cyclone we have had a lot of rain. The ground is soft and wet, but the council soldiers on removing fallen trees and debris, so now the parkway along the bike path is a sodden, mucky, stinking churned up mess, and the bikeway has no drainage from all the churned up mud along it and is a big smelly puddle. Where it is 'good' they have mowed, and left drifts of grass clippings which have decayed into an oily mass of slime. I am actually excited to see drifts of gravel, because at least they offer a bit of traction.

Too bad we don't have cyclocross here, I reckon I am trained up and ready to have a go.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

feeling the hunger

I have been on hold awhile. Yes I cycle a lot, but my 'training' has fallen right off. It is one thing to cycle, quite another to do it in anger. I need to get my groove back, so BoaB and I signed up for the start of the road racing season, a 10 km time trial along the foreshore of Pallarenda.
BoaB is in charge of paying the rego (that's him in blue TCC club kit). I never have cash, typical woman.

Notice how green it is, and how much fallen vegetation is still lying around on the ground. It was a fantastic roll up of 51 punters, a new record. We arrived at 6:30 after a good effort to the start of the race to stand around for an hour+ before the actual start. At least I was number 3 based on my sterling effort last year. BoaB was 4 because he didn't do the time trial last year, and I guess they figured it would be nice if we went together.

Legs were cold and leaden by the start. Not a fantastic effort on the 5 km outward leg, as the cross wind was a bit challenging. BoaB passed me before the turn (doh! that wasn't supposed to happen!) and then we turned into a serious headwind. I did my best but my legs just died. I am not as fit as this time last year, and the wind was a much bigger factor this year. Result, add one full minute+ to last years time. *sigh*

The good news is it is great to be back competing. I may be the slowest rider in the club, but I feel the excitement. It is good to have a go, good to think about trying harder. I feel a bit of hunger i didn't feel before, and this will improve my rides.