ImaWestie

Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Tag Archives: Cycling

Transport Tuesday

Happily, today I return to my Transport Tuesday theme. With some discussion at work, I have found that I need to be at work early on Wednesday each week. This means that cycling to work on Wednesday is a Bad Idea (TM). However, cycling on Tuesday seems to be able to work well.

After two weeks of not riding my bike, though, this mornings bike ride was a bit of a struggle – however, it turned out to be an enjoyable struggle.

A Shifting Spanner, thanks to Rentia Venter at iDEA DRIVEN

Which is more than I can say for the ride home. Somehow, I managed to pick up a nail or something similar in my rear tyre. This is something that I needed tools to repair, tools that I do not carry with me when I commute to work. I stopped on the way home to see if I could get the tools I needed – a “shifting spanner” was all that I needed – but without knowing where I really was, I wasn’t able to find what I needed.

So, I rode home with a flat tyre.

I really, really don’t recommend riding a bicycle, while it has a flat tyre. But it seemed a better option at that moment than chaining my bike to a post, and walking.

What I really need to do, is order the part my other bike needs, and get it out of  Peters’ shed.

Enjoy the ride.

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Transport Tuesday

Very sad news this Transport Tuesday, is that for the second week in a row my Wheely Wednesday is being interrupted.

My travels this week have been smooth and trouble free, the transport system around Canberra being what it is. However, tomorrow I will be having to be at work at far too early a time to consider riding a bicycle.

My challenge remains, in making sure that these interruptions to my routine do not bring an end to the routine. So far, I have been happy to replace my cycling efforts with weekend swimming. My son seems happy to ensure this continues, as well.

Ten day challenge

Blogging every day has been a bit of a hard slog for me but I’m continuing on! So far I’m over 40 days into it.

Just like the photoaday challenges I’m looking around for a few blog a day challenges. I’ve come across this one from Tezza at MyTeeFine

10 Day Challenge

Thanks to MyTeeFine for the inspiration

Day One: Ten random facts about yourself.
Day Two: Nine things you do everyday.
Day Three: Eight things that annoy you.
Day Four: Seven fears/phobias.
Day Five: Six songs that you’re addicted to.
Day Six: Five things you can’t live without.
Day Seven: Four memories you won’t forget.
Day Eight: Three words you can’t go a day without using.
Day Nine: Two things you wish you could do.
Day Ten: One person you can trust.
So to kick things off with Day One…
  1. I was keen to go to boarding school from a very young age, and I did that from the age of 13 to 18.
  2. I spent way too long in the Australian Army Reserve, every moment of it was fantastic but at the end, the time had come long before I finally left.
  3. My eyes are both different shades of brown.
  4. My favourite junk food is chocolate.
  5. I went to three schools in my life, and that was one too many.
  6. I have two scars on my body from my childhood. One is from a horse biting me, the other is from a farm implement.
  7. The most special day in my life was the day I got married to Rebecca in a wonderful small church on the North Coast of New South Wales.
  8. I didn’t know it specifically till recently, but I’m about as introverted as a guy can get. I think.
  9. I only learned to ride a bicycle when I was in university.
  10. 22 years since I left high school, I can still wear the clothes I was wearing for the last four years of school. The same clothes have fitted me for 25 years!

Wheely Wednesday

Another week, another Wednesday, another effort at cycling to work.

The good news being, my time is moving in the right direction, even though my motivation was somewhat lagging.

I rode my way along Molongolo river, before heading back to the Cotter Road and onto Adelaide Drive. For the first time, I was able to ride around State Circle and move onto Brisbane Drive without getting in anybodys way. I was most impressed with my ability to negotiate some intersections which have been causing me grief up till now.

My ride times over the last few weeks are certainly moving in the right direction:

25 July 2012 1 hr 12 minutes 43 seconds

1 August 2012 1 hr 4 minutes 30 seconds

8 August 2012 1 hr 3 minutes 54 seconds

These times are rather unscientific, based on me being in the house when I start the timer on my phone, and about at the front door to the office when I stop it. So chances are there is no real difference in the last week. However, I will take what improvement I can get.

For those of us who are training.

Image thanks to cutandjacked.com via their facebook page

What you already own, you can add to that list.
I own my bike, any day I ride it, at the very worst – I become unfit more slowly than if I stay off the bike.

Defining Success

I’m a fan of spelling out exactly what success means to you. If you don’t spell it out before you set out to get there, you won’t know when you’ve reached it. It will slip by, unnoticed, while more than likely, you are concentrating on those things you are still striving to achieve.

And some of those things will – eventually – find a way to grind you down.

So with that I’m really happy to tell everyone about a fantastic blog I’ve just started to follow closely, 100 Days 100 Ways. In her first blog for August, Kim sets out – clearly and in specific detail – her goals for the month:

1. weigh-in at 70kg

2. learn 50 new words of Japanese vocabulary
3. learn to read another 100 Japanese Kanji characters

4. photograph and process images twice a week
5. update all three blogs twice a week

6.run four times a week
7.climb a new mountain in Japan once a week
8.45 push-ups
9.5-minute plank

10.Skype the family daily whilst I’m overseas

Compared to my current goals, that list looks truly amazing – the type of challenge I would have set myself back while I as thinking about setting myself challenges rather than “surviving”.

So with this inspiration, and her advice ringing soundly – “Do not overcommit by having too many goals” – my goals for August:

  1. Cycle from Weston Creek to Fyshwick, and back, at least six times.
  2. Commence doing both pushups and situps on a daily basis, Tuesday to Friday, as of 7th August.
  3. Continue to contribute to the #photoaday challenge for August on Instagram.

I think that will do it, for August. I turn 40 in September… so if I can be fitter before then, that will be great!

Wheely Wednesday

Today marked Week Three and my third successful both-way commute from where I stay each week in Canberra to work, about 12km each way. This gives me a total cycle commute of about 75km to date, so next week I will break my 100km cycling in Canberra milestone.

Today, my trip to work was again a little more exciting than I would really like, as I rode around State Circle. State Circle is one of two ring roads that go all the way around the Australian Parliament House, so in international terms it is probably an interesting aspect of life in Canberra that do many people drive on it. Every single day. And they are just getting about Canberra, not going to the Parliament as such!

So anyway, to get to work I ride around State Circle in a clockwise direction, about three quarters of a full lap. That part is no great drama, there is enough room and drivers are well behaved. Until it’s time to exit.

Then it all just gets messy, and after two rides, I’m still looking for the best way to handle this particular lop-sided hill (it has to be a hill of course).

If that wasn’t enough, on the way home I saw something which to now I had only ever seen in Canberra near the airport: a queue of traffic! So here I am riding past very slow moving cars (in Sydney they would not have been moving at all) on a cycling lane, deprecated from the cages by a thin white line. I’m in a world of my own of course. Behind me there’s a sudden “Woooorrr” from nowhere, as motorcycle copper announces his presence.

My immediate response is to jump iny saddle of course, shocked back to the moment as he pulls alongside me and with a chuckle in his voice calls out “sorry mate” over the low rumble of his motorbike.

Hopefully, that is as exciting as commuting in Canberra ever gets!

Transport Tuesday

This week I’m on my “N+1”, cycling talk for “spare bike”.

This is because my main ride is having some issues holding onto tyres, and I guess I’m not the all-star bike mechanic I need to be to sort that out. I really need to have a look at the thing when I’m not in a rush.

We’ve had the first really warm night for the 2011/12 summer – even though it’s still spring – but as I stumbled out of bed there was a heavy shower and I was thinking “Oh crap I’ll be riding in the rain today.” Thankfully, it didn’t work out like that – I stayed dry and had a peaceful bike ride, and a peaceful train trip.

The thing is, I don’t have an issue with riding in the rain – it’s just commuting in the rain is really tedious. Maybe it would be different if I was going far enough to have a fully set up commuting bike but at my distance I’m just jamming my clothes into a backpack, because I currently commute via bicycle, train and foot!

A few steps closer to getting somewhere with the Trek1000 that’s in the shed: it seems I have all the parts I need to fix the front wheel, possibly I have the front derallieur, and as of yesterday I think I now have the cable needed to restore all the shifter and brake cables.

Via the Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group, I’ve been put in touch with a bloke from Blacktown City Council who is conducting a meeting on Wednesday, but unfortunately it doesn’t look good for me going to it as I would need to take a whole day off work.

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