I don’t know if it is adrenaline or endorphins, but riding my bike brings me joy. I’ve been very down lately – a combination of winter blues and things that have upset me at work, riding my bike was the one thing that bought me out of the gloom of depression. So last Sunday night, I decided to challenge myself to do 500kms this week.
500kms is easy to do when you are cycle touring. You tour in the summer when the daylight hours are long and the days are warm, and you have all day every day to ride your bike; but at home there are domestic chores, grocery shopping, bill paying and days of work to take up your time. Add in the shorter days and unpleasant weather of winter and I had a challenge on my hands. Niel (not to be out done) joined me.
If only I had the same will power with my diet, as I have with my cycling, because I did it: 500kms in 3 afternoons, 1 full day, and before work in the weekend.
|Enjoying the feeling of sun on my face - the top of Dovedale Saddle.|
Monday was blessedly fine and we went over the gravelled Dovedale saddle to the Motueka river valley and then the coastal highway back home: 105kms.
|Wet and cold at 'The Glen'.|
Tuesday was cold, with driving rain, and very strong headwinds. It took all our determination not to turn for home and we took the cycle ways out to ‘The Glen’ (north of Nelson city) and back: 81kms and a total of 186kms.
|So wet and cold - our glasses kept steaming up - Kaiteriteri Beach.|
Wednesday was still raining, but we had no wind and the rain was intermittent rather than non- stop, but it was very cold. We rode North West to Kaiteriteri beach and to the top of the Kaiteriteri hill, and then home again. 102kms and a total of 288kms.
We needed a break on Thursday to do grocery shopping, hair cutting, and domestic chores.
|Near Tapawera with the carved wood stumps.|
Friday – we had to make up for our day off and we decided to do our favourite 150km ride in lovely sunny weather. We went over Raeys saddle to Tapawera (home of the carved tree stumps); and up the west bank of the Motueka river valley to where it ends at Riwaka, and home on the coastal highway, where we saw a bad car accident complete with a rescue helicopter (and they say riding a bike is dangerous); A total of 438kms.
|Wait a minute Niel the camera's taking a photo. Motueka river bridge to the west bank.|
Before work on the weekend I scraped together another 67kms for a grand total of 505kms and my depression has gone, to be replaced with self- esteem.
Actually all this cycling is also training. Do you remember in my last blog entry how we had decided to do the ‘Trans Am’ instead of the Paris / Brest / Paris? Well we have changed our minds back to the Paris / Brest / Paris. There was no way we could raise the NZ$20,000 the ‘Trans Am’ would cost, and we would be repeating a trip we have already done, when our prime objective is to finish cycling around the world. So we are back to training to do the qualifying rides to be able to enter the Paris / Brest /Paris. The qualifiers start in November, so we are building up our distance again as the weather improves. It is less than a month until spring – yeah it can’t come a minute too soon. By spring, we want to be doing 200km rides again and building up to 300km rides. By New Year we want to be doing 400km rides and building up to 600km.
So my 500kms this week will hopefully become insignificant with the challenges I have planned for the next 12 months, but it’s a good start.