Friday, June 14, 2002

Monday: No, its Friday, this is the preposterous new name given to the consulting arm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He he he, I'm glad my company has'nt cooked up a similar title, well I suppose the ISCS bit is pretty lame.
A first for me, I'm in my own office (No, not home) on a Friday and posting to blog from this office.
Not much else, good night on Wednesday, felt ropy first thing Thursday morning, but had a liesurely drive back, over the Pennines to Marsden via part of a course I rode back in 1989. Then down the M1 & M42, turned off and looked around Donisthorpe and Swadlincote. Theres almost nothing left of the coal mining industry there now apart from a few landscaped bits, with what was once a group of three mines where I remember steam engines and winding gear when I last cycled past in 1980 now just open space covered in bushes. Most of the big clay pits in the area seem to be landscaped valleys now, with small industrial units, ski slopes and playgrounds filling up the spaces. What a change from twenty years back. I miss the grim gritty industrial reality of these places, now they are like evrywhere else, dull multi-purpose warehouses, 'landscaping' and lots of new housing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Noticed this on another blog, and being a sucker for trivia, here goes;
A - Animals/Pets: Cat (Kitty) 2 goldfish, recently deceased hampster (Tarantino)
B - Best Friend: Er,
C - Cohabitants: Wife, Joanne, David, cat & fish.
D - Desire(s): To win races.
E - Eye Color: Green.
F - Favorite Food(s): Crisps.
G - Games: None.
H - Habit(s): Drinking, Chasing inappropriate women.
I - Interests: Cycle racing.
J - Job: IT.
K - Kitchen (Wonder or Blunder?): I CAN COOK CHEESE-ON-TOAST.
L - Languages: English.
M - Most Valued Possession(s) (an item, not people/pets): My best racing bike.
N - Name (Named after?): Scottish King Malcolm.
O - Outfit You Love: Thomas Pink shirt & Hugo Boss suit.
P - Pizza Toppings: Pepperami.
Q - Question Asked To You the Most: ? Coming out for a curry ?
R - Relationship/Partner: Wife Jayne.
S - Sport: Bike racing.
T - Television Show(s): The Kumars at no. 32, Fast Show, .
U - Unsavory characteristic(s): Lack of self confidence, chasing women.
V - Video (Favorites): Akira.
W - Webpage (Favorite--not your own):
X - Xylophone (or other Instrument?): Jaws harp.
Y - Year Born: 1956. Chinese year of the bat.
Z - Zodiac Sign: Not sure, Leo or Cancer.

The plan for this evening is getting complicated already. Well went and bought reading matter (Private Eye & book on evolution) and bottle of Ozzy red, plus some SmirnoffIce as well as Crisps and cheese. So I'm set up. Then txt asking what time Trafford Ctr shuts up. Now its 9.00, but only having 20 mins or so to wander round is fine for me when I am shopping, but for a woman 20 minutes is about long enough to just look at a blouse. So I suggessted a meal maybe. I would like to eat at Tommy Nutters place up on the moors by Rochdale. I have wanted to go there for a while now, and with the work coming to an end here this may be my last chance. I suppose it will be pricey, but with certain of my fat colleagues putting in expenses for 80 quid meals, that is possible.
We'll see. I'd rather just get smashed. Now I suppose we could wander round the shops for 30 mins, then back to the hotel. Maybe I could pick her up and drop her home tomorrow morning. We'll see. Just wait too see what she thinks of my meal plans first.
Today is my last day up here for a while. I'm staying at the hotel one more night, mainly in the chance of a couple of hours with H later on. Failing that I'll try a couple of 'phone numbers. I'm planning a good drink whatever happens. Might just do some sprints, or not even bother, then get stocked up on wine and crisps and cheese, or better still buy these essential ingredients for a night of fun at lunchtime. Then head for the bar for an apperitif of lager. As I don't have to get up early in the morning I can have one last long late night. Might buy some Smirnoff Ice for that early morning (0100) refreshment.
Wednesday. Am I odd or strange ? The England football team are playing an important world cup game, and I don't really care, so does this make me an outcast ?
I am one of the few people around here (oop in t'north) that don't give two fucks about football. Football looms large in the national psyche, replacing lots of other stuff such as winning wars, having an empire, as the number one topic. It was'nt always so, since the advent of new laddism in the mid nineties this infatuation with football has spread, and so far shows no signs of failing. Unless the England team loose, might that reduce the enthusiasm ? There is also a good chance the the trendiness of football is wearing off, the in-crowd in London are'nt 'fans' any longer, having been bored witless by the game they are turning to more interesting pursuits to follow.
Whatever, I went and rode with the local bash yesterday evening. Imagine my joy as more and more MK Cycles riders turned up, leaving only me, Allan the RoadPeace vet, and a mountain bike racer who is strong but tactically unaware. He rides too hard when its his turn on the front and so on. Off we went along onto the A6, mountainbiker goes through like a train, drops back on the first slope, the gets dropped on the next uphill (not even a hill, just a slope) as does the vet. So its just me and the MK guys going harder and harder. Even some of those guys are missing turns on the front. Onto the circuit, going round the blind corner at Rivington I drop back, on the flat bit over the reservoir they go mad, my speed was 38 mph and they were pulling away from me ! Could'nt close the gap up the hill, kept them close, a couple or so got shelled out, over the top it all sped up, kept 'em in sight until the next flat bit, they were off ! waited for them, did almost all the last lap, dropped back on the hill. I rode in shorts and racing top, it was a bit too mild for a long sleeved top, but not really warm enough for bare arms.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Oh fuck, I just lost a lot of deep stuff about Manchester, Birmingham and their respective music scenes. My connection broke. Well, it was good stuff about why Birmingham was an inward looking introverted city, and Manchester is an open more confident and outgoing place. Manchester gave the Smiths, New Order and so on, Birmingham gave, er, Ozzy Ozbourne, Roy Wood and Wizzard.
I must upload all these posts to my home pc so as I can keep them as a diary.
Of late I've been racing like shit. Now is this just mid-season blues or something deeper, like since I packed in racing in 1989 I've lost it ? Or has the immense amount of abuse I've given my body in the ensuing years affected my ability ? Or did my crash diet, losing almost 3 stone (20 Kg) in 4 months, effect me ? Or, hopefully, has my recent rash of late-night bingeing tired me out ? Whatever, I've tried easing off on training, but that week I hit the booze a bit too much so did'nt get any decent sleep. So last night, no bar, nothing. Bed early and I slept solidly pretty well, from 23.00 until alarm went off at 06.45. I did'nt even hear an incoming 'phone message, just glad she did'nt call my hotel 'phone !
Did a nice steady 22 miles, up over Winter Hill. Rained a little bit.
Same plan for tonight, after the bash that is. Hope a few others except for the MK guys turn up, to make it more of a proper training group, as opposed to a flat-out hammer by the 2 or 3 best riders in the team trying to ride everybody else into the ground. I'm going to mention that they (MK guys) have killed off the bash by their selfish antics. I doubt if they would give two fucks though, in keeping with the general selfishness of the age, they ride how they want to ride, if no-one else likes that then its tough shit. Once I would have joined in gleefully with the demolition of lesser riders, but a combination of maturity (Eh ?) and infirm old age have given me a different viewpoint. The viewpoint of some-one getting hammered instead of handing out a hammering. If, by this time next year, I can't be one of those handing out a hammering I may as well pack it all in. Which would be a shame in view of the amount of money I've spent on bike stuff recently.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Monday. Only up here for three days, and arranged my hotel so I stay over Wednesday, so if the night gets interesting I can take things easy on Thursday morning. Though I really do need a couple of days in the office to prepare for a sales demo next week.
So then, to racing. Arrived home early on Friday so went and did some sprint training. Did 10 flat-out 15 second sprints, from a standing start rolled up to 25 mph, then did 15 seconds at 30-32 mph on a flat thought damp road. Did 2 minute breaks, then after 5 I was slowing and HR was peaking at 154 so took a 5 minute break. Then back to 159-160 HR. Now I should start longer intervals. So a week should be a steady ride, 1 to 1.5 hours, 1 set of sprints or long intervals, and the group bash, or long intervals. So 2 really hard rides, and one hard (the bash) plus a couple of steady.
Yersterdays race. Hee hee hee. Got wet. When we started it was dry, going onto the back of the circuit started drizzle, ugh I thought. Then onto the long bit to the finish, up the hill. As usual (will I ever learn) I was with the tail-end-charlies so when the pace went up over the hill and riders started getting dropped I had to keep jumping hard to get to the group in front, took my a couple of miles of really hard work to get back with the pack. Then down the back it started hammering rain. Ugh ugh. A break of 9 went halfway through the 3rd lap, we kept them at 20/30 seconds. Going onto the back on the last lap a couple of the guys organised us 8 into a chase, we got going pretty well and caught the break. Someone jumped away at the corner and stayed away until the finish. I thought about having a go in the sprint but going up the hill my legs felt dead, pushed a bit but did'nt have any speed, beat a few so came in something like 10th? 12th ? out of 17. My hands were too cold to open my car so went and changed and got some tea befoore I started feeling normal again. Next race I really must get and stay near the front. What happened to my tactical awareness ? I have forgotton so much from last racing year of 1989. I checked my diary and I last rode that circuit in 1987, fast 60 miles, won by some pro scouser I think. I noted that I got shot out on the corners because of the speed, so I probably had no bother on the hills, and no doubt kept nearer the front so there were plenty behind to help me get on again when I got zapped out on the corners. Les West rode in the CDE race, told me and Niel Martin about his 130 training ride, all to prepare for a 33 mile race ! At least us ABs did 4 laps, 44 miles. He also said the circuit had a downhill and sharp corner and uphill bit cut out. That sharp corner was the one I think I kept getting shot out of in 1987, I remember having to sprint hard up that hill to get back on. I also think I finished about the same then, and that breaks got caught, I had a go at jumping away but they got me back and about 20 of us were in at the finish. AND it was dry, though later in the summer of 1987 it rained loads. I hope this year we are getting the rain out of the way early on, and July onwards are dry.
Now my ears are'nt right, I slight echoey feel about them. Talked to Niel and his Mum, brought back memories of starting racing back in 1972 and 1973 with the Birchfield. Realised that I did a 12 minute 5 when I was just 16 in 1972 with the Birchfield. Thats was'nt bad for no real training, on an old bike with a cottered steel chainset, 5 gears and heavy wheels ! Ah, what a fresh young talent I was then. Then in early 1973 when I met the Mercury training bash, if I could have had proper coaching I would have got better quicker. Instead of making lots of mistakes and having to pick up tips from other helpful riders. I suppose they felt sorry for this scawny beanpole riding on a pathetic looking old bike, especially when I could keep up with them after a few weeks. God, I feel so good about my bike nowadays, I'm sure having to ride that old bike and then making do with second hand equipment in my junior years makes me appreciate what I have now far more. I think I'm going to be very indulgent to my son if he races, so Imust try not to ! Niels son is keen I saw him on a fairly flash looking bike. I'm damn sure my David will have my old stuff to ride on. Probably.