So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season. Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy nine months; five months in the USA to start with and four months between USA/Belgium/UK is a lot of km's covered... by plane, car, boat and of course by bike!
Once again its been a hectic month or two and so too much to write about in a single blog post. I really should start writing a book! So I am going to keep this fairly short and sweet focusing on another victory (in the Winston Criterium) added to season 2013 and a return to Europe after five months away!
So its been a long time since my last blog posting way back at the end of February. Though I was looking to keep the posts coming frequent, the simple fact of the matter is I've been in a pretty uninspired writing mood over the past months.
So this is my first blog post from across the pond aka stateside aka the USA writes Dan Patten. Despite everything tending to be bigger here in the US, I intend to keep my blog postings shorter and more frequent this year (well this is the plan!). It's been a little over 3 weeks now since I took off from London Heathrow. A smooth flight to Philadelphia was followed by some airport time before another flight onto Greensboro, North Carolina...
The racing season rapidly approaches and for the Dan Patten Blog in 2013 that will mean the USA! Those that know me and those that have followed my progression in the cycling world here on my blog will know how much that has involved Belgium.The Belgium chapter will continue I can assure you of that.
Dan Patten's 2012 season began way back on the 19/02 and with my final race on the 14/10, it is finally time to relax, reflect and look ahead to the rest of 2012, 2013 and beyond!
Time again for a Dan Patten Blogupdate as this 2012 season in Belgium continues. Yet again the consistency has continued but also now I can happily say that consistency has been rewarded with some wins.
Dan Patten. So its been way too long since my last posting. Since that mid-April time post, my race schedule has increased, my condition also (always a satisfier) whilst the weather like much of europe has continued to be mixed. However with nice spells of nice, sunny belgium days, the good weather has outweighed those bad days....just! We'll get the real low point of these past months out the way first and that came on my return to the UK for the National Championships, which certainly did not go to plan.
So last time I was posting here on the Dan Patten Blog about the great weather we were experiencing in Belgium at that time. Unfortunately the sun has gone and the rain has returned. Clearly 20 degrees+ in March was a treat. I'm hoping a treat that returns soon.
So it's been a fairly quiet start of the season for me, but I can say now on the Dan Patten Blog that things are underway. A blood test here in Belgium revealed lower iron levels, which most likely explains my lethargic start to the new year.
The season is here and so I thought it was about time that I posted my first Dan Patten Blog entry of 2012, to fill you in on whats been happening over the winter months and what I am up to in this coming season.
So it's been coming and I'm happy to say I have my first win of the 2011 season in Belgium! And oh, what a fine day it was. Everything fell into place and to finish it off with the win was extra special. After a lot of bad luck before and in the earlier part of the season with injuries, crashes and what-not, it's a nice feeling now that things are going my way. Patience has paid off! Dan Patten's Blog.
So I've been meaning to put together a blog post of my latest experiences of life here in Flanders. This season has certainly had its ups and downs, but all this seems rather irrelevant after the events of this week. Cycling indeed has its fair share of tragedies and the death of Wouter Weylandt in Stage 3 of the Giro this year is another one added to that list.
Back in the heartland and my season is officially underway. It's great to be back racing and despite a disrupted winter the body is feeling surprisingly sprightly. I have defied the norm these past few months. From having much of the winter off the bike with an achilles injury, to starting the season (albeit a little later than originally planned) with testing figures that are higher than could have imagined six weeks previous.
So I thought it was about time I posted another Dan Patton Blog update, I've been rather quiet of late and the reason being quite simply there's not been much to talk about. I've been plagued by misfortune after misfortune this winter which ironically gave me lots more time to update the blog, yet I was short of anything really interesting to say - until now that is...
It's Christmas time, which means the first half of the off-season is coming to an end. Time has flown by since finishing up my season in Belgium mid-October. The body was certainly in need of recovery, after hitting the ground too many times in the second half of the season. Not least because on two occassions I was hit by cars, with the last time coming just a week before the end of the season...
the end of the season has arrived on the Dan Patten Blog. All in all it's been a good year - I've learned a lot, showed my strength (although sometimes a little too much) and certainly had some success along the way.
Well we've hit September and so the final month or so of the season for the Dan Patten Blog. The good news is I'm still feeling motivated to race and race hard to finish off the year. The bad news is the last few weeks I've been caught out with a bit of illness that seems to be going round these parts at the moment, and which has proved hard to shake off.
So my latest update on the Dan Patten Blog tells about the run of bad luck which continued through July and into August, including a collision with a car and less than a week later getting taken down by a bidon during the third stage of the Ronde van de Provincie Antwerpen.
So it's been a few weeks since my last Dan Patten Blog post. This is because I was waiting until something went my way again... I'm still waiting! The last few weeks of racing has been filled with bad luck, with mechanical problems at the wrong times and a few crashes to go with, not to mention a national championships that was reduced to a training ride.
When you see riders ‘making the grade’ in France do you ever wonder how the connection was made, how they came to have a ride and a roof over their head in La Belle France? A man who’s been responsible for more than a few British riders - including Jacob Vaughan, who we interviewed recently - getting their chance in The Republic is Monsieur Christophe Andre.
Talent isn’t the only quality you need to ‘make it’ in cycling, Lady Luck plays a big part; 'right time, right place', but of vital importance is persistence. As Winston Churchill said; ‘never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.’ Former British Junior Road Race Champion, Jacob Vaughan must have read that quotation.
In April 1978 my pal Dave and I stopped off in the north of England to watch the English pros in action at the Lancaster Grand Prix. Sitting in rare north of England spring sunshine to watch the race we were surprised and excited when Falcon pro, Nigel Dean chose our patch of grass to call it a day and sit and happily chat away to us for an age. It’s taken us a while to catch up with him again...
It was with great sadness that we learnt this week about the passing of Craig Hardie, a living legend in Scottish cycling and beyond as a successful rider, true character, and popular bike shop owner, but so much more than that too. Originally from Dalgety Bay in Fife, Craig was a long-time member and stalwart of the Dunfermline Cycling Club and enjoyed a stellar cycling career.