Sunday, February 11, 2007


Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your husband...

Yesterday was hot and humid, so any thoughts of going for a big bike training ride mid-afternoon (after I'd done my duty at netball registration) weren't really appealing. Marc tinkered with bikes; we've got a new cluster for my tandem, so that we have a 'grannier' granny gear (I'm going to copyright that term.) And I washed sheets. And read blogs.

When it came over cloudy (with some rumbly storm clouds) we decided at around 4.30 to just take ourselves out, instead of trying to psych the kids up for a tandem ride to anywhere. (I feel like we are treading a fine line with them - between making sure we have all done enough training for the Big Ride, and making them hate us forever for "making" them do all this hard work.)

We've been talking about exploring the forestry roads to the west of our little locality; in fact I wanted to see how possible it would be for me to ride to those personal trainer sessions - as the direct route to her house is down the highway (which, with a narrow shoulder in parts, and B-doubles whizzing by at 100kph, somehow doesn't appeal.) So we headed out on our 'half bikes'- amongst the collection of bikes in our shed that could almost pass for a bike shop, we actually still possess a mountain bike each. And while that's the one I've been using for my 'solo' training rides, it was good to be heading out onto dirt where I'd be glad I had the knobby tyres, instead of cursing.

It turned out to be only about 10 or so km - each way - But there were enough "ups" - some paved, some dirt - for it to be a worthwhile training ride for me. (I am still doing Puffing Billy impersonations - I still maintain that the cough I had for several weeks has set me back quite a way aerobically - so it's training I kind of need. Badly. ) It rained on us a bit, but that just made us cool. Perfect riding weather really!

In terms of riding that route myself, I am still a bit concerned at the thought of being a lone female riding through the bush - although it's hard to imagine any weirdos loitering around up there just in case some mad middle aged woman on a mountain bike comes charging through. (We did talk about the availability of mace - and just the fact that Marc considered it makes the whole idea a bit disconcerting. - I can also imagine me fumbling around trying to reach a spray can out of the back pocket of my cycling jersey. Not.) I suppose the thing that would be most inconvenient is getting a puncture or some other bike problem. I have been taught how to replace a tube, but I've not had to do it alone and under pressure, pathetic, relying-on-my-mechanically-minded-husband female that I am.

So, the jury is still out on me riding it by myself, but it all felt good. Once we'd stopped! (Like bashing your head against a brick wall.) No, no, really! It was really nice riding through the bush - even though it wasn't pristine bushland - you can tell because there are no old trees - it has all been logged at some point. I enjoy being able to ride a bike in that environment. Bit of rough - bit of a challenge - even though I think I'm too old to find enough bravery to make a MTB racer. (Without a childhood history of skidding around on bikes.) For me it's the biking equivalent of bushwalking. It is so close to home, too - only about 3km from our place before you hit dirt and head into the trees. It's almost a crime that we haven't explored all these old forestry roads on our bikes sooner than this. The hills to the west of us are riddled with them.

The best part was that it was a bit of him and me time. We have finally reached the stage where the age of our kids is such that we can lob out for a couple of hours and leave them at home (being couch potatoes) and, really, after all these years, that is gold in itself. A bit of a light at the end of the tunnel for those reading with littlies. It really does happen! And while we've managed, with our tandem/triplet madness, to involve the kids in this bike riding madness of ours, it's good occasionally to be back, just the two of us, doing what we enjoy doing together.

Last night he says to me, "I don't know where I got all this bike riding interest from - it's not like my parents took me bike riding or anything."

"Well, me neither." I said.

"Der" he says. "You got it from me."

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I could hear the lovely Aussie bird calls and the dirt gritty under your tyres as you rode through that bushland. And the rain..., the smell of a storm in the air...the ride sounded glorious to me!
Hiya...first-timer here. Found your blog on the blog-roll of a blogging friend of a blogging friend of mine. Or something like that, anyway.

Your post gave me a good chuckle. I hadn't been on a bike in years...not since "The Accident" (don't you love how dramatic things look when you put them in quotes?). But my hubby bought us a pair of bikes when we moved to the country and disappointed-look'ed me into getting on one.

My bum still hurts and that was six months ago. Cheers!
strauss - I think I might hire you to write in your beautiful poetic way what it was like! (It was mud caking to the tyres at times!) I can imagine how you'd miss the smell of the aussie bush - and you're right, that smell is enhanced by rain.

Thanks for dropping by, kimberley! Love the friend of a friend of a friend line. Now I'm intrigued about what Accident you had! Trust me, the bum gets used to it. Eventually. If you ride enough. (And if you don't, it kills! But I've been amazed lately at how my bum is getting used to it. You can't imagine that it can, but it does!)
I've firmly placed all mechanical, fixit type jobs on hubbies list seeing as mine contains everything else.

It's best not to become totally self sufficient. There has to be a reason to keep men around!
Hey Trace - and there I was feeling all ennervated (is that a word or did I just make it up? is it energised or invigorated?) at actually hopping onto my bike to see if the seat was the right height!!!

Good on hubby for being concerned about dangers lurking on forestry roads - I don't know (and don't want to know via public forum) where you are, but all quiet secluded country tracks can be freaky!!! So are the B-Doubles - and they are less likely to stop for mace...

Great that you got to enjoy the nature time, and got some you/hubby time.
Yes that is a very entertaining posting ... I'm glad I found this blog. Found it via your friend's Because It's Personal. Well I'm at & you're welcome to drop by there. Mine is quite different to yours so you have been warned!! Anyway all the best now, take care

I have explored this far and found absolutly good. Keep up this good work even when you 'grow up.' I am hooked here.

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