Friday night I headed out for a 2hr night ride along the local rail trail with Mr Flowerpants. Fortunately the weather was on our side, apart from the blistering head, cross and finally tail wind once we hit the turn around point. The track was dry, the temperature mild, and I was slightly overdress for a winter’s night. It’s been a very long time since I rode the mtb, and it spun like a hot knife through butter. Pity my legs didn’t, but that’s another story. I did expected more wildlife out on the track, and was mildly disappointed that the naturespotting with the Ay Ups was fruitless.
We did, however, come across a family out on their bikes for the night, including two kids under 8, one of whom was under 5!! Brave to take such young kids out on bikes in the dark, but also what a fun adventure for them. In the end, the only real wildlife we encountered was a bessa brick that went by the name of Sheeeyitawombatfuckthatwasclose. Why is it that Australian mammals like to run into and across your path, while the imported species run away?? Fortunately we managed to dodge Sheeyitawombat, with some creative skidding, and bike handling skills.
Saturday was spent being domestic, in part due to the very wintersome weather, and a fortuitous race cancellation. 120kph winds apparently out at Gisbourne, so I very was glad not to have to face that! Saturday night was time to glam up for an evening out at the annual Audax awards night. Having gone to the CSV version the previous week, I hate to say it, but the Audax night rocked. Good food, fun people, very welcoming, and as a group, incredibly appreciative of their volunteers. I think it’s a failure of cycling racing as a sport to truly recognise the depth of volunteerism that occurs to make our sport actually happen. It tends to be hidden under a gloss of elitism and PROism that goes to make the sport at the higher levels. Such PROism doesn’t extend to the grass roots level (and local Open races are still grass roots: they grow our elite/international riders, and are often run by clubs and predominantly by volunteers) and for some reason, lack of PRO seems to warrant less recognition. Some might call it snobbery.
Sunday was another venturesome trip down the rail trail, thanks to a megasleep in after seriously late night. This time we headed out for a few km longer, some rain, more wind, more mud, and greater fatigue afterwards than Friday’s version. A bit of cross (haha) training never goes astray, and I really enjoyed the change of scenery and riding style. I decided to wear a HR monitor on Sunday, just to see the kind of workout I was getting, and was pleasantly surprised. Nothing terribly taxing overall, apart from one or two “climbs”, but a good tempo at endurance pace. It all adds up, and I need to make some steady, healthy deposits in the bank at the moment, even if I did none of the racing I had planned!