Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Diagnosis: Fanatic

fa•nat•i•cal  /fəˈnatikəl/
  1.   Filled with excessive and single-minded zeal.
  2.   Obsessively concerned with something.

This is a strong word, and one which has many negative connotations. However when I recently went to the doctor and had to see a locum this word came up. I was at the doctor’s to get a referral to a therapist for my decreasing ability to cope with even the smallest after shock. We had a quick chat, there was some discussion of my Chronic Fatigue diagnosis and a very brief chat about how I’ve coped with it. From this the Dr gleaned enough about me to write in his referral letter to the therapist “Fortunately she is an enthusiastic, if not fanatical cyclist…” He gave me a copy of the letter and I laughed rather loudly at this description. He was of course worried he’d offended me, which he hadn’t. I am proudly fanatical. I dream about biking, I do it almost every day in one form or another. It is my medication and currently my salvation. And I know I’m not alone in this.
Yes, I was as cold as it looks.
I’ve recently been enjoying more cycling in Central Otago with a day spent riding the gondola at Bob’s Peak again, for my birthday. It was brilliant. I even rode another black diamond track, Thingamagig, which was super steep, swoopy and incredibly fun. I really wanted to ride the Majestic Thingamagig in the middle, but the risk vs. reward equation wasn’t quite right for me. After another stunning day riding my bike down a hill (with one little burst of up hill – OMG steep! – to see what the uphill in the Super D Enduro will be like) I finished my ride with a brief and shocking plunge into New Zealand’s deepest and coldest lake. It felt great.
It was a couple of days later when my legs had stopped hurting sufficiently to ride again that I discovered why my brakes seemed a little off by the end of the day. Ooops.
Surely those holes mean they'll work better? Oh wait!
Since returning to Shakey Town I haven’t managed to do a much riding, but I’m rectifying that now. I had a great ride with ma chickas on Sunday, which inspired me to get out yesterday and tackle Kennedy’s Bush. It was a grey day, which a front menacing throughout the climb. My legs were strong and I couldn’t help but test them to their fullest by pushing the biggest gear I’ve managed yet up the steep road. I continued this theme up the front of the hill and then the 4wd track. After a rather sedate, cow avoiding run down Siberia Flats I discovered that my legs were not going to put up with this treatment for much longer. Up the next climb it was a bit of a struggle and I took the opportunity where it levels briefly to socialise with the Belted Galloways. I almost ended having to modestly turn away as the frisky bull decided to take his mating rights. Fortunately Mrs Cow wasn’t having a bar of it and shoved him away before continuing grazing. He wasn’t put out, grass must be damn good.
Happy family pastoral scene
After almost reaching the top I decided the approaching front was getting a little too close and I was woefully unprepared for cold weather and rain so headed back down. Time to book the bike in to get my brakes bled, as my front lever kept journeying to my grip on the trip down. Oooops again. 

The view from Kennedy's Bush is why it's my favourite climb

The ride down the Crocodile was very fun with the corners having been widened, but many of them had large holes in the apex which made for a bit of a challenge. I managed to get home just as the rain came with legs feeling happily toasted. I definitely need to do more of this!

In other news, I’ve managed to get roped into helping with the rather awesome Lyttelton Urban DH race that’s happening on the 24th of March. I’m really enjoying been involved with such an exciting race and entries are coming in now. Wyn Masters has signed up, as has local favourite Nathan Rennie. It should be amazing to spectate with huge jumps and gaps, and all sorts of crazy stuff. Check out the blog I’m writing for more info. http://lytteltonurbandh.blogspot.co.nz/
Gross, that is all!
And finally, for those of you who read Bike Snob's brilliant blog, you'll know that he often refers to pants yabbies. If you've never been aquainted with the creature we colloquially call a yabbie here in NZ, here is one I caught while fishing on the Poolburn Dam. I think you'll agree that if your pants yabbies looked anything like this hideous thing you'd be off to the doctors and definitely still a virgin!

1 comment:

mcbell said...

Great Post! One day, I hope to be able to bike up hills with less than a weeks break in between - go you!