Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not particularly august bilge

...and an improper use of 'august' at that.

The rain is still extant and very much part of August, as it was part of July, June, May, April, March, February and January. There's a certain patter(n) here. See if you can spot it.

I'm looking forward to sunnier climbs once I get to Australia at the end of the year. There remains one minor hurdle: booking the flight. I tried to overcome this last night with the aid of the Internet. An hour later, I had found a flight from London to Sydney for just under 1300 squid. I didn't need that other kidney anyway. But just as I was on the brink of booking it, I tried one more site...

I plugged in my dates and was pleasantly surprised, and yet strangely suspicious, that there was something available for £800. I had to ring a number, which I did, and was informed that it may not, in fact, be possible to get something quite that cheap.

"What's been your best price so far?"

"1297 quid"

<pause, much tapping of computer keys> "How about 1360?"

"Err...what about if I go earlier or come back on a different day?"

<pause, more tapping of keyboard> "Yes, I've found one for 1297. But you'll have to go on Friday morning."

"Damn, I have to work then."

<pause, repeat shenanigans for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, I've found one for £1254. I tell this to the guy at the other end>

"Sorry, 1360 is the best I can do for you. If you can get one for 1254, then book it. Goodbye."

Turned out I couldn't book it as it no longer existed. Dang. I thought I should feel bad for wasting the guy's time, but I didn't because he was actually wasting mine. False advertising to say you've got something for £800 between date X and date Y when you don't and never bloody well did.

So I went back to the £1297 option, which looked good. I got through to the tricky part where you have to get your credit card out and type the numbers in. In the end it was a classic case of "computer says no" because I'd exceeded my paltry limit by buying something bike related, possibly a tyre.

Back to square one, but at least I'm a tyre ahead.

The great wheel turns again

Sunday's Severn RC 25 did go well (more or less) and I won in 56'00 from Rob Lyne (56'54) and Simon Haward third in 57'45. The weather wasn't kind, but I've come to expect that. The usual stiff sou'westerly was blowing and it chucked it down just as I started. It was therefore appropriate to pootle along the A38 humming Rammstein's "Bestrafe Mich".

I got to the turn onto the circuit (12km) in under 14 minutes - faster than I did earlier this year, then had a horrible time navigating all the corners on a dodgy tyre. I just had to hope that the time I was giving up wasn't going to make a difference in the end. Back on the A38, I got to the Slimbridge roundabout (26.5km) in 33'40 - about the same as earlier this year, despite taking about 10 minutes to get around the roundabout. Fortunately I had a bit more for the slog back into the headwind and finished in 56'00, a good 50 seconds up on my April time on arguably a worse day, and six minutes quicker than I did in this event, my first open, last year. Having a TT bike and no mechanical problems helped. All up I averaged 327W, which is more or less what I've done in my last three 25s. I'm hoping that'll come up a bit in the next four weeks.

Last Wednesday I did the club 10 (in 21'48, but Ben broke the course record with a superb 21'25) followed by the last Castle Combe of the season on Thursday. We averaged over 45 clicks for 51km but only caught the other two bunches on the last lap and it was a bit of a mess. I wish I'd done more Castle Combes now.

I may do a road race this weekend in Wales if I can get a lift, otherwise it's Big Miles(tm).

ObOlympics: Nicole Cooke, despite taking the J Jones approach to cornering, was brilliant in the women's road race. I just love this photo.

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