Well before I know it, the two weeks I had planned in Adelaide - planned for months, in fact - are just about over. Why is it that holidays take so long to arrive, but disappear so quickly?
So, what have I done?
# A lot of stalking Tour Down Under. I didn't get as much riding done as I would have hoped - and to tell the honest truth, I was enjoying the sleeping and relaxing a littl too much to convince myself to get up early and ride, but there was still plenty of watching.
Tuesday, we got out to Angaston to watch the 3 loop finish.
Wednesday was a day off (Tailem Bend to Mannum was a little too far to convince ourselves to go, especially after 1000km in the car on the Monday).
Thursday I rode down to the start at Unley / Hyde Park, saw the start, and then legged it up Eagle on the Hill to see the finish at Stirling. Stirling is another 3 loop finish, and we had some great positions on the uphill finish. There were thousands - possibly tens of thousands - of people there watching, it was crowded, but a great atmosphere.
Friday was the Challenge Ride from Norwood to Strath - 135 odd km and a challenging but enjoyable day in the saddle. I did have to find a chemist on the way though to buy some Nurofen - back wasn't playing the game! Checker Hill also defeated me, I did have to put a foot down about 100 metres from the top. Oh, the shame!
Saturday, we aced a fantastic spot on Willunga Hill about 2km from the KOM and had a great view of riders turning them inside out up the climb.
Sunday was arguably the best day of the lot, I managed to jag a corporate pass with a mate of mine from Adelaide (thanks Mark, you rock!) and watch the final stage right on the Start / Finish line. This is a dangerous thing, I don't think I can possibly watch another international sporting event without the benefits of corporate hospitality.
And then, TDU was over. Boo!
# Thrown in amongst that, we've managed to catch up and have dinner with a heap of Adelaide crew that I haven't seen for 2 or more years. This was great - the awful thing about moving across the country (as we did in 2004) was leaving behind great friends. Very hard thing to do, and it's really great to come back and see them, and meet new family members that have appeared in the meantime (hello D'arcy, Tillie and Charlotte).
# Managed to also catch up with my sister and her little boy Dexter for b'fast on Monday. Really enjoyed this on two levels - one, I got to eat bacon, eggs and toast and somewhat repair the damage that Sunday's corpororate extravagances had done to me (read: hungover as a dog). I also got to see Dex, who I hadn't seen for probably 2 years, and I think he is twice as tall as he was last time I saw him.
# Yesterday I snuck out for a MTB ride around Adelaide. Initially the plan was to check out some MTB trails that Mitcham Council had developed around the Belair / Lynton areas (check out http://bit.ly/14cycU), and then extended into a cruise down to Glenelg, a roll along the Esplanade to Seacliff, and then I got a rush of blood to the head and thought climbing some hills in 36C heat would be a fantastic idea. I had to go up anyway to get home, so I mixed it up a little and took a route that I hadn't previously ridden. Silly, silly man, and this resulted in a 63 odd km round trip.
# Today I headed south with my younger brother for a fishing expedition. I was woefully outfished (6 nil in fact), but had a great day out on the coast, saw some beautiful scenery, and took a few happy snaps that I think turned out OK.
# Tonight, I'm off to dinner with a couple of people from AKFF (www.akff.net) for a meet, greet and catch up. Working with people from all corners of the country means that while I have an excellent online relationship with them, and very good written communication rapport, some of them have never been met in person. So it shall be an interesting evening.
So, one day left in the Big Smoke. Will be sad to leave, but at the same time am looking forward to getting home, and seeing my pooches again.
Some of the snaps of the last week:
Getting chased by Devil Girl at the top of Checker Hill
Breakfast of Champions - carbo loading for the slog up Eagle On The Hill
Robbie & Allan Davis after the final TDU Stage
Me & my nephew
Under the new Rapid Bay Jetty
Sellicks Hill, looking towards the north
Rapid Bay Jetty again, having a play with the Picasa retouching settings
Sellicks Hill again