Brendan, as you may have noted from his monday post, didn't really know where I was last weekend. The photographic evidence he provided of me at the cycling cross, however, does indeed tell most of the story. Here is my report from the weekends racing.
A contingent of some riders from Melbourne (I think there were less then ten, but I can't really remember) made the trip up to Sydney on Friday. A delayed flight could not sway us from our chipper mood, in part helped by my getting delay vouchers off the check in lady. A whopping eight dollars was spent at Hudson's on a jumbo soy latte, the lack of real money change made up for, by my emptying the chocolate sprinkly jar onto the top of my coffee. Fearing that Nikcee and Blakey might start talking about cantilevers I wandered around with Steve and Clare, ate a foot long subway, and some sushi, and some gatorade, until I felt ill.
Then the flight occurred, wherein I remembered I get extremely motion sick at even the hint of motion sickness. Fortunately I had my Sydney CX trip mix tape all ready to go, and I tried to zone out to the blissful tunes of Carly Rae Jepsen and Bolt Thrower.
On arriving at the hostel, somewhere forsaken on the Northern Beaches, I discovered they were playing Wolfmother. Like. The first album. The one every dickhead was listening to in 2006. Instantly transported to year 11, I cried a savage's cry, and ran from the room, only to return when someone opened the corn chip packet.
In the interest of brevity, I'll skip to the following morning. The Melbourne contingent arrived at the location of cycling cross at approximately sometime in the AM, Saturday morning. The Sydney CX mixtape had hit upon a spot of Venom and, to the sound off '1000 days in Sodom', we heralded our arrival as best we could. On opening the car door, I tripped on my seatbelt, and was sent sprawling.
Given I had elected B grade for my cycling cross escapades, I was due to start shortly after out arrival. I donned the stretchy clothing, did a quick tour of the course, in which I nearly ate shit multiple time, after which time it was time to wander over to the start line.
Some minutes later I was thundering across the tundra, I mean grass, in about fifth wheel. I was kinda surprised I was that far up to be honest, not having raced at all since May, and not having ridden a cross race since September last year. Anyway, so that quiet sense of confidence slowly gave way to a sense of severe illness and the the strong desire to vomit up a lung. As Steve's heckling became louder, and the urge to ride into Nikcee a little too tempting, the race was over. I sat down, spent, and coughed up what looked like a bloody lump of something.
"How good was that?!" asked Steve.
"Fuck. That was the shittest thing I have done for a long time" I replied.
General attitude toward cycling cross notwithstanding, I then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the rest of the dudes, heckled a bunch, drank some beers, and waxed lyrical about No Doubt making so much more sense in NSW. Seriously, it does.
That night I was super stoked to get blind, but by seven I was exhausted and suffering from mild heat stroke. Not only that, but we had celebrated Kate's birthday at the local Indian joint, the patron's of which had stared bemused at the bunch of skinny people all wearing party hats. It was at this particular dinner that CX rad-man Jeremy referred to the Ultimate Frisbee World Championships as, and I quote, "basically God camp", as the rest of the contingent choked on our garlic naan.
I fell asleep by ten.
The following day the B grade race was at some ungodly hour. Something like 9.30. Suffice to say it took a great deal of coffee and asthma pump to even get me to the start line. I won't bore you with the details, but I did a lot better, finishing in the top ten, jumped some barriers, and didn't bin it. Win win. Following that, I watched everyone else get rad, Nikcee and Blakey get lapped, Steve roll a tub and snap a chain, and Syd (the winner) ride the toughest uphill section with multiple jumps necessary, that every other ride struggled to run. Holy shit.
I was so tired and sun fatigued by the end of the day, I virtually threw my bike into my collapsing bike box, sliding anything I didn't have a place for into the seat tube. Genius.
To top off a cracking weekend, most of us then went to eat some delicious Lebanese food where I consumed by body weight in chickpeas and chips, while watching at least one passer by get roughed up by a motorcycle cop.
On the plane home, I listened to No Doubt, read a mag that Nikcee had leant me, and tried not to be too distracted by this one hostess lady.
In Melbourne, the taxi driver refused to take my bike, under the guise of it not fitting, the reality being that I didn't live in Dandenong and, thus, wasn't worth enough to him.
Cyclocross. It isn't great. But it's not bad either.