Going to ask the mods to see if they can make this a sticky. Hope to share my cycling experiences in and around Alice Springs with the community and add a little humour along the way.... see how I go
Sandman on Todd
Far out, I typed this beautiful message today and musn't have hit the submit button, thats gotta blow ! OH well, lets see if I remember what happened today....
Sandman gets phat ass out of bed today, 10:00am was nice due to conference call finishing at 2:30am. Must say there is nothing like the Australian Outback, away from all of the smog and light pollution, looking up and of course almost falling over due to vertigo So I get into the HP lycra this morning and off I set out towards the West McDonald ranges only to get caugt at the local level crossing. I think we have 5 of them in town with no boom gates, someone appears to have had some spare change so they were testing the gates wtih a loco going up n down the tracks.
So my trip was lengthened by a wait of a minute and then I was off, round Tom Brown ROundabout and out towards the "Gap". Got onto the back of a tipper truck, barelling along nicely at 60km/hr when he decides the 1km draft was enough and he's down a side street. Well the speed dropped (damn) and into a good 37-38km/hr speed with cadence around 85. I caught up to a MTB'er somewhere down the Stuart Highway, suspect he was battling to do 25 so not much chatter, woosh and away I went. Right hand turn up Stuart Highway and on I forge up to Hatt road. Road is a little narrower but its still quite wide. Sun was beating down, suspect it was around 35c, regularly reaching for the bottle and yuck, sweating under the backpack.
Right hand bend for the home stretch, had to give way to a MOFO roadtrain, 4 trailers at 55m, the stench from the cattle well I have no idea what you would compare it to This part of the trip is slow as they have re-tared the road so its like riding on sticky fly paper, nothing you do makes you go fast. I hit the first rise and pulling on the pedals keeps a good speed up and over the bump. Nothing more exciting, no dead animals, no brothers walking down the road or being bothered by nasty big trucks.
Pulled through the gates at work nd the boys were amazed that a nutter would turn up in the middle of the day on a pushy. Off to the shower block, can of coke, nutbar and a pear, all good The ride home should be fun as Gary isnt too happy with the headwinds
Left the saltmine a little late today and it was only Gary and I. Gary rides something he bought from a Lawn Sale which actually doesnt look too bad. He rides with bloody girly MTB pedals that makes the bike look a little whimpy I reckon Gary likes to coast on his rides and do his own thing, not sure if he's happy he met me. If I dont keep an eye on him and make him suffer he's lollygaging, looking at the scenery and enjoying himself, like what sort of Lycra Power Ranger is this
RIde home was a little tougher today, headwind was around 25km/hr, still in the mid 30s and I think he wants to call it a day already. He ducks in behind and I slow down to 30 and he's still hurtin. I tell him to HTFU, hang on and just sit close. As we're going so darn slow I stick it in 50/12 to give myself something to push or I'd be falling asleep. He dropped a few times on big gusts of wind and up and over the 2 bumps we have. He made it to the Hatt road turnoff, I waited for him and watched the cars go past at sub-light speed, no wonder there are so many deaths on country roads.
Out we go onto the Stuart Highway, sitting on the left hand edge on 30km/hr and making sure Gary was on. One thing I found about Gary, if its too easy he starts talking, if it gets too hard he stops talking and then drops off. My challenge is to keep him talking just enough to know he's with me but make him ride better to improve his ability Anyway we make it to the Airport Turnoff and now we have the nice tailwind. Normally it would be 40+++ down here but Gary is suffering, I drag him along at 30, what happens he starts talking too much, up goes the speed and the chatter becomes less and I'm happy he's working
We make it through the "Gap", pass pleasantries and then I stomp on the gas and we're in the 40s, how nice it is So not too far from home now and I'm still in the 50/12 pushing like a mule and its feeling great. I make the turn into Memorial and decide to sit up and give myself a "not well deserved" rest. WHen I do walk into the house with the 2x3 phase aircon units pumping away I notice how darn hot it still is outside..
So it was a good day, doing a little more work tonight and ready for the next 5:30am rise. Gary reckons he's leaving at an "undisclosed time" from his house so I can chase him. He had nearly 20 minutes on me one day and I didnt catch him, when he gave me 15 mins head start I did catch him with 5km to go...
Time to put a coffee on and watch some Selectv, if you had to look at Imparja or Central Prime you'd be looking for sharp objects to hit yourself with....
Sandman "lost in the Center"
Getting out of a warm bed at 5:30am (with less than 5 hours sleep) isnt what I call "enticing" however the things you do to "ride the wheels". Out the door at 5:50am this morning, straight after a bowl of cereal, hmm this will be interesting. Down across the railway lines I went and around the Tom Brown round-about. Sure enough my buddy Gary comes around the corner, I bet he was not happy as I'd have him working rather then him strolling along.
Quite a bit of traffic even by Sydney standards this morning along the Suart Highway, suspect they were heading out to the Airport or Prison for an early start. Only one knucklehead of a truck driver decides he was going to fully stay in his lane as he passed us even though the road was clear, almost got a tyre rub mark on my Jersey !
The sun began to rise as we made our way down Hatt road, it was like one of those Sunrises you get when you go camping in the bush, everything is so still, the air is fresh and crisp and the colours of the hills and ground seen accentuated. The red and greens were superb. The morning was just pristine and quiet with only the sound of the drivetrain and tyres giving us away..... well until Gary started talking again Up goes the speed to "govern" his vocals and we made our way through the gate and up over the hill to the carpark. Nice sprint along the flat to the carpark however I can still feel that my racing legs are in there somewhere but a little shy.
Nice hot shower, cup of coffee and at the desk by 7:00am. I have no idea if this stupidity is sustainable , mornings are for sleeping and this is going against everything I've learnt in my life however I do feel much better for it
Ciao for now
Sandman on Hatt
Well a day off today, need to clean up the place and find all of my stuff to take wiht me to the US for this 3 week trip. I've been reading about the poor weather our east coast buddies have been experiencing.
Found this weather report on Youtube....Alice comes after Darwin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7REBlbNISns
Last edited by sandman on Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Well probably not bad for endless motorpacing Pete Legs are feeling a hell of a lot better after pushing myself to ride again. I'd have to honestly say the riding in Sydney's Western Suburbs is truly awesome, so much variety. Look forward to getting back on the bike in a few weeks though I think the cold is comming, probably need to dig out the thermals, it gets below freezing in winter here
Had some quick e-mail exchanges with Duggy n T00nz (Lifecycles) who are currently in Texas. They've convinced me to take my gear and they will provide the bike so hope to do a little bit of riding in Texas We're going to Lance's shop in Austin, see what goodies I can score even though the exchange rate sucks... eh he
More power to ya mate, you're riding like a darn Trojan , keep it up
Sandman, the boy from OZ
Well hello from Colorado Springs.
There hasnt been any cycling for the last week and I reckon I can already feel the belt tighten , ugh I landed in Denver on Sunday afternoon (Monday morning AU time) and just as I walked over to my Hertz rental car, down came the snow. Within minutes I was driving in a snowstorm of course on the wrong side of the road. I made my way over to a friends house (hadn't seen him for 5 years) and in that two hours I had almost 12" of snow on the car (see how quickly I have converted to imperial already ).
I drove carefully down the I25 for 70 odd ks to Colorado Springs and of course I saw no cyclists on the way. It was below zero and snowing, I'm sure TLL would have been out there ! The Marriott here has a good gym so I think I'll be spending some quality time there tonight. On the way out to lunch today we passed a group of cyclists, what I would give to spend an hour on the bike out here. The countryside is beautiful, there is still snow on Pikes Peak and surrounding hills still have snow on their peaks. The climbing here would simply be stunning and lots of opportunity to put yourself in the "Hurtbox"....havent spent enough quality time there for quite some time !
So its a countdown, 10 days before I fly to Austin and visit Mellow Johnnies and checkout some cool bike "stuff". If I could get work here on an ongoing basis in Colorado Springs I reckon I'd be in heaven
Sandman the Pikes Peak Worshiper..
Well Spizz I did make it to a Biking/Adventure shop yesterday evening, something similar to Anaconda. They had all of the bells n whistles but I think the stuff was a little on the expensive side. I was going to head to the Gym last night however bed called, big mistake went to sleep too early and then spent most of the night watching TV or staring at the ceiling....life would be a lot simpler riding a bike I tell ya
Sandman in the snow
Today took me to Performance Bicycles in Denver to checkout what the locals ride. It wasnt a specialist biking store but a few brands I recognised. Highlight of the day was picking up a Colorado short sleeved Jersey for $50US, most nice ! I saw my Canaan Elite for $1895US on special , as its an 08 model they were trying to run it out, when you convert it I paid considerably less
Only saw 2 cyclists out today in the gusty cold winds, maybe all the "REAL" riders were in the Rockies but I'd find it hard to believe there would be many people out today
Oh in the shop I sat on a 29" MTB, I was seriously impressed. While the guys reckon its a little slower to get rolling, it does roll really well. I think when I get back to Australia I might go and hunt one down as they look like tons of fun.
Anyway, not bad here in the "Mile High City", damn cold but still nice.
One week to go till I get to Lances Place
Sandman in Denver
With the Aussie Dollar in the trough, maybe nothing too serious but who knows ? I might be overcome by something It will be at least a Jersey and a cap....the rest will depend on the credit card
Its pissing down here in Denver, yes I know Lance would be up in the mountains when no other person would, trust me if I had some wheels I would probably do it for the hell of it....
Another day off the bike, will I ever ride again ! ? Starting to feel that way. Quite cold in COlorado Springs this morning, didnt see any cyclists on the way to the office today. Tomorrow is going to be a quiet day at work so I might sneak out to a few of the local LBSs and see whats new, maybe go and sit on that 29" MTB again Only 4 more days to Mellow Johnnies, can't wait ..though its still over a week till I get back to Alice and hop on the bike. Plan to stop in to see BMXBandito on my stopover in Sydney and say G'day to the boys n gals at Lifecycles...
What a sucky day today.....Its like 35F here in Denver and it cant work out if it wants to rain or snow... Sleet eveyrwhere and its darn cold. A trip to Borders book store and a "Lance Purchase" capped off my final day in Colorado. Sitting in the "Red Carpet Lounge" at Denver airport waiting for my flight out to Austin Texas in a few hours....
So its less than 24 hours before I cross the threshold at "Mellow Johnies". Wont be a cheap exercise I think from what I've seen from his website but hey, even if its just a cycling cap, its well worth it, I wanna see those Yellow Jersies....
Sandman the abominable Snowman
** Somtimes its just best to leave a dream as a dream **
Sandman arrives back in Alice to the fanfare of the Qantas jets overhead as he steps down the stairs onto the tarmac..its frikkin flat I thought but it was good to be home and seeing the family...
As I posted last time, I was dead keen to visit Mellow Johnnys in Austin, Lance Armstrongs cycling store. Since getting on the bike a few years ago, watching endless races on TV and buying most of his books, it certainly is the Mecca that most cyclists want to visit. Well maybe a dream should have stayed a dream....
While it was nice to visit, I wont be rushing back there soon. Expecting a plethora of serious road bikes was probably a little high, he had a few bikes that were impressive, maybe 5 or 6, lots of mountain bikes and then typical road commuters with a "retro style". The clothing section was probably better stocked however the Jersey I wanted in "M" was out of stock...$hit ! I did buy a Jersey, something you'd expect to pay $60-$70US for outside but it was $110US there..I did buy it on the premise that I'd only ever come here once, thats how I consoled myself The women staff in the shop were really helpful, one of the guys was too and the rest seemed to ignore the desire of the customer to pay for product. The guys were too busy checking race results on their PC and ignored me for 2-3 minutes, I was almsot at the point of leaving the goods on the counter and walking out.
Yeah yeah, maybe I should chill.....I've come 1/2 way around the world for an "experience" only to find rude staff, out of stock items and a "low wow factor"...
I have sat on this post for over a week to see if my thinking has changed but alas it hasnt....
Sandman back on the Saddle
Well I've had a good break from the forum, keeping myself amused in Alice, well as much as you can amuse yourself here. Since returning from Colorado I slumped even furthur and wondered what the hell I was riding my bike for. I think the boredom really set in I was about to find a new hobby, the Specialized was collecting dust as I hadn't been on it in 4 months and the Scott was only getting ridden once per week.
A few weeks ago I was walking over to the Mess Hall and spotted an impressive trek TT bike tucked away in a corner. I was going to leave the guy a note on the seat to see what he was up to. Didnt end up having to do that, I was walking past a bunch of guys and heard the word "cycling" so I immedialtey stopped and went over to chat with them and caught up with the TT guy
Guy has been a saviour..he rides darn hard, its not so easy to sustain a high speed for 30km against a TT bike, especially if you've put on a little extra weight and havent ridden "properly" for a while. We're now riding 3 days per week (alternate days), had to get the Specialized down from the rack and get it back on the road if I wanted to keep up. First few times I had to suck his wheel to get used to "riding properly" again, its been such a long time. Its hurting however things are now getting better, I've been able to get on the front and help out and sustaining some good speed on the Specialized. I'm back to probably a competitive B grade level but it will be some time before I get back to sitting in "A".....
Even though its been getting down to 3c most mornings where we're riding, the fun is starting to creep back in
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