19 June 2008
When Valentino said, its time to throw around this rubber burning slick tires stuff aside for a while, he meant it. He reckoned that a bit of dirt work would do him good. He has his eyes set on a grand prix in F1 too but that's another story. Valentino 'the Doctor' rules. Fair enough. Light weight Italians on fast motorbikes. Respect for this great little man though. He has changed the world of motorbike racing as much as Eddy Merckx did to our sport.
We have our own Valentino. It's the dude behind the plastic empties and the retro cooler. He looks as if to say: 'Gimme a break, (Caseyehhh wassehhh fasta todaeey, tires were good, I love Michelin, I lovaahh my team), but I don't quite feel like another press conference. So move on.
Apart from the nick name, our doctor has similar speed and marvels when the downhills are steeper than an Alpine climb in the Karakoram. 26" wheels on dirt. There aren't many better things.
Well done Greg!
Next picture is of a Smokkelaar decending at rapid speed down the slopes of Kuitpo International last Sunday. So quick he was. The camera couldn't record it. But while studying this snap I realized that this is what De Smokkelaars are all about. Elusive, under the cover of darkness (or speed) riding in the pine forests on the German-Belgian and Dutch borders. Packets of quality butter, tobacco, silk stockings and other contraband tucked away in the back pockets of our golden jerseys. Chapeau! If you look deeper into the picture, providing your monitor works as well as the one I am looking at, you see another shady, golden character making a perfect back up to the leader. More Smokkelaars truth. They back each other!
The third pic is one of the master of organization, everlasting enthusiasm and friendship। 'El Capitan'. Looking rather fatigued but satisfied at the same time. Because it was his 29th birthday and because he had scouted the forest. He was right when two anal dissidents tried to find a route on their own, and got all of the team home. Safe. The true motor in the machine, the cog in the derailleur that never fails to ease the pain of lactic acid.
While the previous picture was taken in dodgy Western Europe (we Smokkelaars get around), this last one could only have been taken in South Australia. Funny trees and a very blue sky. Winter! The dude in the background by the way is secretly taking a picture of the Skip. I can understand that.
We rode in unison and were very happy to see a Smokelette joining us. She burned the chain and rode strong. We missed the gun from Hindmarsh though so a team photo was not on the cards.
For me, I felt proud to ride in such a unique shirt. It hurt when I had to stick the needle of the safety pin into its virgin textile. It took me 5 minutes to do it. Fair dinkum.
Questions remain. Why didn't the C Kid eat the cabana which fumed across Kuitpo? Why wasn't juniors chain lubricated and sounded it like a dodgy tram on the St किल्दा line?