Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another year gone by... bye bye 2008

From SELdia8dic

Well looking back over the three entries in the blog this year and getting back to last year I don't see much to add. No really I don't know what to say. I'm sure I'll detail the cycling year a little but I feel more like a whinge so maybe I'll soon head over to Letters to Tao and do just that.

I feel an obligation to put up a years end entry but it also feels a bit stupid. It's 20 past nine on new years eve and as usual I am here alone with the net. Well, and Eni of course. I just helped him put an entry on his blog and he's off sulking.

And I'm here eating a bowl of cereal, muesli and a special-K home brand rip off, with protein powder and L-Glutamine.
This year I've started taking food supplements on the recommendation of a sports medicine doctor and I think it makes a difference, I really do. It makes a difference to my wallet that's for sure. Here is what I had taken up to September or so, when I took this shot.

From vuelta2008

I'm sure there's a thousand bucks or so just there, could be more. I have it all detailed in my diary so I could add it up, but I'm not going to. Just take my word that it costs. But this year I haven't had those niggley colds and things of that nature, like every other year when I've been training. And this year I've been training and working a lot. I feel like I haven't had a few hours to myself in the whole year. But of course that's partly because I spend all my spare moments on the net, tracking the fall of the civilization and what they've been saying about me on the cycling blogs.

From QH_2008

And of course, they're not saying much, although lately I've had a couple of mentions on Enrique Sevilla's blog
I'm getting that mention because I've suddenly discovered the beauty of attacking the group at the start of the race and therefore getting some "TV time", or in this case a few fotos here and there. And even something getting close to results.

although I did prefer the freaky version of the foto from the aforementioned Sevilla blog

This one came with a caption that said something like "Here we have the podium of the Master 40 category with the presentation by the freaky festival coordinator in traditional dress of Fuenlabrada (the location of the race). By his side we can see the Paloma who fears for his bottom and is sticking close to the podium.

Anyhow, To get back to me, as always, it's time to try and sum up the year. My first year racing in the tightly contested Masters 40 category here in Madrid and I have learnt a fair bit. It took me a while to get up to speed but I started coming good in the Christmas season races, getting myself a third place and a fourth place, second in my category (being a race with the 30s and 40s together).

I previously got myself a fifth some months back in a race in Ciudad Real.
All in all I've done seventeen races and finished all but three, for a puncture, giving my wheel to a team-mate, after his puncture, so he could try and finish and get some points (which counted in the end for him to win the Master 50 championship, along with his previous efforts, of course) and not being able to get back to the peleton after stopping to check on a team-mate after a crash.

From cycling-other peoples fotos

At this race. the team as it was in 2008. next year it's a different line up.

I came eleventh overall in the Master 40 championship series, so I reckon that's all right for a beginner. Next year I plan to improve a lot on that.

This year I only did two CicloMarchas, the Quebratahuesos and the Pedro Delgado.
The QH is the one in the Piranees and the PD is in the Sierra de Madrid. Both are truly hard events and I have done them for the last few years. I improved my time in both.

So to sum up; 16616 kms and 94 and a half hours of the static bike. So the equivelent of 18838 kms of cycling this year and an improvement in most everything I can compare to last year.

If I can get my breathing better I can do alright. You can see above how much trouble I have getting the air in. Oh and I've been battling a bad Anemia and now they tell me I'm Hipertyroid and should take medicine for a couple of years to control it. I haven't decided to go along with that one yet.

Well I'm getting sick of this and I'm sure you are too, if you even exist. So I'll call it an entry.

No painting by the way. I said I was turning into Seton and I wasn't joking.

Love youse all

illustration friday
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Friday, September 19, 2008

end of summer

Well, as the title says, it's the end of summer, or very nearly. I have to start working again, of which I am less than keen to start again with the English classes. If only some Spinning classes would come through. I will be doing some this week and next, but only those; at least for the moment. But for the moment I will be at it again with the English classes. At least I still have the bike to keep me sane.

From vuelta2008

Here she is patiently waiting while I was doing the same, (patiently waiting) for the peleton of the 2008 Vuelta a EspaƱa to come past this afternoon on the Galapagar pass.
It was my only opportunity to see them this time round, even though they were going to go climb Navacerrada and Navafria today, I didn't have time to go so far as I agreed to be taken to Festibike en Las Rozas.
A sort of trade fair, well a trade fair, exactly

From vuelta2008

you know the sort of thing.
Alejandro Valverde's Pinarello.

From vuelta2008

Nice attention to detail.

But back to the story. Not much of a story really and all the photos I took of the riders, who shot past, as you would expect, turned out blurry as hell.
For example

From vuelta2008

From vuelta2008

Only the back of the struggling Wouter Weylandt, who seemed to be getting dropped, although I have no doubt he got back on all right, came out sort of reasonable.

From vuelta2008

Anyhow, fun enough.

I will try to come back in less than 6 months to finish up here.
illustration friday
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The two of them, or us or three or four...

Well such a long time, as usual. I have a few days off to celebrate the christian calender, but beggars can't be choosers. One takes what one can get these days. (not that I have that much against christianity per se,(apart from the fact that it's a religion) but the christians are giving it a bad name these days, or perhaps they always have). Anyhow back to me, the main man, at least as far as this blog is concerned. I hope to achieve a few things in these free days from my grueling schedule (I'll have a whinge later on my Letters to Tao blog) and one of same is to post on the blogs and so forth. So here I am.

I gave the two bikes a wipe down and took them down to the square this morning to take a few views of them together.

Eni came along, of course!

One wouldn't expect any less. I'll help him do an entry on his blog later with some more photos of him with the bikes.

But enough of the beauty, back to the beasts.

Any regular readers (I know there is no such thing on this blog, but let's just pretend) would recognise the closer bike as the faithful Orbea of the last 30 thousand kilometres. The further is the new luxury Colnago Extreme Power. And quite the beast it is too. I was a little dissapointed that the difference wasn't more, hum, shocking, as it feels just about the same as the Orbea. It's not like when I changed from the 20 year old steel Battaglin to the Aluminium Orbea. Now that was an astonishing difference. No, this difference was a bit more subtle. But still, the first time I took it for a serious ride though I went up the Galapagar pass, and cut 30 seconds off my all time record there. And it's still basically the off season.

So, difference there is. Perhaps the PowerCranks have something to do with it too. I know that I have suffered plenty with them, so they must be doing something. The guys in the bike shop that I went to the other day flipped out over the cranks that both hang down the bottom of the stroke. I had to give them a lend of my shoes so they could have a go.

That's them, as the theoretical regular reader would already know, from the Christmas day entry on this very blog. They are the training aid from hell, but I would recommend them to anybody who thinks that suffering will get you to where you want to be.

and then there's the top of the line biking experience. Or as close to it as I'll ever get, (I assume). The civilisation will crash before I get a chance to better this machine. It's not really the most beautiful of all the bikes on the market but it's among the most elegant, that's for sure.

Although I was hoping to pull my head in a little on the spending front, I really need to and and all, I also am really sick of suffering such a sore arse. (from the seat of the push bike) so after hearing the for the nth time how comfortable the Fi'zi:k Arione Wingflex was, I gave in and bought one. I took it out for the first time to do the 200 km brevet des randonneurs mondiaux organised by Pueblo Nuevo Cicling Club, and liked it enough to buy the company. No wait, that's not right, I liked it enough to buy another one for the other bike.

So now I have two beautiful Fi'zi:k Arione Wingflex Titanium saddles and 200 euros less.

And also two brand new saddles that just didn't seem to agree with my bum. Both of which are really top class saddles too. And then there's the bottle cage that came with the new bike and all.

Since I am completely hooked on the Specialized Rib-Cage (as you can see if you look again there's two on each bike)

That leaves me with a fifty euro Moro d'Elite without a use. Anybody that wants to make off with a bargain just let me know.

a shout out as usual to illustration friday.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008


An oldy but a goody.
I never did a proper scan of this work before it was framed up and it's taken me until now to get around to unframing it, (to use the frame for another work).

Pencil on finely sanded gesso.

Fuck, I wish I had more time, or less interests.

approximately 1 month of eight to ten hour days, seven days a week, back in 2004 when I was a real artist.

there is a bit more space around the edges with some more water drops, but since they don't reproduce properly anyway...

Some details

From grass

Well, if I still hung around illustration friday I could probably get some comments.
What a shame.

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