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I didn't ride today

A very ordinary week in newbie land.
  1. ..I know, right? SO why the hell would today of all days be the day I write a blog entry? Well, for one thing I did promise to reduce my word count, so yeah. That's that, then! Bye.


    No, but seriously.
    I'm one of those lucky types who gets to ride to and from work every day now. None of this "can I get the bike out of the garage for a burn this weekend if the weather's ok?" stuff. Its how I get there, and back, whether its gorgeous or raining, and like lots of you, I now know that this isn't riding. Or at least its not what I want riding to be. Its a 15 minute trudge through sh*tty peak hour traffic hoping like hell I don't end up at the front of the queue at the turn arrow and thinking thoughts like "Oh ffs, will someone let me in??" and "Hey, seriously, dude, that was close!" and "oh, really? You want to turn there?" ..and my personal favourite "Yes, I can feel your eyes on the back of my lid but if you think this thing can accelerate any faster you're dreaming" ....Commuting isn't riding. Commuting is a series of awkward, irritating moments interspersed with a few nice turns. So today, when the sun shone unexpectedly, and kept doing so, I thought "I should ride."
    Then I had breakfast, mooched about a bit, and realised I feel kinda poo. Achey and under the weather and just.... not. And so I made the decision not to spend my spare day leaping on my bike and going somewhere. And then spent the better part of the day feeling like an utter traitor to my newfound love.
    Man, this affair is hard to juggle.

    I felt guilty about how good it felt to put on ordinary clothes for a change and have nice hair. I patted June and apologised to her as I walked (eek!) out of the gate and went for a stroll (gasp!) up to the shops in the sunshine. I bought some kevlar jeans to make myself feel better about not putting any jeans on her seat at all... I talked about bikes, and I looked at pictures of bikes, and I thought about bikes...and now I'm blogging about bikes. But I didn't get on the perfectly good (ahem) bike that is sitting by my back door.
    Do I get some kind of written warning for this?

    Anyway, it was a week. A week of learning stuff like how to best navigate the car park at Coles at 5pm, and how tightly I can do a Uie without falling off, and how it feels in the rain when she clicks into neutral instead of second and I want a Star Trek transporter to just beam me out of that moment and into a place where I'm good at this sh*t. It was a week of being quietly chuffed to bits that my bike was sitting in the car park of my workplace all day every day, and my lid was on my desk, inviting that gorgeous question from new colleagues: "Oh, do you ride a bike?" ('What, this old thing? why yes, yes I do....' ) and also a week where it was nice to meet the driver of the Ute who I waved up alongside me at the major right turn slip lane because I'd just forced 6 cars to wait another full cycle and needed someone bigger and stronger to make the green colour happen. And the old man who was walking slow circles around her when I came out of the shops and wanted to ask me only questions to which I knew the answer. (Quick, hi-5 me, that may have been the only time it happens!)

    I had a lot of moments where I felt like crying. One or two where I whooped in glee. And quite a few where I stared out of the office window judging the wind speed and distance and colour of the sky in the relative directions. But you know what? I was on a bike. And that's better than when I wasn't.


    PS: It sh*ts me when the display image is that blogblogblog thing, so here's a picture from last Sunday, when I DID ride. All the way to faraway :)


    About Author

    Erm. Female. Newbie. Read the rest, you'll get to know me.
    jonnymac, Cster, Steve Vtec and 3 others like this.

Recent Reviews

  1. Mudfrog
    "I call it, getting the 'Yips'..."
    So today, when the sun shone unexpectedly, and kept doing so, I thought "I should ride."
    Then I had breakfast, mooched about a bit, and realised I feel kinda poo. Achey and under the weather and just.... not. And so I made the decision not to spend my spare day leaping on my bike and going somewhere. And then spent the better part of the day feeling like an utter traitor to my newfound love.

    THIS THIS THIS... was me. Last Summer. And, like you, I read all the bike mags, surfed all the bike sites, even bought new bike bits and bobs and yet, somehow, I just was so damned reluctant to ride the friggin' bike. Too hot, too much traffic, can't be fukced dressing in ATGATT, etc etc. Couldn't work it out for the life of me. Then, after a few weeks, the 'YIPS were gone and I hopped on the bike and rode. Every day. Yay. Just life I guess.
    Thanks for articulating it much better than me and for sharing so I don't feel so stupid about that period.
    Cheers, Fred :)
    JuniperSachs likes this.
    1. JuniperSachs
      I had a moment last night, Fred, when I was suddenly struck by a fear that it was gone for good. That I'd forget how to do it, or that somehow it would just fade away. Then I remembered that I used to feel that way about painting, every time I didn't feel like it, maybe I'd never paint again... And that thought made me smile because I haven't felt like that in a while about the old brushes. Because it doesn't go away. It just sometimes rests. No matter how long or why. The mood comes back and the skills are muscle memory. And that's a peaceful, calming, thought. :)
      Thank you in return for the empathy. :)


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  1. Cster
    Yep any day I didn't ride to work felt like a wrong day. I did 230 thousand Kays going to work and back 45minutes at a time. Day in Day out. You Habitualise that and its hard to break with.
    I rode the road until I knew it, then I rode the road watching the traffic, I ended up being able to roll off the throttle seconds before the bozo in the car beside me flicked left only indicating when his finger hit the lever as he turned the wheel. Don't know how it happens but you somehow become attuned to what going on around you just by watching the car drivers. The road well you ride it as your own race track, every curve just taken as cleanly as you can, (even though you are on or just under the speed limit) every cluster of cars taken as if you were scripted to pass them cleanly without error. The whole trip was a buzz, but I don't want that particular job again so don't mind the fact that I don't do that road these days. Every ride can be like that though. Delivering you into a zone an artificial life of zeal, of zest and participation unlike any other form of transport. From the minute you start putting on gear to the minute you stop pulling it off. Its all the ride.
      ST59 likes this.
  2. Valvoline
    Lol He knows what he's talking about even if his bike (& him) is just a spring chook ! :p
      JuniperSachs likes this.
    1. JuniperSachs
      He'd better, I'm banking on him teaching me to keep up with you on those NSW twisties some day! :D
  3. Valvoline
    Well well well... I seem to recognize one of the older Honda bikes in that pict... Could it be a graph training day? With Mr EricEric? ;-)
    Fun read! Practice practice practice!
      JuniperSachs likes this.
    1. JuniperSachs
      Indeed ...the day he lets me ride it I'll have passed the first test.
      Valvoline likes this.
  4. b12mick
    I think you're looking at the commute all wrong. I look at the daily commute in 2 ways.

    Firstly, because I am commuting on a motorcycle I am quite obviously superior to the rest of those commuting in cars. Look at it this way, as a motorcyclist you are the wolf, all the other traffic is merely a herd of herbivores. Sure if they were all to gang up on you at once you're in trouble. But we're too smart too let that happen.

    Secondly, I look at the daily commute as a way to improve and hone my road craft skills and the basic riding skills that form the basis of the more advanced techniques.
      jonnymac and JuniperSachs like this.
    1. JuniperSachs
      Haha Mick, I hear you. And every ride is a learning ride. But its not fun. Fun starts about 15 minutes in, usually, when I've relaxed and recalled what my limbs all do.... by which time I'm there! ;) Going home the long way tomorrow.
    2. b12mick
      When you've got a bit more experienced and aren't concentrating on the 'basics' as much, then you may find a new joy in commuting.
      JuniperSachs likes this.
  5. XJ6N
    It's a particular form of anticipation and or frustration when you're at work and you look out to see a beautiful day for riding going by while you're stuck there and your bike in the car park or garage at home. It sounds like you're building skills and experience rapidly.

    It's a marvellous thing to be able to share that with a riding mentor, other new riders and here on Netrider. You write well and it is enjoyable to re-live a bit of the learning process with your posts.
      JuniperSachs likes this.
    1. JuniperSachs
      Aw, thanks XJ6NXJ6N, when I ride better than I write it'll be a happy day ;)
      XJ6N likes this.