Total Kilometres: 27 kms (17 miles)
Total Kilometres 2018: 1695 kms (1053 miles)
I did not escape the ‘post-exertional malaise’ after my three-day Easter ride. In the past few months, the fatigue would hit 48 hours after a ride. I would feel fine the next day after a ride and think I had escaped it. Then I would be struck down by the cognitive dysfunction, exhaustion and joint and muscle pain the following day. This time I got two days of thinking I’d escaped it – but no, I felt like an achy zombie Wed-Friday. Stay away from mosquitoes, kids, the repercussions can be nasty.
So the weather this weekend was perfect for an overnight ride – light winds, clear skies, cool nights and highs in the upper 80s (a little warm, but okay with the cool mornings). But I did not have the energy, and I did not want to drive the relapse any further, so we just stuck to easy 30 km rides around home on Sat and Sun. Our normal high for this time of year is about 22C – but we’ve been routinely hitting 29C for the past three weeks. This coming week will have highs 32-35C (up to 95F)… so I’m not sure I will force myself out in that. It will be very, very odd to get that hot and have the sun set just before 6pm!
So our 27 kms today took us on a variation of our normal route. We weaved around a bit and made our way over to the Farmers Market in Rutherglen. See pics below – not-so-great today because I forgot my camera (cognitive dysfunction, darn you!) and had to use my $40 smartphone camera, sorry.
The Farmers Market is in swing – but not quite full-swing when I arrive. I’m there just 30 min after it starts – it really gets going closer to 10.30am. I think most Farmers Markets are alike: farmers with local produce, craftspeople and artisans, value-added gourmet foods, small-goods, some homemade soaps and the like, and a couple hot food and coffee stalls. There’s usually a nice setting and somebody playing some music. At this market, they often have local high school kids playing – giving them a chance to play to an audience and practice performance skills. But really, Farmers Markets to me are very much the same regardless of where you attend. This one has about 30 stallholders.
Today, there are lots of apples and pears on offer. They are off the menu for my guts at the best of times – so I don’t even give them a look right now! Several salami guys today, some gourmet popcorn, plenty of capsicums of hot and bell pepper varieties, some Wagyu beef sausages and, of course, homemade soaps.
But I am here to see if my old Italian guy is there with his pasta. He is from Cheshunt in the King Valley. That was the study area I used in my PhD, and I always like to support the locals up there when I can. That area has heaps and heaps of Italians whose families migrated after WWII and grew tobacco in the valleys near Myrtleford. The tobacco is all gone now, but now you’ll find lots of wine up there with Italian varietals, plus various smallgoods (best sausages up there, apparently) and some other Italian specialties. My guy is super-nice and his pasta is much better than anything I can master for $6. So I treat myself on occasion.
Once I purchase the pasta, I head over to the Milawa bread folks. They have a variety on offer, but I’m looking for some French sourdough today. I just made up six litres of veggie stock yesterday for autumn soups (after our hot spell finishes!), and it would be great to have some bread in the freezer to have for toast with soup. More immediately, I have a harvest of tomatoes and tons of basil, so some bruschetta is on the cards before the bread hits the freezer.
After our purchases have been completed, we head home down the rail trail. I count 14 people going the other way – great to see it being used. I often ride along here in the evenings when everyone is having dinner, so I often don’t see anyone at all.
I also give the guys a nice long float in the river before we head home. As I’m sitting there, I watch the local rowing team out practicing, see two fishermen launch boats, and then see a family with three kids under 10 arrive and get all the gear ready for some kayaking. It’s a perfect weather day – so lots of people are out and using the natural attractions of the area.
Then it’s home for a two-hour nap and some route-planning. I’ve got the last week of April off work and I’m planning out a bike tour of sorts. The ride I really wanted to do is way beyond my fatigue threshold at the moment. So we’re settling for something a bit more mundane in the Strathbogies, and trying to figure out how to do very short days. It absolutely sucks, but it is what it is. I’m still gonna get out there, though, I cannot stay off the bike for more than a few days before I go stir-crazy!