You cannot be serious?

A very, very Tired Al. And quite a young one!

John McEnroe was the angriest young man in the world back then. Watching my own kids arguing – through the medium of chucking stuff at each other – makes me wonder if they’ve secretly been watching Wimbledon DVD’s from the 1980s. But, of course, this isn’t about them, it’s all about me and my never ending faith in bullshit over ability.

It all started when Andy “Tracklogs” Shelley* cluster bombed my Inbox with exploding text shrapnel. When the debris settled, words such as “Marin Rough Ride“, “Next Weekend“, “Not far from you” and “Fancy it?” were left as collateral damage. I immediately emailed fellow survivors of our 2004 lucky to be alive escape to remind me of the horror and suffering that a 72k/7000feet of climbing course can inflict on a non alien.

However, I failed to add the rider that their replies should be couched in terms of “ARE YOU ON CRACK? STRIKE DOWN THE HEATHEN SHELLEY OR AT LEAST MARK HIM AS SPAM“. They have both cautiously considered attending themselves. What madness is this? Don’t you remember? Here’s an extract from 2004:

“I’m hoping the worst is over. It’s not. The next climb refracts riders as light through a prism and it’s clear I’m in serious trouble. There’s just two of us at the back now and I’m coveting Nigel’s full suss because every rut is a Hobson’s choice of an energy-sapping out of the saddle move or a seatpost up the arse. We’re 42km in on a grassy climb and I’m starting to hate it but it’s about to get much worse. Twenty minutes later, I’m all on my own, one broken chain, two punctures, three sense of humour failures. I finally free the chain from behind the cassette by dint of jamming my bloodied hand in there for the twentieth time. Streams of riders come past before I finally get back on the bike, then my hamstring cramps up **”

There’s so much more of the same here and the picture propping up this post was my pre-40 self looking totally knackered. I am probably no fitter, certainly quite alot older, definitely less motivated and generally more rained on. The upside is that my extensive bike collection includes a perfect foil for such madness. I speak of the legend that is Roger the Pink*** Hedgehog. But I’d hate it. I sit here and think it’s doable, but secretly I’ll admit it’s going to hurt. Alot and for a long time.

And yet, and yet… It’s only 30 miles away, there’s a blouse-out option at 48k, I cannot do worse than the trauma 7hr20 minutes back in 2004. It’s a great course.

I am not serious, but I’m sort of tempted.

* A man so fit he refuses to accept that any MTB ride can be less than eight hours long. In the Peak District. In Winter. He may not be of this planet.

** It’s true you see. I have actually curbed my rambling style since then. No honestly, read the rest if you don’t believe me/have half a weekend to spare.

*** Lively Purple. Just didn’t scan as well.

11 thoughts on “You cannot be serious?

  1. NBT

    I can make any MTB ride last for 8 hours, with ease, even longer if I’m allowed to stp at pubs.

    Oh, you mean 8 hours at a reasonable pace? I can make a 3 hour ride last 8 hours anyway, easily πŸ˜‰

    However the last (and only) time I did the Roug Ride, I did the short route and had a great day

  2. nickc

    Blimey I remember that ride. Fecking hot, and I was on a Kona A…whose stupid idea was that…

  3. Alex

    Oh God, I just paid good money to hurt myself. Still what’s the worst that can happen? Scratch that, what’s – say – the 11th worse thing that can happen….

  4. The Team Metrosexual

    Love tha Canzo! But…

    You’re from Yourkshire and it’s pink…. How is it precisley that I’M the Team Metrosexual?

  5. LOL! Al + Rough Ride = hilarious blog entries next week! πŸ˜‰

    Still, can’t be any worse than the gloopy mudfest that Bristol BikeFest is going to be this Saturday! For 12hrs. In a pair. πŸ™

  6. Alex

    And because Misery Loves Company, I have persuaded Frank and Nige to accompany me on this Voyage Of Trauma. Capitals letters fully deserved πŸ˜‰

    Good look at the bikefest. Prefer our forecast to yours. Can you lovely Ti bike rust? πŸ™‚

  7. Ian

    You know Al.. if only you’d let me know earlier, I’d have done it with you.. but having seen my riding style you’ll probably be able to guess my answer πŸ˜‰ are there any trees near* the circuit?

    *near as in reachable in one belly slide?

  8. MikeD

    What weather forecasts are you all looking at? The ones I’ve got for Bristol are entirely agreeable πŸ˜‰

  9. Alex

    Ian – I assumed that was crash was just to make me feel welcome πŸ˜‰ I reckon we could find you some rocks to make up for any lack of trees!

    Mike – my personal forecast. It reads “Wherever there is an Al, there will be a raincloud”. Good job I have that full thatch of hair to keep me dry eh?

  10. I prefer to think that less well endowed gentlemen in the hair department suffer less in the rain. After all, we have less to dry and comb back into place.

    Errm, I mean you, not we.

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