Bike curious (Andrew)

What sex is your bike? Is it male, is it female?

Does it matter if you’re a man, do you think of your bike as masculine first? If you’re a woman, do you give it a girl’s name?

Cars have sex (not in a Crash type way, you know what I mean). Cars have names. I have a Mini Paceman. His name is Spaceman – and he is a he. There’s no question about that. He’s squat and brutish and acts like he could easily pass for one of the dwarves in the Hobbit. Not the mad one. Or the one who wants to get it on with her-from-Lost. One of the ones at the back. Thingamejig or Whatzizname or Gerald. One of them.

I don’t know about bikes though. Do bikes have names? Mine is a Focus Cayo Evo 4.0. Red and white. Thick bars. A bit of poser with matching saddle, tyres and handlebar tape in white. He should be a squaddie. Not one for thinking but good for going for a hundred miles in a straight line without thinking. I think ‘he’s’ a man – but, last week, as I cycled for the first time outdoors, I thought I’m not sure. Could it want to be a woman? Is it a woman? What sex is it? Could I even have a Danish Bicycle?

I’ve never given it a name. Never thought to either, which is why I stop and ask – what sex is your bike? Is it male, is it female or is it Eddie Raymayne?

 

Jan 27- Netflix & Turbo (Andrew)

I had an idea to write a blog post about watching Making A Murderer while on the turbo trainer. I was going to call it ‘Netflix & Turbo’ as a play-on-words on ‘Netflix & Chill’. However, I’ve just googled the phrase “Netflix & Chill” and, call me innocent, but I thought it meant watching Netflix and, you know, chilling, the clue was in the title. Netflix. And. Chill. But it doesn’t mean that: according to the Urban Dictionary it means:

A subtle way to lure a girl to come over to your place, initially as just a “friend”, so that it can lead to an opportunity of getting intimate with her while something is playing on Netflix.

Or:

SEX. Basically a new way of booty calling.”

Which has totally changed the post I was going to write!

However, perhaps I can resurrect this idea by calling it ‘Netflix & Turbo Alone’? That would make it clear I’m just talking about cycling and remove any smutty misunderstandings.  Yes. I think ‘Netflix & Turbo Alone’ would be a far better title. First, I’d better check that ‘Netflix & Chill Alone’, doesn’t have any other meanings.

[Googles ‘Netflix & Chill Alone’].

Erm…

…. Netflix And Turbo Alone…

… I think it’ll be best if I just scrap this idea.

Jan 24 – Nigel Barge 10k (Iain)

barge

How long after getting a new pair of trainers do I wait before I wear them in the rain?

I delay as much as possible. My new pair will initially be used only in the gym, then they might be used on a nice day whilst running on on cocrete before finally, 3 months later, being used offroad.

Which is why Nigel Barge 10 was a dilema for most runners. It rained heavily the night before and part of the course had puddles so big I couldn’t jump over them. Do I sacrcifice time or the cleanlieness of my trainers?

I decided to run straight through the first puddle. The fear of getting wet and dirty is much worse than actually getting wet and dirty. After that I ran happily through every pddle and muddy path. My trainers now look terrible but at least i don’t feel like I cheated my performace on the run. On a side note – why do trainers never look as good as before a run no matter how many times I put them in the washing machine?

The race itself was two hilly laps of a course that won’t win any prizes for scenery. It was twice past the rubbish dump, a car wash and an industrial estate. Andrew beat me which was surprise as I can’t remember the last time he beat me!

We’d both done a 90 minute bike ride the day before. He’d gone outdoors on a course where half of it is downhill. I’d done a spin class and a stationary bike. I think the running result proves my 90 minutes were harder than his. After all, it can’t be because he was better than me. Can it?

The fourth discipline of triathalon is lying. Lying to ourselves about results and lying to ourselves about training. Of course I ran 10km even though my watch said it was only 9.8km and of course Andrew beat me because I trained harder than him…

Jan 24 (Iain) – Insanity Is doing the same thing over and over again

The “genius” Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Week after week I play squash and every single time I lose.

Am I insane? Am I doing the same thing again and again?

I don’t think so.

I’m a much better squash player now than when I started playing. I can see shots and angles of return that were previously unavailable to me.

I can vary my shot depending on whether I want to use pace or skill.

I can move around the court so that I’m always in the correct position to anticipate the next move.

Yet, I still lose week after week.

And this doesn’t bother me.

For me – winning is irrelevant. It only matters that I enjoyed the game and that I pushed myself to my limit.

So when I sign up for a challenge I don’t look at whether I’ll win, whether I’ll get a PB or whether I’ll succeed. I ask myself whether I’ll enjoy it.

My `A` race for the year is the Long Course Weekend. I saw it on TV and it looked fun. I have no idea how difficult or easy the course is. It doesn’t matter. I know I’ll enjoy visiting a part of the country I’ve never been to before.

Einstein famously never wore socks. He didn’t see the point when shoes were more than adequate at doing the same job. I disagree with him as I forgot my spare socks last week and ripped my feet to shreds in the afternoon trying to walk sock-less in leather shoes.

Maybe he wasn’t such a genius after-all.

 

Jan 24 – Nigel Barge 10k (Andrew)

UntitledThe Nigel Barge 10k was traditionally the first race of the year in Glasgow. It was held on the first Saturday of January and attracted hundreds of runners to a hilly and challenging course around the West End.

It was set up in 1943 to commemorate Nigel Barge, an officer killed at Dunkirk. Nigel was a keen runner and a member of Maryhill Harriers running club. After his death, his father set up the race in his memory. It has been held continuously for over 70 years and is now one of Scotland’s oldest road races.

You can find out more about its history here: Scottish Road Running History

Today, the course has moved from its original route to Garscube sports grounds, about four miles further west. Unfortunately, the race may have moved but the hills have remained. It’s a two lap course with two steep hills, tackled twice.

I was looking forward to running. I’ve never raced as early as January before and I thought it would be good practice to see how I’d perform after a couple of weeks of training. I thought 47 – 50 minutes would be a good time and give me something to build on for the months ahead. It would also be a good test of running in bad weather, or at least I thought it would…

Unusually, Sunday turned out to be almost Spring-like. The temperature was in double figures and the sun even threatened to peak out three months early.  I ditched running gloves and an extra top and went with a base layer, t-shirt and leggings. It was too much and I found myself wishing I’d just worn a t-shirt after the first kilometres.

I also felt I started too fast. The course is downhill for the first 500m and, with everyone jostling for position, I couldn’t help running faster. Iain also starts faster than me and I tried to keep up even though it felt like I was running faster than I should. Normally, he would start to pull away, but this time I kept pace.

After 500m there was a short 100m section across playing grass before re-joining the main path. However, after raining most of the week, the grass was just a boggy swamp. Runners lept from foot to foot like Cossack dancers to avoid touching the ground. A few slide. One even found a sink hole that went down to his knee. It was funny until I remembered I was running in (no longer) bright white new trainers.

The first hill came a minute later. A long steady slog near Garscube vet school. The second hill a short sharp climb to Maryhill Road. Neither were pleasant but they both had longish descents after them where I tried to open my stride and run faster. On the second lap, on the descent after the first hill, I started to lose Iain. On the second descent, I grew the gap to 100m.

After that, my only thought is: “Don’t let him catch me, gotta keep ahead of him.” I looked back once, with 200m to go, and saw he was still 100m behind. I knew I was safe but still tried to finish with a burst, my thoughts now turning to Norseman: “Only another 20 miles to go (and a mountain)”.

I finished in 45 min 58 seconds, pleased with my time and with beating Iain after he’d “won” our last few 10k races.

One race done. One race won. A good start to the year.

Triathlete’s Dictionary (Ranxiety) – (Andrew)

Ranxiety

Noun

  • A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent race or something with an uncertain outcome.

“He felt a surge of ranxiety about tomorrow’s Nigel Barge 10k”

  • A desire to go running, typically accompanied by various excuses not to go running and a strong desire to watch some telly instead.

“His ranxiety increased throughout the week until he admitted defeat and watched four episodes of Making A Murderer in a row.”

 

Jan 20th – Football’s a stupid game (Andrew)

I’ve retired  from playing football two times. The first time I was 25, just returned from six months in London, and without a regular game of fives to join I chose to ‘retire’. Though I wasn’t so much retired as abandoned. I didn’t mind though, I just wanted to run and I concentrated on half-marathons (and eating cake) instead.

The second time I retired was when I was 34 and I’d snapped my ankle. I’d started playing again after a new game had started through work on an indoor pitch near my flat. After 18 months, I mistimed a tackle, snapped an ankle ligament and ended up in the Victoria Infirmary x-ray department. “12 weeks to heal” they said. 12 weeks later I walked out onto the pitch, ran scared from any tackles, then played on a further three months to show I’d overcome it. Then, I retired. This time, definitely, officially, over. Football is a stupid game, and people get hurt. People like me.

This time I retired until 18 months ago. A new job. A weekly game. A good chance to get to know the people I worked with. I’ve been playing regularly since then in a freezing cold shed in Falkirk and tonight I’ll swap a running session for a game of football. I know it’s not in the training program and I’ve got more chance of injuring myself but, despite retiring, I still like to play, just slower and with even less skill than when I was 25. Then home for some cake. I’ve never retired from cake.

 

 

Jan 17th (Iain) – SPRIIIIIIIINNNNNNTTTTT!

I once had a job interview where I was asked “what type of manager do you like?”

I wanted to say “one who lets me do as little as possible!” but instead replied “One who I’m scared of. I perform better when someone is shouting at me than one someone is being very nice.”

I remembered this whilst doing a Spin Class. The normal instructor was away. She’s a nice girl who gives very clear and easy to follow instructions. I enjoy her class and always get a good workout.

This week a man turned up. He was shaven headed, covered in tattoo’s and looked like he’d just left prison. Not the type of man who be released from prison but the type of man who would broken out!

He took one look at us and immediately shouted “Level 19 and a cadence of 100!”

This was going to be hard. The girl normally says “Level 12 but take it at your own pace”

“Level 20!” F**k – I’d only just got used to level 19

“LEVEL 21! I’ll Know if you’re slacking!” How does he know? Can he tell that sometime I put my hand over the switch to turn it up but only pretend to move it?

“LEVEL 22!!!” There’s sweat everywhere. In my eyes, matting my hair and dripping on the floor. I hope my bike floats as the pool of sweat is going to be deep.

“LEVEL 23!!!” I’m dying.

“LEVEL 24!!!” The man next to me can no longer turn his pedals. I can barely move mine. This can’t get any harder

“NOW SPRINT!!!!” It got harder.

At the end of the class I hated the instructor but he did make me work harder and better than I ever have in any other class.

So for Norseman I will adopt the shout at Andrew approach! “SPRIIIIIIIIINNNNTTTT!”

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