It is always nice to have a day off work, and nicer still when you can use it to ride your motorcycle. Friday marked my return to Albany for another session with Hayley, my sleep therapist. Last week I rode down and was fitted with a CPAP machine and a couple of masks to try. This week I rode back and Hayley analysed the data recorded by the device. She was pleased with how well I had adapted to it. Apparently many people do not at first. My Dad was telling me that he had some considerable trouble getting used to sleeping with a mask when he first tried. I certainly did not. I took to it well and I suspect it may have been helpful that I have been a SCUBA diver since I was 19. The machine recorded that from 70 apnoea events an hour recorded in the initial sleep test, with the aid of CPAP, I was down to 4 or 5 events a night. This was not too surprising because I and everyone at work who knows me had noticed the difference after the very first night.
I was surprised to learn that Hayley was intensely interested in my dreams and seemed to be of the belief they were an accurate indicator of my state of mind. I related those I could recall to her, and she wrote them all down. We discussed the general meanings as recorded by psychologists, and related them to my circumstances. Sure enough the more recent dreams did indeed seem to reflect a positive change in my attitude to life.
We discussed the relative merits of the two masks I had tried out, and added a third to try this week. Some new settings to try and that is it ’til next week.
I refueled, and visited some of the local bike shops, looking for a tank protector to put on my bike. I have scratched the tank a couple of times when mounting up. This only happens when I have luggage on the passenger seat, and have to put my leg over forwards. I have ordered a carrier so I can put the bag behind the cissy bar, but it has not yet arrived. I did not find a suitable protector. I shall have to try in Perth later on.
A light lunch and time to ride home. I took a longer route up the Chester pass Road and back through the Porongurups. This added about an hour to the ride home, but since when is an extra hour of riding a bad thing? It is a pleasant curvy road, little used and well maintained. And scenic.
The weather is still pretty chilly, and I had set out in the morning with multiple layers of thermal underwear and warm woollens under my jeans and jacket, as well as my best winter gloves. Even so, I was not snuggly warm, but pretty comfortable. and the slight chill that got through was enough to keep me awake and alert. This was just as well, because as I road down through the misty moisty morning, even though it was after 8:30 AM when I got to the kangaroo alley near Tambellup there was a mob of skippies on the road. When I first came to western Australia I was quite eager to see these beasts. Now I would prefer not to see them at all. At least, not on the road. One can run into them (so to speak) at any time, though it is most likely at dusk and at dawn. This morning’s encounter was a reminder not to be complacent.
Despite it seeming to be mid winter still (heavy frosts only last week) I rode past fields of Canola that were already blooming golden. There has been a lot of rain which is very good for the crops, and no doubt the farmers are already booking holidays in the Med or ordering a new pleasure boat for after the harvest.
Riding back through Porongurup I passed through a lot of vineyards. Not a sign yet of any new leaf growth on the vines. It is not yet spring up there. I rode into rain and stopped to don my waterproof pants before proceeding. My knees were pretty cold by the time I arrived home just after three, so I warmed them with the electric blanket in bed. A great way to end a ride and start a weekend.