Mount Maunganui cycle criterium

Normally Maunganui Road in late December is all rotary engines, hormones, and old farts of 34 shaking their heads smugly at the youth of today. Last night, they made room for muscly calves, European lycra and cool looking bikes sharking around warming up for the Bike Barn’s criterium series, with cyclists racing around a 1 kilometre course for 30 minutes, plus three laps.

It’s fast racing, and tight courses with tricky corners means there’s high potential for crashes. There was a good size crowd enjoying cheering the riders on as we caught the elite Woman’s race and the start of the Men’s, high speeds and jostling for position create a real spectacle. SHIT they move. Auckland’s had events in Newmarket and Takapuna previously, and despite a good two minutes Googling, I can’t find details for this year. Check local guides for times, as they say. Recommended.





Roman Abramovich wishes you merry Xmas

In December even a cruel, ruthless Russian overlord’s mind turns to seasonal merriment. We Abramovichs celebrate Christmas like all of you. Only this morning I hunted reindeer from my chopper with agent orange, and on Christmas eve we’ll enjoy dwarfs re-enacting the film ‘300’ in the drawing room to peals of children’s laughter.It’s a time of reflection on a year of great achievement. The first act of The Special One Mourinho’s elimination is complete. The second act will come as soon as The Pit Of Ducks With Shark’s Teeth is ready and the ‘Armani Sale’ sign is installed outside. My experimental giant toad cadaver / voice box hybrid was installed as head coach, and my cleaner made Avram’s episode with the journalist and the industrial bacon slicer go away quickly. 2008 will see deployment of my chloroform impregnated Chelsea scarves with ezi-garrote action, and my finest hour will soon be at hand.

I wish you the best for 2008. Be you my friend, you will die quickly, with an absolute minimum of stabbing. Be you my enemy… your face will soon be familiar with the ground, repeatedly and from very high up. Good health!

Links on Friday

– Fabio Capello will soon be sitting on England’s bench. Hope they gave it a good clean after Sven. Still, if he gets them playing like this everyone’ll go home happy. Check out the second goal, it’s a thing of true beauty
– Liverpool’s Jan Molby scored a screamer in the 80s against Man U that no-one ever saw thanks to a TV strike. So some nerd re-created it on their XBox. Bless
– The NRL has everything – fisticuffs, witty banter and no nonsense refereeing. I may have to watch a game next season
– Christmas wish list #1: Lego Imperial Walker. Now if you could hook it up to bring beer to the couch…

Wellington man has supported the Phoenix since 1999

SRNZPA: Wellington resident John Soddentrouser dismissed the Phoenix fan club Yellow Fever as ‘johnny-come-latelies’, claiming to have supported the team since 1999. To Soddentrouser, following a football team that didn’t technically exist for many years is the mark of a true fan. “I was there home and away. Not my fault if they don’t play any games, is it? Where was everyone else? Lightweights.”

Soddentrouser, who lives alone, has thoroughly hated every second of the Phoenix’s debut season. Game day for him begins by drinking alone at a local Cosmopolitan Club, before arriving three hours early to be first in line for tickets. He reserves particular disdain for the merchandise stands, spluttering “I MADE MY OWN jersies. Made my own. There was no merchandise stand in my day. Shit.” Soddentrouser quietly seethes throughout the match, before leaving at half time to beat the traffic. “I don’t know why I bother, mate. “Where was this Yellow Fever shower in 2001? You wouldn’t catch those guys sitting alone in an empty stand for the afternoon like I did. They’re not real fans.”

The LA Galaxy match was the season’s low point for Soddentrouser. “Half of them couldn’t name a single Phoenix player – I was there when there were no players to name, mate. It’s just not the same anymore.” Soddentrouser announced he’d probably stop following the Phoenix at the end of the year and support the Nelson Backboards, a basketball team that would probably join an expanded Australian basketball league in “2013, maybe 2015.”

Links on Friday

Sorry team, I know this is turning into a kind of links-only site – more stupidity soon, I promise
– Remember Cullen bungling a try by not forcing it properly a few years ago? That’s nothing
I’d like to thank… SHIT! – it’s not over till you’re in the clubhouse drinking and worrying if your feet smell, as this guy finds out in a hurry
Inky on the All Black coaching dilemma – it’s all academic now that Ted’s back in. Inky’s way smart though, you should read him, not me
Some people say Footballers feign injury to con free kicks – and they’re right. Miraculous recovery here