Cycling

8 Days of the Tour Down Under

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In the beginning, Kate and Colby boarded an airplane bound for Adelaide.

On the first day, Kate said, “Let us ride up Norton Summit for last year I missed the fun.” And so Kate sat in behind Colby, eyes fixated on her new power meter numbers and spun her way up the hill like an afternoon stroll. And as she gazed out at the expanse of sky above the city, she knew her effort had been good.

On the second day, Kate said, “Let us ride to the coast for my legs are tired.” And so Kate’s friends boarded the freight train and were towed to the ocean . . . where they were slowed only by gaggle of Sunday riders, and the irate booming of Mr Plod. And as she braced against the deluge of abuse from the circling cop car, she knew the SA Police Force were behind on their drug testing policy.

On the third day, Kate’s friend said “Let us ride up Old Norton Summit Road for it is pretty, but alas, it is steep.” And so Kate watched as her friends disappeared into the distance. And as she gazed up at the never ending ribbon of blacktop, even her power metre deserted her. She knew all was not good, and she wept.

On the forth day Kate’s tears hung humid in the air, but still, her (sadistic) friend said “Let us ride up The Corkscrew for it is my birthday, and this shall be my gift.” With leaden thighs and heavy heart Kate gazed at the cliff and knew that it was not good. Birthdays should be for pampering, not torture.

On the fifth day Kate pleaded, “Please God, give me quads of steel so that I may keep up with my friends on their torturous journey into the mountains of hell.” And as Kate’s body, rose . . . slowly . . . and painfully . . . closer and closer to heaven, her mind dropped further into the (all to realistic) flaming depths below.

On the sixth day, Kate said, “Let me ride far from home. Out over the hills and among the great plains. Lead me into my own terrain. And though I shall be faced with trials and tests I shall not falter.” And Kate forged ahead, through pulsing crowds and fallen friends, through impressive power numbers and epic storms. She outrode the Green Light Vehicle, and God saw that she was strong . . . so he granted her reprieve from one last torturous hill. Kate could see the end was near, and it was good.

On the seventh day, Kate puffed, and cried and pleaded, “Please God, may Richie Porte appear and take away my pain. May he come up alongside and push me up this last . . . God Forsaken . . . Hill.” And God was kind. And two strong men appeared . . .

. . . their arms curled around a princess, half Kate’s size. And Kate watched as they disappeared, up and over the final hill .

On the eighth day, Kate looked back at all the torture she had endured. She drank fine wine. She got pissed, and it was good.