Pretending to be a cyclist

Oh crap.

I claim to be a cyclist, but it’s all rather past tense at the moment. True, I have been out on the bike twice this week… but only twice. I’m far from fit, and one of the depressing aspects of trying to get back into it again is that… well… OK, 34 isn’t old as such, but I’m certainly less readily adaptable than I was ten years ago.

And now there’s a cock-a-mamie scheme by a bunch of bloggers to drag their sorry arses up Mont Ventoux, at the end of September.

Oh, I’d love to do that. And a few weeks ago I sort-of promised myself that I’d get fit enough to think about a little tour around that sort of time…

The worst thing is that I have a really good excuse: I’ve absolutely no idea what I’m going to be doing in September, but I pretty much have to be working in some way or another. Trying to get this SciCast thing off the ground required me to turn down TV work, with the result that I’m frighteningly skint. My best guess: lost earnings of about £7,000. Seriously.

It’s been worth it, but the whole situation is sufficiently precarious that as of late July I’m seriously in need of work. Or maybe August – something small and lovely might have come along. Anyway, committing to anything at the end of September isn’t a great idea, right now.

(and before anybody says ‘take a leap of faith! Sign up, it’ll be fine’ – bog right off, OK? That’s exactly what I did with SciCast, and while I’ve no regrets I’m not exactly in a gambling mood, m’kay?)


  1. Bah. I have a beautiful Claud Butler that is hanging in my garage, wondrously light and clean and slick and going nowhere because Sydney roads are crap.
    I could get some ‘sensible’ wheels but that’d be like fitting a towbar to an MG. You just wouldn’t do it.

  2. I was in a similar position to you, Jonathan. I have a Specialized Hard Rock Sport Disc in the shed that I bought about two years ago. More recently, I have been getting out in Macc Forest with a friend of mine from AstraZeneca. Our usual loop starts with a tremendous steepening pull up a road, onto a bridleway and culminates in an improbably steep section of road that crests with clear views across the Peak District.
    The first couple of time I did this route, I was having to stop and push at least threee times during that climb, while Jon just powered ahead and waited patiently for me to catch up. After 1 month of that military fitness lark however, I can do that climb in one go with no halts. Admittedly, on that last bit of road, I have nothing left in my legs at all, but the difference in my fitness is astounding.
    Unfortunately, I have fitness class tonight … in a heatwave. Last week two people had to stop to be sick …

  3. Bah, ya wuss, Richard! I’ll wager Glasgow’s roads are at least as bad, and I’m riding them on 120psi 21mm tyres. Admittedly, they’re on these super-fancy Shimano whacko wheels that, despite having clearly too few spokes to ever work properly — heck, the spokes are in the wrong way round, idiots — appear to be nigh-on bombproof.
    Oh, and, come to think of it, the ride does shake me to bits. Fabulous on the smooth stuff, though…
    As for your military fitness lark, Nigel – you know, frankly that scares me. Not, I fear, something I’d enjoy personally…

  4. Tell you what JJ, come over and try the Sydney roads.
    Failing that, check out the Uncyclopedia entry for Sydney – it’s all true. My wheels are Vuelta Crossers, which sound pretty much like your Shimanos; maybe you could email me (Mr Zero Unread) the specs and I’ll see if there’s a local supplier?

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