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Retirement, is this the end?

Retirement, is this the end?

Jamie Burrow, our clothing and accessories designer, former USPS rider and #1 in the world as an Under23 rider (a while ago) reports in, fresh from a burger bar of some repute in Nottingham, amid statements of impending retirement!

During my recent trip to China, I started doubting for the first time, my chances of having any bike form at all this year. I started the year with trips to Indonesia, Munich, Turkey and Portugal. Each time convincing myself I could still put in a training block and be fit for the all important “Maratona dles Dolomites” on the 30th June.

Finally whilst slumped across my luggage at 01.00am in Shanghai airport, with a beer in hand. I thought to myself, this is just not going to happen, its just not possible, to start absolutely from scratch, tired from travel, and with no base whatsoever, to even consider the Dolomites with less than 7 weeks until the event.

Upon returning from China, without even passing home, I was straight off to the UK head office for the Ray Eden memorial ride, with staff and friends, of the late, great big man, Ray. It was a freezing, grey morning. Seriously jet lagged and on a borrowed bike, moral was pretty low. But this was a steady, fun, social ride with no stress, around 45 miles each way, to see Ray’s son Finn, competing in the Regional rowing champs in Nottingham. Despite sore legs and tiredness, I used my experience and craftiness, learnt as a pro, to hide on the wheels all day and avoid doing a single turn at the front. We made it to Nottingham, had lunch, and a few spots of rain started to fall. This was followed by 10 minutes of confusion, lots of talk of “I'm not riding back in the rain”, “I have to get back home to the misses”, etc.. And suddenly bikes were being loaded into the van. But with about 40 riders, and only 10 available spaces, the half way point, “cop out”, was only going to be feasible for a select few.

This was when I was lead astray by our new Operations Manager Barry. “Do you want to ride back?” he asked. “The train station is only 5 minutes from here, and there is a Hooters, pub at the station, so we can have a pint or 2, before heading back”. It took about 0.5 seconds to convince me that this was the best plan. I quickly got changed out of my cycling clothes, and stepped out of the van, to the look of pure disbelief from Planet X owner Dave.  Who had just finished explaining to one of our guests, that I was Jamie Burrow, Ex US Postal pro, and I was going to tear it up on the return leg home. The silence, was followed by “ where are you going? What are you doing”? “Im off to Hooters with some of the lads”.

That evening we had a work dinner, with Dave, our CEO David Hanney and most of the important figures at Planet X. My “DNF”, or “Abandon” at the half way point of the ride, seemed to be the topic of conversation, and I could tell straight away, I was never going to live this down. I was going to go from “Ex pro, world number 1, 2 times Dolomites winner”. To, the guy who’s cycling career  finished at Hooters, at the the halfway point of a social, family ride…

From zero to hero!??

On my return to Italy, I spent a week on my own, dog sitting for my mum, and had lots of time to reminisce. After a fairly successful cycling career, I couldn’t live with the label of, “hooters, drop out”.  So eventually, I checked the calendar, 6 weeks and counting. I have never had to prepare for a big event in these circumstances before, but im always up for a challenge, so I have decided to give it one last push, and see what I can do.

To be honest I think its going to be a case of mission impossible. But im concentrated, motivated and ready to go. I have decided to share my build up/ journey with you guys, in a series of short video’s “Tales of the Tuscan raider”. During these videos, you can follow my training, my thoughts, and also some product testing, along the road to the Dolomites.

I have just started receiving samples from the various products I have been designing and developing over the past few months, and this gives me the perfect opportunity to put these products through their paces, and share this with you.

So, next time you hear from me, ill be grovelling up some hill in Tuscany, trying to look like a professional film producer.

By the way we are now at T-minus 33days, 19 hours and 5 minutes J

HELP!!!!! JB

28 May 2013