And I’m off


Only about a day and half late but I’m in no hurry. Shopping is done, fuel is bought, I think I have everything I need. Hoping to pull 80km today to just outside Northam.

AHBPC 2012 – Part II

Wow. DOG SOCCER! Seeds 4th place overall? That is because we have the Dog Soccer. Saturday was a good day. Me, Tom and Brook played quite well together. I had never met Tom before last Tuesday so I didn’t know quite what to expect. I knew Brook was a top player and barring some weird conflict we’d play pretty well together. The suggestion to play with him actually came from TDR Ollie while we were in Tapou last November. Thanks for the tip bru.

Day two was a double elimination with a sort of seeded losers bracket. The bottom half of the group would play each other with the losers seeding the losers bracket and the winners playing the top half teams in a normal top-v-bottom* bracket.
* This means the first place team plays last place, second plays second to last, etc.

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the galaxy and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advanced: The city in question, is, in fact, Perth. The bike polo tournament shortly to be discussed will merely result in a referee being yelled at, and the untimely ejection of DOG SOCCER! and the goal stacking that led their opposing team to a championship. In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved no revelation will yet be made concerning which referee was yelled at. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever.

As mentioned the top half of the group received a buy. In the first round Samurai Polo Cats played Rejected Polo Monkeys. Samurai Cats took it and we faced them again in the next round. We took them 5-1. Next round was TDR after giving it too Hall ‘n’ Scrotes. TDR is on my checklist. I REMEMBER TAUPO! Sadly I did not get my revenge today. DOG SOCCER off to the not winners bracket.

There was a lot of debate going on over the weekend about where the next championships will be hosted, who will be there, and what exactly is this championships anyhow. Nationals? Australasian Championship? Dog Soccer Cup? What ever you want to call it, it was awesome having Kaohsiung Taiwan fielding a team. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark and Lee Yu (sorry if I have that wrong!) last August in Tainan. Great guys but we still had to send KBPA+ off. 4-3. HOJO HOJO HOJO!

TBA came next with the double lefty bullshit of Ray and Vive. Every time I hear some bitch about playing against lefties I have to laugh. Ever problem a righty has playing a against a left they have too. Use it to your advantage. This is especially true with a team that plays 2 lefties up. The end result was us 4-1 and TBA on Team Beer Break.

Things were staring to get pretty tense at this point. I was totally baffled (baffled) by how well we’d done already and things where just getting harder. Speaking of hard our next challenge was MPS. I cannot find the score but we won, I think 3-2 or 4-2.

Now that things are heating up we worked our way into a little Sydney on Sydney action. DOG SOCCER vs LSV. This was one of our toughest matches of the day. We went up 2-0 within about 5 minutes. Luckily we’d agreed at the start to play a 10 minute match rather than 15 due to time constraints. The heat was really starting to get to me and I was having trouble getting back into the game or keep on the ball. They ended up score and equalising over the next 5 and time ran out. We got a 2 minute breather then back to the joust. I lost the joust, the ball went loose, picked up a pass from Tom and stale breaded V in the first 5 seconds (think that’s how it went). I am so glad that game didn’t didn’t drag out.

Next we really messed up by not taking a long enough break even though I don’t think it would have made a difference. We played against Perths NASFWG. I think that stands for Na, Stacked Full With Goalies. I don’t know the score on this one, it was 4-1 or 5-1, it wasn’t good. The goal was stack, they had 2 keepers almost all the time and 3 when it wasn’t. How tired we where was starting to show. We quit talking and where shooting on the keepers rather that breaking up the blockade. We where done. But extremely happy with our success. 3rd fucking place. Qualified for the Worlds. Going to Geneva. Dog Soccer.

The final was TDR vs NASFWG. Goal stacked, Perth took it.

This was a great weekend and the Perth crew did a fantastic job. I have to thank Wall (who’s computer I’m on right now) for putting everyone up on Thursday night and me again before leaving on tour. Mattie for organising all the hardware (shitty about the barriers) and Henry for running the brackets. Its a good sign when your organisers are not running around with the eyes bugged out.

Thanks Perth! Thanks for the good time. Off to sort out a courier for my polo bike back to Sydney, head down to the beach for a dip and enjoy my last day in Perth before riding back to Sydney.

AHBPC 2012 – Part I


After the courts went up yesterday I was a little worry about the weather. It was HOT. And not in the good way. Regardless had an enjoyable day of pickup with beers and shit talk mixed in.

Today started off much nicer. Cooler tempatures and a little cloud cover. I really was not sure how out day was going to go. Yesterday we got one team game in and I was a little worried. I’d never played with Tom before and he is a relatively new player. A couple games into the day my worries where absolved. While he does make some newbie mistakes it is clear he has a great sense of court presents. He was consistently in the right spot, talked well and even has a decent shot on him which earned him a hat-trick in one match. Glad to have him as a team mate going forward.

DOG SOCCER! Game Report

Godzilla Symphony 3 – 1
Basically we had more ball control, more shots and more passes. They had the goal stacked almost the entire game and scored on breaks. Fog horrrn.

GC Studs 0 – 5
Pretty new team, hilarious, good fun, never had a chance.

The UnaPOLOgetics 1 – 5
Nothing note worthy I guess. Cannot remember this match.

Bolo Pears 2 – 4
Andy fucked my wheel and lefties aren’t that hard to play against. We had Ray and Vive blocked out a good amount of the time and seems like they couldn’t get their passes off. Lefties still aren’t that hard to play against, but Ray and Vive weren’t on this team.

Where The Wild Swings Are 2 – 4
Ted carried the team and gased out. He is a really good new player with tons of potential, look forward to seeing him play in the future. I also love this team name.

0-3 Samuri Polo Cats
Rob didn’t take it well. I enjoyed playing against Big Sam, his style is really funny because he is so big but doesn’t play a physical game.

Happy Endings 4 – 2 (not 100% sure)
I hit Colin once a bit too hard. I hadn’t seen him in my way then once I noticed someone I thought it was Andrew. Felt a bit bad so turned the ball over.

In the end 6 wins for 7 matches! Seeded 4th over all. We went out to an overpriced pub that night and got a couple more beers in. It was nice just hanging out and talking smack. Most of the folks from our hours decided to call it some what early and headed home. I stacked it being a jackass and landed on my hip. By the time we arrive home I was already limping. Always happens this way, don’t get hurt the entire day on the court and stack drunk on the way home. That’s Dog Soccer for ya.

Arrived in Perth


After an obscenely expensive and booring flight we arrived in Perth last night. I had 3 minutes to spare when I board, plenty of time. About 10 minutes after we arrived Wal and Mattie came to pick us up. Wal was driving a pretty amazing old troop transport that functioned as a bike transport at the time. We got to Wals house and had a couple rounds of beer followed by a couple more and it was off to bed.
This morning we where great by great hospitality from Wal and Kristy in the form of espresso drinks and bananna chocolate chip muffins. We are now lounging around, enjoying the sun and waiting to head to the courts. I’m looking forward to getting the courts up, getting some beers in, playing pickup and catching up with friends.

Cheeky Trasport Sydney: You hear what he said?

“He said we out nerded Rivendell“. This is the quote of the trip thus far. Coming from Nick at Cheeky Transport in Sydneys Newtown. This comment was after to my amazement they had an obscure touring tool that Rivendell didn’t. It was the Stein Mini Cassette Lock. I’d only found out about this tool a day before leaving CA so ordering was out of the question. If anyone would have it in the Bay Area it would be Rivendell. While they did have some Stein tools they did not have this one. So I was quite excited when I happened to notice Cheeky down a side street as it had been recommended I check it out the night before. My mission at the moment was gauze but I ended up buying this and looking into a handlebar bag.

First glimpse of the shop was a huge SURLY sticker on the door, my kind of people. Couple of nice builds right up from, a Karate Monkey with a Cheeky Monkey sticker on it. A plain blue rando bike with lugs very reminiscent of Rivendells (they where, it wasn’t). Stack of Ortlieb panniers, some nice canvas bags, a large bearded gentleman wrenching at a stand.

I ended up getting the Ortlieb handlebar and for being in Australia the price was really good. Seems they really support the commuter and touring crowd. This is a very nice shop and I will be my local shop from here out. Seems to be everyones local and easy to see why.

And…. checked!

Ticketing was listed as opening at 2:00pm, I was done at 2:08, first cocktail within 15 minutes of that. The touring bike was over maximum weight but since it was a second checked item and declared as a bike I didn’t get charged for the other being overweight (not over max). So after a couple minutes moving 4kg from one to the other I was good to go. Hopefully my Sydney to Perth flight will be as easy. Same boxes, same weight different airline. Back to the bloody mary.

Double dose of meh

Being that it rained all this week, getting stuff done before leaving has been a bit difficult. I had a lot of shuffling thing around going on. Waiting on people to pick stuff up from me, making sure the touring bike was in proper working order. When I came off the mountain Thursday morning my head was filled with concerns of these things and getting final work on my touring bike done and packing it. Sadly in the rain and the cold what was not thinking about was the poison oak I saw outside my tent Wednesday night. I am really allergic to poison oak. More than once in my life I’ve been swollen and oozing head to toe. In recent years I’ve been good about keeping it in check but only when addressing it right away. That was not done this time.

To make matters worse I didn’t get the touring bike pack Thursday night and had to do it Friday morning, but not before pinching a nerve in my back. Growing old before my time. In the end we where only an hour behind getting on the road but my mood was none too good.

A grumpy couple of days later I had mostly resolved to not ‘race’ the crash race but just roll it. But the magic of skeeball, air hockey and several beers finally righted my mood.

The race was great as usual but my gear ratio (46×17) was far too small. Oh well. Thanks a ton to Wolfpack for the years of great races.

Hopefully I can now check in 8.5 hours early and get a cocktail.

Gear checked

Last night went pretty well. The tent went up easy enough. The stove was being tempermental. Not sure if this was due to burning vodka, the wonky surface (eucalyptis sticks and bark) I was cooking on or something else. I do know the stove doesn’t like soup spilled on it and is now in need of a good scrubbing. The tent broke down and packed away without problems even wet. I slept fairly well and wish I would have purchased a Thermarest years ago. I’m going to get one of their pillows today too. And a kettle.

In all I feel pretty good about the setup. To my surprise my new ‘rear’ Ortliebs where the same size as my old ‘front’ ones. Turns out I’ve always had the Back-Roller Classics up front. This just means I have a lot of space and I can distribute weight nicely. Last nights trip I manage to pack everything except the tent poles into the pannies. This leave the tops of both racks available, say for boxes of water on the Nullabar?

Next post, breakdown of everything I’m taking and packing my bike.

Gear check


Oakland hills. Bike mostly perfect. Legs check. Tent was a breeze. Stove doesn’t burn vodka very well. Canned soup was tastey. Hopefully everything packs down well in the morning while raining.