So, the last time I did anything on my blog was over a year ago. Not exactly the frequent updates that I’d promised so I guess I have a lot to cover.
Let’s start with a quick update on the family.
Since my last update we have been joined by another beautiful little girl called Imogen, now nine months old she is crawling, eating and according to her mum is saying “mum” (although I suspect this is wishful thinking given that Amelia’s first word was very clearly Dad). Amelia is working hard on being the best big sister in the world, and a bit of a general superstar. Her bike riding is coming along pretty well and she’s just about outgrown her Islabike balance bike. This is really just another opportunity to explain the N+1 theory to her.
Lynsey’s about to go back to work after her maternity leave, I’m not sure if she’ll miss being with the kids, or the frequent coffee, scone and gossip get togethers that seem to have been a frequent distraction over the last ten months.
Cycling has continued to be a key feature of every weekend for me, this year I’ve been leading the Stirling Bike Club development rides most weeks and I have to say it’s been an absolute pleasure to see so many folk out on their bikes each week. The responsibility of welcoming new members introducing them to the club, our ethos and riding in a group has been very welcome, to watch some of those riders rise from the development ranks into the faster groups has been very gratifying indeed (it would be nice though if some of them came back and offered to push me up the hills more often, the ungrateful buggers).
The club has been putting out huge numbers of riders each week, with the development group putting out 28 riders a couple of weeks ago. We had to split the group that day for safety reasons, it was incredible to see that many folk out enjoying the sunny September weather.
The weekly group selfie that I’ve posted on twitter seems to be pretty popular, some weeks I could do with a wide angle lens and that’s not just down to the size of riders we seem to attract.
Outside of the club I managed to crash on mile 65 of my planned 100. The incident happened just by Cromlix and I managed to stick the front chainring into my shin. I’m still not sure if the nurse cleaning it in casualty was more painful than the accident or not. I did manage to complete the Buchaille sportive again this year, knocking twenty five minutes of last year’s time. This is a great event but I’m not sure I’ll be back for more as doing the same event three years running just doesn’t float my boat.
My own riding has progressed a little this year, but realistically I need to spend more time on the bike doing more miles and faster than I currently do if I want to improve fitness and lose some lagging. More on that later,,,
On the bike front I’m considering adding another to the stable in the new year, now that my Kona Jake has become my dedicated winter road bike I am thinking of getting the Boardman CX to use messing around in the woods and tow paths. It seems like a pretty awesome package for the money and even has disc brakes so ought to be able to stop me even on the speediest of descents.
So, why is this blog post titled “I need your help”? Well, I have a plan, actually two plans. One easier to help me with than the other..
Plan a – raise money and awareness of male cancer by growing a moustache. Those of you that have known me for a while will know that every year I go through the misery of growing a moustache in November. Over the years the style of these have grown in extravagance with last years effort even being called out by Rob Brydon as the most stylish he’d seen. I plan to grow another this year, and even keep it for the bike club Christmas bash if I get enough sponsorship. I’ll be posting up the link to my Movember page in due course. I do think it’s time that some of my fellow cyclists stepped up to the hairy plate and joined me. No effort is too patchy, no style too over the top. I’ll be very disappointed if I end up being the sole hairy lip during November.
Plan b – and this is the one I really need your help with. For a number of years now I’ve promised myself that I’ll ride lots in the winter, eat better and try to start the next season with some good hard miles under my belt. This hasn’t been easy for a number of reasons but most of them are really just excuses so this year I’m dedicated to doing it. My intention is to ride three times a week including the Saturday club runs. The rides don’t need to be epics, they don’t need to be fast but they need to be rides of at least an hour. These rides need to happen regardless of weather, work or feeling guilty about leaving Lynsey with the kids (again). There is no realistic excuse not to be able to fit in three rides a week.
So what do I need you to do? I need you to ask me, bully me, harass and maybe even encourage me. I want you to ask “Have you ridden three times a week?” “have you been out in the pissing rain this week” “why didn’t you ride on that nice morning where the sunrise was awesome”. Basically I need you to help be my conscience. Knowing I’ll be asked ought to be encouragement enough to get out and ride.
What’s the goal of the second plan? Well, currently I’m the 18 stone guy that winches himself up the climbs, averages 15.5 mph on a good day and breathes out my back end when the pace on Chalmerston Lane gets too high. This can’t carry on, I’m 46 5’9″ and clinically ought to be dead every time my heart rate goes above 180 bpm. I’ve got two young kids and I’d really like to be around in a few years to ride them off my wheel when they are Wallace warriors.
Help me stay in love with my bikes, be around for a while, grow a moustache, continue supporting new club riders and make awesome sloe gin. I don’t ask much of you, other than “have you ridden your bike three times this week?”