Category Archives: job search

New Job

I went for a job interview yesterday. It seemed to go quite well and I’ve just heard that I got the job. I’m very pleased.

It’s a part-time role with lots of weekend working. Although it’s a permanent post, most of the hours are allocated to the months between Easter and September. I’m going to have to ration my racing and training around shifts, but c’est la vie. At least I should be able to ride to work some of the time – the ‘office’ is about 16 miles from home.

I’ll add more details as I get them, but here’s a picture of the new office to be going on with.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle. Image copyright

Tonight is another Eastbourne Rovers‘ Pevensey ’10’. It’s a nice day, so let’s hope I can get back into the short 27s.

No race this weekend – I’m not ready for a ’50’ yet and there was nothing else close.

Race #12 – A Mighty Wind

Back to Kent today to ride the Kent VTTA 30 mile TT on the Q30/2. I was interested to see how I would go after Thursday’s ride. Was that an aberration?

No, it wasn’t. Another slow ride today. The breeze didn’t help, but my cadence was low and my heart rate never really got going. I even did a mile at 16mph at one point.

I’m either tired, under-motivated or ill. There’s no evidence of the latter so I’ll go with a combination of 1 and 2 as a working hypothesis. If I mess up tomorrow’s evening ’10’ as well, that will count as a third strike and I will take a couple of days off the bike. It’ll allow me to get Wednesday’s job interview out of the way as well.

It was a tight race at the front end with Andrew Meliak just edging Mike Piper by 7 seconds.

Race stats: Time: 1:21:30 (22.09mph). First 15 miles: 38:32, last 5 miles: 42:32. Top speed: 33.7mph. Slowest mile (22): 3:36 (16.67mph), fastest mile (11): 2:09 (27.91mph). Average HR: 156bpm, maximum HR: 166bpm. Average cadence: 71rpm. 18th of 34 finishers. Winner: Andrew Meliak (Data Team Allstars) 1:08:33

Went to look at the site for the job interview this afternoon. Not like any office I’ve ever worked in before.

>Race #11 – Hubris

>Ah well. I fell into the trap of imagining that progress is inevitable. Based on recent, half-decent rides I’d expected to beat 27:00 in last night’s Eastbourne Rovers ’10’ on the Pevensey course. Instead I went out and did my slowest time for over two years – 28:09.

It was a breezy evening, but even with a tailwind to the turn I was only 21 seconds up on last week’s 27:02 effort. After the turn my ride fell to bits and I lost buckets of time every mile. Worst of all was the last mile where I went 29 second slower than last week – 3:06 for the mile on a dead flat piece of road. The strange thing is I was trying. My form wasn’t too bad and I my breathing was better than last week. I was a little under-motivated, maybe, but I thought I was accelerating towards the flag. As I say – strange.

Race stats: Time: 28:09 (21.31mph). First 5 miles: 13:25, last 5 miles: 14:44. Top speed: 33.9mph. Slowest miles (4 & 10): 3:06 (19.35mph), fastest mile (5): 2:32 (23.68mph). Average HR: 161bpm, maximum HR: 169bpm. Average cadence: 71rpm. 17th of 22 finishers. Winner: Iain Brogden (Eastbourne Rovers) 21:43

The bike will need some attention before Sunday’s 30m TT in Kent. I seemed to hit a series of potholes and quite a lot moved under the repeated impacts.

Some better news on the job front: I have an interview next Wednesday. It’s only £4k a year, but it’s a start.

>Be positive

>Thursday night’s ride was a little disappointing but I think I kept a sense of perspective.

Today, however, I may have let the negativity bug get to me for a while. I’m over it now.

The event was the Sussex Cyclists’ Association 25m TT Championships on the G25/93 at Steyning. I’d not ridden the course before, but it’s a fair test with some gentle drags to get over. There was quite a breeze blowing but there didn’t seem to be any full-on headwind stretches.

The bike went okay (though that right hand tri-bar still moves). I, however, went less well. I finished with a time of 1:07:431. The event was won by Peter Tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) in a time of 52:16.

Reflecting on it, there is still plenty more work to do and hence ground to make up. I’m effectively six weeks back into any sort of training and I’m still building base fitness. The race performances seem to be going backwards, but it’s much too early to establish any patterns. I’d thought of adding some interval work into the programme, but I probably don’t have the base fitness to make it tell yet. I’ll ride a couple of club 10m TTs this week to get in more time on the time trial bike.

Note the average cadence of 73rpm. I need to increase that.

Race stats: Time: 1:7:43 (22.15mph). First 12.5 miles: 34:16, last 5 miles: 33:20. Top speed: 33.8mph. Slowest mile (13): 3:04 (19.57mph), fastest mile (16): 2:15 (26.67mph). Average HR: 159bpm, maximum HR: 166bpm. Average cadence: 73rpm. 57th of 72 finishers. Winner: Peter tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) 52:16

No joy on the job search front.

1 1:07:43 is the 82nd fastest ’25’ I have ridden (out of 120). It’s the 19th fastest I’ve ridden in May (out of 25). Not that I’m obsessive…


>I am suffering from frustration. I’d got back into the training groove – admittedly dragging myself up hills and crawling into headwinds – but now it’s all fallen apart again. I think I may have mislaid my cycling mojo. I have excuses – DIY to do, plumbers to wait for, it looks a bit rainy – but, in truth, I’m not getting out there because I’m under-motivated. The house is a (wonderful) distraction that I’m using as an excuse. Tomorrow I will ride1.

Pat has flown away to China. I’m missing her already. I always worry that I will sort of disappear if she’s not here. She has instructed me to talk to people if I feel the invisibility coming on. I hope I don’t scare anyone.

I am sending CVs to potential employers. I expect to be flooded with job offers at any moment. If you need a playwright on the staff2 you’d better get in touch fast.

1 Check back later to see if I held to this.
2 Will also shine shoes, mow lawns, build Zeppelins, etc.

>Watch Dowsett Go

>On Thursday night I took my third kicking in three weeks at group training. This time I lasted 30 minutes before being blown out of the group. I’m supposed to be group leader. I see the sack beckoning. I finished the session in a more even paced group. I was quite ill when I got home.

On Friday we went to the Barbican for Pat’s (sorry – Dr Pat’s) OU graduation ceremony. I was as proud as punch. I like the OU – It’s great to see so many people celebrating what is a considerable achievement.

I almost didn’t ride Saturday afternoon’s North Hampshire RC ’25’ on the Bentley course (H25/8). I did not feel good in the morning and only the effects of vitamin I (Ibuprofen) persuaded me to set out. Once there I did a gentle one hour ride to try and get mind and body in the right place. It was a nice day and gradually things seemed to improve, so I headed for the start line.

The race itself was pretty tough. The breeze got up throughout and the second time towards Alton was, as it so often is, a bit of a graveyard. Apparently I was climbing all over the bike in an effort to keep it going.

At about 19.5 miles I was caught for 13 minutes by Alex Dowsett warming up for the U23 TT World Championships in Australia. He went on to record a 46:58 – an incredible time for this course. He already held the course record with a 47:50 earlier this season – another ride where he caught me!

I went on to finish in 1:2:25 – my fastest ever ’25’ in September (I used to finish the season on the first weekend of September, so I’ve not ridden many 25s this late in the year). I was quite pleased that my form seems to be coming back, though probably too late now.

Race stats: Time: 1:02:25 (24.03mph). First 12.5 miles: 30:40, last 12.5 miles: 31:45. Top speed: 34.2mph. Slowest mile (15): 2:53 (20.81mph), fastest mile (9): 1:59 (30.25mph). Average HR: 166bpm, maximum HR: 172bpm. Average cadence: 73rpm. 50th of 89 finishers. Winner: Alex Dowsett (Trek Livestrong) 46:58

On Sunday I rode the Willesden CC 100km Dulcie Walker road race for 3/4 category riders. I was dropped after a couple of miles and span round for two laps (stopping for coffee at one of the marshalling points). It was a duty call. In the afternoon I helped marshall a junction for the E123 John Walker road race.

As the season draws to a close (last race scheduled for October 17th) I’m beginning to think about next year. We’re moving to the South coast, so I’ll probably be looking for a new club/team. And a new job or jobs. I suspect the Winter will be rather busy, so training might be disrupted.

>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