King of the Mountain

FOREST LAKE. It’s the place SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK calls home.

True to name, this suburb does feature a lake. And, if you can call collections of trees grouped together in grassy open areas a ‘forest’, then I guess, at a stretch, FOREST LAKE has one or two of those as well. What it definitely does not have is a mountain. Surrounding suburbs are likewise as flat as your hand.

Cyclists – an athletic-sounding term I’ve recently grown fond of attaching to myself in the company of folk who have maybe never met a legitimate one – crave mountains like a dentist longs for an open mouth (I experienced the adrenalin-rush of a prolonged wisdom tooth extraction recently so at a stab, I’d say that’s where that analogy sprang from). So what’s a two-wheeled ‘roadie’ to do?

If the mountain won’t come to Glen, then Glen must go to the mountain.

And that’s exactly what I do… early every Sunday morning, if by ‘every’ we can agree to mean the last nine Sundays in a row. Bike goes in the back of the car the night before and then in time for the hues of a new day, it’s a 22 km drive to the foot of Mt Cootha – elevation: 302 metres above sea level and the highest peak in the city of Brisbane.

Pedaling up is a hard slog form of torture that gives fresh meaning to the expression ‘breathtaking views’ (easy breaths being in pretty short supply on the merciless incline). Once you reach the summit however, a whole new feeling takes over. Cue old mate Rocky

Sidenote: That little bit of snow-capped inspiration came from the movie ROCKY 4,, which any one old enough to remember, would know came out in 1985. That just happens to be the same year when I last rode up Mt Cootha on a pushbike. Just sayin’!

Hurtling down the mountain, on the other hand, at bobsled-like speeds on impossibly thin racing bike tyres is a white-knuckle ride par almost none that has been known, on some occasions, to spontaneously flash into my mind the following cartoon –

Cheese-factor wise, I can confirm the rumours claiming that some weeks I play the song KING OF THE MOUNTAIN by Australian group Midnight Oil prior to my Sunday morning mountain treks, for a little bit of, you know…vibe and motivation… are completely, 100% true!

Wouldn’t say I’m a great fan of this video – although I note it has had in excess of 4 million views and attracted over a thousand comments – but the song? It’s a winner for me, and so very, very Australian.

Sidenote: KING OF THE MOUNTAIN was released in 1990 but this band is still together and about to embark on a four month national tour of Australia and New Zealand to promote a brand new album..

For anyone unfamiliar, the bald-headed larrikin you see doing his lead singer cavorting thing in this video used to be a member of the Australian Parliament for 10 years and a Government Minister (Environment: 2007 – 2010 & Education: 2010 – 2013) for seven. Interesting, huh?

Back on the topic of cycling, as important as safety should be to a cyclist, as they are rocketing down a steep slope or snailing up it, is what I’ll call the ‘look’. Cyclists know what I mean.

I used to mock those lycra-clad bicycle riders kitted out to look more like high-wire circus acrobats. That was back in the eighties. Now I’ve become one of them. Kind of.

An ex-mate of mine donated a couple of his used jerseys as well as a pair of padded bicycle pants a few years back; to get me up and on the road, so to speak. That kit’s been working well. But like a lot of things, once you’ve got your confidence up, next level comes calling soon enough.

Meet the next level

Looking at the price tag, I think you can see why I’m not in charge of finances at my place.

In the fair dinkum department, as attractive as that cycling jersey is, the posh-stink, gourmet price tag makes the decision not to buy an easy one. I don’t want it THAT badly.

So how bout something a quarter of that price and… funnier?

Cyclists can tend to take themselves a tad too seriously at times, but while wearing these designs, that might be made a little more difficult...

If I had to choose just one of those whacked out designs above, it could just as well be the WORLD’S OKAYEST CYCLIST ’cause, well… THAT IS ME!

And if none of those designs grabbed you, well I guess you can always just throw a good old fashioned hissy fit…

Before this topic cycles off into the sunset completely and before the guy above us gets any frothier, I will mention these –

Reads delivered to your email inbox twice a month.

12 thoughts on “King of the Mountain

  1. Glen, I really like how you put together your fortnightly SWC post with the interesting side points, like the mention of a brilliant scene in Rocky 4 after my favourite training ‘session,’ Midnight Oil, and your favourite bike movies and books. The training shirt options were also hilarious as was that guy chucking his bike in disgust. You keep your readers entertained with that element of humour that creeps in every post.

    Keep em coming in 2022!


  2. So, happy Sunday cycling 🙂 (But do not abuse your heart; a friend of mine, aged like me –not yet fifty– broke his heart and dropped dead last year just pedaling up a regular hill… a sunny Sunday morning).


  3. Have you ever tried multi-tasking while cycling? I once saw a guy with that expensive cyclist clothing ride past me with a cup of coffee in one hand and cigarette in the other. He had a bluetooth in his ear and was talking to someone. No hands left for the handles. It was a flat road, but I wondered what he did going uphill?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I love ALL of those biking shirts, Glen. They’re great!
    And thanks so much for the angry cyclist clip. I enjoyed watching it several times due to the pleasing eye candy, lol.
    Hubby and I used to ride up the hills in Griffith Park all the time. I actually got to a point where I didn’t feel like I was going to die while slogging up the hill. I did wipe out going downhill once, though, because of combo of sand in the road and a car suddenly appearing behind me, so I braked too hard and… you can only imagine the rest.
    The people were so shocked at the blood that poured out of my arm (still have a scar!) they stopped the car and the woman handed me some paper towels!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What you described is pretty much one of my worst nightmares. I came off a bike at high speed going down a steep hill when I was 10. That mishap was due to a loose nut on the seat allowing it to suddenly collapse backwards, sending me flying. That was good bye to a lot of skin and hello to weeks of gradual healing.

    When I’m hurtling down mountain hills now, occasionally that image flashes back into my mind. Naturally enough I immediately try to replace it with a more reassuring, enjoyable thought – otherwise fear takes a hold and well… it’s the mental games we all have to play with our selves sometimes, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good practice. ‘Cause the fear can and does take over–at least with me! We ended up just speeding downhill at ridiculous speeds. Even WITH the helmet on I never felt safe.

    But I also forgot to say congrats on your biking and keeping it up! It’s inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s