Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The one legged man.

Had a funny day yesterday. As the day went on my usual cynicism with society increased as a result of inflamatory anti-cyclist articles such as this; and stupid, fat and lazy auto-commuters holding me up on the way home. It all started getting me down so I went for a ride.

On my second descent of Castle Hill I noticed an old man riding upward on a mtb/hybrid. He was progressing very slowly and although I thought he had bitten off more than he could chew (and perhaps shouldn't have attempted the hill) I nodded hello and he nodded back. I turned around at the bottom and started up again, soon I caught him in my view ahead. He was still struggling, looking awkward on the bike and going quite slowly.

Then, to my amazement, I realised what he was doing. This was a man who had overcome a huge hurdle in his life and was now out on a hot and humid day making the most of what he has. He wasn't sitting in front of a TV or driving a car, like most people in his circumstances were. He had discovered that even without a leg, life keeps on keeping on.

I slowed down as I passed and said hello. Most two legged people will give you a bit of a grunt and comment on how hard the climb is. No-one is ever as happy as he was to say hello and comment on the breeze.

I reached the top and headed down again, passed him, nodding again. I reach the bottom and decided on one more climb. He passed me on his way down, wind blowing through his grey hair, huge smile on his face and yelling in his European accent "OYOYOYOOOOY!!!!!!!".

The rest of my day was great!!!

The Wedding

I was actually in Bondi for Robbo and Roo's wedding, so here's a few snaps.

The church wasn't too shaby, overlooking the heads.

Signing up for life.

The usual suspects.

Dunbar House was set up nicely.

They served me beer at my table.

The rest I can't remember.........

A weekend in Bondi.

Headed down to Bondi for the Aussie Day weekend. What a different world!

Here's a couple of views from my balcony at the Bondi Hotel.

And some shots around the bay.

Where's Wally?

And a shot of my hotel. Est 1920

Finally a couple from Watsons Bay

Saturday, January 19, 2008


i-ro-ny -noun: an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

So there I was last night, watching bikes fly through the air, over ramps, half pipes and rails. Today, I also saw a bike fly through the air, only this time within inches of my drivers side window, coming to an immediate halt after impacting the rear of the car in front of me. Very quickly followed by a teenager, landing metres in front of my car and sliding to a halt in the turning lane.

Teenagers are getting more and more 'X-treme' everyday. He was carted away in an ambulance so it was a once of trick, but it goes to show more devotion to the art of cycling than I ever have in a 24 hour race or commuting and training everyday; rain, hail or shine.

The catapult.

The sacrificial bike.

The landing zone.

All okay eventually.

Note: Before you all think I have a cold black heart; I am only talking in jest (although it was 100% his fault for filtering through stationary traffic into an empty but fast moving turning lane and it is people like him that give cyclist a bad name.The media will still call him a 'cyclist', just because he's riding a bike). He came out of it pretty well and I was the one to call the ambo, render some first aid and comfort the driver of the actual car (because it wasn't her fault and she's the one who'll remember it for the rest of her life, not him). That's once my hands stopped shaking enough to use my phone - damn buttons are so small!!

Was on my way to see Juno too. At least there's an arvo session.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fire in the sky.

It stopped raining today. It's been raining since I got home from Adelaide. I went for a ride this evening and wasn't sure if the Apocalypse was coming....

It must be; and instead of horses, War, Famine, Pestilence and Death have arrived on very small wheels.

Notice any resemblance?

And much to the dismay of any fixie hipster/officionado out there, I have attached bull horns to the Retard. I like them. Ole!

Big loads.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how easy it actually is (in most circumstances) to ride everywhere and use public transport, using a car only for recreation on weekends and the occasional carriage of large objects or groceries (not stealing furniture on hard rubbish day Rachael). This also got me thinking as to whether the inevitable increase in fuel costs will eventually see every day people riding 500 meters to the local shops or video store instead of driving, I hope so. (Remember when there were corner stores on every corner? Why don't they exist any more? Because people drive to malls instead).

I think I'm doing pretty well riding EVERYWHERE on my fixie and carting stuff around on my back, although I certainly looked like the Hunchback Of Notre Dame on the way back from the post office the other day, my Chrome Mini Metro bulging at the seams. I even caught the bus to town on Saturday night. It's come to the point where I actually feel guilty all day if I drive to work or use my car to go shopping, but sometimes I have no choice, a weekly grocery trip means six or seven green bags. Then I came across this at a local bike shop.

The Kona Ute is a sign that the world is changing. When you see a huge bike company take an idea like this and run with it, you know attitudes are changing, even if only a little bit. Big companies don't take risks so they obviously know that they will sell enough of these to make it worthwhile. How great is that!!

I want one!! Now to justify another bike in the stable, and convince Elroy to ride on the back.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wet weather and the Retard.

It's been a bit of a shock returning to normality after having such a good time over Christmas. The weather here is tremendously humid and wet, but surprisingly nice when the wind is rushing past on a bike. So I've been spending lots of time just cruising around rather than being in the house, increasing my carbon footprint by using the air conditioners.

The tropical cloud formations are awesome though.

And the Premier Cycles bike has been officially named 'Retard'. Long story, but in short a certain forum I frequent is full of non-fixie-believers and after posting a pic of my latest conquest the question was raised as to how I 'retard' the speed (read: where are the brakes?). Other forum members replied that there was plenty of retardation, some of it sitting on the bike. So the name has stuck, literally. And who in their right mind would steal a bike with no gears, brakes or pedals (to speak of) that has pink wheels and 'Retard' emblazoned on it's side? My Kriptonite Evolution is less of a deterrent than that I think.

Oh, and I tried some fixie cyclocross at the marina construction site. Not overly successful, skid stopping on mud with 28mm slicks isn't really skid stopping, it's more like just plain sliding. Damn good fun though.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holidays are over.

I'm sitting at Brisbane airport on my way back to the 'ville. The holidays are over and tomorrow it's back to the grind stone. A sign of a good holiday is when it feels longer than it was, and it feels like I was away for months. Time well spent I say.

Here are some images from the last few days.

Tim and Chloe demonstrating responsible driving through teamwork.

Langers arrived on Thursday for some Adelaide time. Gotta love breakfast pizza!!

Then we ventured to the Belgian Beer Cafe (Oostender) for some Leffe,

before retiring to the Seacliff Pub, my home away from home away from home.

Shadows from the Seacliff Pub.

The next day saw more hot weather so we went for a swim at Glenelg,

then consumed much Sangria and Margarita with dinner as the sun set at Gringos Mexican Cantina. Oh, and the food was great too!!

And my final sunset with Rach at O'Sullivans Beach.

Until my next holiday I'll be the one staring at my computer from behind my desk, dreaming of days like those just gone.