Cycling week 26
It was a week of just refusing to deal with things. Very few good observations were made, but places were arrived at eventually.
Rode to work with no incident. A silvery blue morning. Sparrows and blackbirds.
At lunchtime I rode into town to the physio ('Everything hurts' I griped, helpfully), then rode back to work up the hellfire Terrace, noting that almost every driver was behaving insanely. Gave up and crept up along the footpath. I just could not deal with the nonsense.
Rode home in chilly dotty rain, feeling hounded by cars and buses. But towards the end I reached my favourite cycling sensation, which is when I am toasty warm and the air is chilly and dark.
A five ride day. In the morning I was running very late. I think I've talked before about how at some point, when you are running late, you simply cannot fight it any more and have to adjust to your new reality of lateness; you may as well just go along at your normal speed in order to salvage what dignity you have left.
At the beginning portion of the ride, up in the hills, I like looking down on the harbour to see what it's doing today. Sometimes I try to come up with better ways of describing it than 'like a piece of sheet metal'. Unfortunately today it really did look like a piece of sheet metal.
At lunchtime I zoomed down to an author event, then back up the hill.
After work I zoomed down to another author event, then back up a different hill. This was the first ride this week I properly enjoyed; I was let loose into the night and felt all my worry being washed away in the slipstream. Sometimes it's the opposite – worry seems to re-form and cling to one's back during a ride.
Was wearing impractical, unyielding jeans for all of these rides. Why did I wear these jeans?! But this is the eternal difficulty, especially on days when there's some kind of event: clothes that can be cycled in comfortably but that also do not look too unsavoury when you get off the bike. My dream is a pair of pants that does everything, that has everything, that unlocks everything.
A harried ride to work, in shorts.
After work, I zoomed into town for necessary beer. The ride home was a long, dark ride of great struggle and suffering. Tunnel vision: focused on the spot of light in front of my wheel. I arrived home at one minute to 7 and lay on the floor in a dishevelled sweaty heap while streaming the Ockham Book Awards.
The morning ride. Got halfway, then realised with a start I'd forgotten my keys. Rode back home then started the day again. Sweaty, sweary.
A lunchtime ride: down to Thorndon then back up the hill, southbound on Thorndon Quay, then the Terrace. Another ride of great struggle and suffering. Rode through an immense, almost visible cloud of cologne as I passed a man in a long black coat.
The evening ride. Stress. A bus churning up behind me on the hill as I wheezed and huffed trying to get to where I could pull over and the bus would have enough room to squeeze past. Strong impulse to stop and lie down in the middle of the road.
In the morning I rushed through cold bitey rain. Wet shoes, socks, and pants. I refused to change them.
I rode into town after work, and then home in drenching rain. Wet shoes, socks, pants, undies. Another cyclist sailed past me at impressive speed, water sheeting off him. I swear a car swerved directly at me. I shrieked and did the fingers. Punishment passes all over. I was losing it. I felt the fight draining out of me and slowed to a crawl, which only increased the punishment passes.
I have managed to avoid mid and upper Raroa Rd entirely this week, but it was my third time up the lower bit. I almost always ride up on the footpath here, as the road itself is a deathtrap.
I have no learnings from this cycling week, only that being dramatic about small everyday struggles almost definitely worsens the struggle.