Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tough Days in Tauranga

It's right smack in the middle of January but there's no umbrellas or jackets in sight, just sand, waves and the sun 5 feet above my head. Racing's done for the week, back into it in 5 days, but for now it's boardshorts, not lycra. I think my inner-calendar's getting a little wacked-out running around in mid-80's sunshine this time of year, but I'm not complaining. Sometimes the phrase "not a cloud in the sky" is a bit of an exaggeration, but this is not one of those times. Some Scottish guy my age who's touring around the country has joined Logan and Brei and I for the day. I'm not sure where he came from or who he is, but it hardly matters. He's quite the character, doesn't seem to fit with the three reasonably tanned, thin bike racers, with his typically Scottish stovepipe features, casper-white skin and thick, indeciferable accent. He's visibly excited to be on the beach in such weather, and he lets fly with bursts of words allegedly in English but no one can translate, so we smile, laugh a little and nod.
Then it's in the water to fail time and time again at swimming into the shorebreak waves, but nobody cares because everyone's high on sunburns and salt-water. Thrashing around in warm waves like this turns everyone into children regardless of supposed "age" or "maturity," proof positive when Logan's dad swims out to join us. This man's in his 50's, a farmer and a tractor-driver, but today he's nine, giggling between mouthfulls of seawater, flailing around somewhere North of Tauranga in the Pacific Ocean.
After the arms can't take it anymore and the waves loose a little magic it's back to the beachtowels and sunglasses for a stretch and some sand. I'm lulled by sun and a slight on-shore breeze into sleep, just long enough to recharge and run back to the water when the sun gets just too damn hot... We'll race another day, we'll train another day but for now it's some recovery, some mental rest. Quite the change of scenery from the sub-arctic plains at the bottom of the south Island only three days ago. I can dig it... DT


Anonymous said...

I only take peace in knowing that your pale white skin got sunburned some where I freeze my arse off here in P-town with the snow and freezing rain.

Anonymous said...

Yes, freezing rain. But enjoy...we'll be fine...