It’s been a shitty week to be a fan of pro cycling. Every day seems to bring a new revelation of guilt, a new confession, and ultimately another former cycling hero committing seppuku. We’re urging them to come clean, but when they do (we knew all along, didn’t we!) we want them gone, as if they never were.
I’m not even going to try to describe the conversation I had over drinks last night with a couple of mates who know nothing about cycling. They wanted to know if I was on the gear as well.
Combine that with a shocking case of manflu which has progressed to the point that I’m not a lot more than a snot factory and a mild hangover means today didn’t start out looking like the best day.
But a shitty start doesn’t always mean a crappy end … For some reason on Monday I decided this was “soup for lunch” week and was going to have, go on, guess … yes, soup for lunch every day this week. Isn’t amazing the things that I find to keep my mind occupied.
Monday was chicken pho in Victoria St, Tuesday was Moroccan meatballs from The Soup Place (did they spend hours working on the name?) in Centre Place, Wednesday was beef pho at Hanoi Hannah and yesterday I slurped down some great noodles at Ramen Ya. And the plan was to cap the week off with a bouillabaisse, the king of soups.
But I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm for another liquid lunch, and decided to just jump on my bike and see where it took me – because, sometimes that’s what they’re for.
I rolled along St Kilda Rd and into town, looking for somewhere to eat. Stopped at a couple of busy places but just didn’t want to be surrounded by too much noise, so I kept going and ended up in Gertrude St. Nice enough lunch, a crap coffee and a browse in Saint Cloud (some nice bike bits) and I was heading back into the city.
I stopped at Town Hall – the subject of another post, maybe next week, need to do some more research first – then continued along Swanston St and on to the bike path on the southern bank of the Yarra.
Perhaps loped along is a better adjective. The vast bulk of my riding is for sport, and I try to do it at a reasonable clip. On my beautiful Dutch bike from WorkCycles, it’s a little different. 23Kgs of Belgian steel & Dutch design moves at a more leisurely rate. It’s not a bike to be hurried.
After the beauty of the Yarra path, I swung right on to Chapel St. Not even the shitty traffic or the idiots racing for the next light could upset my rapidly improving start of mind. That I kept catching them made me smile. A lot.
An interesting conversation with a pretty Spanish girl using an old fishing basket on her bike was the next highlight of my day. The lid stops things flying out when she rides over bumps. When was the time you chatted with the person in the next car at the lights? Half past never ago?
I cruised through some lovely leafy Prahran side streets, then worked my way along High St to the madness of Glenferrie Rd. Cars everywhere. I just weaved through them and parked outside my destination. Rock Star park? On the bike, always.
Sometimes it is just about the bike.