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),