Just another road trip with Geoff and John (Sequel to: Just another night on the road?)

Well, it has been a while but a few readers asked for more, especially since I left them hanging by suggesting there were horrors as yet unrevealed... so, as the Alpine ride is approaching, it may be a good time to continue the saga of my nightmarish cycling trips with Geoff and John (not their real names -- to protect me) in the 1990s. Though this is less a cycling trip than a driving trip with cycling the goal. Anyway...

It was just before an early Audax Alpine Classic which we all intended to attempt. We were driving to Victoria in Geoff's car -- we being me, my wife and Geoff. Rather than take the direct but boring route via the Hume Highway, Geoff had agreed to drive via the Snowy Mountains and pick up John at Jindabyne on the way through.

John, a very strong, almost obsessive, but also penniless endurance cyclist would ride, non-stop, from Sydney, via Mt Kosciuszko, and meet us there. Which he did, in about 21 hours, then, of course, begged a spare bed in our cabin at the caravan park.

Unsurprisingly, I again expressed reluctance but again, as in Merriwa,  was outvoted by Geoff and my wife. (Should I have been suspicious of this constant anti-Neil collusion...? No, apparently not, I was merely being unreasonably uncharitable. At least, so I was told.)

Before bed we needed food so we repaired to the local cafe and all ordered meals. All, that is, except financially-challenged John, who grazed leftovers from the uncleared plates of earlier diners at adjacent tables.

Trouble flared when, with leftovers depleted, he began to graze food from Geoff's plate. There was nothing likely to be leftover there, obviously, so John probably thought he had better get in early. Geoff was having none of it. (And I am uncharitable... moi??) Pointing his fork threateningly at John, Geoff intoned that if one more chip disappeared from his plate into John's mouth, the hand which stole it would be punctured by steel tines. Inadvisedly, John took this as a joke. He made a move towards Geoff's plate and his hand was immediately impaled by Geoff's fork -- just hard enough to draw blood but not hard enough to fix it firmly to the wooden table. Thank heavens; that might have put me off my meal.

John, despite being no stranger to pain and scarring as a result of previous serious motorcycle crashes, had learned an important lesson, it seemed, because he refrained from further plate pillaging and the meal ended quietly. He even indicated that, when we reached Bright, he would book in to a cheap hostel. Palpably relieved at this development, we didn't ask what he was going to use to pay for this accommodation.

We should not have been surprised when, on seeing our salubrious Bright motel room, shadily located adjacent to the bubbling Ovens River, John changed his mind and begged to be allowed to sleep on the floor. Again, we relented. Well, Geoff and my wife relented, despite my usual vehement protest.

A few days into our stay, my wife was in the the motel office where the proprietors spoke to her about the extra person staying in our room about whom they had not been informed. She went very red. The proprietors also mentioned the greasy stains on the carpet (caused apparently by said person's cleated cycling shoes). She went even redder and said she would talk to said person.

Re-entering the motel room, she came face to face with a totally nude John emerging from the bathroom, every scar from those old motorcycle crashes clearly on display from shoulder down to... er... well, past there, and all the way to his toes. "John," she shrieked. "It's time you went to the hostel! NOW!!"

Amazingly, he did. After dressing, thank heavens.

We all slept much better that night and did ever such fast times on the Alpine Classic.


Views: 302

Comment by Michael S. (Boxhead) on January 7, 2012 at 6:00pm


After this event did your companions (wife and Geoff) concede that rather than being uncharitable you were showing great foresight and wisdom? 

Hmm. I thought not. ;-)

Comment by Michael O'Reilly on January 8, 2012 at 6:02pm

Is this the optimum preparation for achieving a fast time on the Audax? If so I think I've got my excuse ready ...

Comment by Neil Alexander on January 8, 2012 at 6:09pm

Ha, ha. You will see neither Geoff nor John at the AAC this year, I am pretty certain.

You may see me and my wife. If you are lucky, that is.

Comment by Neil Alexander on January 9, 2012 at 7:31am

Remember, Mr O', the Alpine Classic is not, repeat NOT, a race, so a fast time is one which is within the time limit of 13 hours 20 minutes.

However, since you will have had two whole months to get fit (snigger) for it, you have no excuse for any excuses.

BTW, I will be most interested in hearing the story from the point of view of the person or persons on whose floor you intend sleeping.

Comment by Michael S. (Boxhead) on January 9, 2012 at 7:56am

Good thing Audax is not competitive else some people might start sledging. 

Comment by Michael O'Reilly on January 9, 2012 at 8:09am
Remember, I am likely to be one of the "lucky" ones who will be seeing you on Sat. I'll be carb loading so I'd warn you against ordering chips.
Btw since its such a doddle and times are not important, I note that entries are still open for the 200. It'd be great to have you along, show us newbies how it's done.
Comment by Neil Alexander on January 9, 2012 at 8:20am

Last time I looked I choked on my carbo-corn-flakes at the entry price of $135. I'll enter if you'd like to pay...

Comment by Michael O'Reilly on January 9, 2012 at 11:57am

Sure, why not? Wouldn't want you to miss out on the fun!

Send me your bank details and I'll drop the cash in; see it as a bit of karma return for all the nonsense you endured from those other bludgers. And you'll still have a few weeks to train.

Just one caveat: you don't finish the 200, you have to refund in full.

Do we have a deal?

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on January 9, 2012 at 12:03pm

I have it on good authority that Mr O' will sleep comfortably in a "king single" bed with fresh linen so no excuses there.  However, his fellow traveller reputedly has a snoring problem (according to Mr O') so excuses could start from that point.......  Also, he has to share a bathroom with four others (3 of whom including himself are all wanting to be at the start line at the same time on the Sunday) so there could be a bit of excuse-creation from that potential issue....... just saying ....

Comment by PeterT on January 13, 2012 at 1:43pm

ooh ooh ooh, with my new found 2012 austerity measures (ok so they haven't kicked in *just* yet, but..) can I volunteer to 'chip' in  for Neil 200kms of pain riding pleasure - with the same caveat?

Ps: and great story Neil, you should really write a book like MB suggested.


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