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Saturday, May 23, 2009

So you say your a cyclist?

As the Autumn of my life steadily sneaks up on me, my memory is not always as sharp as I would like it to be. One of the regular things that is effected by this is my recollection of various passwords.
There used to be a time, that the only code I had to remember, was the combination lock to my bicycle.
Now I have about twenty different passwords to remember.
To make matters worse, I have to change most of them every three months.
I used to store them in my Blackberry 'password box' but alas I forgot the password for that too.
When I do forget, I have to go through a right rigmarole of having my personal identify verified.
Its a good job that my twin brother Paddy lives in America, as I used to be asked the question.
How do I know that 'you are you', and not your twin brother?
More confusingly, I have also been asked.
How do 'you' know 'you are you', and not your twin brother?
I guess that there is always the possibility, that when we were babies we got mixed up.
However as we are not in line for the thrown, or awaiting some massive inheritance, being 12 minutes younger has not affected me too much.
When you look at the cycling there are also some identity issues, with so many disciplines that accompany the generic term of 'cyclist'.
Each has its own following and stereotype attached to it.
Each is also very different.
For me, I seem to have forgotten my metaphorical combination code as I scramble for my 'cyclist' identity.
For years It was easy, I was a recreational cyclist and that was the end of it.
Now the lines have gone all fuzzy.
I still ride to work, ride to the pub (Very important) and ride to the shops. This sort of puts me in the 'ecco-recreational' category. However if you now mix in Sportives, Audax, and the odd time trial then you have a very long word.
One that might compete with llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob wllllantysiliogogogoch which incidentally is a place in wales and translates as :
"The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave"
Sounds a really cool place to cycle.
Considering other disciplines such as :- track cycling, cycl0-cross, fixed gear street riding, the many forms of BMX riding, mountain biking, road racing, criterium, or people just taking spin classes in the Gym there is good reason to be more specific.
The principal may be the same but the application, training and technique is often very different.
I sometimes hear drivers castigate cyclists.
Well which 'cyclist' exactly do they mean, as we are not all the same?
I think anti cyclists often take a piece of negativity from every discipline they can think of, and clump them all together as in this satirical video 'The Cyclists'.
Weekly Training/Weight Data

This week my weight loss has moved to a sensible amount of 4lbs (18lbs in three weeks). I am starting to find the hills easier and the flat bits much faster. The energy levels do seem to fluctuate though, so I am now taking whey protein drinks after each ride.

I managed 228 miles this week with 11,000 ft of climbing. I am very pleased with this but its been tough. It included 70 miles today in gorgeous weather around the Wolds. I took some photos (below) which included a cycle scare crow spotted in Wetwang. The strangely named village was hosting a scare crow festival.

I also had my daughter take one of me sporting my fantastic T Shirt from Rat Trap Press Check them out, they are all very original and great value. I support them because they are hand made using a silk screen process by the man himself.

In my virtual reality bike ride from Beverley to Houston, I stated last week that I was over the gulf of St Lawrence and moving towards the New Brunswick Coast. This stretch of water still contains some winter ice which affected my GPS. It miscalculated our progress probably through wishful thinking. We are still infact in the Gulf of St Lawrence and longing for landfall !!!!!!


  1. You've lost 18 pounds in 3 weeks, that isn't bad. That's about the weight of old aluminum framed road bike. I try to think of weight loss in those terms.

    Awesome shirt by the way.

  2. Your pictures are great! Looks like a nice ride. I got in almost as many miles as you, but nowhere near the elevation gain to be found in eastern Kansas.

  3. Great write-up.

    I'm not overly sure what to think of the video you've linked to though. I'm scared someone might actually take it seriously.

  4. Keep pedaling as you are Philip, and you'll make landfall before long!

  5. Thank you for the comments and reading the blog.
    Red Bike thank you for opening a debate.
    Whoever made the video must have had some strong views and bad experiences,we must all agree there are some inconsiderate cyclists out there. They would probably be the same behind a wheel of a car too.The roads and byways are for us all to share,so we have to get along.I get frustrated with pedestrians, in the same way as car drivers might do with me. But it just remains frustration. I try to smile and be polite and considerate to all.

  6. In the immortal words of Harry Dean Stanton, "You're as old as you feel - and I feel like boiled crap".

    At least most of the motorists you encounter aren't armed - around here the average pickup is packing enough heat to start a revolution in a third-world country.


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