I forgot a major thingy in my last diary; the jobby job job. So I have just graduated from Fort Lewis College in December with a Degree in Exercise Science. My concentration is on coaching. Go figure; something I have already been doing for almost two decades now. Anyway, most of you know I love Tasmania, so when I hear the Head Coaching for Tasmania is becoming available in the next couple of months; I decide to apply for the position. Two things to note here:
1. My Teammates are a little worried and bummed out that I am applying for the job. After they realise that if I am hired it would not only benefit Tasmania but them too, they begin to calm down and understand the philosophy of 'the greater good'. Psst, it is winter in the US during the Tazzy summer and summer in the US during the Tazzy winter. This could lead to possible exchange programs and stuff; lots of potential opportunities that help the sport.
2. Is this too early for me to quit biking? To be honest with you, probably yes would be the answer but I would retire for this job. Mark Jamieson's dad, Kevin, asked me why I would quit biking while I was still winning at the World Cup Level. I told him you have to take opportunity when it exists. I have accomplished enough in my career to retire satisfied. This job is exactly the level I want to coach at and exactly where I want to live. I had to give it a go.
Long story short, I apply and get through the first cut and I get to the interview process. I am pretty psyched but I am keeping myself pretty reserved. Even though I have a lot of support and the blessings of many Tasmanians, the rumor is that they already know who they want and think he will do an excellent job. That is cool; I'll just go with the flow and give it my best shot. So I strike a dilly bar (deal) with Rik McCaig and set up a trip back to Australia to do the Bendigo Madison. It correlated with my interview beautifully. The added extra bonus feature was that I was able to catch up with some friends that I hadn't seen for a while and we all went to 'TWO TRIBES' together and held hands, sang songs and ate cookies for 16 hours. Sorry, tangent, back to the interview. Shazammi, it goes well and I am actually hopeful now. During the next couple of weeks so many people are coming up to me and telling me that I'll get the job for sure and stuff like that. I am beginning to believe the hype a bit. Psst, that is never a good thing. Anyway, I said long story short so I will just flat out say the result: I DID NOT GET THE JOB. I am very disappointed but that is the way it goes and you know what, maybe Mr Jamieson is right. Maybe it is too early for me to call it quits. It is not like I hate racing my bike or anything. The job becomes available again in January of 2009 so maybe I'll race until then and then apply right after the Burnie Wheel.
So we're in beautiful LA, home of the body bag and Worlds start in four weeks. There is about a zero chance that I would be able to stay in camp for this long and keep my insanity (conform - never) so that is another good reason why I did the Bendigo Madison. I will now steal a statement from 1990 but I will give credit to the person who said it. "There are only about two people that I do not hate here, and one of them doesn't use rope as dental floss." Something to that effect, but that probably isn't spot on. I've changed my mind. I am not going to give credit to this person. I am turning it into a contest. I gave you the quote and the year. I want the person and the Continent that it was said on. The only other hints I will give you is that he is an Olympian and many considered him back then mean and bitter. The prize is a surprise to whoever gets it right. Spelling counts, and if I get two answers within the same hour that are correct, the tie breaker is who was he referring to about the 'using rope as' and what place did he get in his first Olympics.
Ready, set, go!!!
Anyhow, I used the above line because I'm not a big fan of a few people on the US Team and some of their helpers so I needed a break from the BS. Being able to get back to my favourite Island Continent for a kick azz event and interview was a great effort.
All in all, the camp was fine. We all had our own rooms at the Extended Stay America but I had no cell phone reception in my room so I always had to walk outside to talk to my people. I used my enforcer/assistant to my advantage to keep annoying personnel off me during training. Thanks Josh. The LA track is so awesome but at the same time is so lame. Perfect track, you couldn't ask for any better but you can't motor pace with anything but electric bikes because there is no ventilation system in the building. This is so lame. Another psst, there are many ventilation systems in most of the covered velodromes on this planet and they still motor pace with real motorcycles on them. Only in America is all I have to say.
The other unbelievably lame aspect is that there are no bathrooms or storage rooms on the infield level. I know we are in Cally so stuff is major expensive but for 13 million dollars or so, I would expect a little more. Beggars can't be choosers so I am thankful that we have an indoor facility. I love that it is the classic design and not the new wave circle fishbowl tracks that have been built in the last decade. Supposedly, the new track in Victoria is also a classic 'cigar' shape.
Big bad Booby Lea is tearing up the track, does a 2:06 flying 2km about a week before his Championship ride. Becky is also flying - is well on her way to her best performance ever. In training, she did a standing 375 metre in 27.3 seconds without a front disc or aero helmet; that is faster than your average cheetah. I, however, lost any form I had on the airplane to and from Australia. I'm looking hard for it but until I find it, I will just do what I do best and motor pace like a fiend, super fast and enjoy doing it.
Other action, other aspects? The Dutch Team is about as impressive as it gets nowadays. The 'TKO Big Boss Man' is the newest real deal. Cool thing is that all of you are allowed to like him. I give you permission. He is not an arrogant prick. A lot of guys get good and change, he isn't one of them. I like the new breed of Jobi, Ryan B, the English Sprinter Dudes and TKO. Somewhere in the mid 90's if you were fast on the bike, you started to think your poopies didn't stink. I have an ancient Chinese secret for you, they always stink. Hats off to the New Kids on the Block (remember that boy band) and these new top class bikers too, they have the right frame of mind.
Let's see, more secrets. Well, we all knew for about 6 months that USAC was hiring Gary West but we all thought it was going to happen in November, not April. I'm all for it. I've known him for over 12 years. He is a no nonsense guy that is very knowledgeable and well organised, and I learned more from him and Charley Walsh in '93-'94 than anyone else with regard to training and coaching, ever. Hopefully USAC will allow him to do his thing. I have always seen him be fair and that is all most athletes want.
Sorry, I got a little off track there. Must be all the fibre I've been eating. I think we saw some nice upsets, some new faces and a glimpse at things to come at these Worlds. Some of the obvious BS that has to change is the bicycle weighing. Some imbecile at the UCI forgot to put the word 'road' when making the weight limit rule for bikes in their book. Bikes have to weigh at least 6.8 kg according to the UCI. Well that is great if you are at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. If you are one of us smaller folk, why should we have to put lead weights in our seat tubes to make our bike safer/heavier? My bike is stock steel straight up with nothing funny. Fix the rule, it is lame. Some people have been calling the shift in seasons with regard to the Worlds as the 'Winter Experiment' and believe that it won't last long. I can see both sides. It really isn't good for the US and it isn't good for College students (there isn't anytime that a semester fits in well anymore).
Award time! Best ride goes to Jobi (Dagger) Dajka, giving TKO the KO in the sprint quarter final. Runner ups go to the Meares sisters in their semi final rides. They lost but they did it in style. Sneak Attack from the Back Move goes to the Brits in the Madison. That was tight as a dolphins butt (water tight). Bone Head Move of the Year goes to the UCI of course for their scheduling. Put the Keirin on the last day! It is the most dangerous event on the planet. Let the riders finish their other events before they attempt to commit suicide. I had picked the BK Broiler (Ben Kersten) for the upset win in the Kilo but his outstanding form that had been with him for about four months just ran out at the wrong time. Speaking of that, did any of you see the US results from the Worlds? Hell yeah, we rule. Bobby Bruce Lea did a great job of doing an imitation of the chicken dance at a wedding. Sorry Bobby, that is a little mean but we need to show everyone how good you really are in real competition one of these days. He did a 4:44 at Worlds, and two weeks before USAC made him do a trial run and he did a 4:38. He had better form at Worlds, so..? Plenty of time to find out what is up; he is like four years old or something. My prize disciple, Becky C, tried to pull the gate with her in her 500 TT. It really wasn't her fault. The UCI, in their second smooth move of Worlds, decided to change the gates they were using for the competition the day before it all started. So many Kilo and 500 riders blew their start because these gates were releasing later than the others, it was stupid. All that everyone needs to know is that Becky rocks! It is not just one moment that defines, Becky. It is the sum of all the parts, and your current sum exceeds almost everyone's that I've ever known and it is still growing.
As for me, well, I gave it my shot at 10.75 to go and was caught at 3.75 to go. I really didn't have any form to speak of so I am not really disappointed. If I waited for a sprint all I was going to be able to do is follow the wheel and I wanted to have a chance to win so I saw the opportunity and let her fly. The crowd went nutz when I got that gap. I will always remember that. I learned some important lessons here in the last few months. Ones that I will use in the future. I have no one but myself to blame about my back and the circumstances that lead to my bad form. I didn't want to say this BUT I will try my very best to make sure I am in top form for next year's Worlds in Bordeaux, France. I really don't like Bordeaux, but never give up and never surrender, that is the motto.
So we are in LA, a pretty cool town (for some) and what do some of the Germans and Australians do as soon as they are finished racing? They jump in cars and head to Vegas! I think most foreigners regard Vegas as much more fun and action packed than most Americans do. I was heading that way so I went too, but I go the rides. The new cool move is to go to the Stratosphere and ride the 'Big Shot', but here is the key; you are not allowed to look at what it does before you ride it. If you go into that puppy with no idea what is going to happen, it is a trip. I think the girl next to me pooped her pants. It was cute but stinky. Vegas has so many rides that it is nuts. They are building more on top of the Stratosphere as I write. One of my favorite things to do in Vegas though is to watch the drunk people at the breakfast buffets at 9am. Every hour on the hour, you can see someone in Vegas that has had one too many drinks and that drink is usually in their hand since they have an open container law there.
I also stopped in Prescott, AZ on my way back to dirty Durango. I really like that little town. It has some of the best loops for training and is at over 5,000 ft. While I was there in my hotel the last night, this young girl established a record of having like 20 donuts or something crazy like that. I was going to head to Tucson from there but the shocks on my truck were going bad so I drove straight back to Colorado.
I guess I better put something in here about autistic pirates or the title won't fit. Well, the story goes that the movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean' came out and I got all of these phone calls last summer. For some reason, people think I act, walk or talk like Captain Jack Sparrow but that I am a bit more autistic (I'm a bit of a numbers freak). I don't see it or believe it so whatever. You can be the judge.
Now that you are all caught up; I will bring you 'THE PLAN OF ATTACK' in the very very near future. It has Mt Biking Madness, Spider Bites, Heavy Bags, A New Cool Sport, A Pink Bianchi, Squirrel Dreams and much much more.
OK, I straight out apologise for dropping the ball and falling behind on these diaries. It will not happen again. I know I skipped a lot of funny stuff in these last two so I apologise to those that I have left out. You know I love you and I have not forgotten our special times together.
Next one in less than a week...wanna bet?