Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ain't Nobody Sing Like Me.

At Brunswick Cycling Club - like most cycling clubs, I suspect - there's an old bloke who has been around forever and who knows more about cycling than I ever will. His name is Alf. He's seen me, over the past six months or so, go from an E grade rookie who can barely be trusted to ride in a straight line to a B grade rookie who can barely be trusted to ride in a straight line. Needless to say, his opinion means quite a bit. So I was kinda taken aback on Tuesday night when he started giving me shit about not placing. "Seems the run of Brendan Bailey is over! You let yourself get boxed in," he said. It didn't seem to matter to him that I'd spent the week previous riding from Sydney to Melbourne, or even that I'd won the points race immediately previous."What's that they say? Use your head for cycling and your feet for dancing," he continued.

Nath, who has been around the club a good deal longer than me, later explained to me that this kinda critique from Alf is a good thing. "It means he's watching you, taking an interest in how you're going."

I thought about this a lot at Ryan Adams last night, mostly because I'd publicly bitched and moaned about going, but was secretly pretty keen on seeing him. And you know what? Despite an opening band of truly horrendous proportions (a song about Kylie Minogue's ass was a particular low point), I had a really good time at that show. I've talked before about how much I like classic rock, and let's face it, despite pretensions to Alt-Country, any Cardinals song would fit nicely into a Gold 104 playlist - especially their cover of Wonderwall. And the fact that they started their set at 9pm and were done by 10.30 didn't hurt either - my alarm was due to go off at 6.30, after all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

St You.

I have, contrary to popular belief, returned in one piece, in full possession of all the faculties I had when I departed. When people ask me how the ride went I find it difficult to sum up in one word, but 'alright' seems to be doing the trick for now. When people ask me how my ass was feeling on day 5 and 6, however, they get a significantly different answer. And perhaps a little too much detail.

The question I am facing today, however, relates to music - a welcome return for some readers. Tonight I'm going to go see Ryan Adams play. Word on the street has it that last time someone asked him to sing a Brian Adams song, he took his bat and ball and went home. I can't help but wonder, if the show sucks, how I will find the moral integrity to stop myself from requesting Summer of 69.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, Sinnerman.

I don't like leaving Melbourne at the best of times, but on Saturday I'll be flying up to Sydney, staying for a couple of nights. On Monday morning a bunch of raggedy-assed courier types, fixie kids, McNabb and I will be gathering together at Cheeky Monkey in Newtown, then beginning to ride back to Melbourne along the coast. We're hoping to be back on the 25th, which averages out to about 180 kilometres a day. As much as I'd like to blog continuously throughout the trip, I get the distinct impression that I'll simply be too buggered to do so. But Sarah will be taking photos, and I'll post some of them up here, just to let you share the pain.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Everybody Want To Be An MC.

I was talking with Nath the other day about a cycling event he was putting on. He was mostly doing the promo through a particular website frequented by fixed-gear aficionados and other assorted hipster-biking types. His event was to take place at the Brunswick Velodrome, and he didn't expect a great turn-out. "This has been the problem with the website from the start," he said. "Events that involve riding never do all that well, whereas events like the swap meet, which are about making your bike look cool, are always really well attended." It just so happened that I'd been thinking about this issue a lot - mostly when people give me shit about wearing lycra. "That's because they're into bikes, not cycling." I said. And I feel like these days, when bikes themselves are treated as fashion items or objets d'art, it's a distinction that is growing in importance.

Strangely for me, I don't think either one deserves any heirarchical ascendency over the other, just so long as people are clear about where they stand. If you're into bikes, and having a sweet looking bike that is only ever ridden to Atomica and back, that's just dandy. And if you're into cycling and punish yourself on the hills every weekend, well that's great too. Sure, the two can be combined occasionally, but ultimately when it comes to choosing between form and function, then you gotta figure out which side you're on. This doesn't mean, however, that you get to look down your nose at those who have taken the opposite path. You're not any better than them because you smashed Donna Buang in 1'07", or if you have a set of sweet old school Shamals. You're just doing something different. And that's ok.

Hell, maybe it's even possible to go one step further than this. Maybe we should encourage one another. When people are into something, really passionate about it, then we should be stoked for them, right? You know, unless it's heroin.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chosen Strong.

As I think I've written previously, when I'm out biking I listen to my ipod on random. This always makes for interesting listening. Interspersed amongst the usual punk and hip hop classics there are French lessons, obscure bebop outtakes and hour long noise soundscapes. It also often throws up records I'd forgotten I own. Such was the case yesterday, when a song came on that was rocky and punky like Hot Snakes, but a bit rougher and more melodic. I couldn't figure it out for a while, before I eventually remembered that it was a song from the Grenadiers demo that Jesse gave me last time they were out. The songwriting and structure is surprisingly mature, given they're still quite young, but I guess when you've been around the Adelaide scene for so long then you get old quick. Myspace tells me that they've recorded a new album. Here's hoping we get to see it soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009


2008: The Year In Review.

It didn't totally suck.

Love Brendan.