The Push Hog Diaries: Prologue

I am in training for a Cyclosportive, a fancy name given to a bike race which isn’t actually a race (For legal reasons I guess). The event is on July 21st 2012 and is called the Big G an event run and organised by Hull Thursday Road Club so I thought I’d write down my musings along the way.

Firstly, I’m no cyclist, one of my many nicknames at school was ‘Noleen’ on account of the fact I always bottled out at corners, but cycling is a sport I love, I have done for many years thanks to my parents unwavering love of the Tour de France, an event which takes over the family television every June/July.

My earliest memories of the Tour sounds like the start of a joke, but involved an American, a Frenchman and an Irishman, who turned out to be Greg LeMond, Laurent Fignon and Stephen Roche – their daring do on the French mountainsides ignited a passion that made me want to experience what they were doing, albeit from the comfort of my Mum and Dad’s front room for the most part.

My first road bike (we called them racers in my day) was a green thunderbird (or something along those lines) with the gear shifters on the down tube, it travelled like s**t off a stick, it was also very prone to punctures, so it spent more time in the shed than on the road, so I don’t really have many fond memories of it, also ‘racers’ were a bit geeky, and I didn’t need anymore excuses to be a fully paid up member of the dead arm gang.

The bikes I fondly remember as a child were my Raleigh Boxer and an Emmelle BMX, but neither moved very fast, the former hampered by numerous ‘Spokey Dokeys’ on the front wheel. So fast cycling didn’t happen until I persuaded my Dad to buy me a new fangled Mountain Bike, we plumped for a Raleigh Amazon, a bike still used by my Dad to this day and has covered many thousands of miles. At the time the Amazon wasn’t the fastest bike in the world, not even in my Village, but it was heavy so going down hill was a pleasure and thanks to my trusty Cateye Mity speedo I broke the Village Speed limit of 30mph on several occasions – I even once got pulled by the police I’ll have you know! So although I’ll never admit to being a proper cyclist, I do have pedigree and I’m a tryer and as we all know…

So fast forward 20 or so years, I find myself requiring the services of a racer (or road bike if you insist), I have a Specialized Hardrock, another heavy mountain bike, which I have used for a bit of training, but the Cyclosportive is over fairly hilly terrain, so a proper bike is required.

This is a diary of my adventures…

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Back le Bid to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire

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