The bikes are ready to be loaded up in the car. Tomorrow is the Taranaki Cycle Challenge. We are in the solo class so we ride the full 148 km course that starts and finishes at the horse track in New Plymouth and takes us around Mount Taranaki. This is our longest and biggest cycling event of the year.
On Sunday the 16th we did our first triathlon of the new year. Emma did the sprint length event and I did the shorter super sprint. Forecast had been for poor weather but the day turnout to be great. We both had a good time and were pretty happy with how things went.
Piper has healed up nicely after getting her knee fixed. To limit her activity a bit I put a gate up to keep her out of the back yard. For now the gate is held closed by a bungy cord. Need to sort out how to hold it open which is how long term it will stay. Since the gate is just outside our bedroom it cannot be allowed to rattle and keep us up at night.
Over the past few years there has been talk about extending the New Plymouth coastal walkway. Last year the council talked about some options on where through Bell Block the extension would run. This spring we started to see some construction in Hickford park for a walkway running parallel to the road. We had also seen a bit of work being done at the old boxing club, and down at Bell Block beach.
Tonight we went for a run by the old boxing club and were surprised by all the work that had been completed. They had poured a concrete path down to the old boxing club to a new bridge that lead up hill towards Hickford Park. We followed the new walkway towards Hickford park and hugged wetlands then along the park to connect to the existing pathway leading to New Plymouth.
We can now take the sideway to Mangati Road, cross the road and be on the Coastal Walkway. It we hang a right after crossing Mangati road we will have a new concrete pathway to the beach. Another right at the beach will take us along the beach to new a new stairs and ramp access to Tiromoana Crescent. So lots of new options for us to walk and run, or even use with our bikes.
We have been doing the Tuesday night criterium races at the cycle park the past few weeks. Tonight was a blind handicap race on the short course so we would not have the steep climb at the back of the course to do. Everyone took off at once for 10 laps. Based on our first lap time they handicapped us so the first person across the finish line after 10 laps would not necessarily be the winner. After the final tally Emma was second and I was third.
Was in the grocery store to get a few bits and saw some nice chucks of Tuna at the fish counter. So of course I had to get some and we had out first feed of fresh Tuna. Depending who you talk to December / January are said to be Tuna season so nice to see fresh Tuna mid November.
We ended up skipping our Saturday ride last weekend as we had a birthday party to go to plus a few other things going on. But Sunday was a great warm only slightly windy day which made for a great 50 km ride. Should be my last ride on my current chain and cogset as they need replacing. Using the opportunity to change my gearing a bit by adding approximately 3% to the highest and lowest gear giving me a slightly broader range of gearing. Could do without the higher gear but the low gear I will take advantage of.
Another change I have made is the way I handle the gels we use to provide energy while we ride. Normally the gel is in a little single serving that you keep in your pocket and eat on the go. I find handling the packaging a pain especially in events where I am going hard. So I have been testing a plastic flask to hold multiple servings of gel. With a little water added to thin the gels I find the flask quick and easy to use when on the go. Added bonus is the gel I have been using is sold in bulk form the this significantly cheaper than the single servings.
Yesterday I changed my gearing and installed a new chain on my bike. Instead of using the Shimano pin to join the chain, I used a reusable KMC quick link. The quick link was easy to install and has the bonus of being removable which is handy. Tested the new setup on the trainer and all seemed good but out on a long ride today the chain was noisy. A quick shifting cable adjustment sorted that out and I did find I could feel the difference with the lower gear when climbing.
We got confirmation of for Pipers surgery. We will drop her off at Massey University on Oct 22nd and the team there will evaluate her condition and use the appropriate technique to repair her knee. In the mean time we are doing our best to keep her off her leg.
Emma and I are trying to keep some fitness, but is hard as we both just cannot kick the colds we have. Some nasty bug going around that keeps people down for weeks on end.
The title describes Piper to a T. This past Wednesday morning Emma heard a yelp and Piper came in the house on three legs. Her right back leg held up and when Emma checked it out in made a loud pop (no Emma did no break Piper). An unscheduled trip to the vet found that she ruptured the ACL in her knee. Now Piper is on enforced low activity, no freedom to chase birds, run like a hooligan about the house with a shoe in her mouth to convince us to take her for a run. But she still has unbridled enthusiasm. She could teach us a few things and lord if we could bottle some of her energy. Surgery is being investigated, most likely to happen at the vet school at Massey University in Palmerston North where they have the resources to evaluate the knee and use the best fix for the knee. The local vet has few options to offer for repairing the knee. By all accounts post surgery and post rehab Piper will be able to run and jump and play again.
Last night Emma stayed home a bit under the weather while I went for a run with the girls. We crossed paths with two ladies on their horses on the first leg of our run. On the way back I could see a horse coming towards us and realized quickly that the rider was missing. I stopped, put my arms out wide and said whoa and the horse came to a halt. I called it and it started towards me nervously. I held the dogs leads out as far to the left as I could and reached with my right and was able to get hold of the bridle making note that the reins where not dangling on the ground so would not be a hazard. I started walking the horse down the trail the way it came and soon a rider came jogging towards us to fetch her horse. She made some comment about a silly horse bucking her off before she mounted up and headed down the trail. Got several thankyous for my deed. We ended up passing the rider again down the trail when she was stopped chatting with her friend.
The girls were really good around the horses, not making a fuss at all which sure made my job much easier.
I am up in Auckland for the new few day to attend Teched. The keynote speakers were this afternoon. The first speaker was more of an infomercial and made me wonder if this may be a dud. But like many live shows they opened with the worst and finished with the best. The last two speakers were very good.
My co worker took me to this ice cream shop on Queen Street where I saw the following. I had a cookies and cream cone that was very good.