30 December, 2009

We're nearly there..........

Today is New Year's Eve eve and as the day draws to a close, I sit here with a refreshing beverage waiting for the rain showers sitting off the coast to come ashore. A quick calculation of my mileage/kilometrage (is that a word?) for the year shows I am a mere 290 km short of 10K for '09. I am planning to ride tomorrow- but I gotta tell you now that the chances of me doing that many km's are somewhere between nil and non-existent.

So as a bit of a retrospect for '09 (I originally misspelled it as restropect which I guess would be a revisitation of all of the restaurants I visited during the year and I want you to know right now that it would be a pretty short article) I wanted to capture the things that stood out over the last 12 months.

The year started well, albeit very wet. The yard only flooded a couple of times- once for three days and once for four- just kidding- it wasn't that bad but it did seriously put a dent in the early year riding. Once the monsoonal rains eased, I got back on track (sorry- back on the road) and started making serious inroads in my training.

The first road event of the year was a TT which was run to raise money for the folks down south who had suffered through the bushfires. I was, much to my chagrin, unable to ride due to the lingering effects of the flu- bugger!! But there was a good roll-up and we were able to send a donation off to the Bushfire Appeal.

There was a pattern throughout the road season- ride a race- get sick and recover in three weeks time and then race again and then get sick again. I had four bronchial infections between April and September and to say I was getting a "bit pissed" off would be an understatement.

Almost forgot the ITB. I have been introduced to an element of torture- the ITB roller. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea what an ITB was. The iliotibial band could have been an alternate or indie music group for all I knew. What I did know was that my left knee was causing me no small amount of pain and after several days I had to see what was happening. Off to the doc's who says, "looks like you have an ITB problem. Here's a referral to a good physio."

Like a good sort, I make an appointment to have some remedial therapy and have my left leg kneaded into submission by a young lady with arms which I am sure were just slightly smaller than "Hulk Hogan's". Thankfully she didn't slam my head into the floor- although she did say that since I was the only client in the building at the time, I could vocally let off a bit of pain relief if I felt so inclined. After some serious manipulation and ultrasound, I was sent on my way with some stretching exercises and an ITB roller.

If you have never used an ITB roller, I suggest you borrow one and give it a go. The feeling you experience once you have finished your session is of immense relief- relief that the session is over!!!

Oh yeah- I forgot to put the "getting hit by car" segment in there. In July a motorist failed to give way at an intersection and hit me despite my best efforts to avoid being struck. I have had "moments" shall we say, during the recovery when I was very apprehensive as I approached intersections and round-abouts, It seemed to have been a well-founded feeling as a cab driver had to come to a full tyre-sliding stop during this morning's ride when he failed to see me. And as evidenced by my writing if this blog entry, it was a good outcome- at least from my point of view.

So I didn't make 12K- not even 10K. But I'm here, I'm healthy, I still have a mad desire to ride and I live in hope..........hope that Dee and I will be able to continue to ride together in good health for many years to come and that all of you have a safe and happy 2010.

I wish all a happy New Year- ride safe, ride often and enjoy.


13 December, 2009

"Tis the Season

The year winds down and the weather heats up- welcome to cycling in the festive season in the tropics. Things are starting to heat up in North Queensland as we lurch toward Christmas.

Temperatures are on the rise and the humidity levels are starting to edge upward as well. It's really noticeable on the morning training rides as everyone is bathed in sweat- the humidity is so high that the sweat can't evaporate and just runs down your arms, legs, back, forehead and into your glasses (for those of us who are visually challenged and for those who aren't but like to keep the road grit and bugs out of our eyes).

You take your jersey off after the ride and when it hits the floor, it's with a sloppy sort of a splat instead of just being a non-auditory event. You can wring the moisture out of the chamois (not that you would really want to). And it seems no matter how many bottles of water you drink over the course of the day, you still feel like one of those apple dolls from the '80's.

We're hiding in the air conditioning today- well not exactly hiding. We're rewarding ourselves after spending the better part of the day working in the yard. We'll ride tomorrow!!

Cheers-ride safe