(This article a reproduction of the original published at http://cyclefit.co.uk/a-briton-in-brittany-7)
Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping to check in here for a customary rambling and largely directionless epic- alas my creative forces have run dry.
Essays, presentations and mocks were all accomplished in the end, albeit not in a stress-free or comfortable manner. I don’t want to present myself as overly negative on what should be an entertaining and largely positive blog to entertain you, but I can safely say hand-on-heart that I’m really not having the best time at the minute. I’m a generally happy-go-lucky scamp who is uniformly optimistic and cheerful, but I’ve recently been enduring my first real tastes of unhappiness and depression and it’s not really something I’m prepared for or enjoying.
However, I’m here (for now) and things are slowly getting done. It does not change the fact, though, that I am desperately counting down the days until I can finish and leave. France itself is lovely, as are the people. I have made some good friends (both English and French) out here. I don’t really know why I’m so consistently mopey, therefore, beyond the fact that after 4 years I really am coming to the end of my academic patience. Ah, well.
With the end of those assignments, though, things are looking marginally up. Lectures are winding down. essentially I just have exams and revision between me and freedom. Exams being scheduled for 13 and 14 December and 3/4/5 January.
It was also a welcome relenting of pressure which enabled me to get out on a proper bike ride again at last. Last 3 rides have all been in cold, fog, drizzle (you know that kind of moist mist which seems to coat everything?) and strong bitter winds. However I have loved each and every one- savoured the freshness and liberty.
On a similarly positve note, to the right is the photographic evidence of my brief chat with David Brailsford, guru of British Cycling, from the Workshop in Manchester at the end of October. Cyclefit jersey proudly hoisted aloft.
That’s it for now, I’m afraid. I’m sorry I couldn’t manage anything further for now. Next week I hope to have compiled a photo tour of the locale for you all.
(This article is a reproduction of the original, found at http://cyclefit.co.uk/a-briton-in-brittany-6)
Time to tamp down the pipe, adjust the deer-stalker and settle into your Brooks for the helter-skelter riot of hellz-a-poppin’ hilarity that is A Briton in Brittany 6.
The end of October saw me return for a brief and glorious visit to the UK. An extremely interesting workshop up in Manchester with Mr Dave Brailsford and the Jaguar Academy of Sport was followed the next day by watching the opening event of the 2011 Revolution Series at Manchester Track. Having managed to negotiate my way into the VIP area, I was treated to a fantastic evening of top-class track racing. The evening was only improved by my friend Craig Maclean winning the International Keirin in considerably dominating style.
From there I snaked my way across to Sheffield for a blissful few days with the Tiny Pigeon aka Alice, my girlfriend. This was lovely as I had not seen her since my last UK visit a few weeks before. There ensued 2 days of watching trash on iPlayer and 4oD, eating far more than I should, and generally not really wanting to leave the bed.
Conjugal visit accomplished, I ventured South to the Big Smoke for the 1st November Cyclefit Symposium (Garth Fox Msc, delivered an absorbing lecture on power measurement in cycling). This also gave me the opportunity to catch up with friends at Rapha HQ (sponsors and friends) and Look Mum No Hands! (sponsors and beer) and indulge my coffee obsession with a visit to Monmouth Coffee in Covent Garden.
It was really great to see everyone at Cyclefit again. I felt Uncle Phil seemed to be a little bit subdued, however, brooding and in great pain. But those are the sacrifices he makes for the sport and for you. Slaving tunelessly away at the bike jig, feeding his dartfish and so on. If you see him, do please give him a pat on the back (actually, don’t do that, it’ll hurt) and tell him he is loved.
From London it was back to the Westcountry and family for a few days. Then a ferry to St. Malo, a return to a semi-flooded flat (thankyou French administration who still haven’t fixed my leaking boiler 3 weeks after I reported it) and 24hrs in which to write an assessed essay. (Research completed, rather sneakily, on the ferry). So business as usual.
I’m currently neck-deep in assessments once again. Academia likes to give you all your deadlines at once, so I now have 2 weeks in which to revise for 2 mock examinations, write and deliver 2 presentations, and do 2 essays.
On the plus side (there’s always one) it was sunny and dry on Wednesday so I binned my reading in favour of a session on the track. There was pain, there was sweat, there was a small amount of vomit. I was very happy.
Final few things… the Cyclefit Symposiums series. Next up is Mr Simon Mottram of Rapha fame. Beloved of hipsters, beloved of bankers, beloved of me. A unique glimpse into the mind of a precision business machine. Tues 6th December. Spaces are limited (and free) and will be going very quickly. Please do e-mail Robyn at email@example.com to check availability.
Then the jewel in the crown of the series- the International Cyclefit Symposium. 25th/26th January. An audacious selection of 8 experts from around the world. Some genuinely cutting-edge and incisive lectures. Unfortunately we cannot offer this symposium free- as the costs associated with securing these speakers is high. Check out the tab above for further details.
And because I cannot bear to leave without a joke: I will be there. Jules and his tartan trousers will be there. Phil and his back brace/man-corset will be there. Will you?