Sifting was a completely new concept when I came out to NZ, introduced to me by Dave Aldred (of NZMTB fame and general chilled froode) when he showed up to ride in baggies etc with me in my usual lycras. Whenever I rode with people at home it was either on the road (lycra) or riding hard with racers off road. Occasionally I would go for chilled rides with Steve, but even then there was always a jersey involved and a lot of sprinting after each other. This is all well and good, but I have actually learnt to enjoy a chilled out, relatively slow ride, or sift in my time out here. This is going to be quite a necessity if my body keeps on playing up the way it has been.
Another bout of illness saw me with a wicked fever last night having done a hard training session on Sunday which involved smashing myself around the Makara road loop for an hour at above race pace. Or at least above the pace I would usually sustain for a 2hour race but would be aiming to hold/break for the nat champs at home. This did see me stamping up the rolling roads out to Johnsonville and getting lose on the main descent, leading to me getting a little sideways as the back end stepped out on some gravel as I cut the apex of a hairpin at 45kph sending me onto the other side of the road. Thankfully nothing was coming the other way. I did ride slightly more cautiously, and restrained myself from overtaking the car that pulled out in front of me, although I maintain that my cornering speed was a lot greater than his.
Anyway, after this fun I got my recovery going, trying to look after myself (compression tights, recovery drink, chilling, not exposed to other people...) but still I managed to wake up Monday morning feeling like I had been hit by the mother of all man-flu's. Again. Today though I feel a lot better, having slept for 37 hours in the last 48, although the fever last night didn't help matters; I always have fairly lucid dreams when I have fevers and I hate it.
On waking and walking to Uni this morning it would appear that Wellington had pulled out all the stops to provide us with a beautiful day; still conditions with fog lingering in the harbour and sun penetrating the mist. By the end of the day (4pm) I couldn't resist a ride. Sifting it was.
It wasn't a fast, hard, long or overly technical ride, but it was just what I needed. The body coped and hopefully riding gently like that will actually help me overcome the illness rather than hinder my progress. I just rode along Highbury Fling and down Transient, including the newly finished section of it allowing me to avoid the road. It was great, sliding around the unsurfaced, muddy tracks, pumping to avoid pedaling, and just generally chilling out on the bike. Hopefully I will be able to ride hard again soon and not have to worry about waking up ill again. Maybe the doctor will be able to reveal something on Friday, all being well I will be able to get a blood test and find out what is up with me; just doesn't seem right going from being consistently healthy to being ill for most of the last 9 weeks.