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Frank has been asking me write something for our "next" newsletter for several months now , and as founder / owner I do inevitably get a little more leeway in provaricating , delaying , being lazy , or just failing to deliver than the rest of my staff  but rest assured this was becoming embarrassing and I reckon Frank was starting to get more than a bit annoyed . I am sure it is hard for him to kick me but I have to be in the mood to write , call it artistic creativity , writers block , or more aptly and after that surf brand "plain lazy" . 


Anyway, there is no doubt I get, and always have ,  my clearest thinking moments when riding my bike , specifically in that time period between 90 minutes and 120 minutes into a peak district ride , where I am in a decent riding rhythm but fatigue is just setting in , a sort of trance like state of mind , when my minds drifts back to my teenage years  imagining I am my boyhood hero  Robert Millar  climbing to a Tour stage win and back to present day overweight undertained lard arse fat boy kidding himself the form will come , just keep grinding away , put in the hard yards , it will come soon . 


So the good news for Frank is I got out on my bike yesterday , the first time in years I have ridden for 3 hours , and I found some time to think clearly and sort of wrote this ramble in my head on the way round , well actually on that long climb just on Bradwell moor , the one where where Lovatt "tweaked" Philip Deignam  in one of Tour of the Peak victories. Think Mark was on 53-17 , I was out of gears on 39-26 going like a dog   


"Not Fit for purpose"  phrase frequently quoted by irrate customers to warranty teams around the country , it probably applies to me right now . In previous years in my triathlon days anything less that 9 workouts a week would have been considered a disaster , 3 swims , 3 bikes , 3 runs - double up most days and one days rest and I managed to hold a decent level .   Then I hurt my back lifting bike bags , had kids , got busy , got busier , got very very busy , and suddenly was consumed by a growing business and not my riding needs , plus when I did ride my back and right shoulder hurt , quite a lot making riding unpleasant . 


Roll on to 2012 and the past few months , with some big changes and a new CEO David Hanney , and new operations manager Barry Dunne , and new purchasing manager Lee Wild , Frank Campbell in charge of sales , whilst on one hand I now had a burgeoning wage bill to contend with , on the other I started to find a bit of free time , and started riding a little but not a lot .


The last couple of weeks have been quite momentous , three things happened , one bad,  one good , one great 


The bad - well its not really happened in the last couple of weeks , but over the past years , see above . I had a jab in the face , reality check , standing count in round 10 , a pugilistic sharp right put me down in the form of a blood test showing I had trigyclerides through the roof and cholesterol very high . Now the imbecile  part of me in a Bjarne Rees Mr Sixty the higher the better take no prisoners is secretly quite proud to have any  levels declared as  "through the roof"  but the normal part of me was pretty stunned , a big reality check for the "not fit for purpose" EX cyclist I had become . 


The good - it was so simple , I flipped my stem , I switched my 3ttt 130 by minus 6 degrees stem over , to a 130 by plus 6 degrees , whilst my bike doesnt look any more like the pro level super long , super low , tour de france riders svelte position , and when I do the "shop window glance" I dont have the flat back position of a Pro Tour hero , I will tell you one thing and its the happiest feeling in the world and that is my back has stopped hurting on rides .  Fantastc , fabulous .


The Great , my longest ride for years had been 90 minutes , with the last 30 minutes a grovel with a spasmodic shoulder bugging the  life out of me . I flipped my stem last Wednesday , and yesterday I rode for 3 hours round one of my favourite Peak district rides . Yes it used to take me one hour fifty five minutes at an average of 18 mph , yesterday wad 3 hours but I found my zone of creativity and Frank can leave me alone for another month . Here it is . 

18 April 2013


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