Saturday 7 January
Time started: 0800
Time I should have started: 0700
Time home: 1000
Time ridden: 1hr 43m
Coffee: Port Kembla Pool, 7/10 (tangy but not bitter, hot but not nuclear)
Soundtrack: Foo Fighters, Wasting Light; Screaming Trees, Dust
Enjoyed: Being out, having some semblance of legs left after holidays
Didn’t enjoy: numb bum and fingers
I want to change: handlebar set up
I hereby pronounce my intention not to embarrass myself at this year’s Mont 24, as I have in years past. I also figure that racking up 5000km on bikes this year is only 100km a week or thereabouts. Not easy, but not impossible. Or, more accurately, not as impossible as I can all too easily make it out to be.
Take this morning. 16 deg, barely a breath of wind and a deadline of 1000 to meet – the girls are going shopping, dontcha know (a rare occasion that I’m very happy to see them go and do, in truth). But I still manage to go to bed late and roll out of bed 45min later than I intended. Given my propensity to faff, that’s not ideal.
I’m sure there are riders who can say “I’m going riding,” and be out the door 10 minutes later. I. Am. Not. That. Rider. The amount of bullshit I put myself through each time I chamois up frustrates me immensely. Which shoes? Where are my inserts? Which socks – is it 15.5 or 15.7deg outside? Which shorts? Can you see through these ones? Which undershirt? Do I need an undershirt? Which jersey? Arm warmers? I’d better go outside, past the family Mac. Oooh look – a FB notification! And so it goes. For 30 minutes. Sometimes 45. And then I get to the bike… where’s the pump? Where’s the Garmin? Do I need a tail light? Some mornings I could just kill me.
The thing is, I usually enjoy it immensely when I’m out there. I do a lot of solo miles – a fact which, I suspect, exacerbates my tardiness – and once I’m out there, mid-album, I can find my groove. These early days of ’12 will suck a little – the old war wound on the right knee is giving me a bit of gyp, and I’m, as usual, 10kg over racing weight.
But I have a pretty good feeling about the year. I’m starting to accept the reality that I’m never going to be as fast as most, but I can make myself go faster. I’ve joined a gym, I have a plan – okay, I have a few plans I need to distill down into my plan – and I’m enjoying being out there. Only 4960km to go.
Cafe note; the canteen at Port Kembla Public Pools serves an all-right brew, and the new owners, Di and Bill (?), are nice folk.