If a picture paints a thousand words, today I am going to save myself typing up 10,000, which is good for me as working appears to flog me the fuck out, and good for you, as no one has the attention span to read that much. Its clearly WIN/WIN time… OMFG, I have been back in an office two days and I am saying shit like that. Poor form.

I don’t really know how the internet works, but I found all these cool photos from the Batam 6 Bridges race on the weekend, which were clearly put on-line for me to craft into today’s blog post given I am A) in the desert and B) bike-less. So, here we go, minimal story, maximum pic. Its almost Instagram, without the like button.

Some may recall that the first 17km’s of the race was neutral, which means we’re not racing. This highlights the importance of reading the race briefing and listening. Someone has to be on the front during the neutral stage… By someone I mean anyone except one of my team mates… Oh dear, memo not received and infringement notice with bold font issued:

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Bill Nighy charges to the front to control the neutral phase – The BOSS

If that’s an example of how not to ride the neutralised portion of a very hard road race, I shall flick in flowing narcissistic fashion to show how its done… Rolling dirty at the back of the rat pack kicking it with my homeboys and putting in absolute minimum effort. Worth noting in this pic I had already lost a drink bottle and hadn’t realised. Useful:

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“What’s everyone looking at?”

I never actually saw the flag drop to confirm we were now racing as opposed to dodging pot holes, but figured it was all on when people started surging like it was a blue light disco and of course, the big give away, we saw the first BIG bridge:

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A lot of money to spend on a bridge with a dead end road…

This is where everyone started to go to work. By everyone, I mean everyone but me. I felt dirty (more so than usual) not trying to get in breaks or chase something down, but I did my best to manage these strange sensations by gently encouraging frazzle rock to “hold that fucking wheel”:

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“Yeesss…. My new apprentice…”

Apparently we were near the coast and there was views of the ocean and beautiful jungle and beaches. I wouldn’t have a fucking clue, I didn’t see a thing, other than some wheels, occasionally my HR saying something like 177 BPM and the mist of pain fogging over me. This shot here encapsulate a reasonably desolate section:

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“We have more ring ins…”… “No, WE do!”

This shot is a good one for a couple of reasons… I’m still hiding, VC style, Robocop is starting to get into his work and see that rock? Yeah, well, that reflected the heat on to us to push the temp up to around a brain melting 38 degs. So glad I didn’t have an aero helmet:

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From ‘Do good work’ to ‘Do no work’, this was the moment I appreciated the new approach…

Alas, not all of us could hide and some of the boys ended up downright nude… Poor Jormey had one of the hardest days you could ever have on a bike, his epic early work rate and ethic leaving him with a VERY tough day out, full respect for finishing… It must have been super tempting to turn around early:

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Jormey on his first and last trip to Batam… Monitor Lizards with stiffy’s wait by the road side for him to collapse

What does it look like when its under 20km’s to go, no one wants to be on the front and everyone hopes that Robocop will continue to plough away like a giant that hates his bike and wants to snap its chain? Wonder no more, this captures  our behaviour well:

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I think I am out the ass at this stage… The chase of my life on, looking for that wretched bus in the background

And… Eventually he obliges, stringing it out in pursuit of the local rider up the road. I am back in and safely tucked up 8th wheel right on the wheel that I wanted… and then lost at the critical moment. Fuck:

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“Dead or alive, I’m chasing the break”

From that above shot to this next one is a blur… No shit, it feels like some sort of weird vague dream where I can’t quite recall the last 800m, I know it happened, but I can’t really describe it all. I know it felt painfully slow and horrendous, but if I was called as an eyewitness, I would be an epic fail. On top of that, why the fuck do I cave my arms in when under the pump on the bike? Its fucking weird, stop that shit:

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No matter how hot it is – A Rapha base layer is mandatory

That’s a rare top 10 finish right there… followed by locking up with cramp as I rolled down the bridge to the waiting arms of a hose and a coke, which has never tasted so good. 4000 calories burnt thanks to an average heart rate of 164 BPM for 3 hours and I am more than pleased that I now have a 2 week break off the bike. Its been suggested that I need to shave my arms as well, and no, I’m not wearing arm warmers in that shot.

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One Response

  1. Diana

    Great photos…did you notice that in the pic of Jormey on his own, 4th pic from the bottom, it looks like there is a giant green frog on the hill behind him,- the configuration of the shrubbery! It’s freaky when you notice it, have a look.

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