Monday, 21 September 2009
Spring Riding and Bug-Splats
It must be spring – the number of bugs splatting on my visor has increased a thousandfold!
This weekend I decide to spend some time out on the bike, to give the new Arai lid another long day on my head – it gave me a shocking earache last time.
So – on Saturday I gear up and head off nice and early to do the Canberra-Crookwell-Goulburn-Bungendore-Canberra loop (roughly 300kms)
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By the time I get to Goulburn to top up the fuel, pulling the helmet off over my earplugged ears is so painful I nearly scream. Hmmm. Not good. Out with the earplugs, back on with the lid, and I head on the homewards leg of the trip. It’s pretty windy, and the noise inside my helmet is phenomenal. I thought an Arai would be quieter than my old Nolan – but it’s not, and it has some annoying little whistles when my head’s at a certain angle.
That sort of discomfort doesn’t actually decrease the tension through my shoulders or neck. This helmet is proving to be a bit of a challenge. If it wasn’t so gorgeous I’d bin it.
I need some serious cornering practice. I’m surprised how rusty my cornering has become, despite riding every day. Obviously I’ve been spending too much time on highways. So…. Where to go, to get some cornering time? I don’t like the Cotter because it’s full of boy racers, bicycles and 4WDs on weekends. Besides, I feel a bit like a hamster in a wheel going round and round the Cotter loop – I’d rather actually go somewhere.
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So on Sunday I head to Boorowa and out to Wyangala Dam, to take my annual photo of the water level (see what an exciting life I lead?) Everything looks so green out that way, and there are startling swathes of brilliant yellow - fields of canola in bloom – and hills covered in vibrant purple – Patterson’s curse. Last time I was in Boorowa it was about 40C, and everything was a crispy brown. What I can actually see on Sunday, through the crust of bugs on my visor, is lovely. It comes as a surprise, then, to see that the water levels in Wyangala appear even lower than they were last summer.
Wyangala Dam - March 07
Wyangala Dam - December 07
Wyangala Dam - March 08
Wyangala Dam - September 09
There are bearded lizards skittering across the road (some more successfully than others) and a lot of Superb Parrots with an obvious death-wish, playing chicken with my bike. I’m having a ball! The only roos I see are the sad stinky heaps by the side of the road – the losers in the battle with cars - and in the fields there are fat contented mummy sheep standing around while bouncy long-legged lambs skip and gambol in bucolic ecstasy.
Heading home, I give my visor a bit of a clean at the Court House Hotel back in Boorowa and guzzle an orange juice. A bloke at the bar strikes up a conversation and tells me the road from Boorowa to Crookwell is sealed all the way now. Why not? I think, and come home the long way, tee hee, collecting another million bugs on my visor as I go. It’s been a 466km day, my ear hurts, my shoulders and neck ache and my jacket is covered with the yellow guts of more suicidal bugs. Lovely!