Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Saturday, 12 January 2008

RIP Sir Edmund Hillary

Those of you who are of my vintage will recall the double wammy of the Coronation and the news of the conquest of Everest. Being a Brit, I assumed that Sir Edmund was also a Brit (!) and in fact yesterday I heard a recording of the BBC news broadcast, which described the expedition as British -led....we really did believe Britain was tops..after all most of the world map was red! (for those not understanding this the atlases of the time the Commonwealth countries were in red)

The reason I bring up this topic is that in the blog Science in Sport (highly recommended), I found this quote of Sir Edmund's.......which is along the lines of other quotes I have posted such as Browning's in Andrea del Sarto and Roosevelt's Man in the Arena

"Never, at any stage, until we actually got up the rock step, was I confident that we were going to be successful. My feeling was that we would give it everything we had, but we had no surety that we were going to reach the top. In fact, I believe that if someone starts out on a challenging activity, completely confident that they're going to succeed, why bother starting? It's not much of a challenge".

What is it about certain countries that they develop a certain sort of person? both Australia and New Zealand have a disproportionately large amount of highly successful outdoor/sports people on the world stage, given their relatively small populations.

Different topic-motorpacing
Despite the appalling heat of the last few days here..2 days of 40+ degrees heat interspersed with a night when the temp didn't go below 30...I started motorpacing sessions on the track this Thursday. Woohoo! I was useless to begin with, which was a 15 min warm up with 4 of us....every time I eased up to let the next rider through, I did a "counterbalancing" instant swing down...luckily Eddie, who was next in line, is a robust racer and just held his line. Just call me chopper !

I managed to conquer that habit during the next 3 x 20 lap efforts with just 2 of us but, since I was at my limit, struggled with the inevitable surge to move forward from second wheel to behind the bike. I was therefore a bit disappointed to be told we were only going at about 42kph as at my only other motorpacing session ever I'd been easily managing 50kph. On returning home and downloading the powertap I saw that by my calculations we'd done those 20 lap efforts at an average of 47kph, which is more like what I was feeling like. I'll do a quick check of the roll out before commenting officially though!

Embarrassing moments
Of the 3 embarrassing moments in a cyclists life...riding into a parked car, falling over at the lights and failing to unclip...I've done the first 2 in the post Xmas period. The first one was un-witnessed and very damage to car or bike..only a dramatic arm bruise. Memo to self..don't check HRM while on the move. The second one was definitely witnessed but i managed to avoid eye contact with all occupants of all cars and all pedestrians. I'd unclipped no probs, but had put my foot onto a slope and the cleat just slid, taking me with it. Result...scabby knee...again...I have NO original skin on either knee.

And finally the powertap wheel is back from its hospital stateside visit and having been re-acquainted with its rim, is now waiting for a tyre and tube and will then be ready to be back in action. My coach will be delighted since she's felt "blind" with no power readings over the last month to see how I'm progressing. Saris has a very good service.the hub was returned promptly, although it did get caught the Christmas postal rush and on its return it was accompanied by a whole heap of extra harness and sensor, new CPU and when I say "new" CPU I mean the upgraded one plus a new chest strap....maybe I'll be able to dispense with the Polar set up.

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