A good time to be ill

If ever there’s a good weekend to come down with a heavy case of the manflu, aka the common cold, this weekend past was it. Temperatures below freezing added to sleeting snow and rain should and would have had me reaching for the excuses book had “ill” not got there first.

Looking around the internet I see people still went out riding; the Belgians even held a Superprestige cyclocross race in it. Don’t believe me? Then go to the Sporza.be site and click on “wedstrijdverslag” to see the video proof.

If I had one, I’d be putting a big Asterix-tapping-his-head graphic up to qualify the lunacy involved. Instead I shall just continue snuffling into my umpteenth hankerchief of the weekend. I’ve taken to dousing them with a few drops of Olbas Oil

which is excellent for helping clear the tubes.

In winter I’ll put a dot or two on the back of my glove when I go out as I find it quite nice to get that menthol scent and eucalyptus in to help clear my sinuses and make breathing less congested. It’s not much different to a dab of Vicks VapoRub on the chest but in a slightly more convenient form as far as I’m concerned.

Nearly forgot to mention Observer Sport Monthly which featured some excellent cycling stuff this month including:

The Forgotten Man – a great interview with Mark Cavendish, winner of Best individual achievement 2008.

Elsewhere in the paper, there’s an equally fascinating interview with Nicole Cooke, under the heading ‘Queen of the road’.

Meanwhile the times carries a David Walsh piece on the most fascinating figure in the whole of the British setup: Steve Peters, cycling’s psychiatrist. I think it’s hard to over-estimate the difference that he makes to the whole operation. There’s a huge part of living and performing that relies on confidence and he seems to be key to making sure there is confidence.

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