Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Bums 'n things

A post chock full of bums today. To start with, the bum in the air. I tailed this guy all the way up the bridge this morning, and he was out of the saddle and pumping like fury all the way.

That's not my style. I am more the 'sit in the saddle all the time and rely on the mighty power of my legs' type. Did I tell you that I have great legs? I have awesome legs. Although the bit above them is a bit squishy. I usually feel like the top half of Kim Beasley stuck on the legs of the statue of "David".

Anyway, Mr Furious Legpumper was not able to leave me behind. I just thought I'd mention it as some people seem to like to jump out of the saddle at the slightest opportunity, whilst others like me appear to be superglued to it.

Then we have Captain Shortarse here, spotted on the way home. Recumbrants certainly look comfy, but bugger me if they aren't slow. I have only seen a couple of them over the last few years, and they are generally less speedy than people in wheelchairs - and I can say that because I saw three guys in wheelchairs racing down the road out near Homebush last week. They were moving.

Unlike this lowslung slug.

One thing about recumbrants is that they can dawdle up the steepest slopes because they are never in danger of going so slowly that they lose their balance and tip over. I, for instance, am unable to go uphill at less than 12kmh without risking landing on my side. That might seem pretty slow, but it can be a right puffing struggle to keep up that sort of pace on a really long, nasty and steep hill. Recumbrants can toodle along at walking pace - and they do.

Another chick on a bike. Note the relaxed set of footwear and the work clothes. Part of me likes the idea of just walking out the door and hopping on the bike and going, but there is a trade off between clothing and speed.

No, lycra does not make me go faster, but it wicks away the sweat really well so that I have no issues with going really fast and sweating like a drug crazed hippy in a sauna. My shoes, having cleats that fix your foot into the position of maximum thrust, and also having stiff soles that ensure the transmission of maximum power to the cranks, ensure that if I want to rip it up, I can. The thing about having cleats is that your legs can work on the upstroke as well as the downstroke - being locked in, you can lift your leg as well as push it down, and that all adds up to more pace out on the road.

Enough of lycra. How about just dressing really oddly? Check out the leggings and the checked shorts. I wonder if this guy still gets dressed by his mum in the morning?

Then there is this odd choice of advertising on this jersey - it's for drive.com.au, which is a new and second hand car trading site. Not often that you see a cyclist spruiking things car related.

The car tyre stripe across the shirt is quite ironic though, given that's how cyclist think that many car drivers would like to see us.

And finally, the triathlete that I rode with for all of about 500 metres. He was one fit looking bugger, on his way out to Homebush for an hour and a half of going round and round. He mentioned something about a triathlon coming up in 8 weeks. Must be a lengthy one if he is doing a couple of hours riding in the evening. He had good pace - I was tonking along a bit under 30 and he cruised past. I had to jam it up to over 40 to catch him and stay on this tail long enough to grab this snap.

Buggered if I could ever use these aero-bar handle bar things though. I am just no flexible enough to ride bent over like that anymore. I did it all the time as a kid, but am now forced to ride like I am sitting in my favourite armchair. My lower back has stretched out somewhat since I got back in the saddle, but not this much.

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