The Road Less Traveled

With another ride all planned out for the day, I headed down the peninsula and towards a ride that always makes me wonder why I keep attempting it on a regular basis. Arthur’s Seat is a 4.5 km ride that ensures my legs are screaming for mercy, half way up. It’s at that point I keep asking myself. Why?

The reason I keep pushing myself up the hill is for the views from the top, and they are spectacular. No matter what the weather, rain or shine, the pain from the ride always seems worthwhile. Well, in my mind it seems worth the effort.


So on this particular ride, I decided to take an alternate route home, one which I had only ridden once, and it was with another rider who knew the area like the back of his hand. With a certain clarity, I headed down the back roads that I thought would eventually take me back to the main road and to some semi flat tracks.

The trip back down should have taken no longer than 15 minutes, so when I was still riding along a road that didn’t look very familiar, I did what most men would do, keep going until a sign post came by to look for further directions.

I knew I was well off the beaten track after another 45 minutes, but the views on both sides of the road were well worth the pedal power, and the roads were all rolling  hills, so I assumed the remainder of the trip home would have similar gradients. How wrong could I have been?

After finally finding a road name that was very familiar, I headed in the direction of home, having already been out on the road for over 90 minutes, so I estimated another 60 minutes on the road. Another bad judgment call.

The next two hours saw me riding through some of the toughest and longest hills I had cycled through in a long while.  With every turn, the road continued to climb higher and my legs screamed for a break. I finally gave my legs a rest after an hour of climbing, and could only wonder how much further I had to ride before I arrived at a section of flat road.

As I rested for a few minutes, I noticed another cyclist coming up the hill, struggling a lot less than I had been. I waved him down and asked how far back to the main road.

About another 20 kms, and some decent climbing still to come he said as he waved goodbye and continued onward.

Feeling my heart sink a little,and with no other option but to go forward, I got back on the bike and peddled for another hour before I finally hit the main road. By that stage, I was tired, sore and cursing my lack of direction.  But, I had been on an adventure for the day, one I would not forget in a hurry, and neither would my aching legs.

The pain stayed with me until the next day when I headed out for a ride on some more familiar and flatter roads. No harm in mixing up my rides.

My feelings on that morning are summed up in the Talking Heads song. 

Road to Nowhere




Are you listening?

During one of my train trips home, i settled back into a seat opposite an elderly couple, took out my iPhone and headphones and plugged in so I could listen to the sounds of the 80s once again and chill out after another long and frustrating day at the office.

Even though I had my music playing, it was on low enough to overhear the following  conversation between the elderly couple.

Wife: Hand me your phone.
Husband looks at her for a moment and hands phone over to his wife.

Wife plays on the phone for a few moments and then asks. Have you changed the password to the website?

Husband: Looking a little annoyed. No. I tried getting in and the password didn’t work so I tried to change it.

Wife: Shakes her head and sighs out loudly. So you changed it?

Husband: No. I tried and still couldn’t get in.

Wife: What did you change the password to?

Husband: Summer25

Wife: Now very agitated. So you changed it to Summer25?

Husband: No. I tried to change it but it failed.

Wife tries new password and it works.

Wife: You changed the password.

Husband: No. I tried to change the password.

Wife: The password is now Summer25

Husband: Looking a little confused. When did the password change?

Wife shakes her head and hands phone back.

Never Judge a Book by its Cover

After being cooped up in the house for over seven weeks, it was time I ventured out into the wilds. Well, at least the wilds of Eastland. 
So with a start time set and bus timetable sorted, I headed off into the cold for my first road trip. 
Apart from the bus arriving 10 minutes late, and the light drizzle, the day was off to a good start. My MYKI card still worked and the bus was much warmer than the cold bus stop. 
The bus trip was exactly as I remembered; boring. But it did get me to the station where I only had to wait 11 minutes for the next train. I looked over at the small coffee shop inside the station and decided it would be best if I waited for my coffee.  
Once the train arrived, close enough to its scheduled time, I boarded and headed to the disabled seats. They are a little wider and have a straighter back. 

With only two stops to my destination, I waited as passengers boarded at the next stop. And that is where I received a dirty look from a middle aged woman as she looked at me sitting in the disabled seats. I had no crutches or walking stick and I seemed fit and healthy. So why should I be taking up these particular seats.  
Sometimes a person may not seem like they are hurt, injured or broken in any shape or form, but they may be hurting in a way not seen by others. She couldn’t see my back brace and thought I was being inconsiderate. 
A few words would have cleared the air and I wouldn’t have had to put up with her filthy look for the next few minutes. 
Just because a person may not look hurt in any way, it never hurts to ask. Are you OK? The response may actually surprise you and a difficult situation can be resolved quickly.

Old habits die hard

We all have a few habits that are hard to kick, some are good habits, such as eating a good breakfast every day, and others are the annoying ones that eventually get on other people’s nerves as time goes by.
It seems I have a few habits that I am finding hard to kick, and most of them are cycling related. Even though I haven’t been on a road bike for nearly seven weeks, some habits from the past 15 years of road cycling just won’t go away.
So as I was out walking in the glorious sunshine, I plodded along up the hill and had my mind set on walking the block at a reasonable pace. It did get a little difficult as I trudged up the first hill, the one that never seemed to end, but it eventually ended and my legs gave a shout of relief.
It was then I saw an elderly gentleman pushing a stroller up the next street. He was most of the way up the street and close to the next corner, so I decided I would try and catch up, as I picked up my snails pace.
When I eventually caught up to him, an entire block away, I went to pass him to continue on my way. And then without giving it a second thought, I said out loud ‘Passing on the right’.
He looked at me, smiled and looked rather confused as I picked up a little more pace and continued home-bound. At least I didn’t use hand signals when turning corners or stopping a street intersections.
It might be a while before I am able to get back on a bike, but I certainly hope I still remember all my good road habits.
Don’t Change INXS
I’m standing here on the ground
The sky above won’t fall down
See no evil in all direction
Resolution of happiness
Things have been dark
For too long
Don’t change for you
Don’t change a thing for me
old habits die hard


There are many things in our daily lives that are never changing. We know that every morning the sun will rise in the east and in the evenings it will set in the west. It’s a known fact that the tide goes out and comes back in every day, we have new moon and a full moon once a month and there are always seven days a week and twelve months per year. These are just some of the things in our lives that are not expected to change; we don’t want them, or imagine them to change.

Change in many other aspects of our lives is expected and most often demanded; our dreams desires and ambitions change on a regular basis, sometimes on a too regular basis. What we want and demand from ourselves also changes, where we see ourselves now may not necessarily be where we see, or want to be in the future. Our place of residence may change numerous times before we finally decide to settle down. The car we drive will change, as we get older and sometimes wiser, we are no longer young louts, we become old farts.

We may not always admit it to ourselves, but we want change, it may be as insignificant as rearranging our desks, planting a different variety of flowers in our garden bed or even moving the furniture in a room at home. Change is good for the soul; it rejuvenates the spirit and keeps us going.

Change in our home,our family, and work lives is often inevitable, let’s learn to go with the flow and take change as it comes, change is sometimes for the better.


Elderly Hoon Carts

With every breath we take, and every step we make, our society is becoming older; there are more elderly people in the world now than there have ever been before. So it must be said, that we should listen to our elders once in a while as there are more of them about, at least for the moment.

We should also be very respectful to the elderly, as they have more than likely suffered more than we have in our short and easy layabout lives. We know that they suffered and put up with many things that we wouldn’t be able to.

The reason we know they have suffered more in their lives than we have in ours, is because they tell us so, and they repeat their stories on such a regular basis that we relive them in our sleep. Many of us still wake up screaming in the middle of the night, and some of us want to know why the Channel 7 chopper chills us to our feet.

We have been told on so many occasions of how they lived in scrappy two bedroom homes, with their five brothers and sisters, their cousins, and their grandparents, and how can we not forget their pet pig. The very same pet pig which turned out to be a rather pleasant meal one Christmas, for all who lived under that roof.

They lived through tough times, and they survived the lean times. They survived wars, famine, and a depression. They lived through the heady days of Rock & Roll, which included the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, and lots more bands, who incidentally, are old folk now. They have also forgotten the flower power years and the many sleepless days and nights of LSD, Speed and Opium.

So then when all is said and done, there must be an advantage of getting older, you get respect from the young, you are allowed to chew with your mouth open and dribble down your chin, and you can go through the 8 items or less checkout with 10 or 12 items and not care about anyone else.

The other huge advantage of getting old is that you can hoon around in one of those motorised buggies and harass the young people who hang around the shopping malls. These vehicles should be banned from all populated areas and should be restricted to the elderly who can actually drive, or in some cases, can actually see.

The young people of the world need a licence to drive a motor vehicle, so why shouldn’t the old farts of this world need a licence to race around in their hoon buggies? We, the young generation demand a fair go. Actually what we really want is to be able to drive around in those buggies and annoy whoever we can ourselves.

I wonder if this is the real reason why so many people take up golf, so that they can race around the greens and fairways in golf carts. Not a hoon buggy, but close enough.