Monthly Archives: March 2013

ER Easter Saturday Ride

Who: Drastic, WBA, Admin, B1/c, VD, SatNav, Finchy, Schleck, Mike, Dragon and Magoo

Where: Pattinsons > Forest Way > Allambie Rd > Manly > North Head > Manly (Breakfast) > Reverse Fluffer > Church Point > Akuna > Pattinsons > Home

After 130kms of the Ettalong Gettalong yesterday, I spent the night resting and stretching in preparation for the ER Easter Ride this morning. In true Magoo Easter Weekend form, there were again some “issues” with the start time. Got up at 5 to stretch, have some food, triple check tyre pressure (yep Comet, I have a floor pump), check tyre pressure again and get to the meeting point 20 mins early. Turns out the calendar event was listed for 6 (not 6:30 as per emails) and I was actually 10 mins late for my own ride. SKILLS! We quickly sent a text to Chris (B1) who also working for 0630, agreeing that he would meet us at Manly.

We set out along Mona Vale Rd, shepherding Dragon who was having some light issues. Now, I don’t like to be predictable, so the theme of today’s ride was very ad-hoc in terms of navigation. Burke and Wills didn’t know much about where they were going, but they had fun along the way (well until they died I guess). We turned down Forest Way, got a little bit flogged by Drastic and Mike (must have been hungry) and FLEW down Allambie and into Manly.

Almost had a Magoo moment at a crossing – Finchy stopped for a pedestrian that I didn’t see. Having been very close to his wheel, I was presented with an excellent opportunity to practice my ice skating routine, much to the appreciation of Schleck, who might I add, was wearing a superb jersey today. Top marks from self-appointed CFO (Chief Fashion Officer) to him, as well as Finchy (sleek in black) and for the high occurrence of Egg and Tomato.

On the subject of fashion, Chris, was that, or was that not, the same jersey and knicks as yesterday? You didn’t seem to smell so either you didn’t need to sweat yesterday (possible) or you managed to wash yesterday arvo (while Goaders was sleeping) (probable). A hot lap of North Head was completed, with the group somehow splitting into 3. Some stuck to the road, some went on the path to the lookout and I guess Drastic and others hid in the bushes, because God knows how we missed them? Anyway, on to Manly.

Breakfast. After giving the “Scruffy Little Mutt” cafe a miss (we determined it to be too posh), we ended up at Bluewater Cafe. After the Barista had his glass of milk (??), we ordered some coffees and Admin ordered his “bacon and egg thing”. Not wanting to be too far from our steeds, we moved outside and started to move some tables around until Satan’s Blonde Step Daughter came and told us we couldn’t do that. We also couldn’t touch the sign, pay separately and assumingly, couldn’t go to the bathroom without asking her permission. Lucky some of the boys managed to charm the nice British girl, and given we are still alive, it seems they didn’t poison our coffee after all. (Hands up straight if you want an egg and bacon roll!)

So off we set again, trying to follow the reverse flutter (mostly we did OK!). Finchy started stressing as we ran into an RBT – lucky they let him through without doing the drugs test. But not to worry, he gave a Urine Sample to some bushes just off Pittwater Rd at Narrabeen, while still managing to remain on his bike. This man is Impressive!!

Up Church Point we went, with the likes of Schleck, Finchy and Co hammering forward. Many added Akuna Bay to the ride. I still don’t know why I was so quick to say yes to that idea, or why I thought it was a great idea to attack Admin and WBA half way up. It left a feeling of pins and needles where my legs were meant to be. But onwards we rode, like the legends we are, to St Ives cycling heartland. More coffees and some hot cross buns ordered at the regroup point (Pattinsons), as well as a chance to meet Finchy’s youngster (very cute). From this point we went our own way, with Admin and I (Team Princes St) riding down to the gates at Bobbin Head (amongst a few other detours) to get our 100 km for the morning.

Overall a fantastic ride with a fantastic group, apologies for the start time incident again.

If you want to buy me a watch, there is a Cartier one I have had my eye on!


Dawn at North Head with the sun appearing out of Van Diemen’s ear

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The view towards the city which Sat Nav would have seen if he’d bothered to leave the main road

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Drastic Hiding in the bushes

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Pre GG positioning

Another perfect morning for a ride to the office, whoever dialed in the 21C, clear sky, north easterly breeze and sunrise just as we arrive at the SHB …do it again soon..cannot complain about anything. With news to hand re Herb and missing a bend into Akuna, we are all sending best wishes for a speedy recovery, and hope the bike is alright. Looks like the crash cart idea will need to double up as ranks are thinning too rapidly for words..

The OTP was obviously the second best way to start the day, but with more than 20 in the bunch it was not impacted by all the other options. ( welcoming Christian from the Central Coast for an inaugural ride in..) The start in stages, filtering between traffic, and rolling the hills of death with several keen car drivers, Brownie made the departure in the knick of time, being on time, Bullet however made a superb catch a la Bucky, seeing the Gordon launch site with tumbrels blowing in the wind..and pedalling like a demon to make up the 2 minutes 45 seconds deficite.

Once everyone was back in ER mode as opposed to race mode, progress was once more pleasantly punctuated with banter and repartee..YHC was regaled by Norman but jokes about cupcakes being made from the evil wheat went way over my head..sorry Stormin.

Pondering the reasons to ride as one does, joy has to be one of the biggies..and enjoying the commute is way up there..we do enjoy our rides. ( contrast to the car bound who have stress levels far in excess of ours,  which is why it makes no sense to engage in “rage”..especially on the bike)

Coffee today was a highlight, once the chapters had all arrived..Futters, Fluffers, and sundries..30 plus ER jerseys on view ..a gift of confectionary was distributed among the many, apparently only five cupcakes were made but there was enough to go around..I waited for the fish to be delivered but alas not to be had…only one person left the table unfed..

Return rides as advertised, be ready for Easter only after your debrief at the GG..none of this leave early malarky.


Have a great day all

Fluffering Fun Continues

What a fantastic Fluffering morning…….. As the sun rose on South Curl Curl the gift of dawn had blessed the ten riders (11 including Drastique who meandered off into Akuna) who had stopped sleeping half way through the night to complete this mornings ride.  It was nearly an extra 2 but unfortunately both Comet and Ravi had a sleepover as their alarms struck and the land of nod called once more.

Riders included Saint Nav, Matt Mooney (on his second Fluffer), Simba, Nala (also on her second one), B1, Andy H, Sir Lunchalot (ready to Spoke out this time), Magoo and Scott.  T&C’s were quickly agreed to and we were off.

The wonders of the Fluffer continued:

  • The ride adjusted quickly to the groups pace today which was a pretty pacey 26 km/h including stops.  This gave an ‘on time arrival’ at the B&T at 7.45 bang on the chimes of the big bell.  Such a surprise clearly that the pretty server managed to spill coffee all down her top.  Bullet then passed around a collection to try and entice her to remove it under the guise of buying her flowers as an apology……. He’s slick…..
  • Nala put in an outstanding Fluffette performance for her second ride.  Considering she only had 2 stops what a brilliant ride she had.  I descended behind her in the National Park and her descents were also confidently done whilst being very safe.  Well done Nala.
  • At the other extreme chief Fluffette Magoo has shoulders about 12 inches wide that she still tries to fit through spaces about 6 inches wide!!!  A close call between Big Goaders and a parked car but all were safe in the end!!!
  • The rolling groups are also getting good down the Pittwater Road – so much so that we ended up picking up 2 extras who appeared very professionally kitted out!  I just said that we were a commuting group who took a long way to work on a Tuesday/Thursday.  Three things for us to focus on: 1) Keeping the right hand side at a steady speed, 2) Keeping close to the wheel in front so that we are nice and tight and 3) calling when you are front left and the space is clear for the front right rider to move and also calling when you are the last rider at the back on the right.

Thanks for a fab ride – Invigorating.

The Fluffer is on for Thursday – the same time as normal.

A date for your diaries.  On Tuesday 9th April (the Tuesday after Daylight savings clock change) we are going for a ‘Fluffer Record’.  So many people tell me that they struggle with the early morning that on this date your body will feel as though it gets an extra hour in bed.  As a result this will be a celebration of sleeping (name tbc, suggestions welcome). We will start at the normal time of 5.15am but your body will think it is 6.15am.  For those who will only do this once this year this is the day.

Our biggest turnout is 19 for Admin’s 50th Birthday so let’s see what we can do this time?

Big Goaders

Rider of the Week #29 – Andy H (Pigeon?)

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

Yet another English import. I’ve been here 10 years now, attracted by the climate and the great outdoors and I haven’t been disappointed. From the North West of England originally although I moved around a bit for work. I’m an actuary by trade and work in reinsurance when I’m not on the bike.

2. What got you into cycling?

I’ve cycled for as long as I can remember. As a kid it was the fastest way of getting anywhere. I cycled to school and to work whenever it was practical. Mostly I’ve cycled to explore places. You can’t see enough on foot and you miss too much in the car. Cycling is just about right. More recently I started cycling to work to lose weight as I’d become a bit of a porker and within a couple of months of the OTP did the trick with weight, liver and cholesterol all normal again.

3. How did you come to join the Easy Riders?

A common story here. I was struggling up Pymble Hill and Saint Nav glided alongside and explained there was an easier way and I haven’t looked back.

4. Tell us about your bikes.

I have 3 bikes currently

  •  My Peugot Alu 9000 road bike from circa 1998. It’s been a great bike and is my regular commute bike.
  • My Marin Attack Trail full suspension mountain bike. It’s getting on a bit now (new in 1998) but it’s still a great bike and we’ve had some great adventures together.
  • My most recent purchase is the Baum Corretto. This was about 12 months in planning / debating. It was a reward to myself for losing 20kgs and it has been well worth the wait. (The pictures speak for themselves:)


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

On the mountain bike it would have to be Marin County, California. On the road bike, the high passes of Europe would take some beating. I hope to achieve the latter in 2014 by having a go at the Haute route or similar.

6. Tell us a riding story.

I’m struggling a little here…..One adventure I had on the bike as a kid ( i was about 10) was a trip with some mates to Beeston Castle which was around 40kms from home. Parental permission would not have been granted and so naturally was not requested. All was fine until my brother (on his BMX) lost a pedal when we got there and I had to rig up a tow rope whilst he pedalled with one foot on the return journey. This proved a little too much and we admitted defeat about 10kms from home called dad to pick us up and face the consequences. His displeasure at not asking permission was more than offset by his amazement that we managed to get so far.

7. Do you have any advice for the riders at the back of the ER peloton?

Not really. It seems to me that the back is the best place to be … is a commute group after all.

8. Lastly, tell us something we don’t know about you.

As a kid I raced homing pigeons through to when I left home for university. It seems to be a dying sport now but it kept me off the streets for much of my youth. In my spare time I volunteer with DARTS which is an organisation that provides road transport for disabled people giving them an opportunity to attend events and activities.

Sydney traffic chaos

When there’s something strange
On the thoroughfares
Who ya gonna call?
The Captain

When the traffic strife
Takes them unawares
Who ya gonna call?
The Captain

(Wierd riffy bit)

I ain’t ‘fraid of no car……

(Wierd riffy bit)

I ain’t ‘fraid of no car……..

If you get up late
And you miss the “bus”
Who ya gonna call?
The Captain

And the roads are choked
And the drivers fuss
Who ya gonna call?
The Captain

(Wierd riffy bit)

I ain’t ‘fraid of no car……

(Wierd riffy bit)

I ain’t ‘fraid of no car……..

Thursday Fluffer – Sans Goaders

10 ER’s in the blocks this morning – Satnav, B1/m, Magoo, Scott, Andy, Ivan, Kneel, Rob W, Jamie, moi. Clutters was on the side, valiantly recruiting for his tame flutter (gimme a break …). We left him, a sad figure with only the lights of a single AY-UP forlornly reminding him of his failed quest …

A beautiful night sky, not a cloud to dim the starry firmament, provided a perfect backdrop for the run along the ridge to Terry Hills, then the darkest of descents through McCarrs Creek. With the regroup at Church Point we set up a rolling paceline. It worked, sort of, being thrown into disarray by utes, hills, timing, etc. We are getting better.

Mon Capitaine and Simba joined as at PWR. A good pace saw us through to Manly when Herb popped up. He claimed a reverse Akuna at 0500 and a mad chase to bridge to us. I reckon he drove to Manly after sleeping in – Strava will reveal the truth.

Nought else to report – PR’s all round, everyone home safe with coffees ordered by 0745. Cracking morning.

Usual rides this arvo, noting that Dopey is proposing a LCNP this arvo. I haven’t done one, but it promises to be a ripper – birds tweeting, a gentle roll through the Park, then a sprint up Kisso. A complete day in the saddle.

Stay upright,


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.

Fluffer report

As previously advertised our Goaders had been ordered to Melbourne to pick up Bullet’s recently purchased NOS Pinarello frame….and delegated all care and no responsibility for his growing throng of Flufferers to B1M and I. A big pair of Sidis to fill…..

B1M and I arranged to meet in transit at Turramurra well before the sparrows started fa^&oing to rehearse the rider briefing and engage in some general tactical foreplay. Flash’s trailer was mentioned, but more re that one later.

12 with their names ticked off the roll at Snives, detailed briefing given “right we all know the terms and conditions….let’s go”…..and onwards into the darkness picking up Andy H in transit. DNS’s recorded against our Milsons Point and Newport chapters.

Norman threw a right spanner in the works when crossing the Forest Way junction…..thinking she’d spotted Laura, which was interpreted by the remainder as Dora…..neither showed up in the end; peloton concluded Norman was up to her old tricks again, watch out on the 6pm return tonight.

Wet roads and a touch of fog on the way down McCarrs – all safely through the esses, usual hammer down through Church Point to the next regroup point, PWR reached all in good time and spirit.

First run at a rolling paceline executed with……panache and precision….well done all giving something different a go with minimal preparation beforehand.

Then the first of just four punctures for the day – Daf, Bri and Si being the culprits, sorry, victims…..progress slowed somewhat however no-one raised a sweat over it, in true ER fashion…..

A bit of excessive tooting got our Andy fired up through the Neutral sector…..good mornings exchanged and nothing more, aware of the weight on the shoulders of carrying the ER name.

Arrival at the B&T found earlier shifts still in situ, many remaining to share seconds with Fluffs one and all.

A great start to the day; herewith handballing the baton to our Admin for Thursday’s edition.

Have a good remainder of the day all.


Tuesday OTP

A cool start to the day as another predawn departure was made, 14C on the dashboard with a slight south westerly, perfect weather for a gentle roll into town. With the Fluffers making their departure hours before, numbers were down…to about 25 on the OTP. BOF made it to the party and sent the ER peloton forth with only a few seconds delay, and so all was right in the universe, events unfolding as they should.

Cars became a talking point as numerous minor incidents, mainly just barging and shoving in where they could. I noticed that ERs were actually spread into a thin line through the HOD and I think this is what was the cause of the felt they had the room to come alongside and push in..obviously more discussion required over coffee, but there is something to be said about presenting an impassable mass where safe passing is not possible.

 A businesslike pace due to the temperature, nice to have the cooler breeze to enjoy spooling up the legs for their heating rather than overheating , YHC managed to fall to the lantern rouge through Lindfield but sailed past the Roseville regroup and made it to the front for a second or two before Chatswood..Conspicuous driving award was delivered to a hapless driver who managed to overtake the peloton before the pedestrian crossing to Roseville station, being both overtaking on the crossing on the wrong side of double whites and approaching a bus head on..then having to mix in to the peloton to avoid hitting the oncoming traffic..outstanding achievement managing to accumulate more traffic offenses than the mind could comprehend in such a short stretch. A Go Pro would be handy for such things..

 It was brought to my attention that Archer St has become a bit of a shredder, but more to the point , Tindale which should be the regroup to reassemble the peloton was marked with a big fail this morning. A rear carriage was dropped due to insufficient observation or over zealous urge to arrive at coffee..needless to say the rear car took a short cut on the highway led by Drastic and DT to arrive at B&T 5 mins before the offending front of the peloton..nuff said.

 Deliciously autumnal, if you have any friends , family , enemies who are not on the pedals riding to the office, now would be a good time to get them started..

 A quick look at the following link and encouragement to log the ride on 28th provide a resource and perhaps some lobbying opportunity..

 Make your mind up time for the return roll….there are many ways home, creativity required to avoid getting used to the same old same old..BDR for me this evening ..looking forward to it already.

 Have a great day all


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.