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Good bye 2003, welcome 2004

It's that time of the year again when we eagerly proclaim we're back to base-training and allow ourselves to eat and drink ourselves silly for the rest of the year. It's true that 8 out of 10 of us don't really train seriously, but we happily proclaimed our season is over though we really never started! So, as usual, my reflections of the year gone by…

We had another great ADD this year, this time at Vil'age (our new sponsor for 2003). The food was great, the beer was great, and as usual, we expected nothing less than the best chocolates from our sponsor (expectation met, thank you!), and the turnout was excellent.

This year, due to SARS, we didn't have our MYPO (mid-year pig out). But we made up with it our very first Team Absolut video-nite. Thanks to Lippy for providing his place, Diesel with his projector, and Pain for the DVDs and everyone who brought the food. We had a great time watching the Tour de France 2003 on the "big screen".

There were lots of ups and downs this year as usual. We were sad to say good bye to Gingerman, Smartie, and HolyMan. These Absolutees shares our spirit, our fun, and raced in our colors. Thank you guys! Our team has grown quite large and it's harder for us to keep track of what's happening, so I had to look back on my old entries for 2000 just to put things in perspective…  

In 2000 we did our first century ride as a group, albeit a metric one. Wow, how things have changed in 2003! 100 km ride is no longer a long ride anymore. Even yours truly can do it! Some of the Sluts do it weekly! We should aim for a real century ride, but we really see no fun going around the island twice! It's sad, but in Singapore, we need a passport just to do a proper century ride.

In 2000, we experienced the greatest arms race in Absolut history. At least $45K changed hands on bikes alone. The uncertain economic climate in Singapore plus the fact that most of us now already own more than 2 bikes, meant that we spend less on bikes. However, one of us single handedly boosted the local economic index. We used to call him 8K, then we re-christened him 12K, now we simply refer to him as the six-million dollar man! On the whole, we still spent more than 15K on bikes and related toys this year. Just as I was writing this, my very reliable source told me someone has just acquired a new LeMond J and I know for a fact someone is waiting for the right size of Trek Madone to come into the store!

In 2000, our avg. TTT group size was 11. In 2003, we had the biggest ride of 23 riders on a Thursday night. Not too bad. Now we average about 14 – 15 riders for our Thursday Torture Train.

In 2000, our avg. TTT speed went up to 26-28 km/h up the Gap, 34-38 km/h on the flats. Today, we ride in the 40s but we keep the absolute number a secret. If you don't already know, join us for our TTT to find out J but for some reason, we don't ride the Gap so much.

This year, we also had the wettest year since we started TTT. We missed at least 6 night rides because of the rain. We used to start at 9 pm and the weather would miraculously clear up at 8:54 pm for our ride. This year we moved our ride to 8:30 pm and Thor was not too happy with that. Even all the rubber dolls Wanker promised Thor didn't seem to work.

I said that our avg. BTT ride went south in 2000 :-(. Sad to say, it attendance remains low today. Our off-road rides sometimes average only 4 riders. What happened to our mud lovers? I am to blame as well. I used to love the mud, but now I don't want to wash dirty linen.

We donated more blood on the trail and on the road this year, sadly. Indeed, Nov '03 was a bad month for us. We had 4 punctures in one single ride, we had 2 heavy crashes in Bukit Timah with AirPork needing 15 stiches on his knee and Geek practicing his surgery skill on Sting at the parking lot just a day apart. Ouch! We had Lippy crashing badly in the race this year, breaking his wrist. Ouch! We had Diesel out of action for 2 months, due to crash.  Ouch! We had one expensive crash during TTT with at least 10K written off and more blood donation. Ouch! Ouch! We hope for a clean 2004 with no more unscheduled blood donations!

In 2000, our longest thread, Who's Lance? generated more than 30 entries! Since then, the amount of email has dropped significantly. We are either getting too old and jaded for that stuff or we simply spend too much time working.

The burning question in Absolutees mind in 2000 was: What happened to Young Man? Well, after 2 years away, YM came back from China looking wiser and we are glad he has not given up cycling. He is still as fit, still as single, still as sexy as ever! So all you single females, take note!

There's no need to talk about our race record this year. Sting has done an excellent job covering our racing exploits and he's got more insights and writing flair than me! But with Lippy winning the final race at NTU, I think we can be happy for another great year.

So what's in store for 2004?

If Santa has big ears, here are TA's wishes for 2004:

  1. we're planning for a new jersey with more vibrant colors
  2. we're hoping to organize our first biking holiday/training camp
  3. we're hoping to organize our first bike race in collaboration with SACA
  4. more riders joining our rides, especially our off-road rides
  5. more ladies in our team, we want to represented in the ladies' races!
  6. 10-speed Dura Ace groupset would look quite good on my bike, honestly
  7. more time to ride, more speed, and more speed!
  8. new (and more) sponsors J
  9. of course, we always hope for new blood to join our cause. You join us, we'll tell you about our secret mission, otherwise you can go through Sting's many contributions to find our secret mission!
  10.  and TA wishes all cyclists the world over a very happy new year. Ride safe and stay fit!

 Absolut Statistics

1

Best position achieved by TA in a race.

1

Number of new daddy (Congratulations to Giddyap)

1 Number of Slut wedding (Congratulations to Elvis)
2 Absolut placing in the TTT at Changi.

3

Number of new Absolutees who consistently joined our rides, 
welcome Yong Siew, Carl "Big Stick" Kahuna, Patrick!

3

Number of times Spiderman threatened to comeback!

3 Number of times Goose came back for TTT!

4

Number of serious blood donations

5

Average number of riders for SMM

6

number of bikes finding new home within TA

23

Biggest turnout for TTT

Comments or criticism can be sent to oldman@teamabsolut.net
 

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