As i dropped off my Avanti road bike off to my local bike shop for its six monthly major service, I knew it was going to need a set of new tyres as well as a full service. Not cheap, but very necessary.
And I also knew I would only be off the road for a few days, so i dropped it off early in the week to ensure it would be ready for my weekend rides through the Dandenong hills.
So when I stopped by the bike shop after work on the Friday to pick up my bike, I found Marcus waiting for me to hand it over.
We chatted for a while about the weekend plans and I mentioned the hills I would be descending. And I asked for a new set of brake pads, even though they weren’t worn all the way down. Better safe than sorry I thought when I knew the downhills and corners of the Dandenongs.
He hoisted the bike back onto the rack and slipped my used pads off and was about to replace them with the new set when I heard him say. ‘Damn!’
I walked over to the bike and he pointed out a serious crack in my bike frame. It was well hidden and was only visible when working on the back brakes.
It was then I understood his serious concerns. The next bump I went over with the bike in that condition would have possibly been my last. The frame would have snapped and I would have gone head over heels and caused myself some major injuries.
The bike frame had a 10 year warranty, so it was only a matter of requesting a new frame and waiting for my bike to be re assembled.
So after what seemed an eternity (three weeks) my bike was back together and with a new and updated carbon fiber frame.
The very next weekend I headed up, and back down the Dandenongs without a care in the world.
I do think that was a very lucky break. So sometimes we get lucky, and other times it just doesn’t go out way.
Cycling through the Dandenongs is tough at the best of times, and heading up The Devils Elbow with a stiff headwind makes the ride harder than it really should be. But it was on my radar for the day and I wasn’t going to let the winds make me change my route.
The warm morning sun was a blessing as the temperature up in the hills make the ride feel much longer as I can’t produce enough speed to keep all my body parts warm.
But as I ground my way up the hill, and kept telling my legs to shut up, I realized I hadn’t ridden this track all that often this year. Not because of the climb itself, but because it’s a bit out of the way to ride to and the round trip can take over three hours. That normally includes a coffee stop of course.
And after two hours of climbing hills and various slopes, I pulled up to a The Fat Badger cafe and ordered a coffee and a very sweet muffin. My treat after a bit of suffering.
So as I sipped in my coffee and happily munched on my warm muffin, it dawned on me that every now and again in our lives, we should take the road less traveled.
Who know where it will lead, and what new adventures await.
This track sums it up nicely. Well worth a listen.
There are times that just the steady rotation of a set of bike pedals is enough to soothe the soul and make the heart beat a little quicker, from exertion and excitement. This feeling is doubled when a ride is shared with a friend who manages to chat through the entire 3.5 hour ride. Not that I minded one iota.
The destination is not important when out on the bike, it’s all about the journey, as is life in general. We all know where we will end up, but it’s what we do up to the point that makes the difference.
So during the journey on a ride, it’s who you meet along the way that makes a difference. As was the case today. As Kevin and I stopped off for a break at the end of the eastlink trail, we started chatting with an older chap who was out exercising that morning.
He told us he exercises up to 2 hours every day, and at the ripe young age of 70, he was going great. The top tip he gave up both, eat less to lose weight. And then went on to apologise if he had offended either one of us.
With no offence taken, we headed home to find a coffee shop which served good coffee and sugary delights to help get us all the way home.
Cycling is more than just exercise, it is a form of stress management for many people. So when you see a group of cyclists on the road, they are saving a few bucks by riding, and not visiting a shrink.
Depression (or known as the Black Dog) is something that is well hidden by the person who has it. They will swear black and blue they are fine and nothing is wrong. But deep down they are hurting and either can’t or don’t want to adit they have a problem.
Ask them if they are really OK, as sometimes a friend’s shoulder is just as good, and if not better than a paid professional.