Monthly Archives: January 2010

2009 Christmas Message from Europe

Best wishes to all from chilly Europe –

dinner amongst french relatives last night turned to highlights of our first year in sydney – Significant Other regales guests with tales of walk on various beaches, sumptuous oysters in some dreamy restaurant or other. My mind wanders rather chaotically to one of the true highlights of Sydney life: ER and the return trip over SHB for ‘6 bells’ (i muse to Teflon: ‘you can’t match that view in the UK can you Nick?’ – What?’ he replies plaintively, ‘Coopz’s arse? – I’ve seen better …’).

In the meantime all the best for the season – it has been a real pleasure and genuine ‘highlight’ to discover ER –

Simon / Half

ER Moanday Report

Sydney moved about 400km north this weekend to land in a subtropical zone complete with stinking humidity and oven like conditions overnight. An atmosphere you could cut with an knife this morning, sweat refusing to evaporate leaving a puddle under the bike at all stops looking much like aircon exhaust.

Numbers were down today, could have been weather related or that various vigorous exploits had been undertaken on the weekend, a full report being expected shortly…Chippo from Byron and Drastic on the Highland fling…so where were the other 12 regulars…

I was on Doris’s bequest today due to serious mechanical failure in the TCR which is back in the Hornsby Cycle shop being reassembled after I took it apart on Saturday. The head set bearings had seized up and rusted through, too jammed in I balked at the idea of bashing them out myself, and the frame maker had also added to the issue by ensuring the top bearing cup holder was “carboned in” a lip diameter smaller than the bearing into the shop it went..where they found the chain had stretched to beyond replacement size and the cassette needed to be replaced, so in all when I get it back all the drive chain components will have been replaced a couple of times, I don’t seem to be having much luck really considering I have only done about 12000km on that bike. ( Or are my expectations too high )

A gentleman’s pace set no record books alight today, DT managed to swing the KOM by working over an embattled Half Khan, I think we were joined by TFS at that point who had missed the departure by 5 mins and had chased us down. Drastic had taken the highway as he too was a late departure, and had beaten us to the café by a mere 5 minutes, enough to have the tables reserved, which was great because the shock of Friday was still reverberating through the peloton.

Stinking humidity not withstanding, departures as posted last week…anytime you can, but there will be a 6pm bus for those who are keen.

Have a great day all.


Rabbit in the Headlights

There was an eerie mist drifting across the suburbs today, remains discarded from the deluge that drenched your hardy correspondent on the way home last night. El Conjo and I took an early one home in an effort to miss the worst of it but by Naremburn it was clear no escape was available…the bike path in Munro Park proved too slippery for our famous rabbit and he lost the front wheel on a corner by the first tunnel, I was drafting so saw a rabbit in the headlights and did the only thing possible which was to run him over. Luckily only a bit of skin lost and a shiner for yours truly.

The warm northerly made today’s ride in an unseasonably pleasant one, a tad steamy even. meeting at the top of KPR we encountered a finely dressed man carrying a recycled cotton shoulder bag, we pleasantly greeted him which was good because it turned out to be Chippo, which once realised triggered a few witty remarks and mention of a spreadsheet ranking…

B2B peloton arrived at the crack of 6:30, so it was a prompt departure, but by the lights at Commenarra there was a parting of the ways as ERs took off dropping their B2B friends who were fixing a flat.

Browns was dangerously slippery covered as it was with leaves sand and storm water flotsam and jetsam, but all through unscathed. The pace therefrom was never too too fast to slow a continuous banter, so you could hear the ERs approaching although the conversation was clearly too inane to keep Contadore from breaking away to a 100m lead.

Great to see Shorty on the ride, his 220ks from Newcastle have to count for something on the spreadsheet, and he’ll be turning around and heading up the shore again enjoying the day for change instead of finding fault with military equipment.

Cafe Bullet only snared 6 of the 17 or so starters, where there were discussions and votes on the July awards, Drastic will no doubt be announcing the winners in due course.

Rhodes once again conquered Friday underway into a long weekend, it doesn’t get much better than that, except of course for the beers at the Groin tonight after a 5:15 SHB departure…

Have a good one all


Breaking news from Hong Kong airport

Ben  – I like the throwing down of gauntlets in such fashion; but nonetheless its a curious retranslation of Occam’s Razor to insist on ad-free cycleware for the month of November.  You see far from supporting and sustaining mega-capitalism the wearing of ad-infested lycra is an actually an extension of the Situationist tactic of Detournement – which is to say a reversal of signs and meaning so that the opposite is achieved.  Far from being complicit in the perpetuation of wage  slavery, the placing of an ad on the backside of a portly middle aged MAMIL is actually a subtle counter-hegemonic sign reading: “no you don’t want to be like me, or be associated with the things that I associate with do you?”  – its classic subvertising – the juxtaposition of the ‘desired’ with its Other – the not-desired. Just look at the vitriol directed daily at blokes riding bikes in Lycra – “no one likes” (and we don’t care).  wearing ad-invested lycre is thus a heroic, indeed necessary counterpoint to the over-marketed cool “simplicity” of “plain and classy brands” – Louis Vuiton, Patek Phillippe, Churchs etc etc.  No, if one wants to oppose the mega-structures Ben then you need to get with the BillBoard Liberation Movement.  All power to the MAMIL.

Half – idling the time away in Hong Kong airport.

Rhodes: The final frontier

These are the voyages of the Starship, Easy Rider.

Its weekly mission;

  • To explore strange new routes
  • To seek out new coffee stops and new species of fauna
  • To boldly commute where no cyclist has commuted before.

 Star Date 151010

Six Alliance members assembled for Federation briefings in the Kisso Constellation:

  • Commander Spock Phantom
  • First Officer Yuri Satnav
  • Ships Engineer “Scotty” Chippo
  • Ships Doctor “Bones” Bullet
  • Lieutenant TFS Sulu
  • Ensign Richard “Lynskey” Uhura

Transmissions had been intercepted that the Rhomulans were planning a raid on the Bullet System (Federation member) looting, pillaging and generally absconding in a strategic play to secure viewing rights to the wealth of resources on display during the celestial event known as the Aurora Fauna Oculus. The raiding party was headed by non-other than the Evil Rhomulan Warlord – Half Khan, ably abetted by the Dastardly Commander Beebs.

The point of attack was said to be out of the Marshmallow Nebulae.

In the absence of The Captain (on extended furlough) Commander Spock Phantom took the helm;

“Gentlemen, the logical course of action would be to reach the Bullet System before the Rhomulans, commandeer the strategic positions, use the element of surprise to gain the advantage, and negotiate a peaceful treaty.”

Bones Bullet retorted, “And just how do you plan to do that, Pin Ears? The Marshmallow Nebulae is far and away the most direct route. They’ll be there parsecs before us.”

Satnav concurred adding, “Ve vill be a long vay behind and wery much slower, according to ze co-ordinets, Keptin….. excuse me, Kommenda.”

“Then we haven’t a moment to lose,” replied Spock Phantom, “Mr Chippo, prepare for the jump to hyperspace, set thrust to a warp factor of 8.”

“Hoots, toots, och aye the noo, Commander! She’s only just had a service and the new Dilithium Crahnkset  hasne  bin ron in, but I’ll do ma’ best .“ replied Scotty Chippo.

Strapping themselves in for an intergalactic adventure against impossible odds Spock gave the command, “Jump to Hyperspace!”

Bones grumbled, “Of all hair-brained, pin headed, Vulcan ideas……. I wish the Captain was here.”

As the Universe dissolved into an algorithmic equation, the space time continuum prolapsed creating a vortex of pulsating energy that hurtled the Easy Rider through space at mind bending speeds. The Meadowbank Miasma became a vapour of perception, the Concordia Belt slipped seamlessly through view and the Five Dock Black Hole remained just that.

Before you could say “I seem to having a problem with my lifestyle” the Easy Rider was traversing the Lilyfield Asteroid belt. Spock looked at his Parsecometer.

“Mr Chippo, we can still make it. Can you go any faster….”

 “She’s givin me all she’s gort, Commander. Ah canna do eny more. If ah doo shill break ento pieces” cried the desperate Chief Engineer.

“Then divert all power from the shields and re-direct to the main engines! Do it now!”

“Ah dornt know if it’ll werk and it’ll leave us vulnerable to the Rhomulans. Half Khan taekes nor prisoners!” Chippo protested in his thickest Scottish brogue

“That’s an order, Mr Chippo!”

“You’ll kill us all you Logic obsessed Pixie!” Bones Bullet howled.

“We’re almost there. Set water bottles to stun, let’s not start an intergalactic incident unless they fire first.”

The Easy Rider arrived at the Bullet System ahead of the Rhomulans traversing the Western Galaxy in an incredible 60 parsecs to secure the prime viewing positions for occurrence of the Aurora Fauna Oculus.

Half Kahn was indignant in defeat, “Curse you Spock, I will have my revenge. Make mine a latte.”

All’s well, order restored to the Universe.

The Northmen of the Norse Shore

Descending from Valhalla on a grey misty morning; the stuff of Norse legend, The Four gathered to  undertake the dread and sacred southern transit known as The Commute:

  • Thor Drastic
  • Odin Bucky
  • Beowulf Steve
  • Loki Bullet

Thor Drastic, scorning the warning from On High, defiantly removed his rain jacket as if to laugh at the Gods.

With grey skies beckoning and the departure of the 6.45am Iron Horse, distant Wagnerian strains called The Four southwards.  Off they ventured, aware that this could be a day like no other.

A melting pot of trepidation, fear, awe and excitement creating a sacred power drove the wheels of their winged (pronounced wing-ed) chariots southward towards the place they knew they must go (the office), but not knowing what awaited them.

  • Beowulf Steve and Loki Bullet found sanctuary on the old tales and stories of yore.
  • Odin Bucky brooded and gazed upon the threatening skies on the alert for what the Gods might have in store.
  • Thor Drastic harnessed the power of his latent rage and channeled it towards the challenge ahead – The King of the Ascent.

Lulled into security, The Four wound their journey south. The Commute always had surprises, and they waited patiently for the Gods to show their hand. Signs displayed their speed and offered thanks, even the lights changed synchronistically as if inviting them onward.

“Gatsey Manoov” muttered Odin Bucky in the Ancient Tongue.

“Pardon” retorted Thor Drastic.

“Gutsy Manoeuvre” Odin Bucky repeated “running that light.”

But they all knew that Thor Drastic laughed in the face of such challenge.

And then it came, Valhalla’s doors creaked open; first a spit, then a drizzle, and then down it poured.  Steeling themselves against the onslaught The Four took evasive action, “I’m going to put on my rain jacket,” cried Beowulf Steve.” See you at the top.”  And then there were three.

Shortly after, Thor Drastic, “I think I might do the same.”

They were being torn asunder, their resolve in tatters, Loki Bullet and Odin Bucky made a break for it and pushed on to the Ascent unsure if they would ever see their comrades again, hoping to find refuge at the top. Chaos ensued as each seemed to rail in the abyss of the unknown.

However, Fortune favours the brave, and The Four regathered at the top of the Road of Willoughby to tell tales of brave deeds, celebrate their survival and deride their foes.

The Gods, beaten but never defeated, retreated to Valhalla to plan their next assault on the Hard Men of the North.

“Straight to the showers, Boys” cried Thor Drastic.

EWOTY deferred.