Westclose Hill

Penny and I went to the Mendips to shout at cyclers. Penny nailed down the “gentle encouragement” bit. It was a great day.

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ACE

It’s hill climb season. I’m currently writing a book about someone who hated hill climbs. This means I’m quite a long way removed from the hills this year.

This article appeared online this week:

https://pages.rapha.cc/feature/the-magic-of-monsal

I don’t especially remember writing it. I remember writing something for the Doppio back along. I think it must be that. It’s the pattern of words. I was in the thick of doing other stuff, work and so on, the usual blitzkreig of unrelated stressful shit that gets in the way of actually living, and must have written it then. It looks and sounds like my writing.

“If you’ve never done a UK hill climb, felt that horrid feeling of callow legs convulsing in paroxysms of lactic acid, seen – or failed to see – a crowd baying at the side of the road, sensed the world around you shrink away to nothingness as your peripheral vision slides away in a red wave of oxygen debt, been helped, catatonic, from your bike in as close an approximation as you can get to death without actually dying, then you haven’t lived.”

I quite like it. I like the opposites – seeing and not seeing, living and dying – the contradictions. It works well.

I also stumbled across a link somewhere else, with someone describing ACE as ‘a touchstone’, which is very nice.

https://stories.endurasport.com/walter-hamilton

Capture

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Non-cryptic

It wasn’t a cryptic post.

Currently, the blog is taking a back-seat to completion of the Alf manuscript. It’s taking a lot of effort, in and around the permanent madness of full-time work. The only thing I can compare it to is trying to complete a full-time PHD whilst having a full-time job. And children. And wanting to ride a bike. Something has to give.

I’m not far off, currently on about chapter 11 of 13, with a deadline looming in about three weeks (which I won’t meet) and a publication date of April (which I will meet).

In the meantime, here are some stickers.

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And here is Vic Gibbons, who started it all with a sticker back in the 1970s.

VicGibbonsRiding1953TTBike

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Sense of an Ending

Post tour:

A strange feeling of not knowing what to watch, or what to avoid when you haven’t watched it. The sudden fear when you check social media at 5pm without thinking – only to remember that it doesn’t matter anymore. The point where all the armchair critics disappear for another year and the anti-sky cant vanishes overnight.

Trying not to wish your life away in the wait for the Vuelta, because it also signals the end of the summer holiday.

 

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