Cycling week 40
It is Sunday night, and I feel no desire to revisit the past. But we must. We must talk about the rides that I did this week. Maybe then we can finally move on with our lives.
A cold and blustery morning ride that I was glad to get over with.
At lunchtime I had to ride down the hill and into town for a poetry reading at Te Papa. Poetry! There was no way to avoid it, so I got on the bike and rode through a knifing cold southerly, spattered with rain. After the poetry, the weather was worse. I rode back up the hill to work through blasting rain and wind, and felt glad to get back off the bike – glad, in a way, that I had suffered for poetry.
The ride home: traffic was bad-tempered, wind was throwing itself around like the Hulk. But at the same time, a pretty sky – shiny blue, bits of silver – with a ghost of sun coming through.
On the morning ride I crossed paths with another cyclist who was riding along with a radio playing. And not playing music, but playing the news. I tried to figure out why this bothered me. It's harmless, isn't it? I want to think it's great, same as I want to think cyclists who play jazz from a stereo on their handlebars are great and I want to think the Uber driver with the 'party car' is great. But I can't. It has unicyclist energy. Everyone else becomes a minor character who must endure the main character's great scene.
Today was a four-ride day. All of these rides featured a cold head despite swaddling it in two headbands.
If any companies that make headbands/earwarmers/buffs (? is 'buff' right? Is that what those things are called?) want to reach out and give me free headbands, to test, let's talk.
On Highbury Rd, a little feather drifted down and fell on my shoulder, Forrest-Gump-like. Almost embarrassing. Glad no one saw.
I spent the day at home today, so there was no morning ride, but after work I rode into town, bundled up, then back home up the hill later. It was a chilly, vape-filled evening – sweet plumes of smoke at bus stops and at one point billowing out of a car window and into my face. Secretly, I don't mind the smell of vape smoke. The moon tonight was in its lying-down banana phase. A driver on Aro St seemed to have lost their mind, revving then blasting past then having to stop at the pedestrian crossing a few metres up. The ride up to Highbury was as usual endless – every time, every single time, I'll think, I'm not going to make it, and then somehow I have made it.
This was another home day. I rode into town at lunchtime, eyes streaming in cold wind. A guy veered in front of me to park on Thorndon Quay. On my way back I noted that Featherston St was smelling like red onions – then again, has it always had a kind of oniony aspect? The air tastes like officey sandwich. I was glad to hoon through a stream of green lights at top speed. Blustery wind again on Victoria St. On my way back up the hill, legs burning, the sun started breaking through.
A new development: I've got these little earbud things that are meant to 'lower your trigger response to annoying sounds' by slightly changing the way that noise goes into your ear. They don't block sound, just .... redirect it? They are meant to be good at diluting the annoyance level of many sounds – beeping and blooping, eating and clicking and tapping, and, crucially for me, traffic. So I figure I'll give them a try in the hopes of going less crazy less often.
Pushed bike to the top of the hill with Jerry coming for a walk this morning. Forgot the earbud things. A stressful morning ride. Cars impatient, buses heaving along, an e-cyclist who whipped past too close on the inside, making me shriek. Front wheel (or pedal?) making a suspicious clicky noise.
I have been ridiculously tired this week, and often spaced out on my rides, sort of tumble-weeding along, day-dreaming of pyjamas. But – the hell with it – rolled into town after work for a beer anyway. The ride home afterwards was incredibly cold. One of the coldest rides in recent memory. My bike felt like cold monkeybars. It wasn't till I was halfway up Raroa that I started to feel my blood moving again. Gentle clouds of weed on the air.
It was a very dark, quiet night except for the repeating click, click of my front wheel (or pedal?). Will take bike in for a service next week.