Thursday, April 16, 2009

The first of the season is special

The days are very much shorter now than when I was riding regularly before Christmas, which may seem like a cruel blow, but maybe it’s not that bad. Last night I went on my first night ride for the year, and for added lung and leg burning goodness it was on the singlespeed. It was so good. There is something extra special about the first night ride. It’s been at least 8 months since I was last out in the dark, 7kgs of battery strapped to my back, and light blazing from my helmet. The first night ride is special because it’s by choice. The weather is warm (otherwise you wouldn’t bother because winter hasn’t hit yet), and the tracks more fun. Over 8 months you tend to forget about the added excitement for riding at night. You can’t see so far ahead of you, you can’t really see holes or bumps until you’re on top of them and you have a strange tunnel vision that heightens the sense of speed and the proximity of trees. After a few night rides these sensations diminish into the routine. Then as the darkness of winter stretches on night riding isn’t really a choice anymore, it’s the only way to get in a ride during the week. And of course it gets colder the further into winter it gets. Often the lure of a warm blanket on the couch is enough for the helmet with its light to stay under the table. Riding when there’s a bit of mist about and the temperature is near freezing isn’t as pleasant as it sounds.

But the first ride isn’t like that. The first ride is about grinning, and whooping, and skidding and racing. The first ride makes me feel like a child with a new toy. And that’s how I felt last night on my singlespeed. Whizzing up the little hills and wheezing down the other side, chasing possums and rabbits and hideous big spiders off the track. And the best thing about it was riding with really cool chicks who always make me want to ride more and more and more. Ok, it hurt lots on the singlespeed, but a week ago I didn’t think I could even get round on my singlespeed. The fact that I can bodes well for me being ready to for the Bicycle Business World Champ Night Racing Series starting on the 13th of May. I’ve got three weeks to get used to pushing my legs to the limit for an hour on the singlespeed, I don’t want to finish last. The series looks to be fantastically long this year, with the final race no the 1st of July. Brrrrrr, there are going to be some very cold races this year. I can’t wait.
P.S. I almost forgot. This morning I had physio on my elbow for (hopefully) the last time. Yay! A huge thanks to Lee at the hospital physio for getting my elbow working so well again and to Dr Dalzell for pinning it back together.

No comments: