Ironman Mont Tremblant

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


A lot of drivers hate cyclists. A lot of cyclists hate drivers. Then there's Emma Way, who hates cyclists so much that she hit one with her car, drove away, and bragged on Twitter about how it wasn't her problem because the cyclist "doesn't pay road tax." Unfortunately for Emma, her local police also use Twitter.
The incident occurred yesterday in England, when Emma was driving in Norwich. According to a witness, she sped around a corner just as cyclists who were part of a 100-mile race were coming the other way and hit 29-year old rider Toby Hockley. The mirror hit Toby and broke, sending him off the bike and into the trees where he was banged up, but wasn't seriously injured.
You'd think that, as a motorist, Emma would stop and help Toby since she just hit him. Nope. Not the case. Instead, she drove off, and tweeted about the incident right after it happened. 

There are some things you just don't tweet about. Committing a crime, and then acting indignant about it, is one of those things.

But in today's always connected world, Emma made a pretty critical error. Twitter users saw the tweet, and instead of siding by her "suck it cyclists" mantra, they sent it off to the Norwich Police Department, who also happen to be active on social media.

Even though the crash hadn't totally been confirmed, people started looking into Emma's social media profiles. They reportedly found photos of her tailgating other drivers as well as a picture of her speedometer a 95 MPH that were also sent into the police. Once the tweet started to go viral, Emma deleted her Twitter account. But by that point, the damage was done and the tweet was out there in perpetuity.

And that's when the rider decided to come forward. For some reason, Toby wasn't going to tell anyone because he didn't want his girlfriend to fear for his safety while riding. His under-sharing is almost as extreme as Emma's over-sharing. But once Toby saw her attitude in the tweet and how widely it was shared, he contacted police.

His riding club, Iceni Velo, issued this statement about the incident:

As a club we are conscious that we share the road with other road users all of whom are expected to adhere to the requirements of the Highway Code. Incidents like this seem to be relatively rare and we are disappointed by the reaction of the individual motorist involved. We hope this raises the awareness of how vulnerable people can be whether that's as a cyclist or pedestrian on our roads. The club and its committee will cooperate fully with police enquires where necessary and when asked to do so.

Once they had both pieces of the puzzle, Norwich Police confirmed via Twitter that they had identified who was involved and were "progressing with them."

Just because you can share something doesn't mean you should share something. That means a hit-and-run you just committed is not the best thing to put out there if you don't want to get caught. Emma learned that lesson the hard way, but thankfully she didn't kill anyone.

Think before you tweet folks. And don't drive away if you hit a cyclist.

Photo Credit: Iceni Velo Cycling Club

Update: We've spoken to Toby Hockley, the rider involved in the collision, to get a bit of background on the incident. He's pretty sure it was him, anyway. "The police said it was me", he told us, and the time and location fit the bill.

"I was riding on a country B-road with a friend, and descending a hill on a blind right hand corner", Toby told us. "I was sticking to the left as the corner was blind. A car came round in the opposite direction going much too quickly to make the corner safely. It missed the rider in front of me but hit me, my right leg caught the front right wing. I was thrown up onto the bonnet, I hit the side of windsrceen and the wing mirror. I bounced back off the car and went through a hedge for about 20 metres. I managed to keep control of the bike; the back brake had locked on but I managed to rejoin the road and stop in the middle of it"

Amazingly Toby made it through the incident with only minor damage to himself and the bike. "I have a sore elbow, a bruised knee, nettle stings from riding through the hedge, but nothing serious", he told us. "The headset of the bike is loose from the collision, one of the levers got knocked round the bars and there's bits of nettle in the chain, but I think the bike is intact."
"Myself and my friend burst out laughing when we finally came to a stop, more out of shock than anything else", he said. "You count your limbs and carry on".

In response to the incident Ms Way's employers have also made a short statement, both in response to emails from readers and also in the comments below. "Please be assured that this is not a view held by the firm and we most certainly do not condone this behaviour", they told us. "We are taking the incidents very seriously, and a full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken. We have already spoken to Norfolk Police."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Long Ride - Part Duh

With the weather finally warming up, I went out on my second long ride outside.  Last week, I rode with Rom where he left me gassed and got chicked.  This week was a little different and not quite as bad.  We met up at Tim's at 9 am Saturday morning with about 10 other riders from the Markham Tri Club.  As I headed to the meeting place, I picked up a roadie and invited him to join us.  We were going up to Lake Simcoe and back which was about a four hour ride (longer than he was anticipating). 

We headed out as one big group and Rom immediately took off.  Other riders commented on how strong he was riding and the winter indoor training had really paid off.  That made me feel better as it meant, I was quite as pathetic as I thought.  Lisa joined up for part of the ride with her new bike.  This was her first outdoor ride and she rode quite well.

As usual, we had a nice tail wind heading up to the lake.  There were tons of riders out with many people training for "The Ride To Conquer Cancer."  It was actually a little dangerous as there were lots of new riders and they were weaving all over the road.  The roadie was riding strong and was keeping up with Rom while the rest of us were spread out.  At one point there was a low flying helicopter buzzing over us and I looked up and ran off the road.  Luckily I was able to keep the bike under control on the gravel and get back onto the road.  We hit Ravenshoe for a rest and Lisa turned back with Gibby while the rest of us headed up to the lake which was another 14 km. 

At the lake is a small and very expensive corner store.  Normally I would fill up with water at an outdoor (free) municipal tap but it wasn't open.  I had four water bottles and drank about half.  I figured I should be ok but it was warming up.  We headed back south down into the wind but it wasn't as bad as last week.  I was able to keep up with the group and managed to hold Rom's wheel.  Last week, he was going so fast, I couldn't hold his wheel for more than a minute.  By the time we hit Stouffville Road (only 13 km from home), I was out of water and needed a drink badly.  The roadie was also out of water so we stopped off at a local golf course for a refill.  The rest of the group took off without us.  We picked up another guy who did IMMT (even had the same bike as me).  Seeing we were close to home and that part of Warden Ave is freshly paved and flat, I took off.  I knew someone was on my wheel as I poured it on for a four km time trial.  By the end, I was wiped out.  My quads were burning and my legs felt like jello.  I looked around and it was the tri guy.  He thanked me for the draft and wished me luck on Tremblant 70.3 and went another direction.  I waited for the roadie and slowly soft peddled home.  I was bagged and toyed with the idea of doing a short run.  Then all of a sudden, I remembered I didn't have a house key and Tammy took the kids to Mcdonald's for a play date.  Uh oh

I got home hoping they were still there but they had already left.  I missed them by 15 minutes.  I did not want to ride to the Mcdonalds while it was close and was on McCowan Ave and that was a very busy street.  I was very thirsty so I went to a neighbour's house to beg for water.  The husband was outside and I talked to him for a couple of minutes.  He's an undercover RCMP officer (I'm not sure if its a good idea for him to being telling the neighbours what he does for a living).  I asked if he was involved the arrest of the Canadian terrorist who were trying to blow up the train.  He was.  Good work.

Finally I got tired of waiting around and rode to the Mcdonalds.  Riding down McCowan was busy but when I got to the intersection of Highway 7, I had a green light while an idiot making a right had turn onto McCowan didn't see me (I'm wearing a white shirt and yellow helmet) pulled out in front of me.  I yelled at him but he was obvious).  I got to the Mcdonalds and carried my bike in wearing full riding gear.  I got a lot of strange looks but was too tired and hungry to care.  I found Tammy and the kids and ordered extra large fries, some chicken burger or something that tasted gross.  So much for those 2,200 calories I burned off riding.  All Saturday my legs felt like jello.  Good thing this is a recovery week.

On Sunday I ran for one hour (10 km) with no problem and this morning I went for my first outdoor week day ride.  I left at just after 5:30 am and it was almost getting light out.  It was warmer than I anticipated but still pretty cool.  I wore arm warmers but 10 minutes into the ride, I realized I should have worn gloves.  My hands and toes were cold.  Summer's coming and soon it won't be a problem

That's all I got


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

First Long Ride Outside - Chicked

The weather here has been crappy to say the least.  I don't mind riding in cold weather as I can ride until it gets down to about -5 C but when its rainy or windy, I'll pass.  Most Saturday's have been three hour rides on the trainer watching movies.  Last weekend the weather was warm enough.  I originally was going to ride Saturday morning around 10 am (way later than normal) with Rom but when I woke up and looked outside, it was cold and rainy.  By 9 am it wasn't any better so I called Rom and we agreed to ride Sunday afternoon when the weather would have been nicer.  I opted to study instead for an exam coming up next week and then later went for my long run.

My "long run" is now up to 45 minutes.  I tore my calf muscle twice since last October and with only six weeks until Mont Tremblant 70.3, I should be able to get it up to two hours.  The run itself was very manageable but man was I ever sore later in the day.

Sunday afternoon I rode over to Rom's house (20 minute ride) and we headed up Warden ave for a three hour ride.  We did this route hundreds of times last year.  Rom was coached by Roger (famous tri-magazine writer) for the indoor bike session this winter.  I toyed with the idea of working with Roger but opted (too cheap) to use last year's Ironman workouts.  I was interested to see if Rom was any stronger.  Well I got my answer pretty quick as he took off and I struggled to keep up.  We had a pretty good tailwind and he just hammered it.  I was hitting zone 5 on my heart rate and that's with a 20 km/hr tailwind!  This was going to suck when we turned around.  We picked up another tri rider along the way.  With Rom up ahead, I thought I would dump this guy but every time I glanced behind me, he as about five meters back.

We picked up a guy and a girl and all five of us rode together but we got stopped at a light but the girl and I made it through.  We rode together with the others far behind us.  After a while (like 30 seconds) I got impatient and blew passed her on a hill pushing out an impressive 792 watts.  I paid for it about one km later as I totally ran out of gas and she passed me along with the other three guys.  This was trouble as we were still heading north with the tailwind.  Later I found out that this was her first year of riding (its only April) and she chicked me although she was riding a Cervelo s5.  What a nice starter bike.

At Ravenshoe (90 minutes later) Rom and I stopped and the others kept going north.  I was tired dreaded heading back south into the headwind.  After reloading, we turned around and headed south into the head wind.  Within a couple of minutes Rom was gone well not quite gone.  He waited at every major intersection (about five km apart).  This is pretty much a repeat of last year.  I could not keep up.  Clearly he worked a lot harder in the off season than I did.  Finally I made it home and was exhausted.  Its hard to imagine that last year I was able to ride another 90 km. 

So a quick recap of where I stand:

My biking sucks
My long run is up to 45 minutes
Swimming sucks
I'm overweight by five pounds
Mt Tremblant is six weeks away and going to get smoked by all my friends racing it
I'm exhausted from study for an exam on Monday

That pretty much sums it up