Of course, that header image is quite a bit of hyperbole – this is Queensland and we barely know what cold is but however this temperature range is categorised, I’m loving it at the moment and it made for an immensely enjoyable ride this afternoon.
For the first time this year, I took my Trek Emonda out and headed down the Kedron Brook bikeway and along the Shultz Canal toward Nudgee. Dressed in a pair of shorts and a sleeveless hoody over my nicks and jersey, I was gleefully breaking every dress code of road cycling (written and implied) not least of all because lycra is thin and the turtle was scared enough as it was. But also because this bike is great to ride no matter what you’re wearing and wearing whatever the hell you want while riding is almost as important as the riding itself.
Granted, the Mavic wheelset on the Emonda was outrageously over the top for the kind of ride I was doing but man it was enjoyable and reminded me of not so long ago when that bike and I were the very best of friends before all this whinging about sore backs, etc and a ride like this would not really be counted as a ride at all compared to many others more like this one.
But since all this back problem malarkey, I’ve chilled out a bit and by both force and conscious decision I’m re-evaluating the kind of riding I include in my repertoire and the way I do it. I think it’s an attitude change that’s been building for me for a while though I’m not really sure how it will actually manifest over time. Whilst I’ve been an advocate of utility and low performance recreational cycling for a while now, there’s also always been an element of high effort, performance oriented road and mountain bike riding in my routine. Will I go the full Grant Petersen? Hard to say especially since at this moment I’m about as far as you can get from that mindset riding a carbon fibre road bike with a wheelset that has a price tag that looks like a federal budget. Still, I think every cyclist could benefit from taking even a small leaf out of Grant Petersen’s book.
As I rode, I was uncharacteristically unfazed about all the other cyclists speeding past me and occasionally stopped to take some photos. The setting sun and the tangy chill in the air made for a tranquil, desolate ambience which hinted at good things to come with the pending spring but was also a moment to enjoy in it’s own right like floating through a light filled, icy chamber – a blissful, meditative state in which every problem I had seemed to fall away.
But not wishing to push my luck with the surprisingly good condition of my back, soon it was time to turn back and I retraced my path.
Until next time, rug up and ride safe.