Cycling week

It was a week of complaints.


An earlyish ride today. Steamed along, fuelled by a terrible mood.

Before riding home today I went to adjust my rear light and the whole bracket thing snapped in half. I have consistently bad luck with bike lights. I’ve stopped believing that there is such a thing as a good bike light. In the last few years, my rear lights have all broken or stopped working after a few months or the on/off button has jammed, rendering a good light useless. My front light is only about three months old and already, after one use, it’s flashing red to be charged again (and this was after I got the first one I bought swapped out because it wouldn’t even turn on). What I’m saying here is that, if you are reading this blog and you are a bike light manufacturer, please send me some bike lights. They will break or mysteriously stop working as soon as I touch them, but either way I will write about them. At length!

After breaking my light I biked home in an even fouler mood. Waved my arm at a ute that passed too close on Plunkett. Yelled ‘Nice! Nice!’ to a car that veered over the centre line as it came towards me. Thought about my to-do list and involuntarily hissed, ‘Godddd!’ while speeding down a hill. Tomorrow will be better.


Rode up Raroa in a foul mood. Have affixed rear light to back of bike with a rubber band that I’ve kept from another bike light that broke last year. Precarious, but so far it is holding.

Rode into town for haircut. Ended up with some kind of extreme Bon Jovi situation. A woman in the hair salon looked at my bike shorts unhappily, or perhaps I was projecting as I too was unhappy about my shorts. I always think shorts are the most practical solution but then when I get off my bike I am envious of everyone else wearing normal pants.

Was thankful to put my helmet on my hair. Thought about buying a new bike light while in town but put it off.

Rode down Lambton Quay in a suddenly chilly northerly wind, then past Parliament, up Bowen St. The left-hand lane was blocked off, pushing cyclists out into the middle lane. There was no way I could keep up with traffic going uphill, so it was dicey, with cars whipping past close. Tethered bike to a pole and stopped off at the pub. Then another pub. Rode home on quieter roads, happier. They’re putting a bike lane in on Tinakori Rd, which was exciting.

On Plunkett saw a guy walking along towing a vacuum cleaner in the dark.

Riding down the steep hill at the end, a little white arrow went scything past my wheels – Jerry on his way home also.


No morning ride today, because we’re still deep in the manuscript pile. But I needed to do an errand at lunchtime so flew down the Terrace, then rode home via the CBD, half thinking I would stop and buy a new bike light, but couldn’t bring myself to go into a bike shop. Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood to be floundering around in front of guys who know a lot about how things work.

A Range Rover cut me off on Victoria St, blasting suddenly left across the lane. Even with the cycle lanes on it, Victoria St is bad news, and one of the few roads where I’ve been knocked off. It was a slog (need another word for slog) home through Aro. I haven’t seen any rats on Mt Pleasant for a long time. There used to be loads of them, just jogging lazily along.


Morning ride up Raroa. Slow. Pannier heavy. Cars too close.

Rode into CBD in the afternoon to dentist. Had wisdom tooth extracted. Expended a lot of energy quivering with pure terror in the chair, so the ride home via Aro was very slow (and probably a bad idea; I’m told you shouldn’t ride a bike after a tooth extraction) but actually pretty good. Not too much traffic, afternoon sunshine, slack jaw flapping in the breeze.


It was a no-ride day today, which I always feel guilty about – what is a day, if it is not bookended by the drama of the bike ride? – but I was glad not to go far and enjoyed catching my breath. One of the reasons why it is really good to ride a bike is that you can occasionally have a day when you don’t ride a bike, and the world feels a little bit different on those days.

About ashleighlou

Person, usually on bike
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