Wednesday, 31 December 2008

My TT bike is rusty!!!

In an unusual move, I checked over my time trial bike the day before the event. In this case it's the North Bucks News Year's Day '10', which promises to be run in rather nippy conditions.
Apart from completely flat tyres (oh, the perils of latex!), the flipping chain rollers have gone all rusty. Oh and the rear trispoke has gone a bit wobbly. But I will resist the tactics of "Grumpy" Art Vanderlay - which appear to be that bike maintenance on the eve of an event is the best time to do it*, especially if all the bike shops are closed (so no assistance can be sought), and even better if it leads to some kind of mishap (such as a cassette coming to bits mid-event**). I will instead ride the event tomorrow on a slightly wobbly trispoke and worry about fixing it until afterwards.
Well, this is the venerable old steel Cougar - let's hope the frame's OK!

* e.g. headset "repairs" on the evening prior to the 2006 Duo Normand!

** e.g. the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' a few years ago - possibly the last time it was run on the "cheaty course" , when I looked over my shoulder on reaching the bottom of the monster hill, only to see my erstwhile team-mate getting off his bike!

Duo Normand 2009

So, to finish off 2008 and as a contribution to Team Grumpy's race planning for 2009, here's the latest info on the 2009 edition of Team Grumpy's favourite 2-up event, the Duo Normand.
"Grumpy" Art Vanderlay has dropped me an email linking to the UCI calendar for 2009, in which the date for the Duo Normand is fixed for 20th September. Early notice is good for me, since my work calendar gets annoyingly booked up a year in advance (one of the contributions to my general grumpiness).
Stage two in planning for the Duo will now involve "Grumpy" Art cooking up some madcap scheme to enter in a new category in another vain attempt to get on the podium. You only get there for a first place in the minor categories, unfortunately. Annoyingly we only placed second in the last two Duos that we rode (2006 and 2008), though the margin between us and the winners of our category this year was alarmingly large. Anyway, the discussion will be argued over by email for the next few months, until one of us just goes and enters. And then it will continue, because we can still change the category surprisingly late in the day (and in fact new teams can turn up in the lists right up to the wire, and after entries have supposedly closed).
Stage three is deciding on how long we will go for, whether we'll bring families, have a holiday, etc. This is important in connection with finding accommodation and sorting out travel.
Here's the preview I wrote of the 2008 race - has details of the course and a number of photographs.
Here's the Team Grumpy report of the 2008 race - complete with photographs and movies.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Duo Normand 2008

The big event for Team Grumpy in 2008 was our return to the Duo Normand after a year's absence. This year, after riding four times in the Veterans category, we had a masterplan to get on the podium - to ride the Corporate category. Did it work? Check out Grumpy Bob's write-up of the 2008 edition of the Duo Normand for the answer. The report also includes a couple of movies of Team Grumpy in action, starting and finishing.
Here are some photographs from that sunny day in Marigny:
Duo Normand 2008

Grumpy Training

Well, actually, I suppose this ought to be entitled Grumpy lack of training! I can't see much of a performance at the 2009 New Year's Day '10', as I have had this dreadful cold for much of December. A crashing bore, as I felt the fitness situation was coming along well until the cold. So now I'm several kilos overweight. Ho hum, at least I am following Team Grumpy rule number 1: "Remember, make your excuses before you race"!

The first Team Grumpy outing in 2009 will be the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' on March 1st.

About time too

Why did it take us so long to get this going?

At least now, though, we have a TT identity.