With a change in employment, holidays are now sparse, so I made this one count .. sorta!
Everyone keeps asking 'how was your christmas?'. Coming from a post-nuclear family, my ideal xmas is a non-existant one. I used to hide at my surf life saving club when I was younger, but that's not an option anymore (I don't have time to be a lifesaver anymore). This xmas was Dad's place on xmas eve and overnight (and a bizarre experience, sleeping on the floor in his bedroom ... ) and then riding back to Vermont on xmas morning (via the uberbikepath known as Eastlink! - this has been blogged earlier). Then Lucie & I spent the rest of the day doing nothing and ended up having Chinese take away for dinner. Bliss. Boxing day was a mums-family lunch that I couldn't ride to (had to take a ... car ...!), but next year that'll be better once Lucie's done with all her chemo etc. Might take the tandem... It needs to be ridden more, it cost me a fortune and I've hardly ridden it at all.
Anyway .. enough of that. The rest of the gap between xmas and the turn of the year was spent up at Bonnie Doon, or. specifically, Trev's place at Peppin Point. Myself, Rich and Lawrence (rocketboy) took MTB's and beer. A dangerous combination! The trip up was eventful. Rich's old Landrover (aka The Adventure Truck) is ... old ... (1973) and it has some issues. We had a puncture just outside Yea, the jack collapsed so we had to wave down a passing car for help (can we borrow your jack for 5 minutes)!, and then the old adventure truck had carby problems, meaning that it basically took us a day to travel the 160km to Bonnie Doon from home. I've ridden it on my roady in around the same time (but, with a lot less luggage!). The next day RB and I rode Hurt Hill in the morning before it got too hot. I was pretty slow up it (25 mins I think?) and RB wasn't far behind. He rode it really well, but suffered on the descent down Maintongoon Road - I had the big Trek Fuel EX8 dualy, and he was on my old Trek 4700 (now with RockShoc Reba SL's and a front cable disk, but still a reasonably entry-level hardtail). We spent the next few hours working on the MTB crit course through Trev's paddock (I dug, I picked and scraped, Rich testrode, and RB watched holding a beer), until I gave up around 12. Too hot ... it was 42 degrees every day we were up there.
Later we went for a swim in the lake (riding to the lake & back, of course!), before the three of us put lights on and rode to the Bonnie Doon bridge to do the scoops and then go to the shop for ice cream (closed! at 11pm? CRIMINALS!). Saw 'roos, and a wombat, but no echidnas. Three rides for the day, not bad!
Next day, RB and I rode in to town again along the river/lake bed to get a paper and some bits & pieces, and on the way back I proved you can crash a Fuel EX8. Going up a steep ramp at around 5km/h, I hit a rut and the front wheel stopped, and I couldn't get out of the left cleat fast enough. An inelegant topple. Heh .. no damage. The bike landed on me. Rich was happy we brought him an ice coffee, shaken, not stirred. Spent the rest of the day wilting under the ceiling fans drinking beer. Lucie rolled up around mid afternoon and so did Trev Lightfoot. It cooled down (35!) at about 6pm so off for a swim again, and then the boys got on the grog. At dusk I said 'enough!' and we went up Hurt Hill again. I was sober, the other two were not .. at least not at the start of it. By the time we topped out (I did a 23 min, I think, ok under the circumstances) they were both stone cold sober. We rode the rollers to Maintongoon Rd again and lights on for the descent. Nice ride ..
Spent the next day under the ceiling fan. 42 degrees again. No riding of note except to tootle to the lake for a swim in the arvo. I felt for the lads at the xmas track carnivals. In that heat? Insane ...
NYE was pretty quiet, just 4 of us and a few bottles of champers and my one remaining firecracker from the stash. It's gone now .. RB got it into his head that we should all be nude for new years. I think we were just drunk enough to go along with his idea for a bit. Maybe we'll be racing at the MTB single speed worlds next year? I hear drunken nudity is de rigeur at that event?
The first day of '08 was .. hot. Lucie & I took the Ovlov home, while Rich & RB limped home in the very sick adventure truck.
We raced at BBN this Saturday, I'm proud to record 2 DFL's in B grade, but I wasn't an idle spectator, and had some influence on the scratch race at least, and in the team sprint I managed to (as first rider) drop my second rider which was quite a surprise. I had to back off to let them back on, and that gave Dino (riding lead for the other team) an easy first lap win over me! I'll get you next time, Dino! Nathan and Bev did a great job running the races, and it was great to have the V-Train along riding A grade, and also Leah Patterson was back racing after a pretty bad collar bone break in November '07. A pretty healthy field all up, all grades had good numbers except A grade, which had only 3 (including the V-Train, who won everything!). A special thanks to Stu, he gave his prize money to a youngster who made a bold attack in his scratch race. Stu, you're pure class mate. Thankyou.
Tomorrow I've got an early training session at BBN doing sprint work behind a motorbike with Dino, Pat Dougherty, Emily and Simon Doran. I'd like to specially note Emily, who had a fantastic day at one of the xmas carnivals and winning some prizemoney. Top stuff Emily! Dino drew a dreadful mark for the wheelrace but I'm sure, knowing him, that he would have given it everything he had.
I'm organsing to do a Level 1 strength & conditioning course soon, which will fill a gap I need to fix up for training sprinters. Anything else? The next dinner is getting close and I'm tempted to break with a short tradition and announce the speaker before hand. It'll be a really good talk and I'm much looking forward to it. I need more people to come! If you want to, you know what to do ...