Rolling with the boys

Yesterday was one of those days where I refound my love of cycling again.  In all essence I was supposed to be having a meeting in Birmingham about a project I am trying to get off the ground.  Fortunately for me I was meeting my friend Jim. Jim works for a co-operative development agency but importantly, like me, Jim is a recovering cyclist.

On Monday Jim sent me a message on Facebook pointing out the weather would be good yesterday.  With this in mind he suggested I take a trip down to his and we take in a ride around the Forest of Dean.  With clearance from Mrs AB to take the car for the day I had no hesitation in agreeing and yesterday I set off just after rush hour on the trip from Wolverhampton down to Ross-on-Wye.  And what a day it was.  The sun shone, the temperature was high and the roads were good.  Okay, so we started after most people had had their lunch following a brief cycling inspired consumer visit to Cheltenham’s bike emporiums for new shoes.  But once on the road I was feeling great.

Our route was a mere spin for some, but for us a decent jaunt and a good spring board for further “training”.  We took Jim’s 14 year old son Will with us which Jim feared might lead to trouble. Trouble for us on the hills that is.  But I think we bored Will into submission and he struggled later on – let that be a lesson to the pros in defeating your rivals.  So the ride wasn’t particularly quick overall but we had some fast decents.  Going up the hills I refound the cadence I’ve been lacking and learnt an important lesson in speed – slower can really be faster overall.  It was good.

We ended up with our own mini-tour finish.  As I watch today’s stage I’m thinking of our similarities: Jim who wants to be Cadel but is much more the Cancellara of this piece with his rapid decents but lack of power on the climb; Will a cross between the Chicken and Alberto; me the Andy Schleck of the piece.  So on the last decent and climb, Jim attacks downwards, is caught, I slow, Will catches. I climb away in a low grear, Will follows. I attack, will responds, I slow. Then the hammer blow and I beat him.  Yes, this is what you will see on 22nd July from the Tour’s main protagonists or my name isn’t Paul the Octopus (or more realisticvally you all comment on the fact that I have beaten a 14 year old!).

So in response to my plea for a cycling buddy I have found 2: Jim is my long distance buddy. My other buddy I will reveal later this week. Rolling with the boys (and girls) really is much more fun so here’s to more.

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