Saturday, January 29, 2005

Falling down

It had to happen sooner or later: I would crash while racing me velocipede. The auspices have generally not been in my favour this week, and I managed to lose a bit of bark at the Joe Sunde Memorial at Heffron on Australia Day. But first, let me backtrack a little...

After the International Journo Junket, we launched into the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in a big way. Normally a week of Adelaide is all I have to put up with each year, but after the Aussie Nats, this made it into two weeks. I'm actually starting to like bits of Adelaide now. Mainly the bits that aren't in Adelaide itself, e.g. the hills. I managed to find several climbs out of the city, some up to 9 km long which isn't too bad. There was one called Corkscrew Road (which is accessible off Gorge Road, to the north of the city) and it goes up 210m in 2.4 km. The first kilometre is fairly steady, then it gets savagely steep. I would have preferred something smaller than a 40x21, but anyway...

That was all fun, and I could generally get out for an hour or so each day during the TDU. It was all good. The rest of the week was bloody busy but. Live coverage, updating two sites, plus the normal stuff...I'm glad it's only once a year.

The post-race piss-up on the final night ended poorly. After swearing I'd stick to beer (now where have I heard that?), I eventually cracked because they'd obviously watered down the beer and it was crap. So I started on the Jacob's Creek Unlimited Release January 2005 Rosé...It was worse, but it did at least have some alcohol in it. Suffice it to say, after a bottle and a bit, I was the worse for wear. Two hours sleep, then back on the job to do news and get on the plane back to Sydney on Monday. The rest of Monday passed into oblivion.

The Sunde

I was in two minds about racing again, but after doing 50 km on Tuesday I decided to roll up for the Joe Sunde Memorial on Australia Day. It was a good field, but not as hard as a Tuesday race, so I hung around the back and gradually moved up. A break of three went early and won, and Our Gallant Randwick Botany Lads decided to chase after 30 mins. We looked good for about two laps and pulled back about 10 seconds before it all fell apart and Easts got in the way anyway.

I did one more turn and then moseyed down to the back for a bit of a breather with 6 to go. Unfortunately, while I was there Matt from Clarence St. decided to pedal round the tennis court corner, and that's one you never pedal around at Heffron. So he came down in the middle of the corner, then Matt Lucas went over him on the left, and fortunately ended up in the grass. I was right behind with nowhere to go, so I slammed on the brakes and my rear tyre fortuitously exploded, dumping me rather hard on the concrete. Sigh.

Sorry Ma and Pa, who happened to be on the same corner that I crashed on (yes, I was watching the road). And sorry Kate and Kristy, who formed the other half of my cheer squad. I'll probably get a bad luck karma conscience thingo about this now.

I haven't crashed in a race for probably over 10 years, as I can usually avoid them. In fact, my last crash of any note was in 1997, when I fell off at West Head. I guess I was lucky this time as the St. Johns ambo's were there to patch me up and I didn't have to go to hospital - just a fair bit of skin off my hip and elbow, and bits and pieces off other areas and general stiffness in the hips. The bike - thankfully - is OK despite needing a new tyre and handlebar tape. The other two Matts are also OK, which is good.

So I'm hobbling around and taking Neurofen for a few days now, calling this the "off-season" (which it was going to be anyway). The "Sunde" was a guest appearance only. I am looking forward to getting these bandages off.

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