Sunday, June 22, 2008

This week

Fast section of track during the day.

Since January I have not ridden nearly as far as I would like. This is due simply to sore knees. These have been a problem for a while and so I went to see a specialist about them. The upshot is- I have very little cartilage left and the knees are bone on bone.. Now for some this might come as bad news, but I was delighted to see that the wear on the bones is nice and even. This is because of the years on the bike. The doctor wants me to continue riding as it will ensure that I will not need a replacement knee for a few years!

Sandy sections to be tackled at night

So, with boyish enthusiasm, I chose three very different rides this week. The first being a ride into Wheeny Creek. This 30k night ride is a mix of tar and dirt roads, with a steep decent and return out of the camping grounds. I chose the mountain bike as it is most suitable. I would be riding with fast peak hour traffic and would need the suspension to cope with the occasional escape from idiot drivers, before riding the quiet dirt section into the National Park.

Wheeny creek is beautiful and peaceful. Birds such as rock warblers, lyre birds, pacific duck as well as bell minors and superb wrens can be found here. Upon my return I met some endurance horse riders who were surprised that I could catch up and ride past them. The only difficulty on this ride is the speed down hill can sometimes "overtake" the headlights beam, making for last minute choices re potholes difficult. I was grateful for the larger tyres and suspension on more than one occasion

The Cannondale Prophet at night

The second ride was more technical and again at night, on some of the rougher fire trails in the Blue Mountains National Park. Whilst only a short distance (10K) it is a mix of rock ledges, deep sand, and wash outs. In the evening the "line" chosen to tackle these is far different to the line I would choose in daylight, and sometimes mistakes are made. Spinning faster in the lower gears makes out for a different workout too. In fact with a lot of climbing and balancing the entire body gets a workout.

Night time in the Australian bush without the moon is eerie. The thump of wallaby as well as the screech of the occasional owl makes it so. Sometimes an icy wind would blow and the gum trees would sound like the ocean. You can hear the wind coming from quite a distance away, and it was cold. Sadly the battery on my light failed prematurely, and I had to ride back with the "brown light". This creates a new problem. Without enough light to highlight the edges of the track it was very easy to get off course! Still, a lot of fun and I only just got home before the battery was completely flat!

Brown out! Only a small pool of light in front of the tyre

The final ride of the week was my usual 50km along Comleroy road. A great training ride on the road bike, again a different workout to the mountain bike. Much bigger gears, no suspension mean the power to the wheels is instant and creates a real concentrated workout on the legs, heart and lungs. This ride was pleasant and uneventful. Returning to Kurrajong via Putty road. Where I live the area and its surrounds are beautiful. The smell of fresh cut grass, horses and cattle as well as Wattle trees in bloom makes it heady!!

Saying "G'day" to the locals!

The knees? Well they are still there! I hope to be able to ride 4 times a week and get back to the distances I was doing last year... we shall see! BTW to my English friends- I am off the beer and ales......

Part of a health and fitness program is a good "cool down" after a ride....Ha ah!


  1. the last photo is a joke guys! But I am off the beer for real AND coffee!!

  2. HAHAHHAAA, I just enlarged the photograph! Are you off the smokes and cigars too?

    I think you have to be tough to endure a "brown out", what a nightmare. In fact this whole post reads as very daring ;)

    Good thing your Specialist encourages riding when you enjoy it so much!

  3. hey Anony! yes smoking, and a Romeo and Juliet cigar are JUST the thing after a ride!! :o)

    (I only did it for effect) as too the VB's AND white wine.....

  4. You runcible fellow! Glad to hear that biking is part of your medical prescription! Keep it up mate!

  5. Good effort AND effect! Hhehee

  6. But it does give that tough guy image! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my place. I love the scene in Out of Africa where Karin is reading Housman at the grave.

  7. Just watch that 'boyish enthusiasm' Simon. It gets Maalie into loads of trouble!
    What on earth is brown light?

    Running for ten miles on a concrete road is very good for dicky knees.

    today's word is nocrow

  8. Are you really off the beer Simon? And coffee? What do you exist on?

  9. willow! ahhah! yes its just for effect!! :o)

    Lorenzo- brown light- is really a light on its last ebb of power so it makes everything look brown and you cannot see much. you get white light and blue light too...

    Ellee- yes off them both! Have to admit it was a bit tough in the first week, not having the coffee, and a bit tough not having a beer at the end of the ride. I think the sugar and carbs helped fuel the recovery from the ride.

    I have seen a photo of the 1930's riders from the Tour de france drinking beers and the end of each stage.

    However- this week is pretty good! :o)

  10. Hallo Simon,
    thank you for coming over to my blog and for you nice words!
    Ah, congratulations that you are off the beer and coffee. I find it's especially hard to quit the coffee!
    I've quit smoking cigarettes 5 or 6 weeks ago and this time (I tried already several times over the past decades...) it is very good and I feel so much better than before.
    So, if I see that you have made a good trip, I will drink a glass of beer in your name, and you may smoke a good cigar for me in turn...;)
    Wish you all the best!
    Regards, Maria

  11. woah! quitting smoking would be hardaest of all for real!

    Well done!! :o)

  12. Simon, my deep sympathy on those knees! I couldn't believe how valuable they were until one of mine went 'schrick!' while moving a butcher block table.

    Tell me, to they still make those wheel-driven dynamos to power lighting? I vaguely remember that you could disengage them when you didn't need them. I'd prefer carrying the extra couple of ounces to running with brown-out lights (which always occur at the worst possible times).

  13. Hi Lin! yes the knees are quite awful!

    I do not think they make the dynamos anymore...and i think they got brighter the faster you went and almost went out if you stopped..

    I agree and in fact I have bought another battery an light which I will post about.

    This week is a bit like Ground Hog Day!!

  14. My sympathy on the knees as well - it's time to have my cartilage "smoothed" under both knee caps as it "catches" when I walk - especially climbing stairs and biking! But I think the knees themselves still have a good deal of cartilage left.

    Have they suggested injecting cartilage in? A friend had this done and it helped him quite a lot with pain as it added some cushion that was not there before.

    Glad to see that you have cut out the beer - such a pain to remove a small pleasure but certainly is better for your other issues. I have actually been concerned about that for your sake.

    So - no biking for me, although I must admit I am most tempted to try anyway! It's yard work and lugging about mulch and chopping down bushes gone wild for me today!

    Glad you are back on the bike - so excited for you to be able to do that despite the knees.

  15. Ohhh ... you're quite right about the dynamo light dying when you slow down. Then again, in this age of technology, you think they could come up with the dynamo as a charger to a set of batteries so that you have consistent lighting i.e. you can see the crater you are falling into long after you jam on the brakes.

    I also agree that cold beer isn't necessary ... warm beer will do just fine. grin

  16. Sorry to hear about bad knees, Simon. No fun at all, though I can't speak from my own experience, but from friends I know.

    Good to read of your biking adventures, though. Does sound eeire moving along with so little light there at the end. But fun.

    I do wish biking was more the way to go, sometimes, than all these cars. Like you say, it's like taking your life in your hands so to speak to run out there in the traffic, especially rush hour. It only takes one driver to ruin it.

    Nice pics as always.

  17. Susan- Thanks. yes the beer cut out also to improve the fitness. I notice that after about 2 hours of riding I slow up. Someone told me that it has to do with liver function. So, putting 2+2 together....

    The injection is the next step as well! :o) I guess I have also hit thatstage of life.. :o)

    Lin- yes! I can imagine running over a cliff ledge! warm beer is ok too.

    Ted- thanks mate!


  18. Gosh, Simon,
    I would have never guessed that a fit guy like you ..., no, I won't believe, you ... you are simply too runcible!!! ;-)
    Wonder where you got that boyish enthusiam ...

  19. Hi Merisi- where did I get my boyish enthusiasim?

    I don't know- It does not run in my family at all- may be my mum...

  20. Hello you old reprobate you! How are the knees?

  21. not too bad- I am just very busy- did 70 hours work last week, treatment, so not much blogging...:o)

  22. Aw Simon, go for a nice run along some concrete pavements. It will do your knees no end of good.

  23. Lorenzo,
    did you mean up that concrete pavement and over the hill, and then downhill all the way? :-)

  24. Yes Merisi, and it is also very good for your knees if you wear flip flops to run in.

  25. Hey, sorry I've been all absent. Been a little bit sick :(

    btw, I TAG YOU YET AGAIN! MWAHAHAHAHAHA! *hack* anyway

    Ruela tagged me with the road trip meme. The rules are:

    -- Pick five CDs for the trip.

    -- Pick three essential items.

    -- Pick one outrageous wardrobe item (something that will make you stand out at a party; you must own this item already).

    I will pick 3 people to do this.



    Little Rebal

  26. Lorenzo,
    will you believe me that my lovely youngest one once hiked in the mountains with flip-flips? There were some cliffs, and whitewater, climbs, and whatnot. She lived to tell the tale, my heart made it out of the gorge in once piece too.
    I guess hiking in flip-flops encreases the amount of energy you use getting to the top. Maybe I should ....
    (Mind you, I am only commenting in the hope that Simon's waiting for the 100th comment, before he puts up a new adventure post!)

  27. (Alright,
    next time I'll employ a spell checker!)

  28. hahahah! you girls make me smile!

    We call flip flops thongs here- which is why when I tell some overseas friends I wear thongs but find them uncomfortable to bushwalk in----- they laugh a lot!

    Shaddow Lor- can you explain tagging to me? is it like a game??

    I hope you will feel better!!

  29. Ooo Simon, I bet you look gorgeous in a thong!