He did it. 54.526km in an hour on a push bike.
I didn’t realise I could watch it, assuming it would only be on one of the subscription channels that I don’t subscribe to. But it wasn’t, and I could, so I did. And I loved it. And so did my son. We both got hypnotised as the lap counter grew and the average speed dropped (only very slightly) and we imagined just how much the grimace was growing.
But now it’s over and he’s done, so what’s next?
Then I was reading Twitter and came across this tweet by a journalist who had attempted the same hour challenge (Bradley passed his distance after 47 minutes). So of course it made me realise that I wanted to have a go at it.
I wonder how many leisure centres or cycling clubs or even personal trainers are taking this opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and offer people the chance to see how well they could take up the challenge? How far could I go? How quickly would Wiggins has passed my distance? Could I have even managed what he did in 30 minutes?
In face if my local leisure centre arranged for me to book an hour on one of the bike machines, then a couple of dedicated coaching sessions (maybe one on technique, one on general fitness) then another hour a month later – well, I’d jump at it and pay them actual money.
I was pleased that Bradley Wiggins won the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (or #SPOTY) award on Sunday of this week.
Given that we’d had such an amazing year of sporting achievement it was hard to separate the finalists, but winning the 3 week long Tour de France and then being able to recover and pick up an Olympic gold just a week or so later was an incredible feat. But given that it is now a public vote it was also always likely that Wiggins would be the winner as cycling probably has the biggest base of participants (and therefore potential voters) of any of the sports represented.
Coincidentally earlier in the day there was another sporting trophy handed out.
My family had decided to have a pre-Xmas gathering as we won’t all be able to get together over the festive period, so we all gathered at my uncle’s house. As we were all chatting over a cuppa he got up to make an announcement. My first thought was that I’m pretty sure that him and my aunt are already married and at 70(ish) I think it’s unlikely that they’re announcing a pregnancy, so what could it be?
It turns out that they have sneakily arranged to have my Last Man Home trophy presented to me after my Windermere swim (it was being repaired on the day). But not only that, they have got something else – a silver plate first given to my Grandad in 1959 by the Huddersfield Swimming Club when he completed Windermere. They had it engraved with another inscription for me and presented it in front of everyone!
Like Grandfather like Grandson
“Presented to G.T. Smith
For swimming lake Windermere
August 29th 1959”
And then added below is:
“Passed on by son
Graham & his wife Margaret
Who crewed for grandson Patrick Smith
on his first Windermere swim
On 1st September 2012”
I’m not a fan of suprises like this – but this is lovely, so thanks to you all.