Sunday, 31 May 2009

Pleasure and Pain...

Both days this weekend I've mixed pleasure and pain and have had a brilliant time :) Saturday was the 5th edition of my Dad's biannual birthday walk and it was fantastic to catch up with so many family members and enjoy beautiful Cotswold countryside... with perfect weather it was picture postcard stuff.

From dads walk and Divisional RR Champs May 2009

The now traditional red balloons could be seen snaking their way through the lanes and footpaths as the group of 20 ambled their way along the route.

From dads walk and Divisional RR Champs May 2009

There was pain though... my feet were in bits, blister city. Yum.

Sunday was the Divisional (regional) RR champs. P and lots of COBCC riders were in the 3/4 cat race.

From dads walk and Divisional RR Champs May 2009

Fair play to all for stepping up to the toughest 3/4 race of the season with the toughest course, the toughest weather (hot!) and the toughest competition. P had a great race and finished in the top 20, result.

By the virtue of having some points I was bumped to the E/1/2/3 race and got a bit of an education. 88 miles with 1500 m of climbing and I still havn't quite managed to shake the mountainbiker inside me who's only racing if he's working. To be honest though that wasn't the reason I didn't win. I didn't win because 13 guys were fitter, faster and smarter than me. It certainly wasn't due to a lack of kit (thanks to Clive for the Zipp 808 and 404 combo - zoom zoom!) or a lack of support (P and Clive again for bottling).

Proof I tried my hardest... a genuine 1000 yard stare. Captured by P at the finish :)

From dads walk and Divisional RR Champs May 2009

Think I'll have a day off tomorrow!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Got 5...?

Fancy a cuppa? Watch, enjoy the music and wait till half way then...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

You think you've seen enough...

then you get blown away again. OK, I accept it's hard to be impressed by magic the second time you see it... but watch, relax and enjoy... and let me know when you get to 1:50 in the vid.


Just the basics...

taken one step further...

Thanks to Stuart from Majorca/Leicestershire for the link... and congrats to him for his first (of many I'm sure) RR win.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Riding with your eyes shut...

is only really possible if you are on the back of one of these.

From tandam with ned may 2009

Ned suggested some time ago that we have a bash on his tandem and unleash some fury at the local Thursday night TT. Luckily he was wise enough to ensure we had a practise, which took place on a perfect sunny Herefordshire evening. Stoking a tandem is odd, you lose the sense of involvement in the bike but sitting on the back you have much more time to look around and enjoy the process. It was even better as at this time of year Herefordshire has been sculpted into a huge Zen garden in preparation for the potato.

From tandam with ned may 2009
My Zen state didn't hold through the race. Riding on the back in the pissing rain is hard work :) You can't really think about anything except holding threshold so I spent a lot of time with my eyes shut trying unsuccessfully to find the happy balance between pain and relaxation. Since I knew the course well this worked ok... until we arrived at a corner I had forgotten about. On the back it just felt wrong and I looked up to see Ned fighting to get the beast we were riding round a fast right hander. Fortunately my awakening and Ned's handling skills prevented a sticky situation unfolding and we cracked on without further mishap to the finish.

From tandam with ned may 2009
100% effort + rain + tough course = snot + pain + 23:11, not bad for the course and conditions. Sometimes it's easier to drive yourself when you feel like someone else is depending on your effort. I think we both worked hard as a result.

From tandam with ned may 2009

The question is... how much quicker could we go? Leominster next week anyone?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Forgotten how to...

ride my mtb. It's been a while and I've forgotten a lot. 2 laps of Cwmcarn and we were banging into everything. It didn't help that I'd forgotten to change my cassette back from a road set up (11-23) to a mtb (12-34) after Sherwood Pines and was too proud to ride the granny. Not wise.

Fortunately Sambo met us in the carpark to put the smiles back into the ride.

From cwmcarn with sam and p may 2009

From cwmcarn with sam and p may 2009

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Travelling through time...

not really stopping enough to take stock, take photos and reflect.

Nevertheless lots has happened.

From ride 26th april 2009

I've got in some great rides in the evenings. The arrival of spring has really made a difference and it's easy to get out.

We've also been celebrating...

From robs 30th + Bedford 2 day womens road race

A brilliant weekend in the Peak District with 20 of Bobby's friends. Good company, lots of smiles. I organised a little tour of the Peaks for those interested. Not hard core but a great steady ride around the area.

From robs 30th + Bedford 2 day womens road race

I should say I got hammered in the evening, but I didn't. Had a great time though and was lucky enough to stay in one of the best farmstay B&B's ever. Proper middle of nowhere Peak District farm stay. New born calves and lambs everywhere. Farmer wondering around in green overalls and in the room...

From robs 30th + Bedford 2 day womens road race

I used to think such things were merely legend but soon realised that wasn't the case. I then thought that they only existed for the purposes of irony, again wrong. It seems the toilet rolls of the world might not be safe if they weren't being protected from view by a knitted doll. It might not be fashionable but it's icing on the cake of a good chintzy B&B :)

We hit the road early after Bobby's party so P could make the sign on for the Bedford International Womens 2-day road race. We made it to the HQ just in time... after arriving at the wrong HQ with plenty of time to spare. You can imagine the stress as we charge across the countryside trying to find the right HQ. Happy days.

To cut a long story short P was a superstar. Attacking non-stop through the road stages and getting 3rd (or 4th, not sure!) in GC. Brilliant. She guested for Patterson-Altura and loved being part of a team for the first time.

From robs 30th + Bedford 2 day womens road race

I made an appearance at the supporting mens RR. A 2/3/4 affair that largely involved me not being very fast and not using good tactics. I did lead the sprint out though... for the entire peloton. I then let them all beat me, aren't I kind.

It's not possible to pick one highlight of the weekend, but the hospitality of Mike and Teresa definitely gets a mention. Some people are just great. Shame I repaid Mike by boxing him in as I went backwards through the pack at the end of the race... what makes it worse is that he was clearly the strongest man in the race. Sorry just isn't enough.