If you have read Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy then you may recall Rob McKenna. He is an ordinary lorry driver who can never get away from rain because he is a descendent of a ‘Rain God.’ The clouds want “to be near him, to love him, to cherish him and to water him”. With all the rain the past 10 days, I have started to think that I might also be a relative of the Rain God. What is a man to do when the rain and cold keep him from cycling?
I retreat to the safety of my trainer. I bring my bicycle, trainer, front wheel riser, and fan into the house and set up in front of the television. It is not the most enjoyable form of cycling and I can only ride for 60-75 minutes before complete boredom sets in and drives me off the bike prior to the arrival of complete insanity. I could not last that long without the help of World Cycling Productions (WCP) race DVD and YouTube.
YouTube is full of recent road races such as Milan San Remo. This one is cut to some 75 minutes but you can find longer race videos.
You can also find some incredible cycling films. Jørgen Leth’s “A Sunday in Hell” may well be the greatest cycling documentary of all time. The 1976 film follows the Paris-Roubaix race. This spring classic, often called the Hell of the North, is famous for its hellish sections of paves which are no longer used for traffic but only by farmers and for cycle races. Finishing the race is a major accomplishment. Winning makes you a cycling god.
A new generation of film makers has revisited Paris Roubaix and the “Road to Roubaix” has become an instant classic.
If YouTube fails me then I have some 35 hours of WCP DVDs. With rain forecast for 10 of the next 15 days, I may well have to race Armstrong in the Tour de France. I wish I were related to a Sun God.