Monday, 28 September 2009

Oh to be a roadman

As a youngster I dreamed of being a professional roadman when I was older. Indeed I still think that now. I love riding the roads.
I never quite managed to be able to ride at the level that is needed to enter the fascinating world that is a the life of a professional bike rider.
I can still churn out 19/20 miles an hour and that does me.
The peak district is my favourite place to ride and I can often be found heading for the hills.
My boyhood hero was Sean Kelly. Today I finally managed to get hold of his biography which was a big surprise as I had all but lost hope of ever getting hold of a copy
So I thought I would mention today a bit about my cycling background.
Raleigh, I worked there as a welder a few years ago when times were hard. Interest rates where 15% and I worked all the hours god sent to earn a few quid. My record of 4400 Raleigh Activator frames welded in a fortnight was in 1993 the most a frame builder had ever done. I still remember the Welded Frames Manager coming back after plant shutdown and myself and quite a few other temporary framebuilders had knocked out nearly 20,000 frames. Now that was a sight to behold.
The famous Raleigh badge.
Sean Kelly , my hero doing what he did best. On the Pave in the hell of the north in front driving the pace. Only a very select breed of rider can do this. Kelly wouldn't have been flicking his elbow to let anyone from behind come and share the pace.

To truly understand what cycling is about you have to have suffered on a bike. The Paris Roubaix race is certainly the hardest one day race of them all.
Riding for the Skill squad. Kelly rode all season unlike today's roadmen who very often just ride a few races and take the money.
About to set of for a 100mile ride, nice jersey. Although im no Eddy Mercyx, I can certainly ride a roadbike.

Back home and this was taken after 160miles on the bike. I have managed about 15 rides of more than a hundred miles this year. Pitiful really compared to what a pro would ride. A rider like Kelly would do 100miles a day when in full flow.
Probably averaging over 20,000 miles a year easily.

I have no photos of myself on the bike so I took one. I dont like being photographed on two wheels as I prefer it to be a private place. When Im riding my mind is at ease and I prefer to push myself to the limit, especially going uphill. Lots of bikies like me actually come to like the pain that is encountered whilst riding long distances at pace on a bike.
I certainly prefer cycling to fellrunning but the amount of time that id need to devote for training would be massive. So instead I run more than I cycle.
Now if only I had been able to resist pain like Kelly could I may have become a millionaire cyclist like he did. Ha Ha Im dreaming again.

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