Two things happened on the weekend.
- I did actually turn 30; and
- 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.
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