Thursday, January 13, 2005

Adelaide, glorious Adelaide

Jeez I'm bored. I'm in sunny Adelaide for the Aussie titles and it's boring. Yesterday were the time trials, and all the defending champions won so it was boring. Today was a rest day, so it was even more boring. There are bits of Adelaide that are nice but there are even more bits that are boring. Like here. At least the bushfires have gone - they were not good for all concerned. They have superceded the tsunami on the news so they must be interesting.

In other interesting news, I saw that Mark Thatcher is likely to plead guilty to organising a coup in Equatorial Guinea (which failed, by the way). But he probably won't be put away for it. Quelle shame. Was it 1982 when he got lost in the Sahara Desert during the Paris-Dakar rally? "I say slow down chappie, I spy a bedouin." [Mark is actually in Scotland]..."We're havin' a coupla bevies jimmy en ye're payin'!" (readers of Steve Bell's IF will get this joke).

While I'm on the subject of England, what about [Prince] Harry The Nazi?!? Fancy dress? Oh dear. Who brung him up?

I did do something interesting on the rest day, and that was to try to beat my record up Norton Summit. It's a 5.6 km climb at 5 percent, and flatter at the bottom and the top. I managed 13'50, which was four seconds slower than I did last year (on a lighter bike, dammit!) so I was annoyed. I'll try again on Sunday or something. Grr.

If all goes according to plan tomorrow, I should be able to cruise back from Echunga to Adelaide with none other than Phil Liggett, who has managed to organise a bike from the local bike shop. Dunno who's coming with us - maybe Graham Watson, who has allegedly started riding again. Phil's actually pretty fit, and does a regular morning group ride starting 6:15am during the TDU (next week). Oh well, that cuts me out :-)

Phil also showed us all some pics of his recent trip in South Africa, where he stayed on a bit of land with a lot of wild beasts. He got a good shot of an elephant charging his car - a la the policeman who tried to photograph Laurent Jalabert a few years back in Le Tour...with somewhat disastrous consequences. I think Phil managed to get away from the elephant in time.

You see, everything is boring compared to that! Being in Adelaide doesn't help.

I'll do a book review of A Clockwork Orange sometime, as I just finished reading it.

Racing liftout golden guide

Me last two races were satisfactory: 5th last Tuesday at Heffron and 5th again on Friday at Sutho, which at 43.5 km/h was by far the quickest race I've done down there. There were a whole lot of good riders so I just sat on the back and had a couple of go's late in the race, to no avail. Matt White took five others with him off the front with three laps to go and I thought that was it. But Troy Glennan did a few big turns and we caught them 3/4 of the way up the last hill. I forgot my own tactic of sitting on Jeff Hopkins' wheel and paid for it, as he won the sprint and I started too far back to be of any use.

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