Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to anyone who chances upon my blog. I will spend the day with my head buried in a cycling book probably. Ive had a couple of good ones. The Spring Classics, Cycling's Golden Age, The Pioneer.
Oh and one called the Hills are stuffed with Swedish Girls.
So have a good day all and dont eat to much.

Fausto Coppi pranking about at a six day meeting. I must admit I laughed when I sa this picture this morning. Reminded me of the day I tried this very stunt on our street when I was young. All went well and I looked the part on my Raleigh Arena racing bike until I decided to go one step further and stand ( yes stand on the seat and try no hands). I ended up in a heap half way down the street in tears with my bike a bit messed up. This after being run over by a car just a few weeks earlier.

First part of a book this morning. Salvarini Rider the great Felice Giomondi.
Tour de France
World Road Race
Paris Roubaix

All that and he was riding for a kitchen manufacturing team. See Christmas day learns you a lot.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Badger on Win Hill

A nice picture here of Badger on Win Hill.
We had a lovely run that day with another fellrunner and Badger paced us up to the summit. A nice view of the ridge to Mam Tor in the distance.

Keep on rolling

You learn to ride rollers and away you go. Every year us roadies go through the ritual of riding either rollers or a turbo. I prefer rollers just because they are more traditional and I feel you get a better overall workout. You certainly keep your bike handling skills up to scratch.
They are hard to ride and normally it takes a few weeks to get into it. By then the good weather is back and its time for those rides back on the roads again.
I usually do between an hour and an hour and a half. If Im feeling really daft Ive been known to do two hours.
Riding in the big ring flat out for an hour takes it out of you but it just has to be done. My little shed is perfect as it keeps me cool but this year its been hard up to now with temps down to minus 10.
This picture was taken at Minus 7
So in sheds and garages all over the UK there are riders still training in even these conditions. One tip though, get a good selection of tunes on your I pod.

Jaques Anquetil

Somebody in the fellrunning world asked me the other day about cycling. I proceeded to start to tell them about the sport and its fascination for me and I had lost them within about two minutes. Its about the only side of me that has a regret in that I wished when I was young Id have given the sport a go. But when you ride a roadbike on a regular basis and have suffered on a bike you realise quickly that it really is a sport for really hard individuals. To become a champion at it, well I cannot imagine.
One of the all time greats was Anquetil. On a bike it was said there was no better. Eddy Mercyx won more but for style and sheer passion on a bike Anquetil was the real deal.
He was the first person to win 5 Tour of France races. I mean that alone is just mindblowing.
But his list of palmares is just frightening.
2 x Giro D italia
1 x Vuelta
4 x Super Prestige Pernod
9 x Grand Prix Des Nations
1 x Liege Baston Liege
1 x Gent Wegelem
1 x Bordeaux Paris
5 x Paris Nice
2 x Duaphine Libere
Tot that lot up and you realise how much of a champion he was.
He won much more including the hour record but the list would be huge.

Ive probably read more about Anquetil than any other roadman and given the amount of cycling books that i have thats a lot. He was a genius on the bike. Id class him as probably the most intelligent rider that ever graced the peloton. Outspoken when it came to the subject of doping, he always took a forthright view. " Leave me in peace, everyone takes dope" was one famous saying.
And he was right.
In an era when doping in the sport was taken for granted you still had to be one hell of a person to achieve what he did. Dope only did so much.
When he won the Dauphine race and them immediatley the morning after rode the Bordeaux Paris race he became immortal. Cycling will never see the likes of that again.
I often wonder what it must have taken to win the hard Dauphine Libere race and then go and ride the 600km Bordeaux Paris race and win that also. Some would say a lot od dope and maybe help from Tom Simpson but I say he still had to ride it.
An amazing athlete and as proffesional roadmen go, Anquetil was simply the Best.
See now the fellracing season has slowed up all I do is read cycling books.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

End of the season

Nearly well not quite. The Bolton by Bowland Fell race will probably be the last short flat out race of the season. It was tough in the snow and not so short really at 8 miles. It went off very quickly but the main steep climb soon brought reality back into the race. I had a good battle with a couple of runners most of the way round and managed to finish in 9th place at the end. The fields went on forever and the snow made getting in my stride difficult.

No Pennine vest for this one which is a first as it was in my broken down van. My new hat did the trick though and because of the extreme cold I donned a pair of cycling arm warmers which Ive taken to wearing in this winter weather that we are getting. It was minus 9 on the way to the race. A lovely set up with loads of prizes and a nice village hall that laid on hot pot and mince pies.
It took about 7.5 miles before my fingers warmed up. Not sure on how many races that is this year but I would say about 40 in total

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Yes it was this cold

Minus 14.5. Actually it did drop to Minus 16. The clock has not been altered yet though.
This was last Sunday morning on the way to the Grouse Fell race. The kind young girl in the Mcdonalds drive thru at Derby was frozen bless her as she handed over my Latte. I told her it was Minus 16. She just said I cannot feel my feet. I replied dont worry I cant feel my fingers.
Thats the coldest Ive known it.


Heavy Snow fell yesterday and the run over the hills was tough going for me. Badger was a good way up ahead and I noticed he had stopped with his nose in the ground. His flashing collar in the distance got brighter as I approached him and then he started barking. I got near him and I spotted an injured Gull on the ground with a broken wing. I scooped it up and put it in my bumbag and ran the 7 miles back home through the snow as gingerly as I could. We got home in blizzard conditions and put the little bird in a box with a dark sheet over it.
I dropped it off at the vets this morning. Maybe it will have a chance.