March 13th, 2010

Gents let's play some Bicycle Polo

Three cheers for our regular reader WeCanRideGiants for finding these most dignified helmets from Yakkay—not available in Nanny State Central, most likely due to the cost of appeasing the Australian Standards racketeers. Perfect for bicycle-polo though, a sport once played on dragsters, before we of Gen-X moved to BMX, and one I had thought would be an Olympics sport by now. In any case I have emailed Yakkay with the view to buying 11 in each colour, and will now need only to arrange numbered bibs. The decline of lawn bowls has left us with many suitable playing fields.
I call on you all now to round up a crew for our first hit out. Will we all be available at 2pm Sunday 21 March, to meet at the abandoned bowling green overlooking King Edward Park? This will give us each time to fabricate whackers—relatively safe ones, please. If in doubt a broom might suffice. The ladies can all bring their deck chairs and provide chicken sandwiches and lemonade for the children. If they dress up too, we'll have a smashing good time.

STOP PRESS AGAIN! A number of ladies have indicated they would like to play too, a request to which I am happy to acquiesce, so long as they are able to fabricate safe whackers with heads not inclined to fly off. 

As a condition of entry, all players are gently encouraged to register as Newcastle Voice members, our way of telling those car driving lard arse corpulent bourgeois city fathers of ours to ban all cars from the city and only allow cyclists.

Newcastle Bicycle City to Surf

I was speaking to Don King earlier, about the possibility of staging a city-to-surf event in Newcastle. It would be unique, insofar as the distance from our general post office (the original and symbolic one) is little more than a long jumper's run-up.
I was thinking of a running race. It was Don who suggested it could be a bike race. The course is quite simple. The thousand or so starters would await the gun on Hunter Street in front of the old post office, be funneled slightly as they cross Watt Street (Sprocket Cafe/Wespac, etc.), then have a chance to gather speed across Pacific park before making a tight right at Tyrrell House, then a left/dip/funnel through the under-road tunnel, a left, a right (second funnel/tunnel combo through the Newcastle Beach Kiosk) before hitting a temporary jump ramp allowing for a unique finish itinerary whereby the winner would be the first to unclip mid air and touch their feet in the sand. Don saw it as something between Spain's running of the Bulls, Evil Knievel's failed attempt to jump the Grand Canyon, and The David Jones post Christmas sales. I'm seeing Mario Cipollini, Big Mig, and of course Lance there for plenty of photo ops at the start line and, god forbid, the ambulance later.
By running the idea by me, I think Don may have been fishing for some reactions from you all, our regular readers. Obviously, the benefits to Newcastle in terms of tourism and global exposure of our unique beach-side lifestyle would be immense. But can anyone see any possible thorns here? Better to anticipate objections than be blind sided later.