Thursday, April 21, 2005

Words, lots of words

I've lost track of the number of words of cycling-related dribble I have typed in the last four days, but it's been a lot. Amstel was weird, because there was no TV! When Jon and I left for Maastricht at 7am after yet another 5 hr sleep, there was fog everywhere. I confidently predicted that it would burn off by about 11am, but it didn't happen! It was foggy the whole bloody day!

We got to the start OK and I got the bike out to ride to the press room, but for some reason I didn't follow the correct road and I ended up zig-zagging my way up to Valkenburg. It should have been 10 km, but my speedo read 23 km by the end. No matter. At least the press room was closer to the finish line this year, but jeez it was cold.

Then on Monday, Lance announced his retirement and the Tyler decision was handed down, both within hours of each other. So I was kept busy. The Hamilton arbitration report made for some interesting reading, and there are some pretty big holes on both sides of the argument. I guess that's why it was a split decision. We haven't heard the last of it, and that will give me something more to write about. Just as well, because I was getting bored with nothing to do...

One more classic to go: Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Then a slight (and I mean slight) break before the Giro.

Obligatory weather mention: The sun is out for the first time in about two weeks. Yay!

I have a "new" test bike, a Canyon Carbon Ultimate, weighing a mere 7.3 kg. Phwoar - that's even 1 kg lighter than the Ridley. I've only been riding it for a week so far, but it's not bad. Very light, very stiff, bit uncomfortable as a result, very nervous. I've also set the Flandria up so that I can test some Zipp 404s. Should be fun too.

Today's ride consisted of sitting in the bunch for about 70 km at a nice average speed of 38, then going and finding some hills. Edelare, back of Koppenberg (the smooth side), Muziekbos, some funky little climbs around Ellezelles, which I thought was Flobecq, so I didn't end up going the back way up La Houppe, as I had intended. Then back home via Michelbeke and the Berendries. A nice round 150km.

I have yet to get my racing licence, but I will do so once I get a heart checkup. Apparently, they're compulsory now. Not such a bad thing I guess. There's three doctors in Gent that will do them, so I'd better make an appointment.

Last but not least, I heard that my PhD supervisor John Mackie retired about three weeks ago. I wish I could have been back in Oz to go to the party, as he was a great supervisor and top bloke! Perhaps he was a little disappointed with the way I turned out though :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

Accidently I found a picture of you on your new bike. You were situated on a hill during the Davitamon Classic where a crazy fellow is taking pictures of everyone passing by. Click on, go to davitamon classic Nazareth 10.10 AM picture nr 0133. I did that trip too. Nice ride.

Regards from Jo, the long 198 cm tall guy , mostly dressed in black and occasionally fighting out a sprint with you along the Schelde. (At least when the legs are ok.)

Jeff Jones said...

Hi Jo,

Cool - thanks for the link. I remember that guy taking pics on one of the climbs. I really enjoyed the ride, and I think Henk did too, although he suffered a bit more. I'd better write an update on it.