Everything and nothing

A combination of my recurring chest infection, the heat and a whole load of work has meant that I’ve probably spent more time than I would have liked indoors over the past week or so. On the plus side, this has allowed me to watch the Eneco Tour, Tour du Limousin, Tour of Ireland, GP de Plouay and some of the action from the athletics in Berlin.

Specifically, I had to check out how Romain Mesnil fared in the pole vault. You may recall this was the gentleman who ran around Paris naked, with only his pole for company, in order to attract a new sponsor. Apparently, it had the desired effect plus, according to L’Equipe, he now has a large female fan club. There were three Frenchman in the pole vault final, with Mesnil finishing second. This was sufficient for him to get his kit off yet again though his modesty, in the photos I saw, was safeguarded by the French flag.

The live racing I watched was notable for a couple of things: Boonen back to winning ways as the Eneco Tour went through his home turf; Cavendish notching up his 21st win of the season in Ireland; Russell Downing holding off a stellar bunch of names to clinch the overall in the Tour of Ireland and Simon Gerrans coming nicely into form with a win at GP de Plouay.

I am of course now looking forward to seeing Messrs Valverde, Sanchez and Vinokourov duking it out in the Vuelta. I already have an hors category mountain of ironing to keep me occupied during the first few days, while the Vuelta is in N Europe.

Cycling, even at a gentle pace, in this heat is tiring: doubly so with my cough. Last Friday, I rode up to Tourrettes-sur-Loup and had there been no one around I could have quite happily dived fully clothed into the village fountain. Instead, I had to be content with dousing myself with several bidons worth of cooling water.

It’s also been very humid which has a disastrous effect on my hair, when it’s not confined under my helmet. Do you remember that episode in Friends where Monica plays table tennis in the Bahamas and her hair looks as if she’d stuck her finger in an electric socket. Yes, well mine’s not quite that bad but you get the general idea.

A girlfriend has likened the effect of the current weather conditions as one big, long, hot flush. Since I’ve never had one of those, nor do I want one, I’m prepared to take her word for it.

Hot, hotter, hottest

The weather this week has been very hot and steamy. Indeed, yesterday was officially the hottest day of the year. However, I have been holed up indoors thanks to the return of my chest infection. I can only attribute this to to my husband’s overenthusiastic use of the air conditioning in the car and our hotel bedroom last week. My lungs do not respond well to savage swings in temperature. Of course, I could have said that as a finely tuned athlete my immune system is compromised, but we all know that’s not true!

While it’s no fun being home alone and feeling ill. I can tell you it’s a lot better than being home with my husband and feeling ill. Since I am always so capable, any incapacity on my part seems to render him totally incapable. Yes, I could be at death’s door and he’ll still expect to be fed at regular intervals. My mother in law (aka the outlaw) is fond of saying that Richard arrived in time for breakfast and hasn’t missed a meal since – too right.

He’s in Canada until Sunday and has been emailing me regular updates on his horse fly bite. Yes, that is bite singular. Now, I admit, he was probably bitten by the jaws equivalent of the horse fly world but I really don’t think there was ever any danger of sepsis or loss of limb.  

I feel much better this morning and am hoping to get out on my bike


 tomorrow and Saturday for a couple of gentle rides. Gentle being a technical term for a Zone 1 training ride. Sunday’s pointage involves my first time up a steep climb to Tourette-du-Chateau via Bonson. I will need to get an early start, probably ahead of the club, as the pointage closes at 11:00am.

Postscript: I see I’m in good company. Bert “big brown eyes” Contador has pulled out of this week end’s GP de Plouay with a cold while Bert “too much to” Grabsch is out of the Tour of Ireland thanks to a bout of bronchitis.