‘Moynihan’ on the art of: being a cycling ‘hitter’, blogging, female cyclists and traffic role-models.
So Brad asked me to write another piece (blog? Can I call myself a “blogger”?), and as I am not averse to doing other peoples dirty work…
Hello and welcome to another installment of the chronicles of Moynihan, if it’s your first time here I hope you thoroughly enjoy your read, if you’re a regular reader I implore you to make better life choices.
So Brad informed me that my previous musing is one of the most read articles on his site. I’m enormously flattered but also hungry for the number one spot, make sure you keep reading my bullshit so I can make it to the top HCT step. If I don’t get to number one through entertaining prose I will resort to a sex tape…You have been warned.
So…cycling. I don’t know about you but personally I have started training with a bit more vigour and frequency and that has been a lot of fun. I even did a group ride, it was Barack Street on a Saturday, everyone there was very serious (I guess because they were “hitters”, although I’m not sure I saw that many guys on the front, probably because they had done so many “kays” during the week).
“can’t we all just get along?”. Just like Jack Nicolson’s character in the movie “Mars Attacks” I was hoping that the beings on the Baracks street ride would be friendly as we all reside in the same universe. They weren’t and just like Jack Nicholson’s character in “Mars Attacks” I was vaporised.
Also in cycling, I bought a power meter, a quarq. Obviously I got it from Cycles Bespoke in Bayswater who had the power meter ready to roll on my bike about four days from when I ordered it (cheers for that!). I’ve only had it for a few weeks and I am yet to calculate my threshold power etc. but it is a fantastic training tool, the quality of my training has gone through the roof as I essentially attempt to achieve “high scores” in all my intervals. I played a lot of video games as a teenager so I find intervals with a power meter to be as nostalgic as they are painful. Having said that I still play video games so I’m not sure where the sense of nostalgia comes from. But I digress.
Recently I have been reading quite a few cycling blogs, there are a lot out there but my favourites by far are those written by female pro’s. Examples are Bridie O’Donnell and Emily Collins (google them). Following men’s professional cycling it is easy to get caught up in the glamour side of the sport, which is something that really doesn’t seem to exist in the women’s pro peloton. The insights of these very tough and dedicated women are fascinating and I feel they give a really good picture of what racing in Europe (also probably in Australia/Asia) is like for 99% or riders (because I spent two weeks in Belgium so I totally know all about cycling in Europe. Gawd I am such a twat). The other thing I find refreshing about female cyclist blogs is that they seems far less restrained in what they say. I don’t know about yourself, but I am so sick of the standard line from winners of big men’s races, you know; “I couldn’t have done it without the team, they rode well all day, blah blah blah, who freakin cares”. There is clearly so much politics in cycling and I find it hard to believe that 180-200 guys riding their guts out in the biggest bike races in the world for hours on end are always consummate professionals and gentlemen and every team is a smoothly oiled machine, PAH-lease, it’s basically a statistical impossibility. So I like pro-women blogs because they show some emotion, which I can relate to, god knows every bike race I have done has been an emotional roller coaster.
Now I’m going to change topics. Cars. I haven’t had the best of luck with them on the road and recently I have heard a number of stories involving road rage and I have also been the recipient of some myself. Actually this morning I was abused by some Irish guy, his accent was adorable and much better suited to chatting up hapless Australian women at his local that yelling at yours truly, a hardened (read; “recently tenderised”) veteran of WA’s roads. Anyway, I may be preaching to the choir here, but I hope everyone stays safe on your rides. Unfortunately, in order to affect a culture shift to make WA safer for cyclists we really need to be beyond reproach in the way we conduct ourselves on the roads (quote from Bridie O’Donnell). I think the main reason for this “cyclists being on their best behaviour” is that it strengthens our case when someone winds up in court over a horrific bike accident involving a vehicle, or when governments look at implementing laws or infrastructure to make Perth more cyclist friendly. Obviously this is only my opinion and you may have a different one (which you are more than welcome to post below).
Police sketch of the Irishman who shouted at me. The sketch artist was really good, unfortunately my description of the culprit was entirely based on an episode of the Simpsons.
7 years ago / No Comments