Getting old(er) can be a real bitch. Hair gets grey and falls out, joints creak and aren't as flexible as they once were, and youthful good looks wane and the ladies don't swoon around as they did before the creases took over your skin. Okay, so the last one isn't completely true, I'm still magnificent and chicks dig me! What's this got to do with riding? I'll just fight back the impending senility, and, oh yeah... one thing that really bugs me about the onset of seniority is the inability to bounce back from cycling-related accident injuries. As told in my last post, I took a bit of a trip over the bars last weekend on Makara's Trickle Falls, seemingly innocuous at the time, but rendering my knee a stiff, swollen, useless joint for a couple of days. No problem, I've had plenty worse than this before, and I presumed a few days rest would see me right to race the Makara Peak Rally on Sunday. But, the advancing years saw to it that I would still be feeling pain in the knee on even the flattest, easiest-spinning road rides. A late fitness test on Sunday morning forced me to let Josh take my spot in the Solo Open category, meaning it would be he who would suffer up, down and around the Peak, covering every sweet singletrack (and only the slightest smattering of fire-road and asphalt) in the park. The weather was perfect, about 22 but with that NZ bite to the sun which makes it feel a lot warmer, but doesn't fry your brain. I hung out and caught up with a few people, then went for a walk to get some pics and video (which I have no idea how to upload, but I'm working on it). God and Josh (that's him leading up Lazy Fern, above) finished second and third respectively, but Ratas didn't even offer an excuse for his own no-show, only to tell us later he was going carol singing with Claire... the end is nigh for that man. There's one in every crowd... Rich (Joe) didn't learn from his near-death-Santa-suit-experience from last year, and had a near-death-Capt. America-suit-experience this year. Proof that postmen are 20cents short of a stamp.
Meanwhile, another happening event that I've been unable to attend is the return of the Underground Super D series. Paul, Jim and Tryfan are up to their old tricks, getting the rabble together at undisclosed spots around Welly for some racing and drinking, not necessarily in that order. And in a move that may jeopardise the legitimacy of it's 'underground' status, DB Breweries have been enlisted to supply their Export 33 beer for all the rounds (good enough reason for me to get to the next round, bung knee or otherwise). Pics by Caleb, who dropped me off a sixer of said brew to review for the next issue of SPOKE. Chur!
Mini-Me Mike took on Taupo a couple of weeks ago on his Langster, and kicked its sorry ass! We had feared the worst for the little fella, after the 'tapering' phase of his 'training' had lasted the better part of three months. At least he was well rested, and the lack of gears and a freewheel didn't stop him posting a time of around 5 hours and change for the 160km. Karen, who had done a lot more training and who we secretly believed (and maybe just wished a little bit) might show Mike how it's done, rode a sub-6 hour circumnavigation. Well done those people! Read their reports on the big day out here.
I saw one of the best movies I've had the pleasure of viewing in a long time (well, a week, after one of the worst) on Sunday at the lovely old Penthouse Cinema in Brooklyn. In Bruges is one of those films that you want to see again right after walking out of the theatre. I'm not a Colin Farrell fan, but he plays a great character in this film, and the plot is tasty enough to keep you interested beyond the dark comedy which dominates. It's got sex, love, death, violence, and midgets, everything you need for an entertaining night out. It really is a 'must-see'.