Sunday, 30 May 2010

Wessexual Healing

The final report has arrived from the Wessex Front, my reign of terror is nearly at an end, and songs will be peppered througout. The exciting news from HQ is that my bike is shiny and clean, leading to an official Trois V endorsement for Pedro's Green Fizz.

So the news is that the first 60 miles were fun, and the second 60 miles were spent wondering if death was around the corner. Big climbs, a false flat, and a ride through an artillery range into the teeth of a gale were the orders of the day. The final 30 miles were spent without water, subsisting only on a thin gruel of energy gels, which taste like paracetamol ground up into snot at the best of times.

Still, they weren't last, they finished (unlike many), the broom wagon was ordered to leave them alone, and the team received compliments for their sartorial elegance.

The day is therefore declared a total victory, and here's Mr Copland to salute everyone who entered the Tour of Wessex.

No Trois V expedition could be complete without encountering one of our sworn enemies. This time it was the oft mentioned 'those guys in that car', this time taking the form of a man impatient to turn left on an a-road as our boys waited to cross it.

'Beep' went the horn. 'Shrug, there's nothing we can do' went the Trois V. 'Beep' again went the horn. 'Flip' went the Trois V finger. 'Vroom vroom, swerve, brake right in front of you' went the car. 'Yikes!' went the Trois V. 'I've got kids in the f***ing car!' screamed the driver, now out of his vehicle. 'Way to complain about people swearing near your children, douchebag' went the Trois V, their size intimidating the driver back into the car and on his way.

Remember enemies of the Trois V - mess with the bird, you're gonna get pecked.

So tomorrow I'm going to change nappies and admire my shiny clean bike, whilst Doug and Matt go on a recovery ride, to heal themselves.

Trois V!

Hardcore Wessex

As the Trois V Club Mascot recovers from being given a post-bathtime triceratops hairstyle by her mother, so the brave soldiers of the Trois V are now recovering in a rural idyll from a gruelling 120 mile spin in the ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex (see, I done bin readin' my interwebs).

Although reports earlier in the day seemed cheery, with happy tales of cheese sandwiches, suspicions at Trois V HQ that all was not well were raised by a message from Matt that read merely 'Uh'.  Sure enough, today the boys spent nine hours and fifty minutes in the saddle, for which I hereby award them the first Trois V Wyvern of Wessex (source).  Well done chaps!

Tomorrow is a recovery ride in Somerset, and there may be a further update tonight of other interesting phenomena encountered today, but for now a song about hard work, and a theme song that we all know and love, in tribute to this greatest of sports and the greatest club dedicated to it.

Trois V!

Wessex and the City

The Trois V Club Mascot woke me up this morning at 6am with an apoocalypse, and a clear admonishment to stop reading about bicycles and get out and ride one.  So a mere three hours later I set off into the city to buy beigels, and make it that all three members of the Trois V had rubber on the road at the same time. So I donned my shark socks:

and headed out.

During the week, the City of London is a tarmac battleground, with taxis, buses, and delivery vans working each other up into a froth of impotent rage and frustration.  The cyclist needs her wits about him to get where they're going.

On the weekend by contrast, the City is empty, with the few motor vehicles there driving calmly and sensibly. It's great fun for biking in when it's like that - empty streets and plenty of interesting things to see.

Having survived the stress of locking my bike up on Brick Lane, and coming back to find it both still there and without a 'for sale' sign on it, I rolled back to the Trois V's new favourite cafe 'Look Mum No Hands' on the Clerkenwell Road, where coffee was drunk, flyers for hipster nights out were scoffed at, bike magazines were bought, and signs which express the Trois V philosophy were admired.

A message was received from the front that both Wessexuals were smartly dressed and riding in honour of Dennis Hopper, who died yesterday.  Any more celebrity deaths and the Trois V black armbands will be worn through. Doug's small ring was playing up again, but an angel in mechanic form has replaced a cable and got him functioning once more.  

Trois V! 

Saturday, 29 May 2010


But I'm told that several parents and relatives of the Trois V will be reading these updates, so I'm watching my language. I would like you all to appreciate the effort I have gone into to avoid making crude innuendo about Doug's small ring.

So anyway, the London Contingent has had its first update from the front - all troops accounted for, and the day was a success, although Dr Doug did have a mechanical. His front derailleur trapped him in the big chainring, and he couldn't shift down. Luckily some roadside repairs, and I dare say some roadside bigswears, got the chain onto the smaller chainring which allowed Doug to continue to climb hills. Alas this slowed them on the flat and the descents, but the day still concluded with these impressive stats:

  • 104 miles, average 14.5 mph, time 8 hours 10 minutes, sightings of both male and female varietals of the enemy. We remain cooler than them.

And soaked, tired, plus covered in oil, the redoubtable rouleurs are going to do it all again tomorrow, when the route heads for the sea. They were convinced to do it by the word of a man at a feed station, which sounds very suspicious to me. Perhaps it was the Witch With Green Teeth in disguise? Look out, boys!

But it turns out that 'Wessex' is merely code for 'Somerset', and one of the viewing points for the ride is Glastonbury itself, so I feel prescient for including that Grateful Dead song earlier. The Trois V minds were as one - Doug sang the theme song from Diff'rent Strokes on the descent from Alfred's Tower as I was uploading it onto here. The challenge tomorrow is for him to sing this parental politeness-busting version of Billy Bragg's 'Sexuality'.

Trois V!

Wessex, man

And but so two of the Trois V were last heard of yesterday, making final preparations for the Tour of Wessex, leaving me literally holding the baby.

Dr Matt's last known whereabouts were on Googlechat, when I should've been working, and he should've been packing.

Dr Doug by slight contrast was carbo loading on pizza (and inspiring a conversation about the possibility of the official 'Trois V Pie Diet for Champion Cyclers'), and mourning the death of Gary Coleman.

I meanwhile went to a Baby Massage class with my three week old daughter (and official club mascot), and discovered that I have the magic touch of the soigneur. And also that a greased baby is difficult to hold.

There'll be live updates and terrible puns from the Tour of Wessex as reports filter in from wherever the hell Wessex is (I thought the inside cover of a Thomas Hardy novel, but I'm happy to be corrected), and here are three songs for the very short people we're thinking of today. The final video proves that two drummers does not rock make, and therefore that the one they call 'Smelly Hippy' is wrong.

Trois V!

Diff'rent Strokes Opening Theme - Version 1 - The funniest videos clips are here

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Tour of Wessex!

Doctors Matt and Doug completed their last high-rpm training ride--3 laps of Regents Park--this evening, and head off to Somerton and the Tour of Wessex tomorrow. The riding starts on Saturday morning. We've set ourselves some reasonable goals and will report on our accomplishments and failures (or lie baldfacedly about them) upon our return.


Hopefully we won't have to do this:

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Assault on Mount Mitchell!

Holy Crap!

The Godfather of one of the TroisV members completed the Assault on Mount Mitchell yesterday.  Here's some excerpts from a couple of my Godmother's messages:

      Kris was able to make it to the top of Mt Mitchell.
      Final time: 10 hrs 50 min

     He reports (from the bus) that it took him as long to go the 50 mi from Spartanburg SC to Marion
     NC as it did to go the final 25 mi directly up the mtn from Marion to the top. Final portion of the mtn
     was encased in fog; he said the temps felt as if they dipped into the 40's up there.


       At his age (63) there are so few opportunities to (safely) push yourself to the limit, and he felt sooo
       happy to have been able to finish. Said this ride was, physically, the toughest thing he's ever
       done...and that includes basic & advanced training in the Army at a much younger age.

TroisV doffs trois chapeaux in the direction of Mr. Bierbaum!


Here's a terrible, if appropriate, song.  Miley cheats by walking and riding a horse, and her mountain looks sorta computer-generated:

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Another Epping Loop

Today at 8 a.m., the two Tour of Wessex-bound members of TroisV set out on our final training ride before the event, which takes place next weekend.  The Epping Loop has definitely become a favorite, or maybe even the favorite, or before the other members get angry, favourite route.  There were a lot of other cyclists out today, and an LD rider even said hello as he passed (going the other way).  I gave a spider a free ride up Robin's Nest Hill, and due to sloppy application of sunscreen, the insides of my elbows are now burnt.  An otherwise enjoyable ride was marred somewhat in the home stretch by a driver in Finchley who decided to cut us off rather than let us merge, and even further by his friend who saw fit to scream obscenities as they passed.  The driver slowed down, and the friend looked ready to spit, but we stayed clear.

No punctures today, but my tail light did jump off the back of my bike in almost the exact same spot in Walthamstow that I got a puncture last time.

Here's the stats:

Time: 4:10:58
Distance: 66.35 miles
Average: 15.8 mph
Max: 37.3

The distance anomaly to last time is explained by the fact that we didn't get lost, and that these stats came from my computer, which means the distance to and from my home measured last time isn't there.


Thursday, 13 May 2010

TroisV's Enemy's Enemy Is TroisV's Friend

On the inaugural TroisV ride last autumn we encountered the club discussed in the link below, and had mild difficulties negotiating our way through their pack of static bicycles as they sat at an intersection in Richmond Park, watching us approach. 

In keeping to Clause 11 of the TroisV Constitution, the club therefore endorses this post from La Gazzetta Della Bici.


Sunday, 2 May 2010


Comrades, please stand:

Anyway, to celebrate the working man, two-thirds of the TroisV rode a very hilly route (we deviated quite a bit from this map, but anyway) to Brighton. We dealt with uncertain weather (I made a significant tactical error by wearing tights, whereas I should've just let my legs be cold for the first hour, which was in London anyway), difficulties in navigation (Jon! We need your GPS and its purple line!), two punctures (the second of which was wholly my fault), cranky legs and Ditchling Beacon, a picture of which follows:

I was not feeling like a hundred dollars at that point.

Anyway, valuable lessons were learned about eating enough, dressing properly, not bringing a dodgy spare as your backup, and the International Working Men's Movement.

Some of those, anyway.

The important thing is, we made it to Brighton, and have a photograph to prove it. We were banned from walking our bikes down to the end of the pier, due to our suspicious similarity to the IRA (apparently; "being in possession of a bicycle" is enough, though I'm not willing to start comparing our plight to Mexican-Americans in Arizona quite yet.

To make up for not being able to walk the pier, we watched some trampoliners, discussed kidneys, and rode to the station.

The ride stats, courtesy of Dr. Matt's computer:

74.5 miles
ave 13.3
36 max
5:34 ride time
In South London, we were encouraged for a hundred yards or so by someone who played the album version of today's musical choice for us: