Mobile Phones

It seems that over fifty percent of the people reading this regularly or sometimes talk or text on their mobile phone whilst driving. Is this you?   IS THIS YOU?  It is not just your life you are putting at risk but mine too and that of my friends and your friends. I have many times seen what metal can do to a human body and I can assure you you wouldn't like it. I have cut them out of their cars as they screamed and sometimes they were silent.

 Never do it again.



I don't know where defeat comes from but I do know that is doesn't appear at the moment you stop peddling, or indeed in the moments leading up to it. It is born hours or perhaps even days before and it is sly and elusive - it doesn't come with a shout and a jeer but rather with a mutter, a whisper - a soft goading voice barely audible for the noise of dreams and of living. By the time the group met for a ride this morning I was already uncomfortably aware and resentful that I wouldn't be able to make it; I'd rehearsed endless failure during the night; visualising other riders riding away from me, feeling the weight of leaden legs and bursting lungs  and worst of all, staring up the near vertical hills that I knew I couldn't climb; all this, long before the first birds had chorused the day. Where did it come from this spoiler and how did it gain such credence? I suppose I may never know but I would like to be able to deal with it or at least control and minimise its effects. I set off on a ride today with a body that could do what was asked and a mind that refused to ask, so I ended up cutting short a ride that I badly needed and 'bottling out'.

This thing has happened many times before to varying degrees, most notably on a climb out of Askrigg on the 'Firkin Challenge', it's an easy climb, and it is short but inexplicably my head has said NO twice now and it has become a bete noir. I guess everyone suffers from this phenomenon at times? FUCK IT!

Where to now?

Le Tour Yorkshire

Preparations for Le Tour are in full swing: we (The Club) met the other night for drinks and then on to the cathedral to hear Graeme Obree talk with passion about his life and career. Ripon of course, is woefully ignorant of the size and scope of what is bearing down upon them and the council's response to Le Tour so far has been to conceal a very small yellow bike on the 1st floor balcony of a very large town hall:

I have managed to work with them to at least get the bike on the outside of the balcony where it can be seen, but even that was an uphill struggle, with constant mutterings about planning permission and health and safety.  

Back at the gallery our response is a little less muted:

Back on the bike

Back on the bike again after a long, looong winter break and I'm dragging my arse round the Yorkshire countryside at a snail's pace……a snail with gout…….and a Port hangover.  Friends are kind, of course: 'Wait for Steady', but there is the ever present and uncomfortable feeling that the pack might turn at any moment and savage the weakest link.

 I've been out three or four times now including a stiff forty miles or so round the Litton area with 'Fat Lad At The Back' and some cycling journo's, and the first of this year's 'club' rides - thirty miles at just over 20mph where I skulked in the middle of the peloton and never took the front.

Today is the Easter holidays and we're off to Devon for a few days, so I'm shoving the bike in the back of the car so as not to fall even further behind in my training.

Here's me last year looking fit, if a little camp.


London 100

Well I made it round the London 100 course 5:45:01 - not a particularly good time, nor particularly bad either; I think I spent a good deal of time dawdling along looking at the scenery. Then of course there was the comic moment when I scattered a bundle of twenty pound notes over the Surrey countryside as I hurtled downhill in the midst of a charging peloton…..It took a good twenty minutes of frantic running and dodging to collect them up and regain the saddle.

It was, I have to say, a brilliant experience and the chance to ride on closed roads, a rare one: particularly this year as I didn't get in! London looked magnificent and the crowds were huge and very supportive (apart from the woman who leapt out in front of us shrieking 'GO HOME' and 'GET OFF OUR ROADS'…….made us laugh anyway.