Water water everywhere

The latest blog finds our Wiggle winner preparing for his channel swim.

Like most triathletes, water plays a significant part in my life. Unfortunately it’s mostly when I’m out on my bloody bike.
 
Yes the BBQ summer is upon on us and I have now had my fair share of dousings as I battle way soggy way around rain-lashed roads. There seems to be a particular type of storm front called cumulo-timetrialus which lurks unseen to the naked eye until the moment I take the start line of a time trial, whereupon it races overhead and dumps the equivalent of Rutland Water on me.
 
This has happened twice so far this week, with last Saturday’s downpour a particularly biblical affair as I took part in the Heanor Clarion CC 25 miler at Ettwall. I’m happy to say that despite spray from passing lorries, lashing rain, standing water and slippery roundabouts, I broke the hour for the first time with a 58.08 and a top 20 finish. I put this entirely down to my speedy Focus Izalco bike, and to fear, with a strong desire to get away from the lorries on the A50 as fast as humanly possible. Despite a couple of squeaky-bum moments due to reckless cornering I was very pleased to be a) under the hour and b) alive – and a quick word to any local councils, these so called “speed-bumps” you build are rubbish. If anything they slow you down.
 
Anyway, getting cold and wet every day is a blessing in disguise (although it’s a bloody good disguise) because water of a more salty kind is looming large on my horizon – this weekend I’m off to swim the channel. So far I’ve successfully implied to everyone that I am doing it solo whereas in truth I‘ve been bending the truth so far it’s virtually a balloon animal. In fact I am just one cog in a well-oiled machine of a team called “All this for fags and booze” which is making a relay attempt to get to France without spending any money on ferries or the Eurostar.
 
And what a team it is. There’s Steve “Ice Man” Howes, Robin Corder and a bloke I haven’t met yet called Andy, who I’m counting on to be a relative of Michael Phelps. The Ice Man is so named because I’ve got more fat in my fingernails than has in his whole body and he’s been finding the sea temperature a bit on the nippy side. Lastly there’s me, with my legs the size of a bookie’s biro. How can we possibly fail?
 
We also have a rival team taking the whole business far more seriously than us, made up of Steve Mcmenamin, Karen Throsby and Jamie Goodhead. Steve is a Brighton resident who regularly makes attempts to kill himself by swimming under Brighton Pier, Karen is an aspiring channel solo-ist for 2010 while Jamie is an Australian who, having lived in the UK for too long, is trying to make a swim for it. All in all, they don’t stand a chance against us.
 
Most of us are doing this because frankly we can’t get any wetter than being out cycling, although Steve Mac is actually doing it with noble intentions, raising money for the Brainstrust charity. So if any kind souls would like to sponsor us in our synchronised drowning attempt, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/stevemcmenamin/
 
Until next time, au revoir…

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