Words: 759

Words: 759
Minutes: 13

I have just enough time to write something if I don’t stop writing. I don’t quite know what I want to write about tonight, but I missed last night because I was unexpectedly exhausted, and I spent all day today watching Olympics and reading Teen Wolf and not doing much of anything, so now I have just enough time to write 750 words, so long as I can keep up this pace. Usually, it takes me about 15 minutes to get to word count, and I have 19 today. I have less than that now, and I haven’t even reached 100 words yet.

OK, there it is. I can move on to the next paragraph. I’m almost tempted to make this paragraph all about Teen Wolf. In particular, all about Derek and Stiles, which, I must admit, is my new fandom. I just wish the fic were better. I wish I could read a story without skimming, but nothing is get stuck in my head. I just want to go back and keep rereading the one where Derek is the Sheriff’s new deputy and hopelessly in love with Stiles and Stiles doesn’t notice that they’re dating until he’s been marked and hickeyed.

I don’t think that’s a real word, but it probably should be. It’s funny. That story has a kind of B-plot mystery, but it never actually gets solved. It’s all a McGuffin, and I didn’t even mind it. I honestly didn’t care. I just needed some kind of plot to keep the story moving forward. I wish I could write like that. I wish I had those kinds of ideas. I have character ideas. I don’t have story ideas. I’m trying harder, but getting nowhere. I want to write the Shakespeare thing, but I feel like I need to write it as an adaptation, and if I was going to do that, it would have to be Romeo and Juliet, which I love more than anything.

But it’s been done. It’s actually been done to death. And it’s been done so well, by Baz Luhrmann, by Private Romeo. I don’t feel the need to rewrite that story. As I think about it now, I don’t think a Beatrice and Benedick has ever been done. I don’t think they’ve ever been transferred to a younger age group. I really do seriously need to write this as not-high school kids, though, because I still want to submit to Carina.

I’ve realised I don’t care what one author says about their experience. Besides the money, it sounds good anyway. And I love their covers and their website and they just seem more professional than all the other ebook publishers put together. I also really like that they do straight and gay romances, that they do contemporary, as well as all the rest. I don’t feel like I would be limited to one type of story. Most importantly, they want all book lengths. My first goal is to write something 20k for them.

Before or after I finish Human Events, I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m going with that thing. I could so easily submit that to Carina, too. With whatever word count it ends up. I like Carina because I know that I could write anything for them. I just need to get my foot in the door. Then I think I’ll be able to let myself relax and just write. My biggest problem right now is that I’m not getting paid for anything I make. Once I get on a track, I think my brain will unclench a little.

I have, right now, three things I want to write and finish, hopefully by the end of the year. I want to finish Human Events, even if it means changing the POV. I want to finish the Shakespeare thing, even if it means switching the genders. I want to write a super-quick hipster wedding novella, even if I do it during NaNo. I want to do NaNo this year for real. I want to get settled into a routine with Sophie and start cranking out a zine a week. I want to type up some essays and send them out to magazines.

I want to keep up this habit, even if I’m exhausted at the end of the night and feel like I have nothing to say. Because I do have something to say. I have a lot to say, and I need to figure out a way to say it to the world instead of to myself.

Yellow and Gold

In 2008, Mark Cavendish was the only British cyclist who failed to medal at the Olympics. He competed on the track that year, not the road, and placed 9th in the Madison. His partner in that race was Bradley Wiggins. For himself, Wiggins won two gold medals, but had nothing left to help Cav along. They didn’t speak for months after the Olympics ended.

It’s a story I hadn’t heard before, but which adds an edge to their story today. Wiggins and Cavendish race together on Team Sky in their professional life. As the fastest sprinter in the peloton, and the current rider with the most stage wins, Cavendish is used to being the centre of his team. He’s used to riding behind a leadout of three or four guys, then taking the win in a sprint.

But when your team holds the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, as well as the best chance to win it in Paris, a sprinter’s dreams fall to the sidelines. Mark Cavendish gave up not just stage wins, but his defense of the green jersey he won last year. He gave it up for yellow, which means more to the team and to Britain, a country who has never seen a rider of their own win a Grand Tour.

By the time the last time trial was over, Bradley Wiggins knew he had won the Tour de France. While the final stage along the Champs-Élysées is mostly tradition, a victory lap for the Tour winner, complete with champagne, the sprinters have one last finish line to cross. This year, the yellow jersey rode the leadout to get his teammate the win. When Mark Cavendish took the win in the last stage of the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins cheered like it was his own.

That leadout was only the beginning of an apology for 2008. The Brits have a full five-man team at the 2012 Olympics in London. They’re not only the hometown favourites, they’re also the strongest team in the Olympic peloton. First, there’s Bradley Wiggins, two stages, 14 days in yellow, and the first Brit to win the whole Tour. Chris Froome came in second and took a stage win in the mountains. Mark Cavendish wears the rainbow stripes as the current World Road Race Champion. The three of them, with Ian Stannard, ride together all year long on Team Sky. Only David Millar races against them when they’re not at the Olympics. He won a stage at the last Tour, too.

Great Britain’s team is ridiculously strong. It sounds like the makings of a boring race. Five hours on the road and everyone thinks they know who’s going to win. The smart money has been on Cavendish since he was named to the national team. Instead, the home team’s strength means every other country works that much harder to bring them down. It means every other country works together to make the British work for it. It makes for breakaways, chases, and solo attacks–all the drama cycling fans like to see on the road.

Going into any race as the favourite is hard. Going into the Olympics in your home country after winning the biggest cycling race in the world is the hardest of all. Great Britain was cocky, and though cocky often works for Cav, it didn’t work today. One by one, his team fell behind: Chris Froome with a mechanical, and David Millar, too. Then we saw Bradley Wiggins riding at the back of the peloton. The breakaway stayed away, like it almost never does.

In the end, Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan won the gold. Vino has said he’s retiring, that he’s ridden his last Tour, and this will be a nice cap to a long career. But this wasn’t how Great Britain’s Olympics were supposed to begin. This wasn’t how Wiggins wanted to say sorry.

You can’t make gold with yellow. The road decides the race.

The men’s road race started at 1:30AM PST. I stayed up to watch Mark Cavendish win like we all thought he would. Two hours into the race, I wrote this. Then Vino won the gold, and I had to rewrite the last paragraph. But here it is anyway, an alternate universe, if you will, where the fastest man on two wheels wins the one race he never has.

When the race ends in a bunch sprint, as one-day classics often do, no one can beat Cavendish. Left to his own efforts, he’ll beat you at the line. But Mark Cavendish wasn’t alone today. He had Bradley Wiggins, who wanted nothing more than to help Cavendish to the gold medal they didn’t win four years ago–an apology and a thank you for three weeks of help to the yellow jersey. He had an entire country, his girlfriend and still-new baby daughter, his four countrymen behind him, and even his pro teammate and roommate, Bernie Eisel, rode with the British team in his Austrian colours.

Cav couldn’t lose.


I’ll be at the Honeybee Festival again this year, July 21st and 22nd in Surrey, with zines and prints and more. I’ll have my typewriter on the table, and I’ll be taking requests.

Tomorrow! I have a few surprise copies of my first fiction zine, not-yet-for-sale Cameron House Singles, all three editions of The General Review, as well as the single page teaser for July (maybe August now?), and new team colour covered editions of The Cup. I’m selling hand-stitched handkerchiefs and coloured felt merit badges and, yes, the finger puppets, my biggest seller, are back. I’m bringing colouring pages for the kids and my 1980s Brother typewriter–not for sale, but for typing.

Goonies never say die.

Stef: These are somebody else’s wishes. They’re somebody else’s dreams.
Mouth: Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn’t come true. So I’m taking it back. I’m taking them all back.

We’re right in the middle of BC Superweek. Last weekend was the Tour de Delta; next weekend is the Tour de White Rock. Yesterday, I was at the UBC Grand Prix, a short, corner-intensive criterium circuit on the the University of BC campus.

When the course is this short, and the riders are going this fast, getting a non-blurry photo feels like an achievement. These are my favourites from the day, where Svein Tuft went out early, and Dominik Roels stayed on his wheel to earn second at the line.


In the early 20th Century, six-day bike races were some of the biggest sporting events in the U.S.—not to mention grueling and dangerous:

In the four corners of the old Chicago Stadium, faux-Greek sculptures depicted the premier indoor athletes of the day: a boxer, a track runner, a hockey player, and a bicyclist. Though outdoor road races were king at the turn of the century, promoters figured out that track racing on a wooden, banked, 1/6-mile oval could sell more tickets. Instead of watching the competitors whiz by once from the side of a street, people could pack into arenas and see them run thousands of laps.

“The Bell-Lappers.” — Rob Mitchum, The Classical

See more from the Classical

Interesting read about a forgotten sport. In six days, on a rickety wooden track, these guys rode longer and further than the guys riding three weeks in France right now.