On Monday I received some shocking news. I was already melancholic from 9/11 tributes and documentaries when I was told that our Operations Manager had passed away on the Sunday whilst out cycling with his club. I can’t really describe how I feel about it accurately. We were not friends in work we had a colleague relationship but we had some great conversations about cycling from carb gels to Tour De France and we always managed to find some sort of laughter in this. I remember first telling him I was going to be doing some ‘proper’ cycling and he signed off the email “take it easy Contador”. I feel shocked and deeply gutted about his passing especially as he was a fit guy. Life is very unfair sometimes. I would like to express my heartfelt sadness to Stewart’s family and hope that Stewart himself rests in peace. I would also like to dedicate the following to Stewart something I found on the internet and found quite fitting really;
A ride through time.I ride through time,
Stretching it out with surreal distortion,
I ride for freedom,
I am immortal, freedom from the fear of death,
I push myself to the limit of my mortal frame,
then transcend that human pain,
enter into that fourth dimension.
My wheels no longer touch the ground,
they’re floating on passionate effort,
a whole hearted single minded effort,
the rhythm of a perfect circle,
a pulsing rhythm that rises above the worlds woes.
Movement brings freedom.
Unfettered yet fitting in perfectly,
an independent form of movement.
I know exactly how far I have travelled,
I can feel how far I have moved.
Allow the spirit of your surroundings feed your movement,
the harder I push the more I merge with my surroundings,
my aim is to reach that point of effortless movement,
turbo boosted blood pumping round my muscles,
my spirit is one with my body,
brain, muscles and spirit in total harmony,
producing a pure single minded effort,
human body, trees, mountains rivers, spirits and bike.
Carlo Castelvecchi. May 2002
Stewart’s passing has raised some thoughts in my head about my cycling future. This combined with the numb groin, which was not pleasant, had brought me to thinking about quitting the bike altogether. I suppose the introspection is natural after such a set of events but it has scared me. I am not even a quarter as fit on the bike as him and who’s to say I won’t have something like that happen to me. I am younger then Stewart by some 15 years but it has worried me considerably. I am reasonably sure that I will keep going after all if I don’t cycle I could just as easily die from something else tomorrow so I suppose I'm thinking of carpe diem (seize the day) is necessary. I know I’m quoting a lot today but here’s another
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
The week itself has not been a good one exercise wise. I have been suffering with a cough and heavy cold (man flu!), which has meant a couple of days off work no gym and hardly anytime on the bike. Sad times indeed. It is my intention to start off on a winter training schedule, which I am working out at the moment. It is going to involve swimming, wattbikes and the gym. If I get chance to get out on the bike I will take it but those days seem to be few and far between at the moment. I will post something next week on what the schedule is going to look like.
Had a great time at Chris and Ste Law’s 30th bash last night. Lots of lovely people and booze. To cap the night Chris decided to get a ambulance taxi home!
Ending on a massively positive note I found out this week that 2 sets of my friends are going to have babies. This has cheered me up no end towards the end of the week and as you can probably tell I have been writing the blog all week and not just on the Sunday as normal. I have also received my picture through from the Manchester 100 Miler. I know I look bad ass…more like a numb ass!
Have a safe week and take every opportunity you can.