Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Luke's Farewell

pre-ride planning email:
We need to make him suffer. Lets see if we can make his teeth bleed.

At key points, we need to have him back in the line. person in-front of Luke drops off as the hammer goes down. Make him to lots of bridging. remember, if you've got luke behind you, do no work. even if you're first or second wheel.

Luke behind = stop working.

Key points:
1. Lilly field. make sure he isn't up the front as the road gets steeper.
2. approach to 5 dock shops.
3. Majors Bay. hammer time from the footpath. he corners like a girl so he'll be working hard to get back on.
4. approach to concord shops.
5. usual sprint line. Al, stay out of the action (see 7).
6. surprise hammer up the hill past the station at rhodes.
7. Al's turn. He'll have given it his all in the sprint. make him pay. dearly

any other thoughts?

The Ride
Riders were queuing up to deliver a warm heartfelt goodbye to our man Luke. Scotty made an appearance, along with Thomas at vic road.

Out of Pyrmont and the pace was easy, everyone too busy giving out the hugs goodbye to Luke. As we hit the col Al attacked. Properly. Luke showed no intention of saving himself from embarrassment, so it was up to Scotty to make sure that Luke made it home. Was this going to be a fizzer? was Luke going to let everything go all night? Surely not. maybe the right person just needs to attack. Getting smashed by Al is such a regular thing that I don't think anyone is really embarrassed anymore. mmmm who could cause the ultimate embarrassment. Bob.

It was up to me to deliver something, make him work. I picked my moment, the nice downhill at the start of lillyfield. Out the saddle and quickly up to 58kph. Quick glance back to see that he'd taken both the bait and the bit between the teeth. This could be on. Luke punched hard and was quickly in contact, driving it before Scotty came around and hammered it up the hill to the lights with the rest of the 1750 in tow. mmmm Luke was having an easy time on the Scotty bus. A quick word to Scotty and an explanation of tonight's rules ensured that Scotty wouldn't be dragging Luke anywhere.

Down the hill to the rowers was nice and slow, which gave me an opportunity to explain to Luke what would happen in the sprint tonight. He would be staring at my arse. Oh how wrong this prediction turned out to be. We formed a line behind Luke along the bike path, me in second wheel calling "slowing, slowing" in frustration at the lack of pace. Luke was having none of it. It was time to attack some more.

I picked my moment and darted around Luke at the lights and back onto the road, out the saddle and quickly driving it. Would Luke take the bait? Had I mentioned the sprint too early? I certainly wouldn't want him saving himself. Don’t want to look back tho, so I’ll just hammer it. Glance back as we take the sweeping left hander. And he’s gone for it. Luke, well off the front bridging the gap. I quickly ease up but make the appearance of hammering it as Luke comes shooting past.

No one is really working with Luke out front and we come together on the approach to the roundabout. Harry’s turn to attack. He’s off quickly on the approach to the five dock shops and Luke is showing no interest until Al also goes after Harry. bang. Luke’s in full flight, chasing down the escapees, spilling precious fuel all over the road.

Regrouping at the 5 dock lights and Luke is already showing small signes of the efforts. Nice. But there is some nervousness as we’re all aware of what’s install around the bay. We all make it through a nice clear gap in the cars at the roundabout and it is ON. Scotty, under the instructions of: “If Luke is behind you, don’t work, unless you are going out with a bang.”, was going out with a bang. He was out of the saddle on the limit the whole way. Al is in pursuit but well away from the action with Luke also needing to stand-up to maintain contact with a foaming-out-the-mouth Scotty.

Again, the lights force a regroup. Luke is looking like there is little left in the tank. Could this be the moment? Should I break away for the sprint now and go the whole 1.5k solo? Hell yes. Hammer time up the hill to Concord shops puts a nice gap on the group. We all get through the traffic pretty cleanly and there is a tidy little bit of distance as I head up the hill. Travis and Mike are up the front as I get unlucky at the roundabout, hard on the brakes as a car makes a right hander. Bummer. In the wrong gear and swamped by the group as Al picks his moment. He is away. Luke is not keen and we roll gently around the golf course. Luke knows it’s his last chance and puts his cards on the table. He goes all out on the hospital hill opening up a very tidy gap on the group. Oh no. could this be it? Is Luke really going to pants the lot of us on his final ride?!?!? Will our final memories of Luke be his arse riding off into the sunset? Not if I can help it. Out the saddle and shooting past the group on the hill I see Luke approaching the pinch.


His legs explode. Bits of them come raining down as I go past, followed shortly by the entire 1750. He is toast, badly burnt toast, badly burnt toast in dead last. Unable to even see my (large) arse in the distance. Over the sprint line and still last.

Farewell Luke! Don’t forget to take the long way home via Pyrmont every now and then.

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