Monday, 28 February 2011

Boley impresses in damp debut

The rain hadn't stopped all morning, but on Saturday, Richard Boley had made his mind up - he was racing.

The white jersey takes another soaking. pic: Dave Hayward
After an hour's drive, he lined up for the San Fairy Ann Hog Hill Circuit race in the pouring rain: "I was pretty psyched up. It was too cold to be hanging around," he recounts.

Seems he wasn't the only one with that idea and the pace was hot from the off. Boley stayed near the front and got straight into a strong move with two others which established a gap within the first couple of laps.

"There were one or two stronger riders," he continues. "And any stronger guys who'd been left behind seemed to decide that we had a good move going." Within another couple of laps, the group swelled to ten or so riders. Says Boley,: "It started to look quite useful."

The group worked well together and quickly opened a sizeable gap. "I was keen to get the gap established, but I didn't want to overdo it so the group of 10 helped me dose my effort." Careful as he was, this lead group actually lapped many of the main field before the finish, demonstrating the depth of ability on hand.

Nearing the finish, the hitherto cohesive group started to splinter: "You feel like you have to go with the attacks near the end but I think I could have finished better," admits Boley. He finished 6th after an hour's racing in pouring rain.

Team DS, Nick Walker is delighted: "We're seing some real gritty efforts already this year; I'm full of admiration for these guys who can out and hammer themselves in such terrible conditions, and Richard's result is an awesome way to start the season Hats off to him."

Boley, too, is happy with the day: "It's great to have got a result on a day when some may have written off even riding! I just wanted to get a bit of race pace riding in before the Spring Chicken in a fortnight, but the Hog Hill Circuit is a great discovery for me. I love the layout and the challenge of the climb, so I'll be back for more very soon."

Monday, 7 February 2011

Injury Time for Doug

Bad Luck sidelines our speed merchant for over a month

On December the 29th, like many other cyclists, Douglas Coleman decided it was too dangerous to train on the road. The sub zero temperatures had left the roads in a decidedly diffcult state

So, he met up with Brian Curran on his mountain bike and went for a spin in Ashridge Woods.

'Good idea', you might think. There's no shortage of enthusiastic protagonists at this time for year for off road training. It's more time efficient compared with road riding (you tend to work harder), it sharpens the bike handling skills a touch, it's far warmer (because the effort-to-speed ratio is much higher than on-road) and it's great fun as everyone has a stack at some point.

Unfortunately, Doug's one stack on this ride has cost him dearly.

His penchant for speed got the better of him as he hit a branch with his knee and well and truly whacked his knee cap. "I shrugged it off and carried on as quickly as possible to catch up with Brian", he recalls. "It did twang a bit but I thought nothing of it."

After returning home, he soon realised all was not well: "It started to swell up so I decided I would stay in the next day and rest it." The next day, the swelling was beginning to resemble a balloon, but still Doug remained optimistic: "The following week, the swelling had gone down a bit so I got back on the bike."

This would appear to have been his major error. The knee swelled up out of all proportion over a painful hour ride and Doug was forced to reconsider his medium term training plan.

Doug's had lots of time to perfect his training food

After several weeks of staying indoors, his trombone playing [the day job] is in outstanding form, but his legs are flagging and the Physiotherapist has ordered further rest, after informing him that his left leg has next-to-no quadriceps muscle. "At least I've had time to perfect my Pantani pasta recipe," he jokes.

Doug is one of our more philospohical riders, and if anyone could handle a frustrating situation like this, it's him, but by Feb the 1st he had lost patience on a few occasions.

"I know there are worse things to happen, and I know it could have happened at a far worse time, but I've now had over 4 weeks off the bike, which is my longest absence for a few years, and there's no denying that I haven't been easy to live with at times," he admits.

Thankfully, as we put this piece to bed, he has managed 2 rides over the first weekend in Feb with no apparent adverse effects. He's taking the return steady though. As he said last week; "The last thing I need is to aggravate the injury by pushing too hard too soon. There's plenty of time until any major target races; the most important thing is to get the recovery right."

The mountain bike is staying in the shed until further notice.