Friday, February 11, 2011

A perfect morning's excursion

I rode a very pleasant 18km to the bus this morning. It was warm, though the sun had not been up long. The blanket of fog I descended through zooming down the hill from home didn't quite reach the valley floor. Just three cars passed me in the 40 minutes it took me to ride along the rough dirt road to Huonville and the bus. I knew all the drivers and all of them waved as they slowed and gave me a wide berth passing. The wide Schwalbe tyres on the Crosscheck soaked up the bumps on the gravel road beautifully. The ride home was about the same, but without the traffic. We're a one car family for a while and though it means some minor inconvenience, it also means I'm able to get a some more time on the bike. 

It's February, which means FebFast: a month off the grog. As a challenge, my household has cut its alcohol consumption from a case (or two) of beer a week to zero. Into the bargain I've given up soft drink and bacon and egg rolls from the work canteen. If it's going to be a month of abstinence, it might as well be a good one.

As I've probably complained here before I have struggled to find a regular ride that isn't so hilly as to make daily riding exhausting or too clogged with traffic to be enjoyable. Apart from a 300m hill at the home end, the road from here to town is pretty flat by Tasmania standards. It's a nice ride: slightly harder coming home because of the hill, but pleasant enough to do every day. I've racked up 200km this week which is about twice my average. I can read on the bus - and the paper I work for pays reporters $50 for book reviews, which means my travel almost pays for itself.

Normally I'd be buggered after a week of work and riding. But the exercise and improved  diet means I've dropped about 4kg in three weeks and suddenly I'm riding faster and with less effort. I feel good when I get out of bed in the morning and don't seem to be as tired in the evenings. Diet and exercise huh? Who would have thought it?

I'm wondering how long this pleasant experience will last. I'm pretty committed to see out the next six weeks until I ride the 360km Opperman All Day Trial Summer in Tasmania is brief. This year hasn't been much of a summer at all but even so in a week or two as the days continue to get shorter I'll be leaving home in the dark, which isn't too big a problem because I have lights and sunrise won't be too far away. It will cool down, but I have warm enough clothes for that. Daylight Savings ends at the end of March, so it will be dark at both ends of the day, which means a man has to be pretty determined to push on. And I'll get my car back in a week or two and I'll have to ride past it each morning to the gate. It's temping, always tempting, despite the pleasures of the ride. We shall see. It's easy to make rash promises when its warm and dry. 

570km so far this year.

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