Monday, October 26, 2009

Solo Homebush ride

A brief entry for this week.
Only two solo rides as I'm back at work so time is more difficult to organise.

Cycled to Homebush without Coach yesterday and managed to beat the rain. I do prefer cycling in the mornings; less wind, less people and lots of morning sights and smells. That's one thing I really notice in the mornings - the smell of freshly brewed coffee as I cycle past homes in Five Dock and Concord. Wonder what we'll sniff in the French countryside?
Coach kindly met me at a cafe in Wareemba for a quick coffee on his way back from Parramatta. This was a bonus coffee as it didn't include a ride. (I think he's using intermitent reinforcement with his cycling pupil to keep her motivated.)
I've already planned my next cycle with Coach. Hopefully the rain will clear tomorrow and I'll be back on my bike for three more rides, so I can ride learn the Homebush circuit on Saturday. Here's hoping...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homebush reward

The holidays are over and I achieved my goal of cycling to Homebush - just made it!

Coach was feeling generous so granted my reward, even though I was one ride down.

It was a beautiful afternoon - warm with little wind. Coach had been on a ride in the morning so he'd spotted an 'artisan bakery' for my reward lunch.

After cycling along the usual route to Breakfast Point, avoiding the last leg where the known magpie lurks, we headed inland through Mortlake. Finally made it to Homebush where a very kind woman offered to take our photo.

A proud coach and his exhausted trainee.
On the way back we took a shorter, more direct route. Stopped at the cafe for lunch and then back on our bikes to ride home.

I'll now confess it was only 33kms - the longest ride I've had so far.

Thanks for the questions Monica - you'll keep me honest. I won't say how long I took, but I should mention that as it was the coach's second ride for the day, he totalled 78 km all up.

That's why he's the coach...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Threes OR a beautiful ride almost ruined

Finally the weather has improved and I've been able to complete a full training ride. After cold, windy wet weather last week, with only 2 DNC rides to my name, I was pleased to leave for an early morning ride. Parting words of encouragement from a shocked coach and I was on my bike.

A perfect riding morning, or so it seemed.

The attack was sudden, totally unexpected and occured in a spot where I was most vulnerable - almost at gate on the bike path so I was slowing a little. As I screamed and shouted, "Ahhh, get away, Ahhh!!!" I hoped that I hadn't alarmed the residents of Breakfast Point munching their morning weetbix. As no one appeared to offer assistance, I was left to fend off the attacker alone. I presume they are used to such screams piercing the morning stillness.

Can't wait to ride in France - a magpie free zone.

The return trip was not quite incident free - my chain came off for no real reason and then, only moments later as I slowly left the bike path, I was over and on the grass. So that was it, the third unfortunate event on what had begun as a perfect ride. Chain off again so I dusted myself down, reassembled the bike and gingerly rode home. At least I can tell coach that this time I completed the ride.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cycling in Canberra

The coach kindly agreed to take me on a short cycling intensive weekend to Canberra. It was a great break and most enjoyable cycling as there were very few places where we needed to cycle on the road. We stopped in at Floriade, the National Gallery and the War Memorial so made the most of staying in Tim's flat and its central location.

Luckily we managed two rides even though the weather was overcast, as is evident in the photo. The rain held off so there were no real dramas, although we suffered one swooping magpie attack. As I waved madly to fend off the bird, I thought thank goodness there aren't magpies in France! Only managed to clock up 25 kms and 18kms. The longer ride was a little hilly so I felt it in my legs the next day. Coach reminded me that as Iwas in a 'solo ride deficit ' I wasn't entitled to a coffee stop reward - got to earn his company!

Back home today for my first day of the October holidays. No riding today but hopefully the chilly, wet weather will improve and I'll be on my bike for a few solo rides over this week. Monica sent through a great article about cycling in France where the following cycling company was recommended.
Looks like a very comprehensive site so I'll need to explore the many options and will post some more plans during this break.