The Good Old Off Season, As Confusing And Unsuccessful As Ever…

 

Avoiding the DIY - Image ©Copyright John Steel Photography - www.johnsteelphotography.com

 

So the season is over, the racing bike is back in the shed and the long winter months are upon us, but what happens now? Where do all these riders go to? If you’re a ‘normal’ member of society no doubt this change doesn’t seem a big deal, maybe you will swop your summer stead for the trusty winter machine, find the lights you hung up last year and carry on your daily lives like nothing much has changed, but if you’re a full time cyclist this change is much bigger and more disturbing than you could ever imagine.

The easiest way to describe this is to split it into stages, so here goes I’m going to let you into the unknown world, give you an insight to where everyone of ITV4 fame (sort of?!?) goes.

Stage one is best described as ‘unsuccessful social season’, it’s the same every year, the racing bike goes away, the phone starts beeping and large groups of cyclists gather at charity events or show’s where after a meal and some speeches are taken care of, everyone forgets they haven’t drunk much in the last eight months and gets stuck into a session they really can’t back up. It all gets messy and everyone makes big statements of intent for next season. It’s ridiculous and tends to go on for a good month or so before the realisation that cyclists although capable of putting on a good party are rubbish drinkers! This problem is multiplied if you have to go to a non-cycling related party in which case you try to keep up with people who aren’t built out of nothing like us cyclist’s and can drink you under the table, stay away from these gatherings they are dangerous!

Stage two is a combination of DIY and too much coffee, after the ‘unsuccessful’ drinking season hasn’t gone down with your other half too well, you will promise to fix everything in the house that has broken over the last eight months of the racing season to repair the situation. Although the problem with that is when a cyclist is left at home all day, the majority of that day will be spent thinking about fixing things and not actually fixing them as the permanent state of ‘coffee bonk’ takes hold as the coffee machine takes the full brunt of a day at home, you will end up with an ‘unsuccessful’ DIY season at the end of this stage, much the same as the before mentioned drinking merry go round!

After being caught up in Ian Bibby's & Geraint Thomas's Tumble in The Tour of Britain

Into stage three and by now most cyclist’s will either have started to beat themselves up about been unfit, got bored of destroying the house through DIY or waking up in the morning after having been drunk under the table by a rugby player again. Now they will have begun to think about starting some sort of comeback. The main problem of this stage is that it involves getting the winter bike together and no matter how well you looked after it before you put it in the shed last year it isn’t going to work. My own personal list of problems this year involved a stuck seat pin (that was 2cm to short? Work that one out), and a distinct lack of working brakes. This is the time of year you are most likely to see domestic pro’s in their local bike shops as they attempt to head off on rides but lose bits of the winter stead on route and have to bail into the shops for help, if your after your favourite domestic pro’s autograph this is the best time of year to be creeper and hang around in bike shops.

The light at the end of the tunnel will start to show by now though, the realisation that a comeback to training is required or more that it’s easier hiding out on the bike than having to attempt DIY SOS LIVE at home has hit all cyclist, you will start to see them come out of the stages as you read about where they and their team have taken off on a training camp to get ready for the coming season. These training camps are where the demons of the winter are thrown off and cyclists become cyclists again, back to reality and the safety of the bike!

Important! No cyclists were hurt in the process of this blog!

 

 

Minty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work & Rest

 

Tao - Le Stagiaire

I have been resting (off the bike) for a week now, and to put it blunty, I am absolutely dying to get back on! It’s a different type of rest to that of the pro riders, I am in school seven hours a day studying for my A levels, however hopefully it still makes a difference! Other than work at school I have been sorting out my sponsorship for next year, with a few new things also on the horizon (hopefully). I had some brilliant news on Friday, of my acceptance to the British Olympic Development Programme. This is a really great news, a big step in the right direction and to be honest I cant really put into words how much it means to me. I have been building up my winter bike over my break, and with only a few bits to fit, it will hopefully be up and running by this weekend!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Twinings ProAm

 

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The First Of Many?… Lets hope so!

Sunday 28/08/11 saw the first of a new pro cycle event in Wilton just on the outskirts of Salisbury, Wiltshire, this event was a sponsored event by Twinings Tea. The course was a testing circuit involving four big loops and six smaller loops giving a total of 101 miles, as a local cyclists the route was quite testing for the pro riders as they had to conquer Fovant Hill four times, this hill used to be used by the local Salisbury Road Club for there annual hill climb championships. The course went down a variety of A and B roads which I think would add to the challenge of the circuit and seemed to be proven in the results as there weren’t many that finished out of the 100 starters. There were crowds of people out on the course not as many as we would like but for a first time event it wasn’t too bad. In my opinion the organisation for parking and advance notice of the event could have been better publicised and after speaking to organisers this would be something they intend to have sorted out  for next time. The event seemed from a spectators point of view to pass without too many incidents after a few hours of racing and various attacks Simon Yates (100 per cent Me) came home the victor with Richard Handley and Matt Cronshaw from Raleigh 2nd & 3rd. A good start for what looks like a great new addition to the cycling calendar.

 

  1. Simon Yates (100 Per Cent ME) 3:52:02
  2. Richard Handley (Team Raleigh) +1sec
  3. Matt Cronshaw (Team Raleigh) +12sec
  4. Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport) +12sec
  5. Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) +13sec
  6. Mark Christian (100 Per Cent ME) +13sec
  7. Dan Craven (Rapha Condor-Sharp) +13sec
  8. Luke Rowe (100 Per Cent ME) +1:11

 

Written by Paul Sloper, Edited by Anna Magrath. All Images ©Copyright Paul Sloper

 

If you wish to purchase or get permission to use any of the images in this article or gallery please contact Paul through our contacts page.

 
 
 
 

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