Papa Bear  -  Michelin Man        

Eric, the former FatMan is a pedal Bludgeoning Behemoth, who once extended the bathroom scales over 100kg.  The infamous Bottom Bracket Frame-Breaker with an ox’s heart has rec’d three replacement frames under an original Avanti bike warranty, such is the punishment he bestows upon his bicycles. 

A spinal fusion required insertion of a couple of bolts in his lumbar region in ‘84.  However, the prosthesis hasn’t stopped the former Frigidaire on Wheels, from completing twenty three 200km Audax Alpine Classics in Bright over the Aust. Day long w'end, interspersed with Fitz’s Challenge, and 210km Fitz's Epic, and 250km Three Peaks which Eric contends are more demanding than the annual visit to Bright Vic. 200km Audax Alpine Classic, although the infamous 40o temps in the Bright Basin in the 2006 AAC where half the field wisely pulled-out, tested Eric's resolve.

Eric is a rumbustious chap who thinks he's distinguished, 'cause he constantly strives to look eminent - a Falstaffian figure seemingly epitomizing mirth 'n merriment until he slips into his Arian whingeing 'n whining mode which he contends 'ignorant Australian' confuse for constructive criticism, helpful hints and clever counsel.

In conversation, don't bring up The War.  Because this Old Krout has an sanguine recollection of an Altar Boy named Adolph ie. "that Austrian did a marvelous job in unifying a lot of countries to a common cause."


After whingeing and whining for many years "about I can't afford it", in 2000 the Bulbous Bloke dusted-off the moths and shelled out big bucks on a hand-made Paul Hillbrick, state of the art, treadley.  However, it is now 20 years old, so the former FatMan has indulged in a few new treadleys, because his extraordinary cycling resolve is only surpassed by his ego not to be out-done.

Like Prague, PapaBear enjoys climbing famous Tour de France KOM climbs.
Alps mountains:
- Alpe d' Heuz 14 km, 1h 47min
- Combination Lautaret / Galibier (2642m) 20 km 2h 11min
- Aravis 10 km
- Colombiere 12 km
- Joux de Plane both sides each 12 km
- Combination Glandon / Croix de Fer 18 km
- Col du Mont Cenis 10 km
- Mont Ventoux 22 km, 2h 45 min
Pyrenees mountains:
- Aspin 12 km
- Tourmalet 17 km
- Peyresourde 10 km
Swiss mountains - not used for TdeF although - quite tough for the average Sunday rider:
- Grimsel 5.5 km
- Furka (2431m) 11 km
- Gotthard 12 km
- Col de la Forclaz 13 km
 
Eric rates Ventoux as the hardest climb. However, he struggled with Tourmalet as there was thick cold fog with very low visibility for about half of the 17km ascent.
"I was also the only one climbing that day, and I didn't get overtaken by anybody.  And I didn't overtake anybody either." 

 

 

Eric, from his best side, trudging up the steepest section of Tawonga Gap - circa 2005 Audax Alpine Classic.  Scribe's old red jalopy is in the background. 

 

 

Above pic shows a seriously under-nourished PapaBear "holding court" at Mt. White - Oct '06.  Arno is patently bemused.  Samurai and DishPig are more circumspect.  Todd (RHS), who tackled the 2006 160km Fitz's Challenge, marvels how Eric can exhibit such enthusiasm to again embark upon another torturous 210km Fitz's Epic.

 

 

 

 

 

PapaBear after completing his 12th 200km A.A.C. 'on the trot' which might be an Audax Alpine Classic record. 

Sunday 27 Jan '08, Eric "like-clockwork" is lined up at 6:15am for his 13th consecutive 200km A.A.C.

Eric feeling chuffed after clocking 11:10 for his 13th AAC.

Eric rolling north to Richmond on our Old Ballarat Rd Christmas Eve ride 2008

Click on:  page 5 of March 2009 Push On magazine titled "Resolute Diehards have earned respect"  Or read the article Resolute Diehards from therein below:

Eric takes Muggs GutBuster pics to the X-tream seeking to resemble the MichelinMan

The triumvirate of Miner 'n Maureen and PapaBear conquering the highest peak in the Pyrenees, Col du Tourmalet, in mid-August 2016

In the background, Eric aka PapaBear doesn't look a HappyCamper at PitS in June '20.  Or was he just taking a breather after a lengthy verbal address to the brethren at the Mt White Nosh Stop'
Eric missed his vocation as an
ecclesiastic pastor 'holding court' to provide guidance to his 'flock' on Sunday mornings.  PapaBear is so adept at it! 
Father PapaBear
doesn't quite 'have that ring to it'.  Pastor PapaBear maybe does.  No doubt, Eric would have 'sounded thunder' if the 'flock' didn't reach into their pockets when the 'collection plate' was handed around immediately after his Sunday sermon from the pulpit, where he wouldn't require a microphone.

Subject: RE: Pete's weekly Oyster ride!...Friday 12/3/2021
Well yesterday was an interesting day! ….the rain showers only came while we had coffee at Mt White  so we did not get wet !! The day proved humid and warm!  Our planned visit to Australian Reptile Park at Somersby was well worth it.  I liked the Komodo dragon and platypus while Peter checked out the reptile show and snakes ….. and the fat tailed dunnarts (a nocturnal Australian marsupial) was rather cute.   Of course there were koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, cassowary, emus and dingoes too!..... all set in lovely Australian bush and shrubs!  I am glad to say there were quite a lot of visitors!  
To our amazement, we learnt that COVID driven, Eric has a part-time job at
Australian Reptile Park leading suspecting prey on a crocodile walk, where you might end up as a reptile's dinner.  Of course we had usual delicious oysters and fresh prawn rolls at Woy Woy Fisherman's Wharf
before catching the train back to our Berowra start!
Happy cycling!  Cheers  ToothFairy


 


Backpacker Eric has lost a foot' so be wary that you don't lose even a bit more if going on a 'Nature Walk' with so much "Nature", 'cause lots of those reptiles have innate primal instincts to feed their kids!