Saturday, April 02, 2011

Back in the saddle again (again)

Farmer's tan

I've got a bit of a farmer's tan: the first hot day of 2011, and I spent it riding my bike around Tai Mo Shan, not realising that all the sunshine was going to colour my arms in a shade of puce. Since I never took my gloves off, my hands are still deathly pale; I look like a mime artist viewed on a malfunctioning television.

The good: those Five Tens lived up to their reputation for mystical grippiness. These are shoes so sticky that I could circle my pedals up by just pulling up with my leg; like being clipped in, but with an extra bit of confidence so I could actually ride things.

The bad: I had a rubbery egg sandwich for breakfast. And when I say 'rubbery', I'm not making a crack about Japanese pronounciation of English words. No, the egg was chewy in a way that egg should not be. And they cut the crusts off my sandwich, as if I were the kind of man who couldn't cope with food that wasn't crustless. What were they trying to say?

The ugly: having popped out that morning for a quick ride, I don't think I earned any brownie points by rolling back in at five this afternoon, sunburnt, dehydrated, and mumbling incoherently as I staggered to bed. I guess I need to learn to ride a bit faster.

I've sped up since last week, but I'm still slow. Tai Mo Shan is so steep that in most places, you need to be hanging so far off your bike that you're sitting on the back wheel, resting your stomach on your saddle. This is taking getting used to, especially as once I get tired I naturally begin to straighten my legs, which is a real no-no if you don't want to end up bouncing down the hill, detached from your bike. Perhaps if I'd been to the gym this week and worked on having Giant Legs To Crush My Opposition with this would have been easier. Perhaps
by next week I'll be right.


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