Tuesday, April 28, 2009

City Doctor.

There's a line from a Seamus Heaney poem that used to pop into my head any time someone asked me about punk rock:

To him, my other life."

Nowadays, however, it pops into my head any time I talk to punks about cycling.

I guess I'm lucky it's a good poem, and not, "There once was a man from Nantucket."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The New City.

So, I went out on the bike today. Caught the train to Beaufort with every intention of riding all the way back. It started raining in Ballarat, where the temperature was hovering around 5 degrees. Stopped in Gordon for directions. When I walked into the pub some dorky 14 year old kid in a keffiyeh was singing some hymn a cappella. Everyone stood in thrall. Then they turned and looked at me, drenched to the bone and shivering uncontrollably. After their initial surprise they asked if I was a) Shane Kelly and b) stone cold crazy. I was required by the matron de maison to not wear my footy boots inside - which was pretty easy to comply with. The regulars were having a field day. One of them mentioned the train station in Ballan, which proved too tempting to resist. Eight hours after leaving home I'm back in bed, finally warm again.

And you? Spend a couple of hours inside on the rollers, did you? How'd that go?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blue Black Eyes.

Dear The Australian Government,

First of all, thank you for the nine hundred dollars. Unlike a substantial number of my friends, who will be spending theirs overseas, I will be spending mine stimulating the economy (which really sounds like something one shouldn't do without one's friends).

Second of all - and this is perhaps a touchy subject - could you possibly please stop opening my packages from AK Press? I get a package from them about once a month, and it's always opened. Look, I don't want to be tactless here, but let's face it. I'm not a terrorist. I have a semi-steady job in the public sector, I live in a respectable apartment in a leafy inner-city suburb, and spend way too much of my time in lycra to be taken seriously as a threat to the status quo. A few books on anarchist theory are not going to drive me to take up arms and overthrow the government. Let it go, ok?



Monday, April 6, 2009

The Families On Relief.

I've never really been one of those 'couldabeen / shouldabeen' kinda guys. This probably comes across as a cliche, but there are absolutely no quasi-philosophical / spiritual undercurrents here - I'm simply not smart enough to conduct the business of everyday life and spend a lot of time worrying about what I could have done better at the same time. This is probably a curse and a blessing at the same time, but, true to form, I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about it.

Lately, however, there has been one major exception. My parents are probably the first people on the 'exempt' list when it comes to assigning blame for the decisions I made as a young lad - as many folks around will eagerly inform you, they pretty much made did the best they could with the, well, let's just call it the difficult hand they were dealt. But nowadays, when I'm out suffering on the bike just so I can be competitive in a few more B grade club races, I can't help but wonder why, when I was 15 and totally jack of athletics and football, but still really freaking fit from going out into the Grampians on my mountain bike every other weekend, my folks didn't take me down to the Ararat velodrome and suggest I go round and round in circles for a bit. I might have been hooked from the start, and my fitness wouldn't have ever dropped the way it did, and those results would've been in A grade instead of B.

When I'm struggling up some hill, or killing myself to keep up with some nineteen year old, this really pisses me off. Is almost-thirty too old to storm off into my room, slam the door and crank the stereo?