Grand National and Paris Roubaix

I got to attend the Grand National meeting at Aintree for the first time, not with a horse that was running, but with the oldest surviving winner. Rough Quest won back in 1996 with Mick Fitzgerald on board, and the is now an elderly 27 years old.

It was something special to lead the old boy around, and what a gent he is. Lots of people saying how happy they were to see him, and calling out ‘Thank you for bringing him!’

As he won back in 1996, we got to lead both the parade in the paddock and the parade down the course. It was just simply amazing!


We were stabled next to Lord Gyllene with Red Marauder on the far side


The above photo shows (from left) Rough Quest, Lord Gyllene, Red Marauder.

I also met Bindaree:


and Mon Mome


As well as Hedgehunter and Amberleigh House (unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of them!)

It really was an honour to lead Rough Quest around!

As it was my weekend off I actually had a bit of a lie in, getting up about 8. Then decided to attempt getting my computer to work so I could watch some of Paris Roubaix. In 20 mins I had it all set up, but couldn’t find my Wifi dongle. 2 hours later I found it underneath my hairdryer…

I have to say I didn’t see all of it! Although I thought Stannard and Eisel were going well, Fabians nonchalent poker game was pretty epic to watch! I feel very sorry for Stybar though, who I thought showed the most Panache of the race.
Still it was an epic circuit in the old velodrome, an ending that I guess will be replayed for a long time!

Then it was time to get out on my bike, the same block as I did the other day (see previous blog post).
So 12.55 miles in 53.58. Average speed 13.97mph. Max 38.11mph. Calories 728.
I am rather impressed with myself for that! Especially with knocking over a minute of my last ride!

That’s all for now!

First ride in Surrey

I’ve been here, near Dorking, for 2 weeks now. Because of the cold (wimpy I know) yesterday was the first time I actually got out on my bike. Not far, but enough to test that my tyres were pumped up properly and I was happy with the kit I was wearing!

So yeah I still ride in trainers, although I am hoping to change that at the end of the month, and today was the first time I had proper time to get out and about.

Using Google maps to have a look at connecting roads, I devised myself a ‘block’ to ride round. I already had my bib tights on (dhb Vaeon and totally invaluable!) and 3 top layers (winter Zipfit jersey, endura summer jersey and my Tour of Utah jersey because its white and shows up well). All set. No. Helmet and sunglasses. Right. No. Water bottle. Yep, using my Matrix Prendas one at the mo because it kinda goes with my bike! Decided to take a gel and some of the Shot Bloks. Not that i actually needed them! Treble check to see if I had my phone, keys and a fiver.

Then I was out the door and away, consoling my self that as I couldn’t watch RvV, I might as well be on my bike!

So starting from Henfold Lane, I headed toward Dorking, but hooked a right and headed vaguely toward Charlwood. Fairly flat, quite potholed and I wasn’t in a rush so took it steady away. This gave my legs time to warm up, my shins protested for about 10 mins until I channeled my inner Jensie and told them to shut up. Or maybe I forgot they actually hurt 😉

A couple of little rises and I could hear the ‘mocking’ tones of @spokesmen… ‘…couldn’t even climb a road bridge…’ Yep, today I am that person! Ha! Then the road turned south ish and I could see a slightly bigger rise. Plenty of time to get to it, quick drink and steady peddling. Halfway up a pile of fresh horse poo. Now I know I work with them, but oh my lord did that stink! Cue gagging and spitting.

At the top was a cross roads, pub on the right and I could see of I stayed on the road I had a nice descent ahead. Nah, the road to the right was signposted Newdigate, which is where I was heading back toward.

Despite having a good look at the pub, I then slowed even more to have a good look at the nice houses on either side of the road. Then suddenly came upon a t junction i recognised. Left to Charlwood and down Stan Hill would have taken to long and would have bought me back on myself (sort off). Right to Newdigate and down some nice slopes. I went right and immediately whacked it up into top gear and pretended to be a pro until it flattened out 😛

Right at the next t junction toward Newdigate and I slowed a little, being nosey and looking at the nice houses. Then it wasn’t long until I came upon the t junction to take me back down Henfold Lane and home. Again just steadily away until I got to the nice downhill (17% the other way) and rode it flat out and freewheeled to a stop outside.

I was just a bot surprised to see I had done 12.55 miles ( I will convert back to km when I remember!) in 56.29.
Thats good for me as I remember 10 miles over similar terrain taking me over an hour!

Its a block I can go round at lunch time if its dry and not too cold.

Its also the Hot Chilli sportif at the weekend…


Might see you there!

Oh and was Fabian Cancellara absolutely awesome today?! Thanks to my Twitterarti who keep me updated on the cycling!

Ciao 🙂