Yesterday's pedal home was without doubt the worst I have endured since I started back pedalling over a year ago.
The reason was a terrific headwind, it felt like I was permanently pedalling with the brakes on. The out of the saddle blast up Frankley Beeches, while still out of the saddle was reduced to a crawl, when I had the energy to look at my computer, it read a mighty 6.3mph. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get any momentum.
The ride through Kitwell towards the end of the pedal was getting dangerous too, the wind was coming up the side roads and hitting me side on so hard it was blowing me into the middle of the road I was pedalling on. It was that hazardous at one point I seriously thought about getting off and walking!
The result of this was that I was absolutely shattered when I got home. I spent all evening trying to contribute to family life struggling to stay awake and feeling physically drained. I suppose at some level it must have done me some good though. Just can't quite work out what yet.
Stats here, and they make ugly reading:
Started: 15 Jul 2010 15:03:17
Ride Time: 59:47
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 11.72 miles
Average: 11.71 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 38.93 miles/h
Climb: 361 feet
As predicted I'm in the car this morning as the Technophobe of a client can't get his head around a teleconference. I'm a bit pissed off as I was looking for another full weeks commute and a good night's sleep has sorted me out. Physically I could have pedalled this morning no problem.
Although I haven't mentioned it yet, I have been watching every highlights program of The Tour on ITV4 . And very enjoyable it has been too. I felt I must comment on the removal yesterday of Mark Cavendish's lead out man on Team HTC Columbia, Mark Renshaw.
I thought it was a disgraceful descision and a complete over reaction.
My take on it was that the rider who was on Renshaw's right during the final run in deliberately leaned into him to try to gain an advantage, Renshaw quite rightly was not having any of it and physically contested the road position. Here is where Renshaw made his error, he used his head to push the other rider away, that looks for all the world like a head butt which is unacceptable in any sport and looks terrible. He then made his second error, that of blocking the rider on the inside, he must have been very angry about what had happened and decided to try and stop any body from getting around him. He needn't have done that as Cav was flying and was never going to be caught, but I guess his Aussie blood was up. And having played with and against Aussies at rugby I can confirm they're all aggressive buggers!
These blokes are competing in one of the most physically demanding events in the world, they're not babies, they're highly competive athletes who enjoy a scrap or else they wouldn't be there. To remove a rider who didn't even cause the incident in the first place is a typical over reaction by officials who need to be seen to be doing the right thing. A removal of his time for the stage would have been an appropriate sanction.
But what are they doing about the rider who started it? I think I can guess.
Onto more positive tour stuff, just check this out - It's a real time web site that displays all of HTC's riders telemetry so you can see just who is putting it in and who is coasting!
I can't take credit for finding it though, Ray the tech warlock and tri-athlete over at DC Rainmaker is the man who needs to be patted on the back for his discovery. Nice one Ray.