Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Not bad for an old man …

By Paul Mitchell - posted Friday, 12 January 2007

Two things happened on the weekend.

  1. I did actually turn 30; and
  2. I realised that attempting to ride over 200km without any training and in pouring rain and freezing conditions is not only insane, but is likely to earn one a derogatory (but loving) nickname.

Thinking back I should have listened to, well everybody. My friend P. gave me plenty of opportunities to pull out - the last one on the morning we were to leave. He called, said it was raining and asked if I still wanted to come. I think I said something particularly stupid, along the lines of "bring it on!"


It was brought on.

We set out not long after 6am and rode through the silent city streets. The rain wasn't too bad and the cold not as bad as I'd thought it would be. By the time we hit Queanbeyan (Canberra's nearest New South Wales neighbour) things had taken a nasty turn. The weather had gotten colder and the rain heavier.

We struggled on up the first of the many big hills. Well, I struggled P. just whistled and disappeared off into the foggy distance.

To cut a very long and painful three hours of me-wishing-I-was-dead short, we eventually pedalled into Captain's Flat - a small mining town 65km from Canberra and a quarter of the way along our route.

By this time the rain had really set in and I was so cold I couldn't change gears any more.

We stopped at the first available place, a gas station, and ordered hot cups of tea. I have pretty steady hands most of the time, but I was shaking so much from the cold that I managed to spill about half of the boiling hot tea all over my hands before I managed to take a sip. It was pretty scary that I couldn't feel the skin burning.


There was no way I was getting back on that bike.

No way in hell.

P. decided to push on and instantly rose several notches on both my esteem and insanity registers.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

First published in Two peas no pod on June 6, 2006. It is republished as part of "Best Blogs of 2006" a feature in collaboration with Club Troppo, and edited by Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen et al.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Paul Mitchell works in the development and aid industry. He has a professional and academic background in both communications and development. He is based in Canberra and is expecting his first child in March. Paul has been blogging since early 2005 on Two peas, no pod.

Related Links
Not bad for an old man …

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy