October 9, 2006
I better get used to saying that! I will explain in due course.
Last time I wrote I was coming into some fine form, I had just won three races and was looking forward to the last couple of one day races on the program including the Sun Tour. I had planned spending mid-October resting up and catching up on all the things which have been left wanting for the past six-months.
Well, things don't always go to plan. I pulled up with a sore leg and was told to rest it for a week. No probs - put the feet up and recharge the batteries. Unfortunately, one week turned into three, and I realised I would not be doing the Sun Tour! So, here I am. My leg is 100%, but as my fitness is down I wouldn't be much use to my team mates during a tour. I am now riding again, getting fit, enjoying the sunny weather up here in the Blue Mountains, and enjoying the company of my old man (dad) on a couple of the rides we have around here (by the way, he goes pretty hard for a dude who will be 60 in January!)
I have been asked to ride a tour in China in November with the team so it will be nice to get back into the swing of things. I have never turned the pedals in anger during November, but then again I have never 'pulled up stumps' (taken a break) so early in the year. Change is as good as a holiday! During my time off I was, however, able to accept an invitation as guest speaker at a Valedictory dinner held at my old school. That was a blast from the past and a very enjoyable evening, even if I am beginning to feel old!
You may be wondering why I am throwing around so many 'aussie-isms'- I am trying to get them all out before I embark on yet another change in my career. I will be heading off to the U.S of A for 2007, Yee Haa! Super size me up! Yes, I would like fries with that! I received an offer to ride with Jittery Joes from Athens, Georgia (hence the Howdy!). I will be riding alongside a few rogue Aussies, Trent Wilson, Jeff Hopkins and Tommy Nankervis. We will all be clad in orange for 2007, and I'm looking forward to it. You can check out the team's website, thebeanteam.com. Then you can go to the online store and order up big with the coffee from the Jittery Joes roasting company!
I must thank my current team, FRF Couriers/ExcelPro, and in particular Frank Fortuna, Andy Portess and Argon18 bikes. At the end of last year, after what I would describe as a pretty dismal season, I returned to OZ without much in the way of future job prospects. I hadn't had a great season, and my old team was doing a bit of restructuring. I had a meeting with Frank basically at the 11th hour and came to an agreement. I ended up having my best season, and was able to do some new and exciting races. It was a learning curve for all involved, and for a first year DS, Andy Portess did a fantastic job.
The race program that we had in our first year was quite impressive and I believe we left our mark on a few of the bigger races that we did. For a development squad, it has served it's purpose well, and has exposed some of the younger riders with an insight into what a cyclist's life entails. Thanks to all my team mates from the "angry little elf!" To be able to leave a team with support from the owner and also the sports director is fantastic, I appreciate it and must extend my gratitude to all involved with the team this year.
So now I am looking forward to finishing off my season with the FRF team at the upcoming tour in China and then the new Criterium to be held at Cronulla in December. Then it will be full steam ahead into the New Year and the Bay Series in early January.