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The awesomeness of bicycles

The awesomeness of bicycles

Note: the numbers they dish out these days to carry the timing chip doofer must be wrapped and stuck to itself to make a little flag-like device. The whole shebang is designed for modern carbon framed beasts. So it will wrap around a thing the size of streamlined shoebox with room to spare. Fitting one to a thing as classy as an NJS approved Nitto seatpost requires a bit of cunning, a pair of scissors, and a little patience if the number is to flap around in the wind and not attach itself to the leg hair I am sporting these days.

There are lots of cool things about bicycles.

I am probably preaching to the choir, but bikes are really amazing things if you take the time to think about it.

Last Saturday was a case in point. Both in how amazing bikes are, and taking time to think about them.

As I reported in a previous newsletter, I entered the ‘fun-ride’ around Lake Taupo for what I think was the 23rd time.

The ride itself was standard fare, as far as I am concerned. Got unloaded almost immediately by the group I started with. I take about half an hour to get going, by which time I had been swallowed up by a later group. Rode with them until the lights went out, proceeded to the finish in splendid isolation.

The segment of the ride that saw me unexpectedly run out of commitment was flat.

I say unexpectedly because usually if I have problems keeping up there will be hills involved. On Saturday the hills (and there were many) were not an issue, but when the road turned northwards into the final leg along the eastern lake shore there was a howling tailwind.

In short order the bunch was in a long single file, and moving at about 50 kph.

Whatever I needed to have done to be ready to go that sort of speed for any distance was missing from my preparation. After about twenty kilometres of discomfort a few gaps opened up and the front half of the group were disappearing up the road at a pace that was beyond anybody in the back half to follow. At that point I resolved to cruise to the finish.

Once I stopped concentrating on the bike directly ahead of me I had time to think about bicycles in a more general way. The bike that was a machine of torture at the speed required to stay in my bunch had turned into a marvellously comfortable companion for those last thirty ks or so.

With the howling tailwind factored in, my cruising speed with barely any real effort was not that far south of race pace. My thoughts were various: how remarkably nice it was to travel at a more civilised pace, and whether I should ride directly to a cafe from the finish line, and what might I eat when I get there.

After 160 kilometres I was considering how pleasant it was to be out, and the menu for lunch.

That demonstrates to me what a fine thing a bicycle is.

Me, in splendid isolation, enjoying a more postman-like pace

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