Sunday, 24 July 2011

Now, THIS makes Grumpy Bob grumpy!

Thoroughly excited by watching yesterday's penultimate stage of the 2011 Tour de France in which Cadel 'Not-so-very-grumpy-anymore' Evans trounced the opposition to take yellow from Andy Schleck in the only individual time trial of this year's race, GrumpyBob has wandered round the web reading reports of the stage.

He then found himself at the Pez Cycling report of the stage (Tour’11 St.20: G’Day, Cadel!) - it's a nice report, well-illustrated with images of the main protagonists.  So what's Grumpy Bob so grumpy about?

Adverts.  That's what.  The first screenful of text at that page has myriads of adverts down both sides of the article. That in itself isn't so bad. But. The majority of these adverts are animated to change every second or so (or are just animated).  Worse still, on Grumpy Bob's browser, these are all out of sync, generating a ghastly flickering, nausea-inducing distraction from what he wants: the text on the page.

Yes, Grumpy Bob realises that AdBlock can get rid of them, but he feels he shouldn't spend several minutes devising ab effective wild-card filter to spike them all.  Perhaps he's just getting old and intolerant (surely a membership requirement for Team Grumpy!), and maybe younger, more agile, minds can cope with the visual sensory overload of a score of flickering adverts.

Oh, and by the way, Grumpy Bob is delighted by the outcome of the stage, and by the winner.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Will Team Grumpy win le tour?

Viewed by many as the peloton's Mr. Grumpy (although, as with many things grumpy, all is not necessarily as it seems), Cadel Evans needs to time trial his way to tour greatness today. Taking one minute off Andy Schleck, though, will be a tall order. Surely, Schleck (try saying that when you've had some Leffe) cannot be as bad as he has all season in TTs.

Win or lose today, Evans has been his usual gritty and determined self. But Team Grumpy is rather concerned at his lack of, well, grumpiness in this tour. All joking aside, it's about time that this guy was rewarded for his remarkable exploits over recent years:


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Project Duo - Part Two

As well as the renewed focus on training - well, the actual start of structured training (which began approx. 4 weeks ago) - the western half of Team Grumpy has also looked closely at his bike set up.

There seems to be a new regime in charge at the Duo and things look (at least from a distance) rather more formal. Will this result in UCI regs being more strictly enforced in all categories this year? That's distinctly possible in my view and, therefore, I have looked closely at my bike to be certain that it is UCI compliant. Apart from the need for a 2cm extension for the reach on the aerobars (and at 185 cms in height, I'd be surprised if it wasn't granted), then the bike is completely UCI legal. This includes the new horizontal saddle rule.

Then there is the small matter of training. There are areas where I think the team can make gains and this is where I am targetting my own training. But overall, it is a matter of getting the most out of the next couple of months. Crikey, just a couple of months - that doesn't seem far off anymore. However, there are encouraging signs on my form, despite the heavy training load at present that is leaving me feeling rather jaded. If all goes to plan I won't hit real form until late August/early September, so results up until then need to be viewed with an interpretive eye.

But there is a growing optimism at the moment.

Project Duo - the grumpy way to salvage the season

The 2010 season was a source of some celebration for Team Grumpy: it was the centenary season in which Grumpy Bob and 'Grumpy' Art Vanderlay had both hit their first half century, and took a podium place at the Duo Normand for the first time.  For Grumpy Bob, the Team Grumpy Centenary signalled a resurgence in his timetrialling, hitting LTS times at 10, 25, and 50 miles which actually represented his best times in the past 6 years or so.  While many of Grumpy Bob's club mates laid the explanation for this sudden lift in form squarely at the new bike frame (a Cervelo P3C bought as a birthday present by the Team Grumpy Manager), he actually proposes that it was more due to a better and regular approach to training.

Sadly, this season hasn't been quite so stellar for Grumpy Bob, with lacklustre peformances at most distances.  It's probably fair to observe that in both 2010 and 2011 'Grumpy' Art Vanderlay has had a similarly very slow start to his season, mostly due to pressure of work in the spring and early summer.  On the bright side, 'Grumpy' Art's recent time trials do indicate a possible late season return to form (Grumpy Bob hopes so, as he foresees being towed round the Duo Normand course this year).

Still, the Team Grumpy riders are optimistic that they can pull things together in time for this year's Duo Normand, and parallel training plans aiming to peak in mid-September are now in place - Project Duo, an eight week training plan.  Being an ad hoc sort of set up, there's no centrally determined plan.  It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

For his part, Grumpy Bob has made use of Google Calendar to set out what he's going to be doing each day, and when.  This has the added bonus of a nagging email from Google to remind him to get out there and train (or 'practice' as our Manager likes to put it).  The major advantage of this is that Grumpy Bob's preferred training time is between 5am and 7am, depending on when he wakes up (usually he starts at 6am), a time of day when the Team Manager is sound asleep and merely dreaming of 400 Watts.