Wednesday, December 26, 2007

live rounds

Internet access, finally. The yardstick of civilization. No internet at the hotel, so Kelyn and I are spending our day off wandering around Hobart (Tas' only major city) and have wandered straight into a internet cafe, into 3 coffees too many and probably into a steep bill after my little "me me me!" screed is done.

So anyway. About me. My first ever Tasmanian christmas carnival is done and dusted. Latrobe: check. What's that phrase athletes tend to throw out when they've been beaten senseless? Ah yes... "I learned alot."

For instance.
I learned not to ride a 95in gear for a 200m on a pan-flat windy track. I was off 5th, so I kind of had to wing it on gear choice and came up nil. The 200m times ended up being similar to a fast day on Alpenrose (slowest track on the planet), so when I couldn't muscle the 95 up to speed, I "learned something."

I learned that no matter how many times you put on sunscreen, you will get a sunburn in Australia. If you're a fair-skinned Portlander raised under cloudcover, you will fry when riding in circles under the hole in the Ozone layer. No matter what you do.

I learned that a Tasmanian wheelrace is simultaneously the most confusing, exhausting, sketchy, stupid-hard, death-defying race there is. And that was just the heats. I never figured it out well enough to qualify for either of the finals, but the heats were challenge enough. Just making it into a final by the end of this will be a big deal.

I learned that the Tasmanians are pretty cool people. The UCI officials will say "no collusion!" while the Tassie organizers are telling you how it really is so you might have a fighting chance.

I learned that Tasmanians love their carnivals. A sold out crowd of several thousand were in the stands watching us skinny US geeks get "learned." The spectators are great.

I learned that these Australian Olympic riders are not human beings. They are alien cyborgs that eat wallabies and kangaroos in one bite, have rocket booster packs under their skinsuits and can't process things like "fear."

I learned the Japanese are pretty much the same, but with more interesting hair.

I learned that despite being an alien cyborg, Shane Kelly can loves Borat just as much as I do, and is a pretty cool guy.

Anyway. That's the condensed version of the latrobe carnival. The little counter at the bottom of the screen says :12 minutes - 5 dollars: so in conclusion, I'm having a great time, never gone this hard in my life, hurting real bad but hopefully improving, didn't make any finals so not in contention for anything but tomorrow's a new day a new track and I'm out.


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