Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ah the annual oxymoron that is Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) has released it's shortlist and soon the web and its far more social forerunner the pub will be alive to heated discussions re the best person to lift the trophy. My views on sport align on Orwellian principals.

I am biased on this, as is everyone else in one way or another. I think to win SPOTY (a)they need to compete in a sport, and (b) they need to have a personality. Others will argue that boxing is the pastime of barbarians, back to Orwell. I enjoy darts, I played for my local for years, it is many things but it is not a sport in my view. Golf, cross country squash without the effort. So now we're down to seven.
Tom Daley, skilled, brilliant at his discipline even has a personality. OK two golds at the commonwealths this year but only four other competitions this year accrueing a silver, two fourths and a ninth place. Focusing on Dehli? Probably but hardly setting the world on fire.
Amy Williams. Fifth in the world and an Olympic gold is no mean feat for a Brit in a winter sport. Pulled the big one out of the bag on the day.

David Haye. OK a boxer, without doubt a personality, a world champion at two weights. (Hardly his fault it's not unified)

Graeme Swann. I'm a fan. Wisden cricketer of the year, ECB cricketer of the year Swanny is having a great year. If he wins us the Ashes maybe next year.

Jessica Ennis. Another consumate female performer in the most demanding of sports. Third last year, she's up there but only gold in London will get it for her.

Mark Cavendish. My choice. He has not been the main focus of his team this year but still won in style, more than last year when he was the sole focus of HTCs efforts. Wears his jersey with pride, always backs his team mates. Will get no end of flack from Wiggo if he wins. It will be an eye opener to many how shy he will be when he hasn't got the adrenaline of a 60mph bike sprint coursing through the veins

AP McCoy. Must be the favourite and with good reason. Champion jockey since the 95/96 season, jump jockey of the year every year bar one since 1996. He finally nailed the Grand National this year surely the only unticked box in an outstanding career.

So there we have it, my guess is Clare Balding will no doubt present McCoy's bid and hopefully Hugh Porter or Phil Ligget will argue Cav's case. Fortunately the cycling vote won't be split this year so Cav has as good a chance as anyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Long Time Away.

It has to be said, my blogging of late has been on a par with my bike commuting. I did rest up a shoulder injury for ten days and between the accrued sleep deprivation and the onset of the winter storms I have been a lazy chap. So here we are in mid November the Peak District and Scotland have already had a smattering of snow and Cornwall appears waist deep in water. Here's hoping you and yours haven't suffered and my best wishes for dry feet to those that have.

Some sporting shocks during the interregnum, Sir Chris Hoy lost a race! Big hand to Felix English for never giving up and Big Chris doesn't need my input. In another sport altogether I'm fairly sure I saw a team purporting to be the England Rugby Union squad give Australia a slapping.

Monday is day one of the winter commutes. Out of the drawers come the trusty Polaris Niteride and Vortex jackets. My Vortex is the old black one but the reflectives are very good at night. The Niteride, used with base and mid layers is a personal favourite but I am struggling to find a waterproof and breathable shell to go over the top in the rain. my old Goretex died last winter after six or seven years of sterling service and although I paid £100 for it then £200 for its current equivalent sticks in the wallet. I have a fleecy pair of Santini longs to try this winter sadly not wind-proof as the Nalini wind-proofs have ankle zips that I don't like.

So only the feet to sort this year. Up until now I have used overshoes but commuting I have worn out a pair a season really. I crammed wool socks into the Marressi shoes last winter with a pair of BBB Waterflex overshoes which were dry and mostly warm enough and the trusty neoprenes came out in the coldest weather. I have worn through the toe and heel hooks as my shoes have mtb/CX type cleats at toe and heel and the socks really are really crammed into the Italian leather shoes. So now I find myself looking at winter cycling boots with a leering grin. So between a new Goretex Paclite and a pair of Northwave Celsius boots I could find myself £300 lighter in the pocket. Yoiks!

Cheer Folks have a good weekend.