Gilbos Tour Of Britain. (OK, a small part of Oxfordshire)
It's been a coupla weeks since I blogged a bloggling blog, so my sincerest apologies to those who have been waiting on tenterhooks.....yeah, right! What with the Eurobike thingy, an all, there's no contest in the interest stakes, is there? Have'nt been idle on the cycling front tho', been doing a few fifteen milers here and there and, of course, you can multiply that, by the physical exertion my Welsh hills demand, by several times I reckon.
The reason that I'm saying this is not for any bitter self sympathy on my part. No, it's just, well, when you're cycling along your mind is taken to thinking, er, thoughts and today my thoughts were thinking about; 1. The Tour Of Britain. 2. How Come You Never Notice These Hills In A Car? 3. Those Jammy Bar Stewards In Oxfordshire. Funnily enough these three thoughts are completely related. Ok, Ok, perhaps there is a little bit of self sympathy, but, Oh Please, please let there be a small bit of flat road to cycle on, just a little bit.
I've been watching a bit of the Tour Of Britain when I can. Watched, with interest, the Blackpool section, particulary the climb up into the Moors. That bit would be my idea of a flat road!! Hee hee! Seriously though, from the television cameras it was very difficult to see exactly how steep them thar hills were and, according to the commentators, the severity was given some sort of rating. (I confess, I am new to all this racing malarkey, so, please forgive me if the terminology is a bit wonky.). Mr. and Mr. Commentator were also giving the average speeds and distances of these guys. I'm sure they got it wrong. Surely that's impossible? Have I been riding with my brakes on? Fair do's, what these guys achieve seems, to me anyhow, superhuman and, if you'll forgive the insensitive thought, are they all on drugs? Wow! truly awesome, no, really, it is.
You can see then, that I am most humbled, as I whinge up another tortuous mountain whilst those guys seem to float up effortlessly. Don't suppose I could blame my bike, could I? No. Let's face it, pal, you are an overweight, unfit, old codger, who will never be able to do what those young steeds can do, so just accept it! Ok, perhaps I have forgotten to just enjoy my riding, at least momentarily, depending on what the rating is for the imminent hill that is now looming.
And that leads me on to my second thought of the day, about how come you don't notice these hills in a car. Part of my fifteen miler today took me on a road that I drive to work on. Never really had given it much thought, seemed flatish to me but, hey ho, not when you're cycling it! Lady Gilbo seems really interested when I point out the subtle ascents on our little forays around the locality. She's never noticed either. Perhaps she is just humouring me whilst wondering when this'Re-Birth' will end.(It won't, I promise!)
Ok, you Oxfordshire Dudes and Dudesses! I am, officially, jealous! Last weekend was spent visiting my Sis who lives near Thame. You guys have got it so, so cushy! Flat? Don't talk. Snooker table flat with smooth smooth surfaces. I know because Mrs Gilbo and me went for a walk, one morning, got lost and ending up trudging about 3 miles along one such road (To Princess Risboro', I think).
Our unintended humiliation was intensified (for me, at least) by the whizzing by of numerous 'high-end' bikes. I must have looked like a right plonker ogling at the Cervacos and Willyards(oops) and hoped the 'elite' did'nt think I was looking at anything else at that sort of eye level! Then, on Sunday morning, a nice walk along, something called, 'The Phoenix Way', an old disused railway track now snazzed up with sculptury type things. Could you cycle along it? Was it flat? And smooth? Guess what?
On for a well deserved Sunday Lunch at the local pub. This place seemed to attract cyclists like flys 'round, er, you know. There were lone cyclists, whole family cyclists, granny cyclists, baby cyclists, pet cyclists and several cyclist clubs (Hello Reading CTC) all descended on this one pub. This was, truly, the Mecca of cyclists. I was quite taken aback. Think of me, you guys, when you're breezing along at 30mph, as I'm wheezing up a cow poo covered, pot holed 30degree hill, you, you, you....things!