Sunday, January 21, 2007

New years revolution

I mean resolution. I have accomplished a new years resolution, ok it was last years resolution and I had to break one of this years resolutions but I think it was worth it. I resolved, last year, to try and get Carl onto a bicycle, preferably his own, out of genuine concern for his state of health as well as to create a supply of amusing anecdotes which inevitable accompany cycling. He responded by declaring his new years resolution to be NOT to get a bicycle which stumped me for a year. This years resolution was to keep him off a bicycle, prompting him to ... buy a bicycle. Mission accomplished.
Not knowing an awful lot about bicycles they asked me to accompany them to a couple of bicycle shops to try and pick a couple of bikes suitable for them as well as all the accesories they would need which, since they had nothing, was a considerable list. We started off a Cajees Cycles which has a reputation (unjustified as I found out) of being the cheapest place. Typical of Indian shops, the price is never the price but even after discounted "Best Price" and a nod of the head, it was still the same or more as Linden cycles which is where we eventually purchased the lot. The lot being two cheapish mountain bikes, bike rack, pumps, saddle bags, gloves, shorts, bottles, toolkits, puncture repair kits, you get the picture. In the end the accessories cost almost the same as the two bicycles which really surprised me although a substantial portion of the accessories was the bicycle rack. It was great being out shopping, buying all sorts of goodies and leaving the wallet pain in someone else's wallet. Carl was looking decidedly stricken by the end of it.
Shopping should be added to my list of addictions since it definately does seem to give one a slight state of euphoria which some people find addictive.
I have recently completed reading "Unintelligent Design" by Robyn Williams which I found to be ok, not great, but ok and I would hesitate to recommend it even though I agree with most of the contents. The author quotes another author Susan Greenfield as follows:
"Professor Susan Greenfield likes to refer to two general ways of getting the most from life: being 'in the moment' on the one hand, and working for more distant ambitions for yourself, your family or even your society. Orchestrating the appetites of the moment is one of life's skills. Those not good at it turn to 'in your face' turn-ons like drugs, violence and crime. Those of us with greater hedonistic experience and skill cannot understand how anyone can want to choose crack cocaine and oblivion over chocolate, Mozart and beaches. (I am being glib - I should remember the lessons of Matthew Chapman in Dayton and the way poverty obliterates choice.) Long-term goals provide the satisfactions of service and achievement. Both ingredients, immediate and far-reaching, provide plenty of point and meaning for the average life."
Hope I'm not breaking copyright here but an interesting point of view as to why people get addicted. Talking about addiction, someone I recently met, met a real drug dealer and posed the "So why do you do it?" as in sell drugs question to the dealer and his answer was fascinating. The dealer drew a paralled to the natural world where predators for instance, a hyena, will prey on the old and/or weak of a herd and he saw himself as the human equivalent, sniffing out the weak in human society and consuming them. I don't believe him for a second but interesting point of view and it just goes to show that people can justify just about anything. If a drug dealer can find it within his conscience to morally justify the damage he is doing, I can't see anyone not being able to do so.
After spending the whole morning, we finally emerged from the cycle shop fully kitted out and ready to roll. Carl managed to destroy his bike within a day so it had to be returned to the bike shop. He says is was an assembly defect, I'm not so sure.
Sunday morning, Jason and I did a 100km in about 4 hours and for a change I felt that I was really pushing him right up until the last big hill at about 96km when he started to creep away. He just doesn't give up, it is very frustrating. Absolutely fantastic ride out in the country, beautiful views, fresh cool air and good climbs. I hadn't brought any energy gel with me and as luck would have it, at about 40km there was this PERC promotion table in the middle of nowhere handing out complimentary sachets of energy gel and cramp stop which I was very grateful to help myself to. I wouldn't buy the energy gel, not because it doesn't work but because it is so sweet that in any race more than 80km, it is going to be unpalatable. I took my GPS with me to measure the climbs but the ride looks so flat even though there are a couple of quite nice climbs.
Had supper with Pippa and Glynne which was very enjoyable. Glynne wanted me to join him on a 2km swim. Last time I checked, I didn't resemble a fish so I politely declined. Maybe not so politely. Glynne was a bit pissed off that I hadn't contacted him to join us for the mornings ride and that I had said that I was going to be away. That was before I got the opportunity to fulfill last years new years resolution and I just couldn't let that get away from me. Can't really blame him, I should've invited him so I felt duly chastised.

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