Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeOtherEditorialStrange Days Indeed

Strange Days Indeed


I was a sceptic; one of the, “it’s only the blinkin’ flu, for goodness sake!” Brigade.

It all seemed like an overreaction, these things happen in places like China with so many folks living on top of each other.

It was actually Viktor who made me stop and think, he pulled out of a meeting for a Sunday night drink in Edinburgh on the day of the Scotland v. France rugby match at Murrayfield.

He was concerned about putting his wife and family at risk by coming into all those fans from Italy, where the virus was beginning to become a problem.

Vik worried?


Shortly thereafter, my Italian friend Ale Federico told me he was working from home and his home town on the Adriatic was ‘locked down’ – serious stuff.

And it wasn’t long until ‘Our Man in Iberia,’ Al Hamilton reported that the same measures had been adopted in Spain with troops on the streets of Benidorm and the police stopping cars and questioning folk as to why they were out and where they were going?

Then I was speaking to Kyle Gordon – interview to come soon on VeloVeritas – at his March training camp up on Mount Teide on the island Tenerife, he and the other HUUB guys were all locked down.

A CCC guy who was up there training went out on his bike and was duly arrested.

And sadly, it looks like the HUUB record breaking assault on Cochabamba, Bolivia isn’t going to happen.

That cycling hub and home town to many professional racers, Girona in Catalonia is locked down too – Turbo/Zwift or nothing.

Strange Days Indeed
Strange Days Indeed.

The weekend papers made for scary reading with 6,000 dead in Italy; 793 of those coming on Saturday alone.

The body count in Spain now tops, 2,900 – very scary numbers.

On the subject of the weekend, the pictures of crowded seaside resort and National Park car parks filled me with horror.

It doesn’t seem to have sunk in with many folks that the way it is in Italy is the way it will be here if we don’t adopt the appropriate measures, now.

Strange Days Indeed
Robert Gesink trains on his terrace in Andorra. Photo©Twitter

I’ve been told by the father of a nurse who works there that the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy has two wards full of those who have contracted the virus, with an intensive care ward reserved for the NHS staff who will inevitably contract it, and we hear that there are 42 ventilators at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in constant use, with a queue of patients waiting their turn.

It’s real, it’s here and it’s not just old folks who are susceptible.

Here at VeloVeritas we try never to lecture or patronise our valued readers – albeit we do RANT – so all we’re saying is, “avoid crowds and public transport, be extra stringent with yourself on the personal hygiene front, be patient and kind but BE CAREFUL.”

We can’t afford to lose a single reader…    

* * *

I wrote the above during the early evening of Monday March 23rd and at 20:30 hours the inevitable happened: 


Even though I knew it had to happen eventually, it came as a shock, generating a feeling of uncertainty and gloom.

Two lyrics from Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison came to mind;

Strange days indeed.”

But also; 

All things must pass.”

Be patient, be optimistic, be kind, be safe.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Dan Fleeman – Coaching in a Lockdown

In these ‘Strange Days of COVID-19’ if you’re a racing cyclist, what do you do about training? We asked ‘Dig Deep Coaching’ founder, Dan Fleeman for his advice on how to train in these trying times. Fleeman is a long-time friend of VeloVeritas, past winner of the British u23 Road race Championship, the Tour of the Pyrenees and rode as a professional with DFL, AN Post, Cervélo and Raleigh...

Santini Launch PPE Washable Masks into the UK

Santini Cycle Wear, which currently supplies clothing to Boels Dolmans, Trek-Segafredo and the UCI World Championships, launches washable masks to the UK.

Jody Warrington – How Riders Can Cope in a ‘Lockdown’

In the overall scheme of the world’s current predicament, guys not being able to race their bikes doesn’t even register but if you’ve been training all winter to realise goals you set yourself for the season and overnight they’re plucked from your grasp it’s not easy to handle. We spoke to one of the most respected coaches in the area, Jody Warrington about how riders can cope with ‘lockdown.’

The VV View: Everesting, Zwifting and Jockey Wheels for a Grand!

It's been a while since we ranted, so in this edition of the VeloVeritas View we offer a thought or two on Strava, Zwift, Everesting and other Covid-19 aspects of cycling - as well as whether we consider jockey wheels for a grand a good deal...

At Random

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 16; Moirans-en-Montagne – Berne. Peter Sagan Again!

Peter Sagan, again! There’s little left to say about the man but as soon as we walked the last couple of kilometres we knew it was one for him – a sharp cobbled climb up from the river, across a cobbled bridge, past the bear pit then another nippy climb before the 1,000 metre, straight as a dye, pan flat finish straight.

Postcard from Arles; If I Were A Guy I’d Ride The Tour

This is no feminist rant about the Tour de France for Women, nothing like that, it's about love, actually. I stood on a hot street today, a long but tight curve, in Arles, for Stage Three.

Grenoble Six Days 2011 – Third Night

Grenoble Six Days 2011... One day, I'd like to come here and sit at one of the big tables with friends and family, watch the cabaret, and the racing, chat, eat and drink too much. It's good value at 63 euros per head: that gets you in, allows you to attack the beautiful buffet and provides you a bottle of wine, mineral water and a coffee as you watch the racing and the cabaret - one day...

Peter Murdoch – The Man Behind Blanca Bikes

Remember Peter Murdoch? He raced at a high level as a junior on the road. In those days he roomed with a guy named Bradley Wiggins, whatever happened to him? Peter runs Blanca Bikes, providing the full package for those who want some serious training in the sunshine – or who just want to potter ‘sans thermals’ and enjoy a beer and some tapas with that vibe that you only get in those old Spanish bars.

Douglas Dewey – Moving Up to U.C.Nantes Atlantique

The last time VeloVeritas spoke to Douglas Dewey was at the British National Time Trial Championships in Scotland back in June where he finished fourth. But it wasn’t all places of honour for the Surrey man; there were six good wins in France, too. And some UK wins as well – but ‘they don’t count.’ The six wins obviously counted with French Division One team, Union Cycliste Nantes Atlantique, his équipe for season 2014.

Michael Mørkøv’s Very Big Milan-Sanremo Adventure

It's a long way from Copenhagen to Sanremo. Last autumn we saw Saxo Bank's Michael Mørkøv ride the classic 'sit in and sprint' race in the Copenhagen Worlds netting 18th and best home rider among the absolute cream of world cycling.