It’s All In The Mind – More Highs, More Cols

I find it very hard to explain exactly what it is that drives me to climb ever more high mountain cols/passes.

Sometimes I’ve been there before; otherwise it’s a new route, new vistas, new challenges. Always there’s that experience of conquering to beast, which must be nothing compared to how cyclists feel; they have my utmost respect!

Whatever it is that drives me, I cannot do it without support. Obviously Mrs Dookes figures high in this as without her support and blessing I couldn’t be here playing in the mountains in the first place! Then there are others.

This year I have to give special thanks to my good friend Polly.

Now it’s a bit hard to say exactly what Polly does; I suppose that in many ways she re-wires people heads…

What on earth are you on about Dookes????

Well, remember Big Baby Blue, that Harley Ultra Limited that I once had?

Basically I couldn’t get her to go round bends!

Then it started to get serious, it started happening with Harls….which was very strange as I taken her almost everywhere and never had a problem! More importantly I wasn’t for one minute going to let her go the same way as Blue.

To be fair, with me on board, a full tank of fuel and luggage, Blue once tipped a weighbridge at 535kg. That’s bloody heavy! In comparison, Harls is a mere 330kg, but I’d started to get problems with her too…

Miss bends like this….? – Col d’Izoard

That was the trigger, I got in touch with Polly.

Together we talked things through and tried to find the root cause of the problem. This in itself was interesting as I am a fully qualified “Incident Root Cause” investigator, but I digress.

I’m not going to go into details, but like many sports organisations these days use psychometric processes to find that marginal gain, I can confirm that Polly did her job.

After seeing Polly a few times I’m riding and enjoying riding “Harls” and my other bike “Hettie” like I never have before. My cornering is better, smoother and quicker than I can remember and my general riding feels much more relaxed. I’m also getting such a buzz doing it too!

I can’t thank Polly enough.

Today’s Cols; Izoard, Vars and Allos are for you Polly…I probably wouldn’t be here without you!

…..or views like this? – Col de Vars

“Shine on you crazy diamond!”

Catch you soon


PS Polly, there a bottle on its way to you!

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