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
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.”
“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.”