2:30am bucketing down – looking like a lie in.
4:30am teeming down – no way am i riding
5:15am gale force winds – decision made
6:25am can’t hear rain; still windy – gulit commences
6:40am can’t hear rain; wind easing – guilt wins
7:00am roll into coode street car park to find around 12 of the usual crew fully kitted up in wind/rain gear. ryan had already warmed up his legs with the ride down from inaloo (oh, what, no? not from inaloo? oh, just from around the corner where the car is parked?…mmmmm.) lots of chatter in the group about the THE OFFICIAL EURO CYCLIST CODE OF CONDUCT that was doing the rounds of the group. lots of comments about compliance with the code among the sp rouluers. disscusion of the possibility of making anyone in kit sign it as their commitment to the faith! gerard was in full compliance with number 39 thanks to his wife’s assistance. apparently the recent trip to europe has ‘changed his life’…!
with no pete (family commitments due to race day tomorrow we’re lead to understand) we were leaderless for the ride. i hadn’t looked at the blog to see what the route was – thankfully paul had (such a detail guy – gotta love you geo’s and engineers!) and advised that it was freo/cott. questions were directed at ryan as to his desire to take the lead – yes, he says “we go flat out from here to the coffee shop…and i don’t know the route.” the faces on some of the others told the story so i hopped in and called the route “pete style” but neglected to call the ‘smash’ points – ho well i thought, it’s a well known route and those that don’t know the designated smash points will find out when we got there!
so, the group rolled out just after 5 past 7 with a few looming black clouds overhead. an uneventful ride up to canning hwy and then along through to applecross. gerard and ben came around ryan and me to do some work on the front. it was at this point that greard thought it’d be fun to signal left at risely st – must have been a message from the man upstairs given his newly aquired compliance with number 39. we all barked at the guys to keep going straight and then i stuffed it by calling a right hander at cunnigham st. woops.
finally arriving at the ‘right’ righthander another 2 kms away, we reach the first roll through section. it was ok to start with a few of the stronger guys doing a bit more of the early work and the others coming through when they coould. with the wind in our faces it was pretty tough going so it wasn’t long before there were only 6 or so pushing off the front. we reached the golf course climb and ryan pushed off the front with me trying to keep up the pressure. i could feel james trying to get up past me and thought ‘can’t have that’ so pushed on a bit – that hurt, but managed to take 2nd. we regrouped at the top and then headed off to freo. that’s when the first real rain came and made it very pleasant. rain, full sou westerly and grit fllled wheel spray in the face – LOVE IT!! how good is riding a bike!!
turning down on to the left bank section most fo the group were together. this is the next designated smash point but in true rouleurs fashion, and without pete to come round in his infamous time trialling position, no one seemed to want to be first to go. oh well, here goes. i came round the front and pushed the biggest gear i could considering the wind in my face. that lasted about a minute and i thought by then i must have a decent gap on the group. pity james, ben and ryan had grabbed my wheel as i came round and got the tow through – mental note – don’t go first! it was a good section though and we managed to keep the pace high. ryan took line honours with ben second. i couldn’t bridge the gap he’d put in james and me so third would have to do.
re-group. ben and me took the front across the bridge and around to the lead up to cott. with the wind now well and truely on our backs, we had a fantastic hero ride all the way up the coast. i looked at ben and could see the smile on his face while we were pushing 40 with no effort. as we came round to cott, melvin came past and put a gap on the group – something he seems quite fond of doing. the rest of the pack upped the pace a bit but we all kept it safe and didn’t try anything stupid. it’s pretty busy along that section of the ride so safer to stay within the boundaries of good sense.
uneventful back up to stirling hwy and across to the return trip through dalkeith and nedlands. i was doing a fair bit of the work on the front when james called that he’d roll through and help. i think he was expecting others to do the same but then realised that wasn’t going to happen. gotta love that – being a team player can find you out on your own sometimes!
the group rolled through to the first hill up to nedlands with paul and james on the front. as we rounded the bend, ben moves up and tries to gap. i go round and try to kick off the front too. i manage to hold it over the first rise but then gerard, james and ryan come past and gap me – no chance of a wheel there! ryan and gerard duked it out for line honours and james took third. ben and me cruised to the line with no other contenders in the near vicinity. the group was pretty fractured by that last push but an unoffcial re-group at the roadworks on matilda bay drive brought everyone back together for the final sprint.
rounding on to stirling hwy again, i was riding at about 5th wheel. feeling pretty comfortable, i thought i’ll hold it here and get a good lead out when we get closer to the brewery. that worked for a while until melvin takes his usual kick and flys past. that’ll do i think and grab his wheel. love it – getting closer, closer, closer, steady, steady, hold it, hol….freaking Cannondale belts past with gerard and paul on his wheel. i try to kick but nothing left to get up to the pace so relegated to 4th! ryan 1st, gerard with diviine intervention 2nd, and a cleverly ridden 3rd for paul.
no coffee shop for me today – mother in town; must be good.
THE OFFICIAL EURO CYCLIST CODE OF CONDUCT
1. Image and style shall be your primary concern. When suffering, one must focus first on maintaining a cool, even composure, and second on performance. Winning races is an added talent, and only counts if said euro cyclist wins with appropriate style.
2. You shall NEVER, under any circumstances, wear plain black spandex shorts or any team kit containing non-prominent Logo’s.
3. The Socks must extend no less than 2cm below the main bulge of your calf muscle, and shall never extend further than 1cm past the primary calf muscle bulge. All socks shall be white in colour with prominent logo placement.
4. Cycling shoes must be of white colour only!
-in certain circumstances, other colours, such as world
cup stripes are perfectly acceptable and encouraged.
-Red shoes are NOT ENDORSED by this group.
5. If white cycling shoes are not available where you reside, white booties with prominent logos shall always be worn.
6. You’re bike frame must contain more than 3 colours, and must always fit tastefully with your wheel selection.
are to be used as training wheels ONLY. You shall race only on Lightweights and occasionally Bora’s if no lightweights are accessible.
8. Ridiculously stylish eye wear is to be worn at all time without exception.
9. In most circumstances, hair shall be kept neatly short, and matching helmet shall be worn (again with prominent logo placement). Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall a clashing helmet colour be worn with your euro kit.
10. In several cases, it is deemed acceptable to have long hair. In this event, hair shall be neatly slicked back in maximum euro-styling, and helmet shall not be worn. Stylish sport eyewear shall be worn at all times while exercising this option.
11. A prominent line where your kit ends and where your tan begins is essential to your image. Artificial tanning is banned,
the tan shall reflect the level of training commitment.
12. All podium shots (pictures) shall be taken with the euro-rider wearing team kit and appropriately matching casual euro shoes (such as puma’s). Socks shall remain within the guidelines above. The rider is expected to display an appropriate degree of bulge while receiving kisses/trophy.
13. The seat shall ALWAYS be white along with the handlebar tape, and must be made in Italy or France.
– Exceptions to this rule are seats or handlebar tape
containing the following colours: WorldCup Stripes,
Olympic Gold, Italian flag colour combo (green red
14. You shall not, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than $4000 USD in a public place. This could be severely detrimental to your image.
15. Legs will be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. In some cases, certain hair removal creams endorsed by succesful euro’s are deemed to be acceptable.
16. A rider will ALWAYS have liniment applied to his legs before appearing in public.
17. Facial hair will be restricted to a goatee, and even this is discouraged. Moustaches are EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.
The only exception to the facial hair shall be SHORT sideburns–these are acceptable at the discretion of Cipo or a similar authority figure, on a case-by-case basis.
18. Ceramic bearings shall be used at all time on both training and race bikes.
19. Campagnolo shall be the only acceptable componentry and is hereby deemed superior to ANY Shimano product in ALL circumstances. You are expected to have nothing less than an ENTIRE campy grouppo. Crank substitutions are NOT permitted.
20. ALL wheels shall be equipped with tubulars, regardless of your ability in gluing them.
21. You shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto your body before a race.
22. Any physical activity, other than cycling, is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking).
23. You shall never rearrange your package while riding. Adjustments regarding seating/hanging comfort are to be done in private in order to preserve image.
24. In a circumstance where any cyclist ever displays aggression or disrespect towards you, you shall ride up uncomfortably close to them and slap them in the face with your team issue gloves. (Which must be white)
25. MTB gloves are FORBIDDEN in all instances. Cycling gloves will be slick, white (in accordance with kit), and have minimal padding. Padding will be beige or white in colour. In the case where said euro cyclist is wearing a leader’s jersey (This should be always) special gloves will be made to match the colour of the jersey while blending the team kit colours simultaneously.
26. In the event a motorist disturbs your ride, you shall proceed to ride up beside the car, form a clenched fist and bang the trunk of the car while doing your best attempt to sound irritated in Italian. Wild arm/head are strongly encouraged to enhance the apparent rage.
27. Training is based solely on feel while racing is be guided by sensations and instinct. A real Euro cyclist never gives in to scientific training methods.
28. Gearing is restricted to a titanium Campy Record 11-23 cassette with a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 42-53 up front. One shall never be seen pedaling at a cadence over 90 in case it detracts from his calm/smooth factor. The use of 25t cog is acceptable in special training circumstances.
29. ALL BIKES shall feature personalized nameplates next to ones home country’s flag located on the top-tube within 10 cm seat-tube ON ONE SIDE ONLY.
30. Pedals MUST be either Speedplay, Time, or Look. No other pedals are to be considered and ANY form of Shimano product is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. If one is found possessing Shimano pedals, title of euro cyclist will be stripped immediately.
31. Coffee is a necessity and as such must be consumed strong (ie. espresso) on a patio in Italy in full kit, it shall be drunk black. Sugar is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. The only milk present shall appear frothed on top (if at all).
32. All pre and post-race activity will be conducted under a gazebo (this includes massage, interviews, and looking fantastic) leaving one in reasonable distance of the Euro-sun to top up your enviable tanlines or pose for photo’s.
33. Post-race, you must be utterly tied to your mobile phone, making endless calls to your incredibly attractive euro-girlfriend or important executives from modelling agencies. This will be done under the protection of the post race gazebo.
34. ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of seatbag, frame pump, mud guard or mirror shall come within 2 meters of the bike.
35. Team bikes will be built up so that they violate the UCI weight limit, in order that weights might be attached to the frame to demonstrate its superiority and lightness.
36. White bar tape shall be kept in pristine white condition and NEVER extend further than 3cm past the hoods (exception during spring classics, where standard bar tape wrapping is allowed). This state shall be achieved either through daily cleansing or frequent replacement. These jobs will NEVER be performed by the cyclist as you must maintain your image.
37. Motivational music during training MUST consist of Late 90s house and power ballads, or deep-trance hard-style German techno hereby known as euro beats. NO EXCEPTIONS.
38. Nothing short of a naked black ALL CARBON water bottle cages (manufactured by ELITE CAGES) will be used. The only exception is special edition 24k gold cages which can be preferable in some situations (such as photo shoots or prologues) where colour coordination is key (this is always). Ex. Gold Cage with Olympic Gold/white team kit.
39. A gold pendant on a very long, thin chain bearing some form of religious icon is STRONGLY recommended for mountain races.
40. While soloing in for a victory, you will ensure your jersey is fully zipped and straight, so all title sponsors are clearly visible. You will then smile and flex arms while pointing skywards. The projection of ones fatigue is EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.
41. When appearing in a photo spread for sponsor’s products, one shall appear either fully nude or in full Armani 3 piece suits. Smiling is prohibited in these instances.
42. When riding, under the helmet, a team issue cycling cap (white in colour), shall be worn (depending on the hairstyle). The bill shall remain in the downward position at all times. Cycling cap can be worn forwards or backwards to coincide with current hairstyle. During spring training, cycling toques WILL be worn at all time in place of caps.
RULES BELOW THIS LINE ARE NOT FINAL, AND NEED REFINEMENT/OPINIONS
Dugast tubulars are the only appropriate rubber for your Lightweights.
One shall remove all
excess from frame when in the mountains (M Rasmussen’s stipulation at the 2005 TDF).
While training a Tag Heuer or other suitably classy watch shall be worn at all times.
Nokon cables are to be used as much as possible.
Additional parts/accessories should be produced by: AX Lightness, Tune, Schmolke, Walser, or Swissstop.
Stem stack height is critical. The stem of a true Euro shall be slammed down all the way to the frame. Stems shall also be aluminum as with bars, aluminum.
Bars should be classic, shallow drop. Deda newton oversize stem, deda shallow classic bar is preferable.
Other brands that work are:
ITM, Pro, stella Azzura, Fsa, cinelli
A one-piece carbon bar-stem combo is equally acceptable.