Thursday, June 14, 2007

In the wind and the rain

Tassie's a lot different to Victoria, in almost every respect. It's a lot hillier and a lot colder. There are no facilities for cyclists and lots of huge logging trucks. There doesn't seem to be as as many riders, but those I have met seem fairly determined types. You have to be.

I've managed to do a few rides, mostly on the mountain bike because where we live the roads are all pretty poor quality dirt.

I hooked up with a group of local riders on Tuesday night for a few laps of the old bike track around the oval at Franklin. Nobody's used the bike track much in the last 20 years, so it's somewhat overgrown with thick grass, which means everyone rides mountain bikes. It's dark at 6.30pm, so were all had lights on. And, as a bonus, it was about three degrees and raining. And so the fun began.

Around the track we raced at top speed, dodging the thicker clumps of grass as they loomed up out of the shadows. There was no prospect of holding your line, or even of maintaining a constant speed as you battled through the tougher bits.

And how we went! Everyone simply put it in the top ring and went grinding. The rain streamed down and with the windchill I'm sure it was minus something degrees. I was good for about 5km before a little voice inside my head said "This is madness" and I jumped in the car and returned to the safety of my mountain lair. They breed them tough down here.

Photo at top left is my first real bike: a full Campagnolo Vitus Duralinox circa 1983. How that bike could fly.

3,029km so far this year.

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