Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am The Rain, I Am The New Year. I Am The Sun.

Last New Year's Eve it was hot, damned hot. A bunch of us bummed around the house for a bit, then when it had cooled down enough jumped on our bikes and went from party to party until we found ourselves, at around 4am, at the annual gathering in the park next to Fitzroy Pool. I felt pretty good about going home at that point.

This year it ain't so hot. We're going to be riding our bikes around again, with a few ideas about possible destinations. There may be fireworks at some point, but I doubt I'll make it til 4am. What with Public Enemy playing at the Espy on New Year's Day, and a ride to Mt Donna Buang looming on the second day of the new year, the significance of tonight is fading fast. But even when everything else seems more important, we must remember this: tonight will be our last chance in a thousand years to wear those glasses with the two zeros in the middle. Bring on 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not Growing Up

This came a few days ago from the bikesnob:

"One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don't understand this. Cycling teaches you that there's such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end. I'm sorry the hardships Mackey encountered while cycling and blogging made him "feel awful about the world." If he'd looked at them differently, they would have made him love it."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Time Is Up.

Last year, for pretty much the whole year, I woke up with the Constantines song Lizavetta in my head. This year it's the Constantines again, but these mornings I'm all about Million Star Hotel. Though they're a fucking great live band, this video doesn't really do the song justice - on record that riff is bludgeoning, sharp and heavy like a cleaver. I've tried, repeatedly, to convert people to the Cons, with limited to no success, and I have no idea why.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Are You Holding On?

Apparently riding your bike doesn't always have to be about pain, suffering and going really really fast. Picture used entirely without permission. Sorry Genevieve.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I was talking to this American cyclist the other day at DISC. She had been here for the track world cup, and was sticking around for a bit in order to prepare for the next round in Beijing. It's perhaps needless to say that she knew what she was talking about. I listened hard (you know, playing cool at the same time). We bantered a bit, she gave me good advice for my next races and I asked her about training. "It was so tough today," she said, "I spent most of the day in the pain box." I'd never heard this expression before, so rolled with it, making jokes about the only pain box I know being when Home and Away comes on the TV. And then she dropped something into the conversation that, despite a good three years of serious athletic training, any number of stupid hill rides and a human art gallery of bodgy tattoos, never really occurred to me before. "That's really the main difference between a good athlete and a great athlete," she explained. "The great athlete knows how to cope when they're in the pain box."

Let me tell you, I totally slaughtered people on the commute home tonight, thinking about the pain box.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Play Us A Song You're A First Here.

These days I'm pretty much throwing myself wholeheartedly into biking, and the long hours I spend alone battling hills give me a lot of time to think about things. The thing I seem to spend the most time thinking about are the differences between my first real love - punk rock - and my newfound infatuation with two wheels and the truth. Cycling, for me, represents the polar opposite to what I used to love about punk: it is easily quantifiable, whereas punk and music in general is about quality; it is individualistic, whereas punk, for me at least, is all about community; it's competitive, whereas most punks seem to prefer co-operation; it's physical whereas punk is mental (and, at best, emotional); and punk is messy whereas cycling is simple. In my head I know that punk - and that activism that, for me, accompanies it - is where I should be dedicating my time. But I'm not. Instead of staying out late discussing the anarcho-syndicalist revolution while listening to Crass, I'm waking up early to ride out to Kinglake. I don't really have any justification for why. But I know I'll be doing the same next weekend.