It has been a while since I provided the world with the entertainment I call my blog. I don’t like people who say they are ‘busy’ when you ask them how you are however my life has been hectic lately! This is what I have been cramming into my life since the last race in mid July. There hasn’t even been time for a cheesy Batman comment and my social life has been non-existent as I’ve spent more time away than at home. I’m not even going to proof read this as semi-not-really-exciting story about pretty much nothing. Poo Brown is missing me terribly; well okay maybe it’s the other way around.
Holidays: Two days after the Nationals race in Toowoomba, I packed up Poo Brown and we headed to Canada for a HOLIDAY!!! My holidays are normally action packed and this was no different. Here is the extremely short version of what went down.
Spent a couple of days bumming around Seattle, stayed in the Chinatown area and ate my body weight in dumplings, visited the Boeing Factory (WOW), met some awesome people, caught a ferry across the sound to a naval base to look at a ship and stumbled across a beer festival. Awe yeah! Seattle is the best! Seriously had a very good time in Seattle. We also had the best weather, blue skies every day and this town banned plastic bags and plastic straws years ago AND they haven’t imploded. Drank the worlds worst coffee, avoided Starbucks like the plague and ate so many tasty bagels. Picked up a hire car and drove west across Washington State to the Idaho border and then headed north into Canada. This is where I spent the several weeks riding my bike on the sides of huge mountains deep in the forest. Did something like 3,000m plus of descending everyday. There were hot tubs, bonfires by the side of glacial streams, drinking games, outrageous amazing food by the world’s hottest chef (he was so good looking that I couldn’t even talk to him).
Did outrageously cool stuff like catch a helicopter to the top of mountain and spent the rest of the day riding down. I was terrified but oh man was it awesome! I never ridden anything so steep in my entire life. No idea how I stayed on the bike with my legs and sphincter shaking so much. After three days in this amazing location, I had burnt through a set a brake pads. Ended up in Whistler where I caught up with old friends and breathed in the dusty summer air from the mountain bike park. Jumped straight into Summer Gravity Camp where I was going to test just what Poo Brown and I could do. Everything I rode on my downhill bike last year, I rode on Poo Brown. By Batman’s beating heart, I freaking love my bike. I still can’t jump for shite but hey, that’s nothing new. Learnt a few hard lessons about being tired and trying to ride tricky steep stuff (it doesn’t work). Really got to get a feel for my bike and understand how to ride it (well the theory of it anyway, putting it into practice is another matter). Had some superstar coaches, including the famous Yoann Barelli and he is just as fabulous and amazing in person.
So this mountain biking diva decided that one helicopter ride wasn’t enough and when the opportunity to get a helicopter ride to the top of another mountain, of course the answer was shut up and take my money. Boom, another set of brake pads donated to Canada. Sigh, another amazing holiday in Canada.
Wrist: It seems I have nerve damage in my wrist as I have no spatial awareness of where my hand is. When I’m riding a bike, it feels like there is cotton wool between my hand and the bar. It is very weird. I noticed my depth perception is out when I punch people too. I’m kinda hoping it just fixes itself. I means surely it will, right?? Anyway, enough said about this.
Promotion: Got a promotion at work. Yes family, I do work (when I’m there) and I’m super awesome at it 😉 Blah blah blah
Make Australia Science again: Despite what the white, wealthy, misogynist, antiquated, moronic egoistical wankers running our country, there is a very real place in the world for renewable energy and I’m on a mission to prove them wrong. Think of it like mobile phones. At first they were big clunky, didn’t work very well, complicated to understand and use, however now… The little gig that I’m playing in, is going to take non-potable water, clean it and the spilt it using solar energy (super simple version); a completely renewable source of energy. Hydrogen is an excellent fuel source. Science for the win! As you can imagine there is a tad more to it than that and I’m right in the middle of it and loving it. SCIENCE!!!
Secondment to Supreme Overlord: I have decided that there are two types of people that work in large organisations. The ones that are outcome driven and the ones that process driven. Guess which one I am. I didn’t really want a secondment as it means dealing with the plethora of empire building process oriented dipshits that have no freaking idea what value adding means however if I didn’t put my hand up, some underserving ladder climbing, think they are better than the rest of us wench would get it. So endless meetings on nothing, watching my life waste away (while my real work waits for me) is now my thing for several weeks as I try to manage the pathetic contemptuous egos above me. Ergh. However with my new temporary Supreme Overlord title comes an increase in pay. OOoooo that little voice in my head is whispering new bike….
….. new bike ….
Biggles vs the sun: Got some shit cut out of my arm. Forgot the score but I’m slowly losing the war. Won another battle but this soul destroying journey goes on. Ergh. Stupid crappy mutated genes.
Nephew’s birthday: “I wish Aunty Biggles was here, she is lots of fun”, words from my nephew on the Friday morning before his birthday. Who am I to break the heart of an 8 year old?? This was a highlight in my jammed packed life schedule, surprised my nephew by unexpectedly turning up for the weekend (fark, who needs sleep…). There was the epic nerf gun war, hide and seek, bike riding, and inflatable world! Jumping castles are awesome, especially jumping castles on steroids! I ended up with vinyl burn on my knees and elbows as I raced my eight year nephew and six year old niece over the inflatable obstacle course. Oh yeah, I was the biggest kid out there. Second biggest kid in the park; my little brother is (he shall always be my littler bro despite being much taller than me) and we were both out there.
Melbourne: Had to spend some time in Melbourne during the coldest week of the year doing secret defence stuff. I haven’t been to Melbourne in ages and all I saw was the inside of taxis, meeting rooms and endless corridors. Did get some good food and coffee in though. I freaking froze but I got to play with some sweet armoured vehicles.
Japan: Let’s go to Japan for work and just because my life isn’t exciting enough there was a typhoon, several tremors and an earthquake just to keep me on my toes. I was meant to be in Osaka the day the typhoon hit. I used to think Australia’s cyclone tracking information wasn’t great however I was so wrong. I was getting better information from the Australian Bureau of Metrology than what I could find in Japan. What I couldn’t get my head around was it was a business as usual approach until a few hours before it hit. The greater Osaka region has 5 million people living it and the airport is a man made island out in the ocean. If it was Australia, they would have at least advised everyone to stay home, evacuate etc. Nope, in Japan, it was business as usual and then it was panic, as tens of thousands of people couldn’t get home as the fast train network went down. Some frantic rescheduling meant I could stay in Tokyo and hope it was far enough away. It sort of was. The fancy high-rise hotel I stayed in swayed in the wind all night; felt like I was on a boat. All night there was thumps, bangs and howling wind (aka no sleep). There was a tremor the night before so I was laying there in a semi-sleep state trying to work out if I should evacuate. There was also a major earthquake while I was there. Once again I was far enough away to avoid most of the ‘excitement’ however after my fourth sleepless night in a row. I have had enough. It was my second overseas trip that I was really ready to go home (that never happens!).
State Championships. This was meant to be the weekend I landed back from Japan; the last race and finale of the State Gravity Enduro series. The only way I could fit work and play in was to land, throw my bags in the door, grab Poo Brown and head straight to the race. This hasn’t worked so well for me in the past (that one time I knocked myself out and didn’t know who I was for a week). However Mother Nature was looking out for me and the race was rescheduled to 21stOctober. The extremely dry conditions at Mt Joyce or Wyaralong dam meant it was too risky to have a 1,000 people in the remote bush with only one way in and out. It has since rained and things are looking good however at the time it was the right decision to make AND it means that I didn’t have to do something stupid again. Thank you Mother Nature.
K10B: When I was in Japan, I thought I would treat myself to a new karate gi for training. There are gi’s and then there are GI’s if you know what I mean. I wanted the later; the Tom Ford of uniforms. Tom Ford made all the suits for Daniel Craig’s James Bond, functional, stylish; you can kick ass in it while looking good and feeling good. This is what a K10B is. The best of the best. A visit to the Shureido shop, some emails to get the details sorted and boom. It is ordered. Raced there on my last day in Japan to pick up my new black beauty and then made the dash to the airport. Shureido is amazing. They dug around in their record books and found all the gi’s I have ever ordered from them over the past 20 years (to make sure sizing was correct). Looking forward to training in this bad boy for many years to come.
Family priorities: Sometimes shit happens and you have to reschedule everything to give them the support that is needed.
House painted: In amongst all of this the outside of the house was paint. It involved stripping and sanding large portions of the outside. Dust is an evil demon sent to break my soul. Every surface in my house is now coated in dust. There was no point trying to clean it until it was finished, as I would clean and the next day it was back. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a very clean freak (but not necessary tidy). It did my freaking head in! This sucked many, many hours out of my life getting it back to a dust free environment.
Evil animals: Fark spring! September, the weather begins to warm up, the days get longer and animals start breeding and get bloody territorial. Time for us cyclists to master riding one handed while waving like a possessed person trying to save their lives from birds. Fire trucking magpies are out in force, stealthily flying the sky’s waiting for us poor innocent cyclists to wander by and BOOM they engage kill mode and appear from nowhere for a deadly strike. It’s not just Maggies that are on a mission to kill me, it is also butcher birds and native minor birds. The minor birds are so freaking insistent when they are in kill mode. Being a smaller bird means they attack and can quickly regroup for repeated, unrelenting strikes. It doesn’t matter if you are lucky enough to strike one with your blind flailing arms (and screaming for mercy), they are suicide bombers and just won’t relent. Lets not forgot the scrub turkey’s flicking crap all over the bike paths while they try to impress the ladies with their mounds. Fark you birds. Oh and the snakes are also out of hibernation. They like to lay across paths, sunning themselves, cleverly disguising themselves as sticks and branches. They have quick tempers and really don’t like people flicking dirt into their face or hitting them with tyres. They are not very good sports as their tempers flare very quickly and they don’t play well with others. Assholes! I think I need to start a trauma support group for cyclists who get attacked by animals. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I fire trucking hate spring.
Another new bike: I don’t always need a new bike…. No, wait, who am I kidding. I always need a new bike. So the adult thing to do with my temporary higher duties income would be to pay off my credit card debt (aka helicopter rides and medical bills) or I could blow it all on a shiny new bike. Hmmmmm guess which option I am going to go with J
Old Silver (my road bike) is 15 years old and is tired and haggard (a bit like its owner). He has had the pleasure of carrying my frame around day in and day out, year after year. Old Silver was with me in my (thankfully short lived) triathlon days, he takes me to work each day and has been with me on many adventures around the place. Like an aging racehorse, there are creaks and groans when he is asked to do something under load, he is sluggish to respond and whinges like crazy when you ask him to do something. It is time for him to slow down and find a new less demanding mate. Which means I have to replace him with something. A lady at work who is a mad crazy cyclist (she makes me look bike sane) has just upgraded her steed and emailed me asking if I would be interested in her two year old steed. Why, yes ma’am I am! Please introduce me! It’s carbon, black, sleek and fast AND it’s bargain given what it is and how it’s built up. I’m drooling at the thought of it.
Phew. That’s all from me.
So what next for me? I gotta get this Supreme Overlord work load under control and get back my work-life balance. Just for something different (sarcasm), I’m going to eat my body weight in carbs, sleep, ride my bike, break in my new gi and go test ride a new bike :0. Oh and somehow fit some serious ride time in for the following events.
13-14 October – World Series Qualifier, Nerang
20-21 October – Queensland Championships, Mt Joyce
26-28 October – Australia Gravity Enduro Championships, Fox Creek SA
10-11 November – Asia Pacific Qualifer Derby, Tasmania
24-25 November – Australian National round, Falls Creek
1-2 December – Asia Pacific Mt Buller
….. new bike …..