The race of the Year for certain

Next Sunday marks the start of the Race of the Year. You all know what I’m talking about..the Tour de France of course. Will Cadel win again? Is Wiggins up to it this year? Can Valverde make a comeback after his doping scandal?
After consulting several knowledgeable staff members here at Velottante HQ, it appears that
1. Cadel will probably win again
2. Wiggo will finish this year, though 2nd may be his best bet
3. Valverde may surprise us all
4. Cavendish has a pretty hot wife

Apart from this, nothing is certain. Well nothing other than Uncle Phil & Aunty Paul giving their best commentary as usual, SBS broadcasting live every night and me losing quite a bit of sleep due to living on the other side of the world to where the action is happening.
The other certainties are that it will be a cracker of a race this year, Cadel & the BMC boys will be doing their utmost to defend his title. Hincapie is riding his 70th & last tour, Jens will bury himself again, Veino may make the top 10, some knobhead will do something stupid on the side of the road, a driver will hit a spectator, there will be a TV camera taking a shot of cyclists riding through a field of Sunflowers, several thousand people throughout the world will be inspired to take up cycling, I will see a lot more cyclists out in BMC gear in Sydney and I love this race.
It’s the first race that I watched about 30yrs ago. Just highlights but it was enough to get me hooked. Lemond, Indurain, Riis, Pharmie, Contador, Pantani…the list goes on of riders that inspired me to try harder each week. looking back over the years and seeing those riders that have carried the yellow kit back to Paris is what it’s all about.
This is the biggest & best sporting event in the world, that is for certain.

The Most Beautiful Race in the World – 2012

ImageWell, as we countdown to P-R for 2012, it’s getting a little exciting round here. Will Tommeke pull off another win in his already fantastic season so far of Classic’s?

What with Fabian out, Phil Gil resting for his Ardennes attempt, Pozzato looking strong but not for this one; who knows? Not me that’s for sure.

I’ll be up late tonight watching it live on SBS in Oz. The most beautiful race in the world 2012.

A century takes a long time

A thought occurred to me today after finishing my second century (100 miles or 160k’s), it takes a long time. Now I’m certainly not the fastest in these things though I did average around 27 kmph which I’m happy with. It took just over 6hrs today of riding time )another hour of waiting for others in the group). That’s a fair amount of time to do anything. My working day is around 9-10hrs so there’s a bit of a comparison.
The time spent riding just isn’t what takes a long time; there’s a fair amount of preparation the night before – bidons filled ready, kit laid out, bike checked & cleaned, tyres pumped, texts sent to others & a hefty meal the night before.
I woke at 3:30, laid in bed for another hour, arose, dressed, light breakfast & was out the door at 5:20, returning at 12:30. Fatigued, hungry but on that natural high one gets after exercising. I felt fantastic!

It had taken a shit load of time. From waking to return – 9hrs. A century takes a long time

Time enough for train(ing)

Training, how much is enough? What are you training for? Do you even train? Do I even care? Well the last bit is harsh but it’s a question you may well ask yourself when some bloke starts telling just “how much training” they’ve been doing lately.
After a recent that I read, it really made me think about just how much “training” I do & more importantly, what am I training for?
I don’t race (yet, but there is a strong possibility that this will happen come time for the Winter comp to start), I don’t have any Sportive’s planned (though the Blayney to Bathurst is looking enticing) & am I training or just going out for a ride? These questions have been mulling about in my smallish mind this past week. Have I come to an answer? Not really, just the realisation that whilst I’m not “in” training for anything specific, I “train to ride”, i.e. further, faster & stronger than wherever I am currently at in my personal fitness level. This is important to me. This is why I ride. This is the fun, the enjoyment, the reason I train. My goals aren’t lofty or unachievable but they are goals just the same.
So the point I’m making is – get out on your bike. train to live; make enough time to train

Preparing for the first “Sydney Cogal”

Well, everything’s now confirmed. On the 24th March 2012, the first official Sydney Cogal will occur. What does this mean you would more than likely ask? What the hell is a Cogal?
It’s better explained right so I won’t waste any more effort explaining something that’s already been done.
After the first one in October last year, organised rather quickly by Cyclops in Seattle, the seed was planted for more to be planned throughout the world. There have been a few already in the USofA but nothing on this side of the planet. After a few half-hearted posts without any real interest being shown, I finally received a response from another fellow poster & Sydneysider, @harminator, who lives in Northern Sydney, that the idea would take shape.
So, after a few e-mails to each other we’re now set in stone. Start at Hornsby for a 160km hit out or an Imperial ton for those still using this archaic system.
If you are interested, drop me a line at velottante@gmail.com

Yasai Kari or how Japan made curry their own

As I was making dinner tonight, yasai kari ( vegetable curry), amusing myself with the thought,yet again, of here I was cooking one of our favourite meals, Jap curry. That in itself is a slightly ironic thought isn’t it, a Japanese curry?
The Japanese have, as with just about everything they choose to take an interest in, perfected the curry. The best part about it is, as they are want to do, made it instant. By that I mean it comes in little blocks of tasty delights. Fry off your favourite mix of meat &/or vegetables, add water, simmer until ingredients are cooked, then drop in these tasty little curry blocks to thicken & finish off. Sublime. Couldn’t be simpler could it?
Give it a go. Nowadays the curry roux blocks are available in the Asian section in most Western supermarkets

Where have all the cool guys gone?


I love this shot. If anyone can be cooler on a bike than Cipollini, then please show me!? Di Basco rockin’ it as well with the ponytail & some serious manscaping, but Cipo, heart don’t fail me now!
While it may not be considered to be traditional, Cipollini just rules when it comes to looking this good on a bike. Briko shades, chromed fork with the biggest rake, Bianchi, Sidi’s, this can’t really get any better can it?
Di Basco lookin’ pretty smick himself, what with the braided ponytail & all but judging by the look on his face, he just spotted those Sidi’s & it was like “mama mia what the fuck are they man?”
Brilliant bit of old school cool

Don’t forget the rules

Some advice for those interested in cycling. I give you the rules

Life on Mars…. repeats?

Lunch, probably the second most important meal of the day, should be something to enjoy alone or in the company of family &/or friends.Hopefully, this will occur in the present day you are currently living in.

Sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way though. Today I took my staff out for our first combined Christmas lunch. We finished up at one of those alleged “insititutions” of the restaurant world – Danny’s Seafood at La Perouse. The food…passable, the company….pleasant & we all had a few laughs. An enjoyable end to a hard year. Lots of changes & I was asking a lot of my management team throughout the year as well, so it was a well deserved soiree of sorts.

I knew to trust my reservations from the moment we entered. From the matronly maitre d’ standing on the entrance steps, to the following half dozen staff members we passed on the way to our table, I had entered into a bygone era. 1975 (or thereabouts) here I am. Life on Mars flashed through my mind. Had I inadvertantly lapsed into a coma, only to awake in a vaguely familiar surround?

I continued to take in my surrounds to confirm my growing doubts of the actual year I was in. Waiter with sideburns & a suspiciously Elvis looking hairstyle, check. Waiters with open necked shirts showing some gold chain, check. Menu containing Mornay’s, Garlic Prawns, Steak Diane, garlic bread & a mixed green salad, check. All at ridiculously expensive prices, check. Yes, I had either gone back in time or, more worriesome, the restaurant had become stuck in some sort of time loop. Forever verging on moving forward, but being caught in this time loop of 1975.

While I am certainly one for tradition, if one must follow tradition, try to keep the friggin’ thing worthy of that tradition. Not some poor substitute for a try hard upmarket restaurant, located on the waterfront, charging through the nose for barely average food, who’s idea of tradition comes in a jar, served in plastic fucking containers to dip your chips in. That’s 1975. I’m living in 2011.