Monthly Archives: June 2012

Monday I have Friday on my mind…

There is a very short distance we cyclists have to cover in order to become champions, YHC has spent many hours grappling with this distance, it is perhaps the hardest distance to traverse but once mastered there is very little that can get in the way of cycling nirvana…of course I am referring to the distance between the ears…an infinite universe compressed into about 15cms of physical space…but filled with demons and dragons, defilements and determination. So being awake at the appointed hour and noting through the window not a hint of cloud, thus perfect weather for a ride to the office, it was straight into the car for the transfer to Gordon and onto the OTP…( the battle for a full ride being lost to one of those demons. )

Bongos and bugles must been on full volume last night as the muster progressed into an avalanche of egg and tomato. YHC lost count at 21, more were late arrivals and successfully chased for a near record 27 entering the Archer St shredder. BOF was nowhere to be seen, a late departure ensued, the peloton inhaled the first few hills with gusto, it was actually pretty bl#%dy cold, but somehow the temperature made not a jot difference to the satisfaction of being in the middle of another magnificent ER commute.

Something for everyone today, a greyhound bunch of “B1s” peeled off the front being goaded by C.Hippo to cane it to town, nice to see the broken leg has not slowed him down much. With the numbers big regroups make it difficult to keep things orderly, so having the peloton stretch out was excellent for safety. It also gave YHC a much greater leeway to fall ever more slowly to the rear until reaching over and grabbing the Lanterne Rouge in order to cross the bridge and join the back of the coffee queue.

KOM was contested a couple of times, the bunch I saw were being lead by Phantom and Turnip, YHC had to attack on the second slope to keep the leaders in sight then having realised my mistake was unable to maintain my lead and fell in behind, then off the back up the third. Crossing onto Willoughby Rd was an interesting time, a dozen riders managed to get into the middle of the road as the lights changed and 4 cars then took the right of way turning right, so a waltz unfolded as bikes and cars took turns to cross.

A swift and green light aided advance through the shambles of North Sydney, the Miller St sprint being a highlight of this section, a rare but enjoyable dish when you can race past the Rag and Famish and not have to touch the brakes until turning into Lavender St.

SHB was too good to race over, ( YHC departing for the summer in a few days took the opportunity to look at the harbour , blue sky, dawn colours, and actually enjoy the scene with a fully oxygenated brain ) B&T queue was actually short , the B1s having ordered, rearranged the tables, sat down and savoured their brew…Vic a little richer by the time I arrived.

The escape valve set to blow for 5:15 , 6:00 and 7:00 with a balmy 17C forecast this afternoon it is difficult to imagine a nicer end of the working than that.

Have a good one all


Friday OTP Report

Just noticed that complete apathy has prevailed amongst the OTP’ers today, with no one bothered to write up a report. Perhaps not surprising, with just 3 in the traps at the start (Stealth, Agro and YHC), and just WBA collected along the way. A minor interaction with a taxi driver encountered at Lindfield, with a Silver Service deciding to do a three point turn in front of Stealth, and when Stealth politely pointed out that the taxi really should have waited until we passed as we had right of way, the driver asked whether Stealth had brakes and why didn’t he just use them. IQ is probably just something the driver has on his Foxtel service. There was a brief discussion held about joining our Rhodes Roubaix brethren at the new café in Pyrmont, however no one could be bothered with that either.

We were joined at the B&T by none other than your regular correspondent BT, and a lively discussion ensued about GPS tracking for bikes including automated anti-collision software, said discussion instigated by the Strava debacle that arose earlier this week where the family of a cyclist who died apparently trying to beat a Strava segment time is trying to sue Strava for causing the accident. Suspect this one will be the subject of much further discussion over the coming months as court proceedings progress.

I’m off early today so won’t see you on the return journey, and back to my second home in PNG next week, so will catch up on the pedals on Monday week.


B1’s Solstice Happy Birthday Clutters Flutter Report

A not-quite-so-brisk-as-yesterday morning greeted the 15 strong peloton gathered at Snives for the off. Yes, 15.

Of particular note:

  • no-one was awake at home to wish Clutters a happy birthday. So we all did.
  • Wilson looking resplendent aboard the new Paris, Di2 equipped
  • NNNick looking similar on a remarkably similar steed
  • B1 driving the magnificently restored Peugeot, rightfully thrilled at the turnout to his “shortest day, longest ride” suggestion
  • The great VD had returned temporarily from his travels, responding to the lure of the Flutter – great to see you back mate
  • Drastique disappointed the throng by not turning up on the SS MTB
  • The proprietor of the TSS sported his (newest) Colnago Master
  • Dobbo, rumoured to be starting an ER Epping chapter, made probably the longest haul to the start line – kudos muchos
  • Schleck looking to put everyone and anyone to the sword aboard the Movistar Pina
  • Velo 2073 there in droves – Jim, Clive and new boy Phil – talks of a JV prevailing
  • B1 out to show that he’s more than just a 200km on the weekend pony
  • Clutters’ mate Mark out to dish out some pain
  • and I was there to take the minutes

A lovely run down into the depths of Akuna – no problems with visibility with 15 hella halogens all on bright – and everyone arriving at the bottom safely. Saw another few pelotoa passing the other direction, but none as well turned out as our ER throng. Poor cousins we assume.

The climb out of Akuna saw Drastique playing Hansel to Clutters Gretel by craftily keeping all challengers at bay – “the birthday boy will be teary if we kick his arse up here” I heard commented. Gold Medal Clutters, daylight, well moonlight, second.

A quick regroup and roll call at the WH turn off – everyone looking spritely and toey for the downhill ahead. Good speed through the undulations of Church Point with NNNick dishing out pain by the plateful through this section – obviously keen to see if we could intercept Our Captain on His bus along Pittwater Road, unfortunately not to be seen hanging out the window offering abuse.

Not one to take on the relative flats of Pittwater Road, Clutters took us eastward through a number of hills which was certainly worth the pain – the sunrise over Narrabeen was sensational, with the temperature ramping by the km – not sure these coast dwellers know what a fresh morning is.

To the Manly seafront, equally spectacular, Drastique feigning a puncture to give the group a breather – regroup, on through a new section that again we let our Birthday Boy dictate.

There the fun ended.

  • A bloody big hill.
  • Hidden by trees until you were half way up.
  • No end in sight until peaked.
  • Rumoured to be “Col de Clutters”.

“By the looks of some of the faces I’m not sure that was the best move”. Too right. Lucky it was your birthday otherwise you may have heard some of the abuse pent up.

Breathing restored, defibrilators stowed, on through the Spit, up Parriwi, through the poor parts of town to the Bridge, coffee convened at the B&T at 8.15am where Lunchie was skillfully shuffling the pews for our arrival.

A great spin, kudos to all, motion to make a more permanent fixture in the weekly itinerary – possibly cutting out some extended sections to help those who need to be at work a little earlier.

Well done B1 Mike for the concept, Clutters for being born on the darkest day, and everyone for joining in the fun and frivolity in the name of the Tomato and Egg.

Return flights taxiing for 5.15pm and 6 bells.

Have a good one all.

Mark / Satnav

ER thursday OTP report

so the solstice has arrived and many of our brave heroes were off battling the cold and dark out East.  For those who, as Coopz put it, have a ‘job’ it was the OTP – the benefits of which were very evident this morning.  a good complement of FMs; a further smattering of legal brethren, C.Hippo, Chief to name but a few of those who braved the run in.

cold, but clear conditions made for a wonderful spin.  No need for catch ups, round ups, stoppages of any kind – even pace up hill and down dale through roseville, “Chatty” as my 15 year old calls it, on to tindale.  KOM not contested in the least except by one DLHK who spied an opportunity to add a bauble to the empty trophy cabinet.  Bit like Spurs in the Europa League – when you haven’t won anything for months, any kind of victory is welcome even if it is a “cadeau” from stronger opponents.

Onto North Sydney, sun now glinting memorably – the green on Miller lasting sufficiently to permit a MAMIL dash thru to the Bridge – glimpses across the dappled Harbour reminding us all of the 2nd best way to start the day.

a Lung bursting surge across SHB to B+T whereupon chairs were arranged in an unusual fauna watching, line a-breast formation.  I blame the quorum of FMs for such a flagrant act of MAMIL-ation. Conversation turned as ever on the whereabouts of the Captain, speculation being that out indigenous elder had the ‘hump’ for a FM no-show on his triumphant return to the pedals at some now distant point in the past.  Perhaps the Cap’n would confirm?

OS a late show, reduced to silence by a hypoxia inducing chase over SHB.  the sound of silence around OS.  remarkable.  Turnip also a late show, blaming a ‘sleep in’. Minds turned to the first best way, only to be corrected by T’s insistence that significant other was several thousand KMs away.

finally, Lunchie bowled up in civvies just as the show was about to end.  but then the Clutters Crew were about to arrive, so i am sure he was not alone for long.

usual bugle calls for the ride home


Dungog 2012 – Trip Report: Guten Morgan !

Freeman ! Yes, wife and children packed off to the UK for 4 weeks means that I could do some proper cycling at the weekend without feeling in some other way accountable.

And so it was a crisp and early start as Dobbo and I headed off to Dungog last Saturday, hotly pursued by Zlatko and Turnip in car No. 2. As it turned out all reached the start point of the ride at the same time and here is the photo to prove it …….

The weather held fine all day but the start was pure mountain UV, just the tonic after too many lunches indoors recently. You could tell that Dobbo and I were newbies to this lark, having never ridden 100kms in a day – our backpacks full to the brim with clothing and God knows what else whilst the pro’s elected to fill their deeper jersey pockets, mostly with bananas I recall.

The route was an orange-shaped circle, chosen on Google in the wee small hours by Zlatko – he faithfully transposed it onto a 1:2.000.000 resolution hand-annotated map. The first 20km’s or so were along a sealed road with only hills and native birdsong for company.

It seemed prudent to take on water and Macedonian resourcefulness first tried a nearby garden hose (=’brownish water with mud’) before stirring an elderly lady from her wing-backed chair. Apparently Zlatko’s knock on the door sounds like a crow hitting a window. Sensing a free lunch, or drink at least, I pitched up next to Zlatko on the scrounge. I could swear she was looking at both of us at the same time but she cheerfully shared her boiled water with us. Balkan charm doing its magic I suspect !

We then steered our steeds left – a theme for the day – onto a dirt road. It was a bit hilly but the surface was dry and smooth and the 20-odd km’s soon a blur. We stopped just the once to say hi to a dingo and for me to pretend to be road-kill (you’ll need to come to the Xmas event to see the photo I am afraid !)

Just short of the pub at three quarters past orange, Zlatko lost a nipple. I thought I knew my way around the apparatus but I was not much use rumaging in the undergrowth. Eureka was the shriek as Zlatko produce a piece of stick and effected a running repair that saw us to the pub.

The Beatty Hotel welcomed us with open arms – but we avoided the boozy hug of the local lass hanging around outside smoking. The chatter stopped as we headed towards the lit hearth all eyes checking to see whether we ordered some poncie city-dwellers drinking. The jukebox and conversation started again as we hedged our bets with Tooheys  Old and New. We tucked into Steak pies out on the covered rear deck and congratulated ourselves on a fine decision to take the side trip to the pub.

The last section was uphill mostly, variously classified by Turnip as ‘unclassified’ or 1 or 1.5 or a 2 climb. At the 80km point my legs weren’t up for the debate. The local lass pursued Zlatko in a ute, facial hair bristling in the breeze as she shot past leaning nearly the whole way out of the window. After a quick stop at the Col du Movembre to take a picture, we descended at pace back to Dungog (75kmh). Turnip picked up a slow pucture 2k’s from home and there was a short race for line honours.

The sun was setting now and chili chocolate cake and tea beckoned in a cafe.

A tremendous day out and I think I can safely say a new annual event.

Here are the stats for those that understand numbers,

Safe riding


Tuesday on the second best way

As I get ready to jet off to the summer I am reminded that the July Challenge is but a few days away…

Clear the calendar, order those fur lined tights, strap on the plastic friends because every working day in July is your goal, ( tough to be jetting out to the summer knowing you are suffering but them’s the breaks…)

The car park was dark and the captains spot was vacant this morning when I drove in, a balmy 28C in the car, down to a 7C outside, YHC was not sure if his summer acclimatisation strategy was wise, but stepping into the chilled riding shoes and shivering over to chat with Herb it seemed that 7C was more like -7C , hypothermia kicked in…Herb of course having run the Bobbo gorge was cooling down and peeling off a few layers. HTFU pills notwithstanding, YHC was impressed. A rapid accumulation of ERs arriving timed to minimise waiting occurred as the BOF approached from the south, and before too much ado, it was on…whips cracked, whistles blew, bells doing what they do, and YHC wheezed over the first few hills hanging on to the lantern rouge hoping a red light would slow the leaders down at Killara…a mere 15 or so genuflecting along the OTP.

KOM was comprehensively won by Phantom..after a rolling start at the Tindale regroup, he was off and running, YHC chased from a respectful distance, not letting the ghostly one disappear over the horizon, but putting in a PB to do so..the SUP now dry-ish it was an opportunity to step on it more aggressively through the treacherous Ravi swept corners, and thence over the rise to swing up the scaramanga with style and panache…Chapeau to Phantom needed to extinguish the flames emanating from his backside…form he has not seen for a month or two.

An incident to report going through North Sydney, taking the turn into Lavender Street one of our number slid off and thankfully did no damage except to pride and maybe a bruised thigh…factors involved…sneaking past an amber light, turning too fast, applying power in an inclined attitude while going over a negative camber with white line and dew…or he just stuffed up…but a reminder to all to be aware of how things can all go horribly wrong very quickly.

Another triumph for the B&T, breaking in a new waitress, whose trial by ER was passed with flying colours, 15 served with a smile and American accent. The second sitting arrived as the first left, but it was chilly enough to make the office seem like a good option, so few takers of the second cup. Good to see the TSS roll up and report to half the peloton on their various charges currently residing at the shop.

Returns all booked ..TFS invited to wield the whip ( an up day on the market seems to add about 300watts to his legs ) for another flogging home.

Have a great day all


Tour de Israel (pt 2)

This is the second part of a two part ride report…

After the mountain challenge it was already lunch time, and we drove to a nearby restaurant and refuelled. During this time Oren told us his story which was extremely interesting. He was hearing impaired and had an operation for an Australian invented hearing device that changed his life. He also told a sadder story, that a few years ago his sister was killed bike riding in Israel. The family  instituted a bike ride much like the Amy Gillet Grand Fondo, and this ride had occurred only the week before our ride… so many stories told about this. Very inspirational.

Oren lived at nearby Kibbutz Neot Mordechai, which lucky for me is noted for being a manufacturer of premium sandals. My 10 year old sandals I was wearing packed it in during the trip and were dead. I ducked into the store and quickly bought a pair of sandals after a 20% discount was offered by Oren.

My nephew and I got back into the car and drove back to where we had parked the other car… transferred some stuff, and at this point I’m now on my lonesome. I booked a B&B in the north from which I could explore the surrounding area. This B&B catered specifically for cyclists, and here it is…

This place was great. It could house some 50 people, and I was the only person there for the entire stay. The pool and Jacuzzi were to die for, and especially needed after a long hot day in the saddle. My hope was I would meet other like minded people, however it was late in the season and was not meant to be. Somewhat lonely, I set out by myself over the next few days to explore. Dror, the owner of the establishment had spent several weeks cycling in New Zealand, and was happy to map out some interesting rides….

As a recovery ride, I set out to do a 60k circuit of the area surrounding Kfar Tavor where Hooha are located… The Kineret (Sea of Galilee) is some -200m below sea level, and like an oven down in the valley… I elected to stay a little higher up and skirted the kineret. Some serious tourist areas in Tiberias, as it gets intense interest from the christian community. Very interesting place. In addition I spent some time in Nazareth which is a VERY interesting place close to where I was staying….

This next climb the following day was the highlight of the trip for me… It was a more manageable climb similar to say 3-4 Gorges, and spectacular scenery trough a forest during the course of the climb. Har (Mount) Gilboa is a national park, and littered with Mountain Bike trails. I followed the road around and was treated to some great scenery.

and for some scenery that is breathtaking in beauty…

Har (Mount) Gilboa

After the climb, time for a dip in the pool, pack my bags and a quick dash to Tel Aviv (2 x Hours). I booked a hotel to stay on the Mediterranean, close to all the cafes and culture of the big smoke. Well as it turns out TA is in middle of transforming itself into a European model of a cycling/pedestrian town. Incredible.  Bike paths though not complete are well established and people are taking to them. Not too many road bikes to be found though as Mountain bikes seem far more popular. In TA I go out exploring daily and you can see some rides I had done here… the key is to meander up and down the coastal beaches and participate in soaking up the atmosphere which mercurial.

While there are many bike paths in TA, I note that pedestrians do not fully appreciate this, and tend to wander into the bike path without further thought for cyclists. This is endemic, and I suspect some accidents are bound to happen and some re-education needs to be done.

During this time in TA I met many interesting people all who had a significant story to tell. What you need to realise is that Israelis are a very difficult people… they are argumentative, aggressive, rough. But underneath the nasty exterior is a heart of gold. The Sabra fruit is the universally used term to describe this phenomenon.

I seem to have a rare knack of engaging these people and bringing out the best in them. Not exactly sure how I do it, but I seem to be able to quickly cut through the rough exterior to show the more humanistic and engaging side of the people. I made a few more friends who are now connected to me by facebook.

I should add that Israel is not generally safe for cyclists and this should be well understood. I was aware that Saxo Bank had done some of their spring training in Israel, as Oren had got the chance of riding with Contador and friends. The country offers large shoulders where cyclists could ride for many hours, but the drivers are aggressive and largely do not see the law as something they are required to follow. Red lights are only loosely adhered to, and shoulders are often used for other purposes other than breakdowns. Most people I spoke to warned me about the dangers of cycling in Israel… so a defensive cycling posture is definitely the way to go.

In summary… the trip was a great success.

  • Had many cycling adventures with Mt Hermon and Gilboa as the highlight
  • Met many interesting people with great stories to tell (TA)
  • Reconnected with a sense of history one does not get in Oz (Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tiberias)
  • Juxtaposition between Old (ancient) and New (Centre of High Tech) is amazing

So for something substantially different from what you are used to, I strongly recommend it. If there is enough interest in the ER domain to do such a tour in the spring, I know that Oren would be interested in helping to do some guiding. Let me know and I will set it up~

Best regards,


Tour de Israel (pt 1)

Hi folks,

A few of you had asked for a ride report… as was difficult to get the full story on snatches of conversation while trying to climb scaramanga. So here it is.

Trip was scheduled a month previously. I was on my way for a two week trip… 1st week was family related stuff needed attending to, and second week was all personal time, so I decided to take Little Fish on the Journey.

I’ve done a couple of tours in country NSW, but never something so ambitious as this. Logistically an overseas tour is a LOT more complicated. Satnav very kindly offered use of this Bike Specific Travel Bag that he recently got as a birthday present. Worked a treat. When riding overseas here are some things you will need to think about:

  • Weight Limit – I had a 20 kg weight limit. About 15 for the bike and 5kg for everything else. I packed lightly, and squeezed through without paying any excess. Bear in mind Israel was summer temps so only had to pack for 1 x season.
  • Rent a Car – I rented a Mazda 5, which provided plenty of room. Don’t forget to drive on the RIGHT side of the road. Car is needed when you lug around bulky bike bags.
  • Oversize bags are sent to a special carousel in airports. Always look in a different place from where you drop your bag off.
  • Let the air down on your tires (at least halfway) before checking in.
  • Wash the bike before you come back to Australia… Australian authorities were worried I picked up some dirt/organisms somewhere on the way.
  • Takes about 1 hour to disassemble bike ready for packing. Equally another hour of assembly on the other end. Remember to pack adequate tools.
  • I flew via Korea, with a LONG stopover (overnight) in Seoul. I sent my bags ahead and spent the night with just the carry on bag… which was fine.

I spent some time trying to find some groups to ride with before I left. I surfed the internet, and sent off some emails, but not much luck came my way…. Admittedly I was arriving early June, which is at the tail end of the cycling season, simply too hot as you travel into June. My nephew lives locally and is an active runner and triathlete. We had planned to do some riding together though he lives in a very difficult area which is hotly contested, so personal security was an issue. I committed to spend the weekend with his family at the end of week1, and so after the weekend we took off for the biggest ride of the tour. But more about that later.

I packed the Garmin, and somehow got a hold of the latest Israel map. I downloaded this into both my car Garmin, and my bike Garmin. This turned out to be both a blessing and a curse, as we shall see later. The Garmin maps were extremely helpful while cycling since it gave me some reassurance that my preselected route was being properly adhered to…  I found when you ride a route for the first time, it is not very relaxing since you have not seen the landmarks, and are unsure of where and when to turn. You certainly don’t want to miss any turns, as options may NOT be available. Water and food are an issue, as weather was very hot and dehydration was certainly a danger.

As I intimated earlier, my nephew has a young family, but lives in a difficult area that requires passing checkpoints and personal security. Most people he lives with are heavily armed. Interesting to note that I gave my nephew an older set of my EasyRider kit, and he simply LOVED it. He thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. I also pre-agreed with him I would leave my wheels with him at the end of the trip, as a present. These wheels had been built by me a couple of months before, and were fully tested and ready to roll.

So on the Friday… we did a practice roll in the area where he lives. Our big ride was planned for the following Sunday. We took the bikes out and gave it a run… here is a pic in front of his house.


I mentioned earlier that personal security is an issue, so being armed is the new normal. No kidding, when he remarked how relieved he was when the ER Jersey was deep enough to fit his 9mm.

ER Jersey was deep enough to fit his 9mm

My plans for the tour called for me to spend 3-4 days in the North of the country (very hilly and cooler), and 3-4 days in Tel Aviv which is flat, hot, and an inner city experience. Tel Aviv is a beach city situated squarely on the Mediterranean Sea.

My nephew planned to take the day off on Sunday and planned an all day excursion for a challenge ride up to the top of Mt Hermon, tallest mountain in Israel, which during winter months is a ski resort. On Sunday morning… we woke up very early, and got away at 4:00am. Since I was staying that evening at a B&B up north, made sense for us to take 2 x cars. We drove separately for 1.5 hours, parked one of the cars at a convenient location in the North, and then joined back together again to drive an hour together for the latter part of the trip. The path we took was via the Jordan Valley, which was one of the most spectacular and picturesque roads I’ve ever had the privilege of driving. It resembled a moonscape to my eyes and was VERY different from what you are used to.

Here is some background on the Jordan Valley but pics do not do it justice. For a moment while driving through the area I felt transported to the moon… cool.

We arrived at Kibbutz Dafna which was at the base of the mountain at around 7:30am. We met a third person there who my nephew had corresponded with when searching for routes up the top of the Hermon. His name was Oren, and belonged to a local cycling club, that kindly agreed to ride with us for the day. He was an invaluable resource as he had all the local knowledge, which was sorely needed on the day.  Interesting to note, Oren had made a few calls the week before to see if he could get an army training road open which would allow us to get to the very top of the mountain… that is another 4 km at about 15%. Unfortunately the road was firmly closed as several army training runs were on for that day. Secretly I was happy he was not able to open the road, since I had my doubts about this whole challenge anyway, much less these last 4 km’s.

Here is a pic of the Oren and I, while still reasonably fresh…

Bucky and Oren

The Mt Hermon challenge was positioned as a 30 km climb ergo Mountain Top finish, but should be easy at an avg 5%. I had my doubts, about this and with some trepidation agreed to this climb, or perhaps adventure is better articulating what it really was. I think the 5% avg, was after taking the descents into account, because it was really 10-12% average. I have never seen anything like it! My cardio was blown out of the water, and I was going so slow I could barely turn the pedals worrying about stalling. We started the climb late, say about 8:00am, and so the temps started to climb, and it was Very Hot for the duration of the ride. Two water bottles were the way to go…. Oren knew where fill up points were along the way, which was a relief.

I got 20km into the climb, and capitulated. I felt overheated and spent, and was worried about health, heart, lungs, and survival. I had a whole week of cycling ahead of me, and did not want to blow the trip by overextending. The two guys with me looked ok… though I was not so sure about myself. Oren suggested we deviate and start to descend after a break at Neve Ativ, which I was very happy about. We did a major descent that seemed to go on for ever… and bike handled great throughout. Oren told us a story how he destroyed a bike on this descent a few weeks ago.

Here is the strava story….

and some pics of the participants…

Mt Hermon

And here is the wiki about Neve Ativ

Ben, suffering on the climb….


An old Druze woman gave us a bowl of cherries at a pit stop… how quaint


In summary, a great day had by all. This was truly an adventure as it took a lot of guts to brave the unknown and enter truly unfamiliar territory, and to conquer your fears in this way is truly exhilarating.

In part two, we talk about the climb up Mt Gilboa, and then on the Tel Aviv….


Monday report du jour

It was black as pitch as I pedalled out of the garret on the slopes of Mt Dural this morning, joining a frisky Parramatta  puncheur who gave me flogging through the rollers to Galstone, a PB and enough conversation to hear he was heading off to the Alps in a cuppla weeks.. he is the first company I have had on the commute and now has the URL committed to memory so may make a guest appearance down the NorShor OTP.

Temperatures a balmy 11C descending to 7 at the depths of GG cool and clammy as a mother in laws kiss down there, who would want to be anywhere else, perfect weather for a ride to the office. ( Compared to Saturday morning where you could almost swear you were in the grip of an English summer ) Tapping out of the GG in 3/4 time keeping the Pamp big circle form,  panache and style, it will not be long before I will add speed to that list…but not today….

A duck into Fox Valley to collect Satnav and entourage, thence a short gallop down to the Launch via the Luton Driveway…only one small incident to report, a motorist horned me on the merge at Pymble hill, firing Satnav into a sprint that Cav would have a hard time maintaining. Satnav rarely uses such power but occasionally it comes in handy to discipline the traffic and remind them their average is not that much faster than ours.

Gathered at Gordon were 20 odd lycra covered mamils, forming a peloton around the newly fledged C.Hippo, throwing a red carpet out and fanfare for the lead out on his inaugural return ride. The first call as we rolled out was “Ute back” as it lead footed past us on the first slope out. Accreting more riders by the suburb the peloton swelled to a 27 or more behemoth, which considering it is mid winter, no particular challenge on is a pretty good showing , Drastic was making a rare appearance aboard his SS MTB, but still a few usual suspects missing. Not a slow ride in either, it seems that determination beat conversation this morning, YHC was only just able to breath and not talk as the various sprint opportunities seemed to merge together into one. Thankfully the RTA as was have installed enough traffic calming lights along our path to ensure hypoxia was not overwhelming. Archer street worked its magic again and quartered the fleet into even pieces, regrouping on the crest of Tindale and once more into the threshold of pain as Scaramanga loomed…Turnip having a go, swept to an early lead and gave it some welly but was trashed by Clutters at the top…

Various parts of the peloton arrived at the top of the Mur du Crow’s Nest, and rolled on with something like a regroup, but was shredded again through the North Sydney turn pike regathering on the 39 steps, (you can climb the 50 in 39 by skipping some..) and another eye watering sprint to the B&T…nearly a record, I think we had 20 plus seated and sipping by 7:39.

Great roll in and with sunshine today should make the roll out even better. Book your seats on your favourite bus.

Have a great one all


Weds Ride Report

Afternoon all

Belated report – a bit like WBA, hard to start the clock ticking without a report coming through on the wires. Speaking of WBA, Lunchie, Welchie – no sign at the Hill Street bus-stop – wherefor art thou.

DT counted 14 in the gates at Gordon – slightly short of a quorum however we ventured forth notwithstanding into a much dryer commute than yesterday (when we also had 14 hardened gents out).  No sign of BT again however fears were doused when we remembered this is his day on the wind trainer, sorry, working from home I meant.

No incidents, accidents etc which in itself is a great feat given the amount of debris about.

The main talking points were the Strava segments along Lavender Street – there’s two covering that stretch of tarmacadam – and how much of a skilled rider one must be to master that challenging stretch of road……I don’t get many opportunities to boast; Drastique unceremoniously nicked my last record….if he doesn’t get it, Clutters, Schleck, Bam, 1/4 and about 30 others will….

Simba’s last spin for a while – he goes under the knife tomorrow morning. No, not that knife that us older gents more closely associate with. Apparently he keeps throwing his shoulder out when sculling pints, and hence needs some running repairs. Hope it all goes smoothly mate and look forward to your return.

Continuing to enjoy Beebs’ reports, VD’s photos, Wilson’s bike selection discussion…..great stuff all.

BamBam spotted in pinstripe suit astride the Reid – imagine he may have got a bit damp on the return leg following his meeting back to North Sydney.

SHB South for the 5.15pm tack north; 6pm running on time too.

Have a good remainder of the day all.

Mark / Satnav