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Posts tagged ‘cycle’

Photos and rare footage from Woodhill


Husband surfs a thermal




Husband dodges charging pinecone. Don’t be fooled by the fingers on the brakes – there is no evidence (photographic or otherwise) of him EVER pressing them into service for anything other than hanging his helmet from


See, Husband does occasionally smile. Think he mistook the camera for a trick flower


Here, Husband is smiling because The Bro had just headbutted the ground. Not sure why The Bro is looking so pleased with himself – probably relieved he didn’t dent his head


The Bro negotiates a twiglet

As usual, there are no photos of me – BUT! As a special treat, there is VIDEO FOOTAGE.

Deadlyjelly confuses diving for cycling. Note how Husband’s camera never wavers, maintaining his artistic integrity throughout

Deadlyjelly demonstrates how to pull knickers out of arse without anyone noticing

And one of The Bro in a rare, almost (but not quite) uncool moment, getting taken out by a seesaw

Tragic Argyle

Husband stays connected

I used to hate cycling. (NB: in this context, ‘hate’ is too mild a word, but I am not aware of a single alternative that fully conveys my deep-rooted, fundamental, bone-chilling, teeth-grinding loathing. There can be no more perfect confluence of distilled misery than of being a teenager in Ireland in the late eighties. Add cycling to the mix, and we’re talking about a diabolical form of torture. Cycling to school was an exercise in thriving/surviving against impossible odds, what with drunk truck drivers and waterlogged potholes that extended to the centre of the earth, and the wretched awareness that my arse was the biggest in the known universe, and the mobile audience who stared at it incredulously. Not forgetting the tragic grey Argyle I used to think was cool, but was actually so unfashionable that when I wear it NOW it would almost qualify as trendy. And the plastic Dunnes Stores bags secured to my feet with elastic bands.)

Over the years, I have grown attached to my arse and adept at dodging potholes. Also, it is impossible to dislike cycling where we live. Husband bitches about the number of hills, but freewheeling down them is such fun, it more than compensates for slogging back up.

During the week, I made a Trademe purchase from a seller who lived in Waitakere.

“She’s just up the road,” I informed Husband. “I’ll pedal over on Saturday morning.”

I was surprised when he volunteered to accompany me, although it is perhaps less surprising when the alternative was cleaning the gutters. I tried to avoid distance-related discussion, and told him it was ‘all downhill’.

We shoved the bikes up to Scenic Drive – with a minor detour back to the house when we realised Husband had forgotten his helmet – and cycled north. Scenic Drive is a fair illustration of the word ‘undulating’. However, just before Scenic Drive intersects with Swanson Road/Waitakere Road, there is a kilometre long downhill. This was terrific fun, although a section of uneven tarmac reminded me how vulnerable a bicycle is.

We took an alternative route home, opting to traverse Christian Road and along the Pipeline Track to Mountain Road. We walked the Pipeline Track in summer and even then it was greasy; however, it is only a kilometre long and downhill.

Front brake accessorised with plant

Digestive enzymes of a fly

This morning I cycled to Titirangi. I’ve been threatening the trip for months but haven’t got around to it for a number of reasons, one of which is the rain and another being – hang on, I’m sure there was another. Oh yes, the lashings upon lashings of RAIN.

The first kilometer or so up to Scenic Drive is impossible to cycle unless you’re channeling Lance Armstrong with brass balls, which I don’t that often. It took me half an hour to push the bike up the 5:1 gradient.

I covered the 11.87km down Scenic Drive in the same amount of time. Since we live at the top of a hill, and Titirangi is at the bottom, I thought it was all downhill. Indeed, while that might describe my life, it is not an accurate axiom for Scenic Drive, which never goes around a rise where it can go over.

What I want to know is: when you’re on a bicycle, how come the wind is ALWAYS against you?

I’m sailing down Scenic Drive, thinking: “WHEEE!” and “Hmm. Should really get my brakes serviced,” but also: “That’s quite a headwind. At least it’ll be behind me on the way home.”

The disillusion is affecting my health.

After a couple of hours in Titirangi Library, I returned home via Glen Eden and Henderson Valley. In total, the round trip was 28.27km, which I verified on Google Maps, down to the last two sweat-greased decimal places.

I’m going to have to rethink my backpack. It weighs 7 freakingkg. Half the weight is the heavy-duty <insert pained laugh here> lock that Husband bought to secure the bike; I might as well just carry a safe around and lock the bike in it.

When I got home, I was too exhausted to even remove the quiche from the fridge and cut off a slice. Instead, I lay across the kitchen floor and put my face in the quiche and hoped some of the matter might make its way down my throat. One of the many times I’ve wished I had the digestive enzymes of a fly

Happy birthday to me

Husband claimed that, due to the time difference, my birthday didn’t start until 11:00am yesterday, but he gave me my presents anyway. He took me shopping on Monday and I chose the new book by Marian Keyes and ‘On Chesil Beach’ by Ian Mcewan. In honour of my great and ancient age, I also picked out a knitting book, some needles and balls of wool. These gifts came with a signed guarantee that Husband would wear anything I produced. Foolishly, he failed to insert a subclause that they had the requisite number of holes and were within striking distance of two sizes.

If you are looking for a husband, do try and choose one who gets anxious that you don’t have enough presents. In fact, Husband was so concerned about the scarcity of giftage – despite my protesting that he’d got me more than enough of just what I wanted – he drove into town the day before to bolster the birthday offering with two DVDs, and a bottle holder and mudguards for my bicycle.

After the gift ceremony, the sun came out. Husband affixed my bottle holder and front mudguard and we went cycling. I’ve never been concerned about the skidmarks administered by the back tyre, but the mud and small twigs splatting onto my glasses was always distracting – especially when trying to negotiate a bank or predatory bush. The new front mudguard effectively abbreviated the mud, and is high enough that trees don’t get stuck in it (that much).

We returned home to find my bridesmaid dress in the post from Róis. Over the last week, she has engaged in some alarmingly un-Róisín-like pre-wedding stress over whether she should get my dress in size 10 or 12. The outlet’s size guide on the Net indicated that size 10 was perfect around the bust and hips, but no matter how much I sucked or how tight I pulled, my waist resolutely refused to conform to 68cm. Róis and I had several emergency phone calls about the issue, and eventually I instructed her to get the size 12 on the grudging hypothesis that it could be taken in if necessary. Róis evidently knew I was conflicted about it, because she got the size 10 – and it fits. Perfectly. Well, it had to on my birthday, didn’t it? Lucky it arrived when it did.

My second family all called and the Outlaws in South Island Skyped and sang me Happy Birthday with party hats on. I was so touched I would have cried except I was laughing too hard.

Later that evening, Husband and I went for dinner at The Hangar. We cooked our food on stone slabs heated to 400˚ and didn’t singe ourselves once. Then Husband took me to see The Incredible Hulk (I would like to hastily point out that it was at my request; Husband is not that romantic on his own initiative). It wasn’t the best movie ever but it was fun.

Turning 36 was pretty cool

Name that song: dum dum dum dooby doo-ah

This morning we biked down Mountain Road, up Opanuku Road, then cycled along Ferndown Track. When I say ‘cycled’, technically it was more like a hike carrying bikes and on one occasion Husband headbutted a tree, which was fun but admittedly more for me than him. At the end of the track we freewheeled down Grassmere Road.

Then we had to cycle back to the house.

Mountain Road is about 5km long with a 400 foot climb from bottom to top. We were told this by some bloke we met in the Waitakere Estate and we took him at his word because he was wearing a cardigan and had his hair parted down the centre.

Husband and I have different methods of approaching long uphill distances. Husband goes at it in short bursts with fluctuating degrees of enthusiasm. He generally considers handlebars to be decorative in function and prefers cycling over obstacles rather than around them. His boredom threshold is so low as to be undetectable, so he likes to race me, making up the rules according to which of us is winning (he’s better at the downhill sprints, while I have the edge the other way). He spends a lot of time twiddling around with his gears – or mine, when they are within reach – and supports regular refreshment stops.

My approach is more methodical. Once my legs are following my own internal rhythm, I’m unstoppable.

Today, I was doing so well, my internal rhythm became external.

“Let’s have a little music!
On the road again, ah cain’t wait to be oan the road again
La la la la la la music with mah friends
Ah cain’t wait to be oan the road again-

Hey! What else can we sing?”


“‘Lak a rhanstone cowboy
Ba bom!
La la mutter mutter mutter star spangled rodeo
And mufflers coming over the phone-

Hey, why aren’t you joining in?”

“I have to breathe.”

“Well, so do I-”

“Evidently less than I do!”

“Hmm, you might be right. Hey! Any requests?”

“Can you please, PLEASE shut up?”

“Ah now, come on. How about something by The Travelling Wilburys?”

“Can’t think of any of their songs.”

“Tom Petty?”

“Nothing’s coming to me.”

“Hey, I know! Roy Orbison!
Only the lonely-’”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

“NO, it’s: Dum dum dum dooby doo-ah.”

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