Just old enough to have your words heeded.

As I am sure many wise men would appreciate, facial sagging and wrinkles are to be welcomed. Moreover, they take far too long to develop. We spend half our lives trapped behind youthful faces. I feel for my son who at 15 is wiser and more insightful that 99% of adults and all his teachers, yet is forced to play the part of a youth. I see him working on shortcuts—wanting a beard, not wearing sun screen, and eating in ways that will make him fat the day he stops growing upward. The sad reality, is he will have to wait 30 years before he is listened to the way I am, finally, after waiting for 46 years as a wise man trapped in the shell of Adonis. Not so much now:

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For a clear illustration of my new power, now that I look like a crumbly, I refer you to my work with Chris Froome. We flew in together from Sydney to Launceston on the 7:10 service last Friday. I appreciate him wanting to come down to tassie to ride our beautiful farm roads and spend time with Richie. It was his commitment to race in our town centre crit that had played on my mind. Careful not be seen to be catastrophizing, I took a moment at the bag carousel to suggest that he be especially careful of the second last turn. “Bit sketchy, is it?” Chris replied, masking his concern with a grin.

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Come the day of the crit, with rain on the end of squalling wind eddies, I saw Chris do the first lap in the middle of a 60 man peloton. While he can’t have seen me there at the side line, he clearly remembered my warning. He rode the next 5 laps a few hundred meters off the back of the bunch, moving so gingerly through the second last corner that you would think his wheels had no tires at all. By the sixth lap officials were ushering him off of the course, clearing the way for the leaders who by that stage were close to reaching him from behind.

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If I were a younger man whose advice was not heeded, Chris Froome might not be the 2015 Tour of France contender that he is today. He might be in traction.

Factual note: For all I know Chris Froome may have been sitting next to me on the plane. It was only thanks to a Launceston local who I know through bike racing, who pointed him out to me at the bag carousel, that I leanred the skinny guy in the grey T-shirt was famous. I have to admit too, that even when I was told, “That’s Chris Froome over there”, I had to ask, “Who is Chris Froome?” Perhaps you have reached the end of this blog post and would like to know too? He was the 2013 overall winner of the Tour of France. Now we both know!

4 Comments

  1. Luke says:

    I know nothing about racing, but Tassie does seem a long way to race in the rain for a Northern European team. What’s wrong with Belgium? People have been breaking bones there for ages.

    BTW, any recommendations for Bromptons for a middle aged man with slightly dodgy knees? Fairly flat area. (Nice audax bike recently wiped out in disagreement with scooter, hence re- thinking of bike fleet.)

    • Steven says:

      Brommies are good if you have to go in and out of buildings all day and don’t trust the bike racks. Yep, good for london! A man of your station should get one with titanium and a brooks saddle, purely as a matter of status. 3 or 1 speed, I suggest.

  2. Nick zintilis says:

    Perhaps Down Under really is too far from Earth!

  3. Luke says:

    Thanks Steven.

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