I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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Sometimes when I want to give my legs a rest I take the train, bus or Tube up to the smoke. I used to catch the train from Gipsy to Tulse and change for a train to Farringdon. But then the train got delayed and made me late. So then I caught the bus to Tulse and it was working perfect.

Then I found out about the ALMIGHTY X68.

£2 and it will take you to the heart of the capital. The rules of the express are simple: once you're on, you can't get off. There are regulars; they know where to find the seats. Let the regulars on first – just out of respect, because they have yet to discover a world by bike.

The first set-down is Waterloo. Last pick up is West Norwood – but it's packed by then. You could end up standing for 50mins. Be prepared for things to happen that are unusual.

Right now, there is a man sculpting a little girl's face from clay over by the doors. (I tried to get a picture but someone's head is in the way)

Since January, however:

A girl in a horrific green tracksuit has sat next to me and read Vogue. Just seems silly.

On another journey, a girl actually had the name Sambuca

Someone got on the bus with a label from a supermarket cucumber stuck on her forehead. I definitely think she didn't know it was there.

A man tried to start some fisticuffs and told another man he would ram his elbow in his mouth.

A very small lady gets on every day. But I'm not sure if she is a dwarf or just small.

Today a van did something to the bus and cut it up. The driver then had a shout-off.

Newsflash: just heard the small person talking. She has the same voice as Ann Widdecombe. She talks so loud. Everyone was looking.

The express doesn't stop, and every time I get on there is someone who wants to get off. Bings the bell a bunch of times and then goes to yell at the driver. But every time you get on it tells you the bus is express.

Ok, that's it for now. I hope to come back to this topic soon.

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I have a new campaign. The Briggsy campaign - after seeing a tweet by Rapha Condor Sharp Press guy Paul Rowlands I've decided he has the bunt mantra.

@RaphaCondor "first crash of the day on slick roads, no RCS involved, briggsy already on the attack, someone told him there's some food just up the road"

7:13 PM May 22nd via web

Nice face


Find out more about the legend of Briggsy here
Ergh, not nice a bleeding eye. Not a fan of Lance but that must be well annoying and you'll probably end up wanting to itch it. I'd wear oven gloves to stop me scratching. Speaking of which, I was rushing to answer my door and slipped on the lower stairs, carpet burned my road race which was nearly on the mend. WHY. boy does that itch and it bled as well. Ergh
Best helmet in the world

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I am a serious fan of this Aussie - Dean 'The Duke' Windsor.

I nicked this from Maryka's blogpost. I just love the fact that Emma Pooley is so little, this pic highlights it perfectly. The writing is a bit across her face but wow she is Tiny.
FYI - Maryka's post is actually an interesting discussion of geometries and sizing rather than pointing at smaller riders.
I suffered my first major race crash ever on Sunday. Last time I properly fell off my bike was about four years ago when a car couldn't wait behind me and over took as we passed an island forcing me into a parked car.
Anyways racing is different, crashing is part of racing and really you can't do nout about it. I've avoided a few crashes in my time, jumped into hedges and bushes for soft landings this time my bike was brought to a dramatic stop as someone elses went skittling across the road and hit mine.
I shut my eyes as I flew through the air, I'm not exactly sure what happened but I landed on the back of my Specialized 2D helmet. Its broken but at least that is not my skull.
I tried to get up and another rider who came down was asking me if I was ok but I couldn't muster a response. I could just force my brain to calculate 'Yeh'.
That instant pain is a good thing it means your not really hurt. A whack to the head really makes you confused. You don't want to think. You don't want anyone to talk to you. I just wanted to be at peace in quiet silence to process thoughts.

Apparently I went down, tried to sit up and then hit the ground again and lay there, quietly. They said they I didn't move or say anything for alittle while. I don't remember this. There was another girl screaming and then all of a sudden she wasn't making any noise. I can only assume my brain shut off for alittle bit.

Things I have learnt.

Always wear your helmet - I ride just as fast on my commute to work. The day after the crash I don't half have a thumping headache this morning but I'd have alot worse if there wasn't carbon and polysterine (sic) to cushion the blow.

Always wear gloves - I have skin on my hands this morning and brushing my hair without skin  on hands would be impossible. Doesn't bare thinking about. I'd probably look like a monster.

Baselayers - they save skin too, my skinsuit is missing the back. Its going to work well for ventilation and thankfully the crash ripped through my skinsuit and not my skin thanks to the shielding baselayer. It doesn't matter what the temperature is. Wear one. Wear a string one from defeet if you have to. The road rash on my hip properly stings and I am so pleased that its not on my back otherwise I wouldn't be able to go to sleep.

I'm not scared going into this weekends race at the South East Champs, if anything I want to prove and make up for the race I didn't complete. Roll on racing.

Now to find a picture of the crash

Note: I was dazed on Monday still when I wrote my post. I didn't mention that Cassie Gledhill a very experience rider was brought down and I wish her a very speedy recovery as she took the full brunt of the crash. In essence I banged my head and hip and scratched off some skin. Where as she broke some bones. Best Wishes and get well and back to racing.
I get angry sometimes and I bang my bars when I loose a sprint by a wheel. Its only natural because you've just expended a whole load of effort to try and the feeling of winning is soo great but missing it sucks. So I can see why Cadel Evans gets cross but when he gets cross oh boy is it delightful.

After yesterdays stage at the Giro, super team Sky crashed and bought down Cadel he rode alone to limit his loses. He spoke to journalists after the stage but got a bit sick of one of them according to cycling weekly

"Frustration from the lack of support and the crash showed as Evans lashed out at a TV journalist at the finish. He laughed it off later, but it had been his first trying moment of this Giro d'Italia."

Keep up the good work Cadel hopefully they'll have it on You Tube soon. I wish someone would make a montage.

Question - Who carries a fluffy dog around at the Tour de France? Surely its just annoying?

He cares alot about ol' Fido

No dog in site but it was probably in the hands of the TV camera man

Its that dog again

Take a good Look bicycle, then ride it into the ground, race etc etc blaaaaaahhh!
So basically it's so old it's got 9 speed Dura Ace with the pointy hoods. Old is quite not true it's not like I have original 6 speed. But when this bike was first bonded together when I was doing my GCSE's.
I've been riding an S Works with full 7800 Dura Ace, Dura Ace wheels and carbon bar, stem, post everyday to work.
The commute takes me through Camberwell on the legendary Walworth Road to up town. PLENTY of chances to run down. Ride into a hole.
And I think that perhaps it's a bit of a risk so I rather damage something that doesn't matter as much and I can still race at the weekend because my bike isn't crumpled into a heap by some 4x4 wealding townie.
I'm liking the retro style. Look 281 frame, skinny carbon square-ish tubes and alu lugs.
I've decided to rock a White Turbo saddle, white bar tape and a miss-matched set of wheels. A random grouppo matching Dura Ace front and rear Krysium SL.
Bring on the flex.
This is the first time I've ridden 7600. It's smooth it doesn't click. The BB is uber free feeling and smooth. Not too bad for a commute back. Yeh, man with mountain bike and rucksack I'm still gonna do ya at the lights...effortlessly

Not a bad day as days go. I was dreading it actually, already pretty tired from a late one at wednesday's Rapha launch, Thursday was a serious struggle.
But it turned out really well, bit sereal.
Got up at 5am for a flight.
Landed 9am.
Sunshine makes eyes feel less heavy.
Celeb Big Brother house mate Dane Bowers on my flight.
Spanked a load of cash on airport taxi's.
Had a morning meeting, lots of good things got decided, happy with outcome.
Got shown an uber skittles website.
Had a nice lunch, I didn't have to pay for it. Had half mozzarella and pesto sandwich half soup. It was a combo I didnt eat someone elses lunch.
Glorious sunshine beautiful city.
Got to get a snap shot as I walked around. Like what I see, not my original impression.
2pm cracked down to some hard graft.
3.30pm tackled some tough questions.
4pm sat and listened contently surprised at what I understood.

6pm back to airport. No mad rush as flight delayed by 20mins.

Had a delightful dinner, spicy crayfish and noodles, banoffee pie. Still lemonade and a cheeky pims while the sun shone.

Bored so smelt perfume.
Cheaper than usual, so got me a Chanel top up.
7.40pm get on flight.
Empty just like the morning one. Got free rein, opt for window seat this time.
Read Heat Mag for a bit of escape from the serious.
One seat space between me and a gent on my aisle.
Love the space.
Started Heat Mag crossword, he leans over tells me an answer. Hello who does that?
Anyways so got nothing better to do so me and Ron, we complete the crossword, I ask Ron if the Look Mag crossword is up his street. "Ok why not"

9pm - Flight lands. He says " oh by the way my name is Russ"
9.05 - Oopops, ha ha.
9.15pm - "sorry," I say "must dash there is a direct to east Croydon."

See ya Ron!

At about 4pm I was properly feeling the waves of tiredness creeping over.
On train now and don't feel too bad, going to watch Eastenders when I get home on catch up.

Love it when your day totally breaks from the norm!

I raced a 2 day race which features 4 stages. A team time trial and then a road race in the afternoon. The following day we rode an individual time trial and then a road race in the afternoon. Both road races were on lumpy courses. Stage 4's road race hurt like crazy and featured a 14% climb and 7% climb. I remember riding in the peleton and seeing 4 laps to go and my brain said "what, I don't think I can face 4 more times up those hills".

Even now 2 days later my legs hurt when I walk down stairs. My shoulder cramped up really bad on both road stages and I kept riding but that caused a searing pain on Monday evening that couldn't be stretched out. I visited Magic Matt (of Team Garmin) who went to work for about an hour on my shoulder and gave me pain killers so its sort of better. But Matt is Magic. He's touched the legs of Dan Martin and Kristian House.

All in all a good race. 2nd in the Team Time Trial, despite our team of six only being able to practise the time trial on the ride out to the start. We averaged 25 mph over as 8 miles, on a windy and rainy course.
I'm pleased I won the sprint on the line in my group which finished 4 minutes down on the leaders.

In the individual I rode hard but not so I couldn't breathe because boy did I need the legs for the road stage.
Stage 4 I stayed with the peloton until 2 laps to go, then I snapped and fell out the back with 10 others. Then really snapped on one to go. Stupidly then I had to ride like crazy into a nasty head wind to stay away from a large group of 20 riders so I could keep my top 30 place in GC. Yeh top 30, that's bad.

Good race and well organised.

Thanks again to Spesh for the TT helmets matching our Black and White team kit.
Big thanks to the team for sending me to the race.
Congrats to our rider Cath Williamson - who is wise and knowledgable and a good leader. She finished 3rd overall and won the sprint jersey.

Prize money for 2nd
Kit for the race
Emergency chocolate after day 1
Swapping frames in hotel after Ang's was broken in a crash (note Rene is doing nothing just watching)
Dependable Kellogs breakfast. I opted for Frosted Wheats and coffee
Started warming up, felt good - listening to Mumford and Sons
Then it started to rain when I switched to Beyonce....
Curley warms up
Katie looks well fast in her TT

I like this guys photos. He's done a couple similar. Check the link and also the final shots on his portfolio. They are a bit alarming but cool.
Toughest course in London. Fact.
Summer means Tuesday night Crystal Palace, 17 races that each week inflict serious pain in the legs and make you feel like you are breathing razors. Each week I go back its such an excellent course.
Canadian born Maryka Sennema attached a small camera to her seatpost. She wanted to see what happens in an attack,  how quickly the bunch caught her and for her own research her performance in the race.
All the 25 laps of round 2 were captured - check out part 3 (below) laps 9 through to 13 where I played a starring role on her wheel (can I just note I did race the the 60mile Chesire Classic 48 hours previous).

At the end of the race I took second to Emma Patterson (2nd National Derny Champs). Check out our sprint for the finish and note our two different sprinting styles.

Emma's seated track hand on the tops style versus my Husvord out of the saddle on the drops