Saturday, December 19, 2009

TE Christmas Handicap

Readers of this blog last week would have probably had the impression that Tour of Bright was the biggest and most prestigious race in Vic in December. What I forgot to mention was that ToB also serves as a warm up to THE event of the year, the TE Christmas Handicap.

TE is the bunch I ride with on weekends and I'd safely say it's one of the best organised bunches in Melbourne. Prerequisites to riding with the gentlemen of TE include a penchant for mountains, a fondness for biodynamic pinot and the ability to reel off your PBs for all the major climbs in Victoria. Riding with guys like Mick, Steve, JB and Rudy (and many, many others) is a sure fire way to keep the lactic in your legs and your ego in check.

The Christmas Handicap (a climb up Kinglake) was my get-rich-quick scheme for December as I had put all my rent money on Dave O'Brien getting up for the win. Quicksilver O'Brien looked sharp and his recent meteoric rise in form had me confident that he would be first over the line. QOB's form, however, had not escaped the eagle eye of handicapper and chief commisaire SPK Knight. A couple of late scratchings due to sickness and ill-timed general anaesthetic (get well soon Rudy & JB) left the peleton considerably lighter, and the heavy hand of the handicapper was felt by Mick, Zander and SOB, who found that starting scratch at 34 minutes on a 20 minute climb was a gap even their lightning fast climbing couldn't bridge. Even the Cervelo Test Team sent their newest signing Sharon Laws over with the hope of bringing back the prestigious T.E.C.H trophy to their pool room in Switzerland.

Chief Commissaire Steve wondering whether he could legitimately start Sharon at 40 minutes back

In the end, it could have been either the new bike, the happy legs or the heavy bribe I offered the handicapper, but I made it over the line first and became the 3rd proud wearer of the TE polka-dot jersey (pic above), which has already been delivered to Fitzroy Revolution to be proudly displayed until the next handicap in 2010. Special mention to the 7 PBs smashed today for the Kinglake climb, including Steve, SOB, Mark and Mick who I think all recorded times in the 17 minute-bracket!?! My climb time was 18m35, a PB by almost 40 secs. Hurray for Donna's 2hr ergo sessions! They are working...

The best part of the morning, though, was the christmas cake and coffee session afterwards at Smiths Gully. What a great way to cap off another year with TE.

Cake time!

Next week - Adelaide!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Star light, star Bright

Most cyclists I know look forward to the Tour of Bright with a level of excitement usually reserved for Christmas or the birth of their first-born child. It’s one of the best (and toughest) weekends in the racing calendar, and Ross Walker and the Alpine Cycling Club just seem to make it bigger and better each year.

I, however, this year was looking to Bright in the same way that a pasty British tourist looks forward to a Summer gap year in Australia: it would be fun, I’d see some cool people and amazing scenery, but it would hurt like hell and most likely I’d end up drowning my sorrows in a bath of aloe vera and wondering how far away home was.

My cunning scheme of riding incognito and escaping on a breakaway as an unknown was sabotaged when I discovered that my photo had been plastered all over the race program. Despite creating an impenetrable disguise consisting of different sunglasses and a fake moustache, I was busted at the pre-tour rego on Friday night after failing to conceal my excitement at finding a Michelin man keyring in my rider pack. Life hurts.

Anyway, back to the tour. This year was probably the strongest women’s field ever assembled. ACTAS were definitely the team to watch, with Vicki Whitelaw, Bronwyn Ryan and Miffy Galloway among their GC contenders. Outside of that there were strong contenders from AIS, VIS, SASI, Prime Real Estate and R.A.C.E. Just seeing the line up made me extremely glad I had worn my brown underpants to race rego.

Luckily, none of them had the supreme support of Team Mock, a local outfit (Porepunkah-based) which specialises in pre-race nerves soothing and awesome home cooking. I’d tell you more, but I’m a little afraid they might be poached for next year’s tour by a rival team. My first weekend highlight was storming down Tawonga Gap on Stage 1, turning a corner and being greeted by a barrage of cheers from Andy, Jan, Peta and Jacob. It was awesome.

The way stage 1 panned out really took the pressure off for the rest of the tour. For a moment I thought I had missed the decisive break of the day as a group of 10 women disappeared down the road in the confusion after a crash before the first sprint point, around two-thirds the way through the stage. I was happy staying in the main bunch until I realised that all the teams were represented in the break and that I had no one to help me pull it back. D’oh! Pulling it back meant energy wasted but there was really no other option as there were some handy climbers in the break. By the time we hit Tawonga, we had regrouped, and at some stage early in the climb, a group of 4 – Vicki Whitelaw, Bronwyn Galloway, Steph McGrath and myself – broke away from the rest of the field. Maybe that fake moustache really did work. By the time we hit the bottom of the descent, our break was reduced to 3 (Vicki, Bron and me) with a gap of around 3 minutes on the rest of the field. For me, this was largely thanks to Dr Rudy’s descending tutorials (again, I’d tell you more, but…)

Stage 2 was the ITT, an event dominated by Whitelaw and Ryan. I limited the damage with a 6th place and remained 3rd on GC at the end of day’s play.

Stage 3 was the big kahuna – the Hotham ascent. It’s a testament to Vicki’s class as a tour rider that the rest of us were fighting it out for 2nd on GC even before the stage started. It was clear pretty early on in the race that it was game on for a stage win, with ACTAS and AIS/SASI launching a barrage of attacks and counter-attacks throughout the false flat part of the climb. I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to get away as I did last year, so my aim was to cover any break attempts and make sure that I stayed with the leaders for as long as possible. In the end, it all broke up after we kicked at the ticket box and Vicki and Steph kept tempo, with Bron and I not far behind… to start with. Slowly but surely they edged away, then Bron faded and I ended up climbing by myself in 3rd position. I kept trying to keep the distance between me and Vicki/Steph in check, but they were looking pretty strong. It wasn’t until 500m to go when I realised I had a real chance of overtaking Steph, which I did eventually in the last 200m aided by some most enthusiastic cheering from Dr Rudy on the side of the road.

Dr Rudy chasing me at the top of Hotham. I owed him some money.

Trying to pull back Steph the mountain goat

Overall, I was stoked with the weekend – 3rd on GC, 3rd KOM and a 3rd, 6th and 2nd on the stages. To be honest, my lead up to the tour was less than perfect and although I had been trying to stay positive I was not feeling very optimistic about the weekend on Friday night! It was a huge relief to find our that my form was better than I felt. It's a good sign for nationals.

Big thank you to DC & Sean Hurley & Fitzroy Revolution, who made sure my bike was dialled and pimped to perfection, and to John Hill @ Fastgear for providing High5 sports nutrition. And to the lovely Andrew, whose support and general hug duties were carried out to perfection.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today I picked up my new bike... it is an S-Works Amira and I am told it is so fast that it actually rides itself. I pinned it down long enough to take this pic and as you can see it is a beauty! I haven't thought of a name yet but I will put a few on a new POLL (on the right of the page) and you can let me know what you think, or maybe ping a new suggestion to me. A big thankyou to DC at Fitzroy Revolution - I hope I can do you proud on it. In the words of Sean 'The Man' Hurley: "I've only spent one night with it, but I think she's The One."

Goodbye Ginge

Yesterday, the smallest and waggliest member of the Jacobs family, Ginger, died in her sleep. She was a very special little dog and my favourite little old lady (apart from Grandma). Ginger was 14 and a little bit, which is about a bazillion in dog years, but not nearly enough in human years.

She will be missed very much. Right now she is probably chasing her brother Fred in doggy heaven and trying to wrestle her favourite plastic flower pot from him.
Ginger entering into the Christmas spirit

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lisa's Mum previews season 2010

Season 2010 is almost upon us and Lisa's Mum has dusted off her commentary jacket and matching tea towel and pulled up a chair at the table of truth. Mum has made the following bold predictions for 2010. Just a warning, if you are easily offended, you'll have to take it up directly with Mum - I have no control over what she says.

  • Lance will admit, "Actually, it IS all about the bike." In his 14th biography, Lance reveals that earning squillions and dating rock stars and models was OK for a while, but not nearly as fun as busting a lung up Alpe d'Huez and having doping officials watching you pee 4 times a day. His reason for his return? Mike Rann has promised him a trip to Puzzle Park next time he comes to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. Let's hope his cancer campaign works... at least we know that if he does come up with some miraculous cure drug, WADA won't be able to find it.

  • Cadel's signing to BMC race team for 2010 will come under a cloud when it is revealed that, after an unfortunate encounter between his dog Molly and the BMC mechanic's pet cat, Cadel actually does make good on his promise that, 'If you touch my dog, I'll kill you.'

  • Jan Ulrich will make a return to the sport, 4 years after his disgraced exit from the Tour de France for doping. He'll lose 20 kilos and win a grand tour before mysteriously going AWOL and being found 3 weeks later doing lines with Tom Boonen at the discotheque. His excuse? 'Dr Fuentes told me they were vitamins.'

  • Alberto Contador will still be the world's No.1 tour rider, but the next time he does that stupid little trigger finger victory salute, someone will run out of the crowd and smack him in the face because IT'S REALLY GETTING ANNOYING, ALBERTO.

  • Bike manufacturers around the world join forces to create the world's lightest bike. Made from a unique compound of polystyrene foam and baby duck feathers, the frame will weigh in at 200g (plus fork) and retail for $18,000. Corporate execs around the world are already lining up for the Cadel Evans commemorative edition, which comes with a free Tibetan child.*

You heard it first here from Lisa's Mum. She'd reveal more, but we're just not paying her enough.

*I know, that is POOR TASTE, Mum.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crit season cometh

Regular readers of this blog (Mum, Dad, crazy stalker man from Poland) will know that I don't often do club races. It's not intentional, it's just that they are often a long way away, and more importantly, they often take place outside the Good Coffee Zone (which, for those not in the know, is a ring around Melbourne bordered by Sassafras, Thornbury and St Kilda, with a separate zone in Geelong). Beyond those borders is a dystopian wilderness dominated by cup-o-chino and Blend 43 (the horror! the horror!). After living in London for 2 years and seeing what lack of good espresso can do to communities, it's all I can do to leave my fancy-pants crema attitude at home and leave the real racing to the professionals.

Luckily, Hawthorn Cycling Club came to the rescue last night with its summer crit series on Kew Boulevard. The races, held at the loop next to the boulevard (known as The-loop-where-I-accidentally-once-picked-up-a-used-studded-leather-g-string-thinking-it-was-a-lost-glove), was a welcome return to club crit racing, with the added bonus of being exceedingly close to my house. For those not familiar with club racing, it involves a diverse community cross-section including young oiled-up whippersnappers talking in breaking voices about how crap their latest school assignment was; weekend warriors ready to unleash the fury they'd really like to take out on their boss/annoying spouse; and darkhorse elite riders flying under the radar to get in some 'secret training' mid-week. Everyone blends in together and just becomes another number on a bike. Curiously, fat old men with $15,000 Bianchis are generally absent from these types of races.

The club reps who organise these races are generally Mother Teresa-like figures who give up their day of racing so others can enjoy theirs. Those who man the registration table and then race themselves are super-human and evidently have found some way of warming up while simultaneously handing out race numbers and providing change. Once I find out their secret, I'm scrapping my regular warmup.

The racing itself is an exercise in racing with unknowns: people you've never raced against before and whose behaviour is unpredictable. Will #36's early break stay away or is this what he does every week? Is #104 going off the front or about to be lapped? Who is that guy spewing his guts out on the side? This is the best bit about club racing - you just never know, so it's all about just putting your head down and going your hardest

Next week... Lisa's Mum dusts off her commentary jacket and looks ahead to season 2010.
This pic was taken at the You Yangs Yowie, an mtb enduro a few weeks ago. I like to think of this race as the day where I became a real mountain biker, because I got my first real mechanical that forced me out of the race. I was so proud. It was also the day that I discovered that DC from Fitzroy Revolution does a great line in mobile race support, although our cunning plan of swapping bikes backfired when it turned out that his bike was actually a clown bike. We swapped back again pretty quickly.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Here's a new pic from the Honda Hybrid Tour courtesy of Jarrod at This is us at the Lygon St Crit, trying not to crash.

High country shenanigans

Riding your first MTB enduro is much like kissing your first boyfriend. You're nervous, it takes too long and before you know it you've run out of water and are covered in red dust and saddle sores. And at the end, everyone cheers and you can't wait for the next one. OK, maybe it's not that similar. Maybe it's more like being in an abusive relationship. The longer you go, the more it hurts, but you don't want to get out of it because it really loves you, deep down, it just has a funny way of showing it.

Last weekend was one of the highlights of my year, mostly because it involved 2 things: the Spring Racing Carnival, and getting as far away from it as possible. Don't get me wrong, I love small men with high-pitched voices and billowing satin pants as much as the next woman (or man: I'm a modern-thinking woman), but after my invite to the Emirates marquee was yet AGAIN lost in the post (and if you're reading, Angelica from Emirates, yes I am a member of the Tongalese royal family), I packed up my most treasured possessions - Andrew, 2 bikes and a small dinosaur called Charlie - and headed for the mountains.

The Bright enduro is put on each year by Ross Walker and the Alpine Cycling Club, a club which punches way above its weight in organising top-quality events. These guys also organise Tour of Bright. Enough said. Ross was kind enough not to laugh at me when I turned up to race rego, although I think I did catch him checking his public liability insurance policy afterwards as I walked away.

I opted for the 3 hr race, an option which seemed eminently sensible when the temperature starting heading towards the mid-30s. Not so sensible was my decision to ride an extra lap at the 2h58min mark rather than wait before the line for the 3hrs to elapse. That's a lesson for next time. Andrew did a better than brilliant job as chief pit manager and Head of Bidons (that's a salaried post, he interviewed well), and High5 did an excellent job of stopping me bonking. My favourite product of the moment is their smooth orange Isotonic sports drink, check it out if you get the chance.

And I won, hurrah, which meant ice creams all round and an excuse to lie in the river afterwards while I mumbled something about core temperature and cold beers. I also tried to use it as an excuse 2 days later when riding to Falls Creek 2 days later with the TE bunch, but it turned out that not only are Mick, DOB, Rudy and Phil very fit, they had also knocked out a lazy 230km of mountains on the same say as I did the enduro... through thunderstorms, shredded tyres and hypoglycemia. Respekt.

The Bright enduro results are up on There's a link to some excellent pics taken by Sarah Black too - including the one at the top of this post.

Here's hoping you are always riding 3rd wheel when the snakes are about (that's a DC quote, you will have to ask him),


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Herald Sun Tour for Laydeez (or Spot the Honda Hybrid)

The Honda Hybrid Women's Tour (otherwise known as Sort Of The Herald Sun Tour But With More Chicks And Less Coconut Oil) kicked off in earned last Thursday. Thursday is usually my sabbath; it's my day off work and I get to spend it with Donna and the chicks getting my legs ripped off behind a speeding four wheel drive as I try to remember where the dips in the road are. It's a special day. Lately my sabbath has also incorporated a packet of grainwaves on the drive home from Geelong, which has made the Princes Hwy so much more fun and has taught me the move my Dad calls Thighmatic Control as I try to get the crumbs out of the corner of the packet. (This is why I drive an automatic)

This Thursday, however, was different because it was Honda Hybrid Tour time. This involved 80 women, around 12 teams and 3 stages - a road race in Anglesea, TT in Geelong and crit in Lygon St, Melbourne.

I was in the SASI-QAS team (easily the coolest maroon/white/black/red/blue team in the tour). Line up was:
  • Zoe 'Breakaway Bandit' Appel
  • Carlee 'Bloody' Taylor
  • Lou 'GC Contender and Captain Smiles' Kerr
  • Bec 'I eat babies for fun' Werner
  • Tish 'I also eat babies, but it's not fun' Custance
  • Ange 'I conduct citizen's arrests if I'm given too much coffee' McClure
  • Lisa 'Smith & Weston' Jacobs
  • Directeur extraordinaire: Ben 'Buddha' Cook

The QASI team was joined by the NTID team (also very cool, even without maroon):

  • Sarah 'Roids' Roy
  • Carly 'Buzz Light Year' Light
  • Bec 'I love doing TTs by braille' Doolan
  • Laura 'No, I don't do triathlon' Luxford
  • Alex 'I love angry Geelong drivers' Carle
  • Bron 'Secret weapon' Ryan
  • Chef de Mission: Michel 'Gabriel Gate'

And Bec 'Bionic collarbone' Halliday was just too damned fast and formed her own team, taking out sprint, GC and stage honours for Velo Girls.

The teams were managed by Tammie 'Braking for bins is for wimps' Ebert and Josh 'Pistols don't kill people, people kill people' Sear. And Donna 'D-Dog' Rae-Szalinski performed life-saving brownie duties. It was a tight ship.

It was a relief to rock up at the start and see that out of all the team, we definitely would not look the worst after the rain hit (not that I don't like white kits, I'm just no good at separating my washing). And hit it did, which made the end of the road race a wee bit tight, and wreaked havoc for the first starters on the TT the next day. Geelong may have a good football team, but it sure does have some shit weather sometimes.

The tour was an outstanding success, mostly because no one died and we pushed the average of collarbones-broken-per-national-series-crit-race down a little for 2009. Notable performances came from Carly Light (3rd GC) and Bron Ryan (4th GC), but I like to say that Honda Hybrid was the winner.

The results are on and, which I dare say also offers a more accurate race report.

Vive le velo


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back in the game!

Wow, it HAS been a while... Since last post I've finished my stint as a full-time bum (sorry, athlete), gone back to work, had some knee surgery and FINALLY gotten back on my bike! It has been an incredibly frustrating 6 months of injury and, despite looking young enough to be ID'd regularly at Dan Murphy's, it seems my body is just getting old. Memo to self: mountain running is not a recovery exercise.

So what's been going on? Well, I got some ITB troubles in early March and pretty much that kept me off the bike and in a bad mood until July, when I had some minor surgery to partially cut and lengthen the tendon. Now it's September and I'm back on the bike, back training with Donna at Cycle Edge in Geelong every week and loving the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer!

Work-wise, I've spent some time working as a solicitor in market strategy, which has been awesome. I'm really enjoying the work and my colleagues are fantastic. Happy days indeed!

It's been a very long Winter, and being injured for so long has driven me nuts, but it really makes you appreciate other things in life and makes you realise how special it is to be able to train and ride and en joy days on the bike with your mates. So it's not all bad. And it's also meant that I've spent a bit more time on the mtb during rehab. I celebrated my return to bike racing with an mtb race last weekend, and it was so fun I think there will have to be more.

Till next time (which will be soon, I promise)


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tour of New Zealand and International Cup - as Kiwi as

I've just arrived back in Adelaide from NZ where I was racing the Tour of New Zealand and the Wellington International Cup. After over 500km of hard racing in 5 days I am tired, hungry, happy and ready for a break from my bike for a while!
I went over with the 'Australia 2' team- otherwise known as the Aust national talent ID team, comprising myself, Bridie O'Donnell, Shara Gillow, Rachel Neylan and Miffy Galloway. These are some of the up-and-coming riders in the country, and the purpose of the trip was to gain some valuable international racing experience and a taste of life as a professional rider.
The short version is that we came 2nd on teams classification in the Tour of NZ behind the Aust national team, a great effort, and achieved our goal in the 1 day International Cup of making it an aggressive and hard race for everyone else.
It was my first international tour and first time racing properly in a team. A massive learning curve. The tour itself was 3 days of 125-135km/day, then a rest day, then the 120km 1-day race. Just coping with that volume and intensity was a challenge- physically, nutritionally and mentally. And then there were the team tactics to worry about.

As I am a climbing specialist, I was one of the team's protected riders for the first 2 relatively flat stages, with the aim being that I would storm out on the very hilly 3rd stage and claim line honours. Unfortunately the stars did not align for me- a combination of getting sick at the start of the tour, feeling a bit flat physically and mentally ready for a break contributed to a bad day in the saddle on the final stage. In addition, the race didn't turn out quite as we expected and a few teams (ours included) with specialist climbers were also caught short.

My job on the final stage was to stick with the two riders who were likely to win the tour- Vicki Whitelaw from the Aust Nat team, and Ruth Corset from Champion Systems/Jazz Apples. Both riders had their teams working hard for them to put them in poll position on the second-to-last climb at 106km. As well as me, the NTID team had 2 other climbers- Shara Gillow and Miffy Galloway- so we had a number of cards we could play. Bridie and Rachel's job was to chase the breaks for us.

We anticipated that an early break would go and made sure Rachel was in it. The big surprise of the day was that the early break stayed away, which meant that Amber Halliday (a SASI rider and ex-Olympic rower, riding for MB Cycles) got the win and the tour by around 1min30.

I, meanwhile, had managed to make the later break (which was supposed to be the big one!) at 106km with Vicki, Ruth, Carlee Taylor, a Chinese nat team rider and Shara Gillow. Knowing that the first break was still up the road, I worked our group pretty hard and when it came to the start of the final 12km climb I had very little left and was feeling terrible.

The result was the I lost contact with the group with 10km to go, then steadily got passed by other riders as I just willed myself to either vomit and pass out or finish! It was very disappointing personally, but fortunately we still had Shara in the climbing pack and Rachel and Miffy not far behind. So the team did well, but it was hard for me to be happy with my race as I had been so well protected for the first 2 days, and it was all about building up to a great final stage, and then when it was my turn to do something I couldn't. I finished 20th on GC in the end.

Going into the 1-day International Cup two days later, we knew as a team that we wouldn't be in a position to win it. It was a flat, fast course- 14 laps of 8.5km- and both the Aust nat team and MB Cycles had top sprinters in Rochelle Gilmore and Kirsty Broun. The winning team got valuable UCI points which both teams wanted badly to improve their international rankings, so the stakes were high. So our aim was to force a break (preferably involving Bridie) and to make the race as hard and as aggressive as we could for those teams. And although the race still came down to a sprint finish, we definitely achieved our goals. I have never attacked so much in my life. My role was as 'domestique' (or cannon fodder) - to attack and chase attacks, and to force the other teams to spend extra energy chasing me down. I was instructed to treat the 120km race as a 50-min criterium and, ideally, to race so hard that I didn't finish. It was one of the hardest races I've done, and I lasted 12 of the 14 laps which was more than enough. But we succeeded in really mixing up the race and putting everyone firmly in the box.

The course was diabolical too- the forecast was rain and gusty winds (in a race in which last year a rider was BLOWN OFF HER BIKE this is not to be taken lightly), with loads of sharp corners, on roads covered in oil and 2 sets of railway tracks each lap!! To make things worse, we had 2 scheduled trains coming through during the race- and no boom gates! I was absolutely dreading it. On top of the environmental hazards, we also had to cope with the extremely erratic riding of the Japanese and Chinese national teams, who had caused a number of crashes already (if i had a dollar for everytime someone said, 'I'm not trying to be racist, BUT...'). A few riders had already exchanged blows during racing (!) so tensions were high. So it was a race of survival in a lot of ways.

But, miraculously, everyone survived, although i did almost get taken out by a Japansese team rider cutting me off on the inside of a sharp corner, and there was a hairy moment when a rider a few spots in front of me lost a water bottle in the bunch, which bounced along and rolled between -get this- my front and rear wheels at 50kph in the middle of the bunch! So lucky not to have ended up eating bitumen.
Looking back on my tour experience a few days later, I have learned a huge amount, mostly about teams racing and all the strategy involved, but also some technical skills - using race radios, pushing (and being pushed) in the bunch, holding position when being bullied, and feeding from moving vans during the race. International racing is a big step up from the domestic racing I have been doing for the past 18 months and I've realised that experience counts for a lot. I've made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot from them, and hopefully they'll stand me in good stead over the domestic season this year.
One of the biggest challenges recently has been realising that progress as an elite athlete is non-linear - it doesn't just go up steadily, it might shoot up quickly (like having a ripper Tour of Bright), then seem to drop into a hole (nationals). Over time I will get better at reading the signs to make sure I hit the peaks at the big races, but I've realised that having disappointments is a really valuable thing and an essential part of development. I am definitely getting better at taking risks and being prepared to make mistakes, and I hope that will pay off this year in the national road series.
Now that I'm back in Adelaide, I am having a much-needed week off the bike, hurrah! I'm headed back to Melbourne in mid-March, then going to a 6-week camp at the AIS starting at the end of March in Canberra, which is an altitude-specific camp and involves being locked down in the AIS altitude house for 14 hrs a day for 4 of the 6 weeks. It will be great to be training at the AIS and to see how I respond to altitude training, but I'm sure after it I will be very glad to return to normal life and the office for a bit.
Take care and ride happy.

Oceania champs

Not much to report - but here's a pic from the time trial.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A post for Malcs

What a month! If January is anything to go by, 2009 is going to be filled with some ups, some downs, some questionable tan lines and a few valuable lessons.

Lesson #1: If you are in a race and an old-ish, large-ish bloke with a fairly scant sense of chivalry (or alternatively, an extremely progressive feminist bent) throws his weight around in the bunch, tries to steal your wheel and then grunts in a non-complimentary way when you fail to yield said wheel, do NOT, under any circumstances, assume that he is a punter and try to drop him. He just might have been a really famous cyclist once.

Lesson #2: Sock length is king. The longer, the better. If it doesn't come halfway up your calf, it's just not cutting it. If it falls short, unpick the stitching at the top and pull it up. If you are in doubt as to appropriate sock-length height, consult your primary school yearbook circa 1985 and check out the nerdiest kids in the class. Now that's good sock length.

Lesson #3: Now that we're talking fashion, wear your glasses on the OUTSIDE of your helmet straps (so everyone can see the sponsor logos, duh). Not wearing your glasses on the outside is almost as bad as low sock length (see Lesson #2), and only slightly better than putting tri bars on your roadie and talking up how your new 40:30:30 training diet is going to lower your transition splits by, like, 2.5%.

Lesson #4: 'I'm busy peaking right now' is not an acceptable reason why you did not pay your car rego on time.

Lesson #5: Paddlepops are not a fruit. But you can still try for 5 a day if you like.

Lesson #6: Mango dacquaris are a reasonable, if unconventional, method of lowering one's core temperature. Even better, they mean that Saturday nights can now be logged as a legitimate training session. Hey, if electrolyte slushies were good enough for our athletes in Beijing, who am I to argue?

Lesson #7: Reading The Advertiser every day (for the unitiated, this is Adelaide's no.1 newspaper... or only newspaper. Whatever.) does not necessarily guarantee that will be on top of news and current affairs of the world. (Economic crisis? What economic crisis?) However, it does mean that you will have an unprecedented knowledge of lawn bowls results, Fred Basset and what Nora of Plympton South really thinks about pedestrian crossing signage. Reading The Advertiser's sports section also means that you can catch up on how brilliant the Tour Down Under was, which means another legitimate training session logged in the diary.

Lesson #8: You can have a rubbish race, and be down about it for a while, but then you move on and do something about it. And when you see the world news you realise that actually life here is pretty sweet, and that even though Nora in Plympton South is a bit upset about her pedestrian crossing signage, generally life has been pretty good to us.

Lesson #9: Don't fall off your mountain bike and break your arm! Especially when you are about to go overseas!! Get well soon Malcs and heal quickly in time for Kashmir.