Today I went for a bike ride, and now my legs ache. Not sure how I am going to manage the long bike ride I have planned for a couple of weeks time! Today I went to the other end of Tenstmuir, where I went on Sunday. I could see the river for most of the ride. There was something being towed up the river (you can just see it in the background,) no idea what it is though!
This morning I went out for a ride, I managed 10 miles, which is the furthest I’ve been since breaking my toe. I need to try and go a little further, but time is also a factor at the moment. It was cold out but at least there was blue sky. at some points it was also quite windy, the worse of the wind was when I was on the bridge, but the downhill part, (the bridge is 2 miles and has a very gentle slope) so didn’t make it too difficult to cycle. The photo is of “the ship” as it is known locally. I blogged a few weeks ago that we had visited it.
This evening I went for a ride, it was very windy, but a picked a route that meant I cycled in to the wind first! This photo I took from a bird hide I found on the local nature reserve. I didn’t really see any birds, but the view was pretty. On the way back I saw a lovely rainbow. It’s always good to get out and about.
Another library book photo for today. I’ve been reading this, but took it back today, I may get it out and finish it at some point. As some of you know I enjoy watching the cycling, but am not fanatical. I was therefore looking forward to reading Bradley Wiggins new book. I have to say I was disappointed. It did get better as I persisted, but especially to begin with was very technical, talking about things like what cadence different training was done at. As he has had a previous book, it only talked about what has happened in the last couple of years. I felt that it was not designed for anyone other that “superfans.” I’m sure that lots of people will have started watching the cycling over the last year, and won’t understand lots of the history of the sport, or the tactics, and there is an assumption in this book that you do. I’ve read nearly all of it, and am glad I did, but won’t be recommending it to anyone unless they are very keen on competitive cycling.
Over Christmas I had however read David Millars book, Racing through the dark, and I would highly recommend it. He became famous for all the wrong reason. This book however gives an insight in to how drugs were viewed within cycling, and what it is now doing to address the problem. It is written so that you need little understanding to begin with, but is still interesting even if you do have some knowledge already. It also addresses how you define what is important to yourself, and how to keep your integrity, or if you lose it how to gain it back. Well worth a read even if you are not a cycling fan.
I’ve had one last adventure, before getting back to studying hard. As some of you know, I enjoy watching the cycling. I hadn’t been planning to go and watch Tour of Britain, as it wasn’t near me at any point. However Monday night one of my friends text me to say Team Sky were going to be in her local pub on Tuesday night, and she was going to see the race on the Wednesday. Unable to resist, yesterday I jumped on the train, to hers. It was a moment of madness as it was nearly 200 miles each way. I was glad I went, it was fun spending time with my friend, and the atmosphere both at the pub and the race was great. I would upload a couple of photos but it is refusing to play, and there is a full flickr set here.
Thought I would put in my two penneth about the latest on the Lance Armstrong developments. For those who don’t know he is a cyclist who there has been on going allegations of drug use. I love watching the cycling, I found on youtube (ignore the first minute or so,) what I think may have been the first cycling I watched. I really wish there was more cycling on TV, though with twitter etc there are more ways to know what is happening but it’s not the same as watching it.
I however when through a phase of not following the cycling so much because of all the drug allegations that were going on, it tainted it when you were all most expecting there to be drug problems. In reason years for various reasons cycling appears to have cleared up its image. I think this is partly due to better testing, and partly down to the riders themselves who are fed up of the bad reputation of the sport. There are still lots of debates going on about is it now a clean sport, I like to think that while it is not perfect it is doing a lot better than it was. It would appear that the balance has been tipped back to it’s better to be a clean rider. Also I think as far as British riders are concerned, that there is now a better support system on a national level, which there wasn’t previously which makes it easier to resist the pressure of drugs. Here is an interesting article about David Millar (British cyclist famous for drug taking, but now very anti drugs,) which perhaps shows why drug taking was so rife, and how it is now changing.
As some of you will know I am a Tour de France fan, so I have been loving the last few weeks, even if I did become slightly obsessive about it! I have previously blogged about the team work needed for an individual to win. This again has been apparent this year, Bradley Wiggins may have won over all but really it is a victory for the whole team (which has come out in the different interviews with him.) Often the early part of each day one of my favourite cyclists Edvald Boasson Hagen has been setting the pace, often for the part of the race that doesn’t get T.V coverage. (He’s not the only one he just happens to be my favourite.) Again I was amazed by what they put themselves through in order to just make it to the end, let alone win. The dedication and insanity shown by the different riders often inspires me to keep going when I feel that I have lost motivation/ reached the end of my abilities.
Sorry this post has been a little rambling, but I guess I am celebrating the achievements of the Tour de France this week, enjoying the first British victory and being inspired!