Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keep Having To Tell Myself That This Is Real.

I'm sure I've mentioned this once or twice over the past few weeks, but lately I've been feeling a bit flat. A cold came along and knocked me on my ass, just in time for the Brunswick Club Track Champs, the Sid Patterson Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup On Wheels and the Bendigo International Madison. I battled through the first, am intent on suffering through the second and third this weekend, but don't think I have what it takes to charge on through the last.

Which kinda sucks, because I really love racing in Bendigo. Nath and I have been to their club racing on Thursday nights a bunch of times. The quality of the racing is very good, the track is fast and the crowd (I know! A crowd!) is welcoming and appreciative. Furthermore, I kinda have an emotional connection to the Madison weekend, as it was my first ever track open, around about this time last year. I had a win, as well as a couple of places, and remember thinking to myself that I could go alright at this racing malarkey. I've been up to my neck in it ever since.

And really, that's part of the problem. As in any sporting endeavour, cycling is all about convincing our bodies to do things they really don't want to do. And for the most part, our bodies go along with us. They take shape the way we want them to, react how we expect them to, keep going when they probably shouldn't. But eventually, at some point, they need a break. And if we don't give them one, we get sick.

So, while I still may head up to Bendigo on the Sunday, to watch some of my newest friends go around and around in circles without me, I won't be racing. In fact, aside from club racing and the occasional criterium, I don't think I'll be doing much racing at all until the State Men's Omnium Championships in April. And after that I'll be taking a break from track altogether. If anyone has long rides, coffee dates, stupid adventures or just good ol' fashioned shenanigans planned for the end of April, and perhaps the whole month of May, let me know.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No More, No Less.

This weekend. In case you forgot.

And We Find Ourselves In This Same Old Mess.

Like Matt from No Whip, I can't believe I haven't seen this before now:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where It's At.

I've commented on this extensively through other internet media, so might as well also do so here: I'm sick. I woke up on Sunday morning to find my lymph glands attempting to escape out of my neck (this would have normally put a dampener on any romantic St. Valentine's day plans, but Casey had already woken up, figured there weren't any extravagant gestures on the cards, and gone out to Camberwell Market). I've been pretty much just sleeping ever since - a visit to the doctor gave me til Thursday off, and I intend not to be at work til then.

I also haven't been on the bike since Saturday morning, so I probably shouldn't have gone to the track tonight. But it was the first round of club champs, and there was a kilo to do. Four laps. I could manage four laps. It wouldn't be great, but at least I'd get some points on the board. And surely four laps wouldn't do too much damage.

But it did. After three days in bed, four laps was a very, very long way. At one and a half to go I wanted to get off my bike, walk home and crawl up into the doona, emerging only to watch the ice hockey at the Winter Olympics and occasionally urinate. After I was done I could barely stand. These four laps hurt more than any other four laps I've ever done before in my entire life.

I mean, I still knocked two seconds off my PB.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Singing This Song.

Ok, ok, I finally did it. You may now add me on twitter:

I'm still figuring out how to use it, but man, when I have it sorted, it's going to be awesome.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Stand On Guard For Thee.

The fun thing about riding alleycats is there are so many variables - or, to put it in simpler terms, there are so many things that can go wrong. This was certainly the case during last night's Love Is A Battlefield Valentine's Day alleycat. Lane and Safa were tipped to pair up and smash the field, but Lane's dodgy knee convinced him to give it a miss, so Safa was left with Dimos. The two of them are apparently still looking for Flinders Bridge, which is usually known as Princess Bridge. Benzy and Coffee Ben looked the goods, and even recovered quickly when Coffee kieren bumped not one but two moving cars, but tripped up on the same hurdle. Chaz and Ryan flatted out. And Sime nearly had his arse kicked by some angry homeowner when he was caught stealing a sunflower.

And me? Well, I was supposed to be having a rest day, and had to come up with a way of resisting my own temptations - ie, to smash it. Given it was a Valentine's day theme I was paired with Casey, which helped, and riding her pink Malvern Star Park Avenue helped a little more. The Park Avenue was apparently the source of much discussion - kids with tricked out, colour co-ordinated fixies couldn't quite believe that I was going to race on it (obviously they were too fresh to remember old mate riding a girl's step through in Sime's Scavenger Hunt Alleycat in 2007... and winning, only to find out he had an answer wrong). They also seemed quite surprised when I flicked them, hooked them and tried to put them into the gutter every time they went past. Like the Boy Named Sue, you gotta be tough if you're going to ride a pink bike.

It was the pink bike, however, that was our downfall. I was able to cope ok with it being stuck in the one gear, and that gear feeling a bit like an 88. But I wasn't too good at remembering its other limitations. Popping it up off a gutter on Sydney Road probably wasn't the best idea, and by the time we hit Pigdon Street I had a flat. I hadn't really prepared for this contingency. In my bag i had my usual emergency kit - pump, levers and a spare tube - but the tube was a Schwable Racelight 700. The wheels were 27 inch. They're not the same. And, to further the issue, when I pulled the old tube out, the rim tape came too, eventually disintegrating in my hands. We wrapped the rim in electrical tape (I am always well prepared for the coming apocalypse), shoved the tube in and limped back to the museum.

Ten minutes later Jay and Coopz rolled in, taking out first. Jason and THE JAMS came in second, and I can't remember who came third.

It was a benefit alleycat, and apparently the organizers - Zoe and Maija - were able to raise $400 for the most excellent Spokes In The Wheel project. Nice work, folks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Slow Train Coming.

Will include handicapped racing / the minute challenge / chooka challenge.

Get there!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Consider Someone Else.

It's bad enough that people eat eggs, but when fucking piece of shit bogans in commodores start driving around with open cartons of chicken period just so they can throw them at random cyclists, it's time to bring the vegan jihad.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kung Fu.

From my old life: Picaresque / You split zine launch this Thursday at Sticky. Starts at 6pm. Zines, music and vegan muffins. Get there.

What Was That Reason?


"Cycling for recreation and sport is a silly silly thing. Seriously. Most of us are grown ups who shave our legs, wriggle into spandex, and fret over color coordination to such a degree only a hipster could understand. We’re all just riding around on bicycles for shit’s sake. And perhaps to make the scene even more absurd, we’re racing each other, like little kids at recess. The next time you’re on a group ride, sprinting for an imaginary line just think about how inherently silly the situation is. And then to take it a step further, we pay lots of money to organizers to let us sprint each other to actual lines so we can get points and race against people who are even deeper in clutches of the Obsession. We ratchet down our shoes and become nothing more than little boys and little girls. And that is exactly the reason why we should love our sport so damn much."