Monday, March 05, 2007



The old "where are my sunglasses? - duh - they're on your head" trick - with a twist:

After a 5 am start on Saturday morning to do the community bike ride, noone was particularly enthusiastic about getting up to ride some more on Sunday morning for more "training" - least of all Ms Likes To Sleep In. We had to literally drag her out of bed (and so she lay on the floor and went back to sleep.) So we had to keep going back upstairs to make sure she was up. And she then tried to tell us she didn't know we were getting up to do it, when we know we had said we would because she had made the comment on Saturday that it was 'too late now to make arrangements to do something with her friend on Sunday afternoon.' *shrugs*. It wasn't fun. It's hard enough dealing with your own inner demons.

We were riding to meet up with a Sunday morning BUG ride, so needed to leave about 8.15 to meet up with them before the 9.00 start. Finally we are about to walk out of the house, and Marc can't find his sunglasses. Both of us are going demented looking for them... going over when he last had them (when he took the kids down for a swim the previous afternoon.) Him going up the two flights of stairs to our bedroom. I even check whether the ones I have perched on my head are mine. After about 10 mins I find an old pair for him to use, and then go out to put my helmet on. Hang on. One pair of sunnies on my head. One pair of sunnies with the arm tucked down the front of my shirt. OOPS. (Or rather... 'Oh shit.. you're... going... to.... kill.... me.....')

The old "We won't be out in the sun for long" trick:

We broke off from the BUG ride (something we had planned to do) and rode on further with some other riders who also wanted to get some more kilometres down in training for the Big Ride. [Think we might have broken away anyway - the ride leader went overboard in an attempt to ride at a 'beginners' pace for all the newbie bike riders -this was designated an Easy Breakfast Ride - to the point that we were all struggling to ride that slowly - especially on tandems! And bunched up in a group, riding slowly, would actually be harder on the novice riders... but anyway...that's another story...]

We took swimmers and a couple of towels in the panniers.. but decided 'we won't be in the water for long - just a dip' and didn't take rashies. And didn't plaster on the sunscreen. OOPS. How to feel like an irresponsible parent.

The 'do what I say, not what I do' trick:

Our destination was this place - a tidal creek just near the ocean. This photo was actually taken when we were there late afternoon a few weeks ago. Yesterday the tide was running out, so you could jump in upstream, and float down, and then make sure you get yourself over so you can get out near the steps...

...amongst some rocks.. some of which have oyster shells on them. So I ... 'duh' .. realise as I touch one. "Don't touch the rocks, they're sharp!" I say to Alison. OOPS -too late for me... with a sharp cut to the pad of my right index finger. (And both of us managed to get little nicks on our toes too....)

The old "Maybe you should do as HE suggests" trick:

After a very ordinary take-away lunch of hamburger and chips (that took 45 mins, and where they burnt the hamburger buns, and the chips were undercooked), we all had a go of swimming across the current to the sandflats, walking upstream and floating down again. We had to deal with our Ms Cautious (Zoe) having a freak-out about swimming across the flow to the sandbank (wouldn't put her head down to swim - because it was salt water and she didn't have goggles and she needs to see where she is going, don't you know! ).. and then freaking out some more about floating back down in the current. [Zoe is like this.. if we hadn't actively encouraged her in a lot of things, all she would do all day is sit on the lounge reading a book.. and she always surprises herself when she realises how capable she is once she faces down her inner demons.]

So I am dealing with her panic, and don't stop at the first set of steps that Mr Sensible recommends, but float on down to the next set, with the oyster rocks.. and.. realise then that there's actually a line of people fishing. All bar one have pulled their lines in because of us coming down. Except one kid. And I can't manoevre me AND Zoe away, so I end up hooking myself in his line. Fortunately when I pointed my toes, it slid off. "Sorry...!!"... But he was undoubtedly cursing me. OOPS. (I really should do what I'm told in future.)

So any more OOPSES?

The triplet got a puncture as we were heading down the highway. More a 'bugger!' than an OOPS.

We started, as I said, with the Community Ride on Saturday morning. I decided Cait and I should ride 'up' in B group, as I could ride at the head of C group on my MTB. We had to ride hard at the back, but were keeping up. Till I decided to be a hero and get Cait to jump off and pick up something that fluttered out of the pocket of someone in front. After we'd committed to that, we realise she's coming back for it anyway. We exchange 'thankyou' and 'no worries', and then we look up, and the rest of the group has disappeared! Just before a fork in the road too. We keep going straight ahead instead of taking the right turn (oops). Fortunately I know where we are headed (ie. back to town)... so we lead this other girl - it turns out that this is her first time coming to the ride.

We reach the start of the bike path that heads back to Coffs. We ride through C group who are stopped. They say B group has gone through. We see a group ahead. But, wait.. they are slow... that's D group. Did C group think we said D not B? I pass the mobile phone to Cait, who calls through to Marc, and the call is taken by his Stoker Secretary, Alison. Yes, they are ahead, just passing the uni. We charge our way through D group. "Coming through!!".

Cait christens the rest of B-group as "Bloody Pirates", and extends the PoTC analogy. "It's the Pirates code" she snorts. "Whoever falls behind gets left behind." We are a bit miffed, because when we ride C group we are forever stopping to wait for the slower riders in the group. Seems once you hit B, then the 'community' part of the ride falls apart. We do catch them in the end, by not taking a small detour off the cycle path that they normally do.. Oh well, at least we rode hard! Marc reckoned we were silly for stopping; it is easier to stop and start a single bike. Guess I am just overly helpful sometimes. "And just as well we did" I say. "She didn't know which way to go." "Yes, but you could have just ridden slowly, and been the link between the group and her.." OOPS. Yes, rightio.. but gee it must be great being so damned logical all the time!

The rest of Saturday was more netball for both the older two. Ali had 'selections' and made the Woopi rep team. (Get the chequebook ready, Mum and Dad.) And in the afternoon, it was another trip into Coffs for Cait to play a club grading game in there.

And after 57km on the bike yesterday, at around 30 degrees C, (and possibly riding too hard in the afternoon to make up for the excruciatingly slow pace first up) I was bloody exhausted when we got home. It was hot. Damned hot. We all stood under the garden shower in our bike gear. Then flopped. It took extreme will to make myself follow the rest of them down to the surf for a late afternoon dip. The ocean at the moment is really cold!! (funny how it can vary so much).. but I will never again need convincing that cold/ice water therapy is good for sore muscles. Couldn't believe how much better I felt.

We made it to bed by about 10.30.. but I would have welcomed more sleep, and I am wondering if my legs will have anything in them at swimming this arvo. And to think we are planning to do this sort of riding 9 days in a row. Just call me Crazy. Trace.

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