Saturday, January 22, 2011
And so it came to pass that the cycling division of the mighty Black Fish set out to tackle the gruelling 135km pain-fest that was Stage IV of the 2011 TDU. After months of a monastic devotion to Dicky Spin, hills rides and depilation, the team - Sam W, Alex R, Sam E, Richard W and Finola D - was ready. The night before the ride was long. Each team member could only manage brief moments of sleep, before waking in a cold sweat, terrorized by visions of Checker Hill and strange premonitions of fat men with creepily-bandaged unilateral leg oedema hacking them down.
A warm and still morning greeted the warriors as they assembled under cover of darkness at Dicky's house o' pain. They were soon at the start line in Norwood, and ready for battle.
(A special thanks to former Australian batsman Dean Jones for coming out to see us on our way)
And so the race began....
As with any great adventure, the day brought many and varied tales; comedy, tragedy, heroism. Tales almost impossible to capture with words alone. So instead, we present a summary of the highlights and lowlights of a seminal day in Black Fish history. Lowlights first:
- Finola's flat tyre at the 0.2 km mark
- The entire 8000-strong peloton vanishing into the distance, along with the support vans, police and ambulance, leaving the Black Fish in exactly last place
- The limitless procession of slow-riding idiots who found it acceptable to ride in the right lane so that all passing manoevres required a pact with the devil
- Aforementioned leg Oedema Man's singular effort to prevent at least three Fish from completing the Checker Hill climb
- All the other clowns who, like Oedema Man, sought to prevent any of the Fish from completing Checker Hill (which they have previously proven to be within their capabilities)
- Sam E and Alex R kissing some dirt on Checker Hill
- Sam W crashing into a stationary car in Mt Barker, leaving an attractive sunscreen-smear on the rear window
- Having "We Built This City" by Starship as an (inexplicable) earworm for the majority of the six-hour ride to Strathalbyn
- Other teams with hilarious 'pun' names (examples: "Diff'rent Spokes", "Mud, Sweat and Gears")
- Bizarre sub-zero temperatures at the Macclesfield refreshment station
- Sam E's wrong turn in the final kilometres (and subsequent heroic, but bonk-crippled attempt to rejoin the group)
- The traffic jam in Strathalbyn on the way home
- And not just finishing, but all Black Fish arriving in style, looking fresh (and still pretty), with no fractures or bleeding
- The glorious weather for almost all of the race
- Not being in outpatients
- Rejoining the peloton in Athelstone after giving it a 30-minute head start
- The super work by Katie E and Kate W to bring the heroes home
- Beer number 1
- Beers 2-5
- Richard and Kate's drunken lamb
So, while an additive analysis would have the lowlights outweighing the highlights, in a weighted analysis where "finishing" has a weighting of infinity, the highlights are the clear winners. A perfect day, and another chapter in the proud history of the mighty mighty Black Fish.
Monday, January 17, 2011
There is a palpable sense of excitement surging through the internet, as the mighty Black Fish sporting club returns to cyberspace. Since the unfortunate demise of the on-court arm of the Black Fish Basketball Club, the members of this proud organization have battled the forces of geographic dispersion and next-generation-of-black-fish-creation in order to diversify the sports that will be dominated by Black Fish in the future.
From triathlon to tennis, the Fish have athletes dominating every sport (primarily sports beginning with a 't'). But the big news this week is that for the first time, the elite cycling division of the Black Fish will compete under the banner of Black Fish Cycling, in the Tour Down Under community challenge. Black Fish stalwarts Whittle, Rodgers, Edwards and Weeks will be joined by co-opted Fish Finola Dwyer as they tackle 135km of pain, including the potentially heart-breaking Checker Hill.
But, as everyone knows, the Fish have hearts forged from steel. And no hill has ever been a match for the mighty BF cycling division.
We stand at the dawn of a new epoch. The era of Black Fish Cycling. Stay tuned for updates.
(P.S. note that we appear to be on a 5-year cycle)