It has been a while. MMT has been decompressing from an awful AFL season, work, 2 weeks of non-COVID respiratory illness and child induced deprivation. Much to his surprise he’s discovered that nearly 2 months has passed since his last blog entry. It really does seem such a long, long time ago. In that time, the La Vuelta, Olympics, UCI World Championships and….finally an actual Paris-Roubaix with rain and mud, have occurred. MMT will spend some mulling that over in a future blog.
However what is really on MMT’s mind is bicycle maintenance, bike shops, Shimano parts and COVID…again. MMT took his beloved Trek Domane SLR 6 in for a service, after an irritating creaking noise started a 3 month old replacement bottom bracket. MMT figured that some crud had flicked up off the road and strategically landed in the bearings. Sadly this turned out to be worn out crankset that simply wasn’t sitting on the bearings correctly. Mine you it took MMT to chase up the said bike shop to find that out.
Whilst chasing up bike shops to do their jobs, isn’t a new experience for MMT, being told that he had no hope in the short term of replacing the Shimano Ultegra 50-34t with similar model. Shimano has no available parts in Australia and there was no indication when they would be come available. Surprise!!! its been seriously impacted by COVID. A quick Google seemed to confirm that no one local seemed to have them either. Instead the said bike offered a silver Durace 53-39t….WTF. The good news is that crank is $400 and could be resold, the bad news is that it doesn’t match the rest of the group set in brand or colour and will be an absolute bitch to pedal up hill….sigh.
So with had recent experience MMT returned to the solace of the wonderful cycling cartoonist Dave Walker. Here’s what Dave drew that exactly capture the ripped off feeling MMT has.
MMT seems to be practising acceptance in lieu of the alternative which means putting the Domane up on a rack in the garage until parts become available. Levels of fury indeed.
By any measure the year 2020, has been completely crap. As far as MMT can tell, the only other thing, besides this awful COVID-19 pandemic, that anyone will remember is that Trump didn’t get re-elected. However, MMT is thankful that his support team a.k.a. family hasn’t caught this dreadful virus and that he is still employed. There are many, many people in the world that can’t say that.
MMT would prefer to remember 2020 as the year where he saw his kids grow up at close range, he lost about 8kg and rode over 11,000km. The last two points of the sentence are, invariably related 😉 Certainly, an initial strict application of the 5:2 diet helped alot, in much the same way Christmas pigging out hasn’t.
However, MMT was surprised by his Strava stats for 2020. He was less thrilled that Strava only made them available through the app. So what follows below is a hastily taken set of screen shots from his iPhone. Eventually, MMT will update his ride log and do a Festive 500 blog.
Of course it was too good to last. Back in May, Australia looked like it had dodged a COVID-19 bullet. Now that bloody virus gotten loose loose in Northern Melbourne and trigger this new stage 3, 6 week lockdown. Almost all the COVID-19 cases in Australian are in Victoria at present. About the only silver lining in this awful mess, is that road traffic around Melbourne has reduced significantly, which is great for cyclists. Who knows may be Melbournians will adopt the bike as their preferred mode of transport.
MMT took a snap shot of a great Mark Knight cartoon, that is in all honesty is bit rough on Victorian Preimer Dan Andrews. However it does capture the mood of frustration about how Victoria’s quaratine system was clearly being run by muppets. It appears that the Rydges on Swanston in Carlton and the Stamford Plaza in Melbourne’s city centre have been the epicentre for this new surge….WTF…. As the number of new cases keeps bounding along in the high 400’s, it will be interesting to see how the security company running fares in the recently announced inquiry.
Now speaking of stuff ups, something very odd is going on the Garmin Connect website. MMT has been trying to upload today’s ride around the Capital City trail when he encountered this error. Its been down for nearly 8 hours, which is seriously weird, given that its probably sitting on a Google or AWS cloud. MMT will be really f%#ked off if his 56 km ride disappears in into thin air. He finally navigated, clockwise the Capital City Trail, on the third attempt.
MMT checked a few social media groups and tried the website again tonight and its apparent something has gone wrong. Even an a UK newspaper, The Independant, has reported the outage. Someone at Garmin must be having a very bad day. In word…bugger..may be the website has caught COVID-19 or been done over by Chinese hackers…conspiracy theories run wild.
Just may be the worst is over for Europe, Asia and Australia on the COVID-19 front. The curve has well and truly been flattened in Australia and just may be life may return to ‘closer to normal’. Cycling in Melbourne over the last 6 weeks has been good, social distancing and general lock down have meant alot less cars on the road. However, it has meant MMT has a few more triathletes wearing silly aero suits in poor weather.
MMT feels oscillating sympathy and contempt for triathletes. Any sport based on cycling is tautologically good. Adding running and swimming is a bit of unnecessary animal husbandary with surf life saving, in MMT’s humble opinion. The utter seriousiness that triathetes have doing cycle training on Beach Road is some what amusing and very pretentious.
MMT has been told to ‘F#@k off’ a few times while wheel sucking and seen a few ‘interesting’ interactions with other cyclists over the years. MMT is routinely annoyed by disruptions caused by triathlon events, whose road hogging is enforced by barriers and hostile volunteer marshals.
However, MMT has been saving a Facebook post that he saw a few years ago in cycling group. This post clearly shows a better use for aero bars so beloved by triathletes. Enjoy 🙂