Sunday, June 26, 2011

Charters Towers race

An early start, and on a morning that is finally warm enough to enjoy a nice ride we hop in the van and head west, watching in dismay as the temperature dropped steadily from 16 to 9C at the base of the Mingela Range. Great! There were roadworks that slowed us a lot, so not surprising that the Townsville riders held up proceedings and we didn't get started til after 8:30.
A Townsville rider kitted for the cold.

It was actually quite nice by the time we rolled out, but the legs were cold and it was hilly! I got dropped on only the second hill, but I managed to pass a young Woman from the Towers and stay ahead of her the rest of the race. I think I climbed more hills than I ever have at one go, but they were rolling and not too daunting. The worst part was a section where the gravel was loose and I actually slid sideways entering a turn. Amazing what a shot of terror does for the old legs though!
classic Outback racing shot!

Slightly over dressed by the finish, phew!

Speaking to the Gal who came in behind me, she said she stayed about 100m behind me the whole race. She would gain on the descents but I would 'power up the hills' and she would drop back. Well I never, me powering up hills!

So Scott won D grade on a sprint after getting dropped at one point but catching back up. I came 4th because a stronger rider flatted. It was great to meet some people from Charters Towers and I hope we go back soon. We may go back out there on our own (we can do secret hill training) because it was a beautiful ride with a fraction of the traffic we get around the city, and I really enjoyed that.

Thank heaven for compression tights after a race. My legs are shot!

...further to the rider down post, the rider is out of the hospital and gingerly made his way to the cafe Saturday. Still no firm diagnosis as to the cause of the crash.

Friday, June 24, 2011

High Tea

I do have a life outside of work, cycling and the garden, really! On Sunday I attended a 'High Tea on the High Seas' to support the local Zonta Club, and it was about the girliest thing I have done for years. There was fashion:
But of course I am a "theme dresser" so the high seas gave me license to be a Pirate, because I love being a Pirate.

Couldn't resist a bloom from the hibiscus on the way out the door.
I like this picture because not only did I win a prize for the best outfit, but it reminds me that I am turning into an old woman, and that means I am winning! I love the slightly mad hair (but it is always like that)
I have had an poor week for riding. I ride everyday but I have retreated into survival mode. I am struggling with the low temperatures and I am really tired of snot, tears and a sore chapped face. Ah well, I'll do the coffee run tomorrow and Sunday we race! I am a bit nervous because I am racing a road I have never seen in Charters Towers, and the rain man doesn't like surprises. I have scrutinized the maps and photos, so I guess I'll be OK.

Arrr it's been a good week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

rider down

Bugger. The sum of all fears. Thanks Stephen Gray for the photo. A rider went down because of a medical condition. Imagine hurtling along at 40 kms/hr + and having a stroke. I can imagine it.

The good news is that he is still in the ICU but recovering. Sounds hopeful and better that I had dared to wish for. This one of the real Gentlemen of the peleton. A graceful, kind and inclusive rider who encourages old ladies who decide to start racing at 50. We know that what we do is dangerous, but we don't expect the enemy to be lurking within.

Monday, June 13, 2011

out of the big ring

News from my yard which is bigger than cycling!! We have another wompoo pigeon!! One is making wonderful low conversation, but we are yet to hear that iconic 'Wallack a Woo!' of the rain forest. When one started to hang out in the yard I was thrilled and sad, I wondered if this cyclone swept and lost rainforest bird would survive. Now I am hoping we have a pair that will stay and thrive. They are keeping our palms cleared of ripe fruit and look pretty sleek and healthy.

I was literally out of the big ring most of last week, because I pulled a muscle coming down a steep path on Castle hill called the goat track. I love that when I mentioned this on facebook I immediately got pictures of goats in the commercial area on the right hand side. Cheered me up.
somewhere up there I did myself damage

My recovery by the end of the week coincided with a spell of weather that was not very encouraging. I went to work Friday in normal kit and a wind vest, only to find that by 11 am when I had to ride across campus for a BUG photo op, the temperature had fallen dramatically and it was raining. I got home at the end of the day frozen (OK it was probably 14 0r 15) and already convinced I wasn't doing the Saturday 5:30 am coffee ride because the forecast was nasty. So as always happens when you make your mind up before bed time, even though it didn't rain I still stayed snug in bed, because it was what I had decided to do.

The day was cold, grey and windy and I started to lose hope for a weekend ride at all. Then mid-day Sunday we got normal winter back and the sun came out, the sky was blue and BoaB and I did a windy but wonderful ride out to the dam. Sun on our shoulders at last, I thought my heart would burst with joy.

I thought we would do a big ride today because it is still so nice, but we wandered into the back yard looking for the sun in the morning, and then got stuck into the gardening which ate up the whole day. There are a few big days left til we get things up to scratch. The big wet season just made everything go feral, so there is lots to be dug out, shared around, divided and relocated. I want to expand the tumeric empire, and find a place to let pumpkins roam. So much to do but the pleasure of working in the full sun without overheating is just amazing. Almost as good as cycling, with more culinary results! I guess the two are linked.

Congrats to my brother in law and nephew on Ottawa marathon results
Ya don't look happy here Chris, but then why would you?
On ya Wesley!! Looking great guys.

Cold tomorrow (10 degrees) but I have to ride. Thank heaven for commuting, no avoiding it! I have the fleecy things ready to go and I am actually looking forward to a nice long ride before work. It will be a misery of tears and mucus, cold mornings really knock me around, but as long as it is bright and sunny, I will be happy!!