Lisa's Mum

Lisa's Mum presents A Culinary 'Cross Guide


It should come as no surprise to regular Ride Happy readers that Lisa's Mum, while waiting patiently for SBS to respond to her petition to replace Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin on their Tour de France commentary team, has many things to fill her day. Being on call for the Tour Down Under, for example, means that she can never be far away from her computer and long-range binoculars. Should Lisa's Mum receive the call up, her fans deserve the benefit of knowing exactly how many Weet-Bix Rohan Dennis has for breakfast, or the brand of tea that Richie Porte buys in the supermarket. Mum is nothing if not meticulous in her research.

A fan has recently written in to ask Lisa's Mum her insights on a typical CX rider's diet. The query is fortuitous in its timing, for Lisa's Mum is currently serving as adjunct professor at the School of Dietetics at New Hampshire University while completing her PhD in exercise metabolism of waffles in off-road cycling athletes. The PhD has taken slightly longer than anticipated on account of the School's strict ethics policy of using mice as subjects, meaning that Lisa's Mum spent the first two years of her studies teaching mice how to ride tiny cyclocross bicycles. However, with the bulk of her work now behind her, and a fleet of competent bike-riding mice, Lisa's Mum is well placed to advise on the ideal diet of CX riders.

 The diet of a typical 'cross rider can change depending on the season. Given that CX is a winter sport, the end of the racing season (often an opportunity for post-season blowout) also marks the start of bikini season. One cannot indulge in too many frites if one wishes to be bikini-ready by Summer. Many riders, therefore, choose to join road teams in the summertime so as to retain the right amount of peer pressure required to keen one's skinfolds low. 2014 CX world champion Zdenek Stybar, for example, recently announced that he would not be contesting the 2016 CX world championships, choosing instead to focus on his bikini ambitions with Etixx-QuickStep. The exception to this rule is Antipodean CX athletes, who craftily avoid summer by moving from southern to northern hemisphere as soon as the weather gets nice, thereby ensuring maximal frite gains.

Niels Albert looking bikini-ready

Niels Albert looking bikini-ready

Leading into race season, a rider's diet varies depending on their season goals. Before Cross Vegas became a World Cup, riders targeting this race would focus specifically on beer-hand up repeats, which are broadly similar to hill repeats but with a bit more vomiting. Those focused on a strong performance at Koksjide incorporate a lot of sand-eating into their diet, particularly those expecting to fall outside the top 10.

This is delicious. It just doesn't have your best interests at heart.  

This is delicious. It just doesn't have your best interests at heart.  

In Europe, a typical pro rider's diet in race season looks like this:

9am: Wake up. Espresso and muesli (the boring muesli, not the chocolate one).

10am: Consider riding. Wait for rain to clear while drinking espresso.

11am: Still drinking espresso.

12pm: Ride a little bit.

2pm: Spaghetti (no cheese), recovery drink. Pangs of espresso regret.

6pm: Spaghetti (no cheese), de l'eau petillant, one segment of orange.

Occasionally, riders slip up and find themselves rapidly approaching race season being very much bikini-unready. This may be because their diet has looked like this:

Breakfast (9am): Muesli met chocolade. Croissant with speculoos.

Speculoos: the Nutella of Benelux

Speculoos: the Nutella of Benelux

10am: Consider riding. Wait for rain to clear with spoon and speculoos in line of sight.

11am: Dispose of empty speculoos jar.

12pm: Ride a little bit (to waffle store).

2pm: Pick up some Belgian chocolate ('for the kids'). Eat chocolate on way home, dispose of wrappers under car seat next to empty speculoos jars.

6pm: Celebrate the end of the day with a couple of Belgian beers to wash away taste of chocolate. Kebab on way home. Extra cheese.

Tyler Hamilton's pre-tour meal

Tyler Hamilton's pre-tour meal

For those riders, the days immediately leading into race season follow the Tyler Hamilton Grand Tour Weight Loss Plan (TM) of 6-hour rides followed by de l'eau petillant and 2x temazepam. Lisa's Mum has limited data on these riders, who when contacted for interview declined to respond to emails, answer the phone or admit they were home.

Lisa's Mum hopes this answers your query, dear reader, and thank you for taking the time to write in with your question. Further insights will be published in Lisa's Mum's PhD thesis, entitled Waffles, waffle regret and Niels Albert, due out soon.


Ride happy.


New Year's Eve Tips For The Romantic Peddler

[There's not much connection between the cover pic and this week's post, but who doesn't like a good Skinsuit Sunday shot??] Ride Happy has over the years proffered advice on a number of topics, from Jersey selection for the recreational cyclist to whether to disown your son over poor bike taste and how to handle office douchebags. Sometimes this advice has been well-received. Sometimes not (hello triathletes! I love you deep down, really).

I apologise first of all for the back-log of emails asking for Lisa's Mum's advice that I have yet to get to. I always love getting them and my responsiveness does not reflect my enthusiasm for reading them. Please keep them coming. Send them again, if you could. I would love to get to them... I just need a prod sometimes.

Now that it is almost 2013, my thoughts turn to New Year's Eve and the veritable treasure trove of romance that awaits the drunk and opportunistic. Being now a single lass, I see New Year's Eve through different eyes... those eyes being slightly blurry and prone to distraction. However, having been out of the game for 9 years a while, I felt in need of a strong guiding hand in the romance department.* And so it was with a steady hand that I unlocked the cupboard under the stairs and thrust a steaming mug of Earl Grey into the hands of a dusty and neglected Lisa's Mum.

Lisa's Mum is a well-recognised authority on romance, having married 5 times and ghost-written the bestseller Fifty Millimetres of Sock Height, a racy novel enjoyed by cyclists in private around the world. Her thoughts on romance are so advanced that it is said that even Mario Cippolini himself would consult Lisa's Mum prior to any romantic encounter during Grand Tours (a practice that coincidentally coincided with the introduction of Telekom Italia's maxi-cap mobile plans). And so, with tea freshly brewed and pen poised, here are Lisa's Mum's tips for navigating the peloton of love this New Year's Eve:

  • Make sure you have a pre-race strategy: There is nothing worse than being the sucker who goes on the attack too early. This is the Paris-Roubaix of romantic nights: you have one shot at it and you need to get to the Forest d'Ardennes ahead of the bunch. Remember, everyone is twitchy; just keep your head and don't be the one who brings the whole bunch down.
  • Course selection: A one-day classic requires a different approach to a Grand Tour. Both have their merits. But consider: are you a sprinter or endurance romantic? If you like a one-day race, New Year's Eve is for you... but you had better be sure you have a fast finish on you. No one likes a choker.
  • Keep it realistic: There is no point if you are a punter to be aiming to win the Tour de France. Keep your sights within reach.
  • Get a good domestique: A domestique, or 'wingman' in layman's parlance, is worth their weight in gold. Practice a few moves together and make sure they know how to lead you out and how to deliver you to the line when you need it.
  • Equipment selection: Give all your equipment a good wash. That's what the pros do, and they do this all the time. Make sure all your gear is in good working order. I've been beaten by players with lesser machinery, and it hurts.
  • Stay off performance-enhancing drugs: It will cloud your judgement and you won't respect yourself in the morning.
  • The best time to attack is when your opponent is distracted: Maybe they're in the toilet. Maybe they've ordered another beer. Get your domestique to do some blocking moves so that you have a clear run at the prize.
  • Above all, learn to Sit In: Girls, you should NEVER hang out in the wind. Stay tucked in and don't be the one leading the charge. You'll need to conserve your strength for later when the real race starts.

Good luck... and may all your efforts end with your arms in the air.

Ride Happy.

*Those who are in the loop on Target 30/30 - the most awesome new year's resolution of all time - will agree with this. 

Lisa's Mum goes to the Canbrrrrrra Tour

[Image (c) Mark Gunter Photography] Last weekend Lisa's Mum visited Canberra for the Canberra Women's Tour, the latest NRS tour in the ladies' calendar. Actually, she meant to go to Floriade but got the dates wrong. Mum does like a good chrysanthemum. Nevertheless, the racing provided a welcome distraction from the disappointment of missing Canberra's most prestigious flower festival.

Canberra Tour for most of us is known simply as 'The Cold Tour'. In fact, even when there were 2 Canberra Tours in Winter, there was one that was Pretty Cold and one that was So Cold That Your Fingers Felt Like They'd Been Slammed Into A Car Door Cold. Faced with the difficult decision to cut one of the tours from the race calendar, organisers wisely chose to retain the latter tour, presumably because they liked black ice and one of them owned shares in Icebreaker. Not that Lisa's Mum was complaining. On the contrary, she took great delight in finding weather that was cold enough to warrant wearing her fleece-lined, wind-proof, water-resistant, snow-proof bib tights. These tights hadn't been called into service since Lisa's Mum's days as an extra in Olivia Newton-John's 'Let's Get Physical' video clip, and she was pleased for an opportunity to bring them out again.

Lisa's Mum was gratified to find that the tour had been scheduled in the middle of Canberra's coldest spell of weather since 1936. It made her feel less awkward about adding anti-freeze to her bidon and wearing fur coats made from endangered animals.Lisa's Mum did wonder, however, at how cyclists in Canberra manage to get through a whole season like this. On reflection, she concluded that the Winters were probably the reason why Canberra breeds so many good professional cyclists. Everyone has an incentive to get good enough so they can bugger off to a pro team and a European Summer.

Mum was also particularly impressed by the standard of racing at the Tour. The 4-stage event was won by Taryn Heather, a South Australian who has the distinction of having raced more world championships than NRS races (well, almost). Taz's return to form after injury and illness is a sign of great things to come. While Taz conceded at the start of the tour that she was only at around 80% fitness, the rest of the peleton quietly hoped that their 100% would be as good as her 80%. It wasn't.

While happy to reunite with the AIS food hall, Lisa's Mum left Canberra feeling slightly disappointed. It wasn't so much the lack of sticky date pudding, but more the fact that the Curse of the VIS Women's Team had struck again, reducing the team to 2 riders. This time it was illness that was the culprit, claiming Jess 'Jallen' Allen, Supercoach, Moody... and slowly everyone else. The Enforcer, not one to shy away from punishment, performed the work of 4 teammates but in the end the VIS Chicks left a broken crew.

Before signing out... a shout out to a good friend of Ride Happy, Jarrod Partridge (aka Mr JXP Photography) who together with Cycling Cafe founder Simon Cadzow is riding the Tour de France on stationary trainers to raise money for Autism SA & The Army of Autism Awareness Angels. You can read all about his crazy adventures here. If you're feeling the cold this Winter, jump in and make a donation for instant warm fuzzies.

Ride happy.

May update - Getting dirty, then getting clean

May has been a big month. I'm a bit behind with Ride Happy posts, so here is a very brief snapshot of what's been going on. We started with Battle on the Border in Qld. I am still leading the National Road Series, although the amazing Ruth Corset is hot on my heels. My mum (NOT Lisa's Mum!) got very excited about this article by Cycling Australia because I talked about how I like having a career to balance out all the pedalling. Parents like to hear things like that.

I've been enjoying some time in Adelaide, training and with family. It really is the best city in Australia for cycling. I have a bike that I keep there now, which makes spur-of-the-moment trips very do-able. It's almost worth flying there just to experience the novelty of not travelling with a bike bag. Some quality secret training too, which as we all know is the best kind.

The following weekend, Ryan 'Diamonds' Moody and I teamed up for the Dirty Gran Fondo MTB in Wandong, VIC, put on by the good people at Big Hill Events. 90km of fire road through Mt Disappointment State Forest with >2000m vertical. That is a lot, particularly on a mountain bike. Diamonds could have dropped me about a million times, but luckily for me stuck around to watch me suffer.

The DGF was awesome, but ridiculously muddy. It was an important race for The Roadie Project, as I've entered Tour de Timor in Sept (a 5 day MTB stage race) and need to be somewhat competent in an international MTB field. Riders could opt to ride cyclocross bikes or MTBs, and there was some pretty compelling evidence to be seen of the growing popularity of CX in Australia. ANOTHER bike for the wish list!

Despite the fantastic atmosphere that is typical of MTB racing, the day was soured for me by the behaviour of one WALRUS, who took me out in the first 5km as we were all jostling for position. This guy decided that he was in 81st place and had to move to 80th pronto, which meant changing his line in a rocky creek bed and clean decking me. That's part and parcel of racing, but what was disappointing was that the guy knew he was in the wrong and didn't check that the person who had just eaten it was ok.  I saw him turn around as I was sprawled out elegantly over the rocks, then keep going (no doubt to chase down 79th place). Fair enough if you are racing for the win but this guy was no winner. I don't mind bleeding all over my nice race shoes, and spending a few days off the bike, and sticking to the bed sheets, but I take exception to spending my Sunday afternoon in a medical clinic and scrubbing out my knee in the shower with a toothbrush, just because some idiot doesn't know how to ride. ALSO, given that there were 120 starters and I finished 20th, I'm pretty sure I passed you, Walrus, at some stage, and I bet as you were chicked you made some stupid excuse to yourself about how this was a training race for you and you were just pacing yourself, etc etc. WALRUS!

Phew! That's my grumpy rant done.

The next exciting thing is that Apollo Bicycles have started a Facebook comp to choose the cover photo for the Apollo 2013 catalogue. They have very kindly put a photo of me bleeding from my eyeballs (below) as one of the entries. The winning photo is the one with the most 'Likes'. You can enter by visiting the Apollo Facebook page here. (Or try here for a link to the photo itself, if you're feeling lucky.)

Obviously, voting brings you extremely good luck and it's been proven that voters are better kissers.
Another cool thing that's happened lately is that I've started a new job as an in-house legal counsel in Melbourne. I've had a great year of exploring new opportunities and this is an exciting new chapter in my career. Again, this got my Mum very excited.
I've also started a board role with Lacrosse Victoria, which is a new and exciting challenge. And I had a great opportunity last month to sit on the Cycling Australia Selection Review Panel for a world champs selection appeal. I'm getting a lot of enjoyment from working with sports, and as I go I realise how much athletes can contribute positively to sports governance.
But... one of THE MOST exciting and newsworthy events lately has been that Lisa's Mum now has her own regular column in Bicycling Australia magazine! That's right, Lisa's Mum has sold out. She will still be appearing in Ride Happy, but this time if you send her a letter you may just see it in the next BA issue. Her first appearance is in the next issue (out in the next few weeks). You can also grab a copy of RIDE Magazine for something more serious - the current issue (#56) has the first of a four-chapter series I've written on corruption, match-fixing and cycling. Corruption in sport has the potential to be bigger than doping, and potentially more damaging.
OK, that's enough talking, and time to get back pedalling. Thanks to everyone who has kept me smiling over the last few months. You know who you are.
Ride Happy.

Lisa's Mum presents: Snow Whitey and the 7 Dwarfs (aka her review of the TDU)

Once upon a time there lived a directeur sportif named Snow Whitey. Snow Whitey was a beautiful creature, and could often be seen around town, her mane of blonde hair and curiously prominent ears turning heads at every café. Snow Whitey lived in the kingdom of Garmin with an evil stepmother called Jonathan Vaughters. One day, the evil stepmother decided that Snow Whitey was too beautiful and her blonde mane too glorious to stay in the kingdom of Garmin. The evil stepmother cast Snow Whitey into the woods and hoped that she would be eaten by hungry sprinters.

Luckily, Snow Whitey had excellent survival instincts cultivated from years of being a domestique for local warlord Lance Armstrong. She survived by eating forest berries and using her ears as giant nets to trap flies and small birds. One day while hunting she happened upon a large Jayco caravan owned by a group of merry dwarfs. There were 7 of them, and each had a name: Robbie, Stuey, Gerro, Durbo, Leigh, Cam and Gossy.

The 7 dwarfs ate together, rode together and dressed the same, in little green suits (probably designed for slightly smaller dwarfs, Snow Whitey suspected). Each day they would leave their caravan on their shiny matching bikes, singing, 'Hi ho, hi ho, it's up the road we go,' as they set to work, digging themselves into holes in the hope of finding diamonds.

Snow Whitey was not a dwarf but did enjoy wearing little tight suits too, and so the 7 dwarfs welcomed her as one of their own. Snow Whitey loved the dwarfs, but every day she thought about her evil stepmother and vowed revenge.

One morning at breakfast, Snow Whitey was sipping her espresso and reading the paper when she saw a story about a race going on in the neighbouring kingdom of Adelaide, in which her evil step-mother would be competing.

'Look at this!' Snow Whitey exclaimed. 'It's a bike race in the kingdom of Adelaide! Teams 0f 7 race for 5 days over hundreds of kilometres in 40-degree heat! It's lucky there are 7 of you dwarfs. I will drive in an air-conditioned car behind you.'

The dwarfs looked hesitant, but Snow Whitey assured them that she would look after them and never let them come to any harm from Warnie or troublesome chauffeurs with a history of playing giant animals on morning TV. And so the 7 dwarfs prepared to race. They organised a team training camp where they went golfing and go-karting. They flew around the country wearing matching suits and posed for photos with kangaroos. And, finally, they went to a studio and recorded a team song. At last, they were ready to take on the evil stepmother.

The 7 dwarfs raced hard. They took on giants, convicted dopers and yellow teletubbies on the top of Willunga Hill. By the end of the race, one of the 7 dwarfs was on equal time on GC with another team's dwarf. Luckily, the race director called upon by-law 1.2.11 of the race rules which stated that, where 2 riders were tied on GC for time, and one rider had won a stage, the leader's jersey would be given to whichever rider had professionally pre-recorded a team song in the weeks prior to the tour.

'Phew,' thought Snow Whitey, 'I am glad we did not end up shooting that swimsuit calendar that Robbie McEwen wanted.'

And so the dwarfs won, and Snow Whitey beat her evil stepmother, and they all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Lisa's Mum's guide to surviving a conversation with a Tour tragic

Lisa's Mum understands the unenviable position of being stuck in a conversation on a topic she knows nothing about. She encountered this very problem only the other day when sitting next to Julia Gillard at a roundtable forum for Influential Women of the 21st Century held at the Altona South RSL. Although Lisa's Mum found Julia charming and very smartly dressed, her views on carbon pricing were somewhat limited, which made for some awkward silences between the pair. Lisa's Mum is here to ensure that the same does not happen to you during Tour time. Here are some fail-safe phrases to throw into water-cooler discussions about Le Tour / the Giro / Vuelta. Just make sure you deliver your snappy line and move smoothly away before the other person draws you into a proper conversation:

On the way the tour is panning out:

  • It's a game of cat and mouse
  • Ah yes, but they haven't hit the mountains yet
  • It's because Cadel still has a crappy team

On individual riders:

  • He's bluffing
  • Crikey he's arrogant. Can you believe what he gets paid?
  • What a hard man. They say he can crack walnuts between his calves just by putting his feet together and sneezing

On doping:

  • Doper or non-doper, Contador is still the best cyclist in the world
  • I ate a steak once, but I didn't test positive
  • Have you read 'Rough Ride'?

On the race radio debate:

  • Rider safety is important, but it's also important that I get to watch exciting TV
  • Why don't they all just listen to ABC NewsRadio? I do.

Good luck! And get some of your wife's eyeliner onto you - those dark circles are unbecoming.

Lisa's Mum's guide to the Tour de France

The Tour de France starts on July 2 and Lisa's Mum is excited. She is still a little bit miffed that Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen have declined her offer to join them on the SBS TdF commentary team. Apparently, they do have enough women commentators and no, they do not think omitting Lisa's Mum from this year's line-up would alienate a large portion of their audience.

Alberto is a big Star Trek fan but even big fans can get the official greeting wrong sometimes
Le Tour this year winds through all sorts of romantic-sounding French places before ending up on the Champs-Elysees where, like most tourists visiting Paris, the peleton will be too tired to do any decent shopping and won't be able to afford anything there, anyway.

Lisa's Mum appreciates that not all of her fans will have as intimate a knowledge of Le Tour as her. Accordingly, she will be providing Le Commentary for the next three weeks to help the uninitiated through the Greatest Show On Earth. To start with, here is a glossary for beginners:
  • Tour: A multi-day stage race (like the Tour de France). A Tour provides many days of racing, but just one overall winner. Which makes you wonder why the other 197 riders are so slow to catch on. The overall winner and some lucky other guys get to dress up in colourful jerseys at the end and everyone else loses 5kg. [See also Lisa's Mum's previous Guide to Cycling for Non-Cyclists]
  • Stage: One day of racing in a Tour. Even though there is only one winner at the end, each stage tricks riders into thinking they may have won (a 'Stage Winner'). On the podium, the Stage Winner is told the sad news that no, they are not the real winner, and they have to race again tomorrow. The frustration leads him to throw his bouquet of flowers into the crowd in a huff.
  • Time Trial: A stage of a Tour where each rider races not against other riders, but against the clock. Each rider is set off one or two minutes apart and told that there is only enough hot water in the showers at the end for 3 people. Each rider turns themselves inside out trying to get there first.
  • Neutral Start: Technically, this is where the start of the race is 'neutralised' and not part of the race, so that riders can parade through the start town nice and safe. I think in most pro men's races where the stages are 200km+ this generally works. In women's pro races of 100km, 'neutral start' means 'get to the front any way you can, as fast as you can, before the neutral zone ends'.
  • Finish line: Where the race ends. A rider's finishing time is taken from the moment they cross the line... unless they are in a big bunch, in which case the time is taken from the first wheel and given to everyone in the bunch. This is so that the riders who have not yet worked out what a Tour is (see Tour, above) will not be tempted to race everyone else in the bunch in order to 'win' the sprint for 38th place.
  • King of the Mountains: The smallest and skinniest rider who gets to look like Where's Wally as a reward.
  • Sprint Leader: Given to the rider with the biggest and strongest legs. Also the first rider likely to get fat when they retire.
  • Domestique: A rider who can ride just as well as their leader but is paid half as much. Often seen getting water bottles and getting spat out the back after an epic 150km solo breakaway.

Next: Lisa's Mum's guide to surviving conversations with a Tour de France tragic!

What Would Cipo Do: Disowning your son over poor bike taste

Lisa's Mum was very excited to receive the following sollicit for counsel from reader Andy: Last night my lad was watching New Inventors and got all excited when they rolled out the Cruzbike "Vendetta" (partly because it was yellow).  Then he asked, very politely, if I would mind stopping the stream of sarcastic remarks that this story provoked. Woe betide! Must I disown him? Send him to a Home for Wayward Boys? What shall I do?

Lisa's Mum has chanelled the best of Mario Cipollini and considered Andy's dilemma in terms of What Would Cipo Do?  To do this, I first had to coax her out of the broom closet into which she had retreated following the discovery that the Cruzbike Vendetta was in fact a RECUMBENT bicycle.

Recumbent bicycles rank alongside bright orange flags and rear-view mirrors as things that most clearly should not be combined with cycling.* Having said that, if you are riding a recumbent, you will require both, along with a flagrant disregard for societal norms and a legally binding last will and testament. (Apart from looking ridiculous, recumbents are not very visible in traffic.)

*Lisa's Mum may consider adding this discussion as Part II in her Rules of Cycling.

Cipo was many things to many people, but above all he was a famous sprinter with a glorious mane of Italian hair.  Cipo would never have ridden a recumbent, for two reasons:

  1. it would have been hard tacking on to the end of his lead-out train while lying down; and
  2. the aerodynamics of the recumbent position would have prevented him from feeling the wind through his beautiful locks.

It is also considerably harder to make a convincing victory salute whilst looking like you are about to enter a luge chute.

But back to Andy's wayward son. Or maybe it's his friend's son.

It is important to explain to your son that liking recumbents is a lifestyle choice that, whilst valid, has yet to be openly embraced in mainstream Australia. He may have to indulge in his recumbency in special underground clubs or quiet university bars until he is ready to be openly recumbent in front of friends and family. All you can do is love him for the person he is and not for the cyclist that everyone else will laugh at. Even Cipo would respect that.

Lots of love,

Lisa's Mum

Lisa's Mum presents What Would Cipo Do

Lisa's Mum and Cipo go way back and have been friends ever since Cipo spied Lisa's Mum at the 2010 Giro d'Italia and demanded a picture. Since then Cipo has been a major source of inspiration for many of Lisa's Mum's advice columns and many happy hours have been spent musing about Cipo over a pot of English Breakfast.

Mario Cipollini was an Adonis even before Adonis was an Adonis. He bought so many tickets on himself that they sold out and he had to put on an extra show. He was a great sprinter (just ask him) and won 191 races as  professional between 1989 and 2005, including the world champs title in 2002. Cipo would typically prepare for big races in the discotheque and declared that, 'If I weren't a professional cyclist, I'd be a porn star.' Ever the diplomat, Cipo would refuse to ride the  mountain stages of the Tour or Vuelta and instead release photos of himself lounging around in deck chairs at the beach while his compatriots turned themselves inside out in the mountains. He also got arrested in 2002 for motorpacing on an Italian autostrada (average driver speed 150kph), and in his defence claimed that the autostrada was the only place where he could safely maintain the speed his glorious legs demanded.

Cipo's flamboyance also led to some dubious skinsuit choices:

Incidentally, it is good to see that Cipo abides by Lisa's Mum's rules of cycling fashion, which dictate that if you are extremely good at riding and can beat anyone over any distance, on any terrain, then you can wear what you like.

Given Cipo's credentials, it is fitting that Lisa's Mum's new column 'What Would Cipo Do?' is devoted to the aspirational Super Marios among her readership. If you have a conundrum that requires the wisdom of Lisa's Mum and the spectacular manliness of Cipo, please direct it to her either by commenting below, or by email at We will consider them carefully in the context of what the Lion King himself would do.