Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Guest Blog: MTFU Training – Life through the eyes of a ‘50s tester – Installment 1.

Hello loyal readers – i’m assuming that there’ll be more than one of you, or i might be sued for that remark under the trades descriptions act or the like, but never bother. Let’s try that again, shall we. Good day. And welcome once again to my online diuretic of my thoughts and adventures hosted here on the world wide fund for spiders...web. Although this is the first one i suppose, so i might get sued for that and all.

For those that don’t know me, i’ll introduce meself. Often imitated, but never innovated, i have been compared to a young Arthur “the Engine” Smith (winner of the Wetherby BAR on 4 non-consecutive occasions, and Yorkshire’s premier Fred Astaire impersonator), and also now i’m not so young, to an older Arthur Smith. Mind, i did make the comparison meself, after which things got a bit ugly, and Arthur stopped talking to me. Having spent my long and varied career in alpacka jackets of many colours (but mostly black), i feel i have much to teach the “younger generation”; vet riders have no stiff upper lip these days. Why only the other day i was out in the rain with my group (“the lad’s” as i like to call them), and as i passed the turn to head back out for another fifty, i could see out of the corner of my eye the tears of joy rolling down their faces. Albert was the worst; having had a couple of months off for his hip replacement, you could hear him yelping with delight all the way home. We’d have got our ears boxed for such a display when i were a lad. I remember a cold Christmas in 1946 when me da gave us nowt but individually wrapped coals...but ah’ve digressested again. You good people (person) haven’t come here to read the ramblings of an old fool. So i’ll get straight to the point.

This morning, on the way back from the butcher’s where i’d bought my daily pound of offal (it’s a right treat with a boiled cabbage, and good for your humours too – you kids might want to write that down; that’s a golden tip is that) i got waylaid into the local newsagents. How you ask? Well, i’ll tell you (and you should know better than to question your elders). On’t magazine rack in the window, plain for all the world to see, was a copy of the so-called “Pro Cycling”, it’s cover adorned with the a image of a sun-bronzed Adonis climbing through the sun-drenched hills of some distant Mediterranean landscape. “Blood and sands” i thought, rudely awakened from daydreaming about what the Mail might claim caused cancer today, “what kind of an image is that to project to the youth of today?”. And I was right, What kind of an image is it indeed? Where’s the true motivation in a picture like that? There’s not a juggernaut around to take a tow off, and you’re hardly going to break the comp record if there’s a bloody great alp in your way.

And it gets worse. Oh aye. INSIDE this alleged publication, they have adverts for shorts. But not the woollen ones that we all know and love, no, these are made of a new, space age material called “lycra”. Now tell me this, if you don’t have the classic woollen keks on, how d’you know when to go home on a rainy ride, because these lycra jobs won’t have you spending a night in the cells for indecent exposure, that’s for sure! And Chamois Cream? There’s no way you’d catch me putting cream down there, it’d spoil the taste of the prime cuts of beef it is my pleasure to use for padding. No bloody way, i don’t care if it’s got a nice minty tingle or not!
So, in surmise, it’s no surprise to me that these young bucks who ride the Gyros d’Italy and the like dope, they’ve had it so easy they don’t know what hard work is. A few 100milers would have them straight, i happen, maybe this Contador lad’d be alright if he beefed up a bit.
What? Why are you walking away? Was it something i said?!

Stay tuned for instalment two when i’m once again feeling like a grumpy old man.

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