"The ambassador of Transylvania will take wine with Count Bobulescu."
[repeat until both are sloshed, as neither wishes to break protocol]
This is a rough excerpt of a sketch called something like The Toastmaster, which often gets quoted in our family. I was reminded of it several times at our Club Dinner in Chippenham, as there was a competition for who could make the best toast. The winner got a dragon's tongue trophy, which was pretty cool.
There must have been two dozen toasts, many from the Bath CC/Bristol South contingent, who had obviously had experience of this sort of thing. But the winner was Mark Wareham, whose story of what happened on our club ride two weeks ago was rather amusing.
That was the day where I'd turned off with Chris Tweedie and a couple of others to navigate the floods around Wiltshire. The others also encountered flooded bits, but had the good fortune to be offered a lift by a bus driver! Which they took, of course.
Except for one rider, who didn't realise that the bus had picked the rest of them up and soldiered on by himself through various torrents, only to be rejoined at the end by drier members.
We were also entertained by Geoff Thomas, ex-England footballer wot got leukaemia, survived and decided to ride the Tour de France with a few of his mates. Twice.
He did the first one on six months' training, right after finishing his treatment. Impressive effort, that! And he raised quite a lot for cancer charities.
In the trophy stakes, Chippenham has approximately a million different competitions throughout the year, based on doing certain events on the calendar. I was sitting with Chris Tweedie and Ben Anstie, and they were the trophy kings (Ben, mostly).
I managed to accumulate approximately zero trophies, save for a large pile of pint glasses that may have once had beverages in them. Now Chris is a big fan of volume over intensity when it comes to drinking (the opposite of his training program) and I had no choice but to go along with that, albeit with stronger beers. Well I did have a choice but it wasn't a sane one.
Six pints of Peroni/Grolsch/Guinness later, I thought it might be a good idea to get the last train home. Somehow - and I really don't know how this happened because my judgment was completely sound - I left my new BC racing licence behind. Luckily someone whose judgment was even better than mine spotted it and picked it up (thanks Andy and Jacqui).
I've been downgraded to second category on account of the fact that I didn't race last year (time trials are run by a different mob than British Cycling). You need a certain number of points each year to keep your category, and more to move up. It doesn't bother me this year because cat. 2 is essentially the same as cat. 1 - typically they run races as E/1/2, but hardly ever E/1 or just 1. And you actually have more race options as a cat. 2.
Anyway, maybe I'll pull my finger out and do a road race this year. But I have some time trial ambitions...
Seeing as the Club Do was on a Saturday, it left the whole of Sunday to do a 120km Mendips ride with RCoomber. It's finally stopped raining although it was a tad breezy as we navigated four decent climbs and lots of little ones, plus a few cool lanes that are new to me. 2000m of climbing and sore legs at the end.
The training is going in the right direction: more or less forward and slightly to the left and I'm now back to March 2007 form, as opposed to being behind January 2007 form. My Cheddar Gorge times have come down: 10'50 -> 10'06 -> 9'44, and Burrington has gone from 12'15 -> 10'40, although we didn't do it today. Probably would have been 10'20ish but I
The aim is to get April form by March and May form by April, then I'll probably get sick. So I'm ahead on that front.
Song du jour: Energy 52 (Café del Mar).