Saturday, 24 December 2011

It's Chriiisssttmmaaaaasssss

First off, I apologise for the lack of pictures or anything other than text-I wasn't best prepared for this one. Soz if it's a bit boring.

Christmas. It's true. It's that time of year again. Sellotape, tinsel, Santa hats, mince pies, Yule Logs (of the chocolate and other kind), dodgy jumpers, socks and family time. The only time of the year when it's considered acceptable for old men with big bushy beards to sit small children on their laps and say 'So Billy, have you been a good boy this year?'. I mean that would just be weird at any other time. I must admit it works though, I asked one of those Santas in Formby Garden Centre for a Scalextric set one Christmas many years ago and lo and behold there it was under the tree come the 25th! No coincidence that my Dad had just as much fun with it as I did for the next month :D

I've been home now for nearly a week. Not achieved much, slept a bit, done a few rides with my good friend Simon. Ate some cake, got drunk on the Squadra night out. Got a trophy for 'Mechanical Genius/Best Excuse of the year 2011'. I would elucidate and enlighten you, but it would make you laugh at my expense.

Oh all right then. Horwich Festival of Racing some time in June (the week  before my first win as it happens), Cat 2,3,4 Crit. Not a bad course, one 90degree bend that had one guy fail to even attempt to deviate from going straight on. Not recommended. Especially at the front of a big bunch. But yeah, loads of potholes (it is Lancashire after all) about halfway through I felt (or at least thought I felt) the bike fishtail a bit coming out of a bend after a big bang. Felt exactly, and you'll know what I mean, like a rather dramatic quick loss of air from the rear tyre. So I stopped. Checked it, nothing...and I was now off the back. And then I remembered you could take a lap out for mechanicals in the pits. FACEPALM. That did not go down well with The Boss let me tell you. I knew it would come back to haunt me.

So what do I have to say about training/riding at the moment? Not much really, winding down a bit in anticipation of January. Where it all gets serious. I have noticed though that the hills round here are a lot smaller than I remember. They're not necessarily easier (ok, they are), but I'm just at a different level to before I went to Aber. I've only been riding there properly since the start of November...which leaves me rather looking forward to what will happen over the next few months when I start doing more than just going out and riding for 3 or 4 hours a few times a week.

Got the Southport CC Boxing Day '10' coming up on...Boxing day. Last time it was on (cancelled 'cos of ice last year) it was a 10km one. But apparently it could be a full 10mile 10 this year. Savage with the wind that'll undoubtedly be coming off the sea. I've still got my tinsel on my bike, might put some battery powered fairy lights on as well just to brighten it up a bit :D Rather tempted to wear my skinsuit under my thermal stuff. Partly just to wear it again, (only used it for 3 events this year) but also for the comedy factor: rider in skinsuit, winter bike with tinsel and fairy lights. Would hopefully show how I'm not taking it tooo seriously...having said that, competition is competition.

So for my weekly 'Things I've learned this week' sum up:

  • Cedar Farm coffee shop does seriously good coffee.
  • A full 3 course Pizza Express meal seems DECADENT after a month of student living. Was rather nice mind.
  • Southport Moss winds have not decreased in strength/intensity while I've been away.
  • If you get a bunch of cyclists together, and then get them drunk, they will constantly refer to Gianni Bugno's 1991 season. I'm not sure why, but then again the only thing I was doing around that time was being born.
  • Mr.Nickson a.k.a The Boss/The Don will remember all the embarassing gaffs his riders make and remind everyone else about them in a scathing, inventive but ultimately good natured way.
  • I really need to wrap my Christmas presents earlier next year.

I hope you have a good Christmas, wherever you are, whatever you do. Eat lots, drink lots, be happy, appreciate what you have all year round not just what you get as presents, get out somehow on Christmas day/Boxing day and soak up the lack of traffic (ignoring the Boxing Day sales traffic-but those people don't really count in my eyes ;D). And don't forget to watch the Queen and The Great Escape.

Joyeux Noel and a Ho Ho Ho to you all.

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