Just keep paddling…just keep paddling…

So since I moved to Albury I don’t paddle much. I’m a member of a very active canoe club…who also paddle in a very active river.

They also paddle at times that don’t suit me. For example, there is a great bunch of guys that paddle at 6:30am on Saturday mornings, but I’m usually riding then so have only been out with them twice since I moved here. I paddled with the same guys twice on Monday night during winter, but they’re super quick and I was definitely holding them back so I paddled solo once a week through winter.

Once Spring came (and it warmed up..go figure!) I stopped. I really ramped up my riding around then before Tour of Bright and I think paddling was just ‘too hard’. I might have got a couple of paddles in on the Yarra when I was in Melbourne for work, but otherwise nada. Oh the shame!

During summer I’ve paddled with the club on a Monday night in TK2s which has been a lot of fun. Its usually about an 18km paddle exploring all the creeks that I didn’t know existed, creeks I would never paddle solo as they are, quite frankly, terrifying and I dread the day I have to steer the boat through them. So far I’ve been lucky enough to be at the back of the boat each time so haven’t had to navigate.

The recent paddling trip I did with the Vigor guys I somehow managed to display some semblance of paddling fitness, probably just from the TK2 sessions, and also the pace was not high.

So that brings me to today. Legs too worn out to ride (was planning MTB). Beautiful day. Free time. No excuse to NOT paddle. But still….nervous about it. Thinking about the rain we had…the river will probably be nuts….its not that warm…its pretty windy…

Thats about it. I’m a bit scared of the river. I don’t know why. Yes, it flows fast and its cold. But I can swim, I’m wearing a PFD, got my phone on me (in a waterproof case) and I know how to rescue myself. In fact I’m quite confident I could rescue myself if I fell in.

I couldn’t not paddle, especially when it was so nice, so off I trotted. Found the boat I normally use and eyed it off. Looks tippy. When was the last time I paddled this? Look at that little rudder, going to do nothing in that current. Aargh! Shutup and get in the boat.

So I get the boat down and there’s kids everywhere “watch out for the canoeist” one of them said….(kayaker der!!!) and then this fishing boat goes past. Its windy, there’s wash from the boat crashing against the kayak….maybe I should pull out. But I had an audience so I got in the boat..and then off I went.

I paddled 12km. Mightn’t sound like a lot but its the longest I’ve paddled solo since I moved here, felt pretty good too. Also 6km upstream is hard work. The river was super low, and my paddle hit the bottom in a few places. So it wasn’t super swirly and apart from when I turned around where the top of Wodonga Creek comes in I didn’t feel like I was going to go for a swim at all. I actually had a really good time!

Obviously it would be more fun paddling with others…a LOT more fun. But this was okay.    I just need to keep it up. I’ll head down tomorrow night for the TK2 paddle which will be the last one because of daylight savings finishing soon & Easter. Might try and suss out if anyone else my speed will keep paddling on a Monday night.

Til next time

– Jen

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