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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Icknield RC 30k 2-up, 29/3/09 - In which Team Grumpy get very...grumpy

As alluded to in yesterday's blog, Team Grumpy did indeed convene in a local restaurant to prepare for the 2-up in time-honoured fashion - Thai curry and copious Singha beer. Thus fortified, Team Grumpy retired for the night, making sure we set the clocks for the shift to British Summer Time.

The next morning, both team members found that their "preparation" might not have had the best effect for athletic performance. Team Grumpy finished loading the car and set off with complaining digestive systems for the race HQ in Cheddington, using a route that was intended to help "Grumpy" Art Vanderlay scout out part of the route, as this was his first ride on the course. Team Grumpy's team manager wisely chose to remain in bed.

On arrival at the race HQ Team Grumpy, still feeling intestinally challenged, were somewhat unhappy that the hall was not open (and the "facilities" therefore inaccessible) - particularly as it was cold enough for frost outside making hanging around rather unwelcome. Once the organiser arrived, relief was at hand, and we could make our choices for clothing (kneewarmers and big gloves were essential on such a cold morning).

"Grumpy" Art chose to ride his Xentis wheels rather than the Team Grumpy standard H3s - the reader will need to judge whether that turned out to be a wise choice. The start of the course is some distance from the HQ and riders need to traverse two narow bridges with traffic lights - just after crossing the second, Grumpy Bob heard a garbled shout and saw his team mate do a U-turn and head back in the direction of the HQ. This brought memories of the fabled Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up when descending the Neath Bank, "Grumpy" Art's cassette came apart forcing his early retirement (and christening Team Grumpy Rule number 2). Being very team-spirited he also did a u-turn, but rapidly found that "Grumpy" Art was nowhere to be seen. Conscious of the time passing, he returned to the start with two minutes in hand. Sadly, "Grumpy" Art was still not there at the appointed start time, so Grumpy Bob set off on a solo ride.

It's a reasonably challenging course, with three significant climbs, Ivinghoe Beacon, Billington hill and Mentmore hill. Somewhat distracted by the mysterious disappearance of his team mate, Grumpy Bob persisted round the course, to finish with 49:34. But what of the missing team mate?

While all this was going on "Grumpy Art" had realised his rear tyre was deflating, and hurried back to the HQ. Here (and at this point facts get rather garbled), he tried changing to his rear H3, suffered an impact puncture en route to the start, tried repairing that only to find the tyre was irreparably damaged and had to settle for replacing the inner tube of the Xentis.

As those of you who know "Grumpy" Art will have expected, all these misfortunes brought about a tantrum which might have done justice to someone 47 years his junior, but with that out of his system he rode back to the start to ride a solo race in the place of #39. So, starting about 30 minutes behind his team mate, off he went, to record a pretty decent time of 49:16, unfortunately sullied by a vast (and in detail somewhat inexplicable) late start penalty of something like 33.5 minutes.

So, not a very auspicious attempt at 2-up practice, but at least both members of Team Grumpy did get rides in on the day. Unfortunately, neither counted a for a hill of beans as Grumpy Bob had no second rider to count in the 2-up, and "Grumpy" Art had the humungous late start penalty (and anyway he wasn't entered in the solo event).

This might just be the last available opportunity for Team Grumpy to hone its 2-up skills before the "main event", the Duo Normand in September. Let's hope that goes according to plan again this year.

12 comments:

ajvphilp said...

sleep well tonight!

Art Vanderlay said...

Hmm, after the event I re-inflated the original inner tube - the one I suspectefd was deflating before the start. I got home at 6 pm and the wretched tube was still inflated. After unloading the car and refreshing etc, I decided to do the bucket of water test. Guess what? Yep, no bubbles!


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Useless tossers. Call yourself a 2-up team!

klarusu said...

Ha! See, veterans just can't afford to over-imbibe anymore ... you're no spring chickens! (Coming from the one who fell asleep in her 300ml bottle of light beer last night ... just to contextualise) ;))

Anonymous said...

A bit of advice. Ifyou ride more than half an hour apart the foolwing rider won't get much protection from the wind. Rob's true time should be taken on the second rider....

Art Vanderlay said...

True - he should have waited.

Grumpy Bob said...

Actually, the major issue was the non-puncture!

Art Vanderlay said...

D'oh!

Art Vanderlay said...

I replaced the original inner tube back in to the wheel last evening and pumped it up to 9 bar. This morning it is still a rock solid 9 bar.

This is really embarassing. I definately could feel the road bumps though the tyre when we were rolling to the start, so my guess is that I hadn't pumped it up to pressure in the first place.

Either that, or we were sabotaged!!

Grumpy Bob said...

Perhaps it was too hard and that's why you felt the road bumps. Next time get a second opinion!

Art Vanderlay said...

Nah, I was able to squeeze the sides quite a bit, so it must have lost some air. Problem was time was so tight that I had to get going if I was going to make it back with the other wheel, so I couldn't hang about.

Bit of a disaster in more ways than one I reckon.

Art Vanderlay said...

The whole experience did, though, reveal to me the poor state of my latex inner tube stock. I have rectified that as of today.

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