What a wonderful place to think! – 19/12/2011

I’ve always said I do some of my best thinking on the bike.  Infact, sometimes I wonder about the sanity of myself.  I think myself into silly places of self doubt and craziness – where I need to quickly find company in order that I don’t succumb to a world of nuffidom (i.e. new word meaning imaginative place full of nuffies).

But today was different.  It reminded me of those hundreds of kilometres I rode in Sydney in July on my own where I completely enjoyed the time with myself.  Today I stripped off the suit and breif case (i.e. the “work thoughts”) by about Lonsdale Street and opened my mind to the many hundreds of things waiting to consume it.

Only read on if you have a desire to hear of the ravings of a lone thinker

Through Abbotsford and onto the Boulevard I pondered on the thoughts of my children.  How can I ensure they grow up strong and confident?  A 13 year old boy was on the radio talking about his struggle to overcome obesity from the age of 9.  At 82 kilos, he decided that was enough and started the fight to strip it off.  At 13 and 60 kilos, he’s on the radio with his proud mum confidently sending the message to other kids that it’s possible to overcome an issue which caused low self esteem and serious bullying at school.

Shit… what if my kids get really chubby?  How do I handle it?  I can’t tell ’em!  My own experience of being the victim at school took me years to get over.  I don’t want my kids to go through such things.  But it’s okay.  They’re all cool at the moment.  Tomorrow they find out their class lists and teachers for 2012.  I hope they are all happy with their teachers.  I hope they have their mates in their classes… except for that little shit that’s a bad influence on Kate.  I hope she’s in a different class – but I hope Kate has a teacher who will make her feel good and build her confidence.  I wonder if the letter we wrote to the principal will achieve it’s purpose!  Our letter is much more important than the letter written by every other parent – isn’t it?

Chandler Highway and Heidelberg Road in peak hour.  Friggin’ traffic.  These bike lanes really don’t provide enough protection.  Whish!!!  Shit – that was close.  Yet another dick-head who hates cyclist and will take any opportunity to scare the shit out of one.  Pricks!

Get me onto the Ivanhoe Boulevard where I can have some peace and quiet!  Where are we going to go to see the Christmas lights this year?  Last year we came here – to the Boulevard – and it’s crap.  As I ride past in daylight, it certainly still looks crap.  We won’t be coming here.  I’ll have to make some inquiries about where some of the best lights are so that we can have a plan…  but it’s not going to be the Boulevard.

Fatties on Wednesday night (passing Irvine Street).  Can’t wait to get back out on the trails with a few guys on a Wednesday night.  Hope it doesn’t rain!  Should be right.

Up Burke Road, through the cutting and onto Heidelberg Road and the traffic is heavy again.  Fair dinkum… far too much traffic… the roads really should be reserved just for bikes.

Unreal. Really unreal!

Out through Rosanna and Lower Plenty I think about how lucky I am to have such great roads to ride on so close to home.  It’s really like riding in the bush out here.  Through Eltham and Research I wonder about my brother’s family fire plan.  Is it in place?  Is it good enough?  Does he realise what a bloody dangerous area he lives in… beautiful though it is?  I’ll have to have another chat to him about it.

Alma Road, Panton Hill – I’ve never ridden this road in this direction but have always wanted to.  A quick call to Jack before  the descent confirms he’s happy watching his new Harry Potter videos.  Girls are at the Chrissy lights with Nana and Papa and all is good…  “Home in half hour mate. ”  All good.  Shit… off camber steep right hander – slow down (or get off the phone I guess).  Alma Road is beautiful and again I ponder upon my luck at having easy access to such areas.

The climb up the Yarra Glen Road is a good few ks of Alpine Classic prep so I put-in and do it hard.  No time for thinking, but for the pain.  Henley and Menzies Roads are a couple of the most beautiful on earth… fantastic.  And this is where my brother lives.  Don’t blame him I guess.  I smashed it down Menzies and hit the bottom of Pigeon Bank at about 65kph.  Before I knew it I was doing about 8 and crunching up 23% in the 39/28.  Love this 28 but it still hurts.  Didn’t think about too much at all whilst climbing Pigeon Bank… except for Pigeon Bank.

As I wandered through a couple of other climbing loops through North Warrandyte – Floods and Booms Roads – I couldn’t believe it when I came across a guy I’d met at work last week on a course.  I turned around and said a quick hello, congratulating him on his choice of home, then went on my way again.  I think he was also a bit surprised to see me out there in a quiet back street of Warrandyte!

Melbourne Hill Road, as always, was a lovely role and I thought about the kids excitement to be heading to Porepunkah a week from today.  I love how they think it’s paradise, just like I did when I was 11!  And I still do.

As I powered up Anderson Creek Road as solidly as I could, I saw the cops dealing with a job in the service road. Three CIRT (Critical Incident Response Teams) and a div van meant there was something pretty serious going on.  I thought about offering my assistance but then considered that they may not appreciate a boss from the city turning up in lycra.

Home with 99.5km on the clock and some good Alpine Classic ks in the bank.  Jack and I rode around the corner to get noodles just so I could clock up 100!  Then two hours of me and Jack at home (enjoying a bit of peace I have to admit) on our own where I was able to think about how lucky I was.

A gorgeous wife, lovely confident kids (so far), a few good bikes and grouse places to ride… and think.  Then Karen and the girls got home and it was noisy again!.. not just in my mind.  Love that too.

What a wonderful place to think!

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