Posts Tagged ‘De Rosa’

Clearly, the World Cup isn’t over. They haven’t even finished the first round, but England is already out of the tournament with one more [seemingly pointless] game to play. As I understand it, this is the first time England has been knocked out of the World Cup this early since 1958 (ish). As always, the media big up (to excess) the chances of our national team getting through to the semi-final or even the final and maybe, just maybe, winning the tournament. Once again, the media, having placed all the players at the top of the highest pillar they can find will no doubt be looking to knock them off. So, why are we, England, out of the World Cup so early? Is because the team were rubbish? is it because individual players were rubbish? No: quite simply, it’s because the other players, on the occasion were better. That’s the way it is and we should deal with it.

The one shining light of course, at least from my perspective, is the imminent arrival of the Tour De France, starting, once more, in England: The last time was London 2007. This time, it starts (The Grand Départe) from Leeds in Yorkshire and over three days will make its way to London via Harrogate, York, Sheffield and Cambridge. From there it will return to its Mother Country to follow a clockwise route around France before finishing in Paris.

Some say, and I am one such person, that Cycling, and in particular, the Grand Tours, has to be one of the, if not ‘The’, toughest sporting event out there. Day in, day out, each rider cycles 100+ kilometres for up to 3-weeks, including some of the toughest climbs in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

With Bradley Wiggins wining the Tour de France in 2012 and and Chris Froome winning the same in 2103, and not forgetting of course Mark Cavendish winning the Green Jersey in 2011, even winning the final stage, in Paris, over 4-consecutive year, we can proudly say that we are a force to reckon with in the world of cycling. And, at last, the media are now giving increasing air time / page space to the sport. This is great stuff for me.

For those that don’t know, I love cycling. I was even lucky enough to have been part of the Paris to Hayling Cycle ride that clashed with the Tour in Rouen and was even luckier to be in the same hotel as Team Mapei and Deutsche Telekom in 2002. I’ve had my own cycling epics such as two 1000 mile rides: Bilbao to home via Paris, and Montpellier to home, again, via Paris (the latter being just 5-months after coming off my bike and breaking my arm, dislocating my shoulder and splitting my knee down to the cap). I’ve cycle the Pyrenees, I’ve cycled the Ventoux. I’ve had more bikes than I should probably admit, I’ve wrecked many as well. So yes, I do love cycling but right now, I’m sad 😦

Sad #1

My health is preventing me from cycling (lungs 47% effective) and me fear is that it will stop me altogether and as I’m writing this, the sun is suing and there’s hardly a breath of wind and I have a Giant, A De Rosa and a Colnago desperate to be ridden but my lungs won’t allow me and I fear that soon they will prevent me altogether. So, to stave off  such a happening, I’ve set myself two personal challenges.

  1. to cycle from Ligueil (south of the Loire Valley) to home, in September, and for as many after as possible,  and;
  2. to do the London to Brighton bike ride in 2015, at least.

Sad #2

With the increasing level of interest being levelled at our cyclist, I’m concerned that they [the media] will start to do what they already do to footballers and tennis players, to our riders: that is to build them up, place them on a plinth only to knock knock down again, almost with glee, if they fail to meet the expectations of said press.

Britain has the most amazing cyclists at the moment and with every reason to believe that more are on their way. You only have to drive out in the evenings and at weekends to see the increasing number of young cyclist, male and female, that are out there and enjoying the freedom that cycling brings and hopefully, laying the foundations for a glittering cycling career.

So, my hope for the future is that the media support our athletes, even footballers, not just in our hopes for their success but also in those inevitable times when perhaps they aren’t quite as successful as we’d hoped.

I hope for success in the Tour. It would be great to win another jersey. I hope I continue to cycle. And I hope the media contain themselves. But most of all, I hope I prove I can still cycle so that I can get a Colnago C60, a fitting tribute to my 60th year. Equally, I hope on hope that somebody is able to offer me, to buy of course, a Colnago Spider PRAL Frame / bike, purleeeeeeease.

Go Podge, Go

1614 to go

Sometimes, you can go too large. I found this out today, to my cost. Those reading my recent entries will no doubt smile (again) at the number of punctures I recently endured. Well yesterday I found the cause: there was a nick in the side of my Continental Four Season Tyre which just large enough to let the tube squeeze into and subsequently burst. Pleased with my discovery (I was beginning to think the rim itself was at fault) I changed the tyre. The only spare useable tyre was a tyre labelled as an All Conditions Armadilo 700 x 25mm. Well, I’m sure I run 25 mm tyres before on the Colnago so on went the tyre. Pumping the tyre up to 120 psi I was so pleased to note that nothing burst and the tyre stayed hard I put my trusty steed away for the night all ready for the next day’s ride.

Morning came, and route all mapped out off I went tot he Hungerford Library Car Park to meet up with Charles before setting off on our epic route. After about half a mile, we meet our first climb, a climb I always find tough but today was particularly tough and I remember thinking just how am I going to get through today if I struggle like this at the first hill. Anyway, hill conquered, on we went, down hill and having to pedal: Surely I can be this bad I thought. During the next couple of miles, on I struggled as cyclist by the dozen (I may be exaggerating the numbers) flew past me most likely who was the fat wheezer on the Colnago: well, if any of those cyclists are reading this, you now know the answer, it was me.

Turning left in Little Bedwyn we went uphill past The Harrow [too early for a refreshment stop and they’re shut on Sundays anyway :-(] and ran out of gears with the first 100 yards. Eventually I stopped and checked the bike out. I’m used to struggling for the first five miles of any ride (COPD seems to do this), but this was ridiculous. It was then that I found out that the new tyre on the rear was just a little bit too wide and any strain on the pedals was pulling the wheel just enough to pull the tyre against the rear stay thereby providing me with a third brake that I really didn’t want or need. I released the wheel, reset it and off we went again. Onwards we climbed and still the tyre rubbed. But, after last week having three false starts I was determined not to stop and kept going. Actually it was probably quite good as it was like resistance training: every mile was equal to two as a consequence.

Inevitably however, I had to cave in. If I’d continued the tyre would have been reduced from 25 to 23 mm and with it would come the risk of a blowout and I real didn’t fancy too long a walk home. Also, all the rubbing can’t have been doing my frame any good at all. And so after just 15 miles, we head back into the comforting arms of The Downgate, open by now for a quick top up of fluids before going home in a big sulk.

So, my 58 miles became 15 but being home earlier than planned did mean that I could order some new tyres before tackling any chores in the garden.

Maybe I’ll get out later in the day on the De Rosa.

Slow Podge, Slow

So, today is the 1st June. With the WheelsForRotary scheduled for July, the pressure is really on for me to be ready for the event. The question is: Will I be ready?

I really hope so. I really want to prove to those doctors that COPD or no COPD, I can still ride a bike.

Last week was 52 miles: 52 tough miles but I did it. This week, tomorrow, it will be 58’ish miles – I may plan the routes but until I actually ride them, I never know the final distance. Navigational errors (going the wrong way) can cause the overall distance to increase or decrease although experience tends to suggest that an increase is more likely than a decrease.

So, I will be at the Hungerford Library Car Park at 10:00 for a 10:15 depart if anybody wants to tag along. The route can be found here:

Question is, do I ride the Colnago or the De Rosa?

Go Podge, Go.

Back in April, and full of hope, I posted that I had decommissioned the Tacx iMagic Turbo and put back Colnago Bling Machine back on the road. Well, unfortunately, this was never going to work out, and in truth I should have known.

With the long awaited arrival of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Weekend, I (His Podgeness) decided to make a week of it and took the rest of the week off, which by the way is why there have been no joy of travel updates :-). The intention, as I’m sure you will have guessed was not just to enjoy the Jubilee Celebrations (which I did) but also to get in lots of carefree cycling miles. How naive could I have been. Having basked in glorious sunshine the week before, most of which I either spent on the train [of which i wrote plenty] or in the office, I was greeted with a week of blithering wind and rain and then more rain and wind and then some more.

So, I’m sad to report that His Podgeness did NOT get out in the road at all :-(. So, there I was feeling very picked on and generally in a sulk I decided that I was going to play bikes one way or another and looked to tinker, but this achieved little. In the end, I bit the bullet and dismantled my old Ribble Stealth and built my new De Rosa Tango Stealth [check it out here]. That done, and looking at the weather forecast going forward, I gave in and brought out the iMagic and reinstated the Colnago back to the role of chief turbo bike while retaining the De Rosa for general road use.

Buoyed on by the  knowledge, and subsequent envy and pride of course, that Swifty Matt Conner has just spent the same week in the Alps and thought they while there, he’d just pop out and complete ‘La Marmotte‘ route as part of his training. Given that the route takes in the  Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and finishes on the Alpe d’Huez this is no mean feat, so cracking job Matt: well done and yes, I really do envy you. But, you have spurred me on. I have the Ventoux route on the iMagic, and yes, I will do it, maybe not this week but it will be this summer. So now, I’m off to the turbo.

Look out for my next post on how I ended up in the raging torrents of the Shalbourne Brook. 🙂

Go Podge, Go.