Jules' January Blog
Who's at the door?
Lot’s of new developments here at Cyclefit for 2011, Dartfish video analysis, footbed upgrades (stiffer and with heel and forfoot canting) and a new Sizecycle (the best bike fitting tool on the market – forget Retul how can you get a good fit on a bike that might not fit anywat?) and to top it all we’ve installed a doorbell; we’re so upwardly mobile. Every time I hear it I hear myself saying ‘mum it’s the Avon Lady’ or was it Keith calling for the Pools coupon, quick, better fill it in and don’t forget to do Spot the Ball.
Bing bong ‘will all passengers please proceed to gate 32’. I might have to get it changed. Not that we’re trying to be posh or anything keeping the door locked but every now and then we get a visit from the local ‘oodies and if I’m trying to recruit a customer’s gluteous maximus in-store security is a bit limited innit?
Over Christmas while romping through the Cyclefit Festive 5000 (5000 calories a day between Xmas and New Year) I read Robert Millar’s biography and cross referenced it with Wide Eyed and Legless the story of ANC’s experience in the Tour de France and Steven Roche’s ‘My Road to Victory’.
1987 was a great year.
Out of Stephen Roches book dropped this:
The start sheet for the National Criterium Championships in 1995…queue wavy music.
Need to clarify here that I was in the numpty race not with the pro’s!
Living on memories
I rolled up to the Council Car Park in Bury St Edmunds and after getting the bike together rode over to see Pete a fellow London Dynamo rider and seasoned roady.
‘Hi Jules, how you doing, up for it today?
‘Feeling a bit tired actually (it had been a busy Saturday at Bikepark), I’m not sure I’ve got it in me’ I replied.
‘Here have one of these’ he said ‘they’re anti-oxidants’.
I swallowed one of the small white pills and went to sign on and forgot all about it.
On lap three the peloton sat up and three riders clipped off the front ‘can’t have that’ I thought ’I’ve driven bloody miles to get here and the wife’s watching’. I jumped off the front and started to chase, flat-out down the hill straightening out the corner and into the gutter of granite slabs on the far side manhole cover on my inside. I wasn’t gaining too much on the flat but in the corners gained three or four bike lengths, faster, faster. Up the hill over the speed ramps through the start finish and I eventually caught the trio after five laps.
Of all the bikes I’ve owned over the years I was riding my all time favourite; it was a steel 653 Reynolds Cougar frameset built by Terry Dolan - when he actually used to build bikes for a living - in a gun metal finish with a straight steel fork. Equipment was Dura Ace 8 speed STI which was completely useless and the wheels were Jay’s Campag Shamals that he lent me for the day. The gears ticked a bit due to the Shimano-Campag combo but it wasn’t a lot different to when I used my Shimano cassette.
Steve Jough the ‘Pocket Rocket’ who rode for the Ever Ready Team in the eighties sold me the bike, he was the Cougar rep ‘what you need is a 52cm frame with 73, 73 angles' he said and that was me fitted. A 120mm Control Tech stem and away we go. Unfortunately I rode it in to the back of a Merc outside Earls Court and folded the frame and put three stitches in my chin.
I had a breather and then we started working together, finding a rhythm and fine tuning our line through the corners; the claxon sounded for the first prime, 'thanks I’ll have that', prime two and three - 'that’ll do nicely' – better not show my hand too soon.
Two more riders came across and we realised we’d slowed down a bit too much and we pushed on as the peloton closed on us – I took a look behind to witness two of my own team caneing it on the front of the peloton a great London Dynamo tradition that lives on.
The bell sounded for the last lap, I started thinking I might have a chance for that all important life affirming win that had so long elluded me. I slipped to the back of the group - like they do on the telly – round the right hander and they started to wind it up ‘don’t forget about me boys’ and I pounced; whoosh round the lot of them and over the line, half a wheel in front, punching the air.
So this is what is feels like to win a race, ha, king of the hill.
Never one anything before or since.
After the warm down and the pats on the back - that I had so often given to other riders and never received in return - I collected my winnings: £130.00 (which was a weeks wages back in those days) had a brief appearance on a flat bed truck for the prize presentation (feeling a bit embarrassed now) and a lap on the back of a convertible with the local beauty queen (remember this is Bury St Edmunds, she weren’t no oil painting); and during all this palaver I had to hold my stomach in trying not to let the dpare tyre roll out of my new skinsuit – maybe that was what brought me the luck; and if it wasn’t?
Phil, I just read your blog…