Category Archives: Non-ride Reports

Reports about anything not related to a ride

Glebe Velodrome Friday Ride Report

RTG, Dave Wright, Old Spice cheered Half on his big launch on Friday.

Glebe and the upper room at Gleebooks – what a track, a village, a city village no less, bikes galore, and what a grand sight as our learned academic elders appeared from the inner city mist, with unruly grey curls bursting forth from their erudite scalps, and took their place at the front (except Half of course, you will be pleased to hear he is retaining that lovely clean cut north shore patina, must be his French shaving balm).

Next, in the wake of these academic giants, came some lovely keen young things, bright, bubbly, a touch of unpolished hipster here and there, leaning forward to catch a glimpse of the famous political theorists – and oneoperative – on the track.

Thirdly, observing both our learned academics and their smitten young adherents, were a large swag of washed out middle aged northern European hemp jacketed senior lecturers  – with a bewildered, forlorn look, as if they were hoping to catch a bit of the genius that seems to flourish at either end of the academic lifecycle before them, but that had abandoned them in their listless middle years.

And yep, you got it, right up the back, the three ER podium girls in their bags of fruit keen to see their man compete and to knock back the Gleebooks refreshments.

The race started with Half in the hot seat on his super light carbon “End Of”. What ensued was initially chaotic, something like a cross between a 60 minute Madison and an Olympic Sprint, with Half himself confused over the particular chair he occupied at the Uni.

But the race settled down once John Keene, riding “The Death of Democracy”, a crusty old iron tourer with panniers and a giant wicker basket, took the lead, in an energetic 10 minute burst.  Half jumped in his slipstream and drafted him for about 5 minutes, before slingshotting off up the Col de Radical Resistance and through Citizens Gap like a man possessed.

Half had just got the top, and took a breath to start his descent, when Geoff Gallup appeared, presidential in his pace, relaxed on a flat bar belt drive internal hub outfit.  The wily practitioner of the old give them the centre left trick, took the lead at a very measured pace, keeping a careful look out mind you – as he said more than once – both left and right.  “Watch Right” he called, “It’s time”.

The sprint to the finish saw Keene and Half clash briefly, with a rising challenge from Keene, but Half recovered his equilibrium.  Gallup and Keene pulled back on the rhetoric and let Half take the whole prize, yes the whole lot – I kid you not – the kit and caboodle – the flag, all stages, every colour jersey –  and the podium.

If you didn’t know better, with all the harrumphing and back slapping, you would have thought the race, not just the bike race, was well and truly rigged.  Unbelievable.

Not to be critical of Gleebooks, because they did fill us up with wine and beer, but you have to wonder:  where was the promised effervescence? You might be able to take the socialist  out of the chardonnay, but heaven help you if you try to separate a thinking ER from his champagne.

Regardless, after that performance, Old Spice predicts that it might be the end of representative politics, but we haven’t seen the end of Prof Half yet, not even half of it.*

All in all a terrific night at the velodrome.

Old Spice

*  Mrs Half has, and she said we should be grateful for small mercies.

Memorandum: Socks

The Office of the CFO has recently been approached by several ER members in a state of confusion around sock height.

The following memorandum should help ease concern:

First of all, as a member of ER, as a cyclist and potentially as a human being (*) you must wear socks. Naked feet in cycling shoes is potentially worse than 6 year old white knicks worn in the rain. The CFO recognises that those strange people who engage in “triathlon” tend to neglect to wear socks, but do you really want to be seen to be a triathlete?

Secondly, and importantly, socks draw attention to your feet and your calves. If you have great legs (Finchy, Rob, Jason), you have the right, if not the obligation, to wear amazing tall length socks. If you have cankles or hairy legs please be discreet.

As per the Rules, ideal sock height is quoted as being “Not too long and not too short”. How exactly does this translate?

  • If the socks are so low they cannot be seen, please refer to the above.
  • Ankle or “anklet” socks are the property of your 12 year old daughter. Please give them back.
  • Short socks, made popular by the MTB brethren many years ago, are slowly been weeded out of clubs and races everywhere. Take this as your warning.
  • Business socks will be allowed, as length is generally in line with regulation (as long as they meet the criteria below)
  • Those STUPID calf guard / compression things that go up to your knee ARE WRONG.
  • Aim for mid calf. As discussed below, the better the rider and the better the legs, the higher you can go (to a point known as “cutoff”).

What about the socks themselves?

  • They must be EQUAL in height
  • They must MATCH
  • No holes in your knicks, no holes in your socks.
  • They must retain elasticity and not slide down
  • Tight socks are one of lifes pleasures. Go on. Buy some.
  • Merino socks are fine. Fluffy wooly socks are not, unless your name is Russell Coight and you are driving a 4wd in the desert.

My feet are cold, what do I do?

  • Please invest in merino socks. The sock can remain thin while warm is maintained.
  • Booties rock. As long as careful consideration into length, brand and colour is taken.
  • Oversocks are also totally cool, but must remain “fresh” and clean at all times.
  • Toe covers, as long as they are subtle and barely noticeable, are allowed.

Please enlighten me as to colours?

  • The rules will allow any colour, however;
  • As a general rule for the cyclist new to sock selection and outfit coordination, black shoes/black socks and white shoes/white socks is a safe bet.
  • If you are a man or woman of style, socks can be used to compliment or provide juxtaposition to an outfit.
  • Fluro socks are in. Be wary, the same fluro socks on one man can be brilliant, on another horrendous.
  • The better rider you are, the more you can get away with.

* It is yet to be determined which alien race Chippo forms part of. Normally wearing Jesus sandals while riding would be considered a CFO breach, however we are considerate to all cultures and religions, even those from outer space.


Yours in good looking feet,


Sunday Service

Grant style, per previous requests —

  1. 6am Walk out of house into pouring rain for pleasant Sunday ride to Cronulla.
  2. 6:15am Stop on Vimiera Road to fix flat rear tyre in downpour.
  3. Climb back on bicycle resisting curiously strong urge to turn around, ride home, and climb into bed.
  4. Notice how little traffic seems to be out on the Cooks River Cycleway today.
  5. Pedal into tempest on Botany Bay. Note south-west gale is almost perfectly head-on rounding the point at Sans Souci.
  6. Arrive at Cronulla, drop soaking kit into dryer, load new fridge onto trailer, drive back to Turramurra.
  7. Move old broken fridge out of garage.
  8. Move new broken fridge out of kitchen into garage.
  9. Move new fridge off trailer into kitchen.
  10. Load old broken fridge onto trailer, drive to Chateau d’Half.
  11. Load new new fridge onto trailer and collect a comically large adjustable spanner (bonus, thanks Half!). Drive to Cronulla.
  12. Move new new fridge into garage, drive old broken fridge to tip.
  13. Tip closed, drive back to Cronulla.
  14. Extract kit from dryer, load work clothes, shoes, and comically large adjustable spanner into backpack. (Seriously doesn’t even fit in there; no matter which way I stuff it in, one end of the spanner pokes out the top of the pack!)
  15. Hoist pack.
  16. Comically large adjustable spanner not so funny now.
  17. Ride into howling southerly expecting to blow all the way home.
  18. Note south-west gale has inconveniently shifted to the south-east, almost perfectly head-on rounding the point at Sans Souci.
  19. Become hopelessly lost in Olympic Park vortex. (Strava map looks like Etch-A-Sketch drawing.)
  20. Emerge in Rhodes to (a) darkening skies and (b) realisation that all the elevation between here and Turramurra has yet to be gained.
  21. Consider chucking comically large and increasingly unfunny spanner in the river.
  22. Note shoe sticking into back was annoying, now painful. Also, desperately needing to pee. Also: front tyre needing air.
  23. Stubbornly refuse to stop for anything that’s not a hot shower or a cold beer.
  24. 8pm Roll into garage. Head straight to kitchen to retrieve cold beer from new fridge — hey, the light works! — take cold beer straight to hot shower.
  25. Collapse in comfy chair and make odd, unintelligible noises for a good half an hour or so.

Mass conversions

Brethren and sistren of the pedal:

No doubt you’ve heard restless stirrings from backyard sheds, whispered mutterings at the back of the peloton, or perhaps even the shriek of grinder upon metal (and every now and then the odd bloody bit of thumb, but the less said about that the better.) You’ve heard Horatio’s glorious tales of Old Gold. You’ve heard brothers Jamie and Tony hint at the furtive turning of spanners in the night. We all heard brother Clunt’s forking cry for help.

Well, brothers and sisters, it’s time to step out of the shadows and into the squinty light of dangly fluorescent tubes, the ones illuminating Sacred Quests and dingey man- (and woman) caves alike.

Indeed, the hour is upon us. It’s time to heed the call, the shrill ring of mallet upon steel (and don’t ask what that was for.)

It is time to build our steely singlesteeds.

Be tempted not by false idols or — Comet: — fancy aluminium baubles  for The Man speaketh the Word and the Word is “Steel” because Steel, baby, is Real.

As the long darkness descends upon us, let us search garage and garden shed; let us scour the dusty corners of the interwebs for ancient relics. Bring the lost and forsaken unto the Holy Workbench where we will stand back on our heels, fingers stroking our beardy chins, and contemplate The Work.

We will furrow our brows and grease our fingers — wiping them not on the trousers our spouses will wash, but on the rags put aside for this purpose — and scrape away the flakey paint and rusty bits. Their silvery bones laid bare, with good grace and divine guidance [1], we will resurrect these old souls; dress them in triple coats of supergloss enamel, with gleaming cranks and freshly oiled chains, and shiney cable housings. Yea verily, brothers and sisters of the wrench, we will pimp our rides.

(#1: — Eternal thanks in advance to the Thornleigh Speed Shop and Bucky’s Bike Shed for correcting all our f*ckups; sponsorship terms, conditions and contracts are in the post.)

And when at last the long, cold winter is behind us — long after the last drops of Belgian ale and single malt whiskies are wrung from their barrels — we shall don the Robes of the Chafed, the glorious Egg and Tomato, and emerge triumphant in the warm and golden sunrise, singlespeeding as one upon our Quest, the Springy Steel Fluffer™ (TBA) to spread The Word amongst the Bitter & the Twisted.

— The Disciple

Bucky ManCave; new training course request

Bucky, this morning’s commute highlighted a significant difference of opinion in the peloton around a topic most of us take for granted; consequently can I request you schedule a training course at the ManCave at the earliest opportunity. I’d suggest setting aside a full afternoon for this one.

The topic: Whether the presta valve needs to be placed in the open position before engaging a C02 canister for the purposes of inflation.

Proponents of the two schools of thought are best summarised as:

(i) those in the picture below, and


(ii) those who think it quite obvious that the valve should be placed in the open position before applying such canister.

You may want to ask participants to bring with them their own supply of canisters for testing purposes.

Breaking News

Team Comet has announced that it has parted company with high performance coach Flash Gordon. Comet’s executive management did not feel that Comet was delivering against several Key Performance Indicators and all members of the leadership group were asked to submit a PowerPoint pack on how things could be improved. It is understood that Flash muttered something along the lines of “engineers don’t do PowerPoint” and refused to cooperate.

There have been rumours for some time that all was not happy within Team Comet. Several experienced observers have pointed out that a thrashing up the back door once a week was never going to be sufficient to turn Comet into the elite athlete promised when Team Comet was launched last year. There have also been whispers that Flash has been reported to the ER Chief Steward on more than one occasion for illegal use of the whip. We asked the Chief Steward for a comment but, perhaps learning his lesson from the recent Wheel Sucking debacle, the Chief Steward said that all investigations were now strictly confidential.

B1/M has been asked to stand in as high performance coach while Team Comet interviews candidates for the permanent position. Potential candidates are invited to present their credentials in writing to Team Comet c/o the Bitter & Twisted Café, Kent Street, Sydney. Meanwhile expect to see Comet riding around on a steel bike with a house brick strapped to the handlebars.


In other news the B2B bunch have reportedly made a lucrative offer for Danny the Boy to return to their fold. They are hoping that his epic ride reports may add a bit of interest to their otherwise pedestrian email list and that they may encourage their 3 days a week riders to get out a bit more.

A spokesperson for the ER executive has denied talk of a transfer deal and said that Danny the Boy is not for sale at any price.

Caption Competition #1


  1. Bullet admires his reflection “like two badly-parked Volkswagens”
  2. Bullet “Yes mine is more sumptuous…”
  3. ahem … honey when you’ve finished with the chauffeur, I’ve got a bike over here that needs washing
  4. One man’s Rolls is another man’s muffin top.
  5. “Does my arse look big in this?”
  6. Is that what an Egg and Bacon Rolls looks like?
  7. Bullet: “GOTFR!”
  8. “Now calm down and get out of the car darling . I told you months ago what I was planning to wear today.”
  9. “Old Spice…….is that you…….?”
  10. Lady Penelope: Look Parker – is that one of those Easy Riders?
    Parker: Yes M’lady I’m afraid it is.
    Lady Penelope: Is it… Brains?
    Parker: No M’lady, I believe those that know him well call him Virgil… or something of that nature – although perhaps not to his face.
  11. Kiss me Katut.


My vote is for 8.

A thought from the Dominator…

It concerns me greatly that some members are continuing to ride with underpants under their Knicks and that longer standing members are allowing this to happen either in omission or schadenfreude.

Funny though it may be it will ultimately only bring discredit to the ER brand “oh yeh those guys who wear underpants” queue derisive laughter.

Moreover the medical hazards of this behavior to the wearer are well documented in cycling fora and blogs.

There is no Velominati Rule about this as it is a universal truth and it would be too embarrassing even to mention.

To the wearers I suggest for your own wellbeing and sangfroid said underpants should only be worn on designated Superhero days and then over your knicks.

Sweaty bollocks