That fuzzy moment between deep sleep and fumbling around trying to turn the alarm on the smart phone off. It is never pleasant. I always crack an eye lid to see what the weather is like. This morning it was reasonably dark. Cloudy outside. The internal struggle between the motivated side, and the mainly dominant, lazy side of the skull muscle was on in earnest. Today, the motivated side won out and I dragged myself out of bed. I am very glad I did.
The ride itself wasn’t anything earth shattering, but the stop for a coffee was rolled gold.
As I approached the turn off which takes be the longer, slower way into Nowra proper, I could see a group of three riders ahead of me. They were going along at a very leisurely pace, so it wasn’t difficult to catch them. Rolling along beside the Shoalhaven River, I flicked my bluetooth headset off and said g’day.
It turns out these 3 blokes were down from Sydney on a 4 day weekend of cycling. I was introduced to Bob, Keith and Guido, which caught me slightly off guard, as I had never met a ginger haired Guido before (turns out Guido is his nickname, Sean is his real name). Three blokes in their late 40s, all pretty new to cycling. They asked me if I knew of good cafe in Nowra. It just so happens that most cyclists go to the same place, so I suggested a loop around the back of Nowra, up Hospital Hill and then an easy roll down to the cafe. Keith flew up hospital hill and the rest of us took it easy.
We got into the cafe and ordered coffees and took a table. There were some more formal introductions, at which point I was told Bob and Guido were both recovering from health issues earlier in the year. Both had had heart issues and both had lost a fair bit of weight. At Keith’s wife’s birthday in early November they had decided to do a quarterly weekend away to do some cycling. This was their first weekend that they had tackled 4 straight days of cycling. The aim, to knock over 200kms in the 4 days. A terrific aim considering they were doing about 75kms a week normally.
We started talking about their bikes and bike gear. The talk soon turned to saddles and saddles sores and all things related to that area. You can just imagine it. Four 40 something men in lycra talking about their nether regions. It wasn’t long before the giggles turned into guffaws and then full belly laughs.
I asked them if they had started using chamois creme? None had. Just the thought of it seemed to make Guido’s stomach churn. The questions about whether it went onto the chamois or your date prompted more laughs, especially when I suggested sharing a tub and double dipping was a no no.
Then the talk turned to saddles. Keith had heard of people talking up Brooks saddles. Who hadn’t. I suggested some Brooks users were known to lay in front of a roaring fire on a sheep skin rug listening to Barry White with their Brooks saddles got a hell of a reaction. At this point the coffees arrived and the laughs were flying. We were really getting into the nitty gritty now. At one point I suggested you need a saddle that doesn’t bloke the flow of power energy to your arse chakra, Keith lost it and snorted coffee clear out of his nostrils. It was then that the four of us lost it and everyone else at the cafe wondered what the hell was going on.
The talk continued and because I had turned into the local cycling version of Wikipedia, I seemed to be answering questions that were coming in rapid succession. They loved the fact that I had snapped a saddle (see above) and suggested your arse can fight back. I can pass on a tip I got off Nick Squillari a few months back. I was suffering saddle sores and he suggested Sudocream. I thanked Nick at the time and I thank him again now. I think these three will say the same thing by the end of this weekend.
We then got onto the Lance Armstrong business, and I found three blokes who agreed with me for once. What champions. I was running out of time, so I trotted out the address to this blog and I hope the three of them read it. We had a quick discussion about routes for the weekend and I might try and catch them on the road tomorrow.
Gents, if you do manage to find the blog, my thanks for a terrific chat this morning. It really is one of the benefits to cycling, meeting new people with a common interest. Even if the conversation turns to a topic that strangers shouldn’t discuss, it was very funny and gave us a laugh we will remember for a while.