31 October, 2009

Turn the water on, turn the water off....

A cool breeze just blew across my feet- it preceded a nice heavy shower. The first decent bit of rain we've had this month. Should I run outside and turn off the sprinkler or leave it on? I think I'll leave it on- looks to be pretty short-lived.

It's probably a good thing we're home from our ride- the first rains seem to turn our poor drivers into absolutely appalling ones.

All of that oil and road grime and dust comes to the surface in a lovely mix that could make half the world slide away. Do the drivers slow down? Nope- business as usual and when one (or more) of them has an accident, invariably the media reports say that rain caused the accident.

There goes one of the pinheads now past the house- thankfully no crash. I really hate the mess these accidents leave behind.

Tomorrow is crit day and I'm hoping that the after-race results are better than last time when I ended up with bronchitis. According to Bluenoser, we just don't know when to stop cycling- not like when we lived in Canada where the snow would definitely put a stop to makin' the wheels go round. We just cycle and cycle and race and cycle and maybe we do stretch ourselves a bit- but we just can't help it.

I think I better go move the sprinkler....

Cheers- ride safe

18 October, 2009

A mixed bag.....

Well, "J, M & J" as they used to say back on the East Coast- That would be Jesus, Mary and Joseph if you're not familiar with phraseology from Cape Breton or Newfoundland.

I think I'm starting to come good after a fortnight's battle with bronchitis. Just about finished the second course of antibiotics and haven't coughed or wheezed all afternoon. That may have something to do with the fact that there has been a major change of air around here in the last couple of days. We have been subjected to dust storms and smoke haze from bush fires for a few weeks now and I'm quite certain that it has been aggravating my infection.

Yesterday, the wind shifted to an onshore breeze and the temperature started to drop and the smoke haze began to clear. Today was very pleasant as I did the chores around the yard.

Alberto, the partner of one of our fellow bloggers, Groover, is on the road to recovery after being hit by a car on Friday. His LOOK bike is a write off and he has few bumps and bruises but will soon be back on the road, "Here's to you and a speedy recovery AMR!!" Having recently gone through a similar episode, I can completely empathise with your situation. I hope your insurance company comes good.

Another friend has been taking part in the World Masters Games in Sydney this past week- Sue just missed the podium in her three events- Individual Time Trial, Crit and Road Race. Sue said in every instance, the winner was a national champ of their respective country, so "Good on ya Sue!!".

Anyhow- that's it for the week (fortnight actually I guess).

Cheers- ride safe

07 October, 2009

And the word for today is....bronchitis

So it was off to the doc's this morning. I was fortunate enough to be able to call and make an appointment at our local clinic for the same day so I trundled my miserable, sneezy, phlegmy butt into the waiting room. I try to be socially responsible and cover my mouth and nose with a tissue whenever I feel a sneeze coming on. And today I went so far as to remove myself to the men's toilet to blow my nose. I don't think anybody wanted to be subjected to that much mucus being expelled in one go.

I returned to my seat just in time to be summoned into the inner sanctum. Dr T was quite surprised to see me seated before him. He's also a member of the local cycling club and was at the crits on Sunday afternoon and was surprised at how quickly things had turned given that I rode a really strong race on Sunday.

So after all of the questions and examinations (Temp 35.7, BP 112/74, Pulse about 74), it was determined that I have bronchitis and have been put on a course of antibiotics to try and knock it down. "Keep an eye on it, and if it gets any worse, get back in here straight away. We don't want this to turn into pneumonia."

No kidding......

So it's off the bike for the rest of the week- do you think spinning on the trainer counts as well?

Cheers- ride safe

06 October, 2009

Why can't I just be healthy for more than a month?

It's a lovely day, blue skies, cooling breeze and temperature around 27C- if I'm not at work I should be off for a bit of a spin on a day like this.

Instead, I'm sitting here in a flu induced fever and sweating buckets. Whatever it is came on like a stealth bomber yesterday. After racing a "D" grade crit on Sunday afternoon (and deciding that it's time to go back up to "C" grade), I feel like I have been put through the wringer. Dee and I came back from the racing late on Sunday afternoon, cooked up some pasta, enjoyed a glass or two of wine and then retired for the evening.

When I woke yesterday, I knew things had started to go downhill. I had planned to do a bit of a recovery ride but my throat was sore, my nose and sinuses were full and the sneezing just didn't want to stop. So I didn't ride- but being the dedicated employee that I am, I toddled off to work for the day. I kept the sneezes to myself and must have gone through half a box of tissues by the end of the day.

I took a couple of cold/flu relief tablets when I got home ("Daytime/Non-Drowsy" it says on the pack). They weren't kidding.... I even took one of the nighttime tablets just before going to bed but it couldn't touch the daytime ones. I think I may have managed an hour in total and probably didn't do Dee any good either in the sleep department. Oh and the aircon decided it was going to make like U2 so we ended up turning it off and opening the windows to be serenaded about every 45 minutes by these guys. There's a link where you can hear their song.

So I'm home, on sick leave drinking many cups of tea and reading cycling blogs. It's not like I have any shortage of sick leave- I think about 730 hours- surely I'll be better before then.

Cheers- ride safe

04 October, 2009

An Open Letter to Magda Szubanski, Julia Morris, Channel Ten, Jenny Craig and Kellogg's

Dear all,

It has come to my attention, and that of many thousands of cyclists around the globe, that Magda Szubanski and Julia Morris, seem to have a dislike for a certain demographic of our society- that being road cyclists.

Now I can understand individuals not sharing the enthusiasm that others might have for their chosen physical activity/hobby/pastime/mode of transport- but I can not understand the vehemence with which these two people vented their distaste/dislike/hatred toward road cyclists. Announcing to the world on Channel Ten's "Good News Week" Monday night of this past week that it was okay to "take out cyclists' or "just door them" went well beyond comedic remarks.

Yes, the segment started out poking fun at cyclists and the "tap,tap" sound of the cleats on cycling shoes as riders make their way across the cafe floor- and the lycra outfits that many cyclists choose to wear. Sure- some of them are bright and pretty wild but for those who ride any amount will attest, a good pair of cycling shorts can make a world of difference when you're spending 3 or 4 hours on the saddle. If it had stopped there, most would have written it off as a bit of fun at our expense.

But no. Julia Morris, you who are a commercial figure in advertising for Kelloggs' All Bran cereal, got involved in the segment. You decided to really vent your spleen and in so doing encouraged road users to injure (or worse) cyclists by taking them out. Magda continued and agreed saying to just "door them". I have watched the video replay several times and there was no comedic aspect to those statements- it was a war cry- a rallying call to all and sundry who may have felt inconvenienced on our nation's roads by someone on a bike. And as someone who cycles often and also drives a car, there are certainly a generous number of road users who will gladly respond to the call.

I have had more close calls than I care to reflect upon and in July of this year was struck by a car driven by an individual who failed to give way at a T intersection. I have been verbally abused on the road and had items thrown at me from passing cars. I know of at least two local riders who have had people pull up beside them as they were cycling and grab their bikes. One of the riders was then pushed from his bike at speed and left to lay in the ditch. The resulting injuries left this medical professional unable to perform his role for some period of time. We'll never know if any of the patients he would have seen during that period may have died as a result of his specialized service being unavailable.

To Channel Ten: How does this happen on a show that's not live to air? And from a network which is a partner of the Amy Gillett Foundation. To say this shows irresponsible editorial practice would be a bit of an understatement.

To Kelloggs': You may want to rethink your position with your All Bran spokesperson (or corporate face as indicated on the linked website). The uptake of a healthy diet is but one part of a healthy lifestyle. When I am shopping for cereal or snack bars (and believe me, cyclists go through a good number of snack bars in a year), the chances of my purchasing a product represented by an individual who willfully incites violence against someone are nil. I am sorry but I will exercise my displeasure by opting to not purchase any item from the Kelloggs' line.

To Jenny Craig and oh yes- perhaps the "Fernwood Fitness Centres" may want to consider their position with Ms Morris as well- as it is indicated on her website that she is also the corporate face for your organisation. It would be unseemly to encourage people to enroll in your programs, take up a healthier lifestyle, maybe get out on the roads for some further exercise- only to be "taken out" by some aggravated, no mind neanderthal in 1800 kg of metal and plastic because Julia and Magda said to do so.

I remain a committed cyclist and road user and most importantly I like to think of myself as a human with family and friends- not a target for a raging road-warrior.