Sunday, 31 January 2010


There's a lively debate on the cycling forums at the moment about the so called linkage between food consumption and exercise, mostly about the "fact" that they are not directly related. I'm not sure there's any truth in this as every time I stop riding, running or going to the gym I put on weight big style. However, at my mum's 80th birthday party last September I couldn't help but notice that we Knowlers have a "body shape". Uncles Bubbles and Will had the "League of pear shaped men" body shape in spades and cousins Richard and Roger have the same "stylee" almost exactly. It now starts to look like I'm not far behind. It doesn't seem to matter what I do, or even if I suffer for it, I appear to be going down that road, a belly is starting to form. Mind you, this winter has allegedly been the harshest for 30 years and I really cannot, cannot, stand hours on the turbo. So what with starting up Crowstone Safety Ltd. and everything that entails I've been labouring under the inpression that my current total lack of fitness has been due to my lack of miles and that this has been directly related to my expanding waistline but maybe not so.
Maybe, just maybe, its all out of my control and all I should do is ride the dragon, get the miles in and relax in the knowledge that if I'm a bit porky it was all meant to be. Ed, Joe, take note.
In the meantime a serious lack of winter miles has meant a re-think of my usual early season strategy. For the first time in years I'm not going to ride either of the 2 traditional season openers, the Maldon and Hainault hillies. I must make a point of riding out to spectate though as I'm gonna be doing my winter training though the spring and hopefully I'll come into a bit of form and a lot of belly loss in the summer in time for Paris Roubaix (June 4th), the ECCA 12 hour (Early August) and a couple 100 mile TTs (Kent CA and ECCA?) in the summer. Why do I stress about this? After all don't I have enough to worry about in the real world?
Is there a real world that doesn't include bikes?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

So what did you get for Christmas?

Two weeks of almost total hibernation have yielded some unexpected results. As noted earlier, both self and Mrs. Kipper have spent the last fortnight in slob mode (copyright Dan Hutson). However, Christmas yielded a new MP3 player - 8 Gb with radio and tiny as whatsit as well as several Cds. So far I'm so totally stuck on Sex and Gasoline by Rodney Crowell and Sigh no More by Mumford and Sons that I haven't even got as far as properly listening to Now Again by The Flatlanders which also landed under the tree this year.
We saw Rodney Crowell supporting the Flatlanders at the Barbican earlier this year and I am still undecided who gave the best performance. I'd seen Joe Ely leading the Joe Ely Band over 20 years ago in support of Robert Cray (who we also saw this year) and kind of knew what to expect but The Flatlanders were superb. Rodney Crowell was altogether more low key than The Flatlanders (if such a thing can happen) but I was blown away by the quality of his songs and his confidently assured set. The CD does not dissapoint.
We've both been getting into Mumford and Sons since their EP was released in the summer. Now they have an LP length CD out and believe me it's a cracker! I can't wait to see them in March, especially as its at the Shepherds Bush Empire, a venue close to a really nice Italian restaurant and at which we have seen some seriously class acts including Stphen Stills in the last couple of years. I'm stating to think 2010 will be better than the calamity that passed as the end of 2009. Cheers Dears, as Glen Tilbrook would say.

Mr Blobby talking

As previously mentioned, the Common Cold has intervened over Christmas. It feels like we've spent the entire holiday in hibernation. That's not an entirely bad thing as I feel a lot better for it even though large amounts of snot are still making their way down my nose on an hour to hour basis. I've managed a few runs and actually been out on the bike once. (see previous post).
So the plan is to get fit again and lose a stone over the next year. (Yeah. Right.)
I don't normally do well on New Year resolutions but this year "something must be done".
Over the holiday, following an unexpected an very illegal redundancy (and yes they paid for it) I've set up a new Consulting Company and start my first contract on Monday. I only have one client so far, but full time employment for 6 months, so now I have to find a way to: a) Get more clients & b) Get race fit by March.
a) I have a cunning plan, Lord Blackadder.
b)We have a gym membership which we need to start using - like urgently - and I have to get some miles in my legs as well as more than a bit of speed, so here's the target.
Last March I rode the Maldon Hilly 20 followed by the Hainault Hardriders 50km. Times for the Maldon event in recent years have been:
2009 - 1hr 4m 35.
2008 - 1hr 2m 39s
2007 - 1hr 5m 54s
2006 - 1hr 2m 54s

And for the Hainault:
2009 - 1hr 38 31s
2008 - 1hr 32 41s
2007 - 1hr 34 5s
2006 - DNS

So 2008 is the year to beat. I'll keep you posted.