“Look! A Bandwagon, I better jump on it!” says Sebastian Shakespeare

Shakespeare was an excellent author of fiction. I fear Sebastian Shakespeare of the Evening Standard columnist of the same name is following in his namesakes footsteps.

Following the introduction of a death by dangerous cycling bill, Julia Hartley-Brewer gave typically misinformed and biased bullshit on her sad excuse for a radio programme and now it seems everypone has to have a go at Cyclists.

Well done for jumping on the cyclist bashing bandwagon with your article “Cyclists have had an easy ride too long” Sebastian Shakespeare, however as commented on your article, here’s my response to your drivel:

You say that cyclists should have insurance (I do have third party insurance, FYI) but try having a look at the uninsured drivers stats first. When that problem is resolved try bringing in another rule for the contraptions that will do minimal damage (in most cases) to a person or other road user.

We haven’t had it easy, how you would call being hit (side swiped on a straight road) by a HGV and hospitalised easy (myself, July 2010) I don’t know.

A minority will flount the rules, and I try to tell the law breaking fellow cyclists of the reputation they give us. But you say we run red lights, in the eyes of the law I could give you hundreds of car (and motorcycle) registrations each week that are all positioned in the cyclists area at junctions, ignoring the ASL (Advanced Stop Line) making life much harder for cyclists to be safe.

How about the traffic wardens look at them too, or is that victimising the car drivers too much?

I could go on, and I’d like to have a conversation with Sebastian, but (as he pointed out in his article) he’d rather speak to someone who has poor English language skills than hear my northern twang. My money is actually on the fact that he has some form of regional accent. Or maybe he is too focused on writing shit that he never speaks.  Maybe I should give him a Glasgow kiss to justify his apparent lack of respect for anyone.

I’m a Vitruvian!

Which mean I have successfully completed the Vitruvian Triathlon, a half IronMan distance triathlon (almost – the bike is 5km short!). That’s 1.9km swim, 85km bike and 21km run.

I was pretty pleased with the time, 5 hours 08 minutes and 35 seconds, with the following splits:

Swim 00:36:21
T1 00:03:05
Cycle 02:42:46
T2 00:01:33
Run 01:44:47
Total 05:08:35

The swim started bright and early at 6:20am, so I was up and out of the B&B, with Rich from GyroHSR who was also racing, at 5am. We arrived and got transition sorted, I rushed a bit by faffing far too much, but all went relatively smoothly.

Rutland Water, home of the Vitruvian Triathlon
Rutland Water, home of the Vitruvian Triathlon

The water was full of plant life which was a bit annoying to say the least, tangling around my arms a few times but after 2 laps of the 950m course, I emerged feeling quite good. So much so I probably could have taken another minute off the swim time, but it was also a rough swim, with other competitors around me all the way.  I took my time a bit in transition, getting the wetsuit off and making sure I had all the gels and bars I needed and set off on the 2 lap 42.5km course.

It was cold, very cold and a bit too windy on the bike, but the hills got my heart going when they came around. I aimed at keeping my heart rate at 140BPM on the bike, gauging that would be the level I thought I would need to post a sub 3 hours time, turns out it was a great time, as I got through the hills and the wind still feeling strong for the part I had trained most for recently, the half marathon.

Feeling pretty  strong I set the target heart rate of 157 all the way, which should post a 1:35 half marathon, not bad at all. However I expected to flag and while I felt strong most of the way round, the faster runners were a little demoralising.  I kept above 155BPM most of the way round, in the last 7km easing off a little and cruising home at 145BPM, with an average HR of 154BPM for the 21km. I even had a little in the tank for a 50m  sprint at the end!

Only down side to the day was finding Rich at the end, and hearing his race wasn’t ideal – I wish he’d felt as strong so we had a fair comparison of times. Still, I had quite a bit of time on him and better training in the build up may just have given me a sub 5 hour time, but that’s life!

And the day after,  following that monster challenge, I had my Choi Kwang Do yellow belt grading, so now I’m a Vitruvian and a a proper colour belt in martial arts. All in all a good weekend!

Pyrenees training 2009

The past four days have been awesome, since I have been cycle/triathlon training with Richard from work, Gaunty who we swim with and his mate Nick.

The Pyrenees are beautiful and while we knew we were in for a tough time with a few big hills, no one really expected to be staying at the bottom of a hors catégorie climb in Col du Tourmalet. Round the corner was the Col d’Aspin too which has featuredin Le Tour de France 66 times. So the climbing was awesome, tough, beautiful, painful, challenging, sweaty and required a lot of determination. Continue reading “Pyrenees training 2009”

The Great British Bike Relay

So this year I did want to do something big for charity, following my London to Amsterdam to Brussels last year. I was struggling for ideas, but fortunately GyroHSR have provided me with a nice warm down following the Vitruvian IronMan 70.3.

The Great British Bike Relay is a relay cycle with a group starting in Glasgow and a team starting in London converging on Manchester on September 10th (where I will also be playing football for GyroHSR London vs the rest of Gyro HSR) before sending the next leg on its way.

So about 250 miles in 2 days should be enough of a challenge for which I have to raise £1,250 – so expect plenty of events and so on over the next few months. More information will follow as I get it – anyone who wants to join my team – let me know!

Thames Turbo Race 2

Monday 4th May: So the time came to beat my rather slow time of 1:14 for my first Thames Turbo Triathlon race in April. I was confident I was stronger in the water and on the bike, and it turns out I was, 2 minutes knocked off the bike and almost 1 minute off the swim. Very good. Problems occurred when I dismounted from the bike and found that my knee didn’t work very well. Hardly at all in fact.

The stumbling back into transition and subsequent struggle to get into my shoes prompted attention from the marshalls around me, and after careful consideration and advice I decided to not even try and start the run. A quick check to the paramedics to check I wouldn’t lose my leg or anything and I was sent on my way. Disappointing end to my race, but caught up with a few people I hadn’t seen for a while and made some progress in the parts I could do. Continue reading “Thames Turbo Race 2”