Sunday, 19 February 2012

New introduction.

     As the newest member of Team Cycleaid I thought an introduction about myself was necessary to enlighten you all out there as to who I am, what I've done and why I love this sport. If you are sitting comfortably, then I shall begin.
     My love (or obsession according to my wife) started back in about 1990 when with my hard earned pocket money I purchased a trusty Marin Eldridge. A close call as it was either this or a drum kit. I think my parents were glad I chose the bike!
     The racing started at a local series near Battle in East Sussex where back then technical singletrack was still waiting to be discovered and the courses consisted of farm tracks and fields.I did well with my results and so the racing bug started. The Marin went and a Proflex came complete with squeaky rear elastomers that probably gave about 5mm of travel.
     The early 90's were good times for mountain biking...Grundig World MTB Series on Sky, dubious coloured kit (me included), Tioga disc wheels, those big foam helmets that looked like you had a mushroom on your head.....and of course legends such as Tomac, Overend, Furtado, Juarez and not forgetting the one and only mountain goat Tim Gould..the person who was probably responsible for my dubious sideburns fascination.
     Anyway back in the early nineties there was an abundance of races. Locally there was the Kent MBC SERIES, Mountain Biker International Magazine Series and the SAMS a bit further a field where numbers in excees of 150 were common in categories. All hard earned money went on the racing. GT Zaskar was the bike of choice for me..fully rigid, Kona P2's ,Middleburns (48 outer!), Fred Salmon bars, USE, Flite, Onza bar ends, Panaracer Smokes, XT thumbies,...and Rockshox Mag 21's briefly(due to bending them when I rode into the back of car!)
The start on the day I won the overall back in '97
     All the effort paid off with and overall win in Sport category at the excellent Whipstakes Series in 1997 and Expert category beckoned. University and work took over though and with the demise of the SAMS and Whipstakes the racing took a back seat. Lack of training and trying to race in Expert category do not work well together (2001 Nationals at Bringewood proved this theory)  and what with the cost of racing I veered mainly to the dark side of being a roadie!
     Fast forward to 2005 and someone should really have bought me some stabilisers. I got hit by a car as they pulled out of a junction and ended up bouncing up the road and out of action for a while. 2006 saw my slowest crash ever but most damage. Getting chainsuck as you turn into a big drop is never good...the bike stopped, I didn't and fell 8ft backwards and landed on my head...which is never good especially two weeks after getting mild whiplash in a car crash! Several months of physio and no cycling......start training properly again and then I hit a pothole on the road bike in the pouring rain resulting in over the bars exit and sliding down the road.....luckily right outside a doctors house. I could see a pattern starting to form here...start training then crash, recover, start training then crash!. The next lay off was self inflicted though. Lets just say I was poisoning myself or my blood to be exact by eating too much spinach. Good for Popeye but not for me! Unfortunately this took about 6 months to figure out. 
    I even did a stint of MTB Commissairing during these times at various National events, but you can't keep the competiveness side of me down and 2009 saw a definite return to racing and first taste of endurance mountain biking when I entered a local 12 hour night race at Bedgbury Forest and ended up with 4th place.
    The endurance bug bitten the following year I entered the Muc Off 8 and then last year a trip to the 12/24 hours of Exposure, Gorrick 100, a top ten at Thetford Summer Enduro, a trip to Mayhem and a 3rd at the Bontrager 12 hour Torchbearer.
     Brighton Big Dog was a dissapointment due to an old shoulder injury and same again at Dusk Till Dawn. Not a good end to an otherwise good year!
     So how did I come to end up with the Team Cycleaid chaps. First met Dean at Exposure, then he finished ahead of me at the Thetford Summer Enduro and then Dean and Ian were pitting next to me at Brighton Big Dog...and here I am now and looking forward to an exciting year of endurance racing (better start getting the miles in). First up is the 12 hours of Exposure.

    Watch this space for details of the Asics Winter Offroad Duatlon series I have been doing..I promise it won't be as long as this!



  1. Nice intro, all that waffle and you don't tell us your name?!

  2. posted by Mark G. might give it away.....:0


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