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Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

Upholstery tacks?  Seriously?  Clearly my “Ugly Fans” rant was two days too soon.  The Tour is such a great spectacle partly because of the amazing numbers of fans lining the road.  Sadly it is a statistical certainty that with enough people in a group, you will have a number of imbeciles shouting hatred for their own stupid reasons, and another group of vandals risking other peoples’ lives and livelihoods for whatever reason: ideology, dumb self gratification, whatever.

It was shaping up to be a cool stage too: the break was doing what breaks do (I can’t believe Sagan dragged himself over the wall in touch with them all trying to drop him) and LL Sanchez eventually won himself the day with a very smart move a long way out from the finish line.

The cool bit was waiting to see what would be happening with the big shots having a go at each other on such a treacherous hill.  Sadly the end result was a stage very sportingly neutralised by Wiggo and Team Sky.

Sigh…

Tonight’s stage will be a sprint, and I reckon it’ll be Cav from Gossy from Greipel, and hopefully there will be no idiots taking it upon themselves  to become part of the race.

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I was reading the GreenEdge site this morning and saw that Whitey made mention of Australian fans abusing Richie Porte & Mick Rogers for the “sin” of riding “against” Cadel.  These people are idiots.  If Australian football was ever blessed with two players who were talented enough to be starters for Chelsea and Manchester United, would one be considered un-Australian (whatever that means) because he was playing against the other??

Lance & some intense fans

One of the many beauties of bike racing is that the fans can be so close the action as to see the superstars of the sport passing within metres of them.  This is also one of the great risks.  In the past the peloton has been shot at with a pellet gun (resulting in the most bizarre injury to any athlete in my care – Jules Dean ended up with a fingertip infection from being shot by a BB gun while riding the Tour de France); and Lance Armstrong was famously spat at during THAT Alpe D’Huez time trial back in 2004.

I would have hoped that Australian fans, with sport being such an integral part of the society in which they grew up, would have understood how sport works and been better than that.  Clearly not.

Mick Rogers and Richie Porte are riding FOR their team.  In the same way that a club level Rugby League player is not a traitor when they play FOR their state if they are lucky enough to play State Of Origin footy.  To any Aussie fans out there thinking Dodger and Richie are anything other than brilliantly performing athletes flying the flag for Australian cycling, wake up to yourselves.

Rant over.

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Unicycles

I was sitting in a little plaza in Girona the other day, tucking into a gelato and enjoying the dream, when a dude on a unicycle with arms outstretched furiously pedalled his way past me. It got me to thinking: Has there ever been a worse invention in the history of mankind?

Think of any other mode of transport with no brakes, no gears and no steering. It is less efficient and more dangerous than walking, and also looks awkward. At least cigarettes give you a buzz.

The average unicyclist has taken quite a bit of time to garner the skills necessary to be able to ride the stupid thing, and then they’re limited to furiously spinning their legs around with their arms sticking out like they are balancing on a tightrope. There’s a reason why the Penny Farthing has been replaced: there have been quite a few advances in self propelled, wheeled technology. And yes, I will admit that old Vespas, Fiat Cinquecentos and Mustangs are such stylistically cool looking machines that their relative lack of performance compared to today’s machines is a minor detail. Unicycles are the precise opposite of this: a perfect storm of zero style and negative functionality.

But then I happened across something worse than unicycles: stunt unicycles.

There is a small troupe of stunt unicyclists in Girona. X-unicyclists perhaps? They all seem to be wan with lots of hair, wearing various types of hard wearing rugged urban jungle-type cargo shorts, and elbow and knee pads. They also have special mods on their x-unicycles – extra padded seats and a shock absorbing seat post.

I only wish that I were creative enough to have made these people up. Firstly I’d be super creative, and secondly, these X-Games rejects wouldn’t be cluttering up various parks in Girona, dragging the generally cool vibe of the place waaay down.

It seems most of their tricks involve a similar series of steps –
• Riding to the edge of a drop, doing that little backwards-forwards thing they do for a few seconds,
• Dropping off the edge,
• Gaining a great deal of speed in the process of the drop (“Galileo who? Isaac Who-ton? Dude I’m too X-Treme to be worried with your lame science mumbo jumbo” I can almost hear them say),
• Furiously trying to pedal as quickly as the wheel is spinning (pesky x-unicycles and their fixed-wheeledness),
• Discovering they can’t pedal as quickly as they need to (being the rejects of X-Games events, which are the rejects of proper sports, this lack of athletic talent isn’t a huge surprise),
• Jumping off the x-unicycle
• High fiving their mates who are still doing that back and forward wobbly unicycle thing on their x-unicycles.

A less cool series of stunts I have never seen.

See? It’s not all sunshine, roses and happiness over here! We have confronting stuff to deal with too.

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