Sunday, 27 November 2011

My God, what have I done?

I've been swithering, as our Caledonian friends say, over the last couple of weeks, about whether or not to commit to the "Pro-strength" Coast-to-Coast ride in the Pyrenees at the end of August next year.  But yesterday, I committed to it.

This is quite significant, because it's a heavy duty ride, which means being fit, light and trained, which means finding plenty of time and discipline. I've done that plenty of times before, but I don't think I've ever been as uncertain as I am currently about what the future 12 months might hold professionally. Here is not the place to go into that detail, but I feel like I've taken a pretty big leap of faith. In the end, it was a conversation with Mendip Rouleur yesterday that convinced me. By the way, he does the most marvellous blog dahling, you should check it out:

I'll no doubt write more about the 2012 Pyrenean ride over the coming months. As I say, it's a tough old challenge, but when you're getting mid- to late-40s, these challenges begin to feel like once in a lifetime opportunities.

In the absence of a meaningful ride this week, the rest of today's post is a pot pourri of items:

- I did go for a short ride this morning, but what I thought was a benign breeze was actually a gruesome gale, and cold too, so I didn't linger out there, and was soon back with a copy of the Telegraph to warm my toes. It's the best thing to do with it. You know what I mean. Though it reminds me of the very old joke that 8 out of 10 bishops use fountain pens to sign their names. "Really, what do the other 2 do with them?"

- I did a bike-related job I was moderately pleased with myself about yesterday. I ordered a new tyre earlier in the week to replace the one that inconsiderately blew up on the Etape Cymru, and being both new and of the folding variety I anticipated a challenge to fit it onto the bike wheel, and possibly even a trip to Dave & Dave at the LBS. But no - armed with patience and persistence, I got the thing on in about 15 minutes without too much struggling, which meant that BH got a runout this morning. Which reminds me, I need to go and clean the thing

- Mrs Monmarduman has started the annual Kinsey Kristmas Trees business this weekend, which means that for the next 20-odd days there'll be pine needles everywhere as we flog them to friends, family and other unsuspecting innocents (joke - they are genuinely good trees at reasonable prices). The only relevance of this to my cycling is that they're kept in the garage when they're not on sale, resulting in turbo trainer sessions feeling like they're being undertaken in a Norwegian forest. (Next joke - I wanted to go on holiday to Norway last year, but I couldn't a-fyord it).

- and finally, and a bit crossly, I read this morning that my employer is planning on buying out a target Finance Director of his employment contract elsewhere to join our company. For a ridiculous amount of money. And this only a little over a year we did the same for a CEO, who's now off on long term sick (as it would be termed if he were part of the employed hoi polloi), because he couldn't cope with self-made demands. Why? When will we learn that an organisation's ills are not cured by the hire of the latest Great Panjandrum, but by the hundreds, nay thousands, of other folk who want to do the right thing if only they could, and who resent the imposition of mercenary hired hands? Particularly when it contributes to growing income inequality in society, a pernicious and corrosive influence. Grrr indeed.

So, we've had laughter and politics today. Or maybe that's tumbleweed and prejudice. Either way, time to depart.

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