Beware “Rose Coloured Glasses”

I truly believe that we are all guilty of seeing with “Rose Coloured Glasses”. For those very few who are not familiar with the phrase, it revolves around the concept of only seeing what you want to see and not the reality.

Just because it looks easy doesn’t mean it is

There are a number of things that we see each day that look really easy. Those who know me will know that I am a real cycling fan and while I don’t have as much time to dedicate to it I do really love it. Like many others I watch the Tour De France each year and I watch with captive eyes as the professionals hurtle down the road at silly speeds and tear up the mountains with such ease. As a result of this I decided that this year I would make the trip to Skegness and back in 1 day which is around 185 miles. While this is to be that longest single journey on a bike in one day ever for me it seemed perfectly achievable, after all the Tour De France riders do over 100 miles each day racing. So I set about getting sponsorship and planning the date, which incidently is 11th July 2010, and a route. As part of my training I have been out most mornings doing from 18-40 miles each time which has not been too hard.

Reality really sucks ass

So I decided that I needed to do a major distance before Sunday’s challenge to make sure I was up to the job. So I called my good friend Richard Tubb at to ask if they would pick up any slack with regard to support for me while I went out on a weekday and of course Richard and the guy agreed, thanks guys I owe you.  So at 6.00am this morning I started out on my journey of 90 miles which would take it me through Ilkeston, Ripley, Ambergate, Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Ashbourne, Belper, Ambergate, Ripley and back to Ilkeston. Having checked out the route using to see what kind of hills I had to look forward to. Being a little niave I looked at the route elevation and thought that a climb of around 1600ft was no big deal, oh boy was I wrong. By the time I got to Buxton I was hurting but at that point I had not reached the biggest climb. Needless to say by the time I reached Leek I was really hurting and at times I wondered why the hell I continued, but I pushed on. The suffering continued on and by the time I got to the 75 mile mark in Belper I had contemplated on more than 1 occasion about calling someone to come and collect me but still did not. The last 15 miles really hurt and by the time I got home my knee was really hurting as was the rest of me but I had done it.

Lessons learned….

So what did I take away from all of this. First and foremost I am wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew with Sunday’s challenge, none the less I will still go and give it my very best shot. Second is that just because the professionals make it look easy does not mean that it is. The fact is these guys train for hours and hours each and every day which in turn will make it look easy. In the case of cycling, these guys cycle up to and beyond 100 miles each day just training both on flat land and up BIG hills so it’s gonna look easy, duh why didn’t I get this before? This is also the case with football, especially in light of the world cup. Ok so England played crap, theres no 2 ways about it the performance was terrible. However, I have heard lots of people criticise other teams and even seen on James Corden’s World Cup Live show that a goal was so easy ‘his mum could do it’. Then just to prove the point his mum did come on the show and make the play and score, fantastic entertainment but just not a true reflection. The fact is that in the heat of the moment, when the action is a split second decision it is really tough to make the right choice and the right play. Lastly, be more objective when looking at things and try not to make assumptions about how easy something is just by how easy it looks.

Anyway, enough about my thoughts. For those of you interested, here are some stats from todays ride:

  • 5,255 Calories burned
  • 6hrs 40minutes riding
  • Average speed 13.2mph
  • Average heart rate 150bpm
  • Max speed 46.8mph
  • Largest hill 1,657 ft
  • Total climbing 3,953 ft


 - Rob

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