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Monday, 30 August 2010

A Pendant.

The stage was once again set. We'd been down at the course all morning, banging in stakes and hanging up bunting. The beer was in the fridge and approximately six thousand vegie dogs were waiting to sizzle. The volunteers from Brunswick Cycling Club had purchased extra RedVines and Sesame Snaps (not to mention ten packs of ginger beer). The Morgan sisters were taking registration next to the vegan bake sale, and both were doing a roaring trade, even before the course was open. The commissaire's clipboard was poised, someone was seen on the rollers, and I was seen doing vocal warmups in the carpark. The third and final Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclocross Race was upon us.

Back at our ancestral homelands - the Harrison Street Velodrome - the course this time featured a number of extra devious additions. The first of these was a run up the side of the embankment leading on to the bike path. Pictured below is Sime, on his first and only lap. Shortly after this photo was taken he disappeared behind the clubrooms for a nasty hangover vomit.

The mudpit from round one was still included in the course, but in the ensuing months it had taken on considerably larger dimensions and a considerably more offensive stench. Which made falling into it hurt even more. Which didn't stop the good folks below from enjoying their time therein.

Sean The Man Hurley

Aron "Grandpa" Hemingway

Gene "On The Run". Sometimes these writeups feel a little bit too Benny Hill for my liking.

And, left to right, Jess, Anne-Michelle and Eleanor. The mudpit became one of the most popular viewing areas - whenever those of us in the middle of the track heard a roar from the mudpit (a roar that would make a Collingwood crowd complain about the noise) we knew someone else had just binned it - and as such it features in a number of photo albums I've linked to below. Jess spent more time in the mud than most people, and as such has her muddy face plastered all over the internet right now. She also won the prizes for best stack, which included a massage from Impact Massage (to soothe her battered body) and a bike service from Commuter Cycles (to soothe her battered bike).

Matt Gray had come second in the open category in the previous two races, and later admitted that he was pretty damn keen on getting the win this time around. And while Dyon Balding held on to his wheel for as long as humanly possible, Matt and his modified, brakeless fixie ended up winning by the proverbial paddock.

But let's face it, the real winner from the open category was Mr Dylan, who rode all three races on his BMX, and was given the persistance award for his efforts. He backed up Sunday's BMX ride with a ride in the CX category, and was heard to remark with earnest surprise how much easier it was on a bike designed for the type of race it was in. True to his roots, however, he is pictured here showing the young 'uns how it's done.

The Bananaspokes Crew came over from Adelaide and had obviously heard about the hotly contested "Best Outfit" award. Pictured is Sam Bell, who not only had that prize in the bag, but also put a lock on first place in the women's CX category, and also - in a shock turn of events - the women's CX aggregate. The Milky Bars were on her all the way home.

Greg Brunt helped set up and take down every course over the last few months, and brought the true Brunswick spirit to every race - that is, to be both fierce and and ridiculous. He was later given the "Inappropribike" award, even though his chicken-and-gumboots combo was more about his outfit.

A widely circulated GIF file from the first race shows Benzy Dowling being sprayed with beer. Here he is exacting revenge. Later those in the crowd simply shrugged their shoulders and said, "Yeah, we probably deserved that."

Eleanor - of Helmets are Hot Blog fame - is a poet. No kidding, she gets paid to write poems and read them out to people. So it's perhaps not altogether that surprising that this was her first ever venture into organized sport. Yeah, no kidding - no poison ball in primary school, no netball in highschool, no university drinking games. I can only hope that we encouraged her, and a future of living to beat the bejesus out of others is ahead of her. Either that or she writes a sweet poem about Cyclocross.

Huw Vellacot of Commuter Cycles was on hand early, offering free 'race prep' for the bikes of racers, and generally adding an air of charm and sophistication to proceedings. Somehow he made it around the entire course seven times with an open fourpack of Heinekens in his basket and didn't spill a drop.

After the race was done a call went up for the organizing team to have a crack at the course. One hot, timed lap. The course record was 4 minutes 57 seconds. Only the commentator - ie, me - took up the offer. A bike was procured, shoes and helmet donned, and the race of truth was on. The seconds ticked by. People began to look at each other. Perhaps I'd binned it? Perhaps I'd got lost? But when I returned to the track a new record was set. Yep, 4.11. The trash talking was a little quieter later in the day.

After a free barbecue (vegan!) and a number of free beers presentations were once again held in the Brunswick Cycling Club clubrooms. More than thirty people received prizes in the end - almost one third of those racing. Because that's how we roll. Rolling like this, however, means that you give out some prizes for spurious reasons. Youngest rider went to Emily Hughes, oldest Rider was meant to go to Geoff Lees, but he wasn't there, so it went to some other old bloke. King of the Hill went to Sime for his Vom, and Mrs Helpful went to Kimberly Morgan for her work at the rego table.

But there were some serious prizes.

The women's open category was dominated by newcomer Caff Harmsen, who rolled down on her Polo bike, spokecards intact. Second was Helen Newman and third was Emma Caddy. Jess Morgan, pictured looking glum behind them, came fourth.

The men's open category was full of the usual suspects, however, with 28 Jays Dougrey (right) taking out third, Dyon Balding (left) coming home second and Matt Gray (centre) romping home for the win. Interesting to note that both Matt and Jay were riding brakeless fixies. And hipsters think they're hard because they roll brake free in the city...

The women's CX category was also made up entirely of new faces, which we like to see! They were rewarded for their bravery with prizes from Rapha, courtesy of Malachai at Northside Wheelers. That's Ann-Michelle Greenward in third on the right, crowd favourite Laura "ChoongDeath" Choong in second on the left and the irrepressible Sam Bell in first.

The men's CX category was also dominated by the usual suspects, though this picture is a little misleading. On the right is one of Dyon Balding's children, standing in for Chris Carr. Chris, I have your third prize, and will give it to your sister. Good luck getting it off her. On the left is Sam Beck's dog, which was a totally awesome dog. Sam came second, and is pictured standing next to his dog. First was proud dunlop volley wearer Lewis Rattray.

Aggregate prizes were also given out, but the photographers must've been tired by this point, because there aren't many pictures of these winners. So I'll just write them out:

Women's Open
1. Jess Morgan
2. Emma Caddy

Men's Open
1. Matt Gray (well duh!)
2. Dyon Balding (double duh!)

Women's CX
1. Sam Bell
2. Alison Heskes (Alison didn't race on Sunday, but fortunately rocked up to watch...)

Men's CX
1. Lewis Rattray
2. Sam Beck

Now this I have a picture of:

Thanks to Scooter from Impact Massage for the "Wine Flavoured Beverage" (no kidding, that's what it said on the bottle) which he swiped from the Tour of Gippsland. We had earlier given Sam a "Mr Helpful" award for consistently sticking around to help pull out stakes and pack up bunting, but we considered taking it away from him after he made the whole room stink of cheap wine.

The raffle for the brand spanking new Jamis CX bike was up next. Leigh De Luca from Jamis was there to do the honours, and nine year old Emily Hughes was acting as barrell girl. There was no cheating, but in a strangely bizarre turn of events the new bike was won by the same bloke who won everything else, Lewis Rattray.

He told me afterwards he considered handing it back, but Leigh decided that fair was fair and Lewis should keep the bike. Who could deny the boy his hard won fortune?

Unlike round 2 there were no major booboos to report, but sometime after the race Sean The Man sent me this pic of himself:

Though I think it was also distributed to Lewis. Those are some sexy feet.

In closing, I'd like to once again thank all of our sponsors for their support - they are all listed there on the right, and you should click them. It was nice that you too seemed to be supporting those who support us - I would've needed to remove my shoes to count the number of very new looking Jamis CX bikes by the last round, Huw was kept busy with bike prep all morning, and I was proud to hear that Coffee Supreme were once again drunk dry. Those of you who won vouchers should totally cash them in, because apparently few people ever do. And those of you who didn't win anything should definitely come back next year. We'll find a reason to give you something.

Certain people need to be singled out for special thanks, and maybe a subtle in-joke that only we will get, like the liner notes to a Fugees record. Sam McGregor for helping set up every round and being the voice of the enviroment when I "just want to f**king chuck all those f**king bottles in the f**king bin", Greg Brunt for hilarity and also helping set up each course, the entire Morgan family - Helen, Dave, Jess and Kimberly for continuing to devote untold hours to the Brunswick Cycling Club, Angry Andrew for leaving his wife and newborn at home so he could help us set up, everyone who helped pull out stakes and coil up bunting after the races were done, the folks at the vegan bake sale - who raised over $5oo for Edgar's Misson over the three races, Caseymoira and Papa Janno for rocking the free barbecue at the end, The Blakey for tireless support of all of our dumb ideas, Nonie Carr for once again helping out with administrative duties, all the riders, all the racers, all the supporters, all the hecklers, the beersprayers, the cowbell ringers, the trumpet blowers, the people who laughed at my jokes, the photographers, the gatorade hander-upper-ers, the mudpit hooligans, whoever is in charge of the weather for making sure it rains the week before but is fine on the day of the races (I think it's Al Gore), and anyone else who just came along, talked some crap about bikes with their friends, watched some people ride around and had a hell of a time. Thanks.

We'd also like to thank our girlfriends, who have almost forgotten what we look like over the past few months. Though there are no photos of Nath, here's one of Nik:

And one of me:

So they will remember us next year.

Photos as usual used without permission, and stolen from the following. I'll add more as they come in. You may need to log into facebook for some of them.

Shane Ford, and also here.
The Blakey.
Old Mate, and also here.
Cam Wells.
Stu's Report.

See you next winter!


  1. Thanks Brendan, Nik, Nathan et al. It was a cracker series capped off by a brilliant day of mud and guts on Sunday. See you next year, and check out Cam's photos.... http://www.flickr.com/photos/camehbro/sets/72157624843224110/

  2. Again, thanks for putting on the CX series guys, much appreciated by many many more people besides myself, although I only rode the open. Looking forward to at the very least hearing of other races, even if I can not be here for them. Am now looking further into the Qld CX scene thanks to you.

    By the way, here is a link to a little video I found on bike site from up north. Enjoy.


  3. Thanks for such a great series - I really, really enjoyed it. I was too scared to race the first round, but after seeing everyone having so much fun then I had to join in. I am now even considering a cross bike as the peeps in the CX category looked like they were having too much fun! :)

    Btw, I think there is a slight miscalculation for the women's open aggregate scores.

    After round 2 they looked like this:
    11 points - Jess Morgan***
    7 points - Helen Newman***, **
    5 points - Emma Caddy***

    So after round 3 they should have looked like this:
    14 - Jess Morgan
    12 - Helen Newman
    9 - Emma Caddy


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