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So here I was,5.4km from the middle of nowhere, trying to keep my fitness up on a ridiculously low-geared single speed MTB. How do I know I was 5.4km from the middle of nowhere? That's my destination: when I reach nowhere, I know I've gone far enough. I was only 11.6km into my ride.
My goal was to keep my cadence as high as possible for 60 minutes. I was pushing my pitiful maximum speed of ~25kmh at ~120RPM when I glanced to my right. You know that shock you get when you're in a world of your own and something totally unexpected occurs? It happened to me right then. I glanced to the right, thinking I'd heard something unusual. Maybe it was a subtle "On yer right ..."
Loping along side me was a young dingo, apparently also out working on his cadence. He looked me in the eye with cheeky disdain, as if to say "Is this all ya got mate?". I had to admit it was, but I was not going to be shamed by this youngster who couldn't even afford a decent bike. As he started to overtake me, I yelled at him: "YAAARGH!!! GIT!!!", more out of shock at seeing a wild animal less than 2 metres from my wheel than through any conscious decision. Being chased by a yapping domestic dog is scary enough, but being shadowed by a silent dingo is a chilling experience when you're in a private world of smooth spin and constant tempo.
Apparently my yell startled him as much as he had startled me. He veered to the right and piled into the roadside berm, doing an endo as his front legs crashed into the heaped sand.
"That'll wipe the smug grin off ya face!" I thought. I locked the rear brake and swung the bike around, preparing to chase him back down the road. It didn't take me long to get back to full speed, but he easily outpaced me, occasionally glancing back to see if I was gaining. I wasn't. Some advice for newbies: a 32-16 SS MTB is not the ideal dingo-chasing bike.
After a couple of hundred metres he apparently got bored. He trotted off the road and stood to watch me. I yelled "Git!" a couple of times, and he did exactly as I expected: he dropped to his haunches with that silly grin on his face.
"Ride, ride, as fast as you can! You can't catch me: I'm dingo-bred, man" his eyes were saying. A playful flick of his head told me he wasn't at all concerned about me or my puny gearing. There was nothing left for me to do but take a sip from my hydration pack and swallow my human pride.
Long after I reached the middle of nowhere and neared the camp on my return, I found dingo tracks overprinting the tyre tracks I had laid down on the way out. My training buddy could have been pacing me all the way from the camp, so by the time he tried to overtake me, he may have already run 10km. Cocky little S.O.B.!
All in all, a fun ride. Wildlife breaks the monotony I suppose.
PS - I reckon I would have really Showtime myself if he had pulled along side and muttered "30 more ..."
Last edited by Kalgrm on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
This is why they introduced drafting rules in cycling I guess. On the flipside, if this was the silly euro TdF press reporting the story they would have named the little fella, Cadel Dingo Evans. How poetic the letters come in alpha order. It's like the outback stars aligned to make it happen ! I hope he doesn't get his mates to surround you next time, them all taunting you in dingo with shrill voices and mocking glares.
Picture the scene, outback Australia, CDE trotting at a canter in front of the manly Kalgrm, snickering as he pulls away from the hapless Kalgrm. Stopping, and looking into the sky, arms outstretched with a bellow saving grace call "My kingdom for a 14 tooth sprocket !"
The red dirt turns orange as the clouds gather and block out the sky, the wind picks up sand blasting our human combatants face a little, stinging his eyes. A thunderous crack of noise fills the air, a cacophony of natural anger. A lightning bolt from the heavens reign down from the sky, striking the Giant and sending a shower of sparks into the air like a Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. A little in the distance a passive, uninterested CDE nips at some annoying buzzing flies, thinking to itself, "ah but these are just smaller versions of the big one over there"
Hand shielding his eyes from the blinding flash and dancing lights, Kalgrm waits for the brightness to abate. It dutifully does and he looks down to see what majiks have be brought to bear on his trusty steed. Lo and behold 14 teeth on his sprocket. A smile crosses his face and he glares with determination at his opponent. The first half pedal rotation is sweet as honey. Then... CLUNK! Our intrepid battler looks at the rear, two teeth are missing from his cog. Once more looking to the now clear skys, he calls to the heavens.. "What skullduggery is this !" Across the vast red plains a whispered voiced to echo... "Dingo's got game, lift yours"
p.s. Nice story yours, not mine
As fate would have it, today I made an offering of singed plastic to the Gods, through my miraculous Microsoft Prayer Device. They promised I would have delivered unto mine hands, not a lowly 14t sprocket, but a heavenly and assuredly speedy 12t sprocket. They told me to watch for a silver-winged messenger from their realm, who is known throughout as Boeing. "Fast is his foot and sure is his aim" they spake of him.
Surely, he must be a sight to behold! I eagerly await his arrival with the great gift he bares and has sworn to deliver forthwith.
My running mate joined me again tonight. This time I was not so startled and I watched for him as I left camp. I decided that I'd play it cool, keeping an eye on him but not trying to scare him off. It might be interesting to see what he wants.
He didn't let me down: less than 200m from camp he fell in beside me (not literally this time). Initially he seemed wary of me, trying to avoid my line of sight: each time I looked for him over my shoulder, he swapped to the other side of the road. When he worked out I wasnâ€™t going to chase him off tonight, he ran beside and sometimes ahead of me, checking to see if I was still coming.
I guess going for a run with a slow mountain bike rider beats hanging around doing nothing. It looked like he was simply enjoying the sport of shadowing me. His tongue was lolling and he just loped along, content to play. If dingoes could laugh, I reckon he would have been doing so with joy.
After about two and a half kilometres, he must have decided I wasn't as much fun if I wasn't yelling at him. He stopped on the road and watched me ride off.
I'm going to take my camera with me tomorrow and see if I can get some action shots of him. I must admit, his presence grew on me tonight as I became accustomed to having him there.
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