Lanterne Rouge

Good day to all of you..i hope you are enjoying this nice weather.

A quick reminder to you all to click on our diary in the home page to check for rides

Once upon a time, I used to be in the armed forces. I may talk about it some day if I ever run out of current stories to tell.. But the main point is that I got to know of this REALLY AWESOME GIRL and she, LEE YN, got married today. I couldn’t be there unfortunately due to one of those weird chinese superstitions that still rule the world these days and I’m upset. 

So I need to write, and write the weekend away. Bear with me – for it’s going to be a bumper post!  

  My first few days in the army..

My first few days in the army..

  LEE YN. I was meant to be her bridesmaid today….

LEE YN. I was meant to be her bridesmaid today….

  This pretty much sums up our r/s. But I still love her all the same.

This pretty much sums up our r/s. But I still love her all the same.

Anyway! SAT.

The laptop went flat in the last minutes of my trainer session on Thurs;

The phone screen went blank on the way home from dinner yesterday.

The body got jealous that these two precocious toys were allowed their moment of “system down” and decided that it wanted a go at it too. 

So that was what happened. I came home from school and promptly concussed in bed for the next 2.5h. It was the sort of dead-to-the-world kind of nap – it was actually rather scary. I remember trying to get myself out of the deep slumber a couple of times but my body was having none of that. The mind didn’t relent; it just wasn’t given a choice. 

Anyhow, it was time for a bike ride when I woke up. Yep, it was still only early afternoon as I was out of the house at 5.45am for the lab testing session on a Saturday. All in name of science, or so I try to convince myself, and it just might be better than riding in the cold and dark of yestermorning. 

  They say no bike is allowed. Too early! ;) 

They say no bike is allowed. Too early! ;) 

I have 2 offices, as you all know – the study table and the saddle. Today was one of those .ppt days – powerpoint presentation of Microsoft fame and power profile test of Cyclingtraining.cc. I’m a technology Luddite, in all sense of things, and I solemnly swear that no one will ever dispute this. And so, neither appealed to my senses. Let’s leave it as that. I just did what I had to do. It was nasty. 

  .ppt delivered by Snozza, the evil coach.

.ppt delivered by Snozza, the evil coach.

Fast forward to today. SUN!

3 bike rides were due today but the tank was empty. Gave up 1; but there were still 2 INTERESTING ONES to come. Let’s talk about the 2nd first (pardon the pun)…

The good man aka founder & chief Sufferlandrian had sent me his latest offering after I had sent him an email that said,

“Love to bike; love to write; love to suffer.

#FOS. Full of style, or full of shit – could work either(both) way(s).

Keen to review “Elements of Style”. Pretty sure I’ll love it, and hate it. But at least, I shouldn’t be dissing it!” 

He came back with,

“… You’re #FoC (Full of Class!)

… If you’re able to test out the video, write and publish a review by Monday, we’ll send you a pair of Sufferfest socks… 

This film is unlike any other Sufferfest video. If you go into it expecting to Suffer, you’ll be disappointed as that’s not what it’s about...

I’ll spare you the context of line #1 ‘cos being full-of-class sounds pretty damn good to me. As for #2, I reckon I had to rush this out somehow ‘cos #FoC (free-of-charge) socks couldn’t or rather, shouldn’t be passed up right?! 

I didn’t like the sound of the 3rd line though. Where’s the PAIN, AGONY and MISERY? Anyway, it was probably a good thing ‘cos my 1st bike ride of the day –  the Kew ITT – threw up another pretty good #FOS. I ended the ride FullofSnort and could barely pedal back home after. I had absolutely nothing left in my legs and didn’t fancy getting onto the trainer again.

So this is where “Elements of Style” should supposedly come into play.

Legs smashed; back slouched; body tensed; pedalling squares yada yada; basically, form is atrocious. Best time to see how this form-fixer video works out!

First up, you need to LOOK stylish. Hence the awesome get-up.  Half the battle won and I’m happy to be on the bike again.

  Don’t you just love this look?  

Don’t you just love this look?  

Now, we can talk about the real deal. Long story short, time passed way faster than I thought it would.

Carlton Kirby has a voice that hynotises you and makes you do what he says. 

The landscape of Wanaka is absolutely stunning and keeps you enthralled. 

That said, I think I need to make another date with the video to enjoy the scenery for what it is worth. I found myself trying to stay aware of my body and keep up my form, which meant that I wasn’t able to pay too much notice to the screen. Well, at least not to the awesome backdrop of the video! It should improve with time though, when good form becomes second nature - I’m really interested to see how this improves the power balance in my legs.

Two stand out things for me:

  • SYSTEMS CHECK! 

I’ve a huge problem with attention span (P.S. I hated the ITT of the morning very much so). The 9 point body systems check employed throughout the video always seemed to come on at just about the right time when I started to lose my concentration. A quick look at the sliding door aka mirror to check on my posture, a little shake to loosen the body and a renewed focus on the pedalling stroke meant that I was quickly back on track. ALL SYSTEMS GO! 

   Selfie shot into the “mirror”

 Selfie shot into the “mirror”

  • The FOUR Commandments of Standing Climb.

I pride myself as a climber and especially love to climb off-saddle. I don’t want to give anything away from the video, but I was surprised by how much difference following these four pointers made. Let’s just say, my upper body had always been the first to give way when I’m riding off saddle. May this nemesis be a thing of the past!

In short, I say get on this, for it’s the real #sufferfest deal!

Why? I’ve never quite gotten a handle of this whole sufferfest thingamajig. I love it to bits – I use them a little too often (my coach probably hates it for that reason). But are they meant to make time on the trainer less of a suffer? Or are they meant to teach you how to suffer more on the trainer? Let’s leave it as that. I don’t think I can explain myself properly but you probably get the gist. It’s been a long day. 

Time for a rest, and another bike ride tmr!

Until next time, do not forget to follow SaddleDrunk in his latest adventure next weekend. A 24  hours challenge London to Paris on a Dahon Foldable bike. SaddleDrunk is raising money for Prostate Cancer UK so you can donate here.You can also buy the special edition t-shirt clicking here.

Intoxicate yourself with the freedom of Cycling.

SD.