Club Ride, Saturday 5th January
Last Saturdays Team MK ride went unexpectedly well for me. I was very apprehensive about pace and distance after such a long lay-off. I thought I had lost more form than I appear to actually have. I started off in the middle of the group of 27 riders and kind stayed around that area as much as I could for a while sometimes in the first few miles I found myself dangerously near the front but using my wiles I dropped back each time that occurred. After about 10 miles i saw our ride leader Alun was riding alone at the front, nobody was moving up to fill the space so in a rash moment I rode up the outside and joined him on the front and we set a steady pace and chatted away and I felt quite comfortable actually. After that I pretty much stayed at or very near the front all the way to Jenny Wrens cafe at Winslow which we reached after about 32 miles.
After a cup of coffee, a toasted tea cake and some pleasant chat it was time to move off again for the final 12 miles back to Stony Stratford and my car. I found myself in a group of about about 12 riders as we had combined with another group of Team MK riders at the cafe and some of ‘my’ group were still there I think but I was keen to get back so i went with these faster riders but once again I lasted the pace so all seems fairly well in the fitness department considering the lay of but plenty of room for improvement yet.
On Monday I went for a solo ride around one of my well ridden routes. I have every intention of riding the 30 mile plus version of it at the outset but after a mile or so I became aware of a noise from my rear wheel and I suspected wheel bearings, probably a result of the rain and grit washed onto the roads over the last few weeks. I was then thinking I would take the opportunity to turn off my planned route at Emberton and revert to the 20 mile version so I could get back before too much damage was done. However by the time I reached that point the noise seemed to have ceased so i reverted to plane A and completed the 30 miles.
On inspection today I found that a clean out of the bearings and re-greasing and replacing was all that was required so it was duly carried out and all ready for a ride tomorrow hopefully.
I see that Lance Armstrong is not going away and is booked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show in the near future. I just hope that he is going to confess his sins and let that be an end to the matter so that cycling can get on with wiping away talk of his misdemeanours from the headlines. What he did is all history now and it should be allowed to go away but I have feeling he is not going to admit anything. This is mainly because it will cost him a lot of money in repaying people who he sued when they previously accused him of drug taking and have now been proved right. I think it will be a tale of self pity and trying to paint himself as a victim in all this rather than the admission thats required to allow cycling to carry on with its post drug taking era.
I continue to see more and more riders about on the roads on my rides, and not only weekday rides, even in the week I see plenty of people around country roads on their bikes. Far more than I ever saw even a couple of years ago. I think its the Mark Cavendish, then Bradley Wiggins effect making people realise what a good sport and healthy activity cycling can be. I think its those riders and their successes on the roads and subsequent positive publicity that led to them being elected sports personalities in successive years and therefore coming to the forefront in the publics eyes. There is a lot of good stuff going on in cycling in the UK at the moment and I just hope any negative vibesfrom Mr L A’s affairs doesn’t detract from that success.