Saturday, 27 March 2010

Effing Mumfords

We went to see Mumford and sons at the Shepherds Bush Empire the other day. I have to confess it was not quite what I expected. And the aftermath just confirms this.....
As usual for shepherds Bush gigs we had an early dinner in a nearby Italian restaurant and proceeded to the venue once the doors had opened. For a change (and surprisingly) the goons decided to search my bag which was on its way to the cloaks in any case. HaHa for them! In my bag I had: 1 pair of handlebars, 1 handlebar stem, a pair of Campagnolo Ergo levers, 250g of Fortnums tea and a jar of Fortnums Blackberry jam. Well that threw them! I was ESCORTED to the cloakrooms by a heavy just to make sure I put the bag and contents in the cloakroom. What did they think I was going to do? Flick tea leaves at the stage?

So we finally got in well in time for the support, of which there were two, both of whom appeared to have other links with the headliners, but never mind, they were both good value and acts to watch out for in the future. Finally Mumford and Sons took to the stage and at this point it dawned on us that not only were we at the last (or nearly last) gig of a very succesful first national tour, but we were on their home turf and right in the middle of what passes for a mosh pit in such refined company. Mums and Dads were in the balcony while old school chums etc. were down with us. It certainly added to the atmosphere and the boys were in cracking form, Gromit.
I say "boys" and I mean boys... From the album and associated email newsletters I had expected a band of "not so youthful" experienced musos (maybe from the west country) who might have been on top of their game for years, but no.. I don't think any of them actually shave yet!
None of this should serve to distract from the evening. They played pretty much all of their first album Sigh No More in a very deft manner and added a few new tunes which admittedly did not sound as strong as the older material but will likely get more defined with repeated listening - I'll give the benfit of doubt here.
The aftermath part 1 - On the way out I paused to have a look at our fellow gig goers... I must have been the oldest person in the standing stalls by a good 20 or 30 years - even Ed or Rachel would have felt old in this company! Suddenly I didn't feel quite so comfortable. . . . .
Followed by the aftermath part 2 - Since the gig I've noticed that both BBC and ITV are using Munfords tunes during programme trails. Now I really can't get them out of my head.

Productivity at last.

Yahoo! The decorating is finally done, the pictures are back on the walls and the house is back to looking like its a home again. We've got two pictures bought in San Francisco to frame and hang, but wall spaces are allocated so its only a matter of time before we get that one done too. Its been raining on and off all day but we also got a load of stuff down the charity shop and the conservatory now looks suspiciously empty. I suppose its only a matter of time before it gets filled with toot again but it looks nice at the moment.
I've also changed the stem on my new Flying Gate touring bike about 4 times this afternoon but I think I've got it dialled in about right now. A bit of a shake down tomorrow will tell if its right and then I'll be planning a charity ride from Warwick to Home overnight on it some time before Roubaix to sort the legs out.
The first race of the year is next Monday, the club's Easter Egg 10. There's usually a big field for this one and I have got a few miles in during March so far and although I've only done about 45 miles at a time, some rides have been quite fast and I am starting to feel back to normal on the bike. It will be interesting to see how my time stacks up against previous years. In 2009 it was my 4th race and I managed a 27:59. In 2008 I'd done 4 races and clocked 26:48. I think this year I'll be lucky to get near either of those times but pride says I have to beat 29 mins - I could probably walk it quicker... Time will tell.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

I don't believe it!

No I really don't believe it. February 2010 was the first month for at least 14 years that I have touched the bike for more than about 2 weeks and I've had a complete calendar month off! How did I manage it?
You could say that what with the weather this winter being the worst for 30 years or so (Official - The Met Office) and all of the other distractions involved in setting up a new consultancy business especially as I'm currently up to my eyes in Contract Law and desperately trying to remember stuff from Uni its not a surprise.
But today I rode to and from my Basildon office and boy I am soooooo unfit. Hopefully I'll get there in a couple of months.
Targets for the year, as stated in an earlier blog are fairly straightforward: Paris Roubaix Cyclo, two 100 mile TT's and the ECCA 12 hour. I ought to have started with 10 milers and hardrider events by now, moving up to 25's and 50's before the end of April but with training starting today a little readjustment may be necessary. I've decided that an early season based on 200 and 300 km randonees is probably a more logical approach, but its been a while since I rode a full 200k - 2 years to be precise (and that one was like last weekends KBK - Chapeau Ian Stannard!) and the 300k has always been a bogie distance for me as I've started loads but never finished one! A couple of 400k's would also be a good idea but time is seriously running out. Let the fun commence!