Monthly Archives: December 2009

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A summary of 2009

In the last year I…

  • celebrated the birth of my nephew;
  • had a car accident;
  • had my name printed in a comic book;
  • didn’t go to the Wallabies rugby game in Melbourne – first time I’ve missed a game since I moved to Melbourne;
  • celebrated Melbourne being awarded what will be a Super 15 franchise in 2011;
  • bought a lot of comics;
  • added about 26 new pieces of comic book art to my collection;
  • took some photos;
  • trashed my macbook pro’s battery by accident;
  • got new housemates;
  • learnt some new stuff, forgot some things;
  • discovered Nina Simone;
  • decided most of the music being put out at the moment is absolute crap;
  • discovered the awesomeness that is Avatar: the Last Airbender, Entourage, FlashForward and Castle;
  • felt it was money/time well spent seeing Avatar, Star Trek, Up, The Boat That Rocked, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Watchmen at the cinema;
  • wished I hadn’t wasted my time and/or money on The Spirit, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator: Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and GI Joe: Rise of Cobra;
  • wish I had seen Frost/Nixon, Milk, Let The Right One In, Ponyo, The Soloist, Mao’s Last Dancer and Zombieland;
  • discovered I can’t ski;
  • lost weight, put it back on and am trying to lose it again;
  • messed up a few things at work but it’s okay;
  • meet some new people;
  • had a genuine fan-girl moment when I had my photo taken with Jewell Strait;
  • stood on a beach in California;
  • spent a lot of time missing my peeps in America and was so happy to be able to spend time with them again this year even if it was just a few days.

I visited…

  • Los Angeles;
  • San Fransisco;
  • Seattle;
  • Christchurch;
  • Methven;
  • Sydney.

And because it is all about the bike, I…

  • started riding to work;
  • bought a new bike;
  • have ridden 2610 kilometres on my new bike;
  • rode around 800 kilometres on my old bike but I accidentally reset my bike computer;
  • have clocked up 937.28 kilometres on training rides since October;
  • bought my first ever pair of proper bike shoes;
  • bought a new, decent helmet;
  • have gone through three pairs of bike gloves;
  • wore out a set of brake pads;
  • discovered the joys of and, much to the determent of my finances;
  • replaced my tyres which didn’t really need it;
  • broke my sunglasses on the way home from a ride;
  • bought a pair of Rudy Project Rydons;
  • completed my first recreational ride;
  • rode the furthest I’ve ever ridden, which is 68km;
  • fell off my bike twice – once on the old bike and once on the new bike.

I think that covers it.

What you missed this morning

Borrowing an idea from Wade @ Cycling Tips


I was forced into a week’s break from the bike by getting tonsillitis right before Christmas. But that didn’t stop me from loading my bike into my car for my trip home to see the parents. Shepparton has some of the flattest, straightest roads in Victoria. Actually, I think it’s the flattest place in the state so it makes for some no-brainer riding. It also has some of the prettiest scenery (as illustrated by the photo). There’s just you, the road, the birds and the bloody annoying cross/head winds for half the ride. And maybe the thought running through your head: I wonder if there’s any snakes around?

Every cyclist I saw (all going the other way) waved hello. And the car drivers actually took care when they went went past me. Such a different experience to riding in Melbourne. Well, four kilometres from my parents place put me out in the middle of paddocks. 15 kms put me in the middle of orchards. So yeah, just a little different.

My sort of xmas song

The sunburn has finally faded

Yup, I got crispified last weekend. I underestimated how much I sweat during the ride and I actually forgot to put sunscreen on my legs so now I have nice tan line where my 3/4 length knicks ended below my knee.

The ride itself was… I want to say awesome (because it was) but it felt like more than that to me. I’ve been struggling a bit lately and to actually cross the finish line with my brother and his girlfriend cheering me on was one of the most satisfying and uplifting experiences I’ve had this year. I really felt like I’d achieved something. I’ve done something I thought I never could – although I’m not sure where that thought came from.

I spent some time riding with people and some time riding alone. While I was alone, I thought about how good it felt to be out on my bike. The sun was shining, there were loads of birds tweeting and singing and I could hear the hum of bike tyres on the road. When I was riding with other people, it kinda felt like when I’ve been to America. I was with people who share my passion so I’m free to blather on about riding and not have people look at me funny. We really are a tribe and I do believe there’s a strong separation between those who ride and those who don’t. And you know, I kinda feel sorry for those who don’t. They have no idea what they’re missing out on 😉

It wasn’t easy though. Dealing with nasty cross and head winds for half of the ride was a pain in the arse and it’s been awhile since I’ve had to slog it out like that. It was hard work but like most hard work, it was satisfying in a strange way.

But the reason I’m sunburnt is because Sunday was race day and my brother was competing. We headed down to the start line to see him off and then decided to drive out to Dookie to cheer him on. It was amazing to see a road race like that. Dad has extensive knowledge of the back roads in the area so we managed to catch the race and get past them on a set of awesome S bends. The first group came through and they were flying. The hum of their tyres on the road was incredible and I have to admit it was exciting. My brother was in the stragglers but still fighting the good fight in horrible cross winds. He looked so pleased and embarrassed to see us standing by the side of the road. So we did it two more times. Like I said, my dad has extensive knowledge of the back roads in the area.

I’m really proud of my brother’s achievements. He didn’t win the race but I think he’s a winner for actually completing the course. It was pretty hot and the winds had kicked up again so it would’ve been such hard going. When the SAG wagon went past us, it was full so apparently quite a few of the cyclists found the going too hard or had mechanical failures. What really got me was that my brother went out there with no spare gear and trusted the tyres he had on his bike would see him through.

However, I was foolish and didn’t put on enough sunscreen so I ended up cooking the backs of my legs with all the standing around in full sunlight. It was really painful in my knee creases but it is my own fault. It’s kinda itchy now which means it’s getting better I suppose.

There are photos from today’s ride

Today I shall wear blue! Waiting at the starting line for the 54km ride.

And we’re off! See you in two and a half hours.

The ride went past my parents’ house with about 2.5kms to go so my dad was waiting out of the front for when I trundled by.

My whole body language in this photo is “Are we there yet?”

My brother and his girlfriend were waiting for me to finish which was extremely nice of them.

He tried to get a photo of me crossing the line but I got too far ahead so there’s no photo. Oh well.

Carol and I rode the second half of the ride together.

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68 kilometres later…

I’ve completed my first recreational ride. It’s also the furtherest I’ve ever ridden. Right now I’m feeling pretty good but rather tired. I feel like I’ve achieved something but I’m not sure what. I suppose cycling is all about personal goals rather than anything that can be measured.

The group I went out with deviated from the course. We did an extra 10 – 15kms which tacked on an extra half an hour on the bike.

Crossing the finishing line was one of the highlights of my year 🙂

First ride tomorrow

I’m nervous.

On the way up, I passed an Audi with two bikes on the roof so no guesses as to where they were heading. I don’t have a roof rack so Lisa propped up on the back seat of my car with her seatbelts on. No way I was taking the risk of getting speared in the head by a bike fork if I had to stop suddenly.

But of course me being me, I just had to ride over a nail on my way home from work and got it firmly wedged in my back tyre. I couldn’t work out what it was at first but I soon realised once I started to work it free and the too familiar hissing of air escaping started. Sigh. But maybe I should think about it as preemptive and tomorrow I won’t have any problems at all. I also managed to get all the way to Bell St before realising I’d left my laptop behind along with my ride bib that I’d specifically put in my laptop bag because I thought I wouldn’t forget it. D’oh! At least it was only Bell St and I could turn around.

This time tomorrow, I’ll have a story to tell.

Does my butt look big in this?

Uh… my butt has gotten bigger. I have a pair of pants that don’t fit any more because my butt and thighs are too big and my jeans which were a little loose are now… decidedly firm. Not exactly sure how I feel about this. I’ve never been particularly hippy and right now I feel like I am even though in comparison to a lot of women I have tiny hips.

I suppose I should be relieved that it’s muscle and not fat.

Anyhoo… my education in hill climbing has started. My problem always was that I never use my gears properly. Before I started riding with someone who was willing to teach me all this stuff, I never used the small front cog which is a bit stupid considering that’s the one you’re supposed to use when riding up hills. I don’t think I’ll ever love ascending but I could definitely get used to the descending which is totally awesome.

My biggest problem is that I’ve convinced myself that I’m a very bad hill climber so I doubt my ability and strength. As soon as I hit a hill, I automatically think it’s going to be too hard and that I’m not going to make it to the top. It’s not going to get any easier for me unless I change the way I think.