Positively challenged

15 09 2010

In the last week there has been a lot of discussion as to the changes of next years Challenge Wanaka triathlon; in particular the bike course. I’ve been quite surprised at how many people feel that this will make it a harder ride and that this is a negative to their own ambitions for the race. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about the ‘old’ and ‘new’ are mapped below…

Challenge Wanaka 2010 part Bike Leg

Now before I start the argument that the changes I think will produce faster times (ie easier for most), lets look at the concept of easy and hard as relative perception and the mental game you need to develop if your to have a good race day performance. By nature no race is ‘easy’. Most people enter to find out what they are capable of. For some that’s to complete the distance, while others have time or placing goals. Either way you’ll be generally trying to achieve a new barrier and this will involve over coming difficulty; hopefully leading to great satisfaction, personal reward and the desire to do it again…

Once you’ve understood that it wont be easy but could be amazing the entry gets posted and there is no turning back. You’ve commited yourself to a few months of training, joined a local group and or got yourself a coach. But then the course changes!! Well frankly even if it was tomorrow (I’ve been informed of course changes the night before, the morning of and even during a race) the best thing you can do is remain positive. There will always be naysayers on the start line worried about the cold rain in the middle of Summer, the blowing Southerly that should be Nor/West experienced everyday of training etc; let them,  it’ll be their loss. Instead when you open the curtains, welcome the unforcasted; “Ah ha Rain! I can take you on I’m stronger than that”. And quite simply you will be. You also will be immediately streaks ahead of all of your stressed competitors.

The same goes for a change in course, only this is easier to approach the positive because it’s simply a matter of adjusting tactics and/or training. Now is where I point out affirmative for the opening debate. The effort required to cycle the half (90km) and full (180km) distance of Challenge Wanaka is ideally a measured steady effort. Ultimately a course with little rhythm change would suit the fastest times. Also the regular wind blowing from the North West can play huge bearing on your ride, course direction can also effect this too.

Challenge Wanaka 2011 circling the Hawea loop in the 'Normal' direction

Comparing the two courses above the most obvious change is the direction once leaving Wanaka, effectively now clockwise, here are the benefits.

1. The Wind. The road to Hawea on the HWY 6 has better shelter from the wind by being closer to hill slope to the west. The only sections were the wind really starts to be felt is going past the golf course in Hawea but by then your almost there. Then turn right and catch the tail wind ALL the way to Cromwell. Turning for home again the twist and turn in the road and occasional protection from the close by hills face offers more respite from the wind than the exposed Eastern edge of the lake.

2. The Climbs. Again these obstacles are also easier to tackle as they are steadier ‘rhythm’ gradients. Maugawera upwards is a consistent angle, where as the other side is 2 short and sharps steps. The climb up above Hawea Flat is much steadier and easier than the brute coming from the Red Bridge – now a decent. Many people fear the climb up the Luggate cutting towards the airport, but it’s just a matter of approach. The bottom is the steepest bit and this is where people get it wrong they try to attack it from the bottom. The secret is to ease into it with a low gear and spin at first then as you get to the right hand bend the road also eases and you’ll find you have the legs to pick up the pace up and over the top. You might feel slow at first trying this but I promise you that overall the energy you’ll first save will make for a faster accent of this hill. It’ll also leave you will some reserve to hold your speed into the wind passed the airport. Once there it’s then all downhill into Wanaka.

I think this is going to produce the fastest times we’ve seen yet, especially if it is a little windier. So no panic, in fact for me I’d say all the Challenge Wanaka competitors have just been given a gift (come to think of it all of the roughest ‘dead’ road, will also most likely be downwind; it just keeps getting better!).

The main moral of this rant is that no matter what stay positive and on top of doubt. Champion Boxers don’t walk into a punch, they turn with it, if they’re going to take an unavoidable knock they allow it to pass through them so it hurts a hell of a lot less. Really this can be said for all of life too. When it comes down to situations out of our control, it’s often not what we do but how we do it that makes the difference. If you’re still struggling, break it down to just 2 choices; happy or sad. Not so difficult is it? Happy training – that helps too…


One Track Mind

8 09 2010

There’s no wind. Rain is on the forecast but that’s not a problem either. The road ahead is polished, and if you continue riding in a straight line for 20 seconds or so you’ll end up back in the same place. Que? Ahhh Le Velodrome! An ovalised tracked with two banked corners that send you into a 180 degree about-face with gravity defying magic. Indeed riding it is so surreal and exciting it could easily be described as magical. Of the dozen intrepid Wanaka journeymen and women to venture onto Invercargill’s community asset only one had previous experience. None other than ex-National Sprint Champion John Andrews, our leading light and the man to follow, that was until he slipped off on his first turn on the ‘boards’; damn there goes my confidence, thanks John…

Jamie riding 6 ft off the ground

I cruise a lap around the infield getting used to the direct non-stop fixed gear. Stop adjust seat, try again. Repeat. Finally comfortable I slowly build my speed. Time to try riding the gently slopping blue boards; ah that’s not so bad. Next corner I’m going to go on the 30 degree banking… whoa that was weird… OK next corner let’s go a little faster and another line higher… yeah this is fun… what if I go full gas around here? Yeeaaahhh! G-Forces push you to the wall, there is even a strain on your neck as you seemingly look up-hill/around the corner. Damn, this is a blast! Next corner faster again, nothing but smooth wood and the faint rumble of the eiry hollow underneath, ecstasy. Down the back straight keep going, keep pushing. Ooooh hang on this is starting hurt, how fast am I going? How many laps have I done? Maybe I’ll just back off a fraction before that foyer coffee has had enough of my stomach.

Bruce Ross - he's seen a Dernie or two in his day

Kilometers of Latvian Hardwood handlaid by zee German's

For us track virgin’s we had the previledge of being hosted and coached by none other than Mr. Bruce Ross. Infamous in Southland and nation wide in cycling circles. Bruce has for the past 25 years been the driving force behind the Tour of Southland and the Cycling center. Without him most of our great junior and developing athletes would have had nowhere to stay when visiting and it seems unlikely that the very track we enjoyed on our excursion would have come to fruition. Bruce took us from nervous roadies to ‘Flying’ 250 meter TT riders and Team Sprinters; well beyond the progression I believed our motley crew would make. His encouragement and instruction had us all lapping around without drama and with lasting grins. Before too long our 2 hour booking had come to an end. It had been a great taste and tease, yet Bruce wanted us to have a more lasting impression. With typical Southland hospitably he took us behind the scenes into the belly below. Showing and describing the expertise, craftsmanship and expense went into this extraordinary structure. 

The very one and only - Zoopkeepers

OK what next? Lunch time, and when in Rome… Zookeepers, another for those in the know. Zookeepers Cafe has long been an advocate for cycling and through its long running sponsorship of racing teams it has helped many Kiwi riders step up to greatness, including Hayden Roulston, Jeremy Yates, Heath Blackgrove and Gordon McCauley to name a few. Winning countless Tours of Southland AND Wellington the memorabilia and photo gallery is entertainment in itself, let alone other art and sculpture that turns this local coffee haunt into an almost cartoon like must visit for anyone looking for a reason to escape a wintry day.

It had been an early start and a bit of a drive but that was quickly forgotten. This trip will certainly be a regular pilgrimage in the colder months for us up in Wanaka, next thing we’ll be transforming ourselves into sprinters instead of climbers…

Round and Round

26 08 2010

The ultimate riding surface?

My first memory of elite level bike racing was watching the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. For some reason or another (teacher with priorities?) we had a Television in the classroom and were allowed to watch the live broadcast of the Mens Team Pursuit. It was a 4000m match race on an outdoor oval track with these crazy steep banked corners. I remember being riveted to the screen wondering how on earth the bike riders could defy gravity as they carved their way around the track with in inches of each other and rounding the bends horizontal to the ground. It didn’t make any sense, but it did look cool.

I swear I didn't exegerate the anlge too much...


Skip ahead, a few years, quite a few years… and I’ve found myself inside the ILT Velodrome down in Invercargill coaching a team of bikers to ride one of these very velodrome’s. Only this one is more modern than the L.A version and is undercover, made of wood and the corners are steeper! At first glance it quite frankly is so intimidating that you assume it to be impossible. Then our student racers came out and started warming up by doing some easy laps. That’s when jealousy overcame anxiety. These guys and girls of all shapes and sizes, abilities and fitness levels were cruising around like it was a Sunday ride (actually come to think of it…) and man not only did it look easy but god damn it looked fun. Sure they were just going around in circles, but I’ve been escaping the winter sitting on an indoor trainer going nowhere at all for the past month; this was the answer! Just think twice every 250 meters you get to angle over on this sculptured Newton prover, all on perfectly smooth wooden floor boards, you with me?

The guy up top is about 10ft off the ground

OK here’s the catch, there’s only one like it in New Zealand and it’s right at the bottom. Luckily for me that’s only 3 hours away, not exactly a drive I’ll do regularly but better than flying to Auckland and worth a one-off trip with some mates. Stay tuned I promise to make such a journey and if no-one gets an eye poked out I’ll post the victory salutes and podium shots!

Rouleur (magazine)

22 08 2010

A magazine worth preserving

SO you’re on the world wide web (don’t ask me how I know), but if you are anything like me you might have a penchant for old school printed magazines as well. It’s where I learned all about the bike and where my gear addiction was first seeded. Only these days most publications that I would have spent my precious bickies on a few years ago are filled with news already detailed on my now favourite web pages. There is no point covering the latest SRAM group set because Anthony Haung showed us months before the archaic paper was ready for printing. All that throw away but fascinating news is now daily and free. Other magazines sell on size and pad out their “quality” with glossy advertisements that are as satisfying as a Big Mac (i.e. not). Is anyone the real deal anymore? Or are our attention spans and concentration levels set to dissolve with the tabloid?

You don't need captions when you can dream your own

This is about the search of new school integrity. About a search for a magazine well written and artfully photographed. It should contain a respect for life and have a soul within. I want an insight; a taste beyond the obvious. A ticket to competitive cycling’s 4th dimension and something worth collecting while looking forward the next chapter. Sporadic one column articles amongst cliché racing photographs and surplus of brainwashing is not the art that I subscribe to. As for the lucky writers (and readers) who must form the picture in 300 words, best of luck; please be as general as possible there’s not a lot of room left for you.

Mr. Gios - a golden life time of stories

OK enough drivel, let’s take a look at a title on an entirely different plain to the rest of the magazine peleton. Rouleur out of the UK have just sent me their 18th edition (I now have 4 plus a photo annual). The first thing you’ll notice is its weight for size. It’s built to last. The matt finish paper frames compositions in truthful light. The contents page is brief. Only multi-page articles need apply; save for Johnny Green, but the ex-Clash band manager doesn’t mince his words anyway. There is no ‘regulars’ column, every issue is original. Often they take the term ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ head on and provide your insight via often atypical photo journals that force a pause and provoke thought. Each shot individually stunning on its own; ranging from a barren road landscape to a portrait of the fans taken in the aftermath. In keeping the theme the athlete profiles customarily focus on the forgotten or the obscure up and coming. Chosen because their story is an interesting one; not because of public demand and often written by credible contemporaries. Example in case; a Jeremy Hunt piece written by fellow current uber-domestic Michael Barry is pure poetry. It describes the lives of two professional racers that even in the twilight of their careers still appreciate their trade and have a refreshing love for the craft. Inside the latest issue is a feature on climbing. Again, they haven’t found any old grimpeur to wax the tale, but appropriately recruited famous recluse Robert Millar; Briton’s one and only TdF K.O.M.

Mountains can be cruel

It is commercial. There are advertisements, but not as you know it. Ralpha clothing have a 2 page(r) featuring a race rhythm profile of the Col du Tourmalet displayed as printed sheet music. How about a photo of a pair of Paul Smith leather Brogues with a pedal cleat screwed into the soul. You see where this is going? Does it sound pretentious? It shouldn’t because this is put together by true lovers of cycle sports; they also just happen to oooze style and put it together with the highest degree of detail. Rouleur magazine powers up and over the highest cols and through the deepest mud with a poise that is unrivalled in this fiercely competitive industry. Setting itself apart with passion before commerce, and that to me is a long term way to keep my subscription running.

Yozo Shimano; own's a company that makes fishing gear etc.

Jack Bauer is not a TV star – yet

13 08 2010

Rumours abound that what you are about to read will be snapped up by a national magazine and printed for purchase. The good news for all here is that in reality if that happens it wont look anything like the following. Too many words for a start, but mostly because this page doesn’t deal will a middle man. In the present (what your reading now) information is often raw unmanipulated, gramatically squewed (including new words), and probably straight up wrong. But the beauty is the conviction behind it – and no-one has sued me yet.

A couple of fateful years ago I had the perverse pleasure of riding a team time trial around Queens Park in Invercargill. The roads were closed, we had police escort in front and camera behind. It was the first stage of the Tour of Southland and the only preparation my team and I had made was to organise the formation en route the starting gate; I think we might have even lapped out once on the ride from the hotel… With the wisdom of hindsight a little more practice could have been handy. Amongst the five of us Jack Bauer was our strongest rider. None of us had realistic overall placing aspirations but still we were there to make a race of it and take advantage of any opportunities we could create.

Bluff Hill - even when you wining it hurts

Possessing a big engine able to wind up to great speed we voted Jack into first position. He was to accelerate solidly up to the first corner and peel off before my turn down the main straight followed by Josh Barley, Tim Hargreaves and Al Dempsey. All was going sweet. I pulled off my 100m in the wind and while I was imediately on the rivet  from the effort I had enough time at the back of 5 to recover before it started again. Flying past the screaming schools at the back of the course and I pulled off the front again to look and discover that Tim and Al had been dislodged! The rules stated that we had to finish with 3 and looking ahead the dread inside was that  Jack and Josh were stronger. The pressure was now on to be that last guy. Problem was Jack loves being in the wind and was driving so hard that even in the shadow I couldn’t recover. After only 3 kilometers I was staring down the barrel of 5 more kilometres of stress. Jack pulled off and Josh kept the unrelenting horror. When the wind finally (too soon) hit me uninterrupted I was shattered and imediately pulled off without contribution. Jack didn’t flinch and took up pace again only I now couldn’t hold the back wheel! This was not going according to our hasty plan. I yelled “WAIT” and then finally “OK” as soon as I could but my legs were filled acid and fused like concrete; I was falling apart. For the next lap this happened a few more times. We managed to some what stay together and while we were not exactly close to the top of the leader board we certainly were no where near the bottom. I was left humbled by two of my week long brothers, but it was Jack’s performance especially that had me wondering if he could acheive greater things.

Kingsnorth liked him and he liked Belgium

That Tour finished early for me (another story all together) but for Jack it was confirmation that maybe he should try his luck beyond NZ. Without much of a plan he packed his bags and with little savings started a make of break exploration of his ablities in hard man cycling heartland; Belgium. The next 12 months were fairytale. Riding for Kingsnorth Wheelers CC he picked up 8 wins as an amateur and was the most succesful foreign rider. He came back to NZ with a tougher body and wiser street smarts. His silver at the Club National road race was confirmation to those who’d been following yet he was still flying under the radar. At the Tour of Southland his improvement would truly come out from under the covers. Victory over Heath Blackgrove on the notorious Bluff Hill was an eye opener. His attack on a very blustery run into Winton on Day 3 to steal the yellow jersey confirmed his rivals fears. On Day 5 still in yellow he missed an important break that would ultimately cost him the overall race, but for me and many others the physical performance he put in to limit his loses that day showed just how strong he had become.

Yellow Oakely's - nice

No-one though figured the next chapter in an incredible summer. After a dozen laps of Christchurch’s National Elite championship course Jack was dropped on the final acent of Dyers Pass road. Not one to give in he battled back up to absolute favorites and Tour de France stars; Julian Dean and Hayden Roulston. With only 1 km left (of a race total 165) it came down the three of them. Undeterred, Jack launched his Belgium formed sprint and held off the big names to win the coveted NZ champions jersey. To cap it off just a week earlier he’d signed a contract with UK pro team Endura racing for the upcoming European season.

With the prospect of seeing Jack race Southland again; this time as a favourite; I caught up with him to get his take on how things have been in the UK and what he’s got going on in the build up to coming home. This is the full unedited transcript below – slang et al…

1st Bauer, 2nd Roultson, 3rd Dean - that's going straight to the pool room

This year;
So Jack after an extraordinary first year racing in Belgium (off your own bat), how has your follow up year been, now that you’ve made the pro ranks and have had (presumably) more taken care of?
It’s been different. Way more so than I would have thought. And difficult! Adapting to a different country and sussing out training and a new way of life, culture etc. It all takes it’s effect on you as an individual and therefore your performance on the bike. It’s been a year of learning really, with a lot more people influencing me on the ins and outs of how to train/go about things etc.

You knocked up a few wins this year already, are you satisfied with the way things have gone?
Not really, I had planned to go better than I have done this year. I’ve had to cope with some setbacks that really impacted my year. But at the same time I’ve had to make sure I don’t get ahead of myself and expect this rollercoaster ride to just keep on getting better and better. I’ve gotta just calm down and learn to approach competition in a professional sense – realizing that I may not be able to perform to 100% and win every time! When you ride as part of a team you need to operate in that team environment as you are there to perform a job. So that’s what I’ve been getting used to doing.

Not doing as well as he'd hoped - ah ha...

How is living and racing in England and Britain compared to the Belgium and the Continent? Preferences?

I’m not a fan of the UK! I don’t plan on coming back here (England) to race. Apart from the Tour of Britain maybe. It’s not an environment that motivates me to race and train unfortunately. Over here I actually feel more like hanging out at the local with my neighbours, pint in hand. Oh yeah, and kicking a football around! A lot of what motivates me to ride is my surroundings – the training and scenery. As well as being in a place where cycling is part of the culture. The UK doesn’t have that setup for good riding which certain parts of Europe boast. It’s just not the same.
The physical boost you gained from your first season in Europe caught a lot of people off guard, especially back in NZ, are you still making big gains in your ability?
I don’t think that can be the case so much. Last year I had a lot to prove and I also learned a lot about my own abilities and the psychology of racing in general. That is why I made such a step up in such a short time. Things just seemed to click. Physically it was huge – and I really wanted it. I was driven to succeed and improve. This year I’ve more stepped up in a mental sense – I needed to change a lot with regard to my tactics and my style on the bike.

Highlights of this season…
Seeing the Time Trial results page in the Tour of Murcia, you weren’t that far off names like Lance Armstrong, Kloden, Menchov, Wiggins… how did it feel to look down that list?

yeah it was cool. I had hoped to go well on that stage, and I put it on myself to do well because I know I‘m strong out on my own in the wind. I’ve got a big engine. But that well? It was awesome! I’m hoping that’s just the start for my time trialling abilities

Bike handling 1-O-1, Jack knows a thing or two

Has the NZ jersey brought you much attention?
For one thing, in France it’s made it way easier to know when I’m getting called up to the start grid
Your Team Endura Racing is reported often as a feeder squad for ProTour Team Sky. What ties do you share with those guys and is there a possibly of riding for them in the future? Any interest from else were?
That isn’t the case. Endura is completely removed – and is in face a Scottish cycle clothing company. However, there are guys in Endura who have mates riding in Sky, so those sort of ties are there. Also the management of Sky is obviously the same management who run the British Cycling federation. Many of my team mates have been involved in the BC programme in the past so they have the contacts inside the management as well. Getting a ride in a pro outfit like the Sky team is another story though. For someone like myself, I am a newcomer to the sport, and as such I need results and consistent performances to my name before I can move on to a pro team.

Your coming back to race the Tour of Southland, this time with very strong backing. What’s the plan? Are you captain? Who do you see as the main rivals (I just read on cyclingnews that Roulston will be giving it another nudge with Calder Stewart)?
yeah Share the Road has a strong lineup alright. Brendon McDermott and Karl Murray have been putting in a lot of hours early in the year to ensure we got the goods…to come away with the goods! I owe my success last year to those two amongst a few other people. This year I would obviously love to do the team justice and come away with the win, and that is what we are building towards. However with the team as it is on paper, it’s clear to see that we have options to run with. Rivals? The guys who can climb well up Bluff. Hayden and Heath. I think it’s great that Roulston will be back, pity he wasn’t there last year to add more competition. The more riders of his calibre there the better the racing!
This year everyone will know you better, how does it feel to enter an race that you looked up to with desire when you were younger and now with genuine chance of doing well/victory?
real cool feeling bro, real cool. It’s like when you realize a big goal in your life coming true you know? It’s unreal

Smack down - Southland en route Tuatapere, where are the Aussies?

What’s makes Southland special to you?
It was the only big NZ road race that I really knew about when I was a youngster. I remember Dad calling me over to watch the news one night and seeing Yates win that days stage in the Tour. It seemed like the real deal to me as a kid, because it was on the news you know! I was into mountain biking then because we lived in the country, had lots of land to build tracks on, and a mountain bike was the only bike I had. I was always excited when cycling (be it road or whatever) made it onto the news though. I never really thought I’d be at the same level of competition one day! I wanted to make it on the mountain bike back then so all my thoughts were on that.
What does it take to win (Southland)?
More than I had last year! I’m the wrong person to be asking really, because I’ve only been close the one time. You have to ask someone who’s actually won the thing! I’ll tell you what I learned though.
First of all you need to be a good all rounder, as any tour winner is. But in Southland I think it really shows up who can climb. Not to the extent of the featherweights you see in the Tdf, but you have to be someone with the power to do well up Bluff Hill. Having a good stage result there set me up for my stab at the yellow jersey last year. Everything else just happened by itself really. The Crown Range stage requires that ability as well. If you lose time on either of those 2 decisive stages, well where are you gonna take it back?
Bike handling is pretty key with the wind and weather as it is down south, you gotta be able to hold the front wheel down and stay upright!
Just last month the UCI decided to drop the Tour of Southland from its ranking, leaving organisers free to manage the race as they see fit – ie invite who ever they like including ProTour riders to NZ amateurs. Do you have any feelings on that?
That’s fine by me. Getting the big boys in the mix just makes it that much harder and more competitive. More like the real thing!

It came and it went

1 08 2010

Yes I did once report on a test ride (check it out in the Testing menu up top) that if you wanted to see the one and only brand new Specialized mountain bike model the “Camber” in New Zealand you had to come and see me. Well a few of you did, only it sadly and excitedly it has gone from my possesion and I think to a better more deserving home.

The good news is that it is still in Wanaka, so for the next 4 weeks the only place in Aotearoa to see one is still here, keep a keen eye out for the rider with a grin from ear to ear.

It's the Camber Elite and it's the last time I saw it, one sweet bike

On a funny side note, as I was building it up 5 days before this photograph was taken I noticed the date of manufacturer sticker on the underside of the top tube. It was stamped 18/6/10, this photo was taken only 30 days later, now that’s a coup for it’s new home!

The zone

29 07 2010

Back in his heyday, the great Michael Jordan had games when he didn’t need to look for the basket because he was in the zone. It’s that mythical place of perfection where everything lines up so well that our bodies performance is dream like, almost by coincidence adding to the bigger picture surrounding it.

Surfers strive for the perfect wave. Golfers the perfect round, maybe a hole in one. World Champ Downhill Mountain biker Sam Hill says that when he is in the zone on race day he can barely remember the run he’s just finished. Number one Time Trialist Fabian Cancellara says it’s like he’s not even there, as if he floats above his body and he can’t feel the pedals. I remember at Challenge Wanaka triathlon a couple of years ago after putting in the performance of her life Merryn Johnston said it was easy – at first I felt she’d short changed herself and could have gone faster, but it’s not that simple and yet it is that beautiful.

We all practice various hobbies and occupations that we wish to improve; Maths, Music and Carpentry for some, for me cycling. I’m fortunate to remember three occasions when everything was right. Once was while racing on a short but demanding course from Queenstown to Glenorchy. Nothing that day was difficult. I existed in a bubble of calm. When the moment came to attack, I rode with such force that only two top riders could struggle with all their might to hold my slip stream yet for me it wasn’t even touching the sides – I was en forme. A week later while out on an easy ride by myself I felt the sensation again and decided to seize the moment to find its limits – in some ways I couldn’t. While of course there was a physical boundary to my speed, there was no wavering my in-the-moment focus, control and enjoyment I experienced pushing harder and faster. By the designated finish line the time I clocked I couldn’t have imagined getting close to without having rung myself inside out, yet I was barely breathing.

However ‘the zone’ doesn’t always have to be simply an athletic performance. Often it is just a unique junction of euphoria we cross without warning. A magical selection of your favourites on the radio; those dinner parties where conversation flows with ease, laughter is abundant and the food is three star perfection; or a subtle tilt of the camera that quirks the composition just so, as the sun glints momentarily through a break in the clouds… The zone pops up in mysterious ways, with timing as random as it is reliable.

You can train and practice all you like – it all helps – but unless your mind is relaxed and your soul open you’ll miss these great gifts when they come along. If you think back you’ll find some of them. Remember all of the circumstances and why it all gelled together that one time. You’ll realise that it is not impossible after all. Better still you’ll know what to look out for so that you can be ready to appreciate and take full enjoyment the next time it comes to visit.