Thursday, November 27, 2008

'09 Worlds - Race and Holiday

A recent query by Nige about next year's worlds at Cascade Locks got me thinking about a vacation my wife and I had in 2004. That summer we rode 4200 miles across the US on a bike (that's a "push-bike" for you Brits,) starting in Oregon and ending 69 days later in Virginia. The journal of our trip is posted on the Crazyguyonabike site here. One thing we remembered is that Oregon was our most favorite state. We were astonished by the state's natural beauty and the varied ecosystems withing short distances. Yes, Oregon itself can be a holiday destination all in and of itself. I'll leave to the West Coast contingent to provide specifics, but Susan and I know that we'll enjoy our trip to Oregon next August, regardless of the sailing results.

The mention of a reduced number of entries also brought to mind the last Moth worlds held in the US - at Ware River, Virginia in 1976. If I recall we only had about 35 competitors, and only two top international mothies - John Claridge, the reigning European Champion (who finished 3rd), and Peter Moor, the Australian Champion (a scow sailor who finished 2nd, in a chartered skiff!). John sold his Magnum2 after the race to Ted Causey, the eventual winner. As Claridge found 33 years ago, I suppose there is some sense in selling a boat after the regatta to avoid shipping costs to get it back. With the strong US dollar (this week, anyway) many international competitors may get a good financial return to enable the purchase of the newest iteration back home. The US fleet benefits with the addition of well setup, competitive boats. Maybe the US as a venue will again find only half the number of this year's Weymouth Worlds. In 1977, the year after Ware River Worlds, we had about 85 competitors at Hayling Island, with only 3 Yanks. As a piece of trivia, I finished 7th at Ware River and 16th at Hayling Island. I was also 32 years younger!

Well, so much for stories. With the boat packed away, I'm headed out on my bike. Enjoy the music.

The Acoustic Motorbike - by Luka Bloom

The day began with a rainbow in the sand
As I cycled into Kerry
Cattle grazing on a steep hillside
Looked well fed, well balanced
Close to the edge

Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

I take a break, I close my eyes
And I'm happy as the dolphin
In a quiet spot talking to myself
Talking about the rain
Talking about the rain
All this rain

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

You see whenever I'm alone
I tend to brood
But when I'm out on my bike
It's a different mood
I leave my brain at home
Get up on the saddle
No hanging around
I don't diddle-daddle

I work my legs
I pump my thights
Take in the scenery passing me by
The Kerry mountains or the Wicklow hills
The antidote to my emotional ills
A motion built upon human toil
Nuclear free needs no oil
But it makes me hot, makes me hard
I never thought I could have come this far
Through miles of mountains, valleys, streams
This is the right stuff filling my dreams
So come on, get up on your bike
Ah go on, get up on your bike

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

With my face to that bitter wind
I bombed it into Killarney
Skin raw like a sushi dinner
And an appetite
That would eat the hind leg of the lamb of God
Even though you know
I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing
Then settle down for a quiet night
Think about what I've seen and done
And wonder

There's a reason for this
Now is the time
To speak of the problem troubling my mind
Sick of the traffic choking our towns
Freaking me out, bringing me down
Knock down houses, build more lanes
Once was a problem, now it's insane
My solution it's one that I like
It's motive
The Acoustic Motorbike
So come on, get up on your bike
Ah go on, get up on your bike

Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles
Pedal on

Ah go on
Ah go on
Get up on your bike
Get up on your bike

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