Google+ Followers

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Witchita Falls 'Hotter than Hell' Roster

Four weeks on Saturday heralds the start of the 'Hotter than Hell' Sportive in Witchita Falls (North Texas)

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred is an annual bicycle ride held each year on the 4th or 5th Saturday in August (always 9 days before Labor Day) and includes professional as well as amateur riders. The professional racers ride a 100-mile road race, as well as time trials and criterium. For the amateur riders, there are road routes of 100 miles, 100K, 50 miles, 25 miles, and 10K.
The race was first held in 1982 as part of the Wichita Falls Centennial Celebration.
The name is thus a rare example of a triple entendre: one hundred miles (i.e., century) in one hundred degree Fahrenheit weather (the race is held in August, usually the hottest month of the year in Wichita Falls), initially conducted to celebrate the city's 100th anniversary.

Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 riders participate each year, making the Hotter'N Hell Hundred the largest sanctioned century bicycle ride in the US.
2009's Hotter N Hell had over 14,000 riders.

After completing in it last year I was impressed with how well the event is organised, the camaraderie, entertainment and facilities laid on for the riders.
Last year was also the first year that the Mules rode together in an organised event so its a special ride for us. With dozens of riders joining onto our pace lines at various stages of the ride I am sure that many will recognise the distinctive Mule Logo this year.
Last year was also interesting in that a cold front appeared on race day making the expected 100 + degrees tumble to a pleasant 80 degrees. This changed the ride from a significant challenge to a standard century ride.
I'm hoping that this year the name of the ride will live up to its billing.

Below are the mules so far committed to the Team.

Paddy Shrimpton

La Patron - The rider who has earned the respect of the peloton. He need only express his displeasure to enforce the unwritten rules of the race (e.g. Merckx, Hinault, Armstrong). Although struggling with fitness problems he always provides a great performance on the day.

Philip Shrimpton

Phil the domestique/rouler

Un domestique - support rider especially for the patron, when given a free reign can double up as 'Rouler' - rider who is strong on flat and undulating roads. Expect nothing flashy, he will be taking long turns at the front and protecting the welfare of the Team.

Jason Flockton

Jason " la danseuse" Flocton-- (French: Like a dancer.) Has an ability to dance on the pedals like Rodolf Nureyev. When he is sitting down he is also an accomplished 'rouleur' a totally smooth and steady rider who would be a choice pick in any team.

Expect Jason up front when we need some additional pace or in strong headwinds. Perfect 'lead out' man like Mark Renshaw and an Aussie too.

Kenny Rhame

Kenny the Cannibal -- Inhumane rider. Eats domestiques for lunch

Prix de combativité - The honour of wearing a red race number as the leader in the "Most Aggressive Rider" competition.

Kenny is fearless, aggressive and uncompromising. He is also very fast!!!!

Glad hes on our team!!!!!

Sean Lloyd

Sean 'The Vet' Lloyd.

Sean has a great affinity with animals who are magnetically drawn to him. This also includes when he is cycling. After a recent encounter he was left with a broken bike and broken body (Dog was fine) He is now regaining his former impressive fitness.

Sean has recently taken up 'pooch polo' -- This is the time-honored tradition of using a frame pump to dissuade the pursuing dog from having your leg for lunch.

If we encounter any canine creatures Sean will naturally come to the front to protect the Team.

Adam Miller
Adam 'the Diesel' Miller is the engine of the team and a rouler. He can churn along at a steady pace and pull for an age. He can also entertain with his quick wit and comical powers of observation.

Taylor Bartholomew
If Paddy is our Patron then Taylor is our own spiritual figurehead, in the same way as the other great Texan Lance Armstrong.
Having fought serious illness - just to see another day would have been a blessing for some.
Taylor now lives a full an active sporty life and is an inspiration to us all.
Not only can she ride, but she kicks butt and if your not at the top of your game you are usually sucking her back wheel.
When she is not on the road or at work you might find her increasing heart rates of others, in the gym. She is also an enthusiastic qualified spin instructor.
Taylor is the 'Benjamin du tour' - The youngest rider in our team.
She is a natural rouleur with an easy rhythmical style.
By the time we roll out in Wichita Falls we may have some more but this nucleus of riders is a great start

Friday, July 23, 2010

Climbing the Col de Tourmulet

Some people dream of beach holidays with sea sun and San Miguel

For me I dream of great climbs to conquer.

To travel there is easy to get the body ready to do the climb is the hard bit.

So I have decide to post this blog rather than buy a fridge magnet to inspire me to loose enough weight that I can climb anything on a bike.


Maybe next year

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bike talk

Its been a funny old year. Starting late I could eaily have been mistaken for a Cat 7 rider and I even had the Cat 5 tatoos to match. If I wasnt chewing the tape on my handle bars I was spending most of the time "avoir la selle dans le trou du cul" frankly I was a sloth with February legs
When I was out with others I was beaten like a rented Mule.

If I managed to keep up, I was a squirell searching for wheel sucking opportunities, this was usually as the lantern rouge

Then there was the MS 150 and Natchez trace and I started to venture out of the dinning cart. Although I was still a brick, I did get applauded for being a diesel on flat rides.
Now with nearly 4000 miles under my belt Im the caveman that drives the freight train and am totally zoned.

If you have not got a clue what I am on about look on:-

Dictionary of Roadie Slang

AAA -- "When you need a tow....." The one guy in the group that can pull the rest of the group back home after a very hard training ride.

Aaaarg! Ahab! -- When your riding buy has just abused you by beating you on a sprint, climb or some other prime. Traditional response is "Captains got a wooden leg, (repeated)" (In a high pitch voice, similar to that of a pirate's parrot.) The meaning of the reply is that you have just been beaten souny and are spent and must now acknowledge the beating just administered.

Abdou', Doing an Abdou' -- Crashing while sprinting. (After 1991 final stage of the Tour).

All show and no go -- A not so good rider with a state of the art bike and gear.

Amateur mark -- Grease mark on the leg (like a Cat. 5 tattoo or a sprocket bite.)

animal -- Unhuman rider. Someone who rides up mountains in a 100 inch gear.

ate straw -- Lost the line in a tight corner.

Auld Wart -- (Pronounced: "Owwld Waaaaert.") Referring to the old, tough, wizzened guys who have been going out and doing 150 miles at a constant 8 mph every Sunday for the last 70 years. Believed to have been derived from "Old Stalwart", rather than warts of the carbuncular type!

autobus -- In the big tour mountain stages, the group of poor climbers, whostick together and help each other finish inside the time limit. Also called the gruppetto or the laughing group.

Azurri -- Members of the Italian national squad.

- B -
back to basics -- No heart rate monitor or computer. When a roadie says: "I'm back to basics!" his hane bar should be clean.

bagwell -- A region of debris at the intersection of two roads. The debris is swept into a triangular shape by vehicles going ahead, across, and turning right. Bagwells are a hazard to Roadies, but are often mined by Freds for tools, coins, hardware, small parts, and recyclable materials. Bagwells are named after Bryan Bagwell, the Arizona, USA bicyclist and philosopher who first studied and classified them.

Balls are in the purse - When your buddy either won't ride with you or he is exceptionally weak and timid. "Get your balls back from your girlfriends purse!" "You must have left your balls in your purse!".

bake, baked -- Overtrained.

ball tearer -- A very steep though short hill.

BANG! -- According to Stephan J. in Oz, this one had its origins with his mad opera singing roadie mate. It is used to emphasise an action that occurs quickly, i.e. "When I got to the bottom of the hill, BANG!, I attacked." Mulitple BANGS! are used quite often in roadie speak.

base mileage -- You only got on the bike twice this week, and your weekly total is less than 50 miles.

battle scars -- Permanent road rash souvenirs.

Beaten like a rented mule -- see off the back.

bed stick -- What happens the morning after a biff.

bed suck -- When your bed pulls you under and won't let you get out to train.

biff -- Crash.

big meat -- Large chainring.

billy goat -- Superb climber.

bit-a-bit -- See: chaingang.

bloater -- A rider with more muscle than you. See: Fat boy.

blow, blow snot -- Put a finger to a nostril, turn head and BLOW!

blow your ring -- To go too hard and end up cooked, especially in the mide of nowhere. "I ended up blowing my ring and having to grovel about 60 km home."

blow up-- bonk.

bombing - Going very well, similar to driving. "...I was f**king bombing it "

bonk, bonked -- Running out of energy while riding.

bowling for dollars -- A rider crashes and takes down most or all of the Peloton.

box someone in -- Move sideways such that your opponent can't pass. Used in sprints.

brain bucket -- Helmet.

brick -- Bad climber, good descender. Opposite of: kite.

bubba -- (Southern USA) A rude driver, usually in a pickup truck. Can also be used to describe probability of encounter, i.e., "That loop is about a 2 bubba ride." When encountering a bubba, the best response is to smile and wave - that irritates them more than any other response without increasing the os they will come back and make a road pizza out of you...

bucked off -- This term is used for the guy who just hammered the pace line only to get dropped by the next guy's pull.

bug gulp -- Swallowing a flying insect whole, without chewing.

bug gag -- The bug is too big to go down easily.

bunny hop -- Jump over railroad tracks, potholes, curbs, or other riders.

Bunter (Billy Bunter) - similar to Fred - those guys riding to/from work flat out always trying to smash you, yet always get dropped in any race.

burger -- Crash. "He really burgered..."

bushed -- completely exhausted.

bus stop flop -- that humiliating experience when you fail to click out fast enough at a stop sign or intersection and flop over on your side.

bust a gut -- To ride hard, especially when trying to keep up. "I was busting a gut to keep up with that hammerhead!"

- C -
Campag -- (Brit. Abbrev.) Campagnolo. Gruppos from God! (All except for that Athena crap...)

Campy -- (U.S. Abbrev.) Campagnolo. Gruppos from Gawd! (All except for that Chorus crap...)

campy -- Crass, flashy, garish, gaudy. (Sort of like Campy!)

Camp Granola -- Campagnolo, frequent incorrect first reading of the trademark.

cannibal -- Inhumane rider. Eats 'stiques for lunch.

Cannonwhale, Cannonsnail, Cannonball, Cannonwheel -- Cannondale.

carpet fiber -- a carbon fiber bike

carpet sprint -- What happens when you ride off the rollers.

carrot choppers -- Spinergy wheels.

cat and mouse -- Vying for sprint position.

Cat. 5 tatoo -- Grease mark left on the calf from an inexperienced racer (or spaced veteran) leaning up against his chainring. (This is a popular dis in Miami.)

Cat. 7 -- Synonym for Fred.

Cat. 7 move -- A move so inherently stupid and/or dangerous that even a beginning racer or a squirrel wouldn't do it.

caveman -- Someone who's going well.

cavemanned it -- Rode hard.

chaingang -- Very fast training where everybody goes through the line. A large scale team time trial.

charcoal -- Carbon fiber frame.

cheap gap -- When someone runs through traffic or runs a light to get a gap.

chewing hanebar tape -- (Brit./Wirral) This occurs when you are suffering so much that you find yourself head down over the hanebars and you are chewing the tape on your hanebars (in the vain hope, I think, that you might find some energy from it.) Usage: "When we got to the climb I was chewing my hane bar tape".

the chop -- The arrangement whereby riders help each other during a race and share any prize money won. Also called the "joke". One is said to be "in the chop". Illegal, but usual in a country (= Australia) where legal teams are rare.

chopping block -- In a handicap race, the riders who start just ahead of the scratch bunch. (The term comes from their usually hopeless position. They are too far back in the field to win and not fast enough to get the fastest time award).

Cleat Surfing -- A near fall by getting out of your cleat, like Zabel did in the 1999 Tour.

College Boy -- Anyone that doesn't work 40+ hours per week.

compound disappearing hill -- A hill where no matter how long you climb, you're never more than half the way up.

computer geek -- Anybody that spends more than thirty bucks on a cycling computer.

cooked -- Running out of energy while riding.

coffee klatch -- See: tea party.

corncob -- A 13-18 or 12-19 'straight block' fw/cassette that is the gearing of choice for die-hard roadies, (in Nebraska!)

crack&fail, crimp-and-fail -- See Cannonwhale.

cramp-and-go-slow -- Campagnolo.

crayon -- A crash that results in major road rash.

creamed -- Cream crackered. Knackered. Very tired.

creeping - going very bad.

crit twit -- Criterium ace.

coupon, bike coupon -- certificates implicitly granted by spouses, significant others, or bosses which permit participation in cycling related activity. Bike coupons have a fixed value, so that longer and more disruptive activities cost more coupons. Usage: "I can't make the 'Four Hours From Here' Crit tomorrow, I spent too many Bike Coupons on the 'Three Day Weekend' Omnium last week."

cyclometer -- Cycle computer.

Cytocrust -- The sludge that forms on your bike and body after a day or riding and drinking (and spilling) Cytomax.

- D -
DAL -- Dead-ass last, next best thing to DNF.

DFL -- Dead fuckin' last.

DNF -- Did not finish.

dancing on the pedals -- What you do when you ride away from everyone else on a climb.

dangle 'em off the front -- Keeping a breakaway within sight but not closing the gap so as to let them fry themselves up front.

danseuse, "a la danseuse" -- (French: Like a dancer.) When you get out of the sade on a steep incline.

Deathmaster -- (Brit./Wirral) Referring to clincher tyres that were fine in the dry, but as soon as it rained, everybody using them fell off on the first corner.

dead turn -- A time trial turning where you just do a U-turn in the mide of the road. (Banned in most of the UK.)

death ride -- Training ride so hard that everyone is incoherant afterwards.

deep-dish wheels -- Aero disc wheels.

degueuler, "faire degueuler sa bouillie" -- (French: To make someone barf his/her gruel.) Riding hard to try to drop someone.

Delgado, do a Delgado -- Show up late for a race/ride.

devo -- Developmental team rider.

dime roll -- See: corncob.

diesel -- Someone who can churn along at a steady pace for a long pull.

dine off the big plate -- Use the big ring.

In the dining car -- sitting at the back of the peloton.

dinner plate -- The big ring. (As opposed to the salad plate.)

doggin' it -- Sitting on and getting paced for a later attack.

doing the bungee -- This is used to describe the continuous wheelsucking / drafting of a riding partner. (being pulled along by attaching a bungee cord).

Doing the Zabel -- see Cleat surfing.

double -- Measure of distance. "I did a double bottle (or) double bonk."

double clanger -- English for double chainring.

drag strip -- A very fast TT course , usually a traffic assisted dual carriageway.

driver -- Someone always on the front upping the tempo eg Hes a hell driver.

driving -- When youre having a good day - eg. I was f**king driving the break.

dummy -- Spat the dummy', as in 'he spat the dummy'. Used in Australia. A 'dummy' is a baby's pacifier. This means 'got dropped' (off the back).

- E -
Eie Bullshit -- Coaching tips of dubious worth. "He learned it all from E.B."

Elvis -- "I was seeing Elvis!" I was hurting real bad out there. (Stolen from Clara Hughes on CBC during 1994 TdF Femme coverage.) Opposite of: Tesh.

Erwin, doing an Erwin -- When a rider riding at the front sets a heavy tempo that the rest of the bunch don't wanna do, hence he tends to roll off the front on his own. The Erwin came about from the 93' Tour when Erwin Nijboer from Benesto was setting a heavy tempo in the front of the peloton. Big Mig rolls through the bunch up to the front called out "Erwin, Erwin" then flicks his head back to indicate "Slow down, I don't want you to set this tempo."

EWD -- Extreme Wiener Discomfort, (aka: penile numbness).

Eyeballs Out -- Going very hard, generally up to a break.


fat boy -- A rider with more muscle than you, (especially above the waist.)

FDGB -- Fall down, go boom. Usually accompanied by dirty looks from the


February legs -- That heavy, stoney feeling in your thighs.

feeling the chain -- A good pull; a good burn. "I was feeling the chain after that pull."

filcked, flicked -- Dropped from the group.

flat liner -- A rider who is good on the flat, but as soon as the road goes up, gets shelved .

flathead calves -- Legs that are in fatless form.

fork plant -- What happens after you realize that your front skewer wasn't as tight as it should have been...

foxing -- Deliberately riding bay, in the hope of getting a better handicap. An ancient Australian tradition in the weeks before a big race.

Fred -- Anyone who is marching to the beat of a different drummer. A newbie.

Freida -- Female Fred.

Freight Train -- Big guys that take a long time to get up to speed then hold a VERY fast pull at the front while everyone barely hangs on over the flats.

friction -- Forget all that integrated indexed crap, good old friction this is the system of choice for retro-grouches.

fridge magnet -- a wheel sucker, someone who does no work at the front.

fried -- Overtrained.

funmeter -- heart rate monitor.

furry frisbee -- Road kill; road pizza; flattened fauna.

- G -
gapping someone off the back -- Riders in a break take turns creating a gap at the back and bridging, with a non-working break member on their wheel, forcing the non-working member to jump repeatey.

Garanimal -- A novice, devo animal.

gentle jaunt -- See: nooing.

ginchy -- A bike part that is new and pretty cool. "Nice ginchy stem!"

ginzooed -- What happens to your leg or knee when a spoke on a Spinergy wheel delaminates from the rim.

girlie -- (Aust.) Aussie term for Trixie.

go till ya' blow -- Self explanitory.

going like... a donkey/a bag of shit/a girl -- Riding bay. (Ed: obviously not all roadies are PC!)

gone, he's gone -- A roadie that doesn't join the bunch ride at 7:00 am Sat/Sun Morning because of either: a) a new girlie, or b) pressure from the Mrs. (Usage: "Where's Mark?" "He's gone!")

goo, goop -- Carbo gel.

good set -- Several good waves in close succession. "I got spat out one good wave and caught a second straight away, good set!"

good wave -- A truck that you managed to catch just right and clocked up 50 km/h following for a few minutes before you lost them or blew up - "That was a good wave, if only I hadn't been spat out." (See: surfing.)

goose, goosed -- Nudged off balance; knocked off your sled.

granny gear -- a very low gear, say 39 x 28. (So low your grandmother could turn it).

gravity sled -- the effect of normal people and gravity. The tag given to people who pass those on the way down who passed them on the way up.

gravity tattoo -- The scar on your skin that is a permanent reminder of a serious crash.

greased out -- See: biff.

grenaded -- You blew up. Also, catastrophic equipment failure, eg: "His derailleur granaded, dude!"

grid -- a bike.

grind -- Pedal slowly in a big gear.

grovel -- A hill you end up in your lowest gear for. "That hill was a real grovel." Also used on the flat when you have blown your ring.

grovelling -- Riding bay.

gruppetto -- In the big tour mountain stages, the group of poor climbers, whostick together and help each other finish inside the time limit. Also called the autobus or the laughing group.

gut spray, gopher juice -- What gets splattered over your legs when a truck runs over fresh road pizza.

gutterball -- Strung out in the gutter in a crosswind.

- H -
4-H training -- Headwinds, hills, heat and humidity; all at the same time!

habble to the gallop -- (Scots.) When you want to do a muscle popping sprint. "Habble to the Gallop, Lads!"

half-wheel hell -- Riding with a hammerhead.

hammer, drop the hammer -- See: throw down the hammer.

hammerhead -- Someone who refuses to EVER ride easy.

hammerfest -- A brutally fast ride or race.

hill -- Anything you have to change down a gear for.

hill, big -- Anything you have to change down more than one gear for.

hit list -- These are the riders that have attcked and dropped you when you have been down on form, or comming back from an injury. Usage: "When I get back in form, those pricks are on my hit list."

hit the wall -- (1) Bonking. (2) What happens after you depart from your rollers very unexpectey.

hoopski -- When you have gone so hard and your ring hangs out (like a hoop).

horse -- Bicycle.

hot stuff -- Disenfectant to heal tar burns. "Give me the hot stuff."

human crayons -- Cat. 5 racers.

human lung -- A rider who doesn't need to breathe while everone else is gasping.

hunger knock, hunger flat -- Bonk.

- I -
"I'm at the end of a hard training session." -- What you say when an MTB rips past you on a hill.

"I'm at the end of a hard training session." -- What you say when an MTB dusts you on a flat.

invisible hill -- A headwind.

interval -- What you do when a dog is chasing you.

iron, ironclad -- A steel bike.

- J -
Jaboffo, Jaboff
-- An ancient term (mid 70's) used when describing a Fred.

jam -- Keep a fast pace.

joke -- See "the chop"

- K -
kicked down
-- Rode really fast. "We kicked down on our race last Saturday."

kicking, getting a kicking, getting your head kicked in -- (Brit./Wirral) This occurs when you are up against a rider or group of riders who are going far better than you. You end up getting your proverbial head kicked in. Usage: "Those guys were going so well! They gave me a right kicking" or "They kicked my head in on that last climb". (Chris Boardman uses this one a lot -- displaying his roots perhaps?)

kite -- Good climber, bad descender. Opposite of: brick.

knackered -- Running out of energy while riding.

knock -- Run out of energy while riding. "Got the knock."

knocking and pinging -- Running out of energy while riding uphill.

- L -
lantern rouge
-- (French: Red light.) Awarded to last rider in. (From the red light that hangs on the last car of a train.) laughing group -- The guys just trying to finish the race.

left -- Front. (Left shift lever controls front D.)

light at the end of the tunnel -- DFL. "I saw the light at the end of the tunnel!" (Usually the lantern rouge.)

limit -- The group receiving the biggest start in a handicap. (Australian). Those who ride off the limit are the limities.

Lloyd -- A triathelete.

Lollipops -- Speedplay pedals.

long thin line -- A pagoda dragon just waiting to happen.

lost the remote -- When your Mavic Zap goes nuts.

lunch(ed) -- To break your equipment, "He lunched his chain/wheel/shifters, et al.

- M -
-- Those that work more than 40 hours per week

melba--As in melba toast. Overtrained really bad.

"burnt melba toast" is even worse.

melon -- Head.

minute man -- The man in front of you in a time trial.

mission -- Ride. "I know where THAT is... That's a long fucking mission from here!"

mobile -- Bicycle.

moocher -- Somebody that never has his own tools.

more yammerin' than hammerin' -- An easy ride.

- N -
Newton's First Principle
-- Fruit Newtons never stay whole for more than 20 miles on any ride!

No cop... no stop! -- (Come on, we all know this one...)

nobodies -- Riders who are not worth chasing when they attack because you know you will catch them a few klicks down the road. Usage: "I don't chase nobodies."

nooe, nooing -- Out for an easy ride; recovery ride.

novice - Fred/Bunter, eg when a bunter attacks you and you pass him a minute later you say to him "...youre a f**king novice mate".

- O -
off from the blocks -- Meaning as soon as you get the go ahead to start, you attack.

on the gear -- A roadie that is allegey taking performance enhancing substances.

on the juice -- As above.

organ donor -- A helmetless rider.

Ouch! -- What you say when you cut yourself while shaving your legs.

- P -
pace line
-- The line of people going through at the front of the bunch.

pagoda dragon -- The snaking motion a long line of racers forms in a straightaway as each guy tries to hang on to the wheel of the guy in front of him.

pack foer -- What you are when you can't crack the top 20 in a race.

parade -- Slow part of race.

the pea -- The rider chosen by his team to win the race by sprinting.

pea picking -- Same as "gapping someone off the back"

peg -- The scratch mark in a handicap. (Australian).

pegging the funmeter -- reaching max heart rate on a tough ride.

perf -- Flat. "Too bad, right perf!"

permafour -- A rider who will be a life-time (permanent) Category 4.

piano -- Going very slowly in a road race. "They rode the first 20 miles piano."

pisser, "faire pisser le chien" -- (French: To take the dog out for a leak.) To have an easy ride.

played speed bump -- Biffed at the front of the pack.

Plastic Fantastic - composite frame.

poacher -- A person that rides with the participants in a charity ride but does not pay the entry fee.

podium pose -- What the sponsors pay you for.

pooch polo -- This is the time-honored tradition of using a frame pump to dissuade the pursuing dog from having your leg for lunch. (Midwestern USA term.)

popped -- Blown.

poser exposer-- Any big enough hill that when ridden at speed will dropsome riders in the pack, thus exposing them as posers.

potty stop -- That short break you sometimes need to get rid of your superfluous fluids.

potty finger -- When your riding partner has taken offense to something said or done to him/her, the partner extends the middle finger of either hand in the traditional manner. Also used to let the person in front of you know their barb or action has struck home.

PowerBarf -- Maybe that Berry bar wasn't such a good idea after all...

pray the rosary -- What you do when you suddenly realize that the line you're on will bisect the bale of hay/car/wall in front of you.

PREEM! -- What you yell at the Cat. 4 who rhymes "prime" with "time".

Prime-Madonna -- Obnoxious prime racer.

pump the big meat -- Push a big gear.

- Q -
-- an upper catagory woman, one with epic quads as in mythologic Greek proportions.

Quad-God -- male equivalent of "quaddess".

- R -
-- A hill, usually a pretty good hill.

real cyclist -- You are only a Real Cyclist when the net worth of your cycling equipment exceeds the net worth of your automobile(s) by a factor of >= 3!

retro-grouch -- A roadie with a friction ironclad and not a gram of titanium anywhere.

Reverse attack --see off the back.

rice and potatoes -- What the College Boys eat. (Why waste money on food when you need a pair of Ti skewers!)

rig -- Bicycle.

got the rig -- When you run out of gas in a sprint.
rib tickler -- Really tough climb

ring sting -- synonym for sprocket bite.

right -- Rear. (Right shift lever controls the rear D.)

rivet, put to the rivet, on the rivet -- Pace is so fast you think you're gonna see Elvis. (This is a reference to Brooks Pro saddles which have copper rivets.)

road pizza -- Road kill; furry frisbees; flattened fauna.

road rash -- Abrasion from sliding on pavement after a crash.

roadie -- Cyclists that like to put their rubber on something HARD!

roadie mate -- A cycling buy. The person who calls your significant other after a really bad crash. (Significant others are seldom roadie mates...)

rough stuff -- Gravel, shoulder of the road.

rubberband -- When your attack fails, the pack catches you and spits you out the back.

- S -
-- Schwanz Kompression. (German: numb nuts.)

salad plate -- The small ring. (As opposed to the dinner plate.)

saucer -- A track

sawed off -- Stuck in the back group when the pack splits.

selle, "avoir la selle dans le trou du cul" -- (French: To have the saddle in the asshole.) To go at one's maximum. See: rivet.

shat out -- Dropped.

shelled out the back -- The most violent form of being dropped.

Shit-mano -- Shimano, used by riders who discover that last year's thingamagic is incompatible with this year's whatyamcallit.

shoot the gap -- Trying to go from the pack to catch the break.

single -- a tubular tyre.

singled out -- No, not an MTV game show... (Yes a couple of programs even made it to England!) When the bunch has become a single pace line.

sit 'n spin -- Those practice sprints in your 42-19.

sitting on -- following a group of riders purely to save energy.

sitting on the sofa -- Sitting in during a large group ride or race.

sketchy -- A dangerous rider or riding style.

skirt ride, wearin' the skirt -- When your girlfriend kicks your (and all the other boys) ass up every hill or if you're feeling execptionally fatigued. "Thanks for the skirt sweetheart!" , "I need to ditch the skirt!".

slap your melon on the tarmac -- Hit your head on the ground.

sled -- Bicycle.

slinky, caught in the slinky -- What happens in a mixed category race to the riders in the back of the pack when the mide of the pack slows and forces them to sprint back on... in every corner. As in: "I got trashed when I got caught in the slinky."

sloth -- Early season body type.

skid lid -- Helmet.

smash -- like "I'll smash ya on the next ride you bastard". What you so when you work someone over real bad on a ride.

snake -- Sprinter who knows how to come out of the pack to win a field sprint.

snork, snorking -- (Pacific NorthWest), see blow, blow snot.

snot -- In northeast England, a very steep short hill.

snot rocket -- See blow, blow snot.

snot shot -- To catch someone's blow. "I got snot shot."

spent -- See: cooked.

spin and grin -- Having a fun time in a low gear.

spit -- Dropped by the pack.

spit out -- A more violent form of getting spit. "Spit out like a sour grape."

sponsor cloth -- The wet washcloth you keep zip-locked in your kit bag. For cleaning up before a podium pose.

sprocket bite -- Grease mark left on the calf from an inexperienced racer (or spaced veteran) leaning up against his chainring (synonym for a Cat. 5 tattoo). Also called ring sting.

spuds -- SPD pedals/cleats.

spun out, hyper-spins -- What one does on downhills in the spring.

squirrel -- That rider who always seems to be in front of the crash that he causes by his obnoxious riding. A rider who rides in a dangerous, unpredictable fashion. The term comes from the way squirrels act when crossing the road, darting back and forth in an attempt to be as unpredictable as possible. Or, the one you aim for with your car after the race to make into road kill.

squirrel cage -- A track

stealth -- Composite frame. "His sponsor put him on stealth this year."

steed -- Bicycle.

straight block, blitzkrieger -- See corncob. A 12-18 or 13-19 freewheel.

strung out -- Fast pace.

sucking diesel -- Cycling very well / very fast (Irish expression). "Now we're sucking diesel !"

sucking wheel -- Drafting.

surf -- Synonym to sittin on the sofa, hiding in the pack trying not to do any work, as in: "I don't care about this race, I'm just gonna surf."

surf cam -- Like car cam. What you call the people looking out of the back of the bus at you busting your gut surfing. "Hey look, we're on surf cam again!"

surfing -- To utilise trucks slipstreams for increased speed and decreased effort for short periods.

swag -- Any prime that isn't cold hard cash.

sweet one -- The high octane bottle.

swinger -- A rider who leads out the "pea" at the finish, then obstructs the rest of the field.

swingin' -- Hanging on for dear life. "I got into a break with Norm Alvis and Steve Hegg and I was swingin' at the back!"

- T -
-- What you say about your wheel after it's been badly bent, almost in the shape of a Taco.

tail-ender -- DFL in the overall classification of a stage race.

tailgunning -- Technique for hanging on the back of the pack, allowing gaps but regaining contact whenever the pace slows.

tar burns -- What appears on your body after tar surfing. (If it was only as much fun as receiving carpet burns!)

tar surfing -- Crash on the tarmac.

targets -- Commuter cyclists, those who don't wear cycle shorts and travel at about half your speed.

target practice -- Cycling at rush hour, picking off commuter cyclists left, right and center.

tarmac -- Hard stuff, ground.

taste lung -- Go way anaerobic. Really hammer.

tater -- Collapsing a spoked wheel into that familiar potato chip shape. "Man! When I hit that big chuckhole I tatered my front wheel."

tea party -- See: yammering, coffee klatch.

Ten man/Five man -- The fast seeded men in British time trials. Seeding going in order, 10,5,1,6,2,7,3,8,4,9.

Technicolor yawn --Throw up, vomit.

Tesh -- "I was so Zoned, I thought I heard John Tesh playing." Opposite of: Elvis.

tester -- Term of derision for anyone that can ride faster than you.

through and off -- See: chaingang.

throw down the hammer -- When those really strong guys let you know that they are strong.

Ti -- Titanium.

ti guy -- Titanium-ophile.

tin can -- Any aluminum frame.

toasted -- Overtrained.

Tom Tipp -- Same as squirrel.

tow in -- what you do for a friend after he blows up.

tour guide -- A hammerhead at the front who sets a pace no one else can carry. No one pulls through, and he doesn't mind. Eventually, everyone just settles in and goes along for the ride. "Terry was our Tour Guide heading North on Snowberry the other night."

trailer -- A person in a breakaway who can do little more than hang on the back of the break for dear life. "I got in the break with Chad and Eric, but I was pretty much just a trailer."

tri-head -- A triathlete.

tri-sport, tri-geek -- A friggin' triathlete.

Trixie -- A roadie's spouse.

truck boost -- Taking advantage of a truck's slipstream.

tubie -- Sew up/tubular tire.

Tupperware -- same as plastic fantastic.

turkey tracks -- grease mark on the right calf left by the chainring.

- U -
-- Hurt.

"It's going to be ugly." I'm going to put a hurting on you guys.
"It was ugly." They put a hurting on me.
unobtanium -- The newest and most expensive alloy.

used and abused -- Got jumped in the break.

- V -
Velo Snooze
-- The journal of bicycle racing.

vulture -- To circle at the top of a hill waiting for slower "friends".

- W -
wack, wacked
-- Running out of energy while riding.

weekend warrior - see Bunter.

whack your bean -- To hit your head (as in, while falling...)

wheel suck -- Someone who sticks to your ass like snot to a fingernail.

wheel kiss -- The kissing sound made when a wheel suck gets too close and rubber rubs.

wheel fuck(ed) -- When your spokes end up attached to a wheel suck's wheel.

whiner -- Someone who fights the commissars over 19th place.

win hands down -- An easy victory.

wipe out -- To fail to catch a wave while surfing.

wipe out big time -- To crash while surfing.

wipe out really big time -- To crash up the arse of the bus or truck you are surfing.

- Y -
yammer, yammering
-- Chatting on the bike.

yard-sale -- An extreme biff; stuff scattered about like a yard sale.

- Z -
Zoned, In the Zone
-- When you're leading a pack of hammerheads and spinning fine and there's no where else on Earth you'd rather be!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We are going on a Bear Hunt

When my children were younger I used to read to them avidly- like most dads.
One of the stories I liked most, which fortunately they enjoyed too was 'Going on a Bear Hunt'. For the uninitiated its about a journey through a variety of different terrains and the regular proclamation that fear was not on the agenda, well something like that.

Well last Saturday brought a similar Journey. I was joined by Simon and we decided to head North.

Not North as say, North into the Wolds. But north and north again.
Into and over the Wolds, across the Vale of York, Dalby Forrest and onto the Wild North Yorkshire Moors.
I was quite content that no large fury mammal was going to be able to out pace me, but with the weather forecast threatening the warmest day of the year, and strong south westerly breezes I was slightly concerned about the rigours of the road.

The plan was to cycle to Grosmont, to get the steam train back to Pickering and then get a lift back home.

As Simon had not been through Dalby Forrest I thought it would be a good idea to include it in our schedule. On my map it showed a turn off midway through the Forrest that cut through to the moor, so it was not too much of a diversion.
Dalby Forrest is used by Mountain Bikers and is often the host for the National Mountain biking championships. On a weekend it is bustling with our 'wide tyred' colourful cousins especially at weekends. Although we are all cyclists their appearance, language and gestures are very different I guess the closest comparison would be between skiers and snowboarde.It pretty much consists of great climbs and eye watering descents even on the black top roads which are used to access the myriad of Forrest trails.

After about ten miles into the Forrest I was starting to feel the fatigue of a weeks cycling and there was as much 'grunt' as gradient and we had not even come to our turn off.
A few miles further we exited the Forrest which definitely was not supposed to happen.

A friendly ranger stopped and pointed out to us that the turning we were looking for was one of the mountain bike tracks, which eventually turned into a road.

I don't like the word 'Eventually.

Its a long word with too many letters, it takes more than a second to say. In my mind it often describes something a task or journey that is harder and longer than is anticipated.

I was reminded of my Bear song ....... 'You cant go over it, you cant go under have to go through it'

Simon and I both looked at our brand new tyres and decided that common sense/ cowardice should prevail. We would retrace our tracks and enter the moor on a more conventional road.
The A169!!!!!

All though this road was conventional in that it was made of tarmac it had been adapted to ensure that any cyclist would end up with blistered hands and a numb bum. There were pot holes ever few feet and the surface felt like it had been covered with golf balls
Added to that the road was steep, testing and winding in the same direction as the wind which meant that our speed nullified any cooling effect of the wind - making it very hot.

The views were breathtaking though and there were no bears, although this is where they filmed 'An American Werewolf in London'.

With our earlier detour we had added on an extra 20 miles so we decided to stop at Goathland or for TV viewers Aidensfield (Heartbeat)

All in all it was a great ride, I just love going on the moors.


Sunday saw my first proper evaluation of my new skins clothing.

I have agreed to do a cross section of rides to fully test out the clothing during the Tour de France.

This will take in some of the features of a tour. My assignment is as follows:-

Week 1: Time Trial (15km over a flat route)
Week 2: Hill stage (120km which takes in two hills – one between 5 and 8% and the other between 10 and 12%. Neither should be any more than 5km of climbing)
Week 3: Road stage (150km flat route)
On Sunday I completed the Time Trial. I completed the ride in 26'15" with an average speed of 21.3 mph. My evaluation is as follows:-

Bib Shorts
What I wear over my engine is the most important piece of cycling clothing for me.

Whether you wear shorts or bib shorts if you are not comfortable, getting any rhythm is nigh on impossible and it can can ruin your ride experience.

Having large quads I do find all my bib shorts too restrictive on the lower leg hem, which often has grippers or some form of localised elasticity.

With skins the material does the work unaided, hugging the leg rather than strangling it and making it feel warm and secure.

I don't know what Multi-D Anatomic Carbonium means in describing the chamois but its net effect was like sitting on a feathered cushion, a feeling I like, but rarely experience outside my lounge.
At the same time there was no unwanted movement within the saddle.
The material felt good to the touch and was sympathetic with all movement.

These get 10/10 in my book
Base layer tank top

I have always been a wearer of compression type undergarments and for me this was an area where I could make significant comparisons. The skins base layer was far thinner and more breathable than the competition yet it still retained compression qualities in the right places. On such a hot day I would have expected to felt as if I were being 'poached' but the garment seemed to have a cooling effect.
I wish they sent me two! I have not seen anything like it on the market.

These get 11/10 !!!!!

Short Sleeved Jersey
After ensuring that I had chosen the right size my first impressions of this garment was that it was too small for my barrel chested frame and I was overcome with a sense of disappointment.

However this feeling was short lived.

This is compression clothing of the highest order.

Made up of a number of different panels the material is designed to move the way your body does and in the same direction. Its not just a design concept that you get to read on the box you can actually feel it.

With meshed under arm vents, reflective logo and vertical pockets at the rear it also oozed style. The material was silky to the touch and felt great inside and out.

For me it was not the most flattering of garments to wear but that's about the manikin and not about the garment.

These get 9/10


Skins are pretty much how they are described, like a second skin.

If you closed your eyes for a moment it would not be implausible to believe you were riding naked apart from wearing a helmet. The price range is competitive with top of the range cycling clothing but with a lot more to offer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mark Renshaw gets the nod for me

Race director's rant over Mark Renshaw 'headbutts' was plain wrong

report by Brenden Gallagher of The Telegraph

'It may be just a coincidence but Sebastien Chabal – known as The Animal in these parts – was the Tour's guest of honour on Thursday and it was a joy to see the look on his face when asked about the Mark Renshaw "headbutts" after Mark Cavendish's win. Child's play compared with what you see every week in French club rugby.
Officially of course the rugged French back-five forward could not approve or be over enthusiastic but the twinkle in his eyes and smile told another tale. Chabal is no stranger to the dark arts himself and clearly approved of a man who looks after his own in such a determined fashion.
Chabal's reaction was not isolated. As you might expect the debate is raging and a couple of points keep emerging that are probably worth reiterating.

Firstly Renshaw is one of the sanest, soundest and best blokes in the peloton with no previous. He is much respected for his bike handling and generally safe approach to the full-on sprint finishes we love to see. He is paid a lot of money to deliver his man – Mark Cavendish – safely to the line, the emphasis being on safely because you have to finish to win. A crash or racing incident is the last thing he wants. There has to be a reason why he acted in such a manner and we should probably give a bit more credence to his explanation. He at least deserved a hearing.
To my mind it was totally unacceptable for the Tour's technical commissioner Jean-Francois Pescheux to rant like a man who has had too much sun just minutes after the incident, boasting that he only needed one viewing of the incident to decide that Renshaw had to be thrown off the Tour.

Excuse me. Such a huge decision with ramifications for Renshaw's future career and Mark Cavendish's green jersey hopes needed to be made in an air conditioned room after a couple of Perriers following an examination of everything went on. Two riders got a mere 400 euro fine over the weekend after a couple of hours of inquest for an ugly stand-up find the other day at the end of the stage. A summary ejection warranted a tad more investigation surely?

Pescheux remember is the guy who made that shocking call on the hoof last week when he allowed Fabian Cancellara and senior members of the peloton to persuade him that there should be no racing on the Spa stage and that the sprinters should not be allowed to compete for points at the end of a stage when conditions were fine and a large crowd awaited. He seems a bit of a maverick at the very least.

To these eyes Julian Dean – looking really fit and fast on this tour by the way – nonetheless shaped to cut across Renshaw fractionally before he had earned the right and it was that provoked the Aussie who was leading out Cavendish hard on the left hand barriers. On close inspection of the video the three butts – not two please note Mr Pescheux – were clearly aimed at Dean's shoulder in what seems a legitimate attempt to get Dean to back off.

Within the rules Renshaw, or any other rider, is not allowed to take his hands of the handlebars although if you study any bunch finish in detail you will see pushing, shoving and quite frequently punching. Indeed you will see a proper tete a tete in most finishes as well. The cycling press is full of such pictures.

It's a jungle out there and that's why we love the sprints and crashes are replayed ad-infinitum and it doesn't sit well when the law makers ssuddnely tart getting all pious. It is all part of the sport.

Exhausted and frazzled by nearly five hours in the saddle on a day when the temperature soared into the mid 40s Renshaw overreacted and should have been disciplined in some way but the margins are very thin when extreme sportsmen are racing flat out. The aftermath was surely the time for cool heads to come together'

Of course this is does not reflect the total harmony between our antipodean cousins who are renowned for there good sportsmanship and competitive edge.

Commentators are calling Renshaws (Aussie) movement a 'headbutt'.

I am certain If they had ever been victim to such a movement they might revise their terminology. I saw it as a legitimate reminder to Dean (NZ) that he was impinging on Renshaws line. (like sailing into Botany bay without a Visa). I admired his stance and was pleased to see him stick up for himself. I would have expected nothing less and he can be my lead out man any day.

As far as the later blocking of Tyler Farrar is concerned I do concede that he blocked the Americans line, but no more or less than we see everyday in these sorts of sprints. It was only because his original transgression was micro analysed that this was too. Cavendish had already been released and had the stage wrapped up.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Over the past decade sports clothing has changed considerably and has played an increasingly more significant part in performance.

As well as the obvious aerodynamic qualities it has been recognised that the tension of clothing on the skin can also directly effect physical performance.

I have been wearing a compression vest under my cycle jersey for a couple of years without the full knowledge of the total benefits.

My motivation was pure vanity as it went some was to disguising my middle aged spread.
I did however always feel more comfortable which in turn made me feel more compact and efficient.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a fellow cyclist who asked me if I would be willing to trial out the new cycling Range C400 from 'Skins'.
I instantly recognised the company name as being in the forefront of sports clothing Technology.

I am not totally sure why I was asked, but I needed little time to consider.
It also gave me the incentive to do some research into the subject, the evidence is very compelling.

As I was cycling home from work today I knew that my skins parcel was going to be waiting for me so I decoded to cycle as fast as I could, all be it on my more demanding hill route.
As I started climbing I noticed a old man on a tourer carrying two large panier's.

He was about 400 meters behind me.
To my surprise within minutes I was aware of his presence directly behind me.
I was not aware of any retired 'Tour de France' winners in Hull and felt deflated, after all I was going full tilt.
I dug deeper and pushed harder..........still he was behind me.

By this time I was burring myself and knew I could not sustain the pace.

Cockily he then eased up beside me and said 'Good Afternoon'
I was always taught to respect my elders, but there was a passing thought that I might just nudge him off balance. Before the thought had fully registered in the darker side of my brain my attention was drawn to one of his panier's.

It appeared to contain a large battery with wires that travelled up to the front wheel which looked oddly peculiar. His feet were moving at a fraction of my own, but his right hand was skillfully pushing his throttle to the maximum.

'Good afternoon Fabian' I replied but I think the joke was lost on him.

When I got home my parcel awaited me and I frantically opened it with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning.

Three beautifully boxed items greeted me.
A tank base layer, a short sleeved jersey and some bib shorts.
My initial impressions were that they oozed quality.

I had chosen the sizes from the size guide on the website as instructed.
Usually size guides for cycling clothing are just that 'Guides'.
I have previously purchased jerseys sized XXXL which would barley fit a 7 year old boy.
In this case the guide was perfect.
Without hesitation I decided to wear my new garments to watch the highlights of the Tour de France. It seemed the right thing to do.
I cant wait to test them for real.

Thank you Matt

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sir Lancelot and the bikes of the round table

With our host nation knocked out of the World cup there are some very long faces at work -all except mine.
Don't get me wrong I am as Patriotic as the next man , but somehow I just don't 'get it' with football.

Some may accuse me of being a snob, trying to distance myself from some of our more traditional supporters.
The ones who would have difficulty spelling 'England' and who really believe that a guy called 'George' actually killed a dragon.
I guess I like my patriotic leanings to get behind sports with a more gladiatorial element to it, where beauty and brutality share the same table.
Having been brought up playing Rugby I soon realised the importance of 'giving blood'.
I remember it was way before my first visit to the official blood donor caravan, with the anticipation of Tea, biscuits and the smile of a pretty nurse.

With 'Rugby' broken limbs halted performance, not negotiated expenses or ruined perms.
Fortunately at that time I never owned a Road bike or had any knowledge, understanding or inclination to get into road cycling.
If I had I am sure I would never have drunk a Yard of ale or learned the words to vulgar rugby songs.
Being concerned about my apparent cheeriness one of my long faced colleagues asked me what sport I really liked to watch.
when I replied 'Tour cycling' he laughed.
For clarification he asked 'You mean you like to watch a load of guys ride from A to B in a series of races'
'That's precisely what I mean' I answered
Feeling for the poor chap I asked him to take a seat and tried to sell my new beloved product.
The Tour de france is gladiatorial and complex, there are alliances made and broken, there are conquests and sacrifices.
There is rich pageantry and symbolism.
There is blood....lots of it, sweat too ..........and for some tears.
It is all contested behind the most magnificent, moving backdrop of assorted terrains, elements and support.
There are Captains of Fortune, foot soldiers and supreme tacticians.
Then there is hype, scandal and spinning of a totally different type.
One of the more interesting sub plots is the battle between the current Champion Alberto Contador (perceived as unbeatable by many) and the Master himself Sir Lancelot with his knights of the radio shack team.
After being beaten by Contador last year Armstrong said of his pretender 'He has a lot to learn'. Somehow I believe that Lance wants to be teacher to.

After just the first days prologue which was less than ten miles there were so many talking points.
Lance Armstrong surprisingly beat all of his GC Contenders and fired a warning over the handle bars of the Astana Leader -Contador.
1-0 Armstrong.
Contador stating that he was disappointed with his performance.
His manager stupidly stating the Armstrong would not be able to match the Spaniard in the Mountains.
2-0 Armstrong (If that's what you think - Why say it? Especially after his leaders recent exploits in the Dauphine)
Alberto must be sick of the sight of the Radio shack jersey.
Whilst climbing the L'Alpe d'Huez in the Criterium du Dauphine he was shadowed by Armstrongs climbing scout Jani Brajkovic and dispite 6 energy sapping attempts he was unable to dislodge him.
If you take that into consideration I make that
3-0 to Armstrong.
Anyway as we all know, its a game of two halves, and its not all over till the fat lady sings.
She is not due on stage for a few weeks yet !!!!!!
With major crashes on the following two days and EVERY GC rider hitting the deck at least once, I think that I have found my new Gladitorial Sport and the only thing that I can really predict is compulsive viewing.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Pick your Fantasy Team for this years Tour de France with Velogames
You are only allowed to use 100 points so you have to use your brain cells.

Here is my Choice
Travels with my Mules Fantasy Team

Ivan BASSO (LIQ) 16
Robert GESINK (RAB) 12
Maxime MONFORT (COL) 6
Juan Antonio FLECHA (SKY) 6

Sorry Bradley................