Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Monday, 3 December 2007
In my eyes the only reason a professional sports person would miss a test is because they have something to hide. It's a joke. When you know your carear and reputation depend on it, surely you just get tested and then go home. To miss one test is careless, to miss three is unexcusable. It would be like me just forgeting to go to work, three times....
As I understand it she blames her missing the THIRD test on a change to her training schedule, but for me there is no excuse. She is one of the most fortunate people in the world to have a natural talant for sport and all she had to do was to turn up for a few tests. Now the BBC want to reward her for making a comeback!
Not only can she run again in little local events she is also able to run for her country in the Olympic games after she won an appeal to be able to do so.
I suppose the fact that she has a good chance of winning a gold medal in the Olympics has quite a lot to do with her return to sport, If she was just a mediocre cyclist you can be sure the ban would have been longer and the press would have buried her, and taken great pleasure in doing so.
If she is clean and did just forget to get tested or something then sorry Christine, your not a drugs cheat, just a stupid idiot, whose lack of respect for her sport should have seen her banned anyway.
I'M REALLY UPSET BY THIS, PLEASE DON'T VOTE FOR HER! THE END.
Sports Personality voting:
1. Joe Calzaghe 177,748 (28.19%)
2. Lewis Hamilton 122,649 (19.45%)
3. Ricky Hatton 85,280 (13.53%)
4. James Toseland 84,570 (13.41%)
5. Jason Robinson 67,061 (10.64%)
6. Paula Radcliffe 34,895 (5.53%)
7. Jonny Wilkinson 30,302 (4.81%)
8. Andy Murray 13,242 (2.1%)
9. Justin Rose 10,227 (1.62%)
10. Christine Ohuruogu 4,481 (0.71%)
Total votes: 630,455
Excellent news, the drugs don't work. Last place to Christine, although it looks like Ohuruogu has 4481 friends. I was also pleased that Hamilton didn't win as his team have been caught cheating quite a few times this year, although not with drugs. Oh and well done Calzaghe!
Friday, 30 November 2007
I've just found out that my hero, Evel Knievel has died. A sad, sad day. Evel was fantastic I can't really believe he's gone, after surviving crash after crash and a liver transplant I had started to believe that Evel was going to live forever.
It's getting quite late here but I'm going to come back to this post over the next few days and add some of my favorite Evel stories. For now all I can say is thanks for the memories Evel, and take care if you try to jump the gates of heaven!
update 1, Sat 1st Dec
I rode my motorbike to work today, a Yamaha xt660x, a bike that Evel would have approved of. I wore an Evel Knievel T shirt too. My route to and from work was chosen with Evel in mind. On the way I took a detour to go over my favourite hump back bridge..... On the way back I came through the city centre so that I had wheelie opportunities from traffic lights.
Anyway, as I said last night here are the some of the best Evel stories that come to mind, in no particular order, Enjoy!
1, Early in Evels daredevil days he performed a stunt where he would stand facing a motorcycle which would travel towards him at 50mph. Evel would then jump up in the air and the bike and rider would go underneath him. However, it didn't always work. On one occasion Evels timing was off and the bike hit him, as Evel lay on the ground he was covered with a blanket and was presumed dead. In fact he had "only" broken a few ribs. This was way back in 1966.
2, When Evel tried to jump 13 buses at Wembley he hit the last one and crashed. As normal, he broke various bones but he was up faster than a footballer with a slight graze to the knee, and then told the crowd he would never jump again. On the way to the hospital his agent asked him what happened. Evels answer was something like this, "Well my mother always told me to catch the last bus...".
3, That last quotes not bad but my favourite Evel quote has to be this one made as he is about to jump snake river canyon in a rocket powered bike. Evel knew he had no chance of making it to the other side, the three previous unmaned test flights had all failed and Evel had run out of money for further tests. However, as Evel had told his public that he would do the jump backing out was not an option. As Evel pressed the launch button he said, "God take care of me, 'cause here I come!" HERO.
4, I'm going to be doing this post for weeks, there is just so much to tell about Evel! Another good tale is one that landed Evel in prision. In short the story goes something like this. A guy called Sheldon Saltman wrote a book on Evel. Evel said the book contained lies about him and he wasn't happy about the content. To put this right Evel went round to see Saltman and broke both of his arms with a baseball bat. In latter interviews Evel Said things like, "It's hard to type lies when both of your arms are in casts" and also described Saltman as "the rottenest apple in the barrel and he deserved killing." Evel accepted blame and told the courts the truth about what had happened. When sentencing him the judge said he appreciated Evels honesty, but he could not encourage such behaviour. He was sentenced to six months inside. His jail sentence didn't please the toy companies, they said "All American Heros aren't suppossed to go to jail".
5, Evel was the best stuntman of all time and he knew it, he often said, "I don't care about these other so called jumpers. They don't compare to me. I'm the guy who invented car jumping."
6, When sitting in hospital after a failed jump, I forget which one, Evel confided in a friend and told him he knew he was not going to be able to make the jump. When asked why he went through with it Evels response was "What the hell was I supposed to do, give them their money back?" This guy was so tough!
The stories just go on and on. My advice to you is to go and buy the book Evel Incarnate by Steve Mandich. Good bye Evel, I'll miss you.
Monday, 26 November 2007
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Back on the penny farthing front, my trainning for the duathlon at Castle combe on the 25th Nov is going ok at best. I've managed to do something to my back and riding my normal road bike is quite painful. It doesn't hurt at all to run and I can only feel it slightly when on the penny, so hopefully It will be ok. There are almost 200 people entered in the duathlon now so I may not come last. This time last year I did the event on my time trial bike and finished in 55minutes, Using the penny I think It will take me about 1hr 10minutes. Last year this would have been well inside last place so hopefully I will be ok!
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Sunday, 28 October 2007
I like to have a few events to look forward to in the winter as I find it can be a dark and depressing time. Today was the first day this year that I have had to deal with daylight saving. This is someones bright idea to put the clocks back an hour in the winter so that we can all get to come home from work in the dark. Today wasn't too bad as I finish at 4pm on a Sunday but in the week I will be riding home in the dark at 5.30pm. I really don't like the dark long nights, I can put up with the cold and wet but the dark gets to me....
Friday, 26 October 2007
On the penny farthing front I am about to send off my entry for another duathlon and plan to use the penny for the bike leg. I'm not expecting to do a great time as I have let my training slip after doing the coast to coast last month. Even so I've got untill 25th Nov to get myself ready so you never know, I may not come last...
My penny riding days are also about to become a little more difficult as here in England we are about to change the clocks. This means that it will be completly dark when I get home from work so evening rides are over for the next few months... I'll just try to get out on it on my days off.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
On the positive side, staying at home will keep my carbon footprint nice and small, in fact over the last five or so years I have cycled further than I have driven and have only flown once.
Anyway, I've not riden the penny farthing much since coming back from the coast to coast so this weekend I plan to have a good long ride on it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, I am going to enter a local cyclocross race, but not on the penny!
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Day 1 whitehaven to penrith
Monday, 17 September 2007
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Today I rode the penny to Gheluvelt park in Worcester for a cycle event held as part of the Tour of Britain promotion. My cycling club, Worcester St. Johns had a stand so I was going mainly to make up the numbers on our stand.
When I got there I was pleased to see there were a number of other stands and quite a bit going on, I had a go at the roller racing and posted a time of 21.57secs., at the time good enough for 4th spot. I only had one go, and according to the girl running the stand I started slowly, but being so short it was more a test of pedalling speed and style rather than fittness, so I was pleased with my time as I have always thought that I can't spin. The people running the rollers were http://www.rollapaluza.com/ , I've not checked out the web site yet but apparently they do parties so it might be worth looking at if you are after something different to a bouncy castle.
The other penny farthings in the photo belong to a fellow club member, Martin, and are both for sale. One is an original from 1888, the other is a replica. Both are ridable, I had a quick go on the replica and it rides really well. The purists out there may not be too keen on it as the join between the backbone and forks is quite bulky, but if you're after a penny for fun or to learn on you could do a lot worse, e mail me if you're interested in either bike and I'll pass your details on. (more photos on http://www.flickr.com/photos/10804338@N06/ ) There is also a trike in the photo, this was used by a club member, Gordon, to ride from Lands end to John O'Groats. Gordon did the ride to celebrate his 70th bithday!
A couple of select club members had a go on my bike and also a guy from the try a bike stand, everyone got on ok and the bike survived fine.
The mountain bike demo was pretty cool too. My photo doesn't do it justice but these guys seem to defy gravity!
All in all a good event, congratulations to the organisers.
I stayed untill about 1.00pm I think, I don't wear a watch at the weekends so that I am not a slave to time! Then I rode off to Vanfest at Malvern. Vanfest is a VW Transporter show and as a bit of an air cooled VW fan I thought I'd pay it a visit. It was a great ride over in the sunshine with lots of people cheering me on from their cars. Once at the show I checked out a few trade stands and chated to a few people about the bike. I also had a quick look round the vans for sale area but came to the conclusion that £10000 buys a lot of B&B, besides I think Split screen vans are too small to get my bike in and the later larger vans just aren't that cool. I had a T25 camper for a couple of years and it was fun but, sorry T25 fans, they are not cool.
The ride home was also good, I did notice that a couple of spokes on the penny had started to work loose, but the wheel still seemed true so I'm not to worried about it, I'll give them a quick tighten later. The only negivite thing about the day was a real rarity, a negivive comment. I was riding along in a dead straight line in full control when a car pulled up along side me, the lads in the car then shouted, "F*!KING IDIOT" to which I replied "F*!KING IDIOT? YOU'RE THE ONE DRIVING THE ROVER 213!" I mean, a Rover 213, why even entertain the thoughts of buying one? The only surprising thing about Rover going bust was that it didn't happen years ago. I don't swear that often, but I think he deserved it, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones..
Thursday, 6 September 2007
The ride to work was fine but I was late leaving at the end of the day so I had to push on to get to the start. I was in time but lots of people had already signed on so I asked if I could go as number 0 so that I could ride at least some of the way home in daylight.
The event itself was good, I did a time of 21mins 6seconds. I had done this course once before on the penny and managed 21mins 10seconds so to go a bit faster was a surprise after the rush to get to the start. After the event I had a quick drink in the pub with some of the other riders then made my way home.
The first part of the ride was fine as it was still light. Then when the sun went down it become harder. To start with it was good, with just enough light to be able to see and owls and bats starting to fly around I really enjoyed it. Then when it became very dark it was just a case of surviving the journey. You really need to be able to see the road when on a penny and my front light was not really good enough, I made it home but riding in the dark is not something I plan to do too often.
With the coast to coast ride coming up I think I may have to do some early morning starts to make the most of the daylight. This weekend I plan to get a few daylight miles in on the penny and take a few more photos....
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Back to Ankerdine, anyone who has ever riden a bike will know how hard it is to ride up a steep hill. Well Ankerdine is properly steep, with an average gradient of 17% and each year at the end of the time trial season my cycling club holds a time trial up it.
I have prepaired my bike in the usual way, by taking off anything that adds weight like lights and mud gaurds and I'm confident that I will do a decent time. Last year I got up the climb in 3mins 41seconds. I'm not sure if I will go faster this year as I changed the gearing on my bike earlier in the year and my lowest gear is now a bit higher than it was last year.
I have also had today off work as well so I should be nicely rested. While I was sitting arround today I had the idea of attaching my camera to my bike to make a video clip of the climb. So I have now added back a few grams of weight, well it's always handy to have an excuse lined up!
Anyway if the video works I'll put it on you tube so that you can experience the pain of a hill climb... (seems to have worked ok, going up = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSHRznVQnlc going down = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIxEl8HPnxs the first one is quite long so it's still processing, should be ok by 5th sept though).
For now I'm trying not to think too hard about the prospect of getting my heart rate to maximum and holding it there for 4 mins, actually I've just thought about it and that's going to be about 760 beats! If I was watching tv 760 beats would take about 15minutes.....
Well I survived the hill climb but went slower than last year by about 7seconds I think. I'd like to make a special mention to two fellow riders though. Firstly Ed Dursley, he tried so hard he was sick at the finish, good effort Ed! And secondly Steve Price, who flew up the hill in 2 mins 56 seconds! An incredible performance, I'm quite a fit bloke and half decent up hills but Steve took 53 seconds off my time, to use a word that is often used but rarely deserved.. Awesome. I am truly in awe of that time and so should you be..
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Name Cat Time
R Graham G 23.51
D Preece G 24.08
B Boswell S 24.16
C McSweeney S 24.24
J Barnett G 24.35
S O'Toole V 25.26
A Taylor V 25.40
E Dursley G 25.49
D Evans G 26.11
B Whatton G 26.25
E Garton S 27.25
D Yapp V 27.32
G O'Mahoney V 27.59
W Douglas V(F) 28.35
D Burnage V 28.42
C Connell G 28.52
T Knight V 29.17
A Sims S 29.30
P Jolley S 30.24
D Morgan V 31.24
Virtualy all of the coments people make when they see a man on a penny farthing are positive. This makes a refreshing change as fellow cyclists will know this is not always the case when out riding.
In this section of the blog I have tried to list the best coments that I have received whilst out on the penny, I will add to as and when I get any variations on the coments received.
Best comments to date. 2/9/07 (Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 0) sorry about the football reference but I'm so pleased Villa were the first team this season to wipe the smug grin off Mourinhos face, as for Drogba what a big girls blouse. Anyway, back to the penny stuff...
1. "Nice bike mate, Halfords?"
I was out riding the penny when a fellow cyclist caught me up and offered the above question. At the time it made me laugh, lots. Thinking about it, although I still find it funny, he would have had some time to think of what to say, Still brilient though.
When people have less time to think about what to say they typicaly seem to come up with one or more of the following.
2. "Do a wheelie!" I've tried, it's not possible.
3. "Nice bike, can you juggle as well?" For whatever reason people seem to think I must be part of a circus.
4. "Hey, penny farthing." For those who know what one is.
5. "What the f*!k." For those who don't.
6. "What the f*!k, what the f*!k." A coment made by a suprised lad in London when first Kat rode past on her penny then me on mine.
7. "No way!"
8. "Jesus Christ!" No, it's just me.
More to follow as and when people coment...
Monday, 27 August 2007
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Monday, 13 August 2007
Sunday, 5 August 2007
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Monday, 30 July 2007
First photo, the start. Second photo, the middle. Last photo, the end!
Well we survived the ride, it was touch and go at times but we made it. I've tried to block the ride into sections for this post but it's not proving too easy as I can't remember at what stage various things happened. Lack of sleep does strange things to your mind, or as someone pointed out to me at work today, it can actually kill you....
I travelled down to London for about 2.00pm, managed to park ok and unloaded my stuff into Kats flat. Shortly afterwards we rode off, on our penny farthings, to meet some of her friends for a picnic. This made for a nice relaxing start to the weekend, and helped to take my mind off what I was about to attempt.
0 to 10 miles.
The ride got off to a good start, with no offical start time we made our way down to the meeting place nice and early to ensure that I could get a return bus transfer. Kat had already booked hers but I was less organised! The atmosphere at the start was great, looking around there were all sorts of people and all types of bikes. My bike was probably a typical example, standard road bike, half decent lights and small mudgaurds. Others were less standard, from recumbants to track bikes, complete with a total lack of brakes! We decided to start at about 8.30pm so that we could get out of the city in day light and hopefully without too much drama. As it turned out our biggest problem for the first 10 miles was the stop start rain. Waterproof on, waterproof off etc, but by about 9.30pm it was raining quite hard so on they stayed, as it turned out, for the next 10 hours...
The only other thing that sticks in my mind from the first few miles is watching a rider chase after and catch up with a bus which he then held onto for a free ride! I'm not sure if this is normal in London or not but it certainly didn't seem normal to me!
10 miles to 25miles
It was pretty much dark after the first 10miles but at this stage we still seemed to be in a big group of riders and as we were not yet tired visability seemed ok. nothing much happened really, the route seemed easy enough to follow and it was nice to be pretty much clear of London. Then at about 25 miles we had our first problem...
25 miles to 40 miles
We had not looked at our maps for about 15 miles and we were now just trusting the lead rider to go the right way. Decending a slight slope a car slowly aproached our group, the road was very wet, quite narrow and the enevitable happened, a crash. I was towards the front of the group and missed the action, Kat, however, wasn't so lucky. It all happened so quickly we are still not sure what exactly did happen, but it happened anyway. Kat and her bike hit the tarmac along with two or three other riders. The first I knew of it was the noise, Metal against tarmac is quite a disinctive and unwellcome sound. As I was still upright I slowly came to a halt to see if everyone was ok. When I turned round I could see Kat picking herself up out of the hedge and the first thing that came to mind was that I have no idea where we are. As it turned out noboby was too badly hurt, Kat had a few scrapes and bruises but luckly nothing too serious. Her bike came out of it about the same with bent leavers and ripped bar tape but nothing broken. we went quite sowly for the next few miles, hoping that none of Kats injuries stiffened up and after a quick stop for some jelly babies and a check on Kats war wounds our confidence slowly returned.
40miles to 64 miles
The only good thing you could say about the rain was that it was probably helping to reduce the swelling on Kats injured hand. All I can remember about this section of the ride is the rain. I was now wearing all the clothing I had and it was all wet. My waterproof was ok for about 35 miles then either the rain came through or I was sweating and getting wet from that. Either way, not a plesent experience at any time let alone at 1.00am with over half the ride still to do. Up untill about 55 miles and 1.00am I felt ok. Then, all of a sudden, I felt really bad. The novelty of taking part in the event had now worn off, I was cold, wet and really wanted to go to bed. We stopped at about 60miles, I felt really hungry but when I tried to eat a cereal bar I couldn't make myself swalow. Things were not looking good and I was starting to go a bit dizzy. I managed a few jelly babies and we carried on to the food stop at about 64miles. We went inside, the room was nice and warm and we found a seat. Kat, injured or not, was now looking far more likley to finish the ride than I was, The last time I felt this bad was at about mile 22 of a Marathon. I was really concerned, it was 2.00am and we had over 50 miles to ride, the time had arrived, DRUGS were my only option. While everyone else in the room looked to be doing fine I felt like death. I couldn't belive my poor performance so out came my secret weapon, PRO PLUS. With a turn around almost as dramatic as Vinos in the tour after a blood transfusion I got back on my bike and, although freezing cold, almost imedately I felt fine.
64 miles to 80 miles
After the drugs stop I felt like a real cyclist again, sure I was suffering but in an enjoyable way and I almost wanted the rain to get worse so that I would have a better story to tell. Once the peak of the pro plus had gone I came back down to earth and started praying not to have a mechanical or get a puncture. We saw quite a few riders fixing flats in the dark and in the rain. Every time we rode past somebody we asked, somewhat tentitivly, if they were ok. Luckly for us nobody asked for our help. We later learned of people not only having flats but running out of spare tubes and having to use repair kits in the rain. Not nice when you would rather be tucked up in bed asleep. At one stage around this distance we got talking to another rider who had cycled 40 miles to get to the start. He also claimed that when he reached the finish he was going to turn round and cycle back! I can only assume that this guy was on something stronger than proplus... It was also somewhere around this distance that we started to get a bit lost. We tried our best to read our wet and now almost unreadable maps but ended up going the wrong way. Fortunatly a car driver stopped and gave us some directions, he looked like a decent enough guy so we trusted him and turned round. As it happened he was right and we were soon back on track.
80 miles to 94 miles.
Somewhere around this distance it stopped being dark and became light. Dawn was a welcome sight, the increased light made the visability better and downhills safer. I also started to feel less tired in the daylight Unfortunatly it was still raining and overcast so we didn't get to see the sunrise but it was good all the same.
Why 94 miles? Well up untill now 94 was the furthest I had riden a bike in one go. It was durring My lands end to John O'Groats trip with Mickey in 2003 and up untill now I had not been further. Nothing magical happened as we rode our 95th mile, at this stage we both just wanted to get to the finish, have a cup of coffee and a sleep.
95 miles to Dunwich.
Durring the ride I had been motivating myself by setting mile targets were I could stop and eat a jelly baby or two. This worked untill 100 miles when I ran out of sweets. Then it was just a slow grind to Dunwich. For the last few miles we found our selves riding with a couple of others whos map had somehow survived the rain. It was reasuring to know we were going the right way and before we knew it we were at the finish. The cafe on the beach was open and we were glad to get into the warm, where we started to dry off, drink tea, coffee and eat cakes.
We sat in the cafe for a while, chatting to other riders and generaly marveling at the durability of the human body. Now it was daylight and I had stoped riding I felt fine, my legs didn't hurt and I was even feeling that tired. We then went out to sit on the beach and watched some of the riders swim in the none to tempting sea. Some people just have to go one step further! The sun gradually started to shine now so at least we could dry off before the bus transfer back to London.
The bikes got loaded into one set of trucks and the people into buses, where I had hoped to try to sleep. Unfortunatly the space available on the coach would have had the RSPCA involved if had we been talking about transporting animals and not people. I did manage a bit of sleep but nothing to speak of. By the time we got to London I was really hungry and ready for bed. We unloaded the bikes and headed back to Kats flat for some food. When Kats bike came off the truck it had a flat front tyre, as we couldn't be bothered to fix it we pushed the bikes home. Once there James cooked us some food, and in doing so probably saved my life! After eating and yet more coffee I decided now was a good as time as any time to head home.
The drive home.
I didn't start to feel tired untill about Oxford but when I did there was only one thing for it, PRO PLUS. Unfortunatly it didn't seem to have that great an effect this time so I got off the motorway and carefully made my way home on less borring roads. To say I was pleased to get back is an understatement similar to saying that Nelson Mandella was quite happy when he was set free. It's great to go away, but there is no place like home.....
Continental bike tyres. The thought of getting a flat in those conditions still makes me shudder.
Pro plus. Drugs and cycling, the two go together like nothing else.
Jelly babies. So easy to eat.
James. For the food, the best soup I've ever tasted, and as for the chocolate brownies....
Kat. For the idea to take part, not everyones ideal weekend away, but now it's over I'm really pleased we did it. Don't get any ideas about doing it next year on the penny farthings though Kat!
Tony. For the loan of the van, I didn't fancy a 120 mile ride to the start.
Thursday, 26 July 2007
Saturday, 21 July 2007
Well today My sister, Sue, was supposed to be getting married to Simon. Unfortunately the great British weather had other ideas and they have had to postpone the event. Theses pictures are of port street in Evesham 21st July 2007, the middle of summer. The first picture is of the river bridge, the white thing in the water is a boat, Latter in the day a mobile home from a camp site somewhere up stream joined it. The church is about a quarter of a mile away. The best mans house is about half a mile away and is also under water. At the time of writing his wife had still not made it home from work on Friday!
Yesterday I had to put up a work collegue, Chris, as his village was cut of. Our night was better than my mates Daves as he got stranded on his way home and spent the night in his car. This morning I dropped Chris off at work then made my way to Evesham. On my motorbike this journey should take about 25minutes, today it took the best part of 2 hours. I had to go down the m5 as Pershore was impassable. The motorway was like a scene from a sci-fi film. Cars were abandoned everywhere, all three lanes of the m5 were full of cars going about 10 mph. It looked like the whole of the midlands was heading south to avoid a nuclear holocaust. I was able to filter through the traffic on my bike but had to watch out for rocks and gravel washed onto the carriageway. The a road into Evesham was no better, in several places I passed through water that was about a foot deep but managed to get to Sues house.
At this stage the wedding was already called off, Sue and Simon seemed to be handling things really well, although they were both obviously very dissapointed. I stayed for a while, helped phone round a few people, drank coffee and then came home, again battling through abandoned cars and floods. I am now watching sky news while typing this and there are pictures of caravans floating down the river avon, people being resuced by helicopters and boats, pictures of huge holes in main roads, and talk of bridges collapsing. I can't be bothered to go and look at the river in Worcester for myself as I've had enough of it now. The rest of my night is going to be spent drinking Lager and listening to music, I'll just have to pretend I'm at the wedding reception.
All in all a bit of an unbelievable weekend, oh and by the way I haven't ventured out into the floods on the penny! Also looks like Tuesdays time trial is off as a bridge on the course has collapsed.....
Sunday, 15 July 2007
Saturday, 14 July 2007
Well, for an event I have entered for a laugh, I'm all of a sudden really nervous! I was going to do a bit of sprinting practice on the penny today but decided against it in case I crashed or broke the bike. I then started to get paranoid about injuring myself so I sat inside all day, on the best summers day we have had for about a month, and watched the Tour de France. The tour was great though. A little known German rider, Gerdemann, rode away from everyone on the first of the mountain stages and by the time he went over the top of the climb and down the stupidly fast descent he had gained enough time to go into the overall lead. Even if he does nothing else in his cycling career he will be able to look back on today with pride, he wont care that his whole body hurts, he has completed the dream of all cyclists the world over. He leads the greatest race in the world and tomorrow will be wearing a huge smile on his face and the yellow jersey on his back.
Anyway, after the tour I became even more nervous. I don't really get nerves before races so I can't really explain it. I really don't expect to win anything either so quite why this has happened I don't know. I've decided to go out tonight to take my mind off it, I don't know, the pressure of becoming an Olympian is just something I never thought I'd have to deal with!
Well thats about all for now. Next stop the Olympics!
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Sunday, 8 July 2007
Talking of being soundly beaten, Fabian Cancellara handed out a beating of epic proportions to the rest of the field in the prologue of the tour de France on Saturday. Fair play to David Miller in the interviews afterwards. He didn't claim to have a bad day or make excuseses, in fact he said even if he had had the best day of his career Cancellara would still have beaten him. I kind of like Miller, even if he is a self confessed drugs cheat (at least he confessed), so come on Dave win a stage for us.
Back to penny farthing stuff, I haven't had too many opportunities to ride the penny over the weekend, but I have managed a couple of rides. In the end I didn't ride it to work on Friday but I did do a bit on Friday night. After work I went for a run of about 5 miles then took to the penny and rode about 10miles with Mickey and Cassie and ended up in the Huntsman pub (again!). We stayed untill closing and then rode home in the dark with quite a few pints on board! I'm fairly sure athletes training for the real Olympics use a different sort of energy drink after exercise but beer seems to work for me! When in the pub we were joined by other friends, Andy and Mary, Who had just come back off holiday in France (again!) so we had plenty to talk about. Anyway, we all got home ok.
That was Friday, on Saturday I had a really busy day with no opportunities to ride. I was at work all day then in the evening I was at my parents ruby wedding party. My job was DJ and barman. The bar was easy enough as I just pointed everyone in the right direction and they helped themselves, it's never been a problem getting the Precce family to drink. The DJ duties were not much more difficult as I just made a playlist of old 50s and 60s music and left it to play. By all accounts the party was a success, My uncle Jim apparently said it was the best one he had been to as he enjoyed being able to talk over the music rather than being deafened by it. However, I did make up for the quietness of the party on the way home by playing ac/dc at huge volume in my car.
Unfortunatly I was at work again on Sunday but I did manage a quick trip to the British VW festival in my VW Beetle. I had hoped to be able to find an 80's bmx to buy to relive my youth but there was nothing worth having. Anyway, after work I went out on the penny and ended up in another pub, if only beer was a performance enhancing drug, I'd be a world champion!
Well that was my weekend, this week I have a tough week of time trials on my normal bike. On Tuesday I will ride a 14mile hilly with Worcester st Johns then on Thursday I will have a go at a 25 mile with VC Sevale. I tried this combination last year and went well in the 14 but fell apart in the 25. Hopefully I will be able to have the Thursday off work this time to help my recovery...
Thursday, 5 July 2007
Other less important news from me this week includes a return to form for my time trialing with a better performance on Tuesday night. I could tell at the time I had done better than last week and then when I woke up at about 1.00am and my legs were having a major twitching fit I was sure that I had given 100%. I did nothing training wise on wednesday but this morning I went for a run and felt fine. I haven't had chance to ride the penny this week but all being well I think I may commute to work on it in the morning.
Saturday, 30 June 2007
The next day, complete with a hangover, I cycled to Halesowen cycle track. I really enjoyed the track day, the ride over was interesting as a number of the lanes we rode down were still under water from the recent floods. When we arrived we looked like we had just finished Paris Roubaix, rather than 26miles of English country lanes in summer. We were all covered in spray and mud but it was nice to get a few laps in, all be it on my standard road bike, complete with mudgaurds and lights! Hopefully I will soon get to borrow the st Johns track bike and have a go at some racing.