I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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A review of those moments I predicted/wanted to happen / always happen at the Tour.

1. An angry Cadel rant. (Check Bianchista's blog)
2. Cav in green.
3. An incident of fighting.
CHECK!  Cav and Thor in an early stage
4. Lance style killer look back
Not yet
5. John Herety talking on Eurosport
Not yet
6. Millar in lone break away
Well, there was some breaking away on stage 
7. An off the bike fight
Not yet
8. A rider attacks and falls off
CHECK! well Thomas was in the breakaway and slipped on oil
9. Crying
Not yet - but Voeckler is close to it
10. Champagne
Got to wait until Paris
I went to the Tour de France. Here are some of the phots I took during stage 15, Limoux to Montpellier. I travelled by helicopter and during the race in a Skoda Octavia. My driver Tim Harris got me here there and everywhere. Thank-you.

Big George. He made a face because I shouted 'It's big George' then he smiled, but I'd put my camera down

Electro Campy. The Movistar bikes I think loo really smart

Big names

1 of 6 helicopters that follw the race

A clown

Crowd at the start
Crowd at Carcassonne

Coloured cars


The race

A TdF chopper

From the air

From a car

No you go first, I'm the Polka dot
Ah Jonny H. I clapped him, he turned back an smiled




More picking riders out of the peloton


Add caption

Limoux start


Richard's chair

Go on Tommy

The legend of Zabel
At the end of the my shoe rack, there will always be a place for my little red Look shoes. Overshadowed by all the carbon, the stiffened heel cups, anti-bacterial material, moulded soles, buckles and rackets. It will always be there, because the Look pedal system and shoe were there before them all. 

I was digging through a box of bits today to try and find a spare pair of cleats. I came across this really heavy Time Pedal box, I looked inside and found my first pedals. These abusive things have a culmulative weight of 475g. Celeste and bolt blue with a hint of sparkle.
In the opposite corner of my bedroom is my pair of Look shoes. Original, dusty, still functional and not a retro  remake.

Shoe Spec
Flimsey thin plastic sole (by my S Works shoe standard)
Two thin leather fastening straps
Padded ankle cuff
Perforated leather upper
Cardboard feeling ankle section covered  with grey mesh fabric
There is a three bolt fixing underneath with some reminents of glue 
No real reinforced toe section to speak off
No real cushy sole, no instep padding
Small peice of elastic that helps the shoe stretch  and open as you put your feet in
Quite lightweight 
Plastic moulded sole for grip

These arent the first version of the Look shoe, as Look didn't make the first version and the pair seen on Hinaults feet in 1985 were blue, made by Patrick.

According to the latest Rouleur, photographed by my dear friend Gerard Brown, the first pedals are heavier than mine topping out at over 500g. They are squarer and white. 
My pedals are much rounder and use an allen key to make the adjustment. Both I inherited, shoes were new and the pedals well used. I took them as my first.

NB. Excuse the poor quality iPhone images. I'll take them to the studio (one day) and photograph it properly on a white background, rather than my cream carpet.

Beastway MTB event. Inner city off road racing. Its every Wednesday.
The event allows both singlespeeds and cyclo cross bikes to enter.
Timing chips, lots of nice lovely fun time people. Hilly and relentless.
I rode there and back it was a 3hour 36 minute round trip inlcuding the 1 hour race.

I had a good time, despite leading from the second lap and puncturing at the start of the penultimate.
Excellent base training for the winter.
Back next week - unless it rains.

(oh and I had a little sit down, still getting used to not being able to bank like you would on a road bike)

Don't know why but I always forget about that new lycra feeling. Once again it happened. Slapped on a newly delivered pair of Vicious shorts and there I was, sort of sliding around on the saddle. Not in a slippy way just that feeling.
The brain goes, hmmm this feels different. Then the cogs go, oh yeh new shorts.
I like it

At the start of this month I began the training programme that will hopefully lead me to a place on the podium at cyclo cross National series. Better still prepare me for some cross racing in the homeland, Belgium.

I've chosen to use the theory of 'cycles' to plan and monitor training.

This is a marcocycle lasting 7 months. The macrocycle is split into mesocycles lasting 4-8 weeks.

Each mesocycle will have a specific objective.

Mesocycle 1 - General Preparation - build fitness, core strength, weight loss, re accquitance with handling and geometries of cyclo cross bike

Mesocycle 2 - Specific Preparation - specific skills (dis-mounting, climbing, cambered turns), improved speed, improved lactic capacity, plyometrics

Mesocycle 3 - Competition - maintenance of technique, further improvement of anaerobic lactic power

Each mesocycle is split into 1 week microcycles. Largely they remain fairly repetitive during the Meso 1. Though this will help me understand what elements of Meso 2 I need to develop, do in high volume, high intensity or maintain.

Blimey what alot of homework I've given myself. BRING IT

My around town mash up bike was stolen, no thanks to my sister. It was green and had Ultegra hubs built on Open Sport rims, cut down black flat bar, mudguards and 8 speed gears. It was known as 'The Sticker Bike' owing to the high percentage of bicycle brand stickers I littered all over the frame. So now I have an opening, many enquired within.

After my experience of track (a few weeks back) and at the same time successful first fixed ride ever, I'm now ready for fixed around town.
Ben's hand me down a steel lugged Carlton frame and it has been selected as the finalist to replace ye' ol' sticker.

The build is shaping up like this:
Silver moutasche bar
Silver Condor front brake
Keeping the original centre pull brake
Silver Sugino chainset (because it was free)
Silver slightly deep section wheelset (don't like, would rather shallow box section rims, but beggers can't be choosers).
Condor flat chrome pedals with black straps and Gold detailing (freebie so no colour option)

To complete I need to decide on a few things. These are the options
A Saddle ...
Brooks Swallow in black
Brooks Colt Purple
New a racer style e.g. Selle Italia Flight

Finishing the Handlebar...
Bar tape
Track Rubber Grips
Brooks leather bar tape, black
Oury BMX grips?

Of the build experience I must say. I have enjoyed it immensley, cleaning it up, taking apart and fiddling about with bits. Whacking it a bit. Figuring out what the unusual eyelets and guides are for.
Gives you a sense of personal achievement. Is this why boys take apart electrical items, even if they are only semi-broken?
The purpose of the bike is it is to be ridden, dropped and skirt the criminal underword. Flirt with bike theives daring them to steal it while locked outside the Prince Regent.
I've only had it for a week but to me its got a personality and thus it would be greatly missed if the shonky old thing was stolen. I must really like bicycles, huh!