Ironman 2012 Port Elizabeth

2012 Volunteer

Just finished my first shift marshaling this years Ironman South Africa. which is being held right here in Algoa Bay for the 8th consecutive year.

A 3.8km swim, 180.2km cycle followed by a 42.2km run.

The weather is awful, cold, a strong westerly wind and occasional showers (it poured down early this morning.)

Although the lead cyclist only came past our intersection at 8.15am my crew and I were on station from 5.30am. We had the road closed by 6.00am and spent the rest of the morning fielding inquiries from motorists, most of whom were quite reasonable about the whole thing, as always we had the odd idiot who thought that he was more important than the wellbeing of the almost 2000 entrants but we’re quite adept at handling them and all in all things have gone rather well so far.

I’ll head back at about 1.30pm and help finish off the last hour or so.

I might just catch 40 winks in the meantime 😉

A view of Le Tour 2011

It was the helicopters I heard first,  approaching from the west, still quite high and then swooping lower, following the riders up the last winding ascent before the road flattened on the headland of Cap Frehel, Brittany.

Somewhere out of view, near the flamme rouge which marks 1 kilometre to the finish, began a Mexican wave of sound, a crescendo which rippled along the ten-deep bands of yellow-capped spectators lining either side of the road. Continue reading “A view of Le Tour 2011”

“Can you ride tandem?”

The catch phrase,”Can you ride tandem?” comes from a long line of PG tips tea adverts.
You may remember it?
It seems appropriate this week to mention it as it was called ‘Tour de France.’

Well until today I couldn’t say that I’d ever tried a tandem, but this afternoon that all changed.
At our annual  cycling club BBQ we strolled into the garage to ‘ew’ and ‘awe’ over the host’s new acquisition – a super light framed bike. The garage was full of bikes and bike bits and other bike related stuff. The car didn’t have a look in. The mower was squeezed in a corner.
I wandered off after seeing the bike, but soon returned to see what was going on when I heard jollity: a tandem had been unearthed and various folk were being allowed a go. Continue reading ““Can you ride tandem?””

A Tale of Two Bikes

You wouldn’t think it would be hard to spend upwards of £500 on a light, nippy, flat-barred road bike, would you?

I’m talking the kind of bike that you stick a rack on plus a pannier or two and maybe some mudguards and pedal reliably to work and back in the week. There must be loads of them. Well, there are on cycle shop websites anyway. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Bikes”


Last time the local cycle club ran a taster session no one new turned up. The weather was to blame. It was arranged for a  few weeks back, and was the same day as my mosaics course (which was my excuse for not being there) – but it  was also the day that Oxfordshire had a complete downpour of heavy heavy rain.

So this Saturday I was honour bound to turn up for the next taster session, despite the fact it was the day after an exhaustingly enjoyable trip to the Chelsea Flower Show, followed that evening by hosting a dinner party for 10 (and having maybe one more drink that was advisable for an early-ish start.)
Thing is that the clubs rides normally start at 9am and we had a 6 mile ride to get there, so the alarm was duly set and zombie fashion I got up, donned Lycra, rehydrated and breakfasted.
It was only as we drew up to the station (meeting point) that Cycloman groaned. Continue reading “Taster”

Two percent

Gosh. Only two percent. That’s really not many. Bit of a shame really.

Just 2% of the female population cycle once a week compared with 6% of men.

Work to do for the promoters of cycling as a means of transport, of exhilarating recreation, of a fine and fitness-enhancing thing to do. Continue reading “Two percent”

Cotswold Bike Ride 2011

Writing this after a shower while my head’s still swimming with feel-good hormones.

Completed the 40 mile Cotswold Bike Ride today. Rode with two work colleagues, Kath and Sarah and their blokes. All respect to Sarah who was riding a borrowed bike and had done no training whatsoever for the ride but still finished – and her bloke who did the full distance without padded shorts and who suffered consequences which will only become truly evident over the next day or two! Continue reading “Cotswold Bike Ride 2011”

Pushy parents – turning kids off sport?

According to newspaper reports this morning,  pushy parents can turn their children off sport for life. So what? Do we even care? Is it important that kids should try out and excel at some sports or is it all about churning out the next generation of national champions to boost patriotism?

I think sport is good for those who will enjoy it. If you discount the drugs and cheating in professional sport, training, competing and winning is incredibly character-building and keeps kids occupied during the formative years when they could easily find less desirable ways to get their kicks. Continue reading “Pushy parents – turning kids off sport?”