I went up to the very top of the Mendips this week for the express purpose of helping Sir Steve of Green to organise the BSCC CycloGrot Race. It took place at the Mendip Raceway. I had planned to ride out but extreme cold put the kibosh on that idea. Instead I stuck on the thermals (well, a pair of running tights with no gert chamois, i knew they’d come in handy one day) and drove out.
It was a crystalline blue day, utterly engrossing and beautiful. We marked out the course with an excess of tape. Glyndwr “The Hobbit” Griffiths and James “Tools of the Trade” Cuff were the other loyal helpers. Towards the end an additional helper turned up on some kind of modish winter bike. It was a bike-salesman’s dream. It had 11×1 or whatever the single ring thing is called, with alternate teeth. They had a name too, something like Gak Cogs or some strange deviant orthography. It had disc brakes. Hell, it even had bolt-through axles and shimano DI2. It was quite the modern bike. I felt a bit inadequate on my mid-80s Mercian which i wasn’t actually on because it was way too cold.
I got through three rolls of professional quality barrier tape, right up to the point when the additional helper took my roll and began taping instead of me. I felt a little bit embittered by his johnny-come-lately attitude, and felt validated when he failed to tape two stakes at the end of a bit of chicanery.
As a result of all this organising, or at the least, the helping of the organising, I did not reach my 150 mile target for the week, bottoming out at 110 instead. That aside, things have been going well and I’m down to 76kg from 79kg at the start of the year, mileage is up to 463 for January, with 10,000 metres of climbing ticked off. Onwards and upwards.