This is the longer piece:
This isn’t the post about the record, it’s simply advance warning that I’m going to write a post about the record but need a few days to process what actually happened.
Here is a report I wrote:
Here are some pictures I took:
Publication early August to coincide with 40th anniversary of the record ride.
I’ve been wading through various back issues of Sporting Cyclist, one of Jock Wadley’s magazines from the 1950s onwards. As ever, when researching, I end up getting sidetracked by almost everything else and not finding the elusive thing I’m looking for.
After last week’s shenanigans involving getting my bongo weapon out in the balmy sunshine and showing it off to all and sundry, this week has been more sedate. There is much talk of the Hollyoaks Late storyline, suffice to see it seems to involve wanton abuse of random animals and a cast of North Africans. One day it’ll be dramatised, featuring Hugh Grant as Joe Hollyoaks and Ben Whishaw as a hapless puppy, down on his luck and down on all fours.
It has been an amazing run of weather, so I’ve been out and about commuting and general riding through the sunny mornings and close evenings. The ride to work is hilly. It makes a perfect hour long training ride, three times a week. But it is tiring. This veteran status isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, recovery times get longer and weight loss is much harder.
I have been enjoying the Giro. My mum loves the cycling, that she does. Today I carefully managed to manipulate naptime of a sleeping child, then had two screens running simulataneously, one showing ‘UK Freight Trains at Speed’ and the other showing the Giro Time Trial. With this elaborate set-up I managed to catch 3 hours of the race. My mum came in during the last, pivotal three minutes.
Who won yesterday?
No-one won yesterday.
Why didn’t they win yesterday?
It was a rest day.
Why is he in pink?
It’s the pink jersey. It’s like the yellow, jersey, but pink.
So why is it pink? Why isn’t it yellow?
Because they have pink instead of yellow. Like in yorkshire, where it’s blue instead of pink, or Spain where it’s red instead of blue, but pink in Italy.
So this is a hill climb is it?
Oh it’s not a hill climb. (Yates crosses the line) So he’s beaten all the riders?
No he came 22nd.
But he’s winning the race?
But he came 22nd? And he’s beaten all the other riders? So he’s won the race?
It’s like watching Interstellar, being utterly engrossed for three hours and and just prior to the final head-bending elliptical loop of space where everything is resolved in comes Granny to ask why that man is touching a bookshelf in space with weird strings and making dust and the world is curved and his daughter is older than his granny and old people are talking about dust-storms and you have to explain it whilst also giving a primer in quantum theory and the nature of time and space and a traditional narrative arc.
Granny did bring an excellent bit of signage though which I have put up on the wall. I don’t think Belle will notice. However, she might accidentally end up in the garden when needing a wee.
Lastly, my new shoes have arrived. That’s another tale for another day.
I went down to the Lake yesterday, for to enjoy the evening air and partake of cycling in triangular perambulations. It ended up being quite a long day; I rode to work full-bongo, even if my strava suggests that it was anything but a full bongo ride. I left the bongoweapon in the classroom and it successfully distracted nearly all of the children from the job in hand, namely, the furtherance of a successful education, rather than the pursuit of carbon things. I then rode to the Lake, did the Lake and then rode home again, by which time I was in distinct danger of dropping myself.
It was great fun. It was a balmy evening where nothing really mattered and everyone was out to ride their bikes as quick or as slowly as they wanted to, without fear of anything other than ridicule and club-style abuse. The headline event was the three-way bongo-battle betwixt the young pretender, Josh “POC-TASM” G, Mr Nick Greipelthighs and erstwhile teen hearthrob, Joe Hollyoaks.
They all smashed the 19 minute barrier. I ended up just the wrong side of 20 minutes, which I was more than happy with. I think my PB is 18.25 or something stupid, but I was possible more chuffed to not experience abject disgrace on an evening such as this, whilst returning to the scene of many battles as a slightly jaded and greying sage. I rode well and dispensed wisdom to various people. It is a role I think I might grow into.
Midweek Club TTs are the staple of British time-trialling, the life and soul. It’s about camaraderie, and can be the first, and sometimes the last, taste of competitive cycling. They are lovely things. I was reading Chris Boardman’s book today. Jens Voigt was staying over in the GAN days and they both went out to the Wirral Velo evening ten and did 19 minutes on their road bikes. I would love to have been there. It’s a good book, I recommend it. It’s all the better for Gary Imlach doing the edit.
Today I went to try and get some new commuting shoes. These should be cheap and sturdy. I already have a pair, but they are black and lace-up, two reasons as to why I shouldn’t have bought them. I feel like a football player now summer has come, and for that reason I find it upsetting. The fact that they fit beautifully is very much beside the point. I went to a well-known shop on the edges of the motorway to try on shoes. I said I wanted…
“A pair of your cheapest road shoes please for commuting.”
To which they replied;
“Yes that’s fine, we have a range. Have you ever worn a road shoe before?”
I BEG YOUR PARDON??
Imagined, but not stated:
“Yes, but only the once, when I was racing against Bradley Wiggins. Did you not see that race? National Championships 2014.”
Not imagined, but stated:
“Yes, I have.”
I didn’t buy them. They were very nice, but not nice enough. After trying a few shops, I came to the conclusion that shops no longer stock road shoes in a range because it isn’t worth it because everyone buys them on the internet.
This shop also had the new specialized allez, which I have been eyeing up as a potential fast and relatively light commuting bike. It looked very nice. It has eyelets across the board. No wait, it has eyelets at the back, and rack bosses. The front fork has no eyelets. It’s effectively the world’s first cut-and-shut bike on the open market. Specialized did a fork recall after some american hurt hisself. They replaced all the forks with non-eyeletted forks. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Or as the wife said, “Who signed that off?”
I’m planning on riding round the lake tomorrow. It’s something I used to do a long time ago when i was thinner and faster. I’m now fatter and slower. The bike is ready. I stuck some Alf stickers on there. I’m aiming for sub 23 minutes for the 8.6 miles. That’ll give me bragging rights over myself.
I’m going to use my Strada skinsuit because it’s big and baggy. I’d love to use my BSCC one but I tried it on earlier and got it halfway up my ankle before giving up. It was like trying to stuff a turducken into a peperami wrapper.
The Alf book is done, now sitting with Adrian Bell for his final run through. Fingers crossed. It should be out in July.