Sunday, 26 May 2013

Trigger's Broom

My nice gentle season opening has been rudely awakened by 130 miles of time trials in a week, and no I’m not sure how I got talked into it ether…

Oh I remember; after 9 months of being overworked and a little bit lazy I’ve spent most of last month actually enjoying riding the bike and well this return of mojo has been accompanied by the only competitive cycle sport you can do round these parts, namely riding up and down a duel carriageway staring at your front hub…

Oh well there is an end in sight, mountain mayhem is a little under a month away and beyond that were planning an epic cycle tour down to Bikevillage in southern france. With any luck this should kick start my fitness ready for next years cyclocross season – were playing the long game this year…

If nothing else this mornings TT was a bit of a wake up call and highlighted just how slow you become after 9 months of relative inactivity and work. 1.21 for a little less than a 30 is pretty slow although it does give me something to work on I guess.

Oh and just so you’ve got something to laugh at, triggers broom of road bikes – I just cant break the thing!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Lost in the woods

Having not posted for ages on here, you may be thinking "lost in the woods" is a deep and meaningful blog post title about my inner mental state. Afraid not. I was out last night for a 40 minute trail explore type of session on foot (commonly called a run, but I was way too slow to be considered a runner last night). Ended up thinking I was back near the car park, when in fact I was on the other side of the woods. Got in 1 hour 20 minutes in the rain, but only means I had more fun and found some strange objects!

So what have I been up to, I hear you ask! Well, over the past few months I have gotten about a bit - racing in Strathpufferland was a brilliant way to kick off 2013, a really cool MTB skills session in the Peak District with AQR, a very muddy ride around Sherwood Pines,  an excellent bank holiday weekend in Afan, a few sessions on the excellent new trails at Tunstall (as made by TROG) and lots and lots of miles around Thetford Forest. The first big race of the year kicks off in a few weeks at the Glentress 7, followed by a team effort in Mountain Mayhem (with the formidable boys and girls from Loco Tuning) and thinking of having a "fun" crack at the Thetford Summer Enduro in a pair. Alps in August and Kielder in September! Pointer is talking about doing Relentless in October, and it am getting more and more persuaded by that :) So what have you been up to?!
Tuesday, 14 May 2013

19hr champs

Right put kids in bed a cup of tea in hand and a plate of buttered malt loaf, it must be time for a blog.
Saturday saw my third attempt at the Euro/UK 24hr hour champs. The first, '11, was my rookie 24hr and I was reasonably pleased with 16th.
Last year after attempting far too many events and a painful Strathpuffer solo effort a few months before, led to a very disappointing 21st.
So this winter just gone, I didn’t race, just spent months training with a couple of Duathlons thrown in and a tapered three months of training up to last week.
The general advice from fellow 24hr riders who had seen me racing was to slow down and think of the whole race.
So Saturday midday came there we were at the start line at Wasing Estate with a mere 24hrs of riding ahead.
I went off slow and let all the 12hrs riders do their thing and I plodded on, resisting the testosterone urges to chase the riders who passed me by.
All going well and about 10 laps in I was 10th, the top ten for me would have been a result so I was happy to plod on and try to consolidate this.
Then as the light faded and the heavens opens (I had planned for a shower, but not what followed) thinking this was just a shower, I didn’t pit, I just thought an opportunity to put a extra lap on my rivals as they sat it out or changed clothing.
This, I now know, was a disastrous move! Lap 1 of the shower I was cold and wet but the second I started to freeze and my body felt like it was shutting down and I started to wobble on the bike.
I came into the pit and realised it was the early stages of hypothermia and I had no choice but to get off the bike change and warm up before it got worse.
So fresh clothes and then in the car with the heater on full, a cup of tea, a pot noodle and wrapped in a space blanket and a tent groundsheet.
The hours past and I was in and out of a semi sleep state, then around 2am (five hours later) I decided to try another lap with some kindly borrowed waterproofs and some improvised plastic bags in my sodden Sidis (the worst thought of getting back out was the idea of putting them on again).
So after the first lap I felt ok and continued to knock a few more out incident free apart from a slowly deflating tyre which had to be pumped every few hours, low pressures weren’t a bad thing in the mud.
My carbon bottle cage broke and I replaced that but then around 4am going down a very muddy switchback my chain jammed and once I stopped to look I realised the rear mech hanger and rear mech had bent beyond repair.
This was about a mile into the seven mile lap, so I pushed the bike around the rest of the lap, all the time time thinking right im going to get the singlespeed out and MTFU and keep going.
And that I did, and another consistent 7 or so laps done on the singlespeed and finished right on the nail around 11:45am.
All this had led to a 8th position overall and I was happy with my effort to say the least, as it was the worst race I had ever had for issues, but also my best ever result/effort.
That’s the great thing about 24hr racing when it seems like its all over it probably isn’t and with some grit and determination you can still claw back as result even in the remaining hours.

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