Monday, 8 April 2013

AOR - Adult Oriented Riding

Actually, no. I spent quite a lot of the weekend just gone in Rotherham (the glamour, the glamour) at Hard Rock Hell's AOR (Adult Oriented Rock) and Prog (progressive rock - young people will need to refer to their elders and wisers for an explanation, though listening to a snippet of a mid-70s Genesis album will explain all, albeit in a more time-consuming way) festival.

It was actually at the Magna Science Centre near Rotherham, which turned out to be rather a good venue. The main Prog stage was in a fantastically industrial setting of metal, concrete and high ceilings, and I had planned to spend quite a bit of time in there. Unfortunately, walking through its doors was like stepping into a  blast chiller, so that didn't happen. Even with the relative cool of this weekend, it was colder in there than it was outside. It was the first indoor gig I'd been to where you could see your own breath - that's not right. So apart from braving The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and a little bit of Curved Air, my time doing prog was not only cool, man, it was Arctic.

As for the AOR bit, some of it was more TWA than AOR (They Were Available), but it was enjoyable for all that. I consumed more beer than I'm used to on Saturday, but fortunately not so much that I was disabled from riding yesterday morning. The bigger inhibitor to a decent ride were the facts that a) I didn't really know where I was (I ended up riding from Rotherham to somewhere near Doncaster and back - have to say it wasn't very pretty and the road surfaces were even worse than Cheshire's, which is no mean feat), and b) even though I took delivery of my spanking new Garmin 810 last week - henceforth known as 'Malcolm', after the curly-haired Yorkshire monster called Elliot who only gave up being a pro-rider a couple of years ago at the age of 47 - I haven't had time yet to familiarise myself yet with its many functions, meaning I couldn't just go out yesterday, have a wander, and use the 'get me home' capability that I think it possesses.

So a combination of working the Guinness out of my system and a lack of navigational tools meant that the ride was a bit stately - adult oriented indeed. Still, better than nothing.

And next weekend....breaking news...I'm going to do a sportive for the first time in a long time. I don't think I ever said "never again" about them in the past; I hope I said "be selective". Well I've no idea whether I'm being selective or not, but mate Neil is doing the Igloo Sportive from Chesterfield on Sunday, and as he lives in north Wales is staying here on Saturday night. It seemed like too good an opportunity to have at least part of a ride with someone else, so I've entered too. 80 miles or so, but about 9000 feet of climbing, so should be a reasonably tough ride. Just need to get Malcolm working so that I can collect all the exciting stats beloved of Garmin users.

Being out last night meant that I didn't catch ITV4's coverage of Paris-Roubaix, so that's tonight's entertainment and inspiration sorted - watching it via ITV Player. For those of you who aren't cyclists and still doubt cycling is one of the toughest of all sports, watch it and check out the pain that the route's cobbles mete out. I haven't looked it up, but I think it was Earnest Hemingway who said there were only three genuine sports - motor racing, bull fighting, and mountaineering; everything else were just "games". There wrote a man who'd never stood beside a European rode whilst men on bicycles raced past. In fact, you could argue that pro-bike racing has a bit of each of his three 'sports' - the racing bit is self-apparent, mountaineering = ascending monstrous hills, bull-fighting = riding through the throngs of flags, banners and noise on those classic climbs. I'd never really considered that before, and I'm quite pleased with it, so I'm going to stop right there.

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