The weekly blather

While our own Xmas Epic draws ever closer, it may be time to pause and consider all the other Xmas Epics that are playing out all over the world at any given time.

If you’re Japanese, adolescent, and like guns, dressing in military uniforms and Santa outfits with hockey masks flashing a black brasserie …. then this is for you.

Confused? Me too. Wikipedia is only a little help:

Cosplay: short for “costume play”, is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea.

Tanhauser: (a weird dice board game)
“In 1949, this incessant war has been raging for 35 years and finally a secret archaeological dig has delivered to the Obscura Korps a long sought ancient relic. This artifact is thought to guard an ancient parcel of knowledge. The exact emplacement of one of the four dark cardinal corners of reality is on the verge of being revealed.”

In other breaking news:
Lance has “left the peloton” for only a short year and yet people are ready to replace his legacy. In an audacious move, Mlle Jeannie Longo’s lawyers have claimed:

Jeannie Longo est certainement l’athlète la plus contrôlée de la planète et depuis de nombreuses années.”

That’s right, an attempt to usurp a position universally recognized as Lance’s own, Ms Long now claims that now she is the MTAITWWW (most tested athlete in the whole wide world). Lance himself inherited this title from Marion “I’ve never tested positive” Jones after years of work.

Its a big call. We’ll have to examine Jeannies credientials.

Recall that last year we covered Ms Longo’s appearance at the UCI World Championship in Geelong, at which point she had appearred in 7 Olympic games and had won 57 national titles at age 51.

This year she added yet another national title at age 52.

Earlier in the year she won France top civilian honor: Légion d’honneur
Here she gets an admonishment from Sarkozy:
“You can only have one”

Unstoppable. But…..
“She faces an investigation and possible disciplinary action by the French cycling federation once it receives formal notification from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) that she failed to provide her testing whereabouts to the competent authorities on three different occasions. She claims the missed tests occurred because of her little understanding or use of computers and the Internet.” full details here

Unlike Lance, she does not have a Twitter account, nor a computer or even mobile phone. She communicates her whereabouts to the doping authorities by registered letter. However, her case was not helped when her husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli has recently been accused of purchasing EPO via the internet.

And if there is any doubt that she is a suitable replacement for LA, she has threatened to sue the French doping authorities.

The verdict is said to be imminent.

Speaking of imminent verdicts, what’s happened to the Contador case?
Well the 5 times postponed hearing of the appeal against the innocence verdict after the guilty verdict, before the Spanish presidential verdict, has finally been heard. However, so complex is the case where an athlete is tested for a banned substance and it is detected in his bloodstream, that the outcome will not be known for six weeks.

In further news, I went on Audax’s “Midnight Century” ride last night. Sleep deprivation brings on that altered state of biker consciousness far quicker. Here’s how it unfolded.
Audax has many rules: double front lights and double back, plus road worker vests. Leaving Ipswich at mid-night:

Two food stops (or in Audaxspeak: “Checkpoints where your brevet card is witnessed prior to homologisation”) I have never seen food of such quality and quantity on a food stop. Variety of sandwiches, cheese and bacon rolls, mangoes, watermelon, cooked rice and pasta, plunger coffee, cake with that really thick pink icing, jelly babies, snakes. As much as you want. And then at the end, you get a full cooked breakfast at a leagues club. Plus you get the patch:
All included in the $40 registration, bargain.

Damo lost a bit of skin sliding on the last roundabout. I guess because it was his last chance. We decide not to breakfast, but to go home & sleep. We throw the bikes on my home-made roof racks, and as I drop Damo off I explain my irrational fear of driving into the garage with my bike on the roof.

Then I go home and drive into the garage with my bike on the roof.

My irrational fear was a rational premonition. It could have been worse, but my cleverly designed bike rack partially collapsed saving the frame being cracked and back wheel from being smashed. Touch wood I think it has only presented me with the seat at a more aggressive attitude.

People wanting the latest Xmas Epic itinerary information, this will be kept up to date on the above “Itinerary” Menu.

This entry was posted in blather, doping, Midnight Century. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The weekly blather

  1. Mark says:

    2013: Midnight Century ride report. My “preparation” was “underdone”, but nothing was going to stop me from going, just to find out what this years debacle will be. Everything organised. Evening snooze, Plenty of time to dress appropriately and refresh memory of start location from google maps. Except when I got there, the Brothers League club wasn’t there. I got out the street directory to find that I couldn’t read it without glasses. So I drove in circles looking for either the Leagues club or for someone to ask to read my street directory for me. Who would have thought Ipswich so large and so deserted at Midnight. (Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but a Smart phone assumes a smart operator.)
    Just about to give up, I stumble on it. So when does the Midnight Century start? for me 12:23. Is it still possible? Richard, another late starter, has looked me over and doesn’t like my chances. He says he’ll wait for me to get ready and we can go together. My luck has turned. He has a fully rigged Surly Long Haul Trucker with a saddle bag that looks big enough for a world expedition. It only takes 25 km of “sustained effort” to catch the first back marker. Then over the Grandchester range and torrential rain for an hour. More luck, the Surly had mudguards.
    A violent storm had ripped through the area last night and only ~20 were riding, less than half the usual numbers. They split into a slow group and a fast group and by the first food stop we had overtaken the slow group. But we never caught the fast group. Six hours of soggy socks and chamois dodging storm debris. But it was warm, there was no wind, lots of food, I don’t think this year could have gone better.
    This years patch: rain & lightning:

  2. Mark says:

    2012: Midnight Century time again. I approached this year safe in the knowledge that I couldn’t possibly do anything as embarrassing as the driving-into-the-garage-with-the bike-on-the-roof debacle of the previous year. How wrong I was. I actually slept a few hours before the start this year. Alarm, jump up, whip on the bib shorts with a handful a of chamois creme. Hmm, it’s a Century, so a 2nd handful goes in. Spend the next few hours in the dark with the odd kangaroo darting out and random thoughts such as “stupid bibs, the leg gripper has the sticky stuff on the outside”. After 120 km, 2nd food stop and I’m eating and wondering why there is a tag coming out of the side of my shorts. Then I see in the dawn’s early light, the horror, that I’ve been wearing them inside out all night. I’ve been riding in paceline with someones bright lights a meter from my ass. Chamois on the outside. No-one has said anything. I can never go back.

    • 888riley says:

      Wow that is bad. Bad, bad, bad. You may need to quietly leave the country. Certainly Queensland is no longer home for you. It’s really hard to know where to even start. Maybe you should write to Danny Katz.

      • Mark says:

        Tough one, He tends to see through the letters that start: “I have a friend who needs some advice….”. I’m thinking my ass doesn’t need more exposure.
        These Audax people are true eccentrics, it’s just possible this was considered within the spectrum of normal.

  3. Mark says:

    In breaking news:
    Sure Cavendish is good, but since he received his knighthood, it seems to have gone to his head. He has now put in a claim for being the MTAITWWW.
    This from Sky News (,,12975_7373667,00.html)
    “The last three years, I’ve had over 60 dope tests per year. I was the most tested athlete on the planet in 2008/2009.”.

  4. Damo says:

    Maybe i should have prefaced my “I have a friend who destroyed his bike driving ii into the garage on top of his car” story with a you’re really tired Mark, make sure you don’t do this…

  5. Mark says:

    OK, Its embarrassing, but I think it had to happen. I got off lightly.

    • 888riley says:

      Wow Mark, those photos of your bike are just about the saddest things I have ever encountered on the internet. Glad you didnt slit your wrists when you did it, but gee it must have been tempting. (Presume you have now demolished the garage just in case??)
      How can you be sure the Crabon isn’t injured in some way, waiting to splinter into a million pieces? Hope you have done epic testing to be sure.
      That audax sounded like fun though

      • Leah says:

        Has there ever been a better reason to say, “You know, one way or the other, I’m going to have to get a new bike soon”? I have been waiting for it to happen and, this morning, it did.

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