Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cadel Evans (Thanks, Tim)

Cadel Evans is a cyclist. Tim gave me his name, probably back during the Tour De France. I wonder if I spelled that right.

Tim watches the Tour De France because Tim is a cyclist too. He loves riding his bike. He doesn't do the Tour De France....or at least not yet. But he does local races. There's one near here called Hotter than Hell. And he did one in Colorado. I don't know the name of that one. But it's extra challenging to ride in Colorado because of the elevation; the level of oxygen is different.

I just checked. I spelled Tour de France almost right. You're not supposed to capitalize the d in de.

Cadel Evans is young. I expected him to be older than me, and he's not. He's the same age as my younger sister. His birthday is 14 February 1977. That's my nephew's birthday. He just turned a year old. Javier has a sibling on its way...due sometime in early August.

Oh! Evans was born in the Northern Territory. I rarely get people born there. I don't think I've ever had a non-Aboriginal person that was born there. Although maybe he is Aboriginal. Who knows..... Well, if he is aboriginal, people probably DO know. But I don't. I just know he's a guy who rides bikes.

Don't get me wrong. I know white people get themselves birthed in the Northern Territory. I've just never found a white celebrity born there.

Lord Wiki doesn't mention anything about him being Aboriginal. He says Evans had a great-grandfather from Wales. Okay, but that leaves us seven other great-grandparents. Some of them might be Aboriginal.

I'm not sure how long Evans lived in The Northern Territory. But by his teen years, he was at a school in Melbourne called Eltham High School. Eltham is a north-eastern suburb.

Evans is married. He met his wife in 2002. She's a pianist.

And that's pretty much all the personal information Lord Wiki provides. The rest is biking information that I won't understand.

First we get the early days of his career. I guess I'll mention the highlights.

He was part of the Australian Institute of Sport; I would guess their biking team. Oh. It's part of the Aussie government. I didn't expect that. Here's their cycling page. Lord Wiki says Evans was part of their MTB team. I'm not sure what that means. Lord Wiki mentioned mountain biking. Maybe it's that. He did this MTB thing from 1994 until 1999. That would be around ages seventeen to twenty-two.

After that, he joined other biking teams. In 2001, he rode with an Italian team called Saeco. They were sponsored by a company that makes espresso machines.

In 2002, he rode for another Italian team. Mapei. They're named after a company that makes building materials.

Why was he on these Italian teams? Were there no good Australian ones?

In 2005, he did a Belgium team. This was Omega Pharma-Lotto. As the name applies, the team was sponsored by the Belgium Lottery. And it was also sponsored by a company called Omega Pharma. It looks like they make skin products. With this team, Evans did the Tour De France for the first time. He came in eighth place. That's pretty good! At least I think it is. Lord Wiki says he's the first Australian to come in the top ten since Phil Anderson. When did Phil Anderson come in the top ten?

Well, Lord Wiki says he came in the top ten five times. The last time was in 1985.

Evans has had success with other races.

In 2001 and 2004, he won the Tour of Austria.

In 2007, he won something called the UCI ProTour.

In 2008, he won an Italian race. And if I'm reading this right, he came in second place in the Tour de France.

He did the Beijing Olympics. He had an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament....part of his knee. I'm not sure if it happened at the Olympics, or before. Lord Wiki says it's a common injury for athletes to have. It's more common in woman though, and their risk increases with a rise in estrogen.

Let's see. What else?

Evans once wore a shirt in support of Tibet. He said he didn't want Tibetans to experience the same tragedies as Australian aborigines. I think the Tibetans have already had a pretty rotten experience.

In 2008, he had a confrontation. He batted away the hand of a journalist. Why? The journalist kept touching his injured shoulder. Well, I can't blame him for losing his temper. But did he ask nicely first? Can you please stop touching my shoulder. It hurts. Thank you.

All right. I'm done with Lord Wiki. Where should we go to next?

Here's his official website. The front page has his latest Tweets. I've totally lost interest in Twitter. That place confuses me.

Here's a little biography page. It lists all the places that he's lived. I'll go find them on Google Maps.

First, there's his birthplace. That's the Katherine Hospital in Katherine, Northern Territory. Katherine is four hours south-east of Darwin. It's pretty far up north.

He's lived in Upper Corindi which is about an hour north of Coffs Harbour. He lived in Armidale. That sounds familiar to me. Why? Well, I have no idea. But Google Maps shows it being west of Coffs Harbour. Lord Wiki says that Judith Wright, the poet, lived there. Maybe I wrote about it when I researched her.

Evans has also lived in Arthur Creek Victoria, which is about an hour north-east of Melbourne.

I guess he likes Victoria. When Evans is in Australia, he lives in Barwon Heads. That's near Geelong...a little bit south of there. The other place he often lives is Switzerland. I wonder if he ever hangs out with Joan Sutherland. The website says he lives there in season. I guess that's because most of the bike races he does are in Europe.

He says he got his first bike when he was two. Wow. Really. Maybe he means a kiddie bike of some sort. He says it was a 16" BMX. Is that inches? I can't imagine it would be sixteen centimeters or meters.

This bike website has a photo of a size sixteen BMX. It's hard for me to imagine a toddler riding that. Did it have training wheels? When did they take them off?

Evans lists the stuff he loves. He loves his wife, and his friends....which includes his family. That's sweet, the way he says that. He likes good food. He likes cars. And he likes racing his bike. Well, of course.

He doesn't like smoking. Me neither!

He doesn't like negative people. Yeah, I don't like them either....unless I'm being one of them. I also don't like overly positive people because I feel they're suppressing the negative stuff. I like a nice balance.

This page has his favorite books and music. He's a fan of Tintin.

He likes the book Seven Years in Tibet. Tim and I bought that book after we saw the movie; but I can't remember if I finished reading it or not. Did you know the guy in the movie is the guy who plays Lupin in Harry Potter?

He likes The Grapes of Wrath. I read that a few years ago. I liked it. It's definitely thought-provoking.

I think there MIGHT be a mistake here on the site. He says he likes The True History of the Kelly Gang by Geoff Blainey. Peter Carey wrote that, unless Blainey wrote a book with the same title. Didn't I write about Blainey before?

Okay, I think he just switched authors. Just below, he has Peter Carey as the author of The Tyranny of Distance. That was written by Blainey. Isn't Blainey that right-wing kind of historian? Yeah. Lord Wiki says my memory has served me correctly.

Evans also likes The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. It's another book about Tibet. ILink guess Evans really has compassion for Tibet.

For music, Evans likes his wife's work. That's good! He also likes fairly typical stuff: U2, Crowded House, Hunters and Collectors, Paul Kelly, Enya, Bruce Springsteen.... There's two things I haven't heard of before. One is Monique Brumby, and the other is My Friend the Chocolate Cake. I'm thinking they're probably super popular, and I'm embarrassing myself with my lack of music knowledge.

Well, Brumby is from Tasmania. I'm not sure if she's gone international, so maybe it's not weird I haven't heard of her. Here's one of her videos.

My Friend the Chocolate Cake is from Melbourne. Here's one of their videos. Oh! So far, I'm totally loving this song. It's so cute and fun.

This page has a list of Evan's favorite restaurants. His favorite Melbourne restaurant is Syracuse Wine Bar and Restaurant. I miss living in a place that has a multitude of good restaurants. There's not a lot of good ones in Fort Worth. Lately, every time my family gets together we go to the same restaurant. I guess we go because it's close to my parent's house (and our house too), and it has pretty decent food. There's some other great restaurants, but too expensive to go to on a regular basis. There's a restaurant called Bonnell's that impresses me, because they use grass-fed beef and all that. I've never eaten there, at least not recently. I might have a LONG time ago. My parents used them to cater a party once though. It looks like they get all (or most of) their food locally, and from humane farmers. That's awesome. We should go there. It's probably not a place to take Jack to. Maybe Tim and I can have a date there. That would be cool. Maybe for our anniversary.....

Jack would probably love it though because they have wild game. He loves trying different types of meats.

Maybe I should stop talking about Fort Worth restaurants, and get back to Cadel Evans. He has a diary-blog thing here.

He did the Tour Down Under in January. Ah! Maybe I can convince Tim to do that someday.

I should look at their website. It looks like you have to be on a professional team to do the race, but they have some kind of community race. Or who knows. Maybe Tim will go professional.

It's not that long of a race though...just eight days, and it's all in Adelaide. I kind of imagined it would go all over Australia.

Oh! Here's a video of the shoulder incident. Oh wow. That is a bit of a temper. Well, we all have our scary moments.

In 2007, Evans had an interview on Enough Rope. I guess that would be before the shoulder incident.

The interview wasn't face to face. They did it with satellite. Evan's mom and grandmother are there too. I think they're actually in the studio though. Evan's mom says that as a child, Evans was very active. That's not surprising.

They talk about how they lived in the Northern Territory, so Evans had a LOT of space in which to ride his bike.

Andrew Denton asks Evan's grandmother if she watches the race. She says she does, and often yells at Evans on the TV screen. She tells him to be careful as he goes down hill. Both the mom and grandma say watching that can be terrifying. They also say it's exhausting to watch him go uphill. I can imagine it would be hard watching him ride. There'd be a lot of pride, but also maybe a lot of fear.

They talk about how spectators can be very annoying. They'll actually get in the way of the riders to take photos. Wow. Okay, not I can understand why Evans can be a bit grumpy sometimes.

Evans isn't all negative though. He says many of the spectators are enthusiastic and supportive.

Denton asks about a rumor regarding a tradition where on the first day you're not supposed to challenge the leader of the race. I wonder if Tim has heard of this? Anyway, Evans says this is NOT true.

Oh! Here's an even more important question. How do you pee? I never even thought of that. And now that I think of it, I've never even asked Tim how he pees during a race. He talks often about how he stops for drinks and food. But he's never mentioned using the toilet. Maybe he sweats it all out?

I don't understand Evan's answer. He says, At 90 I’ve never seen anyone answer to the call of nature. At 75 I’ve seen one or two do it. If it’s more than 50, I don’t, because I find it’s a bit risky and the worst thing you could ever, I think, happen is crash while you’re answering to the call of nature because you could imagine, if the cameras caught you.

What do those numbers refer to? If someone can explain it to me, I'd appreciate it.

I like Evan's response to Denton's question about people cheating. How does he keep the desire to continue when there are people like that participating. Evans says, I think it’s just human nature, and it’s not just the Tour de France, it’s not just sport, it’s the world as a whole. People will always look for an easier way, or a way to gain more, or profit more from any situation and so I can’t change the world as a whole, but I can do my best in what I believe is right and I’ll continue doing that.

Amen to that.

I'm beginning to realize there are many awful people in the world, and good people who resort to awful behavior. The best you can do is to try to avoid sinking to their level.

Evans says he and his wife have nothing much in common, but they support each other's interests. That's good. I'm feeling guilty because I haven't come with Tim on a bike race yet. It's just that would have me sitting around in the heat with Jack while he's riding. I'd rather find another way to be supportive, but I SHOULD do it sometime. Maybe we'll go to one that's not in the hot summer. I'm not quite sure how to be a bike race spectator. Do you stay at the finishing area, or do you go in the middle somewhere?

I'm much better at supporting Tim's other It's much easier to be supportive of that! I'm telling you. My whole family is supportive of THAT hobby.

Evans spends three months in Australia a year. Denton asks if he plans to move back after he's done with the racing. Evans says he enjoys splitting his time between Europe and Australia. I'd like to split my time between two places as well. Although I'd want to spend most of my time in Australia.

Let's play Fantasy Time!


If we were super rich, what would I want?

I think I'd want to do eight months in Australia, two months in America (visiting family and stuff) and two months traveling elsewhere. Would that not be so incredibly awesome?