Making a 'dick' of myself at the finish line.

I was a novice rider doing the cycle sections in a duathalon from Taupo to Mt Maunganui.

As I crossed the finish line I was feeling really pleased with myself so I took my hands off the handle bars just as I had seen on TV. The front wheel twisted and I did a spectacular crash still going at some speed.

The only saving grace to my pride was that I had travelled a little way down from the finish line by the time I came off and the spectators were looking that those crossing the line behind me.

Bad gravel graze though! The first of a few to come. My wife still reminds me of this incident from time to time.


Downhill Wipeout

I was out on a training ride with 36 other cyclist. The peloton was in single file winding its way down a very steep downhill section. Unbeknown to me a rider in front had misjudged a left hand bend and hit the bank on the right hand side of the road. His bike then bounced back into the centre of the road.

I came round the bend at 60km/37mile per hr and hit his bike. It broke my forks off at the top. I somersaulted over the handle bars landing, fortunately, flat on my back, completely shattering the back of my helmet and sent me sliding down the road. I was briefly unconscious. The rider that hit the bank had a punctured lung and broken collar bone. We both ended up in an ambulance and taken to hospital. Other than badly bruised and gravel grazed I survived quite well. The other rider was badly knocked about and took several months to recover.

The twist to this story was that the rider that hit the bank was my training partner. Of all the 36 possibilities it was he and I that ended up in the ambulance together.


Road rage can be hard to control.

I consider myself as a tolerant person that does not get into a flap easily. But we all have our limits when "pushed".

I was cycling back home through town with a colleague after a training ride. The traffic had stopped at a red light. I, as I have done so many times before, balanced myself (my feet were clipped in) by putting my hand lightly onto the roof at the back corner of a car. The guy in the passenger side wound down his window and told me to "get my f#@*#king hand off the car". I might point out here that this car was in very poor condition. It was not a highly polished BMW that I was putting finger marks on. Although taken back by his reaction I obliged without any comment.

To keep my balance I then very slowly made my way up the inside of his car. When I got level with his door he opened it and it pushed me off my bike.

I got up unhurt. This guy had a long goatee beard. I put my hand through his open window, grabbed his beard and pulled his head out of the window and proceeded to abuse him explaining to him his lack of parentage. His wife in the driving seat was yelling at me, the kid in the back was crying. I threw his head back inside and got back on my bike. He must have decided he had met his match because he stayed in the car massaging his chin and made no further challenge.

I really was not proud of what I did but under that circumstance I believe it was understandable.


Over the Handle Bars --- again!

A fortnight earlier I had ridden a superb local event. I started in the main peloton and rode with them taking my turn at the front. I was among riders superior to myself but I was on fire and felt good. At the uphill finish I was dropping riders and came in with a good placing.

That was two weeks earlier and I was lined up for another event being held at a local country town. I thought I would use the same tactic.

Not long out the peloton split leaving me in the back group. I went to bridge the gap and finally made it but was exhausted when I got there. They were hammering along. I could not recover. In that exhausted state I went to change down a gear but instead I pulled on the front brake. The front wheel locked and there I was again on the road. Fortunately I did not bring anyone else down. This time I had a fracture in my right arm and the usual gravel graze. Strategies and tactics don't always work.


The biggest highlight

The most memorable ride would have to be in the year 2000 when I did the 160km/100mile ride around Lake Taupo with a time of 5hr 17min. www.cyclechallenge.com

I know others do it faster but for me that was great. It took an enormous amount of training. I had worked out food and drink requirement so I would not "hit the wall" which is a danger on these long rides. I had not expected to do it anywhere near that time.

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