Monday, November 21, 2011

Business Hours

It’s a nice luxury to be able to ride during business hours…but it definitely makes me lazy.

I should have realised that today’s ride wasn’t going to be very productive when the already generous start time of “9am at Atomica Caffe” was pushed back to 10am.

Many of my friends who work full-time are forced to train early on weekday mornings and they seem to easily get in to the habit of waking up before sunrise and heading out in the cold to get their required km’s in. It seems that even on weekends, when they don’t need to be at the office by 9am, they are always still keen to head out early because it has become a habit. For me, having the time to ride during the day has only caused me to develop two habits – sleeping in and drinking coffee before rides.

Today I was riding with Mark (or if you prefer, Sando, or possibly ‘The Colonel’) and we began the day with a couple of games of backgammon at the café.

Backgammon is a great way to warm up before a road ride as it gets the mind ticking over but keeps the heartrate generally quite low…unless you roll a lot of double sixes.

It must have been around 11am before we left the café and after jumping on our road bikes we realised that we hadn’t worked out where to ride. After a few more minutes of indecisive chatter we came to a basic consensus – it was almost lunchtime on a beautiful sunny day, so let’s go on an adventure.

We made it from Fitzroy to West Preston (roughly 6.2km) before the lure of an omelette at the Pearl Oyster became too overwhelming to resist and so it was that we embarked on our 2nd café stop for the day. By the time breakfast was over and we got back on the bikes the total ride time had been about 20 minutes whilst café time had totalled almost 2 hours. It was at this point it dawned on me that we had unknowingly begun some sort of café interval session where the riding bits were the recovery.

Usually a road ride has a purpose – cyclists in Melbourne head to the hills to build up climbing strength or cruise along the beach for a more uninterrupted fast, flat ride – but today we were on an adventure and the only purpose was to kill a few hours on the bike…so we just headed north.

I’m not really familiar with most of the suburbs that we rode through today but I did see road signs for Reservoir, Lalor and at some point, Broadmeadows - but I don’t think we actually made it there because there were no sightings of Shane Skillz.

It’s always good to ride somewhere new, to expand the ride repertoire and discover some new routes. It keeps things fresh and interesting…and the most interesting part of today’s ride was definitely the trucks – lots of them…and they were big…and fast…and seemed to offer very little clearance when passing us on gravel-dusted roads. As it turns out, the area of Melbourne in which we rode, and which I can’t accurately describe except for being North-North-West-West of Fitzroy, is actually quite industrial. And so while most typical road rides might look something like this…
…today’s ride was a little more like this…
Not that I'm complaining, because as this next photo shows, I am clearly having a better time than at last weekend’s Garmin 24hour.…
It’s difficult to keep the sponsors happy when your jersey is hidden beneath a solid 2-inch layer of mud

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