I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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Lemon is so good, all 12 of them smell delicious.

It's so simple - the trick is getting the 95% alcohol. We found 75% via France

12 lemons to every litre alcohol
1kg sugar to every litre of alcohol
2litre water to every litre alcohol


note added - i made myself well sick
Rule 6 - Free your mind and your legs will follow.

Rule 37 - The arms of the eyewear shall always be placed over the helmet straps. No exceptions. We don’t know why, it’s just the way it is.

Rule 42 - A bike ride/race shall never be preceeded with a swim and/or followed by a run.

Rule 70 - The purpose of competing is to win. End of. Any reference to not achieving this should be referred immediately to Rule 5

Full list of the rules can be found here but there is a better facebook group
The best conversations
you will ever have
will happen
on a front porch
just before dawn.

You will be wearing your socks
cut off shorts
and wondering if you should
hold out for breakfast.

Curley writes to me "Todays cake...coffee and walnut. nothing special."
I am gutted that the National Trust, an institution of tea rooms cannot satisfy.
Shame on you green oak leaf

Hill Climb 0295
Originally uploaded by BigSteev
HA HA, Love it when about 1 second later after Andy Waterman's mild mannered shot of me looking calm and collated I now look like I'm about to cry
I've not ridden a hill climb before, but basically I put it down to spriting well hard up a hill then when you get kinda near the top sprint harder alittle bit more.
I did plenty of hill reps out in Italy and a few in France, some seated some out the saddle all the way. I reckon that probably didn't really help.
So Rollapulza held the first ever santioned closed road Urban Hill Climb, up Swains Lane in Highgate North London. Well run, well organised, shame the weather was crappy.

I can remember everything up to where the road closes up into a cover single lane twisting up enclosed by two huge walls of a cemetary.
It felt like I was in a tunnel. And to one side of me all I could here was noise of the crowd.
Where the road flattens slightly - that is the worst part, I just could not turn my legs. I tried so hard to sprint but I don't know if that's what it look like.
The atmosphere was good too.
Oh I won the womens. 2min and 8secs.
Photo - Andy Waterman tooks loads of wicked pics - check em on his Flickr
Bianchista has been championing this photog for a while. But I just stumbled across an image of me before the Nocturne and also of the team warming up. They look soo nice. Love them.
But if you know me, you know I love photos of myself!

A Benitot Anglais
Gatwick - Toulouse, one hour
Airport to Charlie's (St Orens), 40 mins
Ride, ride, ride, eat, rose, sweat, play on fancy rollers, ride.

Saturday arrives en mass trip to Pau. Zip tie bikes to roof. Drive, arrive. Hot. Sign on, get White Rsys. Sickhead
Drive to finish where hotel is. Eat, sleep. Can't sleep excited.
4am awake, two crossiants, bucket of coffee. Drive to start, mad rush. Darkness.
In pen, go go go. 25mins - puncture!
Lose time, lose pack, stuck with numptirs. Ride hard on flat,
Col d Marie Blanque is a bitch. Flats ride hard, puncture. See fair sized peleton. Head down. Get on. Col d Soleur - wicked climb, smash away.

Cheering crowds. Bein Madame, bravo fè, clapping, 5km to go. Big ring, passing people, tremendous feeling, near to top, huge cheers, feel overwhelmed. Best climb I've ridden yet. Descend, fast. On a high. Man passes, 'bravo, you descend well, you climb well' drop onto his wheel. In another pack. That's it I'm going to make my time back. Psssssst! FFS! Puncture. No tubes, no gas, no patches. Keep riding. Shit I'm going to fuck a wheel that's not mine. Back to a descent. Janet - head of support is 6km at the bottom. Rear of bike makes banging noises. Now squealing as the tyre rubs against wheel arch. More banging. Corners, argh. Weaving squirming bike. Scary. Man passes, 'Miss, you have a puncture.'
Yeh great thanks Einstein. Familiar noise, metal on tarmac.
Hate this. Mavic car. Yes! 2km to go.Puncture change, tyre ruined. Can change wheel for cheaper wheel with good tyre. There is a risk I'll never see my Dura Ace cassette and White Rsys again. Not willing to take risk.
Flumé. Repaired. Descend. Argnes Garzost. See Arch with museette. Go to grab. Ease up and puncture. No way.
No more. Retire. DNF. Beaten. Hating it. Handed coke and mars bar. Gobble it. Head down.

We take car to Campan, park up in the La Fuga VIP camp. Wait for the troops to earn their medals on the Tourmalet.
Janet gets a call. Hamish and Holti tried to ride last 100km ahead of the first riders. Unofficial. On the Tourmalet, the gerandarmes find Hambo. They shout. He's slapped to the ground. Told if he rides his bike he will be stopped. They warn him it will be taken away. Hambob walks 2km to summit.
Billy, then Bonzo, Charlie, TC in that order arrive at the camp. Well ridden. Tired.

Leave and return to Chateau. 2 hours of driving. Hot. Sweating, shower.
Holti cracks open Procesco. I'm dead. 2 bottles down.
Legs hurt to sleep and I only rode 90 miles.

Monday, tired. Rollers. Food, food, ride with Arch.
After Party. BBQ, pasta, Arch makes bar out of an ironing board. Salads, rose. Beautiful. Torte with brandy. Chocolate cake. Gateaux. Stuffed. Almanac, brandy, prosceco, music, boulé championship. Silliness.
2am. Tired. Etape after party done!

Tues final day. Breadrun with TC. rollers in sun, ride with Bonz and Charlie. Coffees. Ride home. Pack bike. Food. Glorious food.
Leave with TC to Toulouse. TC to train to continue riding in France and Italy. Me back to blighty. Urban hill climb in 24 hours time.
Best holiday yet. Loved every second of France. All thanks to Family Pearch.

Losing the yellow to the epic Andy Schlek and he lost it big time. Tears this time but no tantrums.
Being so far off the pace by like 8 minutes means that he's not in spitting distance of victory so therefore this is probably the last tantrum by Cadel we'll see this year. Its probably better when he just misses the win but huh, then we get to see some headbutting. Least Cuddles got a cuddle. Where's the poodle?

For the tantrums check out my older blog posts

I flew to Venice at the end of June. 2 hours after landing I was 1500m up in the magnificent Dolomites.
From Wednesday to Sunday I rode, hill repeats, cols, cruising about and finding random little passes.

In essence

I ate ice cream, every day
went to Venice on Friday and for the whole day ate Ice cream
I did hill repeats in between riding 2 climbs
I burnt 4000 calories in one training session
I did some more hill repeats
My legs died alittle
I ate pasta but not as much as I thought I would
I ate veal by mistake (sorry baby cows)
I like all the white kit Italians wear
Italians think I'm odd for wearing black and kit without blarring logos and screaming sponsors name
There is some amazing kit out there and I wish I had some
I'm going back to Italy. I'll make it more fun next time

Click read more to look at random pictures
On the Gray's Inn Road near the junction of Theobald's, there is a little cafe called THQ. Every day from 2.30pm you can get a coffee and cake for £2.75
These were todays options- coffe and walnut and carrot (right)
I was trying to think up a freaking good headline for this post about Nationals but I'm so tired i've given up.
It was an experience to say the least. It was stupid tough, I got stupid tired and I'm going to do it all again.

Race finished - i crashed, wasn't that great it was hot. Curley pulled out a wicked ride though (did a write up way below in read more)

2.30pm - BUT then Dan Craven called up - Picinic on the climb - Let's Roll.
I did some feeds with Curley for Simon Holt (Fabio / Holtini) he rides in Italy at the moment. When the bunch thinned and it was more managable to hand up bottles, I left the feed zoom and I walked what felt like a flipping long way to the BBQ. (well probably a mile up the mile long climb)
But my my it was worth it.
4pm - Dan tormented Chris Froome with Namibian beer.
They cooked steak and we  relaxed in wooden garden furniture to sit on during the race
Only the 2nd to last lap the Endura Car came by and Jack Bauer hopped in to follow the group containing their Endura rider.
Its 5pm - The 3 Sky breakaway then came past on the their penultimate lap after they had past we started packing up the barbie in the spare Rapha Condor team car. Sky came round again on the final lap and we jumped in the car to follow.

Amazing how when you slap a load of logos on a car, officials just let you through!
We get back round to the finish and the rest of the field had been pulled at 1 to go.
So where's Jack?
5.20pm - We searched the event village.
All the teams are trying to leave and its a mass car park / jam
What about cells - NOPE. No battery which sucks big time
So we have to drive the car all the way back to sign on (up country lanes). Find some cell signal and call Jack.
We get to sign on and give him a call and then a bleeping comes from the rear of the car.
Oh man
Then we find Jack's shoes. Oh man
There is an New Zealander walking about without shoes and a t shirt in the middle of no where
5.45pm - Remember I've been awake since 6am - i've ridden half a hard race and then drenched myself in lovely sunshine. Eaten too many Thoasages and had a few Namibian beers.
Then Larry Hickmott shoes up in his BCF little postman van. And out climbs... JACK!
And we're off pasting it down the motorway to drop Jack off in Manchester before Dan and I head to London. Let's just see what their pink and white striped Skoda can do.
I arrived home at 11pm. Man that was a long and epic day.
Good performance on the BBQ, shame about my race.

Waiting for the restart
Craven cooking it up
Curley's Breedon caramel 'slice' special
Stanndard getting his seat adjusted after the puncture
Jack before he went walk about
Kit laid out at 6am ready for the race
Food for the journey to the race - trust M&S

Battle scars
The first stage of the Tour is approaching fast. With every Tour the riders must research to be prepared for what lies ahead. Curley and Boom have each been preparing individually ahead of their difficult days in the saddle.

Route with stage map to be announced shortly
Oh my days - this one was brewing for months and months. Initial meeting was in April and now its all complete and finally done and yellow and sunflowers, and wheels and yellow. Vive le Tour.
I bloody want those Rsys 2011 wheels and I wish I could ride a 55cm frame. Wouldn't match my Black/Pink kit though. Oh yeh and I finally F***ing won at Palace.
I went to Italy and rode some event, but before that I did the Nocturne and was in the break (finished 6th) and then did a National Series race at sprinted for 7th. Then National Champs, a crash, and we lost Jack, that was an adventure - then Italy.
I will sit down and write it all up with pictures when I get a minute. I don't want to forget such an epic few weeks. Truly racing, truly summer.