As the page turns…

What are we gonna do now?
What are we gonna do now?

I was raised on a diet of surreal humour, fed with great gusto by my father.  In fact, love for shows such as The Goons, Monty Python and Spike Milligan’s almost forgotten ‘Q’ series was something that split our family neatly along gender lines – dad and me chortled heartily at the absurdly non-conformist sketches, while mum and sister remained resolutely mirth-free throughout.

Spike and friends acting normally...

I haven’t thought about the Q shows for a good while, but in the past few days I could almost picture myself in one of their signature moments, when for no apparent reason the sketch would come to an abrupt halt, leaving the cast to step slowly towards the camera, muttering “What are we gonna do now?” over and over again (visit YouTube if you want to see what I’m talking about).

Right now I feel like I’m in the same boat and the timing is quite unfortunate.  Just as interest in this blog has exploded, I find myself with precious little to write about.  What are we gonna do now, indeed?

The 2010/11 UK cycle racing season is officially over, as of today.  All the British Cycling points that have been won in the previous 12 months will be reset to zero by morning.  My six points from Dunsfold and Goodwood have thus earned me a final position of joint 13th in the South East regional 4th Cat standings, something which is a lot less impressive than it sounds, given that anyone scoring more than nine points automatically moves up and out of the rankings as they become 3rd Cats.

Thankfully turbo training in the tool shed like this is a thing of the past... I can now use my nice warm office!

I have no plans to race again until January at the earliest, a situation that’s seriously affected my motivation for training.  That and the need to layer-up like Sir Ranulph Fiennes just to do a quick 30-miler around the muddy Sussex lanes.  The turbo trainer is, once again, poised to be my cycling companion for the foreseeable future, a situation that feels about as enticing as a visit to the dentist for root canal work.  With no anaesthetic.

It’s also left me racking my brains about suitable cycling-related subjects to maintain a bit of reader interest in the blog during the racing downtime.

The bottom line is that, because I’ve never had one in my life before, I’m not used to dealing with a sporting offseason.  To be sure, it’s a time to relax the lifestyle constraints imposed by my racing schedule over the past nine months.  I’ve already managed to give myself one rotten, vomit inducing hangover; something I shall be keen not to repeat as it’s an extremely unseemly way for a middle aged man to behave.

I also need to adjust my ‘refuelling’ to more closely match my reduced level of exercise, something that’s proving very difficult as I presently have the appetite of ten bears.  I’ve already slapped on two kilos compared to my racing weight and there’ll be more to come if I’m not careful.

But most of all I need to start thinking about ways to improve the things I’m crap at, so I can enter next season a more competitive rider than the one who’s just hung up his wheels on this season.

That means – oh yes! – getting some external help, either direct coaching or at the very least obtaining some sort of tailored training plan to carry me through the winter break.  Moves are afoot in this direction as I write, so there’ll be some news for all to share in due course.

One thing that is inked into my diary is a day of specific sprint training, taking place at the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in West London next February.  Organised through the Surrey League, the SprintFest promises all sorts of skills exercises to help the likes of me become better at the noble art of bunch gallops.  I’m really looking forward to it.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy Christmas and all that it entails, do my best to keep a modicum of fitness in my legs, then get properly back on it in January.  Suffering, sacrifice, sprinting, success… bring it on!

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7 Responses to As the page turns…

  1. David B says:

    You should be starting your training now for January! Not in January! Get on the turbo man! All the pain will be worth it in the new year :)

  2. Rupert says:

    You have all the Knowledge a cyclist could ever need with the likes of the Marowski Brothers in your cycling club. I was going to chuck a load of advice to you but decided against it except for this :-

    Don’t train hard on the bike during December have a rest, get a cold, eat the wrong things, see friends drink too many beers with them. See your partner let her get used to you being at home on a Sunday morning. Grow the hair on your legs. Design some more T-shirts and mugs.
    Do train your core, like to the point of getting a six pack ready for Mr Universe.
    Master the ability to do 100 press ups without getting out of breath.
    Always do your clubs clubruns and stay at the back pushing less fit people up the hills.
    If other people are pushing you, embrace the shame and remember it each time your giving it your all in February.

    January
    First two weeks start with steady rides but do one ride with other fitter cyclist that makes you cry with pain. See ON THE RIVET CHAIN GANGS IN BRIGHTON
    http://ontherivet.ning.com

  3. Zachariah says:

    David B is right, curse him – got to get on that turbo now and start the torture again. Next year, Cat 3 or bust! (Yorkshire Regional 4th Cat No.1!)

  4. Turbo training in a nice warm office? Are you mad?! I can’t get enough cooling even outdoors!!!!

    On blog material – now you are a cyclist Christmas will equal a heap of cycling literature – why not root out some historic inspiration and share it?

  5. David B says:

    I hope all the people I’m racing against in Jan take Rupert’s advice ;)

  6. richsack says:

    Do you have a link for the sprint training at Hillingdon? Fancy a stab at that myself!

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