It is way too long since my last blog, but having started a new job I have been a bit preoccupied. However spring has sprung and with it a renewed enjoyment of being outdoors on the bike, the excitement of Glenvale starting up again, an unfortunate incident involving an armed robbery, and last night a great night for cycling and in particular the Club at the Cycling Australia Awards.
Although work has meant that cycling has dropped off a little, I have still enjoyed some great spring training in the Dandenongs and the hills around Mt Eliza with Grace. I am savouring every pedal stroke I have with Grace at the moment as she is no longer dependent on me to get her places given she can drive herself now, and next year she is likely to be at Uni interstate. So these training rides with her a pretty special. It is amazing who you see around the Dandenongs – so many Carnegie riders enjoying the beauty and the hills of that area – even if you are not going well, you cannot fail to enjoy being in such magnificent country.
The winter motor pacing for seniors at the Packer Park Velodrome has been extended a few weeks due to the ongoing unavailability of Sandown on Tuesdays – it has proved to be a great success with participants and we are looking at seeing if we can run summer sessions as well. The new velodrome lights have finally had their teething problems sorted out and are proving to be a great addition to our training as the juniors on Mondays and Wednesdays are now able to get outside through the winter – only coming in for wind trainer sessions when it rains or is particularly windy or bleak.
Sandown being unavailable until late November is frustrating however it has had a silver lining in that we have run Tuesday night crits at Casey Fields. While it is not as convenient to many members as Sandown, it has given members who live out that way an opportunity to compete midweek close to home.
Of course the low point in the last month was the robbery at Glenvale where a low-life stole our days takings. We are just thankful that no-one was hurt in the incident. The police are all over it so hopefully the prick will be caught shortly.
This week however has had a couple of highs.
The first is personal – I had the opportunity to catch up with Renato Noris the Italian mechanic/guide/soigneur who assisted Dave Olle and Emma Coulson in running the Giro trip I did earlier in the year. Renato is one of life’s gems – eternally good humoured, mischievous sense of humour, and all round good guy. He was in Australia for a few weeks for the first time and had a few days in Melbourne. We caught up at a BBQ at Dave and Emma’s place then he rode down and joined the North Road bunch ride where I met up with him and Steve Towers, had breakfast and then did a cruisy bike path ride to show him St Kilda, Port Melbourne, and the City. I love riding along Beach Road with visitors from interstate or overseas – they are always blown away by the number of cyclists and the size of bunches out training. Renato couldn’t believe so many people get out of bed so early to train – he thinks we are all mad!
Then someone at work forwarded me this video – the Invisible Bike Helmet – it is worth three minutes of your time – it will blow your mind!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMAhptqk-4Q
The other highlight was last night’s Cycling Australia Awards where Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club took out the Club Premiership for the sixth time in 13 years. As usual there were several CCCC members nominated and winning awards. The organisers did a great job in presenting the night and the “Oppy” winner, Caroline Buchanan, was a very popular choice being the first BMX/MTB rider to take the top award, and only the third woman.
We had a great table mostly consisting of CCCC riders and officials, although I foolishly found myself introducing myself to Harry Hanley who was there with Lisa (who was up for an award) – I didn’t recognise them dressed so beautifully (not that I’m saying the purple lycra I am used to seeing them in is not beautiful in its own way as well….!). One of the really nice things about the evening was the number of officials and representatives from other clubs – both local and interstate – who sought me out to congratulate the Club on the win.
Anyway I hope we win again next year – I’ve already thought of a much better speech than the one I did last night……
“Sir” Michael Gallagher (World and Olympic Paracycling Champion and Australian Male Paracyclist of the Year), Lisa Hanley (Australian Road Race, TT, and Criterium Champion), Me (champion in my own lunchtime), Shane Perkins (multiple world track champion and Japanese Keirin star), Mick Cummings (dad of a World Champion), Carol Cooke (World champion Paracyclist and Female Paracyclist of the Year), and Doug Moody (CCCC Life Member)