This week, we continue our adventure into extremely boring blog posts. It was a patchy week on the cycle commuting, with a lot fewer rides than usual, but, on reflection, most of them were good rides.
I ran outrageously late today, so biked to work on quieter roads. Sometimes when you’re running late the only thing is to give in to the lateness. Immerse yourself in the lateness. Lateness has a different feeling on each form of transport. In cars it’s generally just plain stressful; on buses and trains it’s frustrating, because you are powerless and forced to sit with yourself. Late biking is best because you can usually keep moving through the lateness; you’re not just stuck there, curdling. Also, you have only yourself to blame for the lateness, but you can shake off some of that feeling by going as fast as possible.
Rode home after the gym with sore legs and my usual over-full panniers. Some cyclists are very careful about how much they carry, trying to keep everything as light as possible, but I’ve given up trying to be efficient on this front, and just pile a whole lot of crap in. Wind gusting sideways, forwards, backwards. Again I was outside of rush hour, so it was a good, slow ride in twilight.
No commute today, as I’m still climbing a manuscript mountain with no end in sight. My bike rested inside.
No cycle commute again. I ran instead. A short ride at lunchtime to meet my friend Harry, then the slow hilly ride home. Highbury felt like a secret place today.
An early morning ride. The day was beautiful and blue. A car passed me fast on a pedestrian crossing, which I always feel is a uniquely insane move.
In all of my years of bike commuting, my commute is easier than it has ever been – no more daily dread of Brooklyn Hill or Hataitai tunnel or Wallace St or Adelaide Rd – but somehow it’s still hard, and I’ve never perfected it. One battle is finding a decent pair of pants that I can wear on the bike and in the office. Another, in summer, is the curse of sweat (again, like with lateness, the best response seems to be to give in to it). But the most constant battle is with myself and how sometimes, in the face of bad driving, I go septic with rage.
Rode home in a strong northerly. There’s a bit coming up Moana Rd that is both very steep and very exposed to the wind, and on really windy days there are a few seconds when I can hardly move and am totally helpless against it, until I manage to rally and inch forwards.
This was an annoying morning ride. Roads were noisy and fast and impatient. A ute went blasting past at the top of Raroa, bouncing over the intersection hump to get past.
A few weeks ago, on Kelburn Pde, there was a little tabby cat that had been hit by a car. It had been just left on the roadside next to the construction site for the living pā. Every time I ride down Kelburn Parade now, I think about the cat.
Rode into town after work for a beer and then rode home via the Terrace at night. A long, hilly, calm ride. It was a pretty good ride, roads-wise, but one of those slightly melancholy ones, which I can’t explain, just that you feel like you’re slightly on the outside of your own life. I think sometimes the basic physical work of cycling can do this; it forces perspective. The struggle of going uphill feels huge in the moment, but in the darkness you are aware that you are very small on a quiet road. It also forces you to think about where you are coming from and where you are heading to. I’ve had lots of mini-crises while cycling, where I am convinced I’m figuring something out or realising something, and that life is going to change. I think if I got an e-bike I would probably have fewer of these crises.