I mentioned in an earlier post (6 June 2012) that I hadn’t yet had an article published in Checkpoint; and why, I still haven’t, even though I couldn’t say for sure why I still haven’t. (Actually, there have been plenty of real cycling articles in it lately, a lot of big ride reports. And a very interesting article about an Audax Wife who photographs cemeteries, which helps to contribute to the photographic database that helps people trying to track down family histories and build family trees. There’s a purpose for everything and a job for everyone, it seems, even if they’re not cyclists.)
I work at it a lot, though, at least in my mind. It’s entitled, What I did while you lot were out cycling hundreds of kilometres in the wind and rain/scorching heat (whichever is appropriate; I deliberately leave some details vague). Each year, when the Fleche Oppy 24-hour team ride comes around, I find myself mentally writing a very long article indeed, because it always coincides with a rowing regatta, sometimes an important one. And if it’s the full 360 kilometres and the team that Dr B is riding with will camp overnight at our house? Yes, there are considerations there, there are indeed.
One year, while they were toiling up steep hills, I was driving Boy to an away regatta, braving the morning fog and what have you to ensure his presence where he was needed at the required hour. Then while they were toiling up more hills, I was doing a food dash to the local bakery to buy lots of food for hungry rowers (that prodigious appetite again). While they were descending hills, I was too, driving my sleepy Boy home from a day of rowing where he had seemed constantly to just miss out on victory but, despite that, had had a great day because he’d rowed hard and well. He sleepily commented that Australia is a big country because there are European countries we could have crossed several times in our day’s driving. He and his various crews had worked hard while Dr B and his team had worked hard.
Me? Well, you know, I sat about on the bank and watched and cheered and took lots of photos and found this, that and the next thing when asked (including that food I mentioned), and did all the driving (covering not quite as many kilometres in the car as Dr B on his bike) because that’s what I do.
In that particular year, the away regatta meant then having to set up bedding for overnight cyclists when Boy and I got home. We had to find mattresses and I had to locate bedlinen and it was all just a horrible rush and I was more than usually flustered when the team turned up. The previous year, I’d had an at-home regatta that gave me ample time to do the running about and find mattresses and bedlinen as well as prepare food.
The most recent Fleche Oppy, coming after Dr B’s accident, turned out to be a shorter one, a Petit Oppy. He took himself to the start while Boy and I went to rowing. It was the school state championships regatta and our school was the host club, which meant that for once someone else took photos for the school but only because I was doing other things: handing out bow numbers all morning and scrutineering most of the afternoon. Volunteering for the latter was a cunning ploy because it meant I was able to watch Boy’s Schoolboy VIII crew in its first ever race. So, yeah, I just had a good time while the boys were knocking themselves out in their respective sports, really.
Dr B came home for the night but we didn’t have to accommodate anyone else, so at least I wasn’t running about trying to find bedding and the like. I took him to the next morning’s 6 o’clock start then came home and just, you know, bummed about a bit laundering and doing all that sort of nonessential rubbish, before picking him up from the finish point at about 8.00. Sometimes I’m rushing about doing stuff and can’t rake up the energy to write, although I almost always have a notebook with me.
And today? Today I’ve been providing Audax input in a quite different manner. I’ve been trying to think up clever names for a 1000 Km ride that Dr B is organising for next year. It’s based on a shorter one he already convenes but he didn’t want the names to be so similar that folk would think it was just the same ride stretched out a bit. The Copper Coast Wanderer offers several distances up to 600 Km. The 1000 is that and nothing else. You can see why the extra distance required new nomenclature.
The ride takes in most of South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, which is shaped somewhat like a leg; hence my immediate suggestion of the Shake a Leg 1000. I’d also proffered several other catchy suggestions, alluding to the maritime and agricultural history of the area, but this morning YoungB came up with a couple of delightfully ironic suggestions that had us in stitches and clearly beat my wit to a pulp. What do you think, for instance, of the Life’s a Breeze 1000? Dr B is conducting a poll among the Audaxians. And, no, I don’t suppose I’ll be writing about it though I’ll take my notebook with me when I’m doing support work, I’m sure!
More importantly than any of that – really – Karen has launched her Apronalong . Go get your button now. I’ve got mine! Although, unfortunately, my button doesn’t seem to be working, I’m sure you’ll be able to make yours work. And I’ll keep trying with mine.
Also, in case you were wondering, YoungB was still Boy at those rowing regattas. I haven’t really mixed it up!