Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hot week, lots of cycling...

It's been hot, hot, hot this week! I've done a fair bit of solo riding, one group ride and Sam continues with his riding with the fabulous KCC Cyclones. In the biggest cycle race in the world I'm watching the final stage and Chris Froome's 3rd victory as I type.

My cycling week started as it often does with my standard 17 miler. Amazingly I keep getting a PR on the same segment of this ride. It's a good way to start. I was still tight from Sunday so it was good to stretch the legs again.

The second ride of the week was a variation on a theme. You've seen this before. It was really sticky by Wednesday and even going out early left me in a total sweaty mess.

On Thursday I rode the Braybrooke route I'd ridden the week the week before. I'm always amused that the tiny trickle that 'flows' through the village is the River Jordan. I've yet to see Moses in the bullrushes.

Friday was my rest day and as usual on Saturday I did laps of Pitsford whilst Sam was sailing. Well except Sam and his mates weren't sailing this week because there was no wind! They went paddle boarding instead which also looks fun. With no wind I managed to PR a lap of Pitsford, I didn't feel particularly quick so that was quite a surprise. Pitsford was full of miserable joggers who don't smile let alone say hello, riders of all capabilities including some youngsters just starting out and a very very very old man! The most fun is dinging groups of walkers with the bike bell. It's like there's no pre-arranged protocol for moving aside and chaos ensues as they scatter in all directions. No walkers were harmed in the making of this blog!

As is customary I was last to arrive for today's club ride. I was a bit pre-occupied with litter on my dog walk, did all sorts of jobs that maybe could wait around the house and then disaster struck. The coconut oil I use to protect more tender parts has in the hot weather turned to liquid. I undid the jar and it went all over the bed. So some swift action was required including a lot of fairy liquid and the sheets going in the machine. Those five minutes are why I arrived at 8:35 for an 8:30 start! When I told this tale there was a lot of disbelief that something more sordid wasn't involved and visions of me naked dripping in coconut oil bordering on worrying fantasies were broadcast by all. Sorry lads it's not a mucky tale, just a messy one!

Sunday is my main ride of the week and the last few weeks it's been a real speed fest. A bit much for me at times and today was one of those times. We were flying into Oundle when I got dropped. My average at that point was 19mph and at the time I was doing 25mph. But if you go off the back at that pace it's really hard to get back. Too hard for me! They didn't notice though and went through Oundle and out to Polebrook before noticing I was missing. This put me in a bit of a bad mood. Neil and Steve came back for me but it was pure guesswork that I was on the right route. Look, rule 1 was broken but no-one did it on purpose. We probably just need to do a bit of work on sticking together a bit more. Steve and Neil broke my bad mood. Neil with reason and Steve with the usual blend of fast show and filth!

On the old A1 which runs alongside the new A1 we got stuck behind farm heavy machinery. It was OK for drafting but only doing about 16mph and we all wanted to go a bit quicker. (even me, before someone says it!)

Ken wins best jersey of the day with his beauty from Florida. Fortunately that's not the best pic I got of it so...sorry. So with that Jersey and Steve's from Spain the challenge has been laid down for me to pick something up in Australia. Only 33 weeks to go! 

Once the rule 1 faux pas had been realised I was well looked after by our very healthy gathering of 14 riders. No one did this more than Nat. So many thanks for your company riding today Nat, you are a Queen of the road.

There's a wider view of the combine issue and a better shot of Ken's magnificent jersey! It really was OK behind that beast until it inexplicably started to chuck hay at us!

Just for completeness really really soak in the magnificence of Ken's jersey! Jealous right? Don't worry there's an abomination coming to temper the lycra lust!

There it is! Steve Duke, what the flip mate!!! I know I wear female tennis player's socks but you've gone too far. Be proud of those tan lines don't wear vest tops to combat them! Plus stop rogering yourself with the saddle! OK Steve did redeem himself partly by awarding the Andy Pendred Jogger of the Day award to an attractive runner who hilariously had her shorts inside out!!!!

The route today really wouldn't have been complete without a group pic at our favourite zoo sign. That consummate exhibitionist 'Barbecue Bairdy,' is obscuring me with his fake Chinese Italian bike, a shame Mark because behind you I'm doing some hilarious things. The beardy geezer in green  is a newby to the club but boy can that lad ride!

Another impressive rider is Darren Kirby. Unlike me he's new to cycling and even more unlike me, being a bigger rider isn't a barrier for him. That lad has some serious power, I'd love to see him get a power meter because frankly he's the epitome of a Wattage bazooka!

Now you might think I'm disappointed with today's ride but not a bit of it! Yes I'm the slowest BUT in my eyes I wasn't slow. 60 miles at a 17mph average is a marked improvement for me. Another 38 Strava achievements also tells a tale. I'm getting better a bit at a time. You can't ask for more than that!

Back at the shop we were entertained well, as ever by C&D Cycles manager, Andy Ferguson and it was also good of Jonesy to pop in with one of his many kids. After a quick coffee the ride home was a lot slower than the previous 60 miles! Still it's another 100km+ to my Rio challenge total and I'm now way ahead of my nearest rival for second place.

Switching away from me...SuperSam continues with KCC cyclones. I'm so pleased we got him into this club because it's just fabulous. I'd encourage anyone with kids who want to ride to join.

|Mark Evans from KCC led Sam's group for a superb cyclo-cross session last Monday around a well thought out course. I also think Sam looks good in Orange. He's also been trying SPD pedals for the first time. It's a challenge for a kid but he's making good progress and I'm sure he'll be good on them soon.

Finally let's talk tour! This years TdF was just brilliant where it threatened to be boring. Massive congratulations to Chris Froome and Team Sky. It was great to see Cav back to his best before leaving for his Rio preparations. Adam Yates was a revelation winning the White Jersey. The Steve Cummings stage win will live long in the memory and Birmingham born Irishman Dan Martin was fantastic too. For the non-brits, I love watching the world class talent that is Peter Sagan and I was thrilled to see Andre Greipel win the final stage on the Champs Elysees.

Well I'm blogging in the garden and the light is about to go so it's time for a beer and some telly!

Happy Pedaling

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