Archive for the cycling Category

Moonshine and bikes and bears, oh my!

Posted in bikes, cycling, life with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19/09/2011 by entendered

I’ve been on holidays. Highlights include:

  • First encounter with genuine moonshine
  • First encounter with bear in the wild
  • Riding bikes
  • Drinking really, really, really good beer
  • Flirting with girls in bars and coffee shops
  • Watching bike races
  • Massive roadtrips
  • All sorts of unique food
Normal posting will resume in the near future.

Time to ride

Posted in bikes, cycling, life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30/08/2011 by entendered

Things I am going to do this week:

  1. Tidy my house
  2. Buy some modest gifts
  3. Fly halfway around the world
  4. Ride mountain bikes in a Southern State of the USA
  5. Eat BBQ chicken wings
  6. Make Damper on a campfire
  7. Drive to Montreal
  8. Eat a Philly Cheese Steak on the way
  9. Watch some bike races
  10. Drink a large amount of beer
Actually to be honest that’s going to take a little more than one week but it is still going to ┬ábe awesome.

Stop throwing your shit on the road

Posted in bad, bikes, cars, commuting, cycling, dickish behaviour, dicks, life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17/08/2011 by entendered

Dear fucking idiots who throw shit on the road,

To be honest I can’t even believe we’re having this fucking conversation. It’s so completely, utterly, fuckingly retarded that we’re having to have this conversation. Please stop throwing your shit on the road. That’s not what roads are for.

Seriously. Look up the word road in a dictionary and you will NOT find an entry that reads “someplace to throw your shit”. For a start dictionaries have more strict grammar policies than this blog, but importantly in this case because ROADS AREN’T FOR THROWING YOUR SHIT ON!

I don’t know how to make it any simpler than this. It’s your shit, and that means you have a responsibility to dispose of it correctly, safely, responsibly and according to social norms (and relevant statutory obligations). In short, you’re NOT ALLOWED TO THROW YOUR SHIT ON THE ROAD.

Obviously at some point in history our lawmakers realised that fucktards exist in this universe and we’re unlikely to evolve all the way past them anytime soon, so they resorted to the last most desperate thing that they could. They made it ILLEGAL TO THROW YOUR SHIT ON THE ROAD.

So just put your bottles and your chocolate wrappers and your pizza boxes and your burger wrappers and your big gulp cups and your fucking glass bottles and all the rest of your shit in the back seat of your car and put it in the fucking bin when you get home. Or what the fuck ever, just stop throwing your shit on the road.

Otherwise I’m going to start throwing my shit in your windows.

In unrelated news, I hate when you get a flat tyre from a piece of glass in the road at the end of a 50km ride, although that is technically better than getting it right at the start.

Professional sports and regionalism/nationalism do not mix

Posted in bikes, cycling, dicks, life, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , on 08/08/2011 by entendered

Yeah, yeah, yeah – shut the fuck up. I get that sports are a social metaphor for warfare and allow modern fans to maintain a certain tribal affiliation while not actually maiming and dismembering each other’s children. But basically, fuck all y’all for being so retarded.

Sports are professional these days and have NOTHING to do with national/regional/local identity. When you can pay a player to move to your country and “qualify” for citizenship just so your national team will compete better, you’re admitting that national identity has nothing to do with international sports. Yeah, I’m looking at you – All Blacks, Wallabies and every other pro rugby team masquerading as a national side.

Same for all football codes, same for cricket, hockey, basketball, baseball. Here’s the truth, your favourite player doesn’t come from your hometown or region or possibly even country. Fucking deal with it and move on.

One of the many (many, many) things I love about cycling at the pro level is that it’s mercifully moving beyond this antiquated chest beating. There’s still a long way to go, but the pro teams are named for their sponsors and are truly international in both team makeup (staff, riders, etc.) and in competition. They literally compete all over the world. There is no “home field” and that’s a blessing for this type of sport.

Of course there are exceptions and difficulties in this, mostly they come from the sponsor end of the deal whereby a sponsor is trying to target a particular market and want the team to relate to that somehow. Usually by having a preference for riders from that market’s part of the world. It’s even worse when governments are involved. So yeah, there are a bunch of teams that fly semi-nationalistic flags and do a shitty job of hiding the fact that they’re fucking up the sport to appease the interests of the money (to be fair, this is exactly what happens in the rest of the world, so…).

Anyway, I can tolerate a lot of bullshit and generally I don’t let this stuff get to me. I’ve been happy through the years to follow my favourite riders regardless of the teams they’re on and to even find myself supporting some teams more than others, just because I like them. I like that about this sport, it’s incredibly competitive but it’s not mono-theistic. There’s a pantheon of performers and they’re all worth watching.

Sadly for me, a new outrage is on the horizon and one that is really fucking with my enjoyment of the end of this season and the start of next year. Unholy evil, thy name is Green Edge. This is a team that is trying to enter the top pro levels of the sport, but in the process is announcing itself to all and sundry as an “Australian” team. I cry bullshit.

I don’t want stupid “Oi, Oi, Oi” chanting. I don’t want morons who think this team really is some kind of national side getting involved. But the world doesn’t bend to my will all the time, and in this instance has chosen to kick me firmly in the nuts. The cunts have signed my favourite rider and now I’m torn. I either continue to support him out of history and loyalty, but thereby also support (at least to some extent) I team that I am ideologically opposed to; or I turn my back on my favourite rider of all time out of spite towards a team that hasn’t even had a race yet.

Fuck you Green Edge.

It’s a great achievement and I want to celebrate

Posted in bikes, cycling, news with tags , , , , , , on 25/07/2011 by entendered

So Cadel Evans has become the first Australian ever to win the Tour de France. This is the world’s most famous bike race and the largest of the 3 annual Grand Tours (the others being the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana). It’s long been believed that the guy was capable of becoming Australia’s first GT winner, but most fans thought it’d be one of the other two. They’re still incredibly prestigious events and among hardcore cycling aficionados there is even an argument that the Giro (often a tougher race due to more extreme climbing stages) is the more important race.

The truth though is that it’s the Tour that catches the hearts and minds of the wider world. It’s the Tour that young riders dream of, and it’s the Tour that proves someone is a complete bike rider. So as an Australian I’m deliriously happy and excited that Cadel has won the Tour. On top of this, I’m pleased that it was such a gripping, climactic and entertaining race this year. Nothing was certain until the end, but in the end it was won in convincing fashion. It’s great for Australian cycling and it’s fantastic for Evans who has had more than his fair share of bad luck in years gone by.

At the same time, I’m wary of the staunch nationalism creeping into the Australian cycling community. I love Australian cyclists and I’m very proud of their achievements but cycling is a professional sport, not a nationalistic one. The teams are pro teams with riders from all over the world competing alongside each other and for each other. I’ll always be proud of my compatriots and the roles they play in various teams, but I’ll never long to see a team comprised of only Australians or support a team just because it is registered Australia. That’s not how cycling works.

It’s a curious sport of passion, pain and sacrifice – and those who commit to it at the top levels give up so much to work with and for each other. It’d be belittling to reduce that to a jingoistic competition. There’s much more to it than that.

Everyday heroes

Posted in bikes, charity, cycling, life with tags , , , , , on 18/07/2011 by entendered

Sometimes in life you come across someone extraordinary. A person who inspires and encourages you to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish rare and special things. Other times in life you meet people like Peter. Peter’s a lovely man that I work with who on a regular basis tells me that I should be hit by a truck for riding my bike to work. He also tells me that I’m lucky he drives to work from a different direction because otherwise he would run me over.

Peter is an everyday hero. Peter is a hero because even though he hates bikes and bike riders, he has agreed to ride his bike to work on our National Ride To Work Day (October 12) if we raise $5,000 for his nominated charity, Variety. Variety is a charity that provides support and assistance to children in need all over Australia. It’s a great charity, who do important work.

Better yet, Peter will complete the ride wearing full lycra kit and we will be organising a bunch to ride with him.

So if you like cycling or Variety please donate today. Conversely, if you hate Peter, we’ll glad accept your donations also.

Driving like a dickhead isn’t cool

Posted in bikes, cycling, dickish behaviour, dicks with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/07/2011 by entendered

So last night in the Tour de France some fucking idiot in a France Television car ignored instructions from the Race Commisaires and tried to pass the breakaway of 5 riders on a very narrow road. In the process of attempting to pass the car was heading toward a tree that had grown slightly in on the left-hand side of the road. The driver swerved suddenly to the right and hit two of the riders, sending them flying. One of the two (Johnny Hoogerland) most dramatically wound up in a barbed-wire fence completely entangled.

The other rider struck by the car, Juan Antonio Flecha, managed to get back up and riding reasonably quickly, remarkably suffering no serious injuries as a result. Hoogerland had it worse, with the fence literally leaving him bare-arsed and scratched to hell. He was able to get back on his bike within a few minutes and amazingly enough, completed the stage, picking up the Polka-Dot Jersey for the points he’d accumulated on the climb before the crash.

It’s not just incredible that neither of these guys were seriously hurt, it’s a fucking miracle. If the fence Hoogerland had hit had been newer it probably wouldn’t have flexed as much and the odds of him cutting open an artery or just gouging a deep wound would have been much greater.

I’ve been watching professional cycling for the better part of 15 years now and I cannot recall a single incident where a vehicle from the convoy has struck riders. This year it’s happened twice in the first 9 days of the Tour de France.

I ride my bike every day to work and I’m acutely aware of my vulnerability on the road. Particularly because there are a lot of drivers who carry a lot angst towards cyclists and seem to think that they have some sort of divine right to threaten and endanger more vulnerable road users. It’s incredibly disheartening to see this lack of regard for cyclist safety creep into the sport of cycling itself.

Obviously the driver of the vehicle has been kicked off the tour and nobody is suggesting the driver was anything but reckless. Nevertheless, it’s a sad day in the sport. See the incident for yourself in the video below.

Tour time

Posted in bikes, cycling with tags , , , , on 07/07/2011 by entendered

So the biggest stage race of them all is on at the moment. If you’re not aware of the Tour de France then you probably don’t know what a bike is. That’s ok, I’m not one to judge. All I’m saying is that if that’s the case then you probably aren’t going to get much out of this post.

See, the thing is that bike racing is fucking awesome. Truly it is. People ride their bikes hard and fast across all sorts of terrain in all sorts of weather conditions and shit happens along the way. There’s a hell of a lot of tactics going on in every stage and in every part of every stage. There are multiple prizes like the GC (General Classification – the famous Yellow Jersey in the TdF), the points competition (for sprinters), the King of the Mountains, the Lanterne Rouge (person who finishes last), as well as the individual stage prizes. This means that individual riders and teams have multiple sets of priorities and goals for the duration of the race. Once you start to understand the intricacy, this sport is one of the smartest things you can engage with. To quote a wise man, “This shit ain’t checkers, it’s chess!”.

Anyway, the point is that if you have even a passing interest in bike racing, now’s the time to start learning what it’s all about.

Dear Redneck Fucker Who Threatened to Kill Me Today

Posted in bikes, cycling, death, dickish behaviour, dicks, life, safety, traffic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20/06/2011 by entendered

Dear Redneck Fucker Who Threatened to Kill Me Today,

Hi, it’s me, the guy on the bike that you told “If you want to ride on the road you better be ready to get hit”. Here’s the thing, I’ve been hit before, on purpose. It doesn’t really hold that much of a thrill for me. Once when I was sixteen, some dipshit (possibly a relative of yours) leaned out of the passenger side window while the driver slowed down to match my speed and literally pushed me off my bike.

Two years ago, a bus driver swerved at me and hit me before stopping inches short of the parked car he was trying to knock me into.

So your big talk and your small mind (only slightly larger than your inevitably miniscule penis) don’t scare me.

Actually, I’m a bit pissed off. The thing is, I’m tired of you being stupid. You’re too stupid to be allowed to drive. It’s true. I watched you cutting lanes and nearly causing accidents before you got stuck in traffic and decided to threaten my life as I rolled past your virtually parked vehicle. You’re a reckless driver. You’re dangerous, not because you carry some air of menace or threatening manner, but simply because you’re too simple-minded to operate something as complicated as a motor vehicle, especially in city traffic.

And you’re too stupid to speak in complete or coherent sentences. And you’re obnoxious, and rude. All in all, you’re just a bad person. And I’m tired of you. So, thanks for your kind offer of committing something between Vehicular Manslaughter and outright Murder on my cycling self… all I can really say is that the law affords me certain rights when it comes to self-defense, so you better take me out on your first try.

Riding bikes is better

Posted in bikes, cycling, life with tags , , , , , on 19/06/2011 by entendered

I took a good mate out for a bike ride today. His first time riding a road bike and using clipless pedals. It was a hell of a lot of fun.

I got a bit over-excited and explained all sorts of small details that he probably didn’t need me to, but still it was nice to be riding with a friend on a Sunday afternoon. And it capped off a week quite nicely.

Life is better on two wheels.

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