Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Birthday Ballad


In the dark times, the world was harsh, strewn with grief & all knew naught but despair.

Then out the north a rider appeared. Large of arse, with a song in his heart and a bandana to tie back his hair.

On a mission he came, to heal the sick and the lame. A prophet, spreading the word – the gospel of steel and wool.

Throwing open the temples of the carbonites and freeing them from their lycra-clad shame.

Now a new cult spreads across the land, as Disciples answer his call and join his merry band.

Warrior Poets all, true of heart, strong of leg, firm of hand.

On the daily crusade they go forth, with the Spiritual Leader in their midst, ministering the pastoral care each requires.

A bawdy joke here, a sly remark there, words of encouragement for another, quick of wit and with wry observations on kit and frames and tires.

His knowledge of the arcane and mystical arts is deep and profound.

Part bard, part minstrel – with keyboard, guitar and voice he makes beautiful sound.

His name is Bullet, he is 50 today and to know him we are proud.


Half Flutter ride report

Morning all

Beautiful morning for it….not too cold, a bit of fog in the dips but nothing that could dampen the spirits of B1M, MRP and Goaders who were toey for action come 5.15am.

A good tempo start until the fixie ran the chain off the front derailleur coming down nasty little hill….fixed in 5 mins, thanks boys. I was only providing Clutters a chance to catch up….

Picked up Tony at the Forest Way corner – he comes from Roseville proving that it is possible for our Roseville-based brethren and sisteren to join the ride…..great to have you along mate.

All fine down into Akuna but for “the wall” corner where B1M had a slide into the said wall….thankfully all OK with our man….bike recovered well too…”thank goodness it’s not carbon”….”thank goodness it wasn’t Turnip as all that would be left would be a tidy pile of calcium on the ground” (that’s code for great to have you back mate).

Steady pace up and out of Akuna….onto Bayview to pick up Sean, suffering nosebleed being this far north of his Collaroy HQ…great to have you along mate and apols for the slight timing cock-up.

Nothing to report for remainder of journey; rounded out by meeting the throng of 30 or so at the B&T by some caffeinated restoratives.

Welcome new girl Sonya to the fray, fresh from the mountains of the Caymans…..

We do it all again tomorrow….well almost the same anyway….come join the Fluffer.

Thanks for a great spin all.

Mark / Satnav

Goaders and Satnav lead the charge

Goaders and Satnav lead the charge

The OTP ” Monday” report

A pea souper in the vicinity of Monte Dural, and a balmy 11C on the dashboard over to Fox Valley, where a mega peloton was gathering in the morning gloom. YHC, B1c, Onya, Elle, DB, Dave, Teflon, Drastic, launched or should that be sauntered towards Gordon, in a well aspirated and nonchalant manner…the fog of course did not last once crossing the Pennant Hills Road it was into the globally warmed and clear felled North Shore. Nice not to have gridlock through Turra but the tailback still reached the top of Pymble hill.

Once in the starting blocks of the OTP a further 10+ girding their loins for a good roll in. DT, TFS, Bullet, mark, Jamie, Turnip the Strati, and uncleTom cobbly and all ( which means the memory is fading too fast to actually recall )

Several incidents to report..viz…

Strati tripped on roll out..and there were no scathing remarks from the stoker.

Once under way HOD were achieved in ER well managed style, mostly single file and multiple car back calls..however..the car traffic were on show today, first one decided to swing a door open at Lindfield, with a string of vernacular, probably a loud good “morning guys great to see you out and about this fine day” but wind noise and banter prevented me hearing the exact comments. Once through to Roseville another passer on the wrong side of the double whites had to barge in when oncoming traffic appeared.. then a car behind noticed the slip road and stormed through at speed, ignoring the stop sign at the far end, barging into the peloton with brakes hard on ..only to be brought to a stop at the junction of Boundary, when everyone deliberately over took “with extreme prejudice” ..ok just a little belligerence..our hero over took on Archer and made a hasty left turn asap..

Regroups and so on seemed to work well, however the elastic must have snapped, as I noticed a small group of about 6 arrived a good 10 minutes late at the B&T.. Another rap for DT who was shepherding the stragglers.

B&T once more providing essential sustenance to all, a hot coffee minimum..but for some you have to have friends.. alas seating still a little challenging for our host, good thing there are planters all around as each was occupied. 3 more ER pelotons arrived the Epping, Fluffers, and LCNP contingents all arriving after all seats were taken..incentive perhaps for a speedier ride or earlier departure, but if you don’t want to be up before you go to beds perhaps byo stool.

Returns planned for all the usual times along all the usual route options..( except perhaps the Flambie as DLHK is now cooling off in Paris ) it is apparently forecast to turn cold and perhaps wet in the next few days which reminds me to restate the July challenge of riding every working day ..while staying up to watch the TDF …

Q is there a TDF sweep ? is anyone bold enough to back Cadel ?, will Alberto really ride ? Is there a Schlek in the race ?

Have a great day all


Tuesday Freezing Foggy Fluffer

It was cold today. So much so that we saw Polar Bears and Penguins prancing through McCarrs Creek (perhaps I had been smoking what Bullet smokes).

9 on the pedals including Fluffette Norman. We had 2 virgin Flufferers this morning – Stealth and Mark – both had found the ridiculous o’clock settings on their alarms and decided to wake up before they went to bed.

SatNav was on fine form despite being 3 minutes late along with Norman – Both of you wake up 3 minutes earlier please. Perhaps he had been doing Bobbin Head repeats on his Fixie as a warm up. Robert was so wrapped up that anyone would think he was cycling in Scotland (not the Island but the big cold place above England). Lunchie allegedly stopped at Manly and had a Bacon and Egg roll which was tucked into his back pocket and Admin was riding his pimped up loan frame as a test ride for his warranty job.

All in all a great, if not a little cold, ride with all safely delivered to the B&T at 0745hrs.

Great ride. Thanks.

Allambie return for those interested tonight at 5.30 SHBS/5.35 SHBN. Please let me know, or use the calendar, if you are riding.

Pierre’s First Fluffer

Welcome Pierre to your first Fluffer.

A great ride today with 7 starting and Matt catching up by Manly because he was 3 minutes late to the Pittwatter junction. 3 minutes……..why does everything happen in 3 minute blocks on the Fluffer.

I’m surprised for such a youthful individual it actually took Matt until past Manly to catch us!!! Must try harder Matt. Simba – apparently Matt wants to be added to the ER email so could you pass his email name onto SatNav please.

Other riders today included SatNav, Scott, another Matt (Scott’s son – was actually kicked out of bed by Dad), Ivan of Terrigal and Mark the Pope. From this description you can deduce that we clearly had a lack of Fluffettes which meant that Beauty didn’t blossom until the sun rose at South Curl Curl. What a stunning sunrise this morning.

Also as self appointed diversity officer outside of the Fluffettes there was also no Mavis. This is concerning and he is alleged not to have ridden at all today which clearly I don’t believe given that he gave me so much abuse for catching a train yesterday. Next thing he will be doing is leaving work early today. He has to be careful he doesn’t pick up the new ‘Soft Lad’ moniker that is starting to fly around.

The pace was a little hotter than normal, I was really hoping that Pierre was going to call an ease up, but all stayed silent. Looking at my Garmin on Mona Vale Road we were travelling at 32km/h, Down McCarrs we descended fast and then sped along Pittwater Road in a rolling group that was impressive – great calling from all and good lines…………

Arrival at Manly at 6.38 which was the earliest for a while and a B&T landing at 7.32 with the OTP. Well done to all the riders.

Reviewing Strava it described my ride as Tough. That Strava thingy is a funny thing. How did it know that I had 10 bottles of beer last night and 5 hours sleep. Does this mean that Strava is actually a female with Extra Sensory Perception as good as Mrs G. Very worrying.

Normal returns tonight at 5.15pm and 6pm. There is an additional ride that I am running at 5.30pm from SHBS routing via Mosman, Spit, Allambie, Forest Way and St Ives. Schleck, Ivan the Terrigal and myself are confirmed. The pace is Goaders pace (remember lots of climbing so i’m responsible for the pace…..).

Have a great day.

Pedal safe

Big Goaders

Parra/Ponies- MTB Tue 4 Jun 5:10 AM – ride Report

My sons last night observed I appeared to be spending almost 10% of my time cycling, including sleep time, and asked me if this was an optimal life balance.

Now that it is put in those terms, it does seem a little……

A few fleeting doubts did cross my mind about the wisdom and necessity of getting up at 4:20am, to commute to the city via Parramatta, using a MTB.

However, Pink Stratos soon set me straight – she implied that if I took a softer option, such as the Fluffer, I’d be in breach of rule no 5.

But once evicted, I discovered the morning wasn’t quite as chill as I’d been expecting, and began the 20 min ride from my place to the start at the top of kissing point rd.

Soon I was hurtling down the hill towards Brown’s waterhole, with Bam-Bam, Norman and… er..…damn, I wish I was better with names, your face, clothing and bicycle is clear in my mind. Sorry about that.

I’d not done any of this ride before, so it was all new to me, and what a treat!

The early track is a bit rough in places but not excessively so, has great rock steps to ride up and down, almost all friendly but fun

It didn’t take long before I was fully warmed up- temperature just right for this exertion level.

Several creek crossings – after I’d got one damp foot, I remembered that setting pedals at 3 and 9 o’clock is best for these.

A set of planks resting on mud and water, pick the wide plank, be confident, don’t think too much – hope the wheel doesn’t slide off cos that mud looks deep – phew.

One fabulous bit of singletrack weaves through trees, with a series of rocks forming upward steps – pick the line, low gear, high revs, flick the wheel – I could just manage to ride up most of them, great fun.

A couple of small drops look like cliffs as I approach in the dark, my dual lights just revealing a blind horizon line.

No pressure here, just hop off, walk through, and jump back on.

Looking from the other side I see a set of rocks on the other side that act as a ramp – so that’s how Bam-Bam did it.

That leaves something for a next time – hard to sort out on first encounter.

Peering through the trees round a corner – big tree trunk on the ground, how did Bam Bam jump over that so quickly and silently?

Another corner, and I’m riding past it – oh, it has been cut away where it crossed the path, that’s why – no jump needed.

Other bits of track are really smooth, saplings either side brushing ones shoulders, keep a good line, following the twists and turns, Cresta run without the banking.

Bizarre, this was like someone’s garden path, not a route to the city.

Another part had boulders set in a zigzag like pattern in the path, with small gaps to thread to get past – like a slalom, low speed manoeuvring skills essential.

Back onto concrete bike paths, as it starts to get light – beautiful parkland, and loads of waterside stuff, I wonder where we are?.

Eventually across the Anzac bridge, for coffee at the Google café.

A gorgeous ride, entirely as promised, ably led by Bam Bam (how does he remember all those turns)

And a first – I didn’t fall off, not even once!

Blue Stratos

Tuesday Fluffer Frolicks

What a beautiful morning. Less chilly than yesterday with the sun rising steadily across the Northern Beaches. Surrounded by beautiful views including South Curl Curl, Manly and many more on the way. So warm that even ‘the Jugs’ were out (apologies – had to crack that one). Matt was joined by many more Fluffer newbies including Ian, Phil and new Fluffettes Adele and Jenna. Given the numbers I may have missed many so apologies in advance. Mavis and Bernadette joined after bolting it up from Manly, Gemma joined us in Manly.

28 on the pedals today – so many for a winters morning. Absolutely fantastic. Briefing went swimmingly, normal T&C’s accepted and we pedalled into the distance up Mona Vale Road. SatNav and Big Phil kindly volunteered to be Lantern Rouges. Apparently there was once again a photographer above the St Ives Showground who probably caught us at our most scrappiest moment after a mechanical was called. This won’t be a photo to be proud of but at least we were out in force – 25 up Mona Vale and 3 picked up on the way.

Every time we regrouped I saw more and more faces that I recognised – Michael, Jamie, Robert, Timon, Gregg and many more. The sight was impressive. A large rolling group (steady speed recognising that many had not done it previously) down Pittwater with a secondary back group who were either on fixies or needed a little bit more confidence to join in the fray.

As the sun rose on South Curl Curl the beauty blossomed. The light on the water was fantastic and another impressive morning dawned. Congratulations to all of those riders who joined us. Apologies for the herding and the loudness of the instructions but hopefully that helps us to keep moving.

On time delivery at B&T at 7.45am. This is great considering the size of the group. All safely delivered.

Big apologies from Big Goaders to Big Phil and the B2B’ers (great to have you on board and I look forward to you bringing out the B2Babes to meet the Fluffettes – doesn’t every group have a name for their female riders?) who we managed to drop with a puncture. Fortunately they hit the pedals hard and managed to catch up just after Manly. How did 25 people not spot that we had lost 3!!!!

Laura once again managed to dash across the North Shore and failed to find us. She was 3 mins ahead at Manly. Laura – download Google Latitude and I will switch it on for a Tuesday and Thursday Fluffer so you know where we are.

Can you all please download your rides to who are tracking this mornings commutes into Sydney. I expect the Fluffer to be a dominant line on the report. Drastique will have his slight Akuna variation to add a little originality.

Congrats to one and all – we were only discussing that a couple of years ago it was lucky to get 8-10 on the OTP. To think that between us we can run an MTB ride in, a Fluffer and an OTP is impressive.

Salute the pedals and pedal safely. For those heading back towards Manly tonight I will be at SHBS at 5.30pm.


Big Goaders

100km Audax Gorge Fest

4:30 is a horrible time for the alarm to go off a Saturday morning.

But once up (and after realising for the first day of winter, it actually wasn’t that cold), I started to get excited about the 100km Audax ride Michael, Graeme and I were signed up for.

In a dark street in Dee Why we gathered. Michael operating on minimal sleep, Micheal’s mate still a bit dazed, Boycey with a funny tummy after an early morning banana smoothie and Magoo running through last minute equipment checks, again, only to find my other rear light is broken. That makes 3 now. I think I am going to keep them all and when I have enough broken rear lights, make an artistic sculpture full of my deep seeded red blazed emotions and send it to the Museum of Modern Art.

I must mention how fab Boycey looked in his reflective strap. I tucked my yellow jacket away in my rear pocket, wrapping a token reflective band around my right bicep (obviously it only JUST fit). A tactic I somehow got away with. Off we went, keeping a moderate pace down Pittwater Rd. Annoyingly when the clearways are not in place, the bus lanes are spotted with parked cars, which kept the group switching lanes right into Mona Vale. Beautiful morning over Church Point, albeit with a strange red sky in the distance.

Strangely I was comfortably seated climbing the hills on Pittwater and McCarrs Creek Rd, while the Audaxians around me were out of their seats and pushing. I found it quite easy to catch then on the steeper climbs too – San Martin Drive to the West Head turnoff and Akuna Bay gave me opportunity to pass many who had passed me when I dropped my chain just after Loquat Valley. Then again, they go for 600km while I certainly do not. Got me thinking a bit about technique, approach and consistency though…

I was accompanied up the Akuna Climb by a guy who talks more than Me and Ravi combined. Nice enough, but I decided to stop at the top, wait for Graeme and see if I could find the remainder of the ear he chewed off. With ear in place and Graeme only a few minutes back, we set off again for Bobbo, passing the likes of PD, Cathie AND HERB on the way. Managed to confuse the poor newsagent at the North Turramurra checkpoint with our brevet cards, but other than that, a nice clean roll to the next climb.

The Mt Colah side of Bobbo delivered on its well established promise of punching you in the guts every now and again and falsely convincing you that you are almost there. And then 50m from the summit, it calls you fat. Boycey and I sat on the wheel of a few guys (who knew Admin actually – one named Andrew said you stalk him and play sniper on his segment times?) for a while. I hit the front, trying to give a little wheel back, but with no takers. We ventured on alone, doing a nice little turn at the railway bridge and heading back.

Alas, the Turramurra side of Bobbo was, as always, slightly more forgiving. Graeme had also just had a sugar injection, so I found myself chasing him up. The tap at the entrance to the Sphinx car park is useless, so we made a stopover at Graeme’s house to grab some more water (and for me to run in to his “Newcastle” daughter, who for the record, is very lovely!). On the road again, counting down the hills (big or small) until the end. Stopped at the 52nd red light (OMG we got them all) and TWANG! Graeme’s spoke snapped clean in half. Damage done, but not enough to stop him continuing on.

Once at Warringah Rd x Willandra Rd, the roll home was within reach. A bit of local knowledge meant I could fly through Narraweena with confidence and sneak up on the Dee Why Bike Hub from behind utilising a hardly ever utilised 1-way road (Magoo Ninja Teachings). Very happy to have our brevet cards signed off, Graeme and I headed off in our separate directions, another job well done and all before lunch time.



P.S > Lemming? No show? After you spent all that time calling me soft and leading me to declare myself as a twatwaffle?