I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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I don't reckon I can race the Peterborough Tour Series stage. I'm gutted I've been fighting this cold to make it to the opening round.
Can you see how you can see the bone on my left foot but my right is swollen so much you can see it.
Check out how the ankle just blends into my calf without shaping inwards.
I can't get it in my shoe, the more I walk on it the more it get worse.
Note how I also have wrinkles around the base of my toes.

I'm sick so not going to eat cake. Boo.
But look at this! Got it from this site http://www.uglymely.com/2011/05/hot-cupcake.html

Scarponi - pigeon helmet with your pigeon chest?

Contador is boring but least he knows how to accessorise. Mighty SICK shoes
I guess this post is me getting my excuses in early. But seriously. I'm flipping sick AGAIN. I had a week in Barca and I've come back sick. Couldn't finish the race at Palace on Tuesday so thats the 2nd race that I've DNF'd at and out of 3 races completed so far. I've finished 1!
Due to someone else not being able to make the Peterborough round of the Tour Series that means I've got to ride it. I'm not really ready for it.
So I need to know as many cold and flu remedies as possible ASAP.
So far I've had a Berocca. I'm drinking cough medicine by the litre, I've had a strepsil and some coffees and trying to do a litre of water a day.

Ooops I just sneezed all over the desk.
You can get it from Prendas

So we do our intro's and then there is an awkward stubbling silence. No one wants to go first.
So I jump in with a silly starter.

Cycletta involves as Cycling Weekly Club Challenge. If there are 5 or more riders from your club they'll take the average ride time and the best time wins.

So Miss Pendleton - if you could invite any celebrity in the world to enter you Cycling Weekly Club Challenge team which 5 would you pick....?
The question caught her slightly off guard. She asked me what the criteria of the competition would be and I personally didn't know the event inside out and her PR person has overlooked that media tie up.
We're all just stumbling about for words. None of us really understand the question.
I then feel embarassed putting such a friendly lady under pressure.
I turned the shade of the colour below. If you want to be exact thats CMYK ref 40, 67, 33, 80

She recovered well, going for the safe option of choosing her team mates. Mr Hoy, Crampton etc. And too be fair probably the most logical she could sit on their wheels and get a good ol' toe.

Next came questions that were proper  all about advice on cycling, does she really tell people to cycle in the gutter (as per the Cycletta website), how exactly does she think Cycletta will get people cycling, is the hair remedy center really a good idea?
Got to say all well fended off, no stuttering or erring and umming.
She handled the last question by turning it back on the feminist blogger and revealed she'd been asked to cut her long brown locks to save time on the track. But for her she "likes to look good and that will make her feel good. Getting dressed up and looking good while she performs and getting pampered for photoshoots is a nice thing. Its all motivating.
Lots of females don't take sport to the next level because they fear they'll lose a level of feminity, well, you don't have too. A hair remedy center at the end of cycletta isn't up everyone's street but for some people it will be and show you won't lose your feminity."
Excellently handled Vic. I would put myself firmly with her opinion. I have finished a cross race with a muddy face and wild mud speccled hair. I've had to stand looking like a right idiot and mis-shapen for a podium photo. Do I ever print those photos or keep them. Er no. I'd rather not be reminded I look like a little boy while I recieve my winnings and perhaps a bottle of fizz.
If only there were hair rememdy centers at the Nationals, thats the reason I always just miss the podium places. I might make that suggestion at the next committee meeting.

Ok so she took a hammering with some tough questions about the real point of Cycletta. I thought I'd give her time to take a breather and let her brain have a rest from dodging loaded questions.

Victoria, I cycle my bike with the sole aim to ride to a cafe so I can eat some cake. Have you ever done that? Do you even eat cake and whats you favourite?
Now I'm biased so I reckon I think she liked my question the most but she perked right up.
"ooohh I love cake" she started "my mum makes French Cake, well that is what she calls it." Pendleton then launched into a grand description of her mum's cake.
"You make it with fat free sponge, a layer of apricot jam, more sponge then splash Gran Maneria all over it. Its like a posh Jaffa cake."
"well its not because it has apricot jam and no chocolate"
"yeh a grand Jaffa Cake."
I said thanks but before someone else could pipe up she was onto a list of cakes she liked "Chocolate Cake is on the list, yeh and I like lemon drizzle, carrot cake."
"yeh I really like Lemon Drizzle".

Sounds like when she retires, I might need to school her in the art of Tour de Cake or perhaps she needs to propose a cake stand at the finish of Cycletta. I pretty sure that would go down well.

The conversation turned back to the Olympics and Victoria revealed how after the Beijing games there was mention of her moving into road racing. But it was never really something she wanted to do competitively. Why change and do something, when your really good at winning medals riding around in a circle?

The questions turned to her road cycling in her training down time and how she avoids busy traffic routes. The critics snatched upon her, questioning why she would deliberately avoid busy roads and why she would potentially lose out on a cycling road if it meant a busy road.
I'm really not sure thats what she meant, I think it means she goes out at 11am rather than rush out. I think it means she doesn't want to get run over and basically end her 2012 Olympics campaign. I'm pretty sure if I was her, I would be commuting to London at 8am everyday.

The interview was soon over. And with that I wasn't able to ask some of my other pressing questions.
Do you ever get bored of riding a black carbon bike. Have you ever ask for a bit of gold to be splashed all over it.
Do you ever get restless legs after training. because I do and its annoying.
Do you ever nip around to the shops to get your Hovis? (think we know the answer, is no, because she doesn't want to risk getting run over.)

My conclusion to it all. We couldnt have a better ambassador for getting new cyclists into the sport of cycling. (gush gush, I've been PR'd to the max it seems)

Its better for us all really because it means with a growing population of cyclists, us enthuasiasts benefit for increased cycling coverage in the newspapers, on the prime time tv slots. Fat car drivers stop driving into us as there are less of them about (maybe just wishful thinking).

Ok so the event seems a bit old hat to those of us who have ridden an etape, a fred whitton, raced cyclo cross or simply been out on Saturday for a club run but its a whole new concept to Sharon Popodopolis who spends her Sunday mornings wandering around TopShop, Croydon.

I'm not sure I can identify with Victoria and nor can Sharon but its a start. Its better than the lack of effort Nicole Cook is putting in.
If Vic was able to join forces with Lizzie Armistead the general public could even be fooled into thinking they were a pop act rather than medal winning cycling champions.

Cycletta is at this link here
I spoke to Victoria Pendleton yesterday, (just my usual day....)
Her Royal Trackness was bubbly as ever and fended off some serious questions from journalists at Road.cc and bloggers who view feminity, long hair, GQ/FHM photoshoots and heels on women cyclists with feminist contempt.

So what was she talking about?
Gatorade - No
Track - No
Olympic 2012 - No
Sky Ride - Nearly but still No
Hovis - No
Oakley - No
EDF energy - No
A change of Sky skinsuit design - No

Cycletta - Yes

What is Cycletta you say... Well if you're a regular cyclist and not a women you'll probably wont know because it is not aimed at you. The event focuses on attracting new cyclists to try the sport and more specifically the sport of sportives.
Victoria is championing a campaign called Cycletta, which has managed to get Grazia (women's fashion mag) as a media partner. Not bad.

So there are 2 rides. The first is 40km at a zoo and the second is 40km at another zoo. The entry price tag initial glance looks super high £25 per event, or £45 for both.
But it cost £75 to enter the London Triathlon and those walk or run for cancer events it £35. Unless your pitching a high price your firstly not going to able to make it worth the Olympic medallists while and secondly it won't command the attention of women who have never tried cycling. They'll pass of the event as being micky mouse if you stick a £10 Audax price tag on it.

And too be fair you get to ride alongside a woman that has nearly as much gold to her name as the queen (maybe not), there is a helmet hair remedy center, a massage, 2 magazines for free and other celebrities taking part ie. Miranda Hart who I find very entertaining. Plus my friend Dynamite / Campbell's Snoop saw her cycling up the big hill in Richmond Park once.

Ok so thats probably explains why I'm sat in my chair with my phone to my ear at 11.45am, Friday morning talking to Victoria Pendleton.
Calm yourself down with a good read of a Kindle befor the race. Maybe it was tactics.