Sunday, December 30, 2007

And so it comes to this...

At midnight tonight there is just one day left in the year. At, where cyclists go to log their rides in the spirit of friendly competition the clock is ticking down. There's been a noticeable surge in the last few days as people ride that little bit extra to improve their year. I was touching the top 1,200 mark, but two days of the bike to got to a family wedding in Sydney has dropped me down a remarklable 80 places which I won't regain.

For mine, 2007 hasn't been my best year. I'm on 5,954km, which means I'm a certainty to try to crank out 45km tomorrow to cross the 6,000km barrier. I had been aiming for 10,000km, then 7,200km. As the year drew on and it became apparent I wasn't going to come close to either of those I decided to settle for 6,400km - which was my total last year. I'm not even going to make that. Never mind, every kilometre was fun, as I now recall, even the ones on icy roads in the winter rain.

A couple of other riders have had a stellar year though. I tend to disregard the blokes who claim more than 30,000km a year as overachievers and braggarts. But Husky65 has done 6,485km to date which puts him dead on for 6,500km and a newcomer called 3hills has pedalled his heart out for 6,735km. Emphatic!

I'll spend tomorrow thinking about goals for 2008. It's going to be a cracker! Watch out husky65 and 3hills.

5,954km so far this year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Slow, fat Alleycat!

Hobart's first Alley Cat race was held on the weekend, starting out from Salamanca Place for a mad dash from pub to pub in Hobart's inner city. There was around a dozen riders, which is pretty good for a first event. Most rode fixies, although there was also mountain bikes and tourers and even someone sporting a top-tube baby seat. The route was a slowly unfolding secret - the first checkpoint revealed at the start, the second was revealed after drinking a beer at the first and so on. A most enjoyable day, even counting walking into a pub in West Hobart wearing a nightie over my cycling gear (race requirement between checkpoints three and four, I promise.)

I'm not that competitive and my backstreet knowledge of Hobart isn't that sharp so I've got a way to go as an Alleycat racer, but I learned some valuable lessons. You realise how hilly Hobart's is when you're a large man on a fixed gear. Racing on a full stomach also isn't the smartest thing to do. And it's not smart to wait at the last checkpoint for your mate who you think is behind you, because he might have found a shortcut along the way and you will certainly end up getting the ironic slow hand clap and cheers reserved for those who come DFL.

5,761km so far this year.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Still pedalling.

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle."
Ernest Hemingway.

5,558km so far this year.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More room please.

I've had a few close calls lately and have been thinking about what to do. I originally thought ot a rearward-facing video camera and a laser rangefinder to get an image and a distance readout on the fuckers so I can go to the cops. But an e-mail exchange wit the wonderful Dr Ian Walker of the bike helmet study fame, I've decided it's going to be far too much trouble.

My next thought was a metre-plus long length of scratchy aluminium on a spring, to keep people at bay, but I find the idea's been considered and soundly rejected.

Then then I find the photo to the left. If that's not exactly me message I'm wanting to send, I don't know what is. It might not be that practical for moving through traffic, but you can't have everything.

Thanks to Treadly for the link.

5,558km so far this year.