Monday, June 8, 2009

Hi, my name is Oscar and I’ll be your grouch today

It’s 8am on Saturday morning and I’m still asleep. Mmmmmm sleep, how I love you at the moment, I wish I could have more of you all the time. The significance of me being asleep at 8am is the previous night I’d agreed that 9:30am would be a good time to go riding up Rapaki and had asked my lovely hubby to wake me at 8am to ensure I had plenty of time to wake up and get ready. Unfortunately he was unable to keep track of the time once he got up and the next thing I know I’m being abruptly awakened by my phone announcing it has a text for me. Sometimes I truly regret my Invader Zim ringtones.

Through bleary eyes and with fog filled headed I eventually regain control of my limbs enough to press the necessary buttons to read the text and discover, to my disgust, that it’s a beautiful sunny day and 9:30am is the kick off for the ride, as I foolishly proposed the night before. I hate it when I’m the author of my own downfall. I flop out of bed and into the kitchen to remind my lovely husband to wake me at 8am. He is surprised and amused at his oversight, I am not. I am grumpy. Breakfast is quickly eaten and biking clothes are gathered in front of the heater. The many layers are donned and the search for a clean and dry headband commenced, in vain it turns out. No clean headbands, and sun glasses are MIA. I am grumpy.

My lovely husband attaches my bike to my car as penance for not waking me up while I fill my camel back with clean water, gather helmet, gloves, and shoes and then pile into the car. The call of my warm bed is still strong but I start the car and head off. I feel ever so slightly sorry for my riding companions, but it passes quickly because I’m grumpy. The spin round the road from scatter’s house is ok, but I’m feeling a little light-headed and am pining for my sunglasses. Up the seal on Rapaki Rd I manage to go quite woosey (the medical term) and ride into the gutter and almost fall off. Hmmmmm I am grumpy and a muppet. Guess which one!

After some emergency shoe-stuck-in-pedal-repairs for one of our small group at the gate and some bike swapping we’re off. I have no power at all. I will be riding slooooow. The sun is out, but we are completely shaded in the valley, but we’re also sheltered from the wind. Up we go and I go slow. But I go. It’s weird. I get in a zone where my legs just go round and round and while my heart isn’t racing, I can’t really talk, that may have more to done with grumpiness than exertion, and I am determined to just keep pedalling till I get to the top. We pop out of the shade at the track temporarily levels off and BAM! the wind kicks in. Typical.

The grind up the final section is unpleasant with a mixture of gusty cross winds and nasty head winds. I’m slightly less grumpy as the wind gives me something to think about other than how feeble my legs feel. I’m also glad for my heavy bike and frame as I’m not so susceptible to buffeting by the evil wind. At the top the wind is howling and freezing and another layer is quickly added before we set off up the road. The road ride is yucky and by the start of the traverse I’m very grumpy. We go straight into the Traverse and I’m nervous. This is my first ride back here since my break and this is the track I’ve crashed on the most, usually through the rocky section. My nerves block out the grumpiness and I flow along the track and smile. It’s good to be back. I completely stuff up the rocky section and have to walk it, but I don’t care. Along I go and it gets better and better. The surface is dry almost everywhere, and I’m loving it. The second half is even better and I’m grinning through the new bermed corners towards the end and we are at Vic Park.

Dun dun DUN!!!!

My first visit to the scene of the accident and I feel a bit sick looking at where I crashed. I do not ride Brake Free, but we make our way to the start of Sesame St and as I drop off the cattlestop I ask aloud “What am I doing?” I’m really nervous and completely nana it along the track and through the sweet corners. I stop and admire the wall ride and I long to ride it, but not when I’m this nervous. I get to the bottom full of adrenaline and stoked. Down Dazzas and my bung arm sort of collapses and I almost endo, I am grumpy and berate myself but make it down in one piece and happy. The 4wd track is rutty and wet and the drainage ditches are not fun. We come past Double Drop and I stop and look back at it and cannot believe I ever rode down it. Insane. On down the 4wd track and I get some air over the speed humps and I’m loving it and I know I want to shuttle again. Nothing else makes me feel this good when I’m this grumpy.I’m bloody tired when the ride is over and I’m still grumpy, but overlaid on top of that grumpiness is a thick juicy layer of happy. I love riding my bike, I love pushing my limits, I even like scaring myself trying hard stuff and I love riding with mates. They all seemed to survive relatively unscathed from their encounter with Oscar.

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