Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Elgar, Parry and Michele Bartoli

Someone from Montreal asked me recently if I saw much live music in Halifax, he'd heard the live-music scene here was amazing. The Symphony I said. Well, it's live, our other running buddy said! I've seen three live acts in the past five days. Last Thursday la Belle and I saw Heart at the Metro Centre, which for a night was liberally drenched in estrogens! Not quite the Symphony, but they did all their classics and knocked a couple more years off my hearing. Job done in other words. The next night, after the tinnitus had subsided, we saw Dutch Robinson play with the Symphony at the Cohen. A much mellower night. It was an experience to hear a full orchestra get funky with Lets Get It On. Last night I heard Nova Sinfonia's recital of the Enigma Variations. This always puts you in a bit of a patriotic mood as you nearly always go from Nimrod... Jupiter... Jerusalem.

Rule Britannia indeed.

Anyway, there was some very unBritish weather this morning. For the benefit of our British reader, the thermometer looked a little like this this morning.

Yup, -13.3C. Now this was taken last week, and -13C was the air temp, but it wasn't windy. It was about -8C this morning, but a brisk north wind dropped that to about -20C. Even die-hard bike commuters were likely looking at their options this morning. Apart from Ian Loughead, who I'm sure rode over the bridge.

It should be pretty obvious that I'm not riding outside when it's like this! Hell, walking outside to get the car sometimes makes me feel like Capt. Oates. So I've been hitting the turbo instead. Can't say it's "fun" as a nice ride in the country would be, but I do have some bike-related goals this year and I suppose I need to keep my legs in the habit of turning circles. As with many, I try and dull the mental Turbo pain watching movies or some-such. The past couple of daysI've knocked off a Liege-Bastonge-Leige and a Fleche Walloon. Unfortunately, my only videos (as in your actual VHS) are from the late 90's, both of these races were the 1999 editions, the height of the EPO era. This makes watching them an exercise of the upmost cynicism. Having said that, I watched the '99 Fleche for a reason; the weather was miserable in that race, rain and snow. Watching the pros slog through that made me think an hour on the trainer was actually the cushy option!

You can't help but feel the only guy not on drugs was that fat Belgian bloke half way up the Mur de Huy, you know the one with a Duvel and a paper cone of double-fried frites and mayonnaise. The jury is surely out on everyone else. You can watch Bartoli and Vandenbrooke's duel on La Redoubt but over-dub Phil n' Paul's amazement at Bartoli's ability to attack twice and Vandenbrooke's ability to still drop him with your own, more cynical version.

We know Vandenbrooke was on the heavy water, after this it seemed he spent as much time suspended or under investigation as he did riding. To the best of my knowledge, Bartoli has never been accused of doping, but his name did allegedly crop up in the Operacion Puerto lists. To me Bartoli always looked perfect on his bike; that nightmare of a Mapei kit notwithstanding!

I had a mate who looked a bit like that; lean and smooth. Effortlessly aerodynamic. Perfectly positioned on his bike. He had a lower position on his road bike than I had on my aerobars, or it felt. Always made me feel overweight, lumpy and upright! Git. Before you think Dazza was some kind of bike-God, I had to pull him out of a couple of ditches in our time and I pushed him home once (on our bikes; it was a like a 20 mile hand-sling). Of course it was a two-way street and he pushed me home once too! Cheers Dazza.


No comments:

Post a Comment