>I can see my dinner (and 2 poor race performances)

>The new dining room lights are installed. Not big news, I admit, but I’ve been worrying about this job for months (years, even). That’s the way I DIY: a long period of worry followed by a short period of actual work. I’m a poor craftsman, so the worry is frequently justified. This job went okay though.

The lights are surprisingly bright. Bright enough to perform minor surgery under I reckon. On checking, however, it turns out that you need some sort of “professional qualification” to set up as a surgeon nowadays, so that career change is out (political correctness gone mad).

My search for a new job since redundancy has been fruitless so far. I entered “playwright” and “cycle racer (4th cat.)” into all of the job search engines, but nothing yet. I might have to go back to my old career, but Zeppelin building isn’t what it used to be.

In racing news, I rode the Thames Velo circuit race at Hillingdon on Saturday and was tailed off on the last lap. I did move up the bunch early on, but gravitated to tail end Charlie after a few laps.

Race stats: Race distance: 26.79 miles, time: 1:5:57 (24.4mph average speed). 31st from 31 finishers. Top speed: 29.2mph. Fastest mile: 2:18 (26.1mph – mile 14), slowest mile: 2:36 (23.1mph – mile 24). Average HR: 160bpm, maximum HR: 170bpm. Winner: Mark Smith (Welwyn Wheelers)

On Sunday I rode the West London Combine / Bath Road Club 2 up and solo 25m time trial on the Great Missenden course (HCC114). I rode with Willesden CC team mate Peter Dixon. Early season I was beating Peter by minutes. Since then he has moved from 4th to 3rd category and become a lot fitter. To my shame I was dropped three times in the first mile and never made it back to Peter’s wheel the third time. He rode on to finish in an unnoficial 1:3:05 (a 9 minute improvement on his solo PB) while I trundled round for a massively disappointing 1:8:46.

I’m not sure why I was so slow – slower than the solo time I did on this course at the start of the season. I’ve only got two or three more TTs to go this season, so I need to get my arris back into gear.

Race stats: 25 miles in 1:08:46 (21.81mph). ? out of ? finishers. Slowest mile (7): 3:17 (18.27mph). Fastest mile (12): 2:17 (26.28mph). Top speed: 32.9mph. First 12.5 miles: 33:48 next 12.5 miles: 34:58. Max heart rate: 158bpm, average HR: 151bpm (that’s a depressed HR!). Winners: C Starling and P Lawrence (High Wycombe CC) 59:25. Fastest solo: R Griffiths (Twickenham CC) 56:08