Sunday, March 28, 2010

ooh ahh

Despite the fact I am sick, or maybe because I am sick, BoaB brought home a transponder just for me. So now I have 150 reasons to show up and give my best at the races this year. And I will have a cachet of extra cool at the coffee shop. Me, the real deal. SNORT

a pox on sick people who go to work

I feel awful. Thanks to the busy people with whom I work, and who not only cannot stay away when they are ill, but will actually drag sick children into the office, I am coming down with the lurgy.

I was supposed to be racing a crit right now, but I am not. BoaB had to go without me. I thought I would stay home and cook a nice dinner, but I am not really hungry and lack enthusiasm. BoaB figures when your co-workers make you sick you should be able to use their sick leave. If only. Anyway, I have a ton of sick leave, and if I feel like this tomorrow I am using some of it. I have meetings, and important projects too, but I am not sharing this around.

The big challenge will be not riding tomorrow. If you cannot stay off your bike you really must go to work. Can I do it? I might have to feel even worse than I currently do to pull it off. Bugger.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


A fairly quiet night, wind, but nothing major. No rain at all for us, I suppose I'll have to drag out the hoses and water the garden, it is really dry out there. Hope the floods aren't too bad down south.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I think we are ready

Well I hope so anyway. There is not a shoe on the deck, all the plant pots are tucked up, the bikes are in a bedroom, the van is in the city. It is 5 pm and it has gone dead still. Like holding your breath.

I don't think I will sleep well tonight. Probably no early morning ride tomorrow, but by the end of the day we will ride out to collect the van I expect. Wish us luck.

Friday, March 19, 2010

out like a lion

There is a cyclone looming, and I was nervous as a cat heading out yesterday. The combination of the big low offshore and a squeezed ridge of high pressure from the Tasman Sea resulted in wind. The trees were lashing as I drank my coffee, so I didn't hurry, I would just ride to the office and I had lots of time.

I hit the bikeway and the gusts were everywhere. I was going to turn off at the bridge but it wasn't too bad, so I continued on. I turned the corner to the next bridge and the wind was impressive, so I kept going, interested to test the conditions. I passed under the highway and the wind took my breath away. I laboured forward, laughing at the effort. Just til Loam Island, I'll turn at Alambie Lane lights, I'll just go to Dunlop Street ...

I got to the dam eventually, soaked with hard work. And then the reward, and what a reward it was. I turned and flew, just flew, back the way I had come. 40kms/hr+, moderate effort, way down the big ring. Superwoman! What a feeling! The best ride ever, like riding with wings. BoaB would have been doing 50, but I was content with what I could do, and smiled all day. Got to the office exactly on time.

Today it was straight in to try and tidy up a big week at work and get home in time to start tidying under the house. Every plant pot, every lube bottle, paint tin, tool. All have to be put away in a cupboard or box and tucked away from the wind tomorrow.

Winds kicking up about 3 tomorrow, rains starting around 6. We will go for an early ride and coffee, pack up some valuables in the van, deliver it to our son's inner city parking bunker, cycle home and batten down the hatches. Cribbage anyone? The power is bound to fail, but we are good. Lots of food, wine, candles, water. I is forecast for a category 2, and will come to land around 50 kms south of us. Wild, but not too scary.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

low bar

Today was the first criterion of the year, since the one two weeks ago was indeed rained out. There was a good roll up, some new teams in new kit. A bit of a late start because we are all tardy in getting our transponders. I will lash out and get one this week, it will make me look very Pro even though I am anything but.

I spent the day up a ladder scrubbing the wet season off of the walls and windows, until I was told it was time (after 3 pm), so I pulled on my kit and off we took to the track. No special drink, no prep, just go. I think I wasn't as well hydrated as I should have been, but I drank my bidon before the start and hoped for the best. I had eaten a decent serve of pasta for lunch and we would see how we went on that.

Pre-race instructions were in a brief but cold shower of rain. Big icy drops and the wind lashing in all directions it seemed. Then we had a few laps to warm up and I discovered that the big corner was still dry, so we only had one wet corner to contend with. Then D grade lines up and it rains again, just a brief shower, so I am nervous as we take off in the rain and the big corner is now glistening. I tip toed around every corner, I was as nervous as a cat. I got lapped (doh) but gave it a good go and enjoyed the race very much.

With the dry season on the way I should be able to see some improvements in future races on the track. And the bar is set pretty low from todays outcome, I must say.

Boab won the price of a large coffee (3rd place D grade), so he may be having a very lucrative year ahead! Revenue neutral at the Cafe is about all the success anyone needs!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

flavor of the week

I am absolutely flat out at work, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A good thing to because I am the President of the JCU BUG (James Cook University Bicycle Users Group) and suddenly we are the flavor of the week.

Being the rather forthright individual I am, I spoke up at a recent School meeting with our Vice Chancellor. She was talking about improving the student mall by tearing down a structure. I pointed out (that as BUG Pres) I would rather see redundant buildings made into end of ride facilities. So now the VC knows there is a BUG and she has tapped some senior people on the shoulder to work with us, and so the meetings flow on. I had lunch with the new Environment Officer today. I received phone calls and correspondence about cycling throughout the day.

I had an impromptu meeting with my local City Councillor on the bikeway on the way home. The Council wants to work with us on some green projects focussed on cycling, am I in? You bet!

My senior Admin has discovered sustainability, and cycling is the easy fix to so many ills. The City wants to grow cycling too. Our AGM is next Friday and I hope I can stay Pres, because there is a lot to do and I am excited to be a part of it.

We can change the world you know. Really.

Monday, March 8, 2010

blog in haste

... and you will have to come back the next day to explain yourself.

Jabiru are Australia's only stork. They have lovely red legs and a striking big, black beak. See Wikipedia for the exhaustive explanation.

Brolga are a member of the crane family, and one of the bigger birds we have around Townsville. Wikipedia reveals all.
image also unashamedly pinched from an image search.

Seeing these graceful "big birds" is always a real treat. We get sea eagles and pelicans in our suburb, but have to travel a bit to see these water birds. One of the things that makes packing up the bikes for a race away from the 'burbs such an attractive proposition.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

learning curve

The TTT was a good learning experience. We learned the we are a lot faster than we estimated. It was one of those TTs where everyone removes all timing and measuring devices, guesses how fast their team will do the 20kms, and then tries to make that time.

I was very sure we would come in sub 40 minutes regardless of my poor form and Al's niggling injury, but they wanted to play the 'guess slow and roll easy' strategy. The winners would be closest to time, not fastest. This would have worked just fine, except that it is impossible to 'roll easy' when you are in a race, even if that is what you said you would do. We should have been freewheeling across the finish line instead of ending in a bunch sprint. Doh. It is hard to act like an adult sometimes.

So we came SML (stone motherless last) in both race time and time off the estimated time. The good news is that when you are doing a race for a laugh and a bit of training, you can enjoy the hilarity of such a huge stuff up.

As predicted, it was bloody hot out there, but I saw a Jabaru and three Brolgas on the still water, a tiny and interesting frog on the side of the road as we waited our turn to race, and green beauty everywhere. It's not just about the bike you know.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

ack! the sun is out!

While Brisbane seems to be settling into 40 days and nights of rain, having the monsoon trough in the deep south means it is clear and sunny here. And while it is cheery to see the sun and blue skies, it is stinking hot out there, 36 when we went out for groceries after midday. I had grand plans for some garden chores, but I will be leaving them for another day.

Tomorrow is team time trial, hot or not. Actually, it was quite nice this morning, so I expect it will be just as pleasant for the race. 2 men, 2 women and my legs are like sand bags in this heat. I suspect it will be me who drags our time down. Should be fun though, and we may go to breakfast afterwards.

The race is on the Cungulla flats. Note to self, take bug spray!! I wonder if I can stomach one of those caffeine laden sugar drinks at 6 am? Rocket fuel!

Monday, March 1, 2010

woo hoo!

There was a shot heard round the world this morning. I listened to the game on audio streaming (eurosports) til the end of the second period, then lept on the road bike and scalded to work in time to fire up the computer and hear we were tied, then sudden death overtime and victory thanks to a nice Nova Scotian boy.

Shit at work just didn't matter after that.

Had a super afters party at a Canadian friends after work, an impromptu pizza and champagne affair. We all wore Canadian stuff (I have the roots hat from a former winter Olympics, Alberville? Of course Scott has a hockey jersey, and we have Canadian cycling gear, and t-shirts. It was great fun and we are proud to wear the red and white, and cheer for a great country.

Right, back on your bikes everybody.