Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Bilge on Sunday

Today is a weekend kinda Sunday, which means it's seven days before next weekend's Sunday. On that day - all things going according to Plan - I'll be riding the Franja Maraton in Slovenia. Last year, I said I'd do it and I'm not backing down. It's 155km with a couple of longish climbs, and looks like a bit of fun. The aim for me is to stay on the bike in the first 20km section out of town, which is neutralised.

The good thing is that I can climb hills again, although my knee is far from 100 percent. I got up the steep hill at Pucklechurch on Friday, then did a slightly longer one en route to the Bristol Bike Fest on Saturday. I was down to ride that as part of a team, but contented myself with watching other members of WhatMTB thrash around the course at Ashton Court. Well, by watching I mean I sat in the shade with a beer and relaxed while said riders would come back from their laps looking very hot and bothered. Then I went home. The end.

Jez and his grass-floored campervan
© Jeff Jones

Our crew at the Bristol Bike Fest
© Jeff Jones

Sunday was better. I got out with Will and we did a lap of Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes, coming back via Stowey and Timsbury and I finished up with 100km. I got up the Stowey hill in 4'20, which is about 330W, or about 20% off what I can do when I'm fit and going flat out. Still, at the start of the week I was passed by a guy wearing jeans on an MTB on a small rise on the bike there's been quite an improvement. I reckon I should have everything back in around two weeks. That means the last two months has been a complete write off in terms of building on whatever form I had in early April. Bit annoying, but not as bad as last year.

I'm reading The Flying Scotsman at the moment. It's by Graeme Obree and is a good insight into his life and career. He was a brilliant innovator and a world class rider (hour record breaker, world champion, but he didn't quite fit the mold of a professional cyclist. He has bipolar disorder and he has really struggled to deal with it all through his life. He tried to commit suicide two or three times, poor bugger. But he's still alive and has gone back to racing, as that often helped him smooth out the bumps.

There's a movie out based on the book, which should be worth a look.

Speaking of books, I'm back in Fopp and trying to write another bit of mine. Our writers group is getting together next Thursday to workshop each other's stuff. I've submitted a chapter, but I've seen precious little from the Others.

And now to matters of import, viz:

What's the deal with Paris Hilton only spending three days in jail? For some reason, this annoys me. What's the point of having 45 days when you only serve three? If the US jails are overcrowded, then they could always let out a mass murderer for a bit while she does her time. No-one would notice. Or just send her to the chair. Breaking a driving probation is a pretty serious crime in at least 47 states. As a citizen of Great Britain and Australia, I demand justice.

Spiderman #3: dragged in a few places. I thought MJ should have completely disowned Spidey and run off with Venom. And the Sandman was too fragile. But a good enough slice of entertainment for a Susan Sontag sort of afternoon.

OK, enough dribble. Back on your heads.


Shane said...

'Or just send her to the chair.' - Ha! That was good. Arriving in London on Wednesday - you, me, Anthony, Ellis and whoever else should get some drinks in before the race starts.. Anto's on for it..

Jeff Jones said...

Yo! I'll be there on Friday, so it might be tricky. How long are you in London for? I'm organising drinks on Sunday.