Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

And what a year 2006 has been cycling-wise at least! My stats:
  • 6,441km ridden - three times last year's total;
  • 136 rides, an average of one ride every 2.6 days;
  • 300 hours in the saddle: exactly 12 days and 12 hours;
  • An average speed of 22.14km/h - up 0.99km/h on last year - not too bad considering most of my riding is on cycle paths.
  • A best month of 798km, a top speed of 74.2km/h and a longest ride of 309.8km.
  • 18 audax rides for a total of 2550km.
  • My goal of riding 100km a week exceeded by 23%!
Overall I'm very, very happy with my effort. I went out yesterday and rode 65km to knock off the 300 hours and to triple last year's total double. I was too lazy today to go out and do the 59km needed to reach the round figure of 6,500km.

So now I have make my new year's resolutions. Hmmm. I think 200km a week/ 10,000km for the year is worth going for. The clock resets to zero at midnight!

6,441km so far this year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The streets of Melbourne

On my new ride to work I've discovered yet another charming thing about Melbourne - there are plenty of cobblestone backstreets tucked away in the most unlikely places. My route through Flemington takes me over several short stretches of cobblestones and once I started looking I have found plenty more. (I've recovered from my stack, mostly.)

There's enough in fact that Melbourne's fixed gear buffs ran a race over assorted bits of it back in July. Shame I missed the Melburn-Roobaix. Maybe this year.

Two days to go for the year and I'm 120km short of 6,500km and two and a half hours short of 300 hours in the saddle. I'm hoping for good weather on the weekend, they're milestones too temptingly close to pass up.

6,386km so far this year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Single vehicle accident.

The day after posting a missive on the need for people to take more care, I put my front wheel in a tram track and crash. How's that for irony?

Turning right from Little Bourke Street into Elizabeth Street this morning, I cut the corner a bit fine to avoid a truck double parked on my exit line. My front wheel went into the groove of the tram line. I managed to wrench it clear, but wobbled at about 20km/h into the side of the truck and went down like a big bag of shit on my lower back. My impact was so similar to the photo below that it's not funny. Actually, it's not funny anyway, unless you were watching my artless will-he won't-he progress through the intersection.

It's always the same old story when I have a stack. It always hurts a bit, so it's best to stay down for half a minute or so to assess the damage. Not this time. I lay curled up in a ball of pain in the middle of Elizabeth Street for a good three minutes. Thanks to the people who came to my aid.

About ten minutes later, when I could move without too much pain, I pedalled off and picked up Mrs Surly Dave's Xmas present and gingerly proceeded on to work, but the hurties were too much so I find myself at home for a couple of days of lying down. The bike is fine, and I don't have a mark on me, not even a bruise. Just a very sore lower back, like someone has hit me with a baseball bat across the kidneys.

They say you're due a crash a year when you ride any decent distance, at 590 days and 8,108km since the last one, I was obviously well overdue. Something to muse upon as I chew Nurofen tablets and surf the net from the bed in the spare room for the next two days.

Aiming for 6,500km by New Year's Day, so I'd better get well soon.

6,285km so far this year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Red light runners

My office has moved across town, so I've had to find a new route to work. We were down the cheap end of Collins Street, we're now in East Melbourne/Collingwood. My new ride involves several on-road paths, a set of stairs, crossing three tram tracks and a long run down busy Brunswick Street.

What amazes me is the number of cyclists running red lights. Both mornings so far I've seen half a dozen people who should know better run reds along Brunswick Street. Scofflaw cyclists don't win us any friends among motorists.

It's dangerous too. In 1986 I ran a red light in Auckland, New Zealand and was hit by a bus. I broke my fall with my face. Fortunately I had a helmet on. It's probably not the best way to learn, but it's a lesson I haven't had to learn twice.

Photo from Flickr

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Failure and its friends.

Looks like 600km was about 400km too far. Saturday in Maryborough was very windy and windy days can try the soul. Despite a good first 100km and a reasonable second century, I was fading fast and I pulled out after 10 and a half hours at the 200km mark.

Oh the shame. I'm off to the Hall of Mirrors for a Good Hard Look at Myself.

6,206km so far this year.