Saturday, April 21, 2007


Earned the right to blog today.

82.7 km this morning (already), thank you very much. On the bike (the tandem) that is. We left home at 5.30am. It's not really light at that time now. Marc has invested in a super duper bike headlight, and a flashing red light that you'd have to be blind to miss, but it was still a bit disconcerting riding down the highway.. I don't know where all the traffic was coming from this morning compared to three weeks ago. (Perhaps people returning from school holidays, but being on the road at dawn is pretty keen. Says me, who is on the road at that time on a bloody bike!)

The community ride was more enjoyable than usual - we rode in a group that broke away and went a bit faster, further, and a varied route. The change of scenery was good, and riding faster was good too.

With, by the end of that, about 60km under our belts before 8am, I was feeling a bit peckish! After the ride we sit and have coffee and a bite to eat at a cafe in the city centre square, and this morning I wolfed down my half of the BLAT (bacon/lettuce/avocado/tomato), then paid for it all the way home, with a gut ache. Ech. That didn't stop Marc aiming to crack the 30kph average speed mark by the time we got home. (I wondered why we were really pushing it, even once we turned off the highway! - but I wasn't game to complain.) We did crack it, but I staggered off the bike once we arrived home, and then collapsed on the front lawn for about 20 minutes. Next time, hopefully without pain, we should do it with ease. Nothing like a setting yourself a challenge to make you work hard. And nothing like riding on the back of a tandem to make you put in, when on your own bike you might just slacken off because "ohmigod, my gut hurts"!

We had a few compliments on our tandem riding today, which is nice, as the hyper-sensitive part of me (yes really!) usually feels like other cyclists don't think much of them, basically because they have had no experience of them. (Like they think the one on the back - me in this case - is just luggage, and I always get the "vibe" from women 'roadies' in particular that riding stoker on a tandem is second rate. And - like - why would you relinquish control - to a male! - and not having control of the steering, braking etc.) Someone today, though, told us we looked really professional! LOL. Well, it is easy to look good on a tandem, as you have no choice but to pedal in synch, but, hell, I'll take any praise and bask in it. We blow the single bikes away on the flats and downhills. Yee ha. Yes, perhaps I am a speed junkie. Certainly the speed factor is what attracted Marc to tandems in the first place. And, given that tandems are not as abundant in Australia as they appear to be in the US, for example (where they have tandem rallies of several hundred tandems at once!), then it is a process of educating our bike riding community. And I can take every chance I can to explain the team process involved in tandeming.

I wish we had a photo of us riding it - but so far I guess we've not ridden it where other people have cameras. (And we're going so fast, we'd just be a blur... ha!)

Yesterday afternoon I was true to my re-resolution, and bolted out for a half hour/40min walk up the beach and back as soon as I'd 'got rid of' the kids' friends who came to play for the day. How lucky am I to live where I do - where going for a walk is such a delight to the senses. 150 metres from my front door and I am on the sand and striding up the beach. It is a flattish beach, so at half to low tide, the sand is hard enough to walk on easily, and you can walk half an hour (to the north) without getting to the next headland.

Last night there was an awesome cloud formation which I realised was a storm cell. The top of the cloud was illuminated in a reddish/pinkish glow from the light of the setting sun, and with lightning flashes within, I felt privileged to be witnessing one of nature's light shows. Oh to have had a camera with me, although I know it wouldn't have captured it fully - certainly not the lightning.

On the way back, just as it was getting dark, I even found something in me to break into a jog. I am cautious about attempting to run, as last year when I was determinedly thumping my way around a 2.5 km cross country course I gave myself a lot of hip 'issues'. So I tried 10 jogging steps, 10 walking, 20 jogging, 20 walking.. and increased it by 10 each time till I got up to 70 jogging steps. It felt good. So I will see how I go. It did occur to me last night that if I avoided throwing my back/hips out by attempting to run, the money I'd save per month on chiropractic sessions would help fund my private trainer sessions, which are probably better for me in the long run.

I know, I must sound obsessed with the exercise thing at the moment. Plenty of woman out there way more hard core than me though. I am just determined, this time, to keep doing it enough to reap the benefits, and I am chuffed with myself that this year (after the Big Ride) we are not losing our bike riding fitness, but continuing to push the envelope. The weight loss is only part of it. The zingy-zing-zing endorphins you have jumping around the rest of the day are a more immediate reward - just as long as you don't scoff your BLATs.

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For someone who is not a morning person, I don't know how you get up and do that at 5.30am. Ok, that sentence is ambiguous, I mean you are not a morning person, but actually if you read it as I am not a morning person you would be correct also.

As for the whole beach thing you are making me miss our holiday in Glenelg.
hey if blogging about your exercise achievements keeps you motivated and positive then blog away. I am more than willing to read your news and send you a *go trace go* if you need it
I think you may have pushed me into digging out my bike and chiseling off the rust!
Good for you mcewen! Let me know whether you do it!!! I quite like the idea of being an Inspiration. :)

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