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Source: (consider it) Thread: "My chain fell off.....": A cycling thread
Ariston
Insane Unicorn
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
I do hope the route takes in Holmfirth, scene of the notoriously long-running television "comedy" Last of the Summer Wine. Professional cyclists riding over hilly cobbled streets would be a treat, especially it has been raining (which it usually has).

Seeing as cobblestones are a common feature of many spring races, especially the Ronde van Vlaanderen,, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they did just that. Yes, they even make bikes specifically for racers to handle cobblestones at high speeds—lemmie tell ya, even on my "comfy" steel road bike, taking rough roads at a comparatively measly 30-35 kph can be tough on the ol' tuccus.

[ 15. December 2012, 03:15: Message edited by: Ariston ]

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Welease Woderwick

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
...Yes, they even make bikes specifically for racers to handle cobblestones at high speeds—lemmie tell ya, even on my "comfy" steel road bike, taking rough roads at a comparatively measly 30-35 kph can be tough on the ol' tuccus.

TMI!

Discussions on the merits or demerits of Ariston's ol' tuccus should, ideally, take place elsewhere - as I find riding over either cobbles or setts to be Purgatory perhaps you could take it there - but be warned that the Purg Hosts might not agree.

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What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
I do hope the route takes in Holmfirth, scene of the notoriously long-running television "comedy" Last of the Summer Wine. Professional cyclists riding over hilly cobbled streets would be a treat, especially it has been raining (which it usually has).

Seeing as cobblestones are a common feature of many spring races, especially the Ronde van Vlaanderen,, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they did just that. Yes, they even make bikes specifically for racers to handle cobblestones at high speeds—lemmie tell ya, even on my "comfy" steel road bike, taking rough roads at a comparatively measly 30-35 kph can be tough on the ol' tuccus.
I don't think so. In the years when the Grand Depart is outside France (About 3 in every 5 Tours) it's usually just a prologue time trial in a major city and a nice easy flat stage with some pretty tourist-friendly scenery in the background as a warmup before the real racing gets underway in France. The cobbles should be saved for when the Tour visits the areas where they already race on them!

All we know so far is that it will start in Leeds, there will be a stage finish in London and the full details will be released on January 17.

I'm predicting a prologue in Leeds that will be identical to every other city prologue, a circuitous mostly-flat stage starting from Leeds and finishing there as well, and then a fairly direct transitional stage from some other place to London.

[ 15. December 2012, 04:04: Message edited by: the giant cheeseburger ]

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Ariston
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But . . . but . . . I want cobbles! And for the stage to end at the Black Sheep or Sam Smith's brewery! Isn't that how bike races are supposed to end?

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
I'm predicting a prologue in Leeds that will be identical to every other city prologue, a circuitous mostly-flat stage starting from Leeds and finishing there as well, and then a fairly direct transitional stage from some other place to London.

From what I can gather there will be no prologue. But a road stage out to Scarborough on the Saturday, possibly taking in Sutton Bank (steepest A road in Britain) or White Horse Bank on the North York Moors (that's 20 to 25% uphill).

Sunday should be York to Sheffield, taking in some of the Peak District climbs possibly Holme Moss (Highest A road in Britain) which is longer but only 14%.

Monday, a stage in Southern England.

Tuesday, back in France.

At least that is what Visit Yorkshire were proposing during the last TDF.

[ETA possibility of cobbles if it goes anywhere near Shibden Hall, Halifax.]

[ 15. December 2012, 13:36: Message edited by: balaam ]

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the giant cheeseburger
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You forgot one thing there - the organisers on the English side of things will want the stages to be winnable for British riders, which rules out a classic-style hilly stage for the all-rounders which Britain doesn't have (see the complete failure of Team GB to get even a single rider up the road in the Olympic Road Race this year). The organisers on the French side of things will want the same types of stages but for the different reason of making sure the race has not begun to unfold before it even gets to France, which rules out a mountain stage for Chris Froome.

While the Yorkshire organisers might have been hoping to get away without a prologue, recent history points against that happening. Since the outside-France starts began in 1987 (Berlin) there have been 11 starts outside of France (all of them had a prologue). In that time, only the 2011 and 2013 Tours (both starting in France) have had mass-start stages on the first day.

That leaves just two options - a pancake-flat prologue time trial in Leeds for Wiggins to come in third behind Cancellara and Martin, and then a flat stage or two to throw a bone in the Cavendish direction. Anything else would not be a chance unless some more plastic Brits could be found quickly, perhaps Peter Sagan would be a good choice for their next imported cyclist?


quote:
Originally posted by Ariston:
But . . . but . . . I want cobbles! And for the stage to end at the Black Sheep or Sam Smith's brewery! Isn't that how bike races are supposed to end?

Try your local club's Cat 3 for that, not the Tour de France.

[ 15. December 2012, 14:49: Message edited by: the giant cheeseburger ]

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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the giant cheeseburger
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*BUMP*


With 2012 having come to an end yesterday, I can now proudly report that I clocked up 6014.6 km for the year, an average of 16.43 km per day which easily exceeds my target of 4800 km.

Hopefully this year I'll do a lot more, mainly by not having 6 weeks worth of no cycling at all due to the bike being off the road.


The total for 2013 is already off to a good start today, an almost completely flat 33.4 km was knocked off in 68 minutes. It could have been more, but with my local railway line closing for 6-9 months as of tomorrow it was too tempting to take the lazy option up the hill for one last time!

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
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An enjoyable day watching the British Cyclo-Cross championships.

Next is Thursday evening outside Leeds Town Hall, when the routes for the Yorkshire legs of the 2014 Tour de France will be announced.

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the giant cheeseburger
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I had an immensely enjoyable weekend at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, contested on the toughest national championship course in the world at Mt Buninyong, south of Ballarat.

The women's race on the Saturday afternoon was a fantastically competitive race, with the early breakaway splintering under pressure from attacks coming out of the mob. It ended with a group of four all-rounders eventually contesting a drag race (not a 'proper' sprint) on the finishing straight with Gracie Elvin of Orica-GreenEDGE winning the right to wear the much-respected green and gold jersey through the next season.

I then did the Amy Gillett Foundation ride on the 100km distance in the morning on the Sunday, which raises funds and awareness for sharing the road safely. The surfaces on the roads to the east and north of Ballarat are pretty nasty, and combined with the hideously cold weather made me appreciate the steeper hills and hot weather on Amy's Ride SA back in November.

The men's road race was in the afternoon, with a huge crowd further up on the hill. A break of seven riders went away the first time up the hill from the start, getting up to eight minutes clear at one point. Things got interesting in the last third of the race, the mob got back to about four minutes behind before it started falling apart under the pressure of many attacks. Luke Durbridge of Orica-GreenEDGE managed to burn the other six guys in the break one by one before putting in the three fastest laps of the race for a solo win a minute over the remaining 24 riders in the pack sprinting for second. He's be the first national champion of Australia in the open era to do the double and win the time trial and road race in the same year, a very worthy champion in my opinion.

While it would have been good for at least one of the four major titles to be be won by a rider from a team other than Orica-GreenEDGE (the only Australian international team), I don't think their dominance is entirely a bad thing. It would have been disappointing if the national title was won by a domestic rider, the jersey deserves to be honoured in the international peleton where it is accorded the huge amount of respect due to the winner of such a tough one-day race that's taken seriously by so many international-level riders. That's not something that many countries have a reputation for these days with trade teams having first call on their riders during the northern hemisphere season.

Above all, it was definitely an event I would go back to again, I specifically appreciated the more sensible approach of the marshals/police not clamping down too hard on people being on the course between the pass of the Sag Wagon and the lead cars on the next lap. Being able to cycle along the course to a different vantage point on each lap was a great way to watch the women's race on the Saturday, I might express my thanks by volunteering at next year's event.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
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The TDF 2014 has been launched in Leeds. Anyone want a Shipmeet on Holme Moss?

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the giant cheeseburger
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The 2013 Vuelta a España route was also announced this week. Eleven summit finishes will make it a very tough race, if Froome has to wait for Wiggins every time he'll be finishing back with the sprinters!

The WorldTour is in Adelaide this week (we get it every year, not just a couple of days in 2014) which means a good chance of spotting the big teams out training. I saw BMC with their recently crowned World Champion Philippe Gilbert out training, with the local rider from Lotto-Belisol Carlee Taylor joining them and giving them a guide to the infamous Corkscrew Road climb. There's also a TdF champion in town, Andy Schleck is finally making good on his promise to give Stuart O'Grady's home race a shot. Many of the teams will also be sending riders to join in a public fundraising ride tomorrow morning to support research into muscular dystrophy, before the serious business begins with the super-criterium on Sunday night which is the first competitive event of the 2013 international road cycling season. Fun times!

The English leg of the 2014 TdF is somewhat surprising, I was expecting one flat time trial geared for Wiggins or Thomas and two sprinters' stages to give Cavendish easy wins. Instead of a time trial we've got the 'other' stage as a one day route for the puncheurs (the powerful guys like Philippe Gilbert, Simon Gerrans, Fabian Cancellara, Thomas de Gendt, Alessandro Valverde and Thor Hushovd) which is a huge surprise since England doesn't really have any top one day riders. Kudos to the TdF team for not allowing the English side of the organisation to completely compromise the sporting aspect of it in the name of appealing to the local front-running fans.

I wasn't going to talk about Doperah on here (more worthy of a hell thread) but I will be attempting to watch in the vain hope that it turns out to be like this preview of what is to come.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
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Yeah, I'm still waiting for him to name names in UCI. Not anxiously, mind you, but I'll believe there might be something to all this hype when that happens. I think Nicole Cooke whacked the nail on the head in her retirement speech.

Okay, 'nuff about that. Back to us duffers. Is there anyone else out there who uses Strava or something similar to track their rides/times/try desperately to beat the local competition in sprints? I've found it can occasionally be a good way to guilt my non-commuting butt into actually riding at 1 in the morning when traffic's gone and pedestrians are asleep (and not blocking my trails—twisty little paths are fun at 23 MPH!), but also humbling when everyone you follow commutes 30 miles each day.

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Huia
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When I was a kid my brother and I set off for a ride down an unsealed road to a local beauty-spot called "The Catch-pole" around 12kms from home. I never made it because my back tyre blew out around 2 kms short of the target.

Now, around 45 years later I, have finally completed the ride [Yipee] . I know it's not that far - I frequently ride further, but I have wanted to ride that stretch of road ever since.

At least the road is now sealed so it was a bit smoother than it was.

Huia - one off the bucket list.

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the giant cheeseburger
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Good to know that preparations for the 2014 Tour are already well advanced. [Snigger]

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
The English leg of the 2014 TdF is somewhat surprising, I was expecting one flat time trial geared for Wiggins or Thomas and two sprinters' stages to give Cavendish easy wins.

The end of the first stage from Ripon to Harrogate is much flatter than the rest of the stage, the hills after Ripley Castle are not large. Added to that Cav's mother lives in Harrogate, don't write Cav off for the first stage.

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the giant cheeseburger
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No, I definitely agree that the two flat stages (first and third) are there. It's the absence of a contest against the clock, and the presence of one for the all-rounders instead, that's a bit baffling even before you consider the defection of Cav to the Belgian team Omega-Pharma-Quickstep.

[ 18. January 2013, 20:19: Message edited by: the giant cheeseburger ]

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Surfing Madness
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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:


Now, around 45 years later I, have finally completed the ride [Yipee] . I know it's not that far - I frequently ride further, but I have wanted to ride that stretch of road ever since.

At least the road is now sealed so it was a bit smoother than it was.

Huia - one off the bucket list.

well done. [Yipee]

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the giant cheeseburger
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The international road cycling season starts in the Adelaide parklands this evening with a 51km circuit race to be contested by all 18 WorldTour teams and a composite national team. It will be a pleasantly warm evening for some great racing and a good ride into the city.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
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And I am actually going to watch my first race. Hooray.

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Patdys:
And I am actually going to watch my first race. Hooray.

Get there early, the crowd will be huge. But at least there's a women's race early to keep the entertainment level up.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Patdys
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I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the breeze generated from the peloton. Wow.
It really has been a most enjoyable day. Endorphins in the morning with ride like crazy and watching clever cyclists on bikes like my bmc in the evening. I think God must be a cyclist.

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the giant cheeseburger
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It tends to be a bit more exciting on the open road stages, but the convoy behind the race is something pretty cool to watch. Especially if sprint king Robbie McEwen is at the wheel, nobody else would mess with the Orica-GreenEDGE team car!

Great sprint finish tonight, proof again that Andre Greipel is currently the best sprinter in the world. He might lose the odd one or two to Cavendish, but he's definitely more likely than Cav to be up for it if the course, conditions and lead-out are anything other than absolutely perfect. I'm sure that Matt Goss will get a win against Andre the Giant at some point, he's finished second so many times that the law of averages should come in his favour eventually!

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Surfing Madness
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I found a site live streaming so was able to enjoy the last pert of the race....nearly made me late for church!

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the giant cheeseburger
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It does help that Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen could describe even a paint-drying contest so well it would seem exciting! Having watched the coverage on delay, I'm very disappointed that it's not on SBS so it could have been called by Matt Keenan, Scott McGrory and Kate Bates, while they aren't as colourful in their descriptions as Phil & Paul they do have a much better knowledge of the current riders and the tactics involved (and don't have any shady business connections to You-Know-Who).

It was good to see Jens Voigt off the front for the majority of the race, but what a nasty sadist to put the peleton in that kind of pain just because he wanted to entertain the crowd! This is a guy who made Brad McGee (a great cyclist in his own right) collapse on the side of the road from the effort it took to just stay on Jens' wheel in a two man escape on the last 25km of a Tour de France stage.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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the giant cheeseburger
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NSFW* - 2013 bike pr0n from the TDU event village.

Overall I like Euskatel's Orbea, Argos-Shimano's Felt and Orica-GreenEDGE's Scott the best.

Argos-Shimano and Euskatel have the best liveries, while the Bianchi of Vaconsoleil-DCM could actually look good (rare for a Bianchi) if only they fixed the livery. The clash of Lampre and Merida colours on the Lampre-Merida bikes is hideous (but distinctive) while Team Sky earn minus points for putting a pithy poem on their Pinarello's top tube.

Lotto-Belisol's Ridley and Garmin-Sharp's Cervelo are both hideous bikes to look at, but I think I could cope if somebody told me I had to ride one. Somehow I don't think Andre the Gorilla would have cared about his Ridley's looks when it carried him to many kisses from the podium girls (stage win, leader's jersey and points jersey) at Lobethal today!

Interestingly, out of the sixteen bikes shown (Movistar and BMC missing) only Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Team Cannondale and Saxo-Tinkoff are still using mechanical gear shifting. Everybody else has the Shimano Di2 or Campagnolo EPS electronic systems, which I'm told do take a bit of getting used to if you're new to the systems.


What do you all think?


* not safe for wife.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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My first thought was how uncomfortable the saddles all look!

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Fancy a break in South India?
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What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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the giant cheeseburger
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See the Saxo-Tinkoff bike of Jay McCarthy for the worst example. I wonder if the directeur sportif told the mechanic to fit that so Jay would ride faster, because finishing earlier means off that saddle earlier?

So Wodders, which one would you want to put a rack and panniers on to do some errands? [Snigger]

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
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Lampre’s Merida Scultura SL would look great with a shopping basket up front!

[Cool]

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What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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the giant cheeseburger
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The story of the racing today is that there has been a large crash of about 15 riders in the closing kilometres, including the world champion Philippe Gilbert who would have been the perfect winner for today's stage.

The disorganisation in the peleton after that allowed Geraint Thomas of Team Sky to stay away from the closing chasers to win the stage by one second and take the GC lead by five. You could say that it was luck which got him over the line except that going on the attack at the exact point he did was anything but lucky, in front is the place to be on a descent where crashes can happen.

Hopefully Gilbert and the others in the crash aren't injured, I think he's a good bloke and a very worthy world champion. It would be great to see Gilbert on one of his trademark audacious attacks like the one which got him the pretty rainbow stripes late last year, maybe on the last lap into Stirling tomorrow?

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
. . . while the Bianchi of Vaconsoleil-DCM could actually look good (rare for a Bianchi) if only they fixed the livery.

You. Did NOT. Just call Bianchis ugly. There's a reason the local bike shop keeps a crowbar and a rag next to theirs—it's to pry me off and clean up the drool, sometimes after my offer of a nice night out (which gets a better reaction than . . . well, nevermind).

Some people. No taste. [Disappointed]

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
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Friends, riding KOM repeats, racing, cowbells, beer, BBQ, life has been kind today. I don't know who won and don't care but loved being a part of the chaos, start and finish and all in between.

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Little Miss Methodist

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Having not ridden a bike since I was 18, I bought a bicycle yesterday!

I tried out one of the "Boris Bikes" a few weekends ago and enjoyed it so much I thought i'd get my own. It's a Dutch style "sit up and beg" kind of bike, with a basket on the front, so it's nothing like the sort of thing you're all talking about on the thread, but i'm very pleased with it nonetheless and i'm looking forward to riding it to pottery tonight.

I bought it secondhand because anything new looking doesn't last 5 minutes where I live. I'm hoping it doesn't look "special" enough to attract bike thieves!

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Tell me where you learned the magic,
The spell you used the day you made me fall....


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Surfing Madness
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# 11087

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Enjoy your new bike. Sit up and beg bikes are great when you want to be able to get round town, carry stuff easily etc. Enjoy.

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Huia
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# 3473

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LMM -good for you. Although I bought my bike in 2011 it is a similar style, in that I am riding upright.

Do get a basket, not only for utility but they have other uses. I read a book titled "Bike" by an English woman and one of the things that has stuck in my mind was that bikes with baskets were far less likely to be stolen - apparently they aren't as 'cool' or something. She got this info from the Metropolitan Police. A good lock is useful too as it stops kids joyriding, and thread it through the frame, not just the wheel. Having said that I believe that if someone is really determined and has bolt cutters they can probably still nick it.

My philosophy is to take all the care I can, then try not to worry about it.

Happy biking.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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I have a basket on the front and a carry rack on the back of mine - vital pieces of kit as far as I am concerned.

Enjoy your cycling.

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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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I go for a jack-of-all-trades approach in general. Medium-weight alloy hybrid frame combined with slick tyres, but it still has the three holes necessary at the back to attach a rear rack rated for 25 kilograms. The usual carrying solution there is one or both of a Tioga 52L waterproof pannier pair. That setup is easily adequate for a fortnight's worth of general shopping, the panniers expanding out to fit a flat-bottomed grocery bag each.

At the same time, it's also good enough to do a nice long road ride if I take the panniers off, and even off-road tracks as well if I put more appropriate tyres on.

If I ever get around to it, this (with a tent tied on top of the rack) would be an ideal setup for a camping-cycling trip, which I would love to do from Adelaide to Melbourne along the southern coast.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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Watching the National Track Championships tonight, two more SA gold medals added to the total this evening already, still three more events to go!

It's always great to watch a good team pursuit, and good this time to know it's the last time we'll be seeing the women riding the shorter format 3000m distance with 3 riders. After the World Championships in Minsk the women will be switching to be the same as the men, 4000m with 4 riders.


The women's sprint finals are on now, with the title of "best sprinter other than Anna Meares" up for grabs with the Olympic sprint queen taking a break this season. Good to see Steph Morton doing well, she came to the sport through winning Paralympic Gold in London as a tandem pilot, then transferring to the SASI elite program.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Little Miss Methodist

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# 1000

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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
Do get a basket, not only for utility but they have other uses. I read a book titled "Bike" by an English woman and one of the things that has stuck in my mind was that bikes with baskets were far less likely to be stolen - apparently they aren't as 'cool' or something. She got this info from the Metropolitan Police. A good lock is useful too as it stops kids joyriding, and thread it through the frame, not just the wheel. Having said that I believe that if someone is really determined and has bolt cutters they can probably still nick it.

My bike came with a basket on the front, which was one of several things that attracted me to it. It also has a rack on the back that I could attach stuff to if I wanted to.

I went to a nice little independent bike shop in Bermondsey, where they advised me about locks etc, so I've got a good Kryptonite lock and wire type thing so I can D lock the back wheel and use this wire to lock the front wheel too. I've also got some little lights that charge using a USB, so they seem good. Together they cost almost as much as the bike!

The guy at the shop said the same thing about baskets / my style of bike so I'm not too concerned about it getting nicked. I deliberately bought a second hand bike so it looked less desirable, as well as being good for recycling etc.

I've ridden it to all my meetings this week which has been good, though I'm a bit shaky on the roads. I try to stick to back roads / cycle paths because the traffic in London can be scary as a pedestrian, let alone on a bicycle!

Having a rest from cycling today though, because my bum hurts!

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Tell me where you learned the magic,
The spell you used the day you made me fall....


Posts: 1628 | From: Caretaker of the Overlook Hotel | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
rosamundi

Ship's lacemaker
# 2495

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quote:
Originally posted by Little Miss Methodist:
Having not ridden a bike since I was 18, I bought a bicycle yesterday!

I tried out one of the "Boris Bikes" a few weekends ago and enjoyed it so much I thought i'd get my own. It's a Dutch style "sit up and beg" kind of bike, with a basket on the front, so it's nothing like the sort of thing you're all talking about on the thread, but i'm very pleased with it nonetheless and i'm looking forward to riding it to pottery tonight.

I bought it secondhand because anything new looking doesn't last 5 minutes where I live. I'm hoping it doesn't look "special" enough to attract bike thieves!

LMM, your London borough (either the one you live in, or the one you work in, if these are different), will offer free cycle training. I found it really helpful for confidence, and a lot's changed since I did my Cycle Proficiency in my junior school playground...

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Website.
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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Dutch style bikes are good for Dutch style terrain. If it's fairly flat where you live it will serve you well.

Enjoy.

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Last ever sig ...

blog

Posts: 9049 | From: Hen Ogledd | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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For getting used to cycling on the roads, I would suggest starting off with some practice rides in some quiet residential streets on a weekend, do circuits of a small area if that helps.

  1. Start off ultra-defensive and work on your bike handling - keeping a predictable line, manoeuvring around parked cars with a metre of space, stopping/starting without wobbling/weaving and using the gears if you have them. This is about generally learning how your bike handles, how to make it handle how you want it to handle, and how to handle it without having to think too much about cornering or braking.

    You'll need to practice how to balance preparing for a corner (braking and turning) and making a hand signal, since you may be required to make hand signals for a left turn, right turn and stopping by law. In Australia, only the right turn signal is required of cyclists by law, but road etiquette dictates you also do the left turn and stop signals if there are other road users around who will not otherwise be able to predict what you're doing.

    Even better than quiet streets, this can work really well if there's a large car park that belongs to a place which is not in use at the time, such as a large office complex or bus interchange on the weekend, or a venue like a stadium, theatre, sporting club or large church that has nobody there on a weekday morning. Outdoor netball courts are also good for this! In a large car park you have the freedom to do two things - ride wherever you want (ignoring the lines) as you learn how you and the bike get along together, or use the lines and practice braking, cornering and lane discipline with the freedom of not hitting anything on either side.
  2. You'll start to get a bit more confident and you'll get to know your own capacity a bit, especially braking distances and the time it takes you to make a left turn following the kerb, cross an intersection straight ahead and make a right turn crossing traffic (reverse left/right if you're an American/European who keeps to the right). Part of this (which does need streets, not a large car park) is learning to judge when there's a good enough gap from a car approaching to make a move, which looks quite different on a bike compared to looking for that as a pedestrian or car driver.

    Be very aware of being "doored" - colliding with a vehicle door which opens as you pass it too close which only happens to a person once for a very good reason! If you can't tell that there's nobody in the right hand side of a vehicle, keep well away.
  3. The next step is to take this capacity and use it on some shared paths, adding to your repertoire the ability to react to pedestrian hazards (dogs especially) and keep it straight in a narrow lane. Shared paths will often have some more testing curves which should be good fun, especially when you have to take the curve instead of lazily straightening it out like you can on a street with more space.
  4. Once you're confident on a bike path, take it to some streets that have bike lanes. This is the first really tough bit, because lane discipline really starts to matter now, a bike lane does not exempt you from having to be aware of the traffic, you'll need to look out for pedestrians crossing your path (major cycling safety rule - all pedestrians are so stupid that all the day-glo and flashing lights in the world won't alert them to the fact traffic is coming) and people generally not being able to predict what you're doing. Start off doing this during the quieter times.
  5. The prize for taking this step of riding in on-road bike lanes is that you might develop the traffic awareness to then ride on most roads in urban areas even without bike lanes. On the other hand, you might find that you've reached your limits and that dealing with the local drivers is not for you.

Traffic awareness is a complicated thing, because it works differently in different areas and different traffic situations. For example, I've found in the times I've cycled in Victoria (Ballarat, Geelong and inner south-eastern Melbourne) that you never ever attempt to 'take the lane' when going through a corner or a narrow section without room to overtake. It's a great way to signal "this bit isn't safe to overtake, just hold on a few seconds then I'll move over" which is understood as such in South Australia, but it seems in Victoria that it's a declaration of war.

[coding fixed]

[ 04. February 2013, 02:34: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Dave Walker

Contributing Editor
# 14

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A cycling thread! Seems like a good place for a first non-meet post in... well, years.

LLM - always great to hear from someone who has been converted to cycling. I think someone needs to invent an Alpha course equivalent for cycling. It would teach the basics over ten weeks in a friendly group setting, along with the serving of some kind of pasta / shepherds pie. Not sure who the Nicky Gumbel figure on the video would be though.

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Cartoon blog / @davewalker

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the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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Probably not Andy Schleck when it comes to the bit about how to change gears [Big Grin]

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Huia
Shipmate
# 3473

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I'd love something about changing gears, but I suspect my main problem is that I change up when I want to change down (and vice versa) [Hot and Hormonal] Of course that means when I'm climbing hills I come to a dead stop, which is a little frustrating - good thing Christchurch is flat apart from the Port Hills.

The other things I find that help are: yelling out "Thanks" a lot (when pedestrians and other traffic give way) - and "sorry" when necessary;
screaming when I hear a car door latch begin to open also gets remarkable results (not a carefully thought out strategy, but a terror reaction).

With the increased volume of heavy traffic due to the rebuilding, I also found a sign on a truck that said, "If you can't see my mirrors I can't see you" helpful too.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
Be very aware of being "doored" - colliding with a vehicle door which opens as you pass it too close which only happens to a person once for a very good reason! If you can't tell that there's nobody in the right hand side of a vehicle, keep well away.

Good advice, but even more important, keep away from the kerb to keep visible. If there are parked cars you ought to pass them with an arms length between you and them, if there are no parked cars there ought to be an arms length between you and the gutter. If you don't feel safe riding in out in the street, ride on the pavement if its empty. (But don't try to dodge through pedestrians on the pavement, you'll just make them angry)

The single most dangerous place to be on a bicycle is six inches from the kerb coming up to a left turn in slow-moving traffic - drivers moving beside you to your right probably won't even know you are there, so if one of them turns left they will wipe you out. Especially lorries! You have to be in front of them to be visible, or else coming up on their right. It feels scarier, but its actually often safer to pass a vehicle on the outside, rather than the inside. Oncoming cars in the opposite lane are actually surprisingly unlikely to hit you, because they can see you. They might get cross at you being there at all - but you get that when you ride a bike.


quote:

Once you're confident on a bike path, take it to some streets that have bike lanes. [...] The prize for taking this step of riding in on-road bike lanes is that you might develop the traffic awareness to then ride on most roads in urban areas even without bike lanes.

That sort of slow ramp-up from cycle path, to dedicated lanes, to ordinary roads, is not possible in London, or most British cities. There are few off-road cycle paths, bike lanes don't connect up into a network (though its getting better), and car drivers routinely ignore them anyway and drive or park on them, and people dump skips on them (again and again, I got so fed up with that), and if they are safe from cars then people walk in them anyway, so they don't provide much of a safe network. If you are going to cycle to get about in London, you need to go on roads shared with motor vehicles right from day one.

That's not as bad as it might sound, for about three reasons.

First, its less dangerous cycling in inner-city jammed-up roads than it is in the country or in outer suburbs because the cars and lorries aren't moving so fast.

Second, you get a glow of superiority as you pootle lazily past some motionless cars whose radios alone probably cost more than your bike. Two wheels is easily the fastest way to get around in London. And when things really jam up you can go multimodal, step off the bike, and continue on the pavement.

Third, and most important, although there are few cycle lanes and those often not much use, there are an awful lot of quiet streets that you can use to get where you are going. It might take a little bit longer, but its much more pleasant as well as safer. You can go pretty much anywhere on a mixed network of backstreets and cycle lanes and open spaces and canal paths and the odd trip onto the pavement. Anyone who cycles in London is very likely to develop their own set of favourite routes, which might be different from everyone else's, and its fun exploring and finding them and learning more about London and seeing places you might not have seen otherwise.

So (for example, just because I'm used to it) there is no need to cycle down Old Kent Road if you don't want to (and I certainly don't!) You can find connecting routes that parallel it through the estates just north of it. Cars can't do that because although most of the journey is on streets that they can use, there are little connecting bits that involve jumping the pavement, or a short distance on a footpath or using a street blocked off with bollards. And I think just about every major route in Inner London has similar safer bypasses for bicycles.

And, what's more, you can get good free maps from the London Cycling Campaign and London Transport - and their routefinder for bikes is actually quite good as well now (even with Evil Bank Branding all over it)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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I had two major Andy Schleck moments while out on my hybrid today.

The first was that I cross-shifted down onto the small chain ring while applying too much power going up a hill and dropped the chain.

The second was that I was felt tired and quit my ride early.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
BroJames
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# 9636

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TGC's post bringing this thread to the top of the list prompts my first ever post on it. I have a bog-standard Ridgeback Velocity (aka Rapide/Speed). I use it all the time to get around on a day to day basis, but rarely for anything longer. My longest rides tend to be round trips of 12-14 miles. I've had it for a few years now and clocked up about 3,000 miles, all work related. Family circs mean leisure cycling is a rarity.

Today is a red letter day as I'm back on my bike 12 weeks to the day after coming off it and fracturing my hip. It is good to be back on two wheels today [Smile] My daughter will be pleased that I can take her to school tomorrow.

Posts: 3374 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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Well done on being confident enough to get back on after such a major injury, many people never return to cycling after a big crash.

I like the look of that machine, it's got a good solid list of specs and a classic clean frame design. Look after it well and it should keep rolling nicely for many years to come.

Interesting to see the very PC way they refer to women's frames these days - "open frame."


Track World Championships are on this weekend coming up. The sessions we get on TV here in Australia are the evening sessions, which would be fine except for the time difference to Minsk making it a 3am alarm for me in Adelaide. I wouldn't mind getting into some track racing myself, maybe once I graduate and become a teacher I'll join a club.

I'll mainly be cheering for the top South Australian riders Stephanie Morton (sprint events), Glenn O'Shea (omnium and team pursuit), Alex Edmonson (points race and team pursuit) and our superstar Annette Edmonson (omnium favourite, and team pursuit).

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
BroJames
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# 9636

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Yes, it's a good solid bike, but not too heavy. Importantly for me, it's a sensible price.

The only problem I had with it when new was that it had a smaller castor angle than its predecessor. This makes it easier to trun sharply whether by design or by…

I came down a hill braking and preparing to turn right, the wheel turned a bit more sharply than I expected, and I went right over it across the lane for oncoming traffic. I turned a flukey perfect somersault across the mouth of the road I had been intending to turn into, and landed on my feet in front of an astonished couple who had been preparing to cross the road. [Eek!]

Posts: 3374 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
the giant cheeseburger
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# 10942

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Ah, the perils of getting used to a new bike.

For anybody interested, SBS did a feature with Steph Morton after she won three green and gold champion's jerseys at the national championships a few weeks ago, including the title of Best Sprinter In Australia Other Than Queen Anna. What a fantastic young ambassador for the sport!

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

Posts: 4834 | From: Adelaide, South Australia. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged



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