Monday 31 August 2009


This is fast becoming Team Grumpy's most used title, but I deploy it here with good reason.

Today I did the Pembs Velo 15 - the final round of the South Wales Sporting Course TT Series. It was lashing down with rain and a high wind swept the course. However, all was going well. In fact, all was going extremely well: I felt good, heart rate was bang on where I wanted it to be, and I was motoring. Trouble was I was feeling too good and was really going for it. This wasn't a propblem because the course is not too technically demanding.

Unfortunately, on a section on the main road (that goes to Pembroke Dock) I went into a rouindabout way too fast. It should have been no problem and I calmly gave the brakes a short squeeze to take the speed off a little. Normally, this would have been fine. But it seems I was crossing a patch of diesel at that very moment and both wheels just went from under me. I'm not sure what happened next but I ended up in the verge as my bike clattered along the road.

My visor was ripped off, my number was ripped off, my overshoes were shredded, but my bike appears to be fine. Less good is the state of the rifder who has sustained cuts and graizes to the left leg (knee in particular), a black eye, a line of bruising acroos the face and nose that bear an uncanny resemblence to the edge of a visor, a bruise on the chin, bruises above mouth (just below the nose), sore left wrist, sore left elbow and most worrying of all, a tightening feeling in the lower back that appears to be getting worse (it's now four hours since the crash).

I did get back on the bike and rode to the finish. My Garmin recorded a time of 35-42, which would have been good enough for 8th place. But I was hardly pushing it after the crash so this would probably have been a bit faster. The timekeeper recorded me finishing in 37 mins something, so I lost just under two minutes looking for visor, checking injuries, checking bike, putting chain back on after extracting it from the front mech (why do they always get snagged in there?).

Hopefully, it is all minor and will not effect preparations for the Duo (and the British Champs next weekend). I think it is all superficial dmage but I am concerened about the creeping back pain.


Sunday 30 August 2009

Grumpy Bob's nightmare

One thing that has haunted my team-mate ever since we started riding the Duo Normand is the idea of crashing on the start ramp in full view of large numbers of spectators. I've always reassured him that this is so unlikely to happen that it can be dismissed.

However, only yesterday a professional rider managed to do just that. And if this photo is anything to go by then I had better watch out because it is likley that I'll be taken out as well. What do they call it? - ah, yes, collatoral damage.

Oh dear.

Friday 28 August 2009

Now Grumpy Bob is really grumpy...

Grumpy Bob spent a considerable time yesterday evening trying to get the North Bucks Road Club website back on its feet after one of the hosting company's MySQL servers was behaving erratically, then appeared to go belly up. They announced it was functional again, but the database behind the website seems to have gone. Fortunately, Grumpy Bob had a series of recent backups. Less fortunately, he had to figure out exactly how to use these backups to restore the site on a different MySQL server at the hosting company.

Grumpy Bob still hadn't finished this process when he ran out of energy and retired to grab a few hours kip (though he had figured out how to do it). More fortunately, shortly before 5am he had the website back on its feet.

This has been more than a little unfortunate, since the upcoming British Time Trial Championship (6th September 2009) has seen a significant increase in traffic to the website, and the whole debacle has not looked very professional.

Monday 24 August 2009

Duo Normand 2009 - preview

Team Grumpy has posted a preview of the 2009 Duo Normand over at the main Team Grumpy website. It's fair to say that neither member of Team Grumpy has excelled this year, so our performance at Team Grumpy's favourite time trial will be, how can we put it, unpredictable!

It's also very fair to point out that not only has Team Grumpy complied with Rule 4:
Rule 4: And if rule #3 fails, new skinsuits are probably a good option.
by buying new skinsuits for the event (and even new sunglasses), as what "Grumpy" Art fondly refers to as the Team Grumpy Uniform. Which Grumpy Bob finds a little alarming...

Before Team Grumpy departs these shores, Grumpy Bob has completed his last open event, the NM&H CA '25' (though one or two club events remain on his calendar), while "Grumpy" Art Vanderlay still has one or two to go, including the British Time Trial Championship on 6th September.

One never knows, perhaps at the Duo Team Grumpy will be able to pull a performance out of the bag...there is a Baldrickian "Cunning Plan", or which more later as it has more of the characteristics of a "Desperate Plan" than something that will guarantee a performance boost.

In the meantime, Team Grumpy has moved forward into the realms of Twitter, with its very own Twitter account.

Friday 21 August 2009

British Championship gets grumpy

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. The 2010 British Time Trial Championships will have a distinctly grumpy input. For more details see:

The BTTC 2010 Page at The Team Grumpy website

Sunday 16 August 2009


With only three events scheduled before the Duo, Grumpy Bob started the Beds Road CC '25' on the F1B/25 with a degree of optimism that he might be able to demonstrate some return of form before the big day.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be. While it was a nice enough morning (albeit with a rising wind), Grumpy Bob experienced a deflating sensation as his rear tub punctured about 8 miles from Tempsford. It says something about his season that this wasn't accompanied by considerable cursing and swearing, but with a pathetic sense of resignation.

Two more events to go...

Sunday 9 August 2009

Tula bars

Grumpy Bob is aware he said in this blog that he'd not fork out for new aero bars solely to make his bike UCI-legal. However, a week or so ago he decided to change his mind, and chose some USE Tulas (below)

These are rather splendid bars, which are aero in a sort of retro Dan Dare style - check out the "pods" that are the handholds and to which the brake levers fit. The elbow cups are carbon, and a single bolt fastens both the cups and the extensions in place, with a surprising amount of adjustability. The pads are a strange gel like rubber material, held in place (but only barely) by some velcro. Grumpy Bob plumped for the straight alloy extensions.

Cabling is internal - brake cables run from the pods and exit just before the extensions; gear cables enter the extensions and emerge out of the ends for a very clean cable run. The bars are oversize, which seems to help prevent slippage in the handlebar stem.

Being a pretty careful sort of rider, Grumpy Bob was rather cautious in his first competitive outing with the bars - the brake levers are in a slightly unusual position. However he quickly got used to that. In use, the bars seemed rather nice and comfortable. Unfortunately the changed position adversely affected saddle comfort (see this report on the Finsbury Park '25'), so that needs to be addressed (probably by replacing the carbon saddle with a more conventional SLR, which at least has some padding).