Cycling week


Rode to work. Sunny. A new neighbour asked what route I take to get to work as she is about to start cycling. Incredibly, she rides a push bike too. One of us! A good ride this morning, except for the usual impatient shitheads.

Rode home. Bad ride. A ute squeezed past very close on the narrowest part of Kelburn Pde, wedging me in between it and a parked bus. I screamed.

Closer to home, a man who I often see doing wheelies on his mountain bike was out doing his wheelies along a small flat bit of road in Highbury. I say wheelies but it’s really one continuous singular wheelie. He just rides along, rearing up. I was in such a bad mood that the sight of that guy in his sunglasses going grimly up and down the road on his back wheel made me furious.

Heavy bug smacked into face on Highbury Rd.


Rode to work the short way, which involves pushing my bike to the top of the very steep hill that I can’t be bothered riding up. My cat Jerry comes along for a walk when I go this way, which holds me up, as we have to go on Jerry time. One morning when we finally reached the top, a woman burst out of her house in her dressing gown and hissed at Jerry to fuck off. Anyway, it’s sunny today, and it’s a good ride. Rode home from work early due to tower of manuscripts to read. The road is a whole different world outside of rush hour.


No morning commute due to reading manuscripts at home. Had to ride to Thorndon at lunchtime. Got tangled up with four fire engines on Kelburn Pde. But riding down the Terrace at high speed in the sun is a joy. Whenever I’m going fast downhill, I feel it in my solar plexus. Riding back home from town, I got tireder and tireder and thought about getting off and pushing up Mt Pleasant, but somehow managed to stay on. Gripe for the day: Why doesn’t Commonsense Organics have any bike racks outside? All the cyclists have to lock their bikes to a fence, like animals.


No morning commute. At lunchtime, just as the rain was coming in, I rode to Island Bay through Newtown and Berhampore (around 30 minutes), in cool splotchy rain. It was a good ride, even on busy roads, because my legs felt unusually strong today. In Island Bay I went to Geoff Cochrane’s funeral. I don’t think he would have minded me turning up bedraggled, in sneakers. I still can’t believe he has died. Afterwards I rode home (around 40 mins, taking in the dark hell of Adelaide Rd). A stressful ride but I was in a sort of daze. It stopped raining, then started again.


Rode to work early to go to gym. This ride was excellent, probably an A/A+: quiet roads, and soft, cool, post-rain air that smelled kind of like cucumbers. Maybe I need to start riding in earlier as a matter of course. But how to wake up earlier?

Rode home. A slow, hard slog with over-full panniers. Air heavy and warm before downpour. Top of Kelburn Pde, as usual, was a pain. One driver was clearly annoyed with waiting for me to get around the roundabout (it takes a few seconds, but I was struggling after the hill) so they accelerated straight over the roundabout hump and had to swerve to avoid a car coming the other way. Fair enough. Going along the top of Raroa Rd, past Plunket St, was hairy as hell today, with people passing too close and too fast, and I found myself getting all wound up. Moana Rd was much more peaceful. Going downhill is great, but sometimes going uphill, when there’s no one behind you so you can go as slow as you want, is soothing. Rain again. Put bike inside with a towel under it. Beer. Manuscripts.

About ashleighlou

Person, usually on bike
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4 Responses to Cycling week

  1. Bonnie Dewart says:

    You are a Trojan. The joys of the downhill and the dangers of the road. Why are some car drivers such arseholes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ashleighlou says:

      I used to think it was some great mystery, but honestly I reckon it’s just very human frustration, and feelings of aggravation, as if you are there specifically to annoy them, and some drivers just do not know how to deal with their feelings. It’s also pretty clear to me that some drivers just blimmin HATE cyclists and feel affronted by their very presence. I like to think these are very much in the minority, though!!


  2. Shanti says:

    feel the exact same way about ebikes – i love my commuter bike (and constantly resist tempation to dress up my sleek commuter bike with all sorts of add ons) and I somehow feel like not using my legs alone would just let me get away with less exercise…

    Liked by 1 person

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