Monthly Archives: November 2012

SA Chapter mini Cogal

Congrats to the Founding Fathers of this great group.

To celebrate the SA Chapter held a mini Cogal last evening. The story goes something like this….:

Nick aka Gaynor arrived in our fair state (founded by free settlers, not convicts…)

I collected him from his hotel – no less than the Hilton mind you, home of the TDU. We tackled the frenzy of Adelaide’s peak hour – two sets of traffic lights as descibed by Gaynor. Ascending the mighty Lofty ranges, Gaynor had that look of anticipation mixed with fear. Some 20 minutes later we are in the man cave setting him up on the super Colnago EPS. It nearly died of fright as I tried to affix mountain bike pedals to such a thoroughbred steed.

Gaynor had mentioned SatNav and spreadsheets a number of times in the car, and then proceeded to take photos of my hidden man cave, within the man cave….the jig was up. I put two and two together. Gaynor might be posing as a marketing/sales/strategy guy, but he was indeed a forensic accountant. SatNav had sent him over to follow up unpaid ER affiliation fees and check out the books.

I gave nothing away that I knew his game, but plotted on what part of the hill he would meet an “unfortunate end” once out riding. We were both in the Egg & Tomato so even late into dusk we had no need for lights. With my evil plan in place I chose not to set Strava going – I wanted no record of this ride…

Once fitted we mounted and wandered our way through Piccadilly Valley and beyond. Down to Aldgate, past the resident Rhino (it’s true???) back up the valley and a quick regroup at the front of the Stirling Hotel before the beast of Mt Lofty beckoned. Gaynor was starting to flag and my time to strike was nigh. Once at the summit we took a few quick happy snaps to show Le Bullet that it really was an easy climb.

The descent now upon us, Gaynor must have seen the evil glint in my eye and kept so far back that attempts to foil his investigation proved unattainable. Besides, to do so would have been troublesome with new photographic evidence now recorded. Besides – I couldn’t hurt the Colnago.

Home at last after spotting a few Koalas we imbibed in some liquid refreshments to rehydrate. Unfortunately this turned to a few more, so by the time we had showered and changed and arrived back at the Stirling Pub for dinner the kitchen was closed. So much for local hospitality, we chose to continue with the re hydration approach with some Twisties supplement – dinner of champions.

Gaynor now considering betraying SatNav and moving to the SA Chapter. The lure of inaugural Secretary proving too much.

He did however mumble something about needed to purge himself of the SA diet or Jenny would have kittens. He then followed he need a Chippo Roman (sandal) massage to recover, so Sydney may ultimately win…

Good to fly the flag with a mini ER peloton over here.


The Captain’s Songsheet revisited…

Having been out late last night celebrating my step daughter’s recent Dean’s list achievement which saw YHC driving back up the north shore close to midnight, the alarm definitely went off before any actual sleep had taken place. Rolling in a daze through the motions of pre ride checklist, when it came to inspect undercarriage for signs of heavy landing, tyre condition, and creep indicators, it soon became apparent that there was a problem..very little in the way of tyre YHC was forced to change the tube unassisted. First job was to swiftly boil the billy, as in any crisis a cup of tea is essential. Followed by removing the tyre, which is where skin on index finger was deftly removed by a sharpened blade of a spoke..OK &*^$%%^@ awake now…but by the time all was back in serviceable condition and the maintenance release had been signed, departure slot was closed so an alternative plan had to be submitted..threw the bike in the car and chuffed over to Fox Valley Rd to be warmly greeted by the Satnav bus..already girding their loins for a swift sprint to the Captains original departure point of Eastern Road Shops..

A dozen or so already in the traps ready for the Captain to indicate at any given moment that the ride had begun, in true ER style, the transition from stopped to going occurred as a rag tag bunch of misfits tried to imitate the polished discipline of a “serious” peloton, but looking like a rag tag bunch of misfits..and today I think they succeeded. The track through Turra, to Gordon, can only be described as circuitous, every wrinkle in the landscape duly examined and crossed, YHC managing to achieve the Lanterne Rouge with El Conejo while still in a disorientated state trying to figure out how an extra 5kms fitted in between two reasonably close together points..a lot of zig zagging required..and then suddenly there is the Mur de Gordon..and YHC pulls up with a PB…marvellous. Counting while in a hypoxic state, never much good beyond 21, today you might have been needing a few extra, 38 in the traps, and not even a RTW malarkey..just a second best way to start the day.

Rolling out took all of 5 minutes, untangling the crowds and stringing an egg and tomato ribbon through the dormitory suburbs of the north shore, you could almost see the lump in the Captains throat ( ok you could see the lump..) and a gentleman’s pace from the get go into the hills of death…pace was set by the slowest rider, and I was determined to be on that wheel..although with the cast of thousands and the fat controller messing with the traffic lights it was difficult to know which part of the peloton was actually the slowest..the pleasant unhurried pedal turner of a commute proving to be both sociable, achievable and quite a sight..looking down from atop the Col de Lindfield and seeing a queue of cyclists stretching all the way to the bottom being quite a highlight.

Regroups accumulating yet more riders, the count soon past 40, and pushed a 45 as more joined closer to town, by the top of Burlington, it was clear records were being broken..that tremble you felt at about 7:30 was the earth moving into a new orbit as the ER critical mass made it s way across the SHB and into the B&T..

Vic was a happy man this morning, no more grumps as the till rang like the opening bell on the NYSE..42 ERs ( average spend $4 each..with plenty going for more ) no wonder we have seen a total refurb of the place since day one. There were brand new milk crates to sit on, and some chairs even had cushions.

All the busses are primed and scheduled ready for the return wave, if the BOM are true to their word a scorching 30C is predicted.

Have a great on all


Rider of the Week#20 – Browney

Editor’s note: This week we have Browney aka The Hornet. Some stories of his early cycling life have unfortunately had to be cut pending a ruling by the UCI’s truth and reconciliation commission.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is David Browne, 38yrs old and I like riding bikes, racing bikes, fixing bikes and watching bike racing. I am married with 2 boys (4.75yrs old and 20 months old), both have bikes. I work as a Procurement Manager by day and bike mechanic by night at TSS. My wife also has one bike.

Bicisport Track Team 2002


2. What got you into cycling?

There is a bit of family history around cycling as my Great Uncle, Grandfather and one of my uncles on my Mother’s side of the family used to race track so there was a little bit of encouragement but not over the top. My Father used to ride bikes as a form of cross training when he was running (100m and 200m). I decided to take up road cycling at 14yrs of age after 2yrs of local BMX racing. I liked watching the TDF on Wide World of Sports on a Saturday afternoon 5 months after it was run back in the day.

One day I was mucking around in the shed at my parents place when I heard on the radio that there was a bike race passing through town later in the afternoon, the race was the Goulburn to Liverpool (Now Goulburn to Camden). I told Mum and Dad that I wanted to go for a ride to see the race. I pedalled as hard as I could from the outskirts of Camden to the base of Razorback. I found a shady spot and waited for the race to pass. When the bunch went past I was in awe of the whole spectacle and I knew then that I wanted to race on the road. I pestered my parents day and night for close to a year before they caved in. My mother worked as a nurse at the local hospital and knew a few of the ambulance officers who raced, she obtained the details of the local cycling club (Macarthur District Amateur Cycling club or MDACC). My first race was a 18km juniors only race and I nearly won taking second place in a photo. After this race I was well and truly hooked on bike racing and lived and breathed the dream from that moment on, the rest is history…

1988 Sydney to Wollongong Finish

1990 Penrith 2 Day Junior Tour Hawkesbury Lookout Stage

3. How did you come to join the Easy Riders?
I was commuting to and from Thornleigh/CBD and kept seeing a group of riders on a regular basis. I used to just put my head down, catch them, pass them and keep on going. One night about 4 years ago I was riding home a little later than usual and I caught the same group going up the hill on Millar Street at North Sydney. I was met by 52, DT and Coops amongst others. I got talking to 52 who seemed very excited at the time and wanted to chat, he was talking so fast he was hard to understand with his accent at the time. I also chatted to DT on the same ride and by the time we reached Chatswood I had a 5D business card and an email address to contact. I met the group on and off for a few months after until I ended up riding home each night with the group. It was a much smaller bunch back then and often the group was 3 or 4 on most nights with a big night being 6 to 8.

4. Tell us about your bikes.
As you know I like bikes. I generally keep around 4 bikes in running order, 2 for racing, 1 for training and one play bike (mtb). Currently I am riding a Cannondale Super 6 with Campagnolo 10spd Record groupset, a nice bike which is stable and light, stiff in the right places and responsive. This bike will be my roadie for next years road races. I have a custom made track bike made by Kerry Hopkins with a mix of Reynolds 531 mtb, 531os, Columbus SL and SLX. I use 3 different sets of track wheels for various events on the Velodrome. The fixie is a Colnago Technos frame which was my team bike in 1998 with a mix of Campagnolo Record and Chorus components and custom built wheels and finally the mountain bike is a Surly 1×1 pimped weighing in at 8.5kgs. I also have a Colnago Master frame with Record 10 parts but not complete at the moment and I’m also restoring a number of frames for future use as either TSS loaner bikes or future training bikes. There is also an ergo in the workshop under the house for hurt sessions.
OPT 1998 Colnago Technos with Campagnolo Chorus 9spd Groupset


How to wash your bike Dutch style


5. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Difficult question to answer…The back roads of the NSW Southern Highlands would be my pick as this is the place where I did mega miles in my youth, it brings back fond memories (you all thought I would say anywhere in Belgium which of course is a close second). Favourite Velodrome is the Ron King Velodrome in Muswellbrook closely followed by Ghent Velodrome and then the DGV.

Clarence Street Cup 2010


6. Tell us a riding story.
I was super excited when I was offered a ride in a stage race overseas in 1997. I was to ride with a team called OPT, a very small low budget pro team who I ended riding with in 1998 as well. The race was the tour of French Polynesia which raced on the islands of Tahiti and Morea. It was a 6 day stage race covering around 700km with split stages on days 3 and 4 and a 80km criterium as the final stage at the marina in Papeete. I was racing with 2 other Aussie riders, 2 New Zealanders and 4 French riders. I could barely speak a word of French (I still can’t). We were picked up from the airport in the middle of the night by the team director (DS) and the Managing Director of OPT. The DS barely spoke a word of English but the team driver/helper spoke fluent English and French. We were dropped off at the team HQ, it looked like a one star motel with no electronic contact to the outside world except one telephone in the hall. We asked the DS what time breakfast was and the response was 8am, what time was dinner? 6pm was the answer, what time was lunch? The answer…lunch time…this didn’t give me a great deal of confidence at the time.

I was thrown into the deep end as they say in that race. After the first stage, a hilly 7km prologue with a downhill finish, the team sat down after dinner to work out who was marking who from the other teams. I drew a rider called Jean-Marc Riviere who rode for the Cannondale sponsored team. This guy had placed 6th behind Richard Virenque in the Coupe de France the previous year, a classy rider. My role was to mark this rider for the following 5 days. His team mate was in Yellow after the prologue so Jean-Marc was out to chase sprint primes for extra cash in between looking after his team leader or trying to take the lead himself. By day 4 I was feeling cooked after chasing this powerhouse who seemed to have turbo charged legs. The DS and team driver pulled me aside and said that Jean-Marc was only human, he would make a mistake and I would be there to capitalise on that mistake. The DS advice was “he has 2 arms and 2 legs, just like everybody else”. By the end of day 5 Jean-Marc was sitting in 2nd place on GC with our star rider in Yellow by 1 second (I was in 24th after losing about 15mins on a Cat1 climb at the end of day 5, totally cooked).

The final stage was the 80km Criterium so it was do or die for our team to protect the win. I stuck to Jean-Marc’s wheel like glue and after about 20mins he started to attack the bunch. This went on and on for about 20mins (seemed like forever at the time) and each time he attacked I would chase and then sit up forcing him to slow and then I wouldn’t work with him which would bring us back to the main field. The bunch was still together for the final 2kms as we approached the final hairpin left hander. My instruction was to stay on Jean-Marc’s wheel, my team leader on my wheel. As we hit the turn (way to fast) I touched the brakes before shifting back 3 gears, Jean-Marc didn’t and hit the gutter on the opposite side of the road. His bike bounced in front of me which left me no choice but to ride over his front wheel, he ended up on the footpath into the barricades. This left us a clean run to the finish line, I lead out with my team leader on my wheel who took the win, I rolled in totally stuffed in 4th at about 10km/h, exhausted. The DS was so excited he ripped the bidons out of the bike and put in two longnecks of beer in the cages. We celebrated by sharing the beer with the team while riding the 5km or so back to the team HQ, by the time we arrived I was feeling well tipsy and I was so exhausted I couldn’t carry my bike up the stairs.

Polar Team Pre-Season Training Camp


7. Do you have any advice for the riders at the back of the ER peloton?
Yes, give yourself a little bit of distance to the rider in front, never watch the rear brake calliper of the rider in front of you, always look at the riders 2 to 3 rows ahead of you in the bunch to judge your speed and direction. Also don’t hesitate to ask questions as there is no such thing as a silly question IMHO. Above all, enjoy the ride and fun that ER freely provides.


8. Lastly, tell us something we don’t know about you.
I hate the taste of coffee.

Highland Fling 100miler report

With my wife Kate, confined to a hospital bed for the foreseeable future with a pregnancy complication, I was far from focussed on this year’s Highland Fling 100miler event, held on the 11 November in the Southern Highland region of NSW. Things, however, were under control in hospital and Kate urged me to head down to the Bundanoon race village and take some time out to have a bit of ‘fun’ in the sun and dirt. So after a few short hours sleep in the car, I was lined up, ready for a long, hard day in the saddle.

I was in fairly good shape and being a few kg’s lighter, I was hoping it would equate to an improvement on last year’s performance even though I had not been on my MTB in over 6 months thanks to a new roadie.

At the Fling, the 100milers are sent off together with the non-elite 100km competitors which means the opening sector is pacey but reasonable. The legs felt good but my only issue was my back, not being used to the MTB position, it was already seizing up and at the first transition area I took my full 5mins allowance (given to all competitors to allow for trains, as the route passes over a rail crossing) to stretch the back out and load up the water bottles.

The other guys had flown through the transition zone and I was already isolated as I headed out for the first lap of two of a 53km loop. I had no idea of my position in the 100miler event either as we were all mixed up with 100km competitors but I started to pick up some guys and groups and eventually hooked up with one 100miler competitor, Paul Schroder.

He was going through the single-track sections at a fair old pace and I was just happy to be able to hang on after such a long time off the MTB but as we raced through the twisting single-track I heard fast-approaching traffic from behind, Ed McDonald.

Now this is the strange thing about MTB, I was thinking I was flying when I was hanging onto Paul’s wheel and judging by the speed at which Ed joined us, I thought once he passed us, he would be gone. However, when he did come past, I went for broke and I tried my luck at sticking on his wheel. To my utter surprise I was able to hang on!

Once we got out of the single-track and onto the dirt roads, I felt a bit more comfortable and tried a few turns at the front, however, Ed was so strong and kept on coming around and I was finding it harder and harder to do my turns. We headed up halfway hill and I was determined to hang on to Ed’s pace up the steep 3km climb.

As we went over the top, it was just Ed and I as Paul had dropped off the pace. We soon gathered a few 100km competitors though, who tailed onto us as we drove on to the transition zone for a second time. At transition we caught Mike Blewitt but again I took my time to fuel up and get fresh bottles so I hit the second lap well down on Mike and Ed who had flown through transition and were working together up front.

I could just make them out as we made our way down a dirt road and I pushed hard to catch up to them before hitting the first technical sector. I was still totally in the dark as to my position and a bemused Mike answered my question of how many guys up ahead, with ‘no-one, this is it’. Over halfway and I was in the lead group of the Highland Fling 100miler!

Through the following technical sector, Ed started to open up a gap on Mike and I and as we exited onto the open road again, he was gone. I rode up to Mike and had a quick chat before taking my turn on the front but quickly realised Mike was struggling, so I pushed on and caught back up with Ed on my own.

Ed and I hit a short but steep incline called ‘The Wall’ together but a small error made me lose my balance and I had to hop off and run up most of the climb. I knew it was important to keep with Ed as I would have someone to follow through the next technical section, however, I just could not get up the hill fast enough and in a blink, Ed was into the single-track and gone.

I was on my own now and just had to ride to my abilities and with what I had left in my legs as the cramps and fatigue set in. I was struggling to say the least. Stopping at an aid station to have a few orange pieces, I didn’t even have any energy to reply to words of encouragement from the volunteers (sorry about that and I really do appreciate the support), all I could do was focus on pushing each pedal one at a time.

I was sure I would be swamped by guys as I crawled up ‘Halfway Hill’ for the second time, barely fast enough to stay upright and I literally limped into transition for the third and final time.

I had to take a little time out as I doused myself in ice water, put some oil on my chain and got some food. I was taking such relief that I hardly noticed Paul come in only a minute down on me and in third spot. I was just hoping like hell, he was feeling as bad as me.

As we headed out onto the final sector of the race back to the finish, it was clear Paul wasn’t feeling quite as bad as me. I tried a brief bluff as I ‘hammered’ up the first single-track climb but Paul was having none of it and as we hit an open road section he powered past, the cramps in my legs halting any ideas I had of following.

It was hard seeing a guy ride away like that but I was still on the podium, even though I had no idea how close the 4th placed guy was. The closing 32km turned into a time trial as I drove on as hard as my body would allow, just below the cramp threshold in an effort to guard my third place. If I was caught, I was caught, but I was going to make it as hard as I possibly could for someone to catch me. My breath was short and shallow, my heart-rate had dropped, I was cramping everywhere (even in my hands) and I didn’t feel like drinking or eating. I had well and truly bonked!

Fortunately I had enough to hold my position and I crossed the line absolutely spent for my first podium placing in a MTB event and over 10mins quicker than last year. Have to be happy with that.

Simon F

Robbie McEwen Gran Fondo

Alarm set for 5 am, after rolling down yesterday to check out the start, work out how far and how long from my parents house in Broadbeach.  Collected kit , and prepped the bike, then spent the evening reviewing course and watching the weather.
Carbo loading compete, early to bed with the sound of boom crash opera ( not the band) in the background.
Up at 5 am to the sound of thunder, and a quick review of radar showed it was going to be one hell of a ride.
Today was about survival, very wet track, very hard climbs , and break neck descents. Ride to pace not ride to race my motto of the day…
The roll out was staggered, I started in the third pack at about 6:20am.
Into a driving rain we set off.
It was clear quickly I lucked out in terms of riders ready to ride,  so I bridged across to the group in front,  noting 3 Orica Greenedge guys on the side of the road with a flat/ mechanical. I thought I might see them shortly, and sure enough they  came flying past to really burst my bubble! The first 30 km was annoyingly rolling hills,  it was hard to settle into any sort of rhythm.  Then there was a horrible 30 degree climb which went for over a km,  before rolling down the other side before the start of the first of two miserable climbs,  Mt Tambourine. This thing started with 3-5 degrees, then steepened to 30 degrees, at which point I nearly fell two or three times as every time I stood in the saddle, the wet track caused me to loose traction forcing me back into the saddle. After 5 km I reached the KOM 1 but then looked up to find another 150m of vertical before finally reaching Mount Tambourine proper.

Once on the top it was Hard rolling hills ( down 10 degrees, up 20 degrees)  before finally being directed for a descent, at which time it was raining again and storm debris was everywhere. There was a traffic light on the back of the mountain  because the road was so narrow only one direction could go, I sat there and it was Pis#%ng down, a motor bike cop came up from the other way and looked at me and said’, just go mate , there is no-one behind me’, so I gingerly started the first major descent , with 30 degree drops, slippery roads, and if you came off you were looking at up to a 1500 feet drop in some parts. There was one spot where the road was one lane and either side was a huge drop.
The descent was dangerous, a guy on carbon wheels punctured in front of me and somehow saved it…
Finally we descended all the way down to canungra, but not before getting belted by hail!

A slippery left turn , turning from down to up 30 degrees and again back wheel spin, before composing before a brief reprieve before the start of major climb 2 KOM Beechmont. This one started politely at 5-10 degrees before stepping  up to 25-30 degrees before softening to 5-10 degrees, a 5 km climb.
Once reaching the ‘top’ once again looked up to see nearly 100 m of vertical to go…

More hail before rolling hills again along the top of Beechmont before a screaming descent … There further I descended the dryer the track so some speed was enjoyed on the bottom half of the 600m descent.
Was tricked again with more rolling hills in the valley before one more climb, a 15-25 degree wall over 500m with only 5km to go.

Arrived in one piece, last Fondo for the year!

Aimed for 4 hours , was a few minutes slower, but given the challenging conditions , was happy, and KOM’d the 95kg plus Beechmont climb, a bit of a surprise.

The finish was great, real festival feel, and i got a $20 massage, the best cycling one I’ve ever had!
See you on the OTP next week! And well done to the guys on the PS Fondo today !

Van  Diemen.

Rider of the Week #19 – Old Spice

1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Old Spice is a young man that masquerades in a middle aged man’s body. He moonlights as a commercial lawyer but  his primary occupation is riding around looking for cash to stuff in his panniers.  Old Spice is married to Mrs Spice – in Old Spice’s mind, she is a middle aged woman that masquerades in a young woman’s body.  Old and Mrs Spice have three Young Spices, each with adult entitlements but masquerading in children’s bodies.


2. What got you into cycling?
Necessity, Narcissism, Novelty.

Necessity:  There was no public transport in the old days when Old Spice was a boy, in semi-rural Sydney, and as one of 5 children, car transport was at a premium.  A Speedwell 28″ with 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub got Old Spice to school, sport, music, and away from his siblings.  An old dragster converted to a BMX bike got him around the state forest next door.  When Old Spice left school, he lashed out and spent $105 on a new bright red Cyclops 10 speed racer.  With decals removed, the Cyclops provided stylist transport for Old Spice to Sydney Uni, not to mention for the thief that stole the Cyclops from outside Fisher Library.

Narcissism:  When Old and Mrs Spice were living in Chatswood, he decided to ride to work in the CBD, to get some much needed exercise.  Old Spice will never forget that first day. On the homeward journey, Old Spice stopped on the Pacific Highway at Chatswood, to permit two young ladies to cross.  It was a much needed respite for Old Spice, in the prime of his youth (his mid-thirties) having just ridden the best part of 15 kilometres. As he stood there, flushed, sweating, puffing, one of the lovely ladies muttered, sotto voce: “Hubba-bubba”.  Irony being wasted on the narcissistic in him, Old Spice sprinted the last few metres home, chest out, bursting with pride to greet Mrs Spice:  “Ho hooo, sweetheart, guess what just happened.”


Novelty:  Old Spice’s daily commute was inspired by a “road to Damascus” conversion one summer morning.  “The Barry” (the train) lost power and ground to a halt between Artarmon and St Leonards. Old Spice sat in stifling silence.  Before him sat row upon row of silent,
immovable commuters, preserved like terracotta warriors.  Time stopped.  Then, from the corner of his own, dull and glazed eye, Old Spice caught a flicker of movement.  Outside the train, a solitary cyclist rattled along, legs spinning, not some archaeological fixture, but a living human, alive and breathing.  Old Spice resolved to forswear life as a terracotta commuter, and to commit to the fresh air and freedom of new routes daily through back streets and parks.


3. How did you come to join the Easy Riders?
With many routes under the belt but with an open mind to going the same way as everyone else.


4. Tell us about your bikes.
Merida Cyclocross with panniers and mudguards for commuting. Giant with empty water bottle for rare road trips.  Learsport/Cops are Tops MTB with “Mullet” brakes for family outings.  Speedwell fixie for Old Spice to imagine what he would have ridden when he was a boy.


5. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?
With Mrs Spice, anywhere.  Apart from that, around any beach, bay or river where Old Spice could stop for any reason at all, have a swim, enjoy a meal of fresh seafood, listen to some music, read a little, then doze off for a bit.. and dream.


6. Tell us a riding story.
Old Spice’s riding stories are around the bicycle as transport. The rack and panniers on Old Spice’s bike have been used to transport, on various occasions:  his daughter to community health, his son to school; a Sunbeam dual pump coffee machine and grinder; 14 kg of fish and prawns;  a cavoodle puppy; two isa brown hens (named Julia and Nicole (Gillard and Kidman); and most recently, a blue industrial trolley.  The trolley was attached to the pannier rack with an ockie strap. The journey from the CBD to Turramurra went well until OS was caught by the Easy Riders at Chatswood.  A burst of speed down Archer, as OS tried to keep up with peloton, threw the trolley into a death wobble. Old Spice’s bareback riding as a lad came into its own and the bucking bronco was brought under control, for the time being.

7. Do you have any advice for the riders at the back of the ER peloton?
Stay back just long enough to work up the puff to try and get up the front.  When you get to the front, wait for some young fella to blast past and do you like a dinner.  Return to the back. Start again.


8. Lastly, tell us something we don’t know about you.
Old Spice plays the flute, but not as well, or as often, as he thinks he does.

An Average OTP report

Steamy morning, after a moist evening, nothing much to stop a hefty 24 odd person/peloton gathering in the dawn for a gallop into town. Herb having made his way via Bobbo being first in the stalls, had a longish wait while the also rans made their way to the start line..Drastique initialy a late scratching found his way into the fray somewhere towards the top of Archer St.

Numbers probably improved due to another social milestone on the calendar today, the “First Tuesday” of the month celebration of beer and skittles relegated to Thursday because a horse race got in the way. If you are quick you will be able to book in to the second best way to stop the nation at “The RedOaks” on not to be missed.

Averages …cycling is all about the average, as Chippo would say, and this morning It definitely was average, 20 plus on the pedals, pushing at an average 20, for 20 km…( and a bit more for the average rider ) so on average you could say it was pretty mean.

The Gaggle at the top of Archer was pretty average, Wildebeest have more form and panache on their migration, rolling regroup into Tindale and a slow build up to the KOM. The SUP ( shared user path) through Artarmon park was not too congested this morning YHC noticed that it seems that we encounter the same faces there every day, hence the need to be as polite as a 25 group of sweaty MAMILS can be. You never know who may be the one scraping you off the tarmac, but it helps to make friends in all the right places.

KOM taken by ??? Clutters was on the ride but was he on the front..or could it have been Andy Schleck..YHC was seated behind Satnav who was chatting to Bullet through all the excitement.

YHC’s blast up to Burlington…only managed to equal PB not exceed…still 7 seconds behind the Andy Schleck train..where and how those 7 pesky seconds come from ..every one a battle between breath and willpower.

Regrouped, recuperated and resumed progress at a regular tempo and then watched as the peloton was shredded into small groups before the charge over the bridge, and into the cafe…another superlatively average turnout..

Busses leaving for the return charge from the normal times, no doubt they too will be distinctly average..

Have a great day all

Rider of the Week #18 – Anna Banana

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up in country NSW, went to pony club and once passed out dunking sheep (give me break I was 4).  We moved to the big smoke when I was 8.   I studied Social Science at Club Mac and travelled to Asia because
a) everyone else went to Europe, and
b) I  could not afford a plane ride that far.

Next trip was to the Middle East before working in the not-for-profit sector back in Aus.  (Go to Jordan – it is incredible)

More recently I’ve spent 2.5years as an Australian Ambassador (Tour Guide) based in ‘The Alice’ a.k.a Alice Springs, NT.   My favourite tour was a 6 day trip from Alice, taking in Kings Canyon, Uluru, and Kata Tjuta in the Red Centre, and then south through Coober Pedy and the Flinders Ranges to Adelaide.  I’d have a day off in (r)Adelaide and do it all in reverse with a new group.   Time flies on this schedule, and I loved every minute of it.  Just me, my bus, the open road, a few kangaroos and a bunch of clueless tourists in the greatest of outdoors 🙂  I’ve attached 2 photos: a ‘jumping shot’ at a salt lake in South Australia called Lake Hart; and one of me stopped at a river crossing near Kings Canyon that floods the week before had completely covered in sand! (They don’t call Australia a land of drought and flooding rain for nothing!)  My current job in event management looks at innovative employment practices for disadvantaged groups in long term unemployment within the employment system.


2. What got you into cycling?

Both my brother and father have been triathletes for some time.  I started some short distance tris before heading off to the NT.  Coming back to Sydney I wanted to get back into it and thought commuting would get my kilometres up.   Now I’m totally hooked.

3. How did you come to join the ER?

I recently started riding to work and I’d sometimes bump into a mob of brightly coloured riders around Chatswood.   I thought being part of a commuter group would be awesome so when I started a new job in the city I had all intention to join.  I bumped into a lonely egg and tomato on the Artarmon Reserve bike path one day and at the top of Scaramanga he turned around and asked me if I’d seen a bunch of guys dressed the same as him.  Turns out I knew Kevin from my SES Unit and I followed him along to my first coffee at B&T.

4. Tell us about your bikes

At the time I bought my first ‘real bike’, the “Green Machine” (a hybrid Kona), I wasn’t quite committed to regular road cycling.  I was dabbling in a bit of triathlon and cleats scared me.  I’ve since graduated to my current commuter / weekender / all rounder Azzuri Tigre.  A possible upgrade may be on the cards once I’ve saved some more cha-ching!

5. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’ve wanted to hop the pond to New Zealand for a while now.   I want to go hiking over there, but a cycling trip taking in amazing scenery would also be very appealing.  (Unfortunately I’ve heard that road surfaces over there are really hard going though.)

6. Tell us a riding story

My first race on the Kona Green Machine was the Akuna Bay Multisport.  It was an ambitious race of cycling Akuna Bay to West Head return, a kayak to Apple Tree Bay, and a 10km run around Bobbin Head Sphinx tracks.  I’d only done one training ride up to West Head and back and on the day the Kona churned up there beautifully.  It was a crisp and beautiful morning and I remember feeling pretty chuffed as I sped down the final hill making some woo hoo noises!

7. Any advice for the riders at the back of the peloton?

Well at this stage the back of the peloton is usually where you’ll find me!  Drop back and have a chat!

8. Tell us something we don’t know about you

Did you know it takes more muscles in your face to frown than to smile?  The smile is definitely my choice of facial expression.   Catch me wearing it on every bike ride – plus it saves energy for the route home 🙂