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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Three Little Pigs & the big BAD BAD WOLF!!!

When I was a wee lad I was first introduced to Nursery Rhymes by my Grandmother, who seemed to know them all.

The ones she didn't know she "ad libbed" like a seasoned thespian.
If you look at the "roots" of Rhymes, or even West Indian Calypso culture you can often see a connection or association which reflect actual events in history!

A nursery rhyme was often used to parody the royal and political events and people of the day. The humble Rhyme was used as a seemingly innocent vehicle to quickly spread subversive messages!
Can you imagine the White house Press Secretary sitting by the fireside reading "Rain Rain go away"

Old Mother Hubbard
The Old Mother Hubbard referred to in this rhyme's words allude to the famous Cardinal Wolsey. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was the most important statesman and churchman of the Tudor history period in 16th century England. Cardinal Wolsey proved to be a faithful servant but displeased the King, Henry VIII, by failing to facilitate the King's divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon who had been his queen of many years. The reason for seeking the divorce and hence the creation of the Old Mother Hubbard poem was to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn with whom he was passionately in love. In the Old Mother Hubbard song King Henry was the "doggie" and the "bone" refers to the divorce (and not money as many believe) The cupboard relates to the Catholic Church although the subsequent divorce arranged by Thomas Cramner resulted in the break with Rome and the formation of the English Protestant church and the demise of Old Mother Hubbard - Cardinal Wolsey.
It this were the "Tour de France" Johan Bruyneel would have to take the place of the Cardinal

Jack & Jill
The roots of the story, or poem, of Jack and Jill are in France. Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending!
There would be lots of opportunities to write a new one about Lance and Alberto going up a hill (Col de la Colombiere)

Georgie Porgie
The origins of the lyrics to "Georgie Porgie" are English and refer to the courtier George Villiers, 1st duke of Duke of Buckingham (1592–1628). King James I took Villiers as his lover and nicknamed him "Steenie" (a reference to St. Stephen whom in the Bible describes as having the "face of an angel"). Villier's good looks also appealed to the ladies and his highly suspect morals were much in question!Villiers most notorious affair was with his liaison with Anne of Austria, (1601–1666) who was the Queen of France and married to the French King Louis XIII badly injured both of their reputations.
Many modern day candidates for this position

Of course one of my favourites was the story of the three little pigs.
The Three Little Pigs" teaches us in a most enjoyable and dramatic form that we must not be lazy and take things easy, for if we do, we may the hairs of our chiny chin chin.
After all .....intelligent planning and foresight, combined with hard labor will make us victorious over even our most ferocious enemy-the wolf!

One would think that would be true to "training" as well.

  • I built up on my first 40 miles (straw house)
  • The second one soon followed with regular 65 mile jaunts (Sticks)
  • And finally after feeling confident of having endurance for a 100 miles (Bricks)

in my well conditioned legs the WOLF ARRIVED!!!!!

(These Wolfs can be found on any international flights/travelling lasting more than 24 hours - Singapore-London -Houston)

This was no ordinary wolf, he was a nasty Fire breathing dragon type of creature morphed from jet lag, fatigue and various types of flu like symptoms. His red eyes melted the reinforced re-bar of the outside structure while his toxic emissions infiltrated every square inch of my protected habitat leaving me in a state of total weakness and debilitation.

After a week in bed I convinced myself I was well enough to take part in the Katy Flatlands 100. It could have been the Katy "Downhill" 100 for all I cared as my body decided to shut me down after only ten miles with a high fever and dizzy spells.

Another week has past and I did manage forty miles last week and actually now have the energy to write a BLOG!!!!

One thing I have learned from this is that starting up your training again too early from any type of flu/cold/virus etc is a poor idea

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be - Kahil Gibran

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Singapore, Jet Lag & Fantastic Memories

For those of you who have experienced JET LAG!! You know its not much fun. Not only has it interupted my circadian rhythm but it has also effected my blog writting comitments which have decidely taken a "backseat" to some serious struggles with insomnia.
Last weekend I spent cycling with with my twin brother in North Yorkshire during a brief buisness stop over in England on the way to Singapore.
I was relieved that he blogged about our adventures because it gave me a "writting reprieve" which I sorely needed after some mamoth air time (Houston - London -8 hours followed by London -Singapore 12 hours)

My trip to Singapore was to conduct some Marine Audits on a vessel that my company are picking up for work in Australia and although my schedule and work load was pretty tight I did manage to arrange a small R & R window today to get a bike ride in before I start my journey back to Houston tonight. (Another 22 hours flying).
I was accompanied by a work mate of mine called John who although showed some keeness to join me on a ride did confess that it had been 12 years since had last rode. Of course I told him not to worry - "Its just like ridding a bike........
Singapore is one of my favorate places in the world. I lived here for two years in the 70's when my father was stationed in Singapore and my brother and I both spent the Summers learning to sail and hanging out at the "HMS Terror" Naval Base which I found an archived picture of along with records from the Royal Singapore Yacht Club recording a saliling race regatta my father had one at the time.

Singapore has changed considerably since then with the Island growing substantially with a number of huge land reclemation projects. One these projects included an area on the South East Coast called East Coast Park. which was planned to incorporate a number of healthy options for the Singapore people in the form of Health & Recreation.
There are a number of terrific trails that run along the coast and are individually allocated to Cyclists,Joggers,Roller Bladders and Pedestrians alike. This is the route that John & I took and acheived about 24 miles of cycling.

The Park had a number of bike rental places scattered along the beach and although the rental prices were reasonable, the quality and condition of the bikes was not so good with my gears sounding like an angry hog (That when the chain wasn't jumping off)

East Coast Park is one of the more well-known parks in the eastern part of Singapore which was evident by the amount of people using it. is around 20km long and is one of the largest parks in Singapore spaning from the Eastern to Southern coast, from Changi all the way to Marine Parade. We completed the stretch twice in just over 2 hours.

Another area that seen some great changes are the Singapore skyline with the new addition of the "Singapore Flyer" and this years first Formula 1 race track that covers some of the down town roads.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


With the Tour de France due to start this weekend I thought it only fitting to review the ABC's of cycling so all those interested pedestrians can have a glimpse into our "wonderful wacky world"
Thanks to

v. to involuntarily take samples of the local geology, usually with one's face, during a crash.
My Dentist is loving this one and I thought Rugby was hard.
1) v. to slip off one pedal, causing the other pedal to slam one in the shin, when one gets cracked with a pedal.
I did this once in a spinning class when my cleats sheared. I think they heard the scream 50 miles away.
n. sudden impact between a male rider's private parts and something very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat
Aspirations of a Soprano come to mind, and I don't mean the ones that live in New Jersey
death march
n. a ride that turns into an investigation of your endurance limit. "The bridge was out, and I had to go all the way back the way I came. So the morning's nice, easy ride turned into a Bataan death march
On the last 100 mile ride I completed I had serious cramping in my quads 30 miles from the finish and i must have utilized every four letter word in the dictionary
n. a food break at the edge of a cliff.
A good cause for indigestion
feeling nedly
v., adj. when older riders are having a particular strong outing
I love this ONE!!!!!!
granny gear
n. the lowest gear available on a bike, or a third and smallest front cog, which is only found on bikes for the feeble. Roadies don't have, need, or want them.
Don't have this one
hanging on
v. riding in the slipstream of another rider, but being lazy and refusing to take your turn in at the front.
Guilty as charged, though getting better
n. all the junk on a bike that impedes performance and looks bad.
No Bling Bling!!!
n. abbreviation for the Just Riding Along syndrome
an area where ones average can bot be disputed
n. a steep section of road or trail.
n. abbreviation for "Local Bike Shop".
male blindness
n. when a male rider watches a beautiful female ride over rough terrain and stares intensely, making him too dizzy to see straight when it's his turn to ride the same terrain.
Dave, Kenny & Phil don't fit the bill
n. the state of being in absolute control and totally in tune with your bike, the trail, and your physical strength. "I was just doing it all so smoothly and delicately and quickly, it was nirvana!" Synonym for The Zone.
Have been there and the other end of the spectrum the Death March
off the back
adj. when a rider is dropped, or cannot keep up with the pace of the windshield (such as a peloton or another rider) and falls behind.
The hardest part of getting back in the saddle again
1) n. a novice's pedaling motion, consisting of alternately pushing each foot down, instead of spinning.
n. bolts with levers attached, for easy adjustment and removal of wheels and seat height
Unlike the first time I wore cleats with my obligatory slow release followed by asphalt introduction
n. abbreviation for Rapid Deceleration Syndrome. Military term for the very sudden illness that happens when the free-flight following a high-speed involuntary dismount is interrupted by something solid.
I realized quite early that the tools used by lumberjacks are more sophisticated than flailing arms.
snake bite
n. a double puncture of an inner tube, caused by hitting an obstacle too hard or by under-inflation of tires
Or welcome to Texas roads
tea party
n. when a whole group of riders stops and chats, and nobody seems to want to ride on.
Unfortunately these groups have journeyed out of Boston
adj. describing a bike or accessory made from expensive, high-tech material. A play on "unobtainable" and "titanium
My brother Phil is very good at this vernacular
n. full-page, four-color advertisements of giblets in cycling magazines. It can arouse giblet lust, giblet envy, and in serious cases, feelings of bike inadequacy. "Peter skipped right over the race results and went straight for the velo-porn."
Have to have one under the pillow!!!
wild pigs
n. poorly adjusted brake pads that squeal in use
X -Ray
See RDS Above
....Of Ale Normally consumed after X- Ray
Zone, the
n. a state of mind experienced while riding. You don't think, you just do. A truly Zen experience that can't be fully explained, but when you get there you'll know it and strive to reach it again.

WEll I am off to England on Friday and hope to ride with my brother Philip on Sunday "Day of Reckoning" followed by a trip to Singapore.