Monday, September 14, 2009

Notes from the Garage

Off seasons are always fraught with confusion and frustration for the highly addicted endurance junky. Do I ride? Do I lie of the couch eating chips? Paranoia of missing out on training opportunities lurks in the back of your mind. Short of sedatives and mind altering substances there is no clear cure for this condition. And seing it is not a medical recognised condition yet dealing with terrible affliction is a yearly routine.

Since my return from the stifling hot forest of Canada I have been trying to rain in my compulsion to hammer out six hour rides every other day. Driven by the desperate need for some black numbers in my bank account I’ve taken to trawling the internet and papers for employment opportunities. Hold up in my garage writing to editors and anyone who will listen pleading for paying work. So far only limited luck.

Receiving a rambling email with a CV seems a little impersonal and easy, especially when asking for them to take you on and do you a favour. So I combined my ability to ride great distances with my need to get word out about my availability and rode to Wellington from New Plymouth. Another motivation was that my car has a condition called fuel light surprise of which the cause is that the owner has not enough money to ever turn the fuel light off and you are surprised every time you don’t run out of petrol.

At about 6pm on Monday evening I made the call and started to get ready for 5am departure. Couple of hours sleep and hit the highway south in the dark Tuesday morning air. With a northerly gales forecast this was about as ideal as it could be for this ride. After warming up my average climbed to well over 30km/hour. In the end I pulled into my mates flat under 12 hours later with an average of 32.8. Off season, got to love it.

The North Shore has proven a vast contrast to the local riding in New Plymouth. No trying to keep up with Carrie and Leigh down the most technical trails I have seen. With my nearly new Niner Rip I’ve been making my own new lines around trails and generally trying to make them seen a bit like what I quickly got use to in Canada.

With the jobs not forth coming and not big k’s to put in, all that is left to do is to look forward. Like everyone and every summer I hope this one to be the best yet with a few more events to eye up this time around there is potential. One that has taken my fancy is the Kiwi Brevet held in the northern region of the South Island. At 1200km it is right up my alley. The main point of this event is that you are not allowed any support. Elements of navigation, cycle touring and general hardness come into the fold. 50% off road it is still a mountain bike event and takes its inspiration for the Continental Divide ride from Canada to Mexico. One thing I may struggle with is that speed and acts of self harm are not overly encouraged. Times for the 1200km loop under four days are only recorded as four days zero hours.

Conveniently the dates for this fall a short time before I plan to do a slightly long and more road based ride challenge. Official announcements pending.