The 500 Club - The Hairy Eagle

In February 2013, the man known as 'Flaps' became only the third rider to enter through the exclusive gates of The 500 Club - to celebrate, we sat down to hear from The Grand Duke Hairy Eagle..

Eages, thank you for joining me today, on the nature strip of Route 33, adjacent to the famous ‘Brown Sign’, for an interview to celebrate your induction to TKM’s 500 Club. Congratulations on your achievement, a testament to your dedication to TKM

Thanks for having me – I think it’s important for people like you to be given the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with people like me.

Is it time to start talking about me yet?

Before we get on to discussing you, can we stop for a moment to reflect on the first two members of this illustrious club, The Postie and The Stealth – your thoughts on these fine specimens?

Well, interesting question.  I think it’s OUTRAGEOUS that we have to spend some of this precious time talking about people other than me, so I’ll keep it brief…

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Postie – doing great things for TKM’s racial diversity program. If only he were a female amputee with a mental disability we’d be ticking political correctness boxes all over the place. Frustratingly transcends the ebb and flow of TKM’s daily grind.

WHO was the other guy you wanted to discuss…?

Take us back to 2006, when you first dragged the flaps and tallons through the big green gates of the Kingdom….

I remember the first morning I departed from Club Clinger with TKM. I ended up slotting into the group next to an intimidating man-mountain that scared the sh!t out of me. Thankfully he introduced himself very politely as James and made me feel welcome straight away.  Big Butch then spent the next 2 years monstering his bike and the rest of TKM.  We need both him and his prowess back, pronto!!!

Whilst you sport the yellow band as a past cup winner, your time in the Green jersey is perhaps your greatest achievement in TKM – would you agree?

There’s a bunch of one-hit wonders that have strung a couple of good rides together and ended up with a yellow band on their jersey – Wobblechopper, Convicticus, Dogwret, JibberJabber, FargoBoots, SkinnyPhatKid, BuzzBox, FuzzyRanga and PoocheyWoochey –hell even I’ve managed to get  lucky a couple of times! 

But it’s the race for green that the fans come to see and the one that the sponsors really remember.  I’ve had plenty of time to practice, refine and hone my victory salutes, but the unfortunate reality is that, by the time we get to the Brown Sign, I’m too rooted to actually celebrate.  And that’s the way it should be – Noize is the greatest show on earth and every participant should have nothing left in the tank by the time they get to the Brown Sign…

Do you think it is possible that your arch-nemesis, the Carrot, will ever taste any success in TKM, or is the bloke simply kidding himself?

I think you, me and every other member of TKM all know the depressingly realistic answer to this question. You’ve gotta feel your way to victory in the green jersey stakes. It’s like a 6th sense. There’s no textbook or formula that will prescribe how to get to the Brown Sign first.  Unfortunately Carrotz is a washed-out basketballer and just doesn’t have the cycling gene as a fundamental part of his DNA…

Speaking of The King, talk me through your ‘special’ relationship with our leader.

I think it’s important for everyone to reflect on their position in life every so often.  Would you rather be the guy in the spotlight, or the guy holding the spotlight?  Thankfully The King is the kind of puppet who doesn’t mind operating with bright lights shining on him.  It allows the rest of us to get on with keeping things on track. 

There will be some naysayers out there who might suggest giving up after 17 unsuccessful coup attempts, but I really think we’re beginning to get a groundswell of support to overthrow the current monarchy and really take things to a new level…

Now, in addition to your famous exploits in the sprint, you are also a regular winner of the ‘Shittest Bloke in Melbourne’ award. I can see why this is the case, but for anyone not too familiar with you, can you explain what it means to be a shit bloke, and how you have become such a shit bloke?

Like any accolade worth winning, the SBIM award requires commitment.  Anyone can have a bad day, and take it out on others around them.  Anyone can say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time.  Anyone can be a little absorbed in their own world dealing with their own problems to not take the time to think of others.  Anyone can exhibit moments of selfishness. 

BUT, to have the internal fortitude to be able to do this consistently, day-in day-out, for a whole year, back-to-back-to-back really speaks volumes for the energy and enthusiasm I’ve directed to making sure this coveted title stays in safe hands.  I just wish Doma would give me back my t-shirt…

Over 6 or so years and 500 rides, you must have had some classic times down at Noize, racing all over Australia and away getting rare on a road trip – give us some of the best memories. Photos are welcome, of course.

Noize is always a highlight, but there’s thankfully a whole lot more to TKM than that.  Many of the road trips we’ve done have been memorable.  Our King of the Mountain trip to Adelaide was magnificent for a whole variety of reasons…

In fact, I think King and I even spent 15 mins being friends descending one col together with reckless abandon…

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Racing the Tour de Perth as an official TKM race team against big Graeme Browneye and the Meyer brothers was pretty fun too, until I crashed…

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And let’s not forget Butch’s Bucks Daisy Day either...

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And watching TV with Gypo has always been a highlight…

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With the new kits and partnership with CBD cycles, TKM is entering an exciting new phase – how do you think your next 500 rides will play out?

Well given the first tranche of them will be completed on the official TKM team-issue CBD Giant Propel, I expect them to be FAST.  With the increasing numbers in TKM, including on the blacktop, I’m also looking forward to the engine room growing in size and power.  These are EXCITING times!

Stealthy has planned a ‘Nude Noize’ for his 1000th – how will you celebrate?

I’m fairly confident Norman will find a way to orchestrate a nude Noize before then.  But for me, I hope to celebrate my 1000th ride by…you guessed it… WINNING THE SPRINT.