Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two things

First: I've been on a quest to buy some warming embrocation today, and am surprised at how hard it is to get here. In Belgium you can buy it at any bike shop in various grades of warmness, and it's very popular, forming part of the pre-kermis ritual.

My supply of Sportsbalm Pre Sports Hot Balm (basically vaseline with wintergreen, cayenne, cajeput, capsicum and nutmeg oil - nice and hot) ran out last week and I was in dire need of some more, as it's still freezing and wet here. It substitutes for wearing leg warmers, which seem to be the popular choice for racing in the early UK season.

After trying the bike shops and a big sports store, I eventually wound up at Boots where I found some Raglex cream. It's got capsicum oil in it, which is better than nothing, so I'll combine it with vaseline for rain protection.

It's been raining all day today with a bitingly cold easterly wind, but it should clear up overnight for tomorrow's Dursley hilly. But the roads will probably still be wet at 9am and it ain't going to be very warm. So the skinsuit will be supplemented with the usual long sleeved base layer plus arm warmers and maybe gloves.

Given that it's got nearly 1000m of climbing, I stand a reasonable chance of winning, depending on how I, Gavin P and a few of the others handle the course. After that, I've got three more Hardriders events and one open 10 before I'll take a break. It's a bit stupid doing the season like this, because my 'break' will be in June and July, when it's warm! But I'll resume in August/September, hopefully getting some late summer form.

Second: At the Morrison's checkout this morning, there was a guy in front of me in running shorts who I'd seen riding to the supermarket. Bloody lunatic (unless he had proper embrocation) - it's not exactly the weather to ride in shorts. He had a very healthy looking shopping basket (not even any instant liver and onions) and the chatty Chinese checkout girl was asking him how much he rode, etc. "Most days, about five hours a week" was the response. She did 30 minutes at the gym from time to time, not that there's anything wrong with that.

When it came to my turn, she looked rather disapprovingly at my chocolate mountain. She picked up the first one, an 80g block of Lily O'Brien's Sticky Toffee chocolate, and gave me the third degree. "Wow, I've never seen this before. Do you know how many calories there are in this block? 400!!" she said, obviously not noticing my lean and hungry look.

I said "I know, that's why I bought it. I need the energy."

"And it's got 62 grams of sugar!" She really didn't want to give it to me.

"Yes. I ride more than that bloke there. I do about 15 hours a week." (trying to take it but she had a firm grasp on it)

"I sometimes ride for 30 minutes at the gym."

I finally prised the chocolate from her fingers, hoped that the rest of my comestibles would pass muster and the transaction was completed without further comment.

There's not much of that Lily O'Brien's chocolate left now, for some strange reason.


Anonymous said...

i have it on good authority that it will be in the new BikeHut stores from june at the latest

bikerboy said...

you aint been looking hard enough - fitbag have sportsbalm and so do davidlloyd online shops - youre concentrating too much on the chocolate

Jeff Jones said...

But it wasn't in Bath yesterday, and because I have a tendency to leave things until the last minute, I had to Make Do.

Still, the ralgex and the chocolate kept my legs warm today and I won, so I'm not complaining :-)