Friday, 15 August 2008

Cross Karma

First off do not enter the words ‘Max Mosely training regime’ into google. I also strongly advise against doing the same search using google image. Certainly do not do either at work.

The punishment, which I deserved, and to which I elude, is a beating on the bike to make up for the lack of miles achieved last week. The lesson has been administered through time and miles on the X-bike.

Having a Cyclo-Cross bike up your sleeve is a great trick. Obviously it is a bike – but it has an evil personality. Stiff aluminium, high bottom bracket, V-brakes and built like a road bike that has bulked up and wants a ruck. It is not forgiving in any way. I think X-bikes make great commuter bikes as they are bullet proof and you can whack them around town without fear of curbs, potholes or manhole covers.

I therefore added to Sunday’s ride (more of that below) with a fast 15 on Monday after work (up to and around Richmond Park) and nasty 22 on Tuesday (the same as Monday but with an extra lap).

On both days it was really windy and that made it hard work to tap out any real rhythm around the circuit. I felt suitably flogged after both rides and only working away from home and a late meeting over dinner have prevented me from putting in the same effort Wednesday and tonight (where I am in Birmingham and might go out for a run).

There are lots of roadies in Richmond park. They make you feel a bit inadequate as they really do put the gas on. Some club riders draft in chain gangs - and when one of these gangs comes past, you get sucked along for 20 meters and it all feels very easy until you are dropped and you steadily loose speed back to the slow grind you were tapping out on your own. Miserable.

Mind you – the looks you get from the roadies as you bimble about on the Cross are quite something. Either disproving – or there is a look that is cast your way that questions the logic of this rough looking ‘road bike’. I have been staring back with my own special look (I am pulling a face now which you can’t see), which radiates a sense of despair and sorrow for those that use lycra as a lifestyle statement and bold primal colours as a personality differentiator.

Sunday was interesting.

I got the commencal out of the shed and sticking out of the rear tyre sidewall like a shiny black blister was the inner tube. I must have gashed the tyre last week, and over the course of time the pressure in the tyre had forced through the sidewall. The same thing has happened to the Maxxis High Rollers that Hayden had on the Hoss, so great tyre, poor longevity.

So as the singlespeed was out of action I had to delay the start – and get a new tyre. The LBS came good – selling me for £20 a massive Nokian 2.3. Finnish madness in rubber. This new rubber is like a tractor tyre and is really heavy weight – so this problem should be a one off.

I fitted the tyre – promptly got a flat, and then noticed that the non drive side crank arm was loose. Hayden agreed to wait for me in Guildford whilst I went to the shed to fix everything.

This faff was clearly karma payback for last week’s slack efforts – and with luck the X-bike activity has appeased what ever is responsible for mechanical failure.

Miles this week –

Saturday – Nothing
Sunday – 35 Miles
Monday – 15 Miles
Tuesday- 22 Miles
Wednesday – Nothing

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