Its the final countdown

Days to go to Tour Ride 2010: 10

Okay, I couldn’t resist the obvious musically inspired title for this post but at least give me credit for sparing you the video of 80s mulletted rockers belting out the most overused track in New Year and Advertising history!

Yes, its only 10 days to the Tour Ride.  And don’t I know it.  Having said that I had a nice spin on the bike today.  Despite the gusty and ferocious wind I felt good, did a nice speed and managed the hills with comparative ease.  I’m not even going to cast a cloud over it apart from the say that the implicit gloating of poor weather for a certain ToB photographer (you know who you are) came back to haunt me as the rain did damped things a little.  But who cares, it was mainly sunny.

And in other news: the cameras have now come out of intensive care in the airing cupboard and seem to have made a full recovery – much to the relief of my bank account.  So anyone wanting a photographer can start getting back in touch.

So, it’s now almost 9 days to go.  A couple more training rides to squeeze in before the big day and plenty more thoughts to share.  Tonight I received a very nice surprise but I’ll leave you waiting to hear what that was until later in the week.

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Indian summer turns monsoon

If I could start this week again I think I probably would.  It hasn’t gone to plan since Sunday evening.  I left you last time following a delightful trip into the peak district.  The weather had turned nice for the Tour of Britain as it entered Staffordshire, leaving behind the rain with our Lancastrian cousins.  Little did I realise what was to be in store on Monday.

Out of the gloom

As you can see, the weather was somewhat different.  An early start dropping Mrs AB at the station so that I had transport for the day meant a fairly leisurely drive across country to Brecon and an ever decreasing selection of radio stations to tune into (having said that I am both intrigued and impressed by some of the music that BBC Radio Cymru have to play even if I can’t understand a word). Also I was heading into the murk.  So by the time my lift had arrived at Brecon bus station and we were off towards Ystradgynlais, the windscreen were in full use.  By the time we reached Black Mountain, Monday’s mecca, the weather was awful. And here I reach the start of the problems.  With rain and wind lashing us on the climb (the non-cycling motorists must always think we are mad) and moments before the race arrived my prime camera started to play up. I raced to the car and retrieved my back-up camera and within a few minutes that to had started to play up.  I was able to get a few shots between glitches but had that overwhelming feeling that the day was a complete waste.  Several people have told me how I had a day catching up with an old friend so far from being a disaster it was a good day.  But I focus yet again on the negatives.

This also left a further headache – 2 cameras that either don’t work or work intermittently. To cut a long story shot and on the advice of Canon I now have them both sat in the airing cupboard drying out.  Hopefully this will work though the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach is a constant background sensation until I know they work.  All in all this has left me feeling at a real low this week.  No bike, no cameras – my non-work obsessions have not been part of life and so it has felt hollow.

On a brighter note my partner in crime and companion for the Tour Ride has broken his Marlon Brando cover and we are making plans for the ride.  For those of you who don’t know this is my brother Paul who is currently on the Tour of Britain with the Rapha Condor Sharp team,who themselves are having mixed emotions and fortunes over the course of this week.  By the sounds of it Paul and I are at a similar physical state which shows you perhaps how little he has done rather than how much I have done but its great to know we’ll be doing it together – and may even have a small posse of RCS staff with us (Mr Verrall and I will compare notes on climbing technique!).

So, after a coffee morning in Brum tomorrow its off out for a couple of hours riding. Here’s hoping the wind dies down, the showers hold off and the sun shines.