A riveting week Down Under for Serene.

It was a “Holy Schmoly” sort of a week. P.S. What a term! Credit to my awesome teammie and forever roomie, Jo. We’re all too similar in most sense of things - while it may not be the best of personality traits we’re talking about at times, it’s pretty darn intriguing how alike we are.

The team.

The team.

ANYWAY! Let’s just say Holden Cycling Team decimated the field in the inaugural NRS Amy’s Otway Classic. I won’t be able to do the brilliance of my teammies’ efforts of the day’s race any justice with a race report as my day was done the moment Ellen decided it was time to say sayonara. I’ll leave you to read all about it here,


see some photos here,


and catch my moments of fame here!


P.S. It was my first time making the highlights package of a NRS race so I’m actually pretty stoked even if it was just for that few seconds.

Team effort, said the ever humble leaders of my HCT. It was a team plan that the four of us had concocted in the car, as we did a full course reconnaissance the afternoon before the race. 

  • Jules, our team manager, had left us to our own devices while he rode the course. 
  • I think we managed to come up with scenarios from A to Z just cos we were struggling not to fall asleep during the mid-afternoon energy lull aka slumber time. The magnificence of the course was no doubt astounding – its sheer beauty and the difficulty of it all. 
  • Truth: Ruth knew she was the best climber; Ellen was completely “geed” up; Jo needed to keep the car on the road; I was navigating the course.
  • More truth: Ruth and Ellen were licking their lips at the prospect of lighting up the race on Skenes Creek; Jo and I were shitting in our pants – we didn’t need nightmares for the afternoon, the night’s sleep and the subsequent morning’s race.

Thank goodness plan A worked to the ‘T’. The shenanigans of a long Saturday afternoon, a late night of sleep on the eve of the race and an early (and rude) wake-up call of race day had been long forgotten. Ellen and Ruth showed that class and tenacity with a 1-2 finish. They completely obliterated the field up the climb, before out-riding our Holden team car in 2-up 60-km TTT. That’s some engine, I say! Jo and I can only marvel with envy, for now, and thank our lucky stars that we delivered what was asked of us. ;)

I could go on and on about how epic the win was, but I’ll leave you with this.

“Flats will do for such rides – need to be faster than this.”

This shows how strong Ruth, our team leader, is. She joins us for our recovery rides on her canvas shoes. What cleats?! All too easy! =P

P.S. It’s an inside joke what really happened. All I can say is that Shannon, our team’s “cobbler”, had honed her hoodoo and subsequently, hoodwinked Ruth. The incredulity of the situation was almost nerve-wrecking then, but the hilarity of it came through once the dust had settled. All good!

Jo had her shot at exposure too. The V8 engine on our Holden team car was too fast for the exit into the petrol station along the highway as we steam-rolled towards the airport – the non-Victorians had a flight to catch! When Jo had to go, she HAD to go. So she went, along the road shoulder of a busy highway no less.

Jo’s hidden in case she gets charged for being the flasher! =P

The week started out a blast too. 

Monday was forecasted to be a rainy day with gusty winds. Well, the winds were gusty enough to warrant a comment from our globe-trotting Belgian guest but thankfully, the storm stayed away and we were blessed with sunny skies.

It was a triple R day – Recce “Reco” Ride. 

The resident local, Jess, took us from the city centre to the outskirts through an hour of riding on the bike trails. There, we met our follow car – a beaten up 4WD driven by a very hippy Healy, who was accompanied by a rather punk-looking friend. Happy people aka good folks! We were soon on our merry way,

  • hurtled towards Hurstbridge; 
  • punctuated by a slow leak / tube change somewhere past Diamond Creek; 
  • bobbed along St Andrews;
  • tempoed up Kinglake; 
  • recovered down Chum Creek; 
  • rode into Healesville for a well-deserved bakery stop and 
  • climbed into the car at Yarra Glen. 

I’ll save the details of the ride for when the promotional video/shots are sorted out.  You’ve got my assurance that the Victoria Velotour is going to deliver one hell of a riding experience. When Kuai Sports and Saddle Drunk decide to collaborate, there’s no chance of normalcy. ☺

Kris from Kuai Sport enjoying the ride

Kris from Kuai Sport enjoying the ride

My two ride companions for the day. They don’t know what’s gonna hit them.

Modern Specialized Amira meets Retro Oakley Special Edition Heritage Eyeshade; fuelled by Holden engine; and empowered by Compressport arm and leg sleeves. BAAM! Dropped them both.

And all is calm again. 

Lunch TIme

Lunch TIme

I needed to enlist their help to get to the bakery stop for my ginormous cheese and vegemite scroll! 

So super fun. 

A BBB aka Bikini Blowout Benedict and an amazing Soy Chai, at Las Chicas, with Aud a couple days later top it all off. It’s been a while since I had indulged!

nice healthy bagel

nice healthy bagel

Full marks for presentation!



I need to get back to Land before Time. My dinosaur-aged laptop is calling out to me again. All these data has to be processed.

A long deserved break

A long deserved break

My 4-day MC from school has run out. The drug lord continues to rule my world as I fight to shove them away. It may be a good 3-6months before that happens – when spring bids its adieu, as I fervently pray that summer spares my soul. 

Hay fever – how I hate thee.

Till then, I’m looking for a hanky sponsor. I promise a lot of mileage, especially if you take me into the hills!