Thursday, 22 April 2010

Commuted welcome

I'm deadly serious. And don't call me Shirley.

Training's been a lot less than serious recently. In fact, it's been downright silly for the past few days after I discovered a secret society.

Silly Commuting Racing, or SCR, was set up in around 2008. It's known as the 'unspoken game' and pits commuter against commuter to make what's already a pretty dangerous pursuit that much more edgy.

I'm hooked. Although sadly, the Old Kent Road along which I travel has been pretty devoid of any competition of late. And it's been something of a wind tunnel - in both directions. Yep, whether I'm going to work or coming home, I have a headwind to negotiate. All good for the legs, no doubt.

The crux of the sport is to pick a fellow cycle commuter who's higher in the 'food chain' than you are and, well, beat them along a stretch of road. But you have to make it look like you're not really racing, so there's no straining of facial muscles or heavy panting as you pass. Oh no. A nonchalant whistle is best, or perhaps a joyful hum as you scoot past a cyclist on a much better bike than your own.

You work out where you are on the food chain by consulting the calculator. I'm down at a lowly 11 with my old, heavy MTB on skinnies, flat pedals and baggy clothing. This is great as it allows me to tackle many more people out there ostensibly above me in the food chain but in reality considerably lower down. I've notched up an enviable number of scalps so far this week already.

None of this is disguising the fact that the training is going slightly slower than planned. I've done some long, arduous sessions on the turbo, but didn't get out on the 75-miler I planned for my birthday last week. Some days you just need a lie-in, I believe.

But it's definitely giving me the added impetus to get out there on the bike and keep the pedalling cadence up, which has to be a good thing even if it's only a fairly flat four-mile dash.

Big weekend coming up, though. Few laps of Richmond Park on Saturday followed by my extended North Downs run on Sunday. Genuinely looking forward to it after the fun I've had so far.


  1. If you're keen to get some more miles in and don't mind missing a night's sleep, the next Friday Night Ride to the Coast is happening on 30 April: Hyde Park Corner overnight to Southend-on-Sea (riding back on Saturday morning is optional, but usually a good laugh). I do these rides most months and they're very social and lots of fun. Free to participate, but registration essential.

    More info here if you're keen:

  2. Looks good, Andrew, but I'm not sure the missus would buy into an overnighter. Plus I've got a wedding to go to on 1 May!

  3. Come and join in another month if you feel like having a go! It's a good chance to meet other training partners as well. I usually post details on when there's a new one coming up.

    All the best with the training!