There is a guy who used to live opposite us in West Norwood. He must have moved out at least 12 years ago, but every time I saw him, he was ridiculously cheerful. And every time, he’d comment on the weather. ‘Hey, it’s cold today. Maybe it will be better tomorrow.’ ‘Lovely weather eh? All this sunshine’. Always cheerful. Well, guess what – I saw him the other day. I was heading to the chip shop in Streatham and there he was. It was wet, cold and I’d had another dull day saying, ‘You’re on mute’. ‘Hey, how are you?’ He cried ‘What about this weather??’ He laughed. ‘At least it can’t get worse!’
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this guy cries himself to sleep at night, you never really know, but my impression is of someone who is so determined to see the positives that he even believes his own optimism. I think we need some optimism right now, though perhaps not some sort of false optimism that makes us feel even worse when our hopes are cruelly dashed once more. Like when Palace take an early lead and you allow the hope to creep in.
If we don’t want unbridled optimisim, perhaps we can at least speculate. As I write, we’ve vaccinated 7.5 million people and are on course to get through all the over 70’s and the most vulnerable by the end of Feb. The numbers of infections are coming down all over the country, with the Zoe Covid App reporting a 51% drop in the new infection rate in the last fortnight, albeit from a high level. Let’s hope and prey that continues and that a reduction in hospital numbers follows.
However, my lesson from watching Palace play, is that if you allow the hope to creep in, the disappointment can be crushing. So, here’s what we are going to do. Plan one week at a time, so that when normal life begins to return, as it surely will one day, we’ll be in decent shape to get into that lycra whenever the time comes.
Responsible Club Activities
Here’s what I propose:
We will re-start the regular Zwift sessions. We may have gone slightly mad in the first lockdown, but now could be the time to get a regular meet-up going. Rachel Lynn has posted a Facebook invite to the club page for this evening.
Let’s do some Zwift racing. This is a bit more intense, but it sure gets you fit. It’s a great way to make a tough workout more bearable. Stephen Crispin posted details of a race series on Facebook. There’s plenty of this going on.
Trainer Road Meet-ups
We’ll organise some regular meet-ups on Trainer Road. These are a bit more relaxed and it’s just like doing a zoom call whilst on the turbo, but it’s less brutal than doing it solo. More to follow on this.
Paul Mill runs 6 turbobeat sessions a week online. Since the start of the pandemic he has honed these sessions and I challenge anyone to find a better workout. You can buy single or multiple sessions for this and there’s even a strength & conditioning class too. To encourage people to try this, the club will organise and pay for a session with Paul. He will be on hand before the session to make sure you are set up with the tech. (All you need is a turbo(smart or dumb), a bike and a bluetooth HRM). We’ll email and post to facebook and ask you to sign up for this. If you just want to join Paul’s normal sessions, he’s taking Feb bookings now.
I have asked Katie Ferguson to find us someone to provide a beginners online Yoga class for cyclists that can’t bend very well. My doctor told me to do this because the only way I could reach my toes was by having someone cut them off for me. I did get quite flexible before lockdown, but I was pleasantly surprised about the increased sense of wellbeing. Not too much ommmming – just structured relaxation.
Herne Hill Velodrome
One of the first group activities to open up is likely to be HHV. Scott Williams has posted on Facebook to gauge interest. Let him know if you fancy it.
Winnie is open for business selling coffee for takeaway. There is no better coffee in Penge, or indeed anywhere. I hope to share an elbow nudge with you there.
I’d also love to have your suggestions. We can’t get together in groups and I have been trying to think of a way to facilitate people pairing up for a ride. Don’t laugh, but I even though of using a dating app where we all have names with ‘Penge’ in them and profiles which use Strava averages, so you can find a suitable ride-buddy. That’s what I told my wife when she caught me swiping anyway!
I’d also like to hear a few of your lockdown stories. We published our series of Lockdown Stories when we first hit the pandemic and encourage you to visit them. Please let me know if you have a story to tell and we’ll do the same again. Some of you may expect some coercion as we know you have tales to tell!
Have a great weekend.
James Hanscomb, Chair of Penge CC.