30 January, 2010

It’s Raining Again (Or should I say "Still"?)

It's 10:15 Saturday morning and I have just tilted the laptop screen toward me to shed a bit of light on the keyboard- believe me, I am not a touch-typist- not quite a hunt and peck either but I'll win no prizes in the keyboard skills competition. It has gone very dark in the house as the next wave of monsoonal showers passes through. I think we're almost a full week into steady (sometimes torrential) rain.

There have been times when I can hardly see the neighbours' house across the backyard as the rain pelts down. Almost reminds me of snowstorms back in the old country- we just don't have to shovel out afterward.

It has put a bit of a halt to my cycling routine this week. Over the last 5 days we have had almost 300mm dumped on us and with a soon-to-be ex-cyclone off to the northwest and dragging lots of moist air toward it, methinks that it could be considerably higher before we see a break. Never mind- sunny days will be back soon enough I'm sure.

I wonder if tomorrow's crit is still on???

Cheers- ride safe


24 January, 2010

It was a bit like a treasure hunt....

It's funny how things disappear. And it's sometimes even funnier, the things you find while looking for those things that have disappeared. Take pictures (or photographs if you prefer)- a friend put up that this was Wedding Week on Facebook and that we should replace our profile pics with a picture from our wedding.

Well the search was on- high, low, indoors and out for our wedding photos. Now we know that the wedding album itself didn't make the trip Down Under when we migrated, but both Dee and I thought we had brought the photos. Alas, we didn't find any of "the" wedding photos but we did come up with a few slightly less-than-professional shots which despite their yellowish tinge and probably champagne-affected focus, show us in our wedding day finery.

This pic is for you Bluenoser- during the search, Dee came across a ziplock bag of photos, some of them from my time on the rigs and one in particular on a rig being transported from Dunkirk, France to Nova Scotia. I can recall the day like it was last week- although it is now more than 25 years ago. It was particularly windy and as I hit the button, there was a very strong gust of wind which resulted in the following.................................................

And the 2010 Tour Down Under has just wrapped up with Andre Greipel of Team HTC taking out the ochre jersey as overall winner in the GC.

Big winds and heavy rains forecast for the next few days as we feel the effects of a couple of ex-cyclones and a very active monsoonal trough. Might seriously cut into the early morning rides.

Cheers- ride safe

16 January, 2010

First long ride in a while

Saturday- our usual coffee ride took a backseat this week as we jumped on a group ride out to Woodstock and back (to the cafe of course). Just short of a century but we couldn't be bothered putting in junk km's just to hit triple figures. The ride actually got split into two groups before we headed out- there must have been close to 50 cyclists and to make things more manageable for all involved (motorists included) we divided into a couple of groups- 5 minutes apart.

It was Dee's first group ride out on the highway where there is traffic at 110km/hr and road trains with three trailers hauling ore from mines in the western part of the state. Not for the faint-of-heart. And she did really well- fitness was never going to be an issue- she does an absolute tonne of km's. The concern is with the dynamic of a group at speed and the associated hazards with cycling along the highway.

She blitzed it- after hanging back a bit for the first 10 km or so, she gained confidence in following wheels and played a full role in rolling through and taking a turn on the front. And she managed to avoid hitting any mummified remains of road-kill kangaroos and wallabies along the route.

It was a lovely ride- the area has greened up nicely after the rain around New Year's and there were lots of parrots, lorikeets and finches crossing the road giving us something else to look at besides the tread pattern of the wheel in front.

Sunday beckons- probably do a nice jaunt out to Pallarenda and then coffee as a recovery.

Cheers- ride safe

10 January, 2010

I think that was a wind training session....

We did the slug thing this morning and stayed in bed after the 4:30 alarm. Eventually dragged ourselves out and had a coffee and read the morning's news online. We had both cycled every day this week and really, we do need a bit of rest.

So we pottered around the house and yard doing chores- I edged all of the garden beds in the front (and along the driveway pavers) with the shovel to get a nice clean edge (never mind the fact that my weed whacker decided it was no longer desiring to be a contributor to the greenhouse emissions and packed it in a few months back. All of the plastic/rubber components seemed to disintegrate all at once- go figure eh?)

A bit past mid-morning I was getting antsy and so we decided to get in a small ride. There was good cloud cover (of the intermittent variety) which was helping to keep the temperature down to around 29C and the wind was, shall we say, refreshing.

Off we went along the bikeway beside the river and down to the V8 track- or at least a section thereof. This particular section of the V8 circuit is closed off from traffic but easily accessible- the loop is 630m on the inside and 680 if you decide to cycle out wide. I think we did about 10 or 12km on the circuit with a pretty good head/crosswind across the majority of the track.

I just checked the figures from the Bureau of Meteorology and while we were out, the average wind speeds were 20-46 km/hr with gusts to 56.

It gave me a pretty good week for this early in the new year, 287km- I probably should grab myself by the collar and head out the door for 13 more km but it's time to kick back with a glass of vino and wait for the lamb shanks........mmmmmm!!

And congratulations to Townsville rider Ruth Corset who yesterday won the Australian Women's Elite Road Cycling Title in Bunyinong, Victoria and to her coach and husband Jason. Their hard work is paying off with this title and continues Ruth's success after being named the Women's Elite Road Cyclist in December

Cheers- ride safe

05 January, 2010

Fingers and Toes...

I have a full compliment of both- thank you very much....but I would have been hard pressed to use all of my digits counting the cyclists I encountered on this morning's ride. When I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at 04:15, the last shower was just passing through and I suspect that a fair number of the regular riders may have used that as an excuse to spend another hour or so in the sack.

On my regular circuit into the city, I saw two cyclists well ahead of me and one heading in the opposite direction. A loop along the beach front tallied up three more riders (G'day Adrian, Tony Z and Sue) and on the return trip I think I saw another 10 or 12. When compared with a normal Tuesday when there might be 60 to 80 cyclists- it just shows the power of water (when it falls from the sky).

Dee rode this morning (I know everyone is surprised) and got fairly drenched for the second day in a row. Interestingly enough, she commented on how it looks like it might be her year to get wet. Last year it was raining whenever I headed out- so far, this time around the rain stops just before I head out the door. This year (for what it's worth- but there may be a pattern developing) the rain stops just before I head out and then fires up again just as Dee gets to the furthest point of her ride.

That's not to say I end my ride in a "dryer" state- I think my gear still holds about the same amount of moisture as if I had cycled in the rain- it's just that it's self-generated and there's something completely different about that.

Cheers- ride safe