Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cyclists' playground

I wanted to ride outside this morning, so I set my alarm for 5 and, after a fitful sleep (memo to self: do not read books about violent grisly murders before going to sleep alone) manged to pull myself out of bed at 5:08.

After nursing my coffee for slightly longer than necessary and enjoying a piece of homemade banana loaf (I get hangry if I ride without eating first, as Phil well knows), I dragged myself up, got my gear together and headed out.

Boy, was it ever worth it.

It was a cool, clear morning. But not too cold for my ordinary fingerless gloves. And definitely not cold enough for booties. So, in other words, perfect.

I decided to explore the Western central suburbs, so rode along Ponsonby Road and down Richmond. Richmond would be a great descent, if I could see, but this morning there were too many runners in the road, and too many corners I couldn't see properly to really let go.

I then found myself on Garnet Rd, so decided to head down Meola- just for fun. Coming back along Meola, past Motat, is always the funnest part of the Waitakeres ride- it's really easy to push a massive gear, and move along faster than the cars!

The Western-central burbs turned out to be perfect- like a playground for cyclists! The roads are wide and oh so veeery smooooooth (I'm from Wellington, ok? Wide and smooth are not in our vocabulary). Things are well-maintained; after all, rich(ish) people live there. They're well lit, and busy enough that they didn't feel deserted, but quiet enough that I didn't meet too many cars until I got back to the Marina. There's big, sweeping corners, fast fun descents, and wee grindy climbs that are just hard enough to make you work, but short enough that they're easily manageable. Well- easily manageable for me after 3 months of long standing intervals- they were pretty ghastly the first time!

I came back via Curran Street and around Westhaven. Curran St was pretty horrid- way too dark! I could barely see the marks on the speedbumps until I was just about on top of them, and it was hard to tell where the road stopped and the footpath started in places. But well worth it for the fun of swooping along Westhaven Drive in the morning- past the marina, with the light slowly rising, and over the speedbumps, which are that awesome kind that slow cars down but are roller coasters for bikes.

Got home just over an hour after I set out, though with stops and starts along the way ride time was around 50 minutes. But all in all, a nice morning's work, and getting home to a heater, a hot drink and a hearty breakfast made it a marvellous start to the day.


Rachel said...

Fun! I love exploring on the bike. That's why God made bikes, afterall, right?

Britt said...

Exploring is the only thing T wants to do on his bike. Good for you for waking up early!

Pip said...

Wow, riding in the dark on your own that early in the morning? I'm impressed! Knowing exactly the area you were riding in, I'm also insanely jealous! Oh well, hopefully a group of us are heading out on Saturday morning. Needless to say, I'm not counting on the weather and am booked into a couple of spin classes just in case ...