Thursday, July 27, 2006
Bought the girl a lovely set of panniers for the trip, from Summit Gear in Katoomba. They made them yesterday and shipped them to me where I'm staying in Hobart overnight. How's that for service? Thanks Brett!
They're lovely canvas bags, very similar to the 20-year-old Wilderness Equipment panniers I have, which I don't think they make any more.
And, speaking of the old fashioned and beautiful, check out this lovely classic French tourer. Mmmm.
3,237km so far this year.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Kyneton was the venue for my latest attempt at my own modest hour record: 30.14km set back in March last year at Castlemaine. (Two other cracks have both yeilded times a shade over 29km/h each.) If I was all that serious about it, I'd be embarrassed, because I've probably done faster hours on the road, but it's not a mark set in earnest. But the beauty of such a modest achievement is that there's seemingly endless room for improvement. The problem is that something always seems to slow me down a little. The wind is the usual culprit, or the arrival of some kids on mountain bikes who want to roll around the duckboards, someone training their slobbering idiot dog in the middle. There's always an excuse.
I started out too fast today and while my average was 34km/h for the first few kilometres, it was far too fast to keep up for long. Before too long, the kick each lap to hold my speed through the home turn was beginning to hurt. By 30 minutes I'd sagged dramatically and was looking for a reason to quit. The rain which started at the 40 minute mark was most welcome and I shall have to content myslef with a PB for the 20km (41:06, or 28.8km/h!) Laugh all you like, it would have been world record pace in, um, 1878. The hour record is safe, for now.
Monday, July 17, 2006
It's not something I'd take too seriously though, because Kev wins by a mile on moral grounds. He does all his miles at night, in the dead of a Tasmanian winter, on the way to and from his night shift job. It's in the minuses most nights and he rides rain or shine. They make them tough in Tassie.
3,185km so far this year.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I was happy to finish the 100km in under 5 hours, despite not feeling my best and the rolling hills in the last 30km. Early on, the group I was in came across a rider who'd just been knocked off his bike by another rider, who'd left the scene shortly afterwards. Help was called and he was off to hospital with a broken wrist. Otherwise it was a most pleasant day, grinding the big road bike gears across the undulations south of Seymour. My knees didn't thank me and I spent most of the ride on my own anyhow, so the road bike wasn't that much of an advantage. I suspect I'll be back on the Surly next time, for the benefit of the more comfortable ride and the granny gears on the triple crankset up the big hills. Although I've heard horror stories about it, I might give the Kinglake 100 a look this weekend.
It turns out there's a cult, or at least a mailing list of Surly Long Haul Trucker devotees. I'm waiting for a sunny day to take some photos of mine for the feature spot on the homepage. One of their rides shown above. Such devotion. Thankfully they stop short of giving their bikes names. That would be taking it just a bit too far.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
"I cannot claim to represent those faceless and unacknowledged opponents in the Great Race. A race, yes, but an unusual one in that most cyclists are not even aware it is taking place. This is ideal, for I am absurdly but secretly competitive and have an almost pathological need to be first away at the lights.
"The small number of cyclists who are in the know duel with great nonchalance and no acknowledgement of their opponent. The trick is to cycle at maximum speed until the point of overtaking, and then sit back in the saddle as you pass, looking straight ahead as if the mere breeze is carrying you forward.
"I even have a scoring system which gives double marks for passing anyone wearing Lycra. Overtaking a bike courier would theoretically score five, but I have never done it."
In the comments 'Simon' notes: "The first rule of The Great Race is that you never mention The Great Race".
Nigel will have to be hunted down - and overtaken with great nonchalance.
All in all a very stylish piece of kit, and they sell for under $1,000. If there wasn't a limit on how many bikes one can reasonably own, I'd seriously consider one. How much is that limit anyhow? I'd think four was enough - a bike for all seasons - but I'm beginning to think perhaps six.
Monday, July 03, 2006
While the possibilities the bicycle offers as a getaway vehicle have never occurred to me, it seems some people would use nothing else. You choice of transport during a criminal enterprise says a lot about you as a person. Whether you're robbing a restaurant or firebombing a house there's no reason to add to global warming and traffic congestion at the same time. Say what you like, but the thinking criminal should display at least that much of a social conscience.
2,997km so far this year.