Monday, 27 July 2009

Grumpy Bob loses his bottle...

Grumpy Bob rode only his third solo '25' of the season* - the Verulam CC '25' on the F1/25 on 26th July. His second '25' was the Hemel Hempstead '25' on the F13/25, where it's safe to say that he didn't exactly cover himself with glory on a day with a nagging side wind. Of course, since his first '25' of the season was the Icknield '25' on the F1/25 when tragedy occurred, he did approach the event with some trepidation.

All went reasonably well, however. He recorded 58:46 on a day when the southbound legs were rendered quite hard by a stiff headwind. Gossip over at the timetrialling forum suggests that of the 80 riders on the startsheet, only 15 got sub-hour results. Perhaps GrumpyBob was a little unnerved by being on an 0 on the startsheet, an accolade that can only have resulted from the organiser suffering some kind of aberration.

So what's all this about losing his bottle? Well, having ridden over to the event (and expecting to ride home again) Grumpy Bob had taken the precaution of taking is trusty aero bottle, filled with PSP nectar. Somewhere near the Sandy end of the course, his expensive Arundel aero bottle popped out of the cage, never to be seen again. At least by Grumpy Bob, who never even noticed it as it abandoned him.

*Grumpy Bob isn't including the API/Metrow '25', for reasons that are slightly embarrassing.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Buying speed

No, not some dodgy deal on amphetamines, but Grumpy Bob's latest stunt to justify some more bike bling. Yes, this whole UCI rant has been part of a complex and highly structured campaign to create the ideal conditions under which the purchase of new bike components can be justified.

It's scary sometimes to observe the work of genius. I only wish this talent could be used for good rather than evil.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

So, will the Duo Normand apply UCI bike regs?

There's been ongoing uncertainty within the ranks of Team Grumpy on whether or not the organisers of the Duo Normand intend to enforce the luddite UCI regulations on bicycle dimensions. This follows postings in the timetrialling forum asserting that they will enforce them. In response to Grumpy Bob's brief email enquiring:
Will UCI bicycle regulations be applied, and in which categories?
he got a reply from the organisers of the Duo Normand:
The UCI rules are applied in our race but the only Elite category is under UCI control.
Grumpy Bob isn't terribly sure how to interpret that! Perhaps his original email was a little brief... It would be a bit of a shame to travel all that way and be refused a ride...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Looking to the Duo Normand

Grumpy Bob emailed the organisers of the Duo Normand to enquire whether UCI regs would be enforced, and in which categories. He thinks that Grumpy Art has entered Team Grumpy in the Corporate category again this year. Hopefully a response will arrive in due course, and he will post it here when it does appear in his inbox.

A few months ago, Grumpy Bob examined his bikes for fit to UCI regulations (aka the "Luddite" regs), and was disappointed that both failed (see a recent post in this blog). One, however, failed only on the handlebar arrangements, so that should be relatively easy to sort out, by transplanting kit from his fixed wheel TT bike. But of course that's not ideal, and Grumpy Bob isn't inclined to cough up for a nice set of bars just for one event. Grumpy Art claims his bike is UCI-legal, but when prompted to think about the front forks confesses he hadn't thought of that.

One wonders why the UCI didn't stay true to their ideals when ruling that ASO had to permit the use of race radios on Friday's stage of the Tour de France. Grumpy Bob had almost expected their ruling to be:
  1. Race radios are permitted.
  2. Race radios must not contain transistors or microprocessors
  3. Race radios must respect the primacy of archaic technology over the new, and should conform to the technology available to Maurice Garin.
  4. Therefore all race radios should use valves (tubes to any colonials who may visit this page)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A tough day

Boy, that was hard! Today, I did the PTW 50 and recorded 2-02-36, which is actually my best 50 of the year so far (I have another in two weeks' time). I don't think I've ever had so much water chucked over me as I did today, with downpour after downpour (ineterspersed with very hot sunny periods of about three minutes). This kept up for the entirity of my ride.

It started off just as I pulled up to the start and visibility was effectively zero when I started out. This did not please me at all and I think my mind wasn't really on the task of riding a 50 mile TT. This was reflected in my 25 mile splits (thanks to Garmin) of 1-02-38 and 59-58. As you can tell, I did manage to get into a racing mode eventually.

Now I have a bike to clean and regrease. But at least I found the HQ and started the event, which is more than some can claim.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Here we go

Well, the unstoppable momentum that is Team Grumpy has now shifted up another gear as our entry to the Duo has been validated. There's no turning back now.

All that's needed is for our mediocre form to hit top level. Usually, we do a TTT just before going out to France but this year it will be different and we'll prepare separately.

But we'll meet up in France for our final preparation: a good dose of 'Pop Belge' (aka Leffe)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Missing form Grumpy Bob rode his first solo '25' of 2009 - not only that, it was his longest race of the season so far, the North Middx & Herts '50' having been cancelled through lack if entries. Normally by this stage of the season, he would have completed several '25's, a couple of '50's, and would be looking forward to riding a '100'. Instead, he's wondering where all the events went, having had a fairly poor time at the Hemel '25'. To be honest, Grumpy Bob is usually luck to get sub-hour on the F13/25, but even so finishing well over the hour was a bit of knock to his morale.

Mind you, there's still time for his grumpy training to have an impact before the Duo in late September, and with a programme of two races a week before he has to go to Nottingham for a week's teaching in the first week of August, a week of chips and beer and 13 hour working days.

Part of the problem as Grumpy Bob sees it is partly a reduced number of events in London North (though perhaps this is merely his perception), and partly his reluctance to ride on the F1 following the tragedy that unfolded at the Icknield RC '25' in May.

Getting better?


Yesterday I did a hilly 10 (part of the S. Wales SPOCO series) in 23-57. I was quite happy with that givent here was a stiff headwind to the turn.

Today, I did a 25 on a rolling course (not what I would rate as sporting, though many would). Again, there was a strong headwind to the turn, so I was pleased with my 58-46. Also, I seem to have closed the gap on many of those who rode in the ten.

Hopefully, this is a sign of a steady improvement from now on.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Duo 2009

Grumpy Art's booked his ferries for Normandy, GrumpyBob's booked his ferries, Grumpy Art's entered us for the race, we've got the accommodation booked, GrumpyBob's renewed his racing licence. All is now set...

All we need is form. And, reputedly, UCI-legal bikes.

Training - or lack of

I have just quantified my much vaunted (not) low levels of training load. To be honest, it makes scary reading. But, hopefully, now that work has died down considerably, I will be able to build form for the Duo. These are my total weekly mileage (including racing, warm up, turbo - the lot):

44; 0; 70; 68
74; 82; 62; 59
102; 66; 78; 64
99; 118; 83; 32
80; 60; 0; 77; 30
60; 0; 20; 140

Things - as they say - can only get better.