Before I left NZ for my holiday back in Australia, I entered the Wild Wellington 12 hour race with local Masters gun Ian and a couple of other guns who are unknown to me. Ian's instructions were to "train, train, train, eat well and get lots of sleep" or words to that effect. Well, I got a fair bit of 'training' (read 'riding') done, ate pretty well (mum's and K-Man's home cooking) and probably stayed out drinking a bit too much. But I felt pretty safe in the knowledge that the race was still five weeks away when I returned to NZ. What I didn't bargain for was the fact that aeroplanes are filled with hundreds of coughing, wheezing, disease-ridden passengers who transmit their vile ailments to you in the space of the three hour trip. So I've been a coughing, wheezing, disease-ridden sack of shit since I got back, and accordingly I've had a lot less time on the bike than would've been ideal to my, and Ian's, requirements. While he comes into the shop looking like a wiry, sinewy Kiwi version of Ned Overend, I have to field his stock question of "you been training?" with the feeble "I'm still sick!" stock answer. His stories of dropping the local road bunch, smashing up guys 20 years younger than him and his (probably only half-joking) threats of taking skin-fold tests didn't help with my confidence to cut hot laps of the Mt. Vic course either. But in the last few days I've finally started to come good, and the work rubbish box has been copping less solid green throat-projectiles as a result, much to the relief of the other guys. But of course as I've gotten better, the weather has taken a slight downturn, so now it has come to this:
Sitting on the trainer on the Big Kahuna's bike, in the shop, after closing time, sweating out the last of the dreaded lurgy over the floor, with Josh simultaneously encouraging, mocking and taking the above snap. I'm not overly concerned now, there's another fortnight before the race, I have what I like to call 'residual fitness', and those other guys are so damn fast anyway that I could just turn up with an esky of ale and roll a few laps in a state of inebriation, and we'd still win our class (which is the old guys, or 'Legends', which sounds a bit better).