A VERY, VERY SHORT AND EXPENSIVE AFFAIR.

Way back in the 1980’s SWMBO and I were getting bored, very bored with just about everything we were doing.

Almost everything we did together had lost its lustre. We were at our wits end. How could we reinvigorate our time together.

After talking things through, at length, we concluded that we should take counsel from a valued and experienced friend.

After a couple of sessions he convinced us that a total change of attitude, direction, location, mode of dress and  experience with something totally different from the norm was the answer to our individual and personal dilemmas.

As we travelled home, we reluctantly concluded that we should follow the advice and see where we finished up.

After two long weeks of wrangling, experimentation with different sizes, positions, backside, leg , foot placement and comfort we made our most momentous and life changing decision.

We would immediately take the chance and follow our counsellors advice.

After belong accustomed to the new positions required, for example, hand and finger placement to ensure the fastest tempo change and hip/pelvic movement to ensure overall fluidity of movement we were ready for our first journey into the unknown.

We drove to a secluded area of The Royal National Park near Sydney where there was a rarely used bush track where we could put our new found talents to the test and evaluate each others performance without fear of recrimination and in total privacy in case anything untoward took place.

Initially all went well,  entry was without complication, cadence was achieved without too much huffing and puffing and we were able to communicate coherently.

That is, until I was suddenly thrown off without any warning. It seemed I’d lost concentration, veered off track and as a consequence, the moment was lost.

I was so ashamed. SWMBO immediately came to my aid.

From the look one her face I could see she thought we had made a great mistake to deviate from what we had know as the norm.

She was correct, as usual and I told her so.

We made our way back to the car, determined to make our counsellor aware of our decision to ignore his advice.

You see, we had bought two flat bar mountain bikes.

They were light weight aluminium framed Avanti cycles, all the way from New Zealand, their place of manufacture.

Avanti had only been building bicycles since about 1985, their principal business was the manufacture of aluminium window frames. We purchased ours in 1988.

SWMBO and I were amongst the first in Australia to take a chance on Avanti.

We were delighted. Boredom would disappear. We would enjoy new physical experiences and our comfort levels would improved dramatically.

The following week we sold both of our Avanti flat bar mountain bikes and returned to  our genuine, long lasting,  love affair with road cycling, SWMBO on her Cinellis and me astride my  Colnagos.

It was just good luck that our cameras suffered no damage and we was able to make a few photos of our short affair with mountain bikes.

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THE SCENE OF MY FALL FROM GRACE WITH SWMBO TO THE RESCUE.
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NOT ANOTHER LIFT AND CARRY!
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NO WAY TO PRESERVE A LOVE AFAIR!
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NO WONDER I FELL OFF.

Hoo roo for now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVENTURES ON TWO WHEELS- BACK IN THE DREAMTIME.

Way back in 1976 I took some time off work to ride a bicycle around England and part of Wales.  As a boy, like every other kid, I rode a push everywhere and read about bikes and bike racing, especially the Tour de France.

Somewhere along the line I read about a bloke named Monty Young who had a bike shop called Condor Cycles, just out of London. Monty made bikes to measure, loved using Reynolds 531 tubing on his touring bikes and was strongly committed to Campagnolo equipment for fit out.

As a consequence, on arriving in London I headed straight to Condor Cycles, met Monty, got measured and waited patiently until my orange coloured Condor Cycles fully equipped by Campag was ready to roll.

I’ll save writing about the great cycle tour of England and Wales to another day but suffice to say that my Condor committed me to top line bicycle ownership that still exists today.

A blog or so ago I mentioned having three racing bikes stored away here at Cassa Creakingbones that had been joined by a friend’s collection of similar style bikes for safe keeping.

Storing his great bikes next to mine took my thoughts back to the days when I was a member of the Sydney Cycling Club, trained every day of the week by riding my bike to work in the City, did laps of Sydney’s Centennial Park with other club members  before and after work and either raced or toured on weekends.

Now being committed to cycling and having a commitment to top line equipment meant having a bike for every occasion.

This meant one for general training, one for criterium racing, one for general road races, one for touring, and one for the ‘ mine’s better than yours’ category.

Now I should mention that SWMBO was equally into cycling and  possessed a similar number of machines.

Oh, and I should mention that we also added two mountain bikes to our collection but our love affair with them was short lived. That’s another story for another time.

Our garage had no room for our motor vehicle as we had thirteen, not a typo, thirteen fully equipped bikes hanging there. Mine on one side, SWMBO’s on the other.

Now each bike required its own special range of wheels and tyres, tailored for different events so we had at least ten spare wheels on hand, just in case. Then of course there were the Campagnolo spare parts, specialised tools, lycra outfits, special shoes, eventually a range of helmets and every gadget you could possibly imagine.

Now way back then it was difficult to find decent wet weather gear so SWMBO decided to go into the manufacturing of wet weather bicycle clothing.

If I remember correctly, at the time I was researching bicycle tyre life and a range of other cycling issues so  we registered the business name, ‘ Australian Bicycle Research Centre’.

We didn’t stay in business long but that too is a story for another time.

Here’s an image of my side of the garage:

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THE PINK FRAME BELONGS TO SWMBO
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HANGING SAFELY OUT OF THE WAY

Now as I wrote, different bicycles brands and styles suite different purposes and here are some examples from my collection:BICYCLES001 COPY 2

A LADIES TOP LINE COLUMBUS TUBE CAMPAG EQUIPPED CINELLI.

This beautiful pink Cinelli was given to SWMBO by the owner of one of Sydney’s biggest bike shops in appreciation of the exclusive clothing she supplied to his store. He also gave her a made to measure pink lycra outfit to wear when out on the bike.

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ONE OF A KIND

Now for riding in criteriums I chose a short wheelbase Alan aluminium frame with all tubes glued and screwed into the lugs. Campag equipped of course.

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LIGHT, RIGID, FAST AND EXTREMELY MANOEUVERABLE.

Then came my first Colnago, a beautiful Italian cycle constructed from double butted Columbus tubing. A superb road racing machine:

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COLNAGO, WHAT A RIDE.

Later on I added a Colnago Master to my collection. It actually was supplied with colour matched cycling shoes. Talk about ‘mine’s better than yours’.  Sadly I can’t find a photo of the great bike.

There I added a Gios Turino to the collection, a versatile machine, suitable for some criterium circuits but also for general road racing.

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A GREAT ALL ROUNDER.

For touring, nothing matched my tailor made Condor. It had bar end shifters, wide range gearing, oversized cranks to allow greater pedal pressure, Brooks leather saddle, front and rear racks and, shocking for a purist, mudguards. Unheard of for a top the range bicycle. REYNOLDS 531 double butted tubing of course and all Campagnolo running gear.

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MY BELOVED CONDOR.

My overall commitment is to Colnago frames but as I’ve said, I was prepared to ride other brands for special events. Not so SWMBO.

SWMBO is a rusted on fan of Cinelli, a prestigious Italian bicycle. Campagnolo  Super record equipped of course. Here is another of her Cinellis, a specialised road racing machine  which remains in her possession:

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SWMBO’S SECOND CINELLI.

We put our cycles to good use, enjoyed our time with the Sydney Cycling Club, spent time on the Committee and represented the club in races here and there.

I raced in the Goulburn to Liverpool Cycle classic and other races around the State from 1982 through to 1988. Was I successful? Never . One one occasion in a two day event, I actually finished in 6th place but no one from the club saw me finish. They were all waiting for the last stragglers to cross the line, my usual finishing space.

Over the years SWMBO and I did some great tours and they will be the subject of some later writings.

Hoo roo for now

 

 

 

 

DRAMA ON THE GOLF COURSE.

It’s not often that you see hostilities break out between two birds on a golf course.

Between blokes, possible, but birds, never.

The Rules of Golf as approved by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scotland and the United States Golf Association are quite clear where it comes to behaviour on the course.

Section 1 of the Rules covers Courtesy on the Course under the title of ETIQUETTE.

The first two Rules under Section 1 are Safety followed by Consideration of Other Players.

I was on my local course last Wednesday and I observed a significant breach of of the first two rules under Section 1.

From where I was positioned I could see that a small area near the river was occupied by two participants, obviously vying for space.

As I watched I saw the smaller of the two approach the other in what I can only describe as a ‘sneaky fashion’.  No words were exchanged but I could see that the body language of both was anything but friendly.

The space between the two increased suddenly and it seemed that all was well between them.

How wrong I was in my assumption.

From my vantage point I noticed that one had its back to the other. Immediately the smaller approached in a covert manner and appeared to accost the other.

This produced an immediate and hostile response, causing the offender to beat an immediate and rapid retreat.

Fortunately I had my camera close at hand as I had recorded an image of both protagonists for information the Club Committee should  evidence be required at any forthcoming inquiry under the terms of Section 1 of The Rules of Golf.

This meant that I was able to record the moment hostilities broke out between the two.

I’ve discussed my observations of the significant breach of Section 1 of the Rules of Golf with numerous golfers but on their considered advice I have decided to take the matter no further.

For your edification here are the images I made of this deplorable incident.

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OFFENDER NUMBER 1 – WILLY WAGTAIL.
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OFFENDER NUMBER 2 – MAPIE.
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OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

 

MAN CAVE.

Back in July 2017 when I took delivery of my new Harley I was looking forward to clocking up thousands of HOG miles in the way I used to.

As fate would have it, that was not to be. Poor health and a few other issues, including the weather have kept me off the bike and I’ve only racked up 470 klms or about 292 miles. Just not good enough.

My new machine hasn’t been neglected though.

Seeing my mate’s Aladdin’s Cave made me think about creating my own Man’s Cave in which to store the Harley and the idea is finally becoming a reality.

There is a long way to go, with a wet bar , a couch, a TV, a stereo and sliding glass french doors leading to the outside with a covered patio and BBQ. Really, that’s a long, long, long way to go. Wishful thinking on my part really.

However, the FLSS fits nicely on its carpet square, adjacent to the compressor and a small cupboard containing cleaning gear and other Harley bits and pieces. I was able to fit in a book case too with a shelf reserved for Harley paraphernalia.

I was able to scrounge a coat rack too upon which I’ve hung my jackets and vests.

With the locking ring securely bolted to the floor and the space alarmed, I can securely leave the bike safely stored and out of harm’s way.

Now it’s widely acknowledged that there are many Harley detractors around the place here in The Land Down Under who crack the usual jokes about Harleys, Utes and Cattle Dogs. I don’t have a ute or a cattle dog but I do have a full set of Stanley sockets, spanners and the works stored away in their bright yellow carry case. I included it in the image so detractors will see I am prepared for any eventuality.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my baby safely snoozing in its new home.

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HOME SWEET HOME.

Hoo roo for now

 

ALADDIN’S CAVE

For a few months now the bones have certainly been creaking and combined with a couple of other issues, I’ve been keeping well clear of my keyboard.

That’s not to say that I’ve been sitting idle. Far from it. In fact I would now qualify as a full trained furniture/carton removalist.

How so you may ask? Simple really. A mate has had to move house and asked if I could help him move and store some of his hobby gear until he resettled. Mates are mates so of course I agreed.

It was only then that I was admitted to his hobby room.

Now I already qualify for admittance to the Bower Bird Bloke(BBB) category. I can’t get rid of anything. However I’ve never seen a hobby room packed like my mate’s.

Have a look at this photo:

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FLOOR TO CEILING UNOPENED BOXES AND OTHER ASSORTED GOODIES.

After I’d recovered from my shock he took me into the shed and there were five other cardboard boxes, all stuffed with more of his model collection.

I couldn’t resist another photo:

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JUST FIVE MORE CARTONS.

Over time it all migrated to Casa Creakingbones and is yet to find a resting place. Locating a spot is proving to be a little difficult because his ‘stuff’ is increasing in volume.  He discovered that his furniture had to find a temporary hiding place too so mates being mates, Casa Creakingbones is also the temporary repository of a bedroom suite, a lounge suite, a dining room suite plus a kitchen table and chairs. Oh, and the lawnmower and all the garden tools.

Silly me, I forgot to mention his five racing bikes and assorted wheels. They actually fit in well beside my three racing bikes, spare wheels and other cycling paraphernalia.

Back in the day when I was racing there were thirteen, not a typo, bikes hanging in the garage. Only ten of them were mine, the other three belonged to SWMBO who also held a Cycling NSW Race Licence. That’s a story for another day.

Hoo roo for now.

 

 

 

KELL’S RIDE FOR DEMENTIA AWARENESS.

A few weeks back I saw a small piece in a newspaper about a youngish man called Greg Kelly( Kell) who had recently been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia known as Frontotemporal Dementia(FTD) at the relatively young age of 59.

The article went on to relate how Greg was committed to raising awareness of young onset dementia worldwide by committing to ride his Harley Davidson motorbike the length and breadth of Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Whilst having a yarn with another Ulysses Motor Cycle Club mate, the subject of Greg’s ride came up and I learned that in the latest issue of Riding On, the Ulysses Club magazine, there was a full article about Greg, his fight with dimentia and his planned ride.

Reading the article was a real eye opener and I learned that Greg intended to visit and speak at as many venues as he could and already had a number of well known sponsors.

My next surprise was contained in an email from my Harley Owners Club Chapter that Greg would be at Canberra Harley Davidson, in Canberra obviously,  on Saturday 19th August, 2017 for a b-b-q breakfast, mingle and yarn.

When SWMBO and I arrived at the dealership, quite a number of our Chapter mates were already enjoying the steaming hot sausage sandwiches. The freezing cold and icy wind didn’t interfere with the mingling mob.

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CHAPTER VOLUNTEERS MANNING THE BBQ
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SWMBO ENJOYING THE TRADITIONAL SAUSAGE SANGA

Not long after I took the above image, I recognisd Greg( also known as Kell) from a photo I’d seen in the Ulysses Club magazine. He came straight up to us, introduced himself and immediately gave SWMBO a big hug. Fortunately SWMBO had finished eating.

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GREG ALREADY KNEW THEY HAD SOMETHING IN COMMON.
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SWMBO WARMED TO GREG’S PRESENCE AND THE LOOK ON THEIR FACES SAYS IT ALL.

Greg told us a lot about his diagnosis, his prognosis in the single figures and how he intended to complete as much of his bucket list as he could with the ittle time he had left.

His positive attitude was infectious and his sense of humour as he spoke about himself was indicitave of he man he is.

Later he took centre stage and spoke about his diagnosis, how his wife, children and friends were providing enormous support and encouraged him to continue his plan to bring dementia into the light.

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GREG GIVING A SHORT, HUMOROUS  ADDRESS THAT BROUGHT A LAUGH  FROM  JOHN, THE DEALERSHIP PRINCIPAL AND THE AUDIENCE.

As Greg’s address came to a close, Cowboy, our chapter’s Assistant Director, presented Greg with a donation of $250.00 towards his campaign.

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GREG, JOHN, OUR DEALER PRINCIPAL AND COWBOY, OUR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AT THE CHEQUE PRESENTATION.

Not long afterwards, with Greg following the ride leader, the chapter left for a run around Canberra and environs to show Greg the delights of the Nation’s Capital.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a shot of Greg aboard his Harley  but I was able to catch a shot of Paul, Greg’s mate and support vehicle driver, as he in turn photographed Greg aboard his Harley at the head of the ride.

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GREG’S BEST MATE, PAUL, GO PRO IN ACTION,  AS GREG AND THE MOB RIDE PAST.

It was an honour and a privilege to shake hands with Greg and his talk with SWMBO did wonders for her outlook on dementia.

We intend to support Greg through https://www.gofundme.com/kells-ride-for-the-future  and you can follow his progress at http://www.facebook.com/kellsride/

Hoo roo for now

 

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE AN OLD MAN WITH A MOTORCYCLE WHO WAS BORN IN JULY.

On the 4th July this year,  American Independence Day,  I celebrated my birthday over a quiet lunch in town with SWMBO and,  as you can imagine,  our conversations traversed our yesterdays and what the future offered us.

Over the last few years SWMBO and I have, with our advancing years, faced a few significant health challenges and these ups and downs had impacted heavily on SWMBO’s golf and my motorcycling .

Fortunately,  in my case,  radical robot surgery completely removed my cancer and I am now totally free of the big C.  During the same difficult time, SWMBO emerged from a series of brain scans to be greeted with the wonderful news that no nasties had been discovered.

Over my birthday lunch we decided that the past was the past and realised we had plenty to look forward to.

That was when SWMBO presented me with my birthday present,  a T-shirt  with this fantastic message emblazoned across the chest:

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I couldn’t help myself, I put it on and swanned around the restaurant like a kid with a new toy.  Some of the patrons in the place  were quite amused whilst others obviously weren’t.  I couldn’t give a hoot. I could see a whole new chapter opening for SWMBO and myself.

Now for the past three years my beloved 2014 Harley Heritage Softail Classic has hardly been out of the shed. My new T-shirt convinced me that had to change.

Accordingly SWMBO and I prowled motorcycle dealers, kicked a lot of tyres and became more convinced than ever that I’m a rusted on Harley Davidson rider.

We visited a couple of Harley dealers within a 200 klm radius of home and a few weeks back as we entered one dealership,  SWMBO’s eyes lit up and she indicated an Olive Gold softail that had caught her eye.

Sure enough, it fitted me like a glove, was a little lighter than my Heritage and most importantly, SWMBO told me I looked good on it. Plus I liked the colour and loved the logo.

For the past twenty five years I’ve always dealt with the same Harley dealer and with one phone call, our deal was done.

A week ago today, my brand new 2017 Harley Davidson softail  FLSS was was delivered  to our door. What a ripper of a motorcycle.

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MY NEW 2017 HARLEY DAVIDSON FLSS
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WOW FACTOR – 10/10
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WHAT A PAINT JOB

Now, am I a happy little vegemite?  Am I ever! The bike’s colour is Olive Gold Denim.  I understand it’s a little complicated to maintain but it’s  well worth any extra effort.

I was sorry to see my Heritage Softail taken away, it was my 5th black Heritage and I was really attached to that model Harley but, as my new T-shirt says,  ‘never underestimate an old man with a motorcycle who was born in July.’

Just for the record though, one last image of my beloved 2014 Heritage Softail Classic. I hope it goes to a good home.heritage-with-a-bit-more-bling_0603_0002-copy

Hoo roo for now

PS. Don’t ask me what it’s like to ride. Everyone knows that you don’t take your Harley out when the weather is crook. Therefore it is still standing, unridden, in the exact spot where the scarcely ridden Heritage stood.