Monday, 10 December 2012

mince pies with ho chi min

The much missed “blog from above” is making it’s comeback this week. As people all around me drink sugar loaded beverages just because somebody in a blue jacket offered them and I attempt to force 190cm of bike rider  into a seat designed for 90cm of dwarf, and the kindly lasy in front helps the process by pouding my knees into a seemingly impossible position with her (not insignificant) body mass, I feel the urge to update my friends, family and people who came to this website though a series of typographical errors on what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

The last few weeks have seen plenty of kilometers, November was a month with over 110 hours of riding and a resulting above average number of pictures of baked goods in my twitter feed. I’m normally pretty old school in my approach to winter training. I start in December and ride a lot, once I feel ready is tart doing a few more efforts and then commence racing in something a long way from peak form but with just enough fitness to hold on. Which is what I do until gradually, painfully, the legs come around and I start to feel good.

This year I’m approaching things with a little more structure and purpose. After folding my pelvis like a copy of 50 shades of Grey in the summer I feel as if I’ve already rested enough for this year. Nearly 8 weeks off the bike made me miss it terribly. I was fortunate enough to heal up in time for some late season racing but just as I felt my legs coming back from where I left them in Wisconsin, the racing dried up and I was left with two not to enticing options: become a “Christmas Star” and burn brightly on the local group rides where nobody was trying particularly hard or rest when I wasn’t tired. Given that neither seemed particualirly enticing I found a third.

Not all of the world obey’s the Norther hemisphere’s notions of summer and winter, San Diego enjoys year round good weather but it’s inclusion in the US cycling circuit means that racing tends to conform to a national pattern and has dried up. Making use of my world map and email address book I sent off a few messages to friends all over the world with the necessary credentials to find me a bike race to do and an adventure to have.Most came up blank but my Friend John came up trumps. The UCI Asia tour knows how to make hay while the sun shines and so, a brief exchange of emails occurred. The social media cry went out to some like minded friends and a posse was soon assembled with the aim of a pre Christmas trip to the only place in the world where they can say pho and not giggle.

On December the 17th we’ll begin the tour of Vietnam,this is my first Asia tour race so I’m not 100% sure what to expect. I know it’ll be different and it’ll be an adventure. I’m excited about riding new roads, meeting new people and eating new food. I’m also excited about seeking out local diabetes organisations and doing as much advocacy as I can with young people in Vietnam.

Thanks to GoPro I’m also going to be able to capture much of the adventure on video and share it with you, here and on cyclismas. The good people at balmco are on board with embro, oil, recovery creams and chamois “crème” to make the ride more comfortable. Title wise our merry band of brothers is holding out for a cash sponsor. Sponsorship in cycling is an issue I’ll address elsewhere but I feel that money is to say the laast misplaced. The image of our sport has taken a hit in recent months and through no fault of our own perfectly innocent young men are paying the price for the transgressions of a previous generation. I hope that our adventures, blogs, tweets and videos can provide for those of you patient to have read this far, something of a relief from the constant stream of negativity, the rebranding of old cheats at new conferences, calls for change by the people who need to be changed and partial confessions without remorse. This isn’t going to be the sort of UCI racing where people wear oversocks or ride in buses. This is a group of lads having a adventure, bike racing as it is supposed to be. Nobody’s in this for the money ( we’re paying our own way there, I just sold my race wheels and track bike to pay for the flight) we’re in it because we love what we do, and we love it enough not to do anything to hurt this sport. I hope you can share some of that passion on our adventure.


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