I didn’t get to conquer my personal Everest yesterday like I promised. Or today.
Saturday I did the 3 hours I have already mentioned. When I rolled out Sunday morning, I had a twinge in my right achilles tendon. That is not the right sensation to take with your when the plan is to drag your overweight carcass up a 3.7 mile 10% climb. So out of respect for the recovery of said ankle, I just rolled my regular 20 mile flat loop and then took the kids to the park instead. Today is a contact day at university and I snoozed the alarm once too many times.
Hence, I didn’t get to ride past the amazing roadkill I promised to talk about. On my way to work Sunday afternoon I took the long route in the car so I could still take the photograph. Except someone had cleaned it up.
So I’ll have to go with a graphic word description of this piece of roadkill…
Most items that fall into the category of roadkill occur from a collision between a vehicle and an item of fauna. The particular item of roadkill that I was faced with was from a totally different category. Have no doubt; the areas that I ride through are littered with standard roadkill – dozens of different bird, reptile, marsupial and mammal species. Most frequently I see items of the smallish variety, think under 5 kilograms (11 pounds).
Every now and then I come across something that weighs in heavier. During April I saw a kangaroo that would have been 30+ kg (66lb). Out on the highway there was a huge dog that looked like a bull mastiff german shepherd cross. Again, well over 30kg.
But the most amazing sight in my entire riding career, in so far as roadkill is concerned, was the carnage I saw half way up my monster climb 2 weeks ago. I said earlier that roadkill is commonly defined as the victim of an animal meets vehicle scenario. What if the victim wasn’t a traditional victim? But what if it was the landscape doing the killing? I have witnessed the tables turned on the traditional apex predator of the roadkill food chain.
I am not talking about some overzealous driver throwing their vehicle into the trees on a tight curve. I’m talking about an innocent Joe driving his faithful jalopy through the countryside when geography bites back. Hard. I just realised I used an over-broad generalisation in the previous paragraph. It wasn’t exactly the landscape that did the killing, it was more accurately the topography.
This is not another story about a sad little old cycling shoe that is past it use by date. This was an item of roadkill in the vicinity of 150kg (330lb). If you want to know how I know the weight, in my youth I personally killed a couple of these suckers and had to remove the dead carcass myself.
I know the suspense is probably killing you so here is the key descriptive phrase – the roadkill was an entire car engine. The mountain that I have chosen to test myself on is such a monster that it doesn’t make car engines overheat and need a rest; it puts them into such excessive overload that they fall out on the side of the road. Now that’s the true definition of a killer hill. And that’s why I didn’t risk my niggly achilles by climbing the engine killer.
Just a quick overview. 18 points this week, so it’s all good there. Sadly, the 2.5kg that I lost last week was a mirage and I put 1.5 of it back on this week. I may not have been properly re-hydrated last weekend when I jumped on the scales after my 130km (80mi) outing. But I’m still 11.6kg (25.5lb) lighter than I was on New Years Day, so I’m not complaining.
Last week I rode 356km (221mi) and the week before was 373km (232mi) so the fitness and muscle are in a state of flux at the moment. And when my muscle reaches a new equilibrium, I’m sure the weight will start to disappear again.