After being cooped up in a Virgin train for three hours on the way back from a flying visit to the World Cup Manchester, I was in the mood for a spin even though today was designated as a rest day. One question for Mr Branson: Why did it take two hours to go up to Manchester on Friday lunchtime but an extra hour to make the reverse journey on a Saturday? There were no additional stops. Perhaps I shouldn’t grumble considering the terrible derailment of a Virgin train in the Lake District on Friday.

The journey up was fine – although the man next to me spent almost all the time eating, and spilled cous-cous over my copy of The Guardian. The array of smells from his extensive packed lunch made my Virgin Trains ‘Just Ham’ sandwich very unappetising. Just Ham? What, not a bit of mustard, or some pickle, or maybe just a slice of tomato?

Shortly after returning home, I got changed and headed out for a short, leisurely ride. Part of the reason was I wanted to go past the house I’m due to move into at any moment and send positive ‘we’re ready to move’ vibes to the current owners, who have dawdled and dragged this saga on well into a fourth – and almost a fifth – month.

They say buying a house is one of the most stressful events in life. Also in the top ten is becoming a landlord. So, the 30-day challenge is doing a valuable job in keeping my blood pressure down while I go through both processes.

Anyway, I got in the door in time to see the 100% Me boys do a 4-08 in the qualifying round of the team pursuit. Their time stood until Great Britain went within a whisker of breaking the national record with a sub-four minute ride. Later in the evening they went on to win a bronze medal.

The 100% Me team’s jerseys bear our ‘I Support Drug Free Sport’ slogan on both shoulders and although there’s no room for partisan support in professional journalism [that’s what you call it? – Ed] I couldn’t help punching the air as it was confirmed the academy lads had made the bronze medal final.

Recently I was very kindly sent a 100% Me jersey a couple of months ago by Dave Mellor, part of the set-up in Manchester, and he tells me the jerseys will be available to buy on the UK Sport website (www.uksport.gov.uk) in early April.

I am looking forward to the weather improving so I can wear my jersey with pride, although at the moment I am more 120% Me, such is the spare Wolber round my midriff.


Distance covered: 14km (8.69 miles)

Percentage of time spent thinking about moving house: 88

No. of car doors opened directly into my path: 3

TOMORROW: A steady endurance ride.

HOW has your weekend’s training been? Have any of your colleagues recently had a spray tan at a top Manchester hotel? Let us know on the fitness section of the forum.