Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Team Grumpy first losers at Duo Normand (Corpo category)

Last weekend Team Grumpy decamped to the Normandy countryside for a long weekend, to ride the Duo Normand 2-up time trial once again. This was Team Grumpy's tenth ride in the event and as for the last few years we were entered in the Corporate category.

Team grumpy participated despite 'Grumpy' Art Vanderley suffering from a rather nasty cold in the days running up to the race itself, a bizarrely Hitchcockian hornet attack at our accommodation (shades of The Birds), and 'Grumpy' Art's willingness to flaunt Team Grumpy rule #2:
Don't tinker with your bike the evening before the event. It will break, either then or, worse still, during the event.
In the end, mechanical problems were completely absent (for a change), but 'Grumpy' Art was sufficiently disabled by viral issues that the team's performance was affected. Grumpy Bob had to take lengthy pulls at the front to keep things rolling - he was somewhat perturbed by the volleys of mucoid coughing from behind him, but callously kept the pace reasonably high. In fairness, 'Grumpy' Art put himself through all kinds of hell during the race and probably saved Team Grumpy its second spot in the results as a consequence of his bursts of effort in the closing kilometres of the event.

Indeed, 'Grumpy' Art looked so completely knackered at the finish line that a passerby inquired after his health.

The trip to Normandy was actually characterised by self-imposed moderation in all things, including the team's consumption of official energy drink. Here is the evidence of the team's consumption from four evenings:

The winning team beat Team Grumpy by a large margin of around 6 minutes - Team Grumpy completed the course in 1:25:29. Scratch riders Durbridge and Tuft (Orica green Edge) took the longstanding course record set by Boardman-Voigt (set in 1999) with a time of 1:04:10, which Team Grumpy thinks sets everything in perspective.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Beer that Team Grumpy can't drink

Team Grumpy has noted this now resolved lawsuit between energy drink company Red Bull and a microbrewery operating under the name Redwell. Apparently Red Bull are happy that the brewery can continue operating as long as they don't move into the energy drink business (Red Bull ends dispute with Redwell brewery in Norwich).

Team Grumpy does recognise the magnanimity in this decision, but clearly also notes that since beer is the team's energy drink, Team Grumpy riders will obviously be unable to consume this stuff for fear of getting the brewery into trouble with the energy drink titan.

Just to clarify Team Grumpy's position, neither Red Bull not Redwell are official Team Grumpy energy drink.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Return to Racing

After what seems like an age, the respective members of Team Grumpy have at last started racing again. However, certainly in my case the term should be treated as a liberally applied - rather than literally applied - one. After my slowest ever 25 mile TT (which to be fair was in the Brecon Beacons on a very windy day), I managed to set my fastest time for 10 miles for two seasons. This, though, was still an embarrassingly poor time (which I am not going to reveal) and says more about how many 10s I ride and how bad I am at this shorter distance. But training has gone well recently and the results do show an improvement.

As is usual when things are not going especially well, I have invested in some new kit: a very neat set of Zipp handlebars and a Dura Ace chainset to replace the Campag (which I simply could not stop from 'clunking').

Grumpy Bob has had disruption after disruption to his planned season but now has at least had a couple decent outings on his new power-tap disc wheel. The results are encouraging, if not spectacular. Could this all be part of a masterplan to build gradually for the end of September and hit top form at the Duo Normand? Let's hope so.

Talking of the Duo Normand, I see entries are promised to be open 'very soon'. Somehow, though, it all seems to be a long way off still. Maybe that's just as well.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Omnishambles averted

Team Grumpy has averted their first omnishambles of the 2013 season.

As usual, Team Grumpy's first 2-up scheduled in the season was the Port Talbot Wheelers '25'. Usually held in the first weekend in March, this year's event was a week or two later. This should have offered an opportunity for Grumpy Bob and 'Grumpy' Art Vanderlay to recoup some of the fitness lost through winter illness. Alas, this appeared something of a delusion, with both riders bitterly reporting lack of form. Recent weeks have seen dark mutterings of faked 'mechanicals' as a a means of saving face should the team under-perform.

In the end, Team Grumpy evaded an omnishambles by the simple expedient of opting for a monoshambles. This took the form of a recurrence of Grumpy Bob's lower back pain to such a degree that riding (let alone racing) was judged completely impossible.

Grumpy Bob did actually try racing a week ahead of the Port Talbot Wheelers event, but this did not go well.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Team Grumpy protests: "We never drank 'energy drink' while racing"

Team Grumpy has noted that among the truly epic landslide of doping confessions (mostly from now-retired riders, we note), Michael Boogerd has finally come clean (Boogerd confesses to doping in television interview - Boogerd confesses to doping for a decade in the professional peloton. However, he does still seem quite delusional about what doping's for, as he's quoted as asserting he always rode the Tour de France clean:
Boogerd, now 40, said that he didn't use doping products while he was racing the Tour de France, instead - "It was in periods, usually periods of training in preparation for competitions. I have always ridden the Tour clean."
So it's OK to dope in training and in preparation for an event, as long as you don't dope during the event. Oh well, that's clear. As mud.

All this brings to mind the Team Grumpy 'energy drink' scenario. Team Grumpy can confidently assert that the riders have not consumed 'energy drink' while actually competing in 2-up time trials. The riders, however, are willing to confess to 'energy drink' consumption prior to and following competition. The Team Grumpy Manager is mostly concerned that pre- and post-competition 'energy drink' consumption is actually detrimental to performance, and that not putting 'energy drink' in the Team Grumpy bidons could be seen as performance-enhancing. Oh what a muddled and confused world we live in.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Team Grumpy 'must pull themselves together'

News reaches Team Grumpy HQ that the Chief of Luxembourg Cycling has told Radioshack-Leopard rider Andy Schleck he must pull himself together after a winter in which he didn't work hard enough (Luxemburg cycling chief: Andy Schleck must pull himself together |

By an astonishing coincidence both riders in Team Grumpy have likewise seen (albeit less unaccountable) loss of form during the off-season, and are expected to experience a serious motivational speech from the Team Manager when the team regroups for the annual embarrassment that is the first 2-up of the season. Both Grumpy Bob and 'Grumpy' Art Vanderlay have apparently been exchanging plaintive text messages in a vain attempt to explain their lack of early season form. In particular, they both claim to have been ill for what seems like an eternity. The Team Manager is expected to demand doctors' notes for both riders.

On the other hand, it may be worth noting Team grumpy Rule #1:
Remember to make your excuses before the race, not after. Otherwise it will just sound pathetic.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Aargh! Another Team Grumpy omnishambles to come?

Team Grumpy has been neglecting this blog of late. Partly that because both riders have been astonishingly busy, but it's also because both riders have been laid low with what appears to be the same illness. Before anyone's tongues wag too fast, Team Grumpy would like to observe that both riders have been located at the opposite ends of the country since the TG omnishambles that was The 2012 Duo Normand.

For both 'Grumpy' Art and Grumpy Bob were afflicted by a ghastly feverish heavy cough that lasted about two weeks in Grumpy Bob's case, but a bit less for 'Grumpy' Art, who sought medical assistance. In any event, both suffered an extended period of post-viral fatigue that has kept TG from training for about 5 weeks.

With the now traditional first TG 2-up of the season looming in about 6 weeks time, it merely remains for TG to discover whether their form will bounce back or, more likely, grovel back. 'Grumpy' Art has already started making his excuses, thereby following Team Grumpy Rule #1 "Remember to make your excuses before the race, not after. Otherwise it will just sound pathetic" with extraordinary enthusiasm. He also made grim references to faking a mechanical in this year's Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' (the event in question).