Sunday, 30 June 2013

Life imitating art

I hit a pedestrian on my Brompton commute :-( The idiot stepped out into the road whilst looking left, ignoring to look to his right and I had no time to take evasive action. The weird thing is, once he realised what he had done he panicked and grabbed my left wrist almost pulling me off my bike. And, get this - he was a clearly a cyclist; wearing lycra and carrying a helmet.

I was wondering how to write about it with any lessons learned and could only come up with advice to pedestrians.  I recalled the Green Cross Code instructions with Dave Prowse acting as the Green Cross Code Man.  Dave is more famously known as playing the character Darth Vader in the Star Wars original trilogy.  Ironically Dave writes on his blog about having his hips replaced recently.

On my training ride today I was still mulling over what to write and whether I was feeling the need to commute slower/wear more high viz/make more noise.  I rode over to The Hub café in Redbourn and as I passed the Common I noticed there was some sort of fete going on with people dressed a little unusually. At the roadside, one such person was crossing the road (looking left, then right and left again) dressed as Obi Wan Kenobi. A Star Wars convention!

Advice to pedestrians planning to cross the road...use the Force ;-)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Race marshals

On our recent cycle to the Bike Bus, my son and I learned of the Fete du Velo plans in Redbourn village and, in particular, the planned road race organised by Simon Barnes of The Hub café. It was scheduled for Sunday afternoon and since we didn't have anything planned we thought we'd pop along to spectate.

The closed road race circuit went around Redbourn Common with great spectator vantage points. Whilst waiting for the race to commence, we were watching from a tricky corner and Simon drove passed and asked if we wouldn't mind acting as marshals and to keep an eye out for any cars ignoring the 'road closed' signs.
Now 'officials' we stood at the junction and watched the racing and I regretted not entering myself; only twenty had signed up because of the wet weather but the mixed category race was great. The weather dried up mid-race and I think there was only one retirement. Simon had arranged for several Primes throughout the race and even the last placed finisher took home a couple of steaks courtesy of a prize donation from the local butcher.
The race resulted in a group of ten making a break splintering the bunch and after about an hour they had lapped a few riders who managed to tag back on giving the judges a bit of difficulty.
I'd like to think that I could have hung on to the break and finished in the points, assuming I hadn't ridden 100 miles the previous day.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Rockin' that look!

sar·to·ri·al  (sär-tôr-l, -tr-)
Of or relating to a tailor, tailoring, or tailored clothing: sartorial elegance.

[From Late Latin sartor, tailor; see sartorius.]

I get up early for my commute to work and often get dressed in the dark. But unlike this fella I don't wear my son's shorts or my daughter's socks. 

The Rapha jersey improves the ensemble a bit ;-)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Race ready

The folding bike races are becoming a lot more competitive, so I am pleased to have qualified and ultimately finished at the Smithfield Nocturne in a higher position than last year.

The road Criterium races have helped in terms of fitness and race tactics, but the new 6 speed Brompton certainly contributed...

Mudguards removed, SPD pedals fitted, Fizik Arione saddle carefully fitted and tyres swapped to Schwalbe Kojaks inflated to 120PSI.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Time out

I have had a few weeks of rest due to a bad back. I had a muscle twinge, I think, from carrying my Brompton up and down the stairs at the local train station one morning and as a result my training and road racing has been put on hold.
I did manage to do a club ride from London in an effort to meet some of the other members and I also showed another club member around the nearby road circuit for a forthcoming road race that we have both registered for, but the most significant ride in the last two weeks has been the IG Nocturne, Time Out sponsored Folding Bike Race.
It was a great day out for my family; we met lots of people and had a superb time.  My family created my jacket, tie and a poster but sadly I didn't win the Best Dressed Racer. However I didn't digrace myself in the race (despite the reduced training) and I qualified 5th in my heat and finished 12th overall in the final with an awesome sprint.