Friday, February 13, 2009

One week tonight

Location: Eltham, Victoria.
Time: 6:45am.
Temperature: 7.5 degrees celsius.
Weather conditions: Clear skies, a little smoke haze. The sun has just begun to rise.

First of all, I'm feeling like a right idiot for going for more 'summer oriented' gear this morning. A week ago it was 46.4 degrees (that's 115.5F if you're that way inclined), but this morning it seems like that was summer's last gasp, a final ferocious stab in the back before plummeting the city into the premature depths of autumn. I know my frustration won't last - we'll be back up into the 30s next week, and I'll be blessing my vented jacket and light, airy gloves. But this morning is cold, significantly colder than a summer morning ought to be, and my fingers are feeling it.

I've learnt the lessons of previous mornings, and today my route is clear cut. Up through St Helena and around the back of Montmorency, down Para Road around Greensborough and then follow Lower Plenty Road through to Heidelberg Road and in. The freeway would be faster, but am I really in that much of a rush?

Turning onto Rosanna Road, I see the reflection of the sun in the building windows in front of me. It's a huge, red ball of wrath this morning, a beautiful and terrifying sight for one living on the edge of the bush.

It's a fairly cruisy ride in, the traffic is light and flowing freely. I see a taxi making a couple of inadvisable lane changes... must be the end of his night shift.  Remember to steer clear of taxis this time of day...

It's a week ago tonight that I picked up my first motorcycle, with the only experience under my belt being a two-day learner's permit course at H.A.R.T. and half an hour on my brother's bike in the Bunnings Carpark. I'm surprised at how comfortable I am feeling on the bike, that on the whole, the riding of the bike is already mostly automatic. I'm also surprised to discover how easy it is to lose concentration as soon as you don't need to focus all your attention on not falling off. Minor experiments in countersteering turn out to be inadvisable while traveling down Nicholson St in the city... at least it is when the traffic ahead is stopped and you're still thinking about weaving between marks on the road.  Once again it's a cruisey ride in to work, and I get there in a good mood - albeit with cold fingers.

Home time and it's out to Victoria Gardens in Richmond to hook up with Zenali for a cruise down Yarra Boulevard, which is totally worth the detour!  Lesson to be learnt here too, though... after work social rides generally wind up in the kind of traffic that carefully chosen commute times set out to avoid.  There's a bit of stop starting, but on the whole it's just damn fun.

We separate at the top end of Burke Road and I head north through Heidelberg.  Somewhere along the line I must have pissed off a bee, for when I stop at a set of lights, it's buzzing around me like nobody's business!  Score 1 to full face helmet, 0 to rabid, ravenous bee.

Home again, watching the sun burning bright red behind the haze of smoke.  Sat down, had dinner, and while most of me wants to flake out in front of a movie, there's part of me that wants to put the boots back on and head out for an evening ride.

Odometer: 381.4 kilometres.

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