Even though I'm still a couple of years from officially qualifying, I feel the need to post my first ride report. Apologies in advance for the length.
It was a holiday monday here so decided to work the legs for a couple of hours. Set off and it was around 5 degrees C (bl##dy cold for Sydney!) and decided to plough directly into the wind so I'd have an easy run home.
Was cruising along the shoulder of the Motorway at a surprisingly good clip (@37kph) when I noticed a guy stopped under a bridge changing a tire. Just after slowing to see if he needed a hand I glanced down at what appeared to be a shadow on the road. About 3 metres before the 'shadow' it became apparent that this was no shadow, ooh no, it was actually an upturned car bonnet!!! (hood). Now this raised a couple of immediate responses like 'sh**ttttt!', 'WTF is a car bonnet doing here?', 'Crap, this is gonna hurt' and 'Jeez, I never thought this would be how my first clippless fall would be'. (it's amazing the thoughts you can fit into a couple of seconds when you're under pressure).
Already too late for evasive action I did what any self respecting biker would do - attempted to bunny hop the hood. To my utter amazement, somehow managed to stay upright despite the shuddering bang as I went over the hood. Recovered sufficiently to ask the guy if he was OK and continued on when he gave me an appreciative wave.
100 metres down the road and I hear psssst..., psssst...., psssst - kinda like the sound me 8 year old daughter gives from accross the room when she wants more snacks. The wobbles get worse and I pull onto a convenient track to change my first puncture in 9 months. Just repacking my stuff when the guy from 100 metres back cruises by and checks if I'm OK. Turns out he hit the hood too ("it looked just like a shadow!") and his tire popped straight away.
He was a lovely older guy (probably a Mac user, Blackberry) I'd say early seventies with a sweet dark blue Bianchi. We chatted for around 15 minutes just swapping tales of where we'd been, where we were going, various routes to take and so on. I was really taken by the chat as I normally ride solo and it's extremely rare I say anything more then a hurried 'hi' during a ride. As we were leaving he said 'follow me' so we kinda rode together for a few km until I got to where I was turning off. He travelled a bit slower than I'd ride but stuck with him cause I wasn't in any hurry. When we split I looked back from an overpass to see him disappearing off into the distance, wondering if we might cross paths again. Made me think of the cards Dnvr was talking about to introduce people to BF - I'm sure he would have loved talking to you guys.
Anyway, continued along, stopped for some minimal McCalories™ and headed home. Wind from behind now and seeing better than 50kpm on the computer. Pssst..., psssst...,psssst... hmmm. Pulled off the motorway and found a nice clearing where I set about changing my second puncture in 9 months. Now normally I'd be pretty annoyed at this, but for some strange reason I couldn't get this stupid grin off my face. Maybe it was the knowledge that 30 km from anywhere I knew I could fix this, maybe it was just the positive experience of chatting to this guy or perhaps it was the exhilaration of having been flying down the road for so long. Whatever it was, this little setback just didn't matter and it seemed kinda funny.
Arrived home feeling great - despite the cold weather, the car parts, the biting wind and 2 punctures it was just a fun ride. My wife couldn't believe I was still happy Just by some remote chance that the nice older guy wearing an orange top on a blue bianchi is reading this - good luck to you mate, keep it up and I hope to see you around again.