Tuesday, February 5, 2013

House Husband

My wife used to finish work before me and as I was often trying to clock up extra km's on the bike on my way home from work, she was usually home well before me.

Being the spectacular woman that she is, my wife got started on dinner so that when I arrived home it was ready to go. Afterwards, it was my job to wash the dishes. My wife always said that she would love to swap jobs and that she preferred to clean up than cook.

I'm not gonna lie... I'm a stereotypical male. I don't think about making the bed, I just throw my clothes into the cupboard, I can never find things because I don't look properly and I hate doing chores.

Now that cycling is my job, the tables have turned. I am at home a lot more and arrive well and truly before my wife, so it is now my job to make sure dinner is ready and the chores are done. And some weird things have been happening...

For some reason, I seem to know where everything in the house is and now my wife asks me if I know where things are. I complain about having to think of ideas for what to have for dinner. I get irritated when my wife gets home and just kicks her shoes off and dumps her bag on the floor. I'm checking the weather to see if it would be a good idea to do a load of laundry. I am making a grocery shopping list!

Most disturbing of all, is when I get upset because my wife gets home and turns on her computer or stares at her phone screen instead of talking to me and asking how my day was.

WHAT IS GOING ON!?? The world is turning up side down!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Support vehicles

Normally, when packing for a race, especially one that requires some travel, I have to think of a million different things to take with me. Wheels, kit, food, water, bottles, wind trainer, pump, helmet, shoes, bike and anything else I could possibly need. Then there is the tedious task of squeezing it all into the car as well as another person’s gear as I am usually car-pooling. Quite often, I will get to the race without an essential item and have to make do without it.

Most local races require that you bring an extra person as well so that they can drive your car and wait around at feed zones to hand out water bottles and feed bags. Not only do you have to find someone that is willing to stand around in the sun all day waiting but you have to find someone that knows about cycling but isn’t racing in the event themselves.  On top of all this, Cycling QLD will require that you supply a volunteer for the day to help run the event that, ironically, you also have to pay to enter! If you don’t have a volunteer, you don’t get to race!

This ends up being a lot of organization and hassle. At the start line, there is normally someone running around desperately trying to find someone to hand out their water bottles or be their volunteer.  I have found myself in this situation on many occasions.

At Team Novo Nordisk, they are prepared for ANYTHING. Transport and equipment is not an issue with a team truck, bus and 4 team cars at the ready. 

The truck has anything that the mechanics could possibly need including a full workshop and laundry for washing kit after the race! There are enough wind trainers on board for the entire team to warm up and enough nutrition products to feed a small army.

The team bus allows us to travel in comfort and style and could also double as a luxury camper if needed. It has a kitchen, shower, toilet and laundry so it can be a house on wheels. As well as these essentials, it also comes with a few luxuries including wi-fi, televisions, a drinks fridge and my favourite, a coffee machine. It puts the jam-packed rental van that we normally get back home to shame.

Each team car is fitted with a roof rack designed to hold an entire bike shop. There are hooks for endless wheels and quick release holders for easy access to spare bikes. A car follows us around during each ride so that you don't have to have your jersey pockets filled with everything you could possibly need.

There is a downside for all of these support vehicles…. As they are predominantly white and drive huge distances to get to races, they always need to be washed. The mechanics are constantly having to keep them clean and looking pristine and there has not been a day where I have not seen them washing a vehicle. Personally, I think that they should save it for riders wanting a favour from them. ‘You want your bike cleaned and a new tire?.. I’ll do it once you have washed the bus.’