Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Well, there went November. Highlights? Mostly 'cross related. Big bunch of friends down for a South/North Downs unsuitable bikes extravaganza (with additional Bonfire night pyrotechnic shenanigans). And my first proper 'cross race - 3Ps doesn't count, somehow - unlikely to be anything Fisher Price will be marketing in the near future, but so gloriously, curse-inducingly painful that I might just have to find the time to do another one before the winter's over. Currently suffering a disturbingly high broken bike tallly - running on one sticky DT Swiss frreehub (Unit), two knackered Mavic XC717s (Unit again) and two nearly knackered, precious, blue-grey Open Pros (Omega); one rattly Octalink bottom bracket (Jake), one actually now rather stupidly worn chainring that keeps dropping its chain (Kogswell), and one slow puncture that holds air for just long enough to not make it worth finding the time to fix (Unit, *again*). Are they possessed? Or just protesting belligerently about the distinct lack of TLC that muddy corner of the house has received over the past few weeks? Who knows. Still, at least the running shoes have yet to join the dirty protest...


Monday, 13 November 2006

On Friday as the wind was swirling the leaves around outside on the road and the sky was crisp and blue, I sat and stared at my books and wished and wished I was outside playing in the woods with my bicycle. So when the (fierce and scarey) postlady arrived bearing packages from Minx I jumped around with excitement and immediately changed into my new kit. The lovely, soft, gorgeous and snuggly Pearl Izumi tights and divine pink Pearl Izumi jersey gave me the excuse i needed to slam shut my books and leap onto my bike to tear off around the woods. I blame Minx entirely for leading me astray. Being nearly 30 you would have though that acquiring a few new bits of cycling kit would be met with mature and calculated observance and intelligent comment. No way. They wer SO comfortable and SO pretty, I got back from my ride, immediately washed them, wore them on Saturday to show off to my roadie mates, immediately washed them and wore them again on the wet and muddy Quantocks with 'the lads' on Sunday too. That is where the honeymoon ended. The beautiful Somerset coombs are now covered in a thick, crunchy layer of yellow and orange beech leaves which cover treacherous mud and slippery roots. As I happily trekked up and down after my superfit ‘lads’, I was still thinking 'hmmm I look GOOD' as I caught sight of the lovely pink and sleek black of my new outfit. But as the tears streamed from my eyes on a particularly fast descent I mis-timed a turn, the backwheel slipped and I tumbled off, sliding over the pretty leaves on my left side. I soon discovered that pretty as they may be, autumn leaves don't form a very soft cushion and my lovely, gorgeous, perfect tights had become ripped and bloody. Aghast as I was, I slapped a melonin patch on my rather ugly, ripped knee and shot downwards towards the bottom of the coombe and enjoyed the rest of the morning. (Of course I can't now move my knee and it is oozing disgusting horrible yellow stuff but let's not go there).