Is Moulin Rouge, the film, any good ? I wonder, after having read some fin de sicle stuff about 1900 Paris and Toulouse Lautrec I wonder. If I approach the film from an intellectual viewpoint I fear I will be disappointed. However, if I approach from a mere entertainment viewpoint I may well be pleased. What did I just say ? Am I a posing wanker ?
So, today, Monday 06 May 2002 was the final punishing day of my 3 day bike race. The day dawned cold and cloudy. Cold, (5 C) cloudy ? But what is this ? The 6th of May, so why cold and cloudy ? Is it the insidious effects of global warming, acting in reverse ? No. It is Buchans Spell. A common period of cold weather experienced in early to mid May, when temperatures are well below the seasonal norm. OK. I still have to ride the race. Now, where I don't mind cool and rain, I don't like cold to race in. I cannot seem to fill my lungs and breathe deeply. Well off we go into the cold, up the hill to Abberley, Ugh, the attacks go right away and I did'nt realise how long this hill was. Over the top, and onto the long Clows Top circuit. Uphill for another 5 miles, riders being dropped right, left and just in front of me so I had to work hard to regain the dwindling group. Got back, serves me right, I should ride near the front, not lurk at the back. I'll pay for that later. Over the top and descended to Newnham Bridge. A long descent, with uphill bits. We hit 45 mph on the not too steep downhill (as opposed to 50 mph on the steep drops yesterday). On the flat and slightly uphill bits someone always attacked which meant no respite for us average guys hanging on by the skin of our teeth ! Onto the flat valley road after Newnham Bridge. And oh shit, right after the turn was an uphill bit where I gritted my teeth to hold on. Then a little bit of flat, into the NE wind, it was hard. Hit the hills to Abberley. Up one, then another, I did'nt realise (No. I forgot, I rode this course in 1988 and came in a respectable 5th or 6th or 7th, and even then suffered on this hill) how long and hard this hill was. Well of course the attacks went, and instead of being one of the attackers, I just hung on, suffered, hung on, but then, instead of turning left into the village of Abberley, we went on to include a nasty little climb. Well, this did fo me. I lost contact with the leaders. If I rode near the fornt instead of the back this just would'nt have happened. Round the hairpin bend left turn, 10 M gap, just smashed, hooked up with the smaller group, or rather remnants of the race, we gathered up a few more, up to Clows, down the descent with the strong Dutchman leading the pace, along the flattish bit with the Dutchman doing sterling work. Up the climb to Abberley and a Horwich guy goes away and the Dutchman blows up. On the last nasty hill I really had to force my legs round,. Onto the final lumpy bumpy climb to Clows. Led out, pulled away but 2 guys, (Science in Sport and some Yorkshire guy) outsprint me. Now I'm cold. This is almost every race this year I've finished without raising a swaet. This can't be right. Its either too cold or I'm not working hard enough. Shit, it was an 8 mile ride back to the changing rooms, my hand were so cold by then. Now (22.30) I'm a bit drunk, but at least I'm warm. Txt over the weekend from H mentiong marriage. Scary.