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Monday night

Training rides info + discussion

Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:46 pm

Did the peleton stop riding le Tour when it was raining?

No sir.

If it's raining tonight, we're still riding.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:03 pm

Those who know me will confirm that my commitment to training goes considerably beyond just turning up and turning the pedals. Accordingly, and I think this may be the work for which future generations will know the name of Chris C, I am proud to announce the soft launch today of an ‘all you can eat’ Excuses Menu to which participants can help themselves after any ride.

Indeed, in this time-poor age I expect that, before long, riders will be heard to say, rather in the manner of ordering a Chinese meal, ‘I had a 22, 6 and 15, with a side serving of 37’. Here, then, are my starters for ten, based on my in-depth (depth being the operative word) experience of last night’s intermediate training ride. It’s a list that I have no doubt Wheelers will wish to make their own and build into a global digital resource for use by riders everywhere. I’m thinking syndication, franchising, pay per excuse: if this takes off, Mr Shilling the treasurer will no doubt beg me to accept a small annual honorarium of just 10% of what will surely be the overloaded coffers at Wheelers HQ.

1. I was using my winter bike in a gracious attempt to shield my companions from rear-wheel spray of rain and extract of cow.
2. I was wearing a boil-in-the-bag waterproof.
3. I was using 25mm tyres, which, never mind the data sheets, I still maintain are slower than 23mm ones.
4. My sleeping pattern has been disrupted since a mouse gnawed through the cable of my electric alarm clock.
5. I was having a fat day.
6. My personal trainer Mr Hunky had upped the ante on Saturday’s tums, bums and thumbs workout.
7. I was tired after my weekend at the Dolphin Square apartment of my old school chum Johnnie S and some playful young friends of his.
8. I’d had a small Amontillado before dinner 25 years ago.
9. My gears were wonky.
10. I’m older than the others.

The result: just 19.4 mph back to Sidd X and, having signed release papers for the three Galácticos, Colin, Rob M and Andy W, shockingly early on P Hill, 18.9 to the top for I and Matt Y, who I am embarrassed to say had the pretty good excuse (no 11) of a wet 70-mile Peak District cycle-cross event the day before.

Oh, the rain stopped of course. You should have been there. What’s your excuse?

Talking of Chinese meals, it’s Mrs C’s birthday next Monday so I shall not be out (excuse 12). If she plays her cards right, I might even go to the take-away for her.
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Re: Monday night

Postby mattyardley » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:29 pm

Thanks Chris. I was totally bombed. Wish I'd had more than a couple of biscuits and a cup of tea (no 13).
Cyclo-cross=cycle-cross in the world of excuses ;)
I'll be back at the back again on Mon 10th Aug.
Cheers.
Matt
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:52 pm

Good fast ride last night: 21.8 mph back to Sidd Central. 21.3 to the top for the second wave of us. Would have been faster if I hadn’t spooked a horse by riding too close to it from behind (remember – the eyes are at the front), leaving most of my companions to deal with the resulting exchange with the hapless rider (excuse 14).

We were: Ant, Matt D, Dave Board, Monday stalwarts Colin and Rob M, welcome back Ruth, welcome to this ride Timo (all the way from Finland by way of Bollington), Mick, Mark H and me.

Thank you to Annick for graciously enabling my participation on this, her XXth birthday, forsaking a celebration that had been a year in the making.

You don’t really believe that, do you? We went out on Sunday of course, freeing her for her yoga class last night (yes, she’s bendy).
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Re: Monday night

Postby thetrotter » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:12 pm

Not wishing to dispute your knowledge of horses (although will now do so) but the eyes are on the side so they see you before the rider does (and they are a flight animal). You need to call out so that the rider can anticipate the reaction of the horse to an orange tornado B-)

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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:05 pm

Another fast ride last night, an average of 21.9 mph down the hill, along Salters Lane, round the circuit three times and back to Sidd Cross, 21.5 for me to the top (most others faster, but my fastest of these rides since 15 July 2013 when I achieved my lifetime PB of 21.7). We would have been faster had we not all had to stop dead when, taking the left hand bend just after the Black Swan, we found the whole lane blocked by a van reversing a trailer carrying a mini-digger into the drive of the first house on the right, leaving us nowhere to go. Fortunately our experienced group all stopped without mishap.

One dozen riders, freshly baked: me, Mick, Gareth T, Steve M, Ant, Karl, Colin, Malcolm, John Hyde, Dave ‘No Relation’ Boardman, Matt D and great to see Neil Morris with us again.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:06 pm

Another excellent fast ride last night with 15 riders.

Having saved myself by driving, not cycling, to work (don’t ask) I’d been hoping for a crack at my PB of 21.7 mph to the top (a record achieved in the far-off mists of 2013 when I was still pushing 60 from the right side). Consequently, plagiarising shamelessly from Shakespeare’s Henry V on the eve of Agincourt, I mounted my steed under the sign of the Broken Cross and exhorted my companions, straining upon the start like greyhounds in the slips, with tales of the honour that history would bestow upon them were they to accede to my greatest wish and pull me, in a bare 90 minutes time, up the galled rock:

Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.


It wasn’t to be: they dropped me as usual before Dark Lane, leaving the faithful Nigel, like King Arthur’s Sir Bedivere (that’s too many kings, Ed) to tow me up the remaining furlongs. I summited, spent, at 21.3, my despair somewhat assuaged by the glory of having passed the grave of Sir Siddington at 21.7.

Racing round the table were: Sir Anthony L, Sir Karl G, Sir Paul D, Sir Dave B, Sir John H, Sir Matt D, Sir Colin Y, Sir Rob M, Sir Nigel Bedivere, the indefatigable Sir Malcolm F, Sir Brian E, Sir Steve M, Lady Chris H, Sir I Chris and welcome to Monday Sir Mark E.

There’s always next week.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:14 pm

We got very ragged after our first ascent of Daffodil Hill last night, with riders strung out all over the place, to my great regret. I applied some judicious coaching (aka losing my temper and shouting) and after a while we got organised, although this did involve four riders dropping out and joining in again at different times for various reasons (a pump in danger of falling out of a saddle bag, general fatigue, planned short-cuts).

It was a fast ride: 21.0 mph average speed back to Siddington Crossroads. I faded even earlier than usual and watched the most of the others ascend through the gloaming towards the appropriately named Dark Lane, after which I emerged at the summit at an overall average of 20.5. Notable amongst those well ahead of me up the hill were Daniel Mape on his first outing with the Wheelers and 14 year old Jamie Storey on his first training ride and accompanying his coach Richard. Supporting riders were James, Paul D, Nigel (fresh enough to do this, incredibly, even following a weekend two-day C2C), Andy W, Rob M, Esther, Ben P, John H, Mark E and me. So 13 riders in all.

Next week it’s Bank Holiday Monday. Last time I cancelled a ride on a bank holiday, some people turned up anyway, so I reckon we’re riding, although I may or may not come.

Bring lights from now on forever please. OK, until next Spring then.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:07 am

The Power of Three

or

Wheelers to the Rescue


Regular readers of these reports will know that, notwithstanding some early professional success trading corporate Eurobonds, I am, by nature, more fond of words than numbers. But now, in the twilight of my career, I am keen to develop new skills and have recently been researching the law of mathematics called the Power of Three, popularly known as the old adage that mishaps happen in groups of three.

I first observed this peculiar phenomenon last Thursday riding the Painters Trail Audax in the delightful county of Suffolk. Item One: I fell from my bike on an aptly named Sandy Lane near Sudbury, a misfortune I am happy to have endured in the name of research in order to be able to offer the advice that road bikes and sand are not natural companions.

Item Two: protesting, no doubt, under the weight of that morning’s third slice of granary toast and marmalade (extra chunky), my rear wheel suffered a broken spoke in Manningtree. Enquiries amongst the gracious inhabitants revealed that, while there was no bike shop nearer than Colchester or Ipswich, a bike doctor worked from the back of a garage in East Bergholt, to which, indeed, we were headed. Unfortunately he had just nipped out to visit his mother and wouldn’t be back for an hour and a half.

We couldn’t wait since I had by then been assailed by Item Three: a wasp sting on my lower lip as I rode along. Fortunately Mrs C is medically trained and insisted that we abandon our route to head for the nearest pharmacist, which we found some six miles away in Hadleigh. After purchasing the best drugs available for my condition, we rode a few yards further to the town’s finest bike shop, on whose doorstep we stepped aside to allow a man to leave. Thankfully, as he was the shop’s mechanic, he kindly turned round and postponed his own planned ride to alleviate my mechanical plight. This required some courage on his part since I was by then beginning to resemble The Elephant Man. While he repaired, I repaired to the upstairs Dogma Room to gawp at an item costing £9,200. It’s a good thing I didn’t need a new bike to complete my journey as the place only sold Pinarellos.

My second observation of the Power of Three was last night, when I took my place on the Intermediate training ride, happily recovered and fully spoked. How good it felt to be back, joined by Pauls D and F, Matt Y, Rob n Colin, Andy J, GT and his protégé Sam Hudson (welcome Sam – excellent ride). Nine riders then, a total that may bear some relationship with the number three; I shall have to investigate this further with the aid of a calculator.

Item One: my rear wheel punctured at the start of lap 2. Item 2: Sam’s rear light jumped off as we descended Daffodil Hill for the second time. Item 3: we encountered four or five bullocks running along Trap Road in the dark. As she left the scene a motorist told us that she had just rung the farmer, so the Wheelers jumped into action, or rather inaction, standing bravely in the road corralling the poor beasts into a corner until the cavalry arrived, at which point we helped to drive the herd back to their field a few hundred yards away.

It was a late night. Stats including cowboy duty were 18.8 mph back to Sidd X, 18.7 to OK Corral.

And it didn’t rain. You really should have been there.
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Re: Monday night

Postby thetrotter » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:53 am

And received a thank you email from the farmer
Thanks a million for your help getting our animals back in the field tonight really appreciated. Always a mightmare when anything happens at night because motorists are really suspicious when we try to slow them down so the quicker we can get them back in the better
Thanks again
Karen Robertson

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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:59 pm

Good, fast ride last night: 20.6 mph back to Sidd X, 20.3 to the top, which just goes to show how it can go when you have a reasonably large group of experienced riders working well together. Yes I'm proud of you.

11 of us: welcome back Dave Hill after a year Stateside, welcome back to week two Daniel Mape (we cunningly let these two lead us down the hill, but without effect as they were amongst the leaders back at the top), welcome back after far too long Eddie and Freddie, welcome again Neil M and to recent regulars Paul F, Rol and Cob, and Andys J and W.

I've been doing this ride for eight years so I reckon that's enough of a taster and it's time to commit. Let the record show that in the non-leather bound journal of Chris C that Mondays are therefore booked out to this ride forever.
:cheers:
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Re: Monday night

Postby pacsman » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:12 am

In the absence of Brother Cottom, our most valued mentor and disciplinarian, I once again most humbly submit an account of Monday evening's physical labours for the Club record.

In spite of some meteorological fear mongering and promises of diabolical weather I am happy to report that a good number of our brethren could not be cowed by the idle speculation of Messrs. Fish and Kettley. Joining me on this evenings exertions were Brothers Robert, Colin, Andrew, Nigel, Matthew and Mark, all eager and full of vim & vigour for the task at hand.

As per the Clubs own regulations I was satisfied to note all participants attended with adequate lighting arrangements - indeed some lanterns were so powerful as to suggest that they had been provided by Prometheus himself! No doubt some of these devices were acquired at great cost from merchants familiar with the Asiatic trade routes, as few local suppliers could hold a candle to them (pun intended!).

A swift descent of Mount Pex brought us quickly and fluidly into a quite fearsome circuit of the hamlets about Swettenham. I did quite fear that perhaps my vitality would not withstand such pace as was being set, but vowed to remain steadfast in the formation for as long as I could bear. The situation was not eased by a slight but noticeable headwind on the southerly leg of the loop described. Thankfully this of course gave rise to some respite on the reciprocal part of the course, during which I managed to gather my thoughts and commit anew to the cause.

Some playful suggestions of a four lap itinerary were politely but firmly discounted and the group settled into the well worn routine of a thousand Monday evenings. The enveloping darkness did cause one or two close calls with those infernal gouges in the highway surface that the authorities seem powerless to rectify, but for the most part the brethren flowed along the avenues much like water flows through a ravine.

The journey back to the junction of Siddington Cross was similarly smooth and co-ordinated, with all amongst us trying to tactically conserve such stamina as we had left for the final, most grueling demand of the evening - the ascent of Mount Pex!

What little I can recollect of subsequent events is rendered dreamlike and strange, as though viewed through a pane of fractured glass. My physician tells me that such exertions should not be entertained by a man of my time, less the candle extinguishes itself due to an excessively fierce flame.

Alas, my efforts were for nought as I slipped through the line of riders much like the sands of time slip though my fingers.

Who summited the Mount first I do not know. Not that it matters, as every man who rode on this fine night rode for the brotherhood, and not individual glory.

Chapeau!
Paul Fenton
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:17 am

pacsman wrote:In the absence of Brother Cottom, our most valued mentor and disciplinarian, I once again most humbly submit an account of Monday evening's physical labours for the Club record.


I enjoyed reading this so much that I won't come tonight, in the hope that Brother Fenton will continue his tale.
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Re: Monday night

Postby Chris C » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:25 am

Chris C wrote: I won't come tonight


Also because I am lacking the required vigor and still drowsy from the steroids coursing round my body following an attack on Saturday by a lone Killer Wasp of Allostock, an event which caused my early retirement from the hitherto most enjoyable club run, another Saturday evening in A&E and a face so swollen that a contract from Hammer Horror Films will surely follow shortly.
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Re: Monday night

Postby pacsman » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:45 pm

Having received a dispatch informing me that Brother Cottom was once again indisposed I felt it my duty to accompany our brethren on their regular Monday evening exertions.

A finer assemblage of vivacity could not be wished for on this fine evening: Brothers Robert, Colin, Andrew, Nigel, Neil, Mark, Daniel, Darren, and Timo made up the contingent for a brisk jaunt around our usual stomping (or should I say 'rolling'!) grounds. I must confess that age has dulled my memory somewhat as I am quite certain there was an eleventh member with us. Alas, no racking of my cerebrum will bring that face back into the foreground of my cognizance. To that mysterious, yet indispensable eleventh member I offer my sincerest apologies.

With some satisfaction I noted that the evening air was still, although tempered by a hint of the approaching winter. The brethren were fully prepared for the crisp weather however, and had attended in a sensible array of clothing to ward off the encroaching frigidity.

Our group fully assembled we set off as one into the gloaming, sharing tales of recent adventures as we descended Mount Pex. Once across that great highway at Siddington crossroads we transitioned smoothly into an efficient and expeditious rotating formation that swept along the darkened lanes. So still was the night air that nary a sound could be heard save for the soothing hum of our pneumatic tyres upon the road surface.

The recent absences of Brother Cottom has encouraged all members to speak out should the pacing of the group become too animated, and so it was that one and all gave voice to their concerns whenever the head of the formation became too excitable.

Some minor misfortune did descend upon the group when one of the Brothers navigated directly into one of the many infernal potholes that scatter the lanes. Although the incident was trifling it did require them to pause in order to realign their fenders. Unruffled by this experience we regrouped and concluded our circuits with alacrity.

Quite what happened next is of some uncertainty, for as we made our way back towards Siddington crossroads it became apparent that we had lost several of the brethren. It seems that perhaps another mechanical misadventure may have occurred and the group was consequently cleaved into two sub-parties. In one of those unspoken, yet unanimously agreed decisions the main body of riders chose to press onward, satisfied that the stragglers were of sufficient resource to rectify whatever problem had beset them.

It is interesting to note that the final ascent of Mount Pex was in stark contrast to the previous weeks outing. Rather than setting a relentless, and strenuous pace to the pinnacle of our climb the group settled into a more modest effort. It quickly became apparent that this portion of our journey was to take on a tactical bent, with each Brother carefully observing the intentions of those around them. A veritable game of cat and mouse began with each rider stalking the group much in the same manner that a lion stalks a herd of zebra. It was clear that one and all were holding their powers in reserve for a final outpouring of effort, and the promise of victory to the Brother that held his nerve longest.

I am sorry to report that my nerve gave out first as I launched a final assault at a point that can only be described as premature. My schoolboy error was quickly punished as I was overhauled by two of the brethren who disappeared into the distance and victory. I believe that Brother Mark took the garlands of triumph, although I must confess I was some way behind to be able to confirm this.

In short: another evening of honest physical industry and brotherly kinship.

Chapeau!
Paul Fenton
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