Lunch-time gratitude ride

We’ve been working from home since 23 March. It is getting a little old. We are all really good with video-conferencing now. We’re churning out amazing collaborative work given the circumstances. You’d never know what a huge shift it has been by looking at all the accomplishments. I hate working from home, but I’ve gotten used to it, I guess. As an employee of the state government, we are likely to have to work from home for quite some time yet to set an example to the community.

The one good thing about working from home during winter, and having an understanding boss who doesn’t care which hours I work as long as the work gets done, is that I can go for a ride at lunch-time. It is dark when I get up and dark when I finish work at this time of year. So on the days I can pry myself away from meetings and urgent analysis and updates… I can go for a 45-minute ride at lunch.

We’ve had some rainy and misty days since Sunday, but there were some breaks in the precip today. I love the moody clouds of winter and the grey days interspersed with sunny ones. I love the damp gravel that rides so much smoother and faster than summer.

I despair when I think we are already halfway through June. Winter (fog season) just doesn’t last long enough here. We really only have 6 more weeks before temps start to warm again.

Looks like we might get another rainy weekend this weekend. We need all the rain we can get, and I need all the help I can get to sit down and do coursework. When it’s nasty outside, it is much easier to get coursework done. If I can finish up the next unit this weekend, I’ll be back to the timeline!

I’ve been giving some thought about the next big tour and where I’ll go and the timing of it all. I’ve been despairing about the $9000 I’ve spent over the past three years in gap fees for medical bills. That’s 18 months of touring dollars. But then I know that if I’d been in the US that would have been $25,000-30,000 of bills. And I’d never be able to afford another tour again! So I am grateful to be here.

One of my good friends who is asthmatic and lives in Portland ended up in the ER 6 weeks ago with severe shortness of breath. Her inhalers weren’t working at all. She had several tests and spent one night in hospital on oxygen. They wanted her to stay another night, but her employer-provided insurance is poor, so she asked to be discharged. The bill came a few days ago. $12,500 – of which her insurance pays about half (and yes, she had COVID). So at least my costs were over three years, not one night! I am so grateful to live somewhere with good, affordable and accessible healthcare, even if my out-of-pocket costs could have funded me for many months of riding.

But at least I am feeling better enough to contemplate a tour starting March 2022. I can always find the silver lining… even if there aren’t a heap of grey clouds around to remind me of all the things of which I’m grateful.

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

6 response to "Lunch-time gratitude ride"

  1. By: gregblood Posted: June 16, 2020

    There is something familiar about those beautiful clouds. Except we don’t call it “fog season,” we call it “half of our year.”

    • By: The Navigator Posted: June 17, 2020

      Haha! Somewhere in the world does not have your extreme winters or our extreme summers. We wouldn’t know what to do without the potential for hypothermia or hyperthermia.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 16, 2020

    Great you can get out for some rides.
    Your career sounds pretty involved and complicated — glad you can get what needs done with some time to spare for riding.
    Cool cloud photos.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: June 17, 2020

      The job is no more complex than any other job these days where 1 person is expected to do what 3 people used to do. I got thrown in the deep end when I started in December. I have since learned there is no shallow end. But it is only a two-year contract, so I will survive 🙂 My boss is great though, and if I ride at lunch, I just work til 6 or so in the evening instead.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: June 17, 2020

    I’m in the WA state government, flexitime is the greatest thing, and so is medicare.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: June 17, 2020

      Yep, totally agree. I wish the Medicare benefit for specialists better reflected those costs though. I paid $475 for a rheumatologist for a 40-min consult and only got $205 back.

      I was talking to a friend about how I missed out on seeing some cyclists who were going to be touring in the area in autumn. I mentioned you were doing a Ned Kelly themed ride. She said you should really watch the Ned Kelly episode of the LAWLESS: The Real Bushrangers series that was on the history channel. They have archaeologists excavate and then re-create the scenes based on that evidence, so if you watched it before you went to Stringybark Creek, you would have a better understanding of what you were looking at. She said if your library subscribes to the Kanopy service, you can watch it on there. I am going to have to move away from Milawa though as they are building a function centre with open-sided sheds and plastic tents only 15-20 metres from my bedroom window. So I’ll most likely move to Wangaratta at the end of August. (I don’t do amplified music for parties of 100 people til 11 o’clock at night that close to my bedroom (particularly in summer with the windows open!).

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