Tuesday, 29 September 2009


I offer this without comment... You should all feel free.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

There's No Place Like Riding My Bike, There's No...

Sometimes women can be such strange creatures. Take shoes for example. They'll frequently spend way too much for a pair of shoes that really aren't any more functional than a really cheap pair. There have even been legends about magical shoes which convey special powers to the wearer.

Being fully rational, I'd never fall for that kind of nonsense. Shoes are a functional, utilitarian object. They need to fit, support the feet and have appropriate grip/construction for the job at hand. Catering to fashion or looks is mere folly and vanity. The person who chooses shoes on such a basis is doomed to end up choosing form over function, media over message. Discomfort and disappointment will ensue.

Unless of course you're talking about cycling shoes.....

Oh i used to be disgusted
And now i try to be amused.
But since their wings have got rusted,
You know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes.
Red shoes, the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

-Elvis Costello

But they'll have to catch me first!


Friday, 4 September 2009

F#CK 200 Metres is a Long Way!

The last few Thursday mornings I've been dragging my bones out of bed early to venture down to the velodrome. All to hopefully learn a few things about track racing and about going fast. Maybe this is the antidote to my utter lack of a turn of speed when the sprinters get flying.

To this end I've acquired "Nancy the Track Trollop", the blue beast seen here hanging out at DISC. And I've been getting onto the track before 6am to receive wisdom from Coach David.

Last Thursday saw us practicing flying 200m sprint efforts. These a fairly simply covering 200m or 4/5ths of a circuit of the track as fast as you can. It means coming off the very top of the bank on corner four coming into the straight going pretty quickly. Then accelerating flat out using the six or seven metres of gravity assistance to wind up to top speed by the time you hit the 200m line. From there it's simply a case of holding that speed for 20o metres. Simple? Right?

For a veteran Audaxer who can ride 1200km at a go this should be a simple thing. DahDong!

  • 120m this is a lot harder than it looks
  • 150m my legs are burning
  • 180m no, they are on fire
  • 200m that is damned near impossible

Five minutes later my chest has stopped heaving, my heart drumming in my ears has slowed a little and I feel a bit less like chucking. I think, I have to try that again.

It's incredible to think that something so closely related to what I have been doing for so many years can be so different. Every week I learn just how much I have to learn in order to do anything in this environment. The skills and type of fitness are very specialised and will take a long time to develop. At the same time it has so much of the beauty of cycling about it in a refined form.

Hi, my name is Nancy Boy, and I'm a cycling addict. Lend me your belt so I can find a vein?