Saturday, October 28, 2006

No Justice

For those who have followed the sad tale of Rolah McCabe, came this new twist to the story today.

Justice Eames was right all along, BAT and its lawyers denied McCabe a fair trial. The Court of Appeal decision to overturn Eames judgment in this case is a shameful example of the legal system, and the Melbourne establishment looking after its mates.

Lawyers representing BAT lied and deliberately delayed the discovery process and the Court of Appeal let them get away with it. They also hired private investigators to initimidate and dig dirt on the McCabe family.

Let's hope these developments provide new avenues for justice to be served.

Here's an interesting resource for those not familiar with Eames' judgment.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Warny

Me after 230kms- Looking a little distressed! But still on the front

And the official report here.

68th- not a bad result- but next year should be much better.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Extreme Battleships

Is anybody else concerned that the Royal Australian Navy is trying to boost its recruitment through a video game, presumably aimed at children?

"The new Navy Lifestyle website promises to be as successful as the Extreme Battleships game which virtually doubled the online enquiry rate from prospective recruits for the navy since it was launched a month ago," director of Defence Force Recruiting Captain Cameron McCracken said in a statement.'

Further we slide into the realms of an illiberal, militaristic state.

Good luck to them. We're probably going to witness the greatest naval recruiting boom since these guys were treading the light fantastic back in the day.

Bon voyage sailor!

I won't make any Phil McCracken gags- that would be grossly homophobic and offensive.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Melbourne Warnambool Ride Report

Finally the Melbourne Warnambool has been run and won for 2006. This race had been the focus of my year on the bike (road bike anyway), and I’m taking a week or too off as of today! I just thought I’d run through some of my experiences from the race itself, and my time spent preparing for the day.

The Preparation

The year started off pretty slowly for me- after being away this time last year, summer was spent trying to recapture the form I had left at various bars and nightclubs scattered throughout Europe.
I trained pretty hard over summer, but it was all pretty much catch up work from before I left. As a result of training intensively I developed ITB problems which had me struggling to complete a 40km ride for much of March through until May. Once I had that all sorted out, my focus was entirely on the Warny. Another problem was going from student life to full time work. As a result I’ve had to shift ride time to early mornings before work. It’s been difficult to adjust too, but training alongside Nick, Stuart and Tom in the last month or two has been a great experience.
The main race I was going to use as preparation was the Teams Race at Meredith. That race started pretty poorly after some bloke from Spoken gave me embrocation instead of arse cream. Needless to say I had smeared record amounts of the stuff over my chamois, and the result was less than satisfactory. Luckily Laurie Lovelock came to the rescue with a tub of vasoline that soothed the burning sensation around my balls nicely, but I still had a rather warm bum for the first 50kms or so.
Things went somewhat downhill from there as the ‘neutral’ roll out proceeded at a pace close to 60km/h, down a difficult technical descent. The bunch flew over a bridge with a 5cm camber- water bottles were flying everywhere. It was absolutely diabolical. After the bridge there was a short steep climb- a bloke in front of me dropped his chain and I went straight into the back of him as he stopped in the middle of the road. Great 5km in to a 150km race and I’m lying on the ground with my bike in the air.
I tried to race back on, but the peloton were travelling at around 50km/h, so it was far too difficult without motorpacing assistance. All of the vehicles in the convoy must have been instructed not to assist me, because they went to the opposite side of the road, and sped past so I couldn’t catch onto them. Riders involved in crashes shouldn’t be treated as dropped riders, they should be given the opportunity to reintegrate into the race. Anyway, to make matters worse, the Llama noticed my predicament but didn’t drag me back onto the convoy. He just dangled 20-30 metres in front of me, and wouldn’t drop back to drag me back onto the main bunch.
Oh Well, after riding by myself for 50kms, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I stopped at one of the feed stations and decided to take a ‘lap out’ criterium style (albeit a 30km lap :D). I felt that this was fair given that I’d been totally stooged by race officials and the Llama. This meant that I missed about 30kms in the bunch and two climbs out of around 14-16. This was another funny thing about the teams race, the course guide listed 5 climbs, but it was more like 14-16, and the last 20kms of the race were almost entirely uphill!
Anyway, after I got back into the main group at the feed station I managed to finish a 69th in the race, run over terrain that wasn’t particularly suited to my riding abilities. What I did notice from the race was that I could hold my form much better than a lot of blokes over the longer races. Up until this day, I was still a bit unsure as to whether I should race in the Melbourne-Warnambool, but this day confirmed that I could give it a go.
After the teams race my training has included a mix of track, long rides on the weekend and interval training during the week. It’s a shame that there aren’t more good road races on over winter to get in more practice.

The Race

I think the one thing that separates the Warny from other races I have done is the amount of preparation and organisation involved when compared to other races. Getting together the musettes, gels, bidons, studying the course, organising a helper (ie telling someone who has no idea about cycling what they should be doing 20 times)- it was all rather stressful. I’m generally not the most organised person at the best of times, and spending time away on business last week added to the last minute rush feeling.
The day itself started ominously with hail falling as I drove through Altona to the start line. The start of the race was altogether uneventful- it was a case of, ‘right is everyone here, let’s go’. There was the usual warning that people caught urinating in public would be thrown out of the race- I can report that there were two or three mass ‘nature breaks’ on route. Initially, there was a 10km neutral roll out that proved to be a bit more neutral than the teams race rollout. Although there was one crash during the roll out due to the large amount of surface water still on the roads from the brief hailstorm that passed through only minutes earlier.
When the race got started the hammer went down right from the outset. It wasn’t that fast- at around 47km/h, however my legs were not feeling good and I was having trouble holding position. I was pretty pissed off, because I know from crits and track that I can hold that speed comfortably for much longer than I did. I think being away earlier in the week really compromised my preparation. To make matters worse I got caught behind a crash, which put me of the back pretty quickly.
After spending ten minutes hovering off the back of the first bunch on the road, I was joined by about 100 other riders. I can’t explain the feeling of relief- I thought I was getting dropped from the race after only 20k’s.
The pace in the second bunch was pretty close to the first. With the first 3 hours raced out at about 40 km/h. We could see the first bunch up the 500m road for much of this time, but after 120km’s, our group more or less gave up chasing the front group, and decided to take it relatively easy. This was especially the case at around the 180km mark. The lack of feed stations meant that riders ran out of water and food in many cases- so the pace dropped to around 30-35km/h. Another factor was the wind during this section, because it was the point where we left the Hamilton Highway and took the back routes to the Princes Hwy which took the race dead south into the wind. At around this point I was getting a headache, and my eyes were starting to roll around in my head. Welcome to fairyland. To make matters worse I got a puncture riding over the rough country back roads. Luckily I was able to get a spare from the spares vehicle, however the spares truck only had wheels with Shimano clusters in the back. While I could ride on the wheel, it was far short of optimal- the gears would ghost shift in the mid range, and as a result I had to ride either much greater, or much smaller gears than the circumstances would dictate. The other problem was that I had to burn up a lot of energy getting back onto the bunch- this effort basically used up all of my water and food and the next feed station was still 50kms away!!!
Funnily enough- although I couldn’t hold the 47km/h at the outset of the race, I managed about 55km/h motor pacing back onto the caravan at the 180km mark. Sometimes it’s strange how the legs work!
Once the race got off the narrow farm roads and back onto the Princes Highway the speed picked up again, although it was noticeable that most riders in the bunch had lost interest in really pushing the pace. I had felt relatively good up until the 150km mark, then absolutely terrible for the mid section of the race when I ran out of food and water. After the feed stations at 230 and 267 km’s I really started to feel better which was a great relief. Next year I hope CSV space out the feed stations more appropriately- It should be common sense that 130km without a feed station is far too long.
For me the defining factor in the race was the wind. It just blew and blew for the entire race, and it was either a block headwind or a cross wind the entire time. It was really stressful trying to hide from the wind, form echelons, get other riders to cooperate etc. The sound of wind rustling leaves will be enough to give me nightmares from here on in I reckon!
One of the Bendigo riders who crashed right at the start had a huge chunk of flesh missing from his left arse cheek. At about 200km I asked him how he was feeling, in true country style he replied- ‘Mate, I feel like I’ve been fucked up the arse by a poofter!’ The young bloke finished the race, but I don’t reckon he’ll be able to sit down for a couple of weeks. Riding 300kms with half the skin missing from your bum is a pretty brave effort.

After the last feed station there were a lot of attacks, although there were plenty of riders in the bunch to chase down them down. My shifting problems only got worse as the race went on, so although I was still feeling strong, I couldn’t get away without gear problems pulling me back to the bunch. With about 10km to go it was clear that the best result I could achieve in the circumstances was to roll in with the bunch. There was one more crash before the finish, with one rider dropping himself through sheer exhaustion. Somehow I managed to avoid this crash by a whisker through some nifty bike handling. A problem with deciding to take it easy is that this can keep a lot of riders of lessor ability in the bunch who take crazy risks near the end of the race.
So in the end I managed to finish with the bunch containing C and D grade riders about 30 minutes behind the winner. I think I also managed to finish in front of the two chicks in the race- very important for the ego! I managed to have a few short words with Kate Nichols during the race and she seems to be a genuinely lovely person. Yet another brave effort from her!
I can’t wait to go back and do it again next year with the knowledge I’ve gained from competing this year. The race is really well suited to my abilities, so I think it is a race I can do really well in down the track. I was really pleased with how the tinfoil Pimparello managed to get me through the day- because I was initially a bit worried that the aluminium bike would shake me to pieces over 300kms. Thankfully it didn’t. The only gear issue was obviously the tires- so maybe some tubulars and race wheels for next years edition would be handy!
A great thing about the day was the fact that all riders received a medallion from the Melbourne-Warnambool society to commemorate completing the race. Going up and receiving the medal from the podium felt like receiving the Norm Smith medal on grand final day. It was a lovely gesture.
The day was topped off with a ‘Yobbo’ burger from the local fish and chip place. They also had an Arab burger on the menu which suggests that political correctness hasn’t quite reached Warnambool at this stage.
My congratulations also go to the other 6-amer and Hawthorn guys who rode strongly all day. When I realised I had a puncture Craig readily gave me his pump, spare tubes and tire levers should I need them. He was more keen on me finishing than I was at that point!! Also, a special thanks to Dave Tennant who generously gave me 30 minutes of his time on Friday to talk me through the race in detail. His advice proved to be spot on, and helped me get through the race safely.
Although I’m feeling a little tired at the moment, I can’t wait to go again next year!

Ride time 8:34.42
Max heart rate 190
Average speed 34.4km/h

These figures might be a bit wonky, because my computer went on the blink towards the end of the day :D. I'd be interested in what other people had on the clock at the end of the race. The race is supposed to be 300.3km, but my computer only showed 295.3kms. If the time is correct, and the race is 300.3 km, then this would give an average speed of 36km/h which is a bit more impressive!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

One Day to Go

I can't sit still
too many lollies
too much sugar
too much caffeine
Scared shitless
but confident
If I die
Larson_B, you can have my street cred
Anonymous, you can have my sideburns
That's all I've got
But I digress
Get a good sleep
Finish another packet
shit, it's raining
Hoping for a head wind
The hills are worrying
Happy just to finish
Don't get beat by a girl
Or an old fart
Don't drop a musette
Or get caught near the back
Study the course
Stay up front
And don't fuck up

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dickhead Watch: Emo

Just caught Miranda Devine pretending to know what the young ones are into.

'Gen Ys have also discovered ways to keep at least some of their culture to themselves. Inventive with slang, they coined terms such as "emo" - meaning something like an emotionally dysfunctional, melancholy person, though it defies precise translation. Perhaps only a gen Y can really understand what an emo is.'

'Emo' is not a noun. Miranda Devine, you are a dickhead.

This is up there with Mark Latham and his skanky ho remarks. If you don't know what a word means- don't use it. Kapich.

I probably shouldn't be going people on spelling, grammar and punctuation. This blog is a testament to my own shiteness in that deparatment!

But then again, I'm not writing for the SMH am I.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Haiku- not very haiku

Black Coffee and Aspirin
The trees are burning
On Wilson’s Promontory
And the Mallee
Fire sweeps across the plains
Unseasonably dry
Climate change?
The bloodshot eyes
Of the volunteer
Come Autumns mist
They'll know true fear
Burning sinuses
Stinging eyes
Always return to the line
This is the beginning

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Summer Hits the City


Summer has arrived in Melbourne town and we're only two weeks into October.

33 degrees- Necklines are plunging, goths are perspiring (more like expiring) and the arm and leg warmers have been shelved for another year.

Ten days to the Melbourne-Warnambool. I'd be lying if I said I was putting the finishing touches on my preparation. More like I'm struggling to find the time for preparation. The final blow to formal preparation was delivered yesterday- I'm going to Griffith on business on Monday and Tuesday next week. So I guess the main goal for the next ten days will be to get as much rest as possible and try to squeeze in a few rides. It's a bit concerning not being able to get a clear run at a 300km bike race- but that's the lot of an amateur cyclist I guess.

The aim- to make it to Warnambool in one piece.

The problem- I'm feeling dead on my feet already.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Reveiw: Have Heart 'The Things We Carry' LP

Wow, there are so many great hardcore albums out there at the moment. Whereas the Ambitions EP 'Question' is all about flying melodies and plenty of hooks- this album has more crunch than a bowl of cornflakes. Defiant, pissed off hardcore in the vain of Strife, Inside Out, Undertow and Judge. Even although I'm not usually a fan of the more metallic side of hardcore- 'The Things We Carry' has plenty of melodic bits and sing alongs to keep me chugging along. It even has a bit of spoken word thrown in as well. I'm not a huge fan of the mosh, but 'The Things We Carry' will get your feet moving. This CD is defiance in a can- great for cultivating the 'fuck you' attitude necessary for negotiating peak hour traffic every morning. Highlights track 5 "The Unbreakable' and the final track 'Watch Me Rise'. Have Heart match heavy music with heavy themes and will make you want to turn everything upside down. Essential fuel for your Straight Edge pride. X up, you know you want too!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Warwick Capper is writing for the Daily Telegraph!

Wise Words Put to Goodes' Use
By Warwick Capper
September 27, 2006

'I KNOW exactly what Adam Goodes was thinking when he won his second Brownlow medal on Monday night.

His mind would have been cast back to that balmy night on the Riverina that changed his life more than a decade ago. He was just another talented kid at a fundraiser when my blondness strode into Albury Town Hall.

As the most marketable AFL personality in New South Wales, I was asked to tour to convert kids to the game.

They followed me like rats behind the Pied Piper. By the time I arrived on the banks of the Murray, rugby league officials were wondering how they would feed their families the following season.

It was there I felt a tug at my mullet. I looked down to see a young Goodes; his wide, Bambi-like eyes begging for wisdom.

I bent down and told him, "Never, ever hand pass. Hog the ball for yourself. The media will notice you and you will win all the accolades."

It was my own personal credo and one Adam has adopted with gusto throughout his career.

Goodes has now won two Brownlow medals, and considering I was robbed blind in 1986 and 1987, some might say he has stolen my glory.

I might be inclined to agree if I had not kicked on after football. But now that I'm selling time share apartments and stripping, there's no reason to look back in anger.

There was no shortage of pride from my end when his name was read out. Having just completed my speech at the Brisbane Lions awards night, I swan dived into the crowd yelling "Capper - you beauty" as I sailed into the arms of the players' wives.'

And there's another instalment of wisdom here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Review: Ambitions- Question EP

Recently two of my favorite bands have split up. First it was Champion, then in the last few weeks Betrayed called it quits after releasing the awesome 'Substance' album. Well this EP has picked me up off the canvas. Ambition are the future for melodic hardcore. They have it all- Soaring vocals, anguished screaming, sing-a-longs, stage dives and high fives. 'Question' is a pretty impressive display of multilayered melodic hardcore the way it should be. Fans of Strike Anywhere, Ignite and Dag Nasty will love this EP. While the lyrical content will carry familiar themes for many hardcore fans, you never get the feeling you're travelling over old ground. There's no preaching, just a positive, inspirational message that really gives you a kick in the arse. My highlight is probably track 6 'Still Dreaming', I also love the two-step dance part in the title track 'Question.' However it probably doesn't do the EP justice to pick favorites, as each song is a small journey by itself that charts lifes highs and lows. Crushing breakdowns and anguished screaming transition quickly into flying riffage and defiant, transcendental lyrics. I can't wait to hear an LP out of these guys, and hopefully they get big enough to head down under at some stage. Perfect to skate to, perfect to ride to- what more could you want?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mad Dog makes me giggle

Mad Dog Kevin Muscat is by far my favorite football player! The fearless captain of the Melbourne Victory is an absolute mongrel. He kicked two penalties during the Victory's 4-1 defeat of the Queensland Roar the other night. And check this:

'Just before he struck his second, he surprised everyone by wandering into Roar goalkeeper Tommy Willis' goal, picking up one of the custodian's drink bottles and taking a swig before hurling it off the pitch and far away from Willis' reach. Seconds later, he smashed a straight drive past a befuddled Willis and wheeled in his now familiar gesture of triumph to the crowd.'

And his expalanation as to why he did it:

"I was just trying to clear my own head and stay focused, to be honest. If you remember after the penalty was given, there was a big commotion in the area, they were arguing and disputing it with the referee and I wanted to get away and not get sucked in.

"I saw his water bottle — he had one on each side of the goal — and so I just walked in and grabbed it and took a drink. It helped take my mind off what was going on around me, helped me maintain focus — and hydrate a bit I suppose, too."

Very Funny. I am a bit conflicted though- what name do I get imprinted on my Victory shirt. I love mad dog, but the sheer comedy value of having 'Fred' emblazoned across my back is also appealing.

I know I'm a sad bandwagon jumper- but I've got Guus-fever dammit.

For more here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Boiling Blood of Timboy!

What is this shit!

Police to reward safe cyclists with prizes!!! We don't need trinkets, we need protection.

Full marks for consistency- this morning The Age run an article describing how 9 out of ten accidents involving cyclists and cars occur on a straight stretch of road with the driver inadvertantly turning or parking.

'Nine out of 10 collisions happen on a straight stretch of road with the vehicle hitting the bike by turning or parking. Eighty per cent of crash victims were men.'

And from ATSB safety report:'Deaths of Cyclists in road accidents'

'The most common type of crash in which a cyclist was fatally injured was the cyclist being hit from behind by a motor vehicle travelling in the same lane'

These account for 58% of fatal crashes. Despite this fact- somehow the ATSB manage to find that cyclists were 'responsible' for 60% of accidents- a bit of anti-cylist bias from the police- no way. How does the ATSB explain this 20% credibility gap?

How about some evidence based policing, instead of policing driven by reaction to ACA, Today Tonight and Neil Mitchell.

And what about educating drivers about looking out for cyclists- It's not that hard- they're on you're inside dude. On the side of every bus in the Irish Republic there reads the simple phrase- 'lookout for cyclists passing on your inside'. That would be a good start.

The Killers: A Band of Wankers

Brandon Flowers from the Killers was interviewed in Hit last Thursday, and the topic of Morrissey came up:

'Flowers was ignored by Morrissey when he worked as a busboy and waited on his hero. He was ignored by Morrissey when the Killers supported him. He doesn't mind.'

"That's just Morrissey," he says, pointing out he thinks Bones will be "Morrissey's favourite on the album".

Timboy: Here Morrissey yet again demonstrates that his sense of good taste has not left him. And I wouldn't be speaking out of school when I say that Morrissey probably won't have a favorite on your new album punk.

And there's more:

"I still love the mystery of Morrissey. We've already done far more than he would have done. We're somewhere in the middle, which is where I see our band. I understand indie. I understand that mentality, but I can't deny the excitement of being humungous, of bringing tons of people together to celebrate. We walk the line.

We've already done far more than he would have done- OK, this maybe be taken out of context- but OMFG!!! How can you compare what the Killers have done to Morrissey on any level. Moz has released countless records- The Killers two. The Killer's are a bad eighties cover band with an annoying singer, Morrissey is a living God. And I know it isn't right, but that gives you the right to be an arsehole.

Plus, Morrissey has a large head which makes him cool.

This doesn't sell newspapers

"So far this year, 11 Victorian cyclists have been killed on Victoria's roads — more than double the toll for the same period last year."

This is an appalling statistic.

I made my return to the Hell ride on Saturday morning. Australia's best rider in the USA, Hilton Clarke Jnr was out which was good. Let's hope the Man doesn't try and confiscate his licence. The ride went off without a hitch as per usual. There were heaps of cops between Mordy and Frankston at the lights. I saw one cyclist being booked for running a red light.

The ride was good on the way down, but the cops were determined to break it up on the way back. lots of light pressing, and trying to entrap people. How pathetic. Interestingly, i didn't see any cops in the Dandenongs on Sunday. I did see one motorcyclist popping a mono at 100km/h going past the basin shops, and another going at a similar speed flying down the 1 and 20 that passed within a metre of me as I descended. Driver behaviour in the Dandenongs at the moment is utterly appalling- It didn't surprise me in the least to hear that a man was knocked down and critically injured up there on Thursday last week. These are public roads- not a rally circuit!! If you are going to take extraordinary risks while driving- have the descency to go to a race track. Don't endanger the lives of others out on PUBLIC roads.

I've put my name down for the Melbourne Warnambool- so that should be an absolute nightmare. Three weeks to go!