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Aussie break

The Willo Sock.

The Willo Sock. (Image credit: Trent Wilson)

July 21, 2007

G'day,

I'd like to start this diary off by asking the question.. Where has the wave gone?? I have barely got home from my 5 hour ride, had a shower and eaten quickly so I could write this down, or type it out.

My last Sunday in Sydney before heading back to the States I headed into the city to do the Coluzzi bunch ride before heading through Bobin Head and Galston Gorge solo. There were a lot of riders out this morning due to the good weather after Sydney's shocking weather of late. As I do and always have I wave to fellow riders coming the other way, but lately and in particular today with no response. I was pissed! I passed at least 100 peloton Sports/Turramarra riders strung out over about 10km. It is great that they have these kinds of numbers, but at what cost? I have heard numerous stories of this group telling other riders to piss off or actually asking them, don't they have any friends?

Cycling is one of the lucky sports where anyone from the ages of 15yrs old to 75yrs old can ride together, be friends and drink coffee. Not many other sports have that variety of ages competing or riding together. Cycling is known as a friendly sport and everyone gets on well together and chats for hours while riding. What has happened to the common comaraderary? I am happy to see so many riders out on a Sunday morning but where's the respect for other riders? Out of the 100 odd riders from peloton Sports (all dressed in their red, white and blue colors) I reckon I got one wave, two head nods and three "hey Willo" and that's cause I knew them. At one stage I felt like giving a few of them the bird as they looked at me in shock, as if I would wave.

On another subject of riding in Sydney, I think the traffic (touch wood) is getting better. I don't know if it's due to the Tour de France being on at the moment or the increasing awareness of cyclist on the road but I haven't encountered too many grippo's on the road while being home this time. I have this fantasy that if you look pro, dressed in the same kit and hooking in a bit, driver's give you more respect because you don't look like a tourist but I could be living in hope there. Except for the one Einstein that decided to stop and enlighten me on why I should be on the road as I apparently don't pay road taxes there haven't been too many dramas. Especially since it's been way too cold and I have been way too soft to head out early and therefore I have been leaving right in the middle of morning peak hour traffic.

Ok, with all that out the way my trip back to Oz for the month was good. I had my first piece of an Aussie winter since 1999. I realized I haven't missed much, though it's been the wettest and coldest winter in a while I have been told. The drought decided to break the first week I was home so training was on the back burner that week. The past fortnight though has been great and perfect to do miles in.

The first weekend I was home I headed to the Central Coast for my mate Streaty's wedding, which was a ball but the jet lag was knocking me out early, or was it the red wine?

A few weekend ago I headed to Gunnadah for the two day racing weekend. It was a fun weekend and brought me back to old days, maybe too much actually. The police carry on as if they don't want the race there, well they actually don't and the commissars don't make thing any easier on us when they fine riders for a winning salute and other offenses. A police car pulled in front of the bunch on the first day with 2km to and hit the breaks. We all went around him on millimeters over the right side of the road, coping fines and paying for their drinks that night. I was a bit out numbered during the weekend with the majority of the field being FRF/NSWIS but it made for some hard racing. I ran third on the Sunday and it was great to see my training partner Brendan 'Old mate' Jones get up for the win.

The month at home went very fast, and I hardly got a chance to catch up with anyone. The people I did get to catch up with though have been very busy with babies, marriage proposals and house. It's all happening at the moment with my mates.

Also check out the new model of socks that our sock sponsor just brought in. I have brought sock height to a new level.

I am back to the States tomorrow to rest up for a week before Tour Toona.

Number of riders I passed on a Sunday ride: 100
Number of waves: 3
Number of head nods: 2
Number of shocked riders to see another rider acknowledge them: 95
Number of kms in the first week at home: 60
Number of kms done in the last week at home: 900
Number of mates having/had kids: 3
Number of marriage proposals: 2
Number of State of Origins watched since between 99-06: 0
Number of State of Origins watched in 07: 1.5

Cheers Willo

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Trent Wilson

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Trent "Willo" Wilson is in his second year with the Continental Pro team Colombia Selle Italia. Follow his progress and get a taste of Aussie humour as he lights up the road in Europe. Trent also his own web site at www.trentwilson78.com where you can find out even more about this Sydney rider.