24 hours in Nelson

My favourite sister, the one that joined me on the bike in Thailand, is now about 34 weeks pregnant. Not really in a suitable condition for riding bikes around South East Asia. So this time, I went to visit her.

Auckland was blanketed in thick fog – as Paul Holmes put it, “it’s enveloping us, and we’re scared” – with visibility only a few metres in parts of the central city. Not surprisingly, this led to a large number of delays and cancellations of flights. I was clever enough to check online before leaving home, so found out early that my flight was cancelled, and I was able to re-book to a later flight. It was never going to be a long time in Nelson, but the delays further squeezed it down.

No matter, for we still had time to do stuff. Nelson has a lovely situation, by the sea, with National Parks nearby, a flat city centre, with rivers running through the area, and parks and forests within a short ride from home. Here in Auckland, I like the fact that I can wake up at 7:00am, and be out riding around Woodhill forest by 8:00am. In Nelson, you can ride straight out from your front door, and fairly quickly be riding in a forest. It’s a bit strange in that there are cyclists and pedestrians sharing paths, and no-one seems to mind. Plenty of dogs being walked, but not on leads – a most unusual state. In Auckland they fine you for doing that sort of thing.

It was easy to see why people choose to move there, and why property prices are retaining their value. It got me thinking about living in a smaller town – I could have a nice lifestyle, easy commute, nice house, etc. Only problem is my current choice of career – how can I find somewhere that needs my kind of skills in a smaller town? Hmmm.

Not long now for Nicola – inshallah, all will be well. I’m sure they will be fine, but it is still a bit scary.

Not enough cycling

A few years ago, while still living in London, I damaged my left knee. Something minor but unpleasant to my medial ligament, and it’s never been the same since. Full range of motion in a normal plane, but lateral movement was problematic. The physio recommended cycling, and cycle I did. After a few months, my knee troubles went away.

A little over a year ago, I hopped off the bike for a while. I was still conscious that my knees could give me problems again, so I took it easy, only doing a small amount of running, and gently increasing distances. That all seemed to go well, and I didn’t have any problems for 12 months.

But then I’ve been doing some more challenging work at the gym recently, doing more stability and control work. Interesting things like taking four foam blocks, stacking a couple of Duradiscs on top of them, then adding a long skateboard, and trying to balance on top. While tossing a small weight from hand to hand. Interesting times. Some of the other work has been ballistic-type movements – explosive movements, with quick shifts of weight. Somewhere along the way that’s aggravated by left knee again, and it’s causing me problems. Fine if I’m moving around normally, but if I ever need to move my left foot inwards, and I drag the foot a bit, it opens up the joint, and causes a fair bit of pain.

Obviously I’m not doing enough on the bike recently. Might have to do a little tour in NZ – but the problem is that it’s all a bit wet and cold here. Maybe it will improve by August.