Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's a fine line....

...between pleasure and pain, so they say. And so it was that I experienced both sensations this morning at the HMBA club race. This was my first MTB race for the year, and my first crack at the club's new graded system. No more just racing the old blokes! I chose to ride B grade, and the pace was on from the get-go, and soon a train of six riders started to pull away. I sat and bided my time, thinking they couldn't keep it up for four 7.5km laps. Pauly McLean got away on the 2nd lap, and I rode with some guy and Scotty until the climb on the 3rd lap, when a bit of an effort put Scotty in trouble. There were guys falling off left, right and centre, and soon I found myself sitting in third. I managed to crash 4 times on the 3rd and 4th laps (see photo above), but was able to stay with old mate, then we were joined by Dan Weekes, who had charged back up the field after leading early. Another attack up the last climb and Dan and I rid ourselves of the Cannondale guy, and we had Pauly in sight. Coming into the tight, technical section about 1.5km from the finish, my front tyre rolled of the rim and it was game over for my planned challenge for 2nd as I was thrown into the gully! I ran and rode on the rim to the line, being passed by 4 riders to finish in 6th. I was pretty happy with my ride though, showed pretty good pace and the endurance was fine. Maybe the road racing is paying off a bit. But it's disappointing to have a podium wrapped up and for a mechanical to wipe you out, but I guess, as they say (who ARE they, anyway?), that's racing...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Friday night crash fest

Went out to Kooragang tonight to race the road, straight into B grade, pace a fair bit faster than with the vets, but still handled it fairly well. I just need to work on positioning and going with the right moves, then I'll have a shot I reckon. Good training for my goals later in the year on the MTB though. There was a good crash on the 2nd lap of our race, a guy went down hard on the left, and everyone (including me) looked over and there was nearly more carnage as a result. Some dickhead yelled at me to "look forward", so I told him to please mind his manners! After the race, having a chat with Neil, he commented how it was an awful sound, the sound of bikes and bodies hitting tar. No more than 2 seconds after he said it, the C grade sprint comes through and some poor kid hurls himself into the gutter at about 50kmh... the putrid smell of burning flesh stung our nostrils as I said "like that?"

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lawler...the aftermath

Wow, what a night! Left Newcastle and 40km down the road Stefan says "I've forgotten my ID!" After deliberation, we turn around and retrieve it. Refuelling the car back in Newy, car won't start! Had left the lights on while refuelling. Got going, made it to Tank about 10.30, names not on door. No problem, in we go. Things went swimmingly from there. Richy turned up just as Lawler started, and for the next 4 hours we were taken on a magical journey through progressive, electro, tribal, tough, dark, twisted house music. It was the best set I've ever witnessed. Great club too, cool crowd and the hottest women ever. Met up with Rob Skew from Newcastle, and met a few of the guys and gals from ITM forums. All in all a top night. Read a great review by Lambretta here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Lawler of the jungle.

From a cast of thousands a few weeks ago, it now looks like it's just me and Stefan heading to Sydney tonight to hook up with Richy and see our DJ God, Steve Lawler at Tank. Been waiting for this for a long time. Lawler is the king of tribal house, but has been pushing a deep electro sound as well lately. Whatever he plays, it will be top shelf I'm sure. Also looking forward to seeing Johnny Gleeson again, he played 2 great sets at home on NYE, almost as gee'ed up for his set as I am for Lawler!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tomkinson to hop for Oz!

Oh yes, yes indeed.... more congrats, this time to our favourite hopper, Tomkinson (aka Adam Kelly), who got the call up to represent Australia at the Mountain Bike World Champs in Rotorua NZ later this year in his chosen field of the hop (trials). Well played boy, well played. Only drawback being he has to pay his own way, otherwise it's a bit of a swim but I know he has what it takes to rise to the occasion and become school bully (or World Champ).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Magnets WIN!!

Congrats to my Acme Wheel Magnet teammates Scott and Dean on winning the first round of the Working Week Series 8 hour in the Masters Pairs category in Lithgow yesterday. Top effort lads! Dean is an animal on the bike, he rides on anger, but still, did you think it's fair to make him ride 8 laps to your 5, Scott? Hmmm?

Deano in action at the Mont 24hour, 2005.

Scotty rugged up against the elements, Mont 05

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Big Day In

Spent most of today on the lounge watching Channel V's Big Day Out coverage, the 'Big Day In'. Having not made it to the musical extravaganza, it was cool to check out what I missed, or didn't miss. The bands that caught my eye were The Magic Numbers (intelligent pop with delicious harmonies), Beasts Of Bourbon (can Tex's voice get any more gutteral?), Sleater Kinney (kinda cute indie chicks with twisted guitars and vocals spanning the range of the two aforementioned bands), Sarah Blasko (a voice to melt the polar ice-cap and gorgeous to boot, see pic below), and Iggy and The Stooges. It's funny and a little ironic that a 50 year old man is way cooler than most of the kids trying hard to pretend that they even know who the fuck he is. Shihad were rocking it hard as usual, but Jon Toogood's constant geeing up of the crowd was a little over the top and totally uneccessary as the crowd were going nuts anyway. there's a band I'm gonna have to check out...the hugest sound from a 3 piece you can imagine, with solid songs and lyrics to back it up. And some of the coolest/weirdest facial hair from the singer too. The Go Team never really grabbed my attention on the radio, but their set looked like the best fun ever, all the band and especially the lead singer (whose dance moves are the funkiest/craziest/sexiest ever) going nuts, as were the crowd. For what I thought looked a crap bill on paper, seemed like it had a lot to offer besides the predictably safe big names like the White Stripes and Franz Ferdinand et al. Now, back to the couch, only another 6 hours of coverage to go!

Why can't roadies turn corners?

How hard can it be to make a 180o turn on a flat tar road around a witches hat? Pretty bloody hard, judging by some of the efforts i witnessed today in my comeback race. I don't know how many times I nearly ran up the back of other riders as they braked to snail's pace to get around the deadly orange cone. I suppose the road is only about 50 feet wide there, you gotta be careful! By the last lap I'd got it worked out, and went around near the front and got away with Col and Neil to try and chase down the two breakaways, coming up just short. 4th place in B grade in my first road race for 5 years will do me though.

I don't hate the French...

...unless their name is Wenger, Henry or Pires. As expected after the 1-1 draw with Arsenal overnight, a barrage of whining came from the sour lemon faced French fuck Wenger about Bolton's so-called "tactics". Get over it you twat! Two wins and a draw for us this season against a side worth probably 10 times as much is good reason for him to be pissed. I'd love to see Big Sam just stroll over and nut him one! As for Henry and Pires, they are both great players, but come off like kindergarten kids if anyone so much as breathes on them or crumples their pretty maroon and gold shirts. I suppose they've got their millions to comfort them, while it's back to the salt mines for our boys on Monday. Vive le Wanderers!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Black wheels rule

Snuck in a quick 50 this morning with Nath, and he'd put his old Ritchey wheelset back on. They look so much better than his silver Ksyriums, as do my Ritchey's compared to the Ksyriums that Ebo loaned me last week. Silver = wussy, black = tough. That's the rule.

Friday, February 10, 2006

On The Road Again...

No, Willy Nelson hasn't hijacked my musical senses. It's time to make a comeback of sorts to road racing. Sunday it will be, forking out the hard-earned and rolling around with the old guys at the 'Gang. Main aim being not to take anyone out, get dropped, or generally be a directionless, tactically inept bunter. Hmmm. can I pull that off? At least my bike is up to it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Finally booked the flights to New Zealand tonight, $614 each! Holy shit, a week ago it was about 450...oh well, at least now there's a date so me and the Christch' can get organised. It's gonna be 2 weeks of riding hard and probably a little bit of partying hard... so many new beers to sample!

Gonna get some more road K's in tomorrow before work, Col is calling for "hills, hills, hills"... probably thinks he can beat me to the top again like like last week. Not gonna happen. And hopeless boy Nath needs to change his cassette onto another wheel after buckling his Ksyrium last sunday, so I've gotta stuff a chainwhip into my jersey pocket....should be comfortable.

Pretty quiet at work today, almost dead, then about 3.30 it went crazy. I'm sure these people wait outside until they've got a posse together and then invade. And they make sure they have the oldest, dirtiest, clapped out pieces of shit with them so they can spend $200 trying to "just get it runnin' again, mate"... Let it go!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snakes, snoring and suffocation... a moral dilemma

What could be weirder than shoving snakes in your ears to act as a crude form of soundproofing? Thankfully this won't be an option this weekend, as I have opted not to race the first round of the Working Week Series 8 hour at Lithgow. No restless night tossing and turning as gutteral moans and evil noises emanate from the rotting carcass of Col. As if riding for 8 hours isn't hard enough, try doing it after a fitful sleep spent trying to resist the urge to suffocate your team-mate, thereby doubling your own workload, but eliminating a major obstacle to a peaceful existence and a stable mind. Decisions, decisions... now, where's that pillow?