Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Perfect weather...

is hard to find, but makes great riding.

Whether on road with Rivers...

From Xmas rides

Or off road with P, Simo, Marc and Stu.

From Xmas rides


From Xmas rides



From Xmas rides


From Xmas rides


Today we had weather that I marvelled at every moment we were riding, it was magic... you almost had to stop at stare. The trails were bone dry, the sky was blue and there wasn't a breath of wind. To make things even better (if not a bit spooky) all I had to do when we got home was to hose the dust off the bikes, like summer... just colder.

From Xmas rides


And we had transport in style :) I'll let you imagine how we got to the trails.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Tis the season...

to chill out, and it's worked really well.

Daytime Christmas walk:

From Xmas 2008


From Xmas 2008


Night time Christmas walk:

From Xmas 2008


From Xmas 2008


Christmas eat:

From Xmas 2008


Christmas ride:

From xmas ride and cwmcarn with p, slay and beth


From xmas ride and cwmcarn with p, slay and beth


From xmas ride and cwmcarn with p, slay and beth


From xmas ride and cwmcarn with p, slay and beth


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, just right!

Is there no end...

to his power?

To dominate the cycling world wasn't enough. To have the fact that you simply looked at a big German bloke be named "the look", to win seven Tour's (and a Worlds when you were still basically in short trousers), to survive testicular cancer (with brain and lung metasticies) and to be the worlds most famous cyclist wasn't enough. You then had to defy science by naturally fathering another child. Any man out there feeling good about themselves now?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Poor...

performance on the blogging front. Not clever, but the end of term stress has been sucking my will to live (and that has a knock on effect on the desire to blog). December is a time of year when the balance is never right, no matter what I try to do more/less of. This year I tried not to fight it, which turned out to be a much more effective strategy.

I also committed to my first commute of 2008. Yes, it's a little late in the year but hopefully I can get into a rhythm through 09. It's harder now I car share, I know the total Carbon footprint won't change whether I ride or not (as my car-buddy will drive anyway) - at least I now know I ride because it's great just to ride.

From first commute of 08 (dec 08)


Dark all the way there, dark all the way home. 50 min & 500 m of climbing each way. I like it like that.


The Xmas party season has also given me opportunity to brush up on my eating at various work/family do's:

From adams family xmas 2008


& my moves... although I'm still not quite there yet...



I've also been committing to the 'less is more' philosophy. I'm quite a big fan of the sine wave approach to life. I like the rapid transitions from one plan to another, it keeps things interesting. Right now I'm moving from a 'plan and prepare' approach to riding/racing and whatnot to a 'see what happens - Big Lebowski' style. Interesting to see how it pans out.

ps - you see that 'Follow this blog' thing to the right of this post...? Click on it.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Colds are...

irritating. We both have niggling colds so changed our plans from the Welsh Cross Champs to a couple of steady ride this weekend.

To look on the bright side we had two cracking rides on perfect winter days. Blue skies, frost everywhere, quiet roads & good company. Spot on.



Kudos to Ned, Mark and Adam for going where we didn't and racing the Champs - nice work guys.

Also - COBCC Xmas dinner tonight. Went well. Had after dinner coffee, an error (hence up at 00:20 typing this).

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

It's getting colder...

I know this because the time it takes for my feet to go from normal to cold to numb to painful to home to shower to itchy to normal is now about 2 hours.

Morris was there tonight... and was very disciplined about following his training plan and having a rest week. Wise, very wise.

From Cross session dec 08 morris

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Imitation is the finest form of...

flattery. Found these videos on Belgium Knee Warmers. I've got the DVD of the film from which these clips were taken (and Dave, can I have it back please :) and it's great to be reminded of what a rock of a man Jens Voight is...





Like I said, a rock. I've even got a sticker from here. Sad - yes. Great - yes.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

COBCC Nanty ride...

was wet and cold but great. No time to type, but time to link...

From Nant-y-Arian COBCC mtb ride Nov 23rd 2008


From Nant-y-Arian COBCC mtb ride Nov 23rd 2008


From Nant-y-Arian COBCC mtb ride Nov 23rd 2008


25 riders! With that many guys I was worried it was going to be a bit of a death-march, endless punctures and waiting and wot-not. But it was bloody brilliant, great pace and banter. Spot on.

Special mention to Sam's baking. You've set the bar high there mate!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Evolution...

may well have happened as a response to competition in the wild, but this header evolved in response to some insomnia and a feel that a change was merited. Feedback encouraged, will keep trying... mooting a blog name change too... ideas?

Friday, 21 November 2008

I'm keen but...


I'm not that keen. Having said that, If I won the Tax On The Poor (aka The Lottery) I might consider it :)

"A bicycle plated with 24-carat gold and covered with some 600 artificial gemstones, costing 80,000 Euros ($100,714) is displayed at the "LUXURY, please." fair in Vienna November 21, 2008. " REUTERS/Herwig Prammer"

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Cross is...

a challenge of organisation. We failed the challenge today and it was only with help from others that we got sorted for a trouble free race. So, first the roll-call... Gibbo and the family Gibbo:

From Mallory Park National Cross Series Nov 2008


The family Millar (of Ruby Millar fame) for jet washing and chats in the pits. I'd like to hear you heard her name here first, but that would be a total fabrication. Let's just say she's got class:

From Mallory Park National Cross Series Nov 2008


+ Graham for his support and jet-wash offer.

Our races were trouble free but not necessarily what we'd hoped for. I went well and felt I was able to drive all the way though for a top 20 finish (i think... and I'm just starting to get used to racing for 70 min with no drink. The trick is to enjoy the taste of your own sweat). P was not on top form and battled to 6th. Cycling is funny like that, good days and bad days with no real explanation. Sometimes you line up feeling crappy and grumpy and you just ride well, others you line up feeling crappy and grumpy and you ride crappy.

The biggest lesson of today was the organisation needed. For us both to race (and try and compete) at a Nationals with no helpers is extremely difficult. To race without your own jetwash (and try to compete) is very difficult. To try and do either without the help and goodwill of others is totally impossible!

So, this is the photo that sums up today. No view of the race, not warming up or relaxing knowing you have plenty of time for the start... nope, just fetchin' water :)

From Mallory Park National Cross Series Nov 2008

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Retrospective...

trumpet blowing. It's been a bit of a long week so no blogging... but it's always nice to be written up and photo'ed. Two Moseley's on the top step, happy days.

National Series this weekend. Please start rain dance :)

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Winter is...

here. Not only have I ridden three days in a row wearing 2 pairs of shorts, leg warmers, booties, thermal, cycling top, thermal jacket, winter gloves, skullcap, helmet and sunnies (it takes a lot longer to get out the door in winter!) but we've also seen the first snow!

From sugar loaf walk


From sugar loaf walk


Winter is also slippery... recce'd the COBCC reliability route today and had a little accidental lie down on one of the corners. No rain for a while + frosts + salt on the road + mud from the potato tractors = ripped bar tape and that horrible feeling as you wait to see if the car behind you will squash you or not.

See you tomorrow for the real thing? First group leaves 9:30 (18-20 mph), 2nd group (~17 mph) 9:35, 3rd group (~16 mph) 9:40am. 48 miles, tea and cakes afterwards. £3 with a quid to charity - starts and finishes here. I'll be there... will you? :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Brecon cross...

wasn't my finest hour of power... and thanks to Ritchie there is a permanent reminder of the pain face I needed just to get round. I needed more air and opening my mouth as wide as possible seemed like a step in the right direction :)

From brecon cross oct 2008

Monday, 27 October 2008

Riding or training...

You can ride without training... but you can't train without riding. Today was riding...

From cwm carm with slayer


The new winter bike was an absolute pleasure... the first mtb I've owned that isn't all about racing - and it blew me away. 2.4" tyres, a short stem, relaxed angles and 100mm of travel (that's a lot in my book), a bit of a dog to climb, but to go down... or jump... or wheelie (even for me, who's crap at wheelies) was smile smile smile.

Align Center
From cwm carm with slayer


We even got a bit overexcited on the free-ridey bit :)

From cwm carm with slayer

Slayer is always a great riding companion - and even shouted the McD's afterwards, I hang my head in shame :)

From cwm carm with slayer

More Stroud...

My bad... no photos of Kate... and no photo credit for Big Al, camera man and chief shouter/supporter. Sorry. A cross like yesterdays wasn't easy on an mtb - sucky grass and big tyres = hard work.

From Stroud CycloCross 26 oct 2008


Also been playing with Google Video... anyone got top-tips for editing/adding music over the top? ? It's clear help is needed :)



At this point I'm struggling and doing my best to bob my way to a few more watts. Zero-points for style.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

From small acorns...

big trees grow. At least that's what they say. If that phrase has any relevance it's to the hope that today's win at Stroud Cyclocross is the precursor to better results. OK, so the field was small... and the best riders were at the National Series in Ipswich (which lies in a land far, far away and hence we didn't go)... but a win is a win. And, more importantly I felt a bit more zippy that I have done so far this season.

It was great to have such a good team lineup racing. We were the best represented team and everyone put in big efforts. All in all there were six COBCC riders, it makes a big difference to have team mates about - adds muchos to the smile factor :)

From Stroud CycloCross 26 oct 2008


I'm also mega chuffed with the bike, I finally seem to have the set-up nailed and it felt 'right' for the first time... tyre pressures I still have to sort out. 25 front and 35 psi rear stuck well but I was nervous all the way round that one of my many rim-touches would lead to a snakie and a throwing of toys.

From Stroud CycloCross 26 oct 2008


There is something so satisfying about riding well, even if you're suffering... it just seems better somehow.

From Stroud CycloCross 26 oct 2008


And many thanks to Deadly 'Euro' Nedley who not only gave us a lift but also schooled us in the ways of white socks and a flower spray of cologne... you can't get much more Euro that that :)

From Stroud CycloCross 26 oct 2008


There must be something in it because he was the cleanest by far...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

A retro feel...

It's been a while since I last saw this...



But quality never goes out of fashion :)

Thanks to Sager for the reminder

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Happy days. Fast running in association with Illy, McD's (sorry but it was the only place open) & Starbucks.

Slayer's tactics worked a dream... "it's only two 10 km's back to back with a sprint at the end".

Set out at 5:30-5:45 mile pace. Held that to 8 miles then gradually went deeper into the pain cave. Mangaged to hang onto 6:00 min/mile pace for the rest and got back in 1:16. Happy days.

Thanks to Chris and Karen for positive vibes and support :)

From cardiff half marathon


Oh - and if you're planning to meet up with someone at a big event, suggest they wear a large Cowboy hat. Stands out a mile - good work Chris.

This must mean...

That it's finally the day of the cardiff half marathon.

Have I trained enough? No.

I'm not worried about the first 10 miles... after chatting to Paul 'race pacing' Slaymaker the plan is to bash out 6 min miles. Which I can do.

However, I am very worried about the last 3 miles. They could either be 6 minuters... or 10 minuters.

We will see.

More coffee needed!
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Saturday, 18 October 2008

Road trip...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Proposal: A pilgrimage to the home of cyclocross... a land not known for it's culture or weather... the land of Belgium!!!

Date: Friday 23rd, Sat 24th, Sun 25th of Jan.

Rough plan: Get van, get Eurotunnel, get hotel on Fri eve, sleep, awaken Saturday with race face on, race/spectate World Masters Cyclocross champs on Saturday (to differing degrees of seriousness), eat chips and drink beer, (no) sleep Sat night, awaken Sunday, drive to another cross race, race/spectate (to a low level of seriousness, prob. feeling a little ropey), wash mud off, drive home.

Criteria for racing: A cross bike, a British Cycling license. If you want to be keen you could add shaven legs, fitness and skill to that list... but you don't have to. (Oh and you need to be over 30 to take part in the World Masters... but it doesn't seem that big of deal, you don't even need to pre-enter).

Criteria for spectating: Wellies, waterproofs, a right hand to hold beer, a left hand to swing a cowbell, an ability to shout 'Hup Hup Hup' with a mouthful of beer and chips would be an advantage. A passing interest in cycling or Belgium would probably add to the experience, but isn't mandatory. A warm hat. Patience.


Criteria for participation in road trip: An interest in one or more of the following: Cyclocross, Belgium, Beer, Cowbells, Shouting 'Hup Hup' loudly while wearing wellies and standing in mud, double fried chips, mayonnaise (on chips) or, if you are weird, an enjoyment out of driving a lot of miles in a van with a number of hairy arsed men.

No idea what cross is? Go here to find out (warning, in reality the racing you will see/do will not be as exciting or fast as that which you are about to witness via you tube, and there will be no pumping soundtrack, just the sound of heavy breathing).

Guarantees: There are none. The trip could be crap. It will rain, be cold and generally be miserable (it is Belgium after all). You could puncture in both races and be passed by a fat Belgian who looks like Obilix. It will cost money, prob more that you plan to spend. I will be crap at drinking, no matter how hard I try, and I will go to bed first... no matter how hard I try.

You know it makes sense!

Any questions?

Mokes

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Going to the Big Smoke and I'm gonna...

be amazed by how much of a rural-bumpkin I have become. The volume of people, shops, traffic and coffee houses stuns me. Arrival in the city catapults me into a old-before-my-time state of checking and double checking my travel tickets/wallet/phone/keys in case they are lost and I am condemned to roam the city forever. I'm paralysed at traffic intersections which leave me worried for the safety of the young, old and infirm while I wait faithfully like a trainee cub-scout for the green man before crossing. These are things that I'd forgotten.

I'd also forgotten, and was surprised by, the rudeness of people... isn't it just a little inconsiderate to allow your tiny pooch to run around and in-between a group of people on it's long lead then expect them to untangle themselves while you tut? Or is it just me? I guess that it's not that people were more rude, it's just that there were more people to be rude so it seemed that way.

Was I sucked in though? Didn't I find it just a little exciting? Perhaps I felt just a little bit self-important going to work in London for the day...? Is this the start of a new Mokes... an 'Urban-Mokes'... well no, not really. I did like speeding on my town-bike through Hereford at 6 am on my way to the station and watching the sun rise through the mist as the train rushed along. But I can do those things without spendin 6 hours on a train... I can live without London, just like it can live without me.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Good vibes...

For all sorts of reasons. The first is seeing the progress everyone (including me) is making at the Thursday night Cross sessions. Everyone's getting smoother and more confident and getting faster as a result. Lights are now essential accessories as the nights draw in, but at least it means winter isn't all bad. You know it makes sense... 6:15 for 6:30 at Hereford Leisure centre, email me if you're planning to attend - and don't expect mega-organised... more lassiez-faire with some suffering thrown in.

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap


The next positive was the 2nd Elan lap of 2008. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to top our first lap, back in Feb... but it was. Doing the first 10 miles in the fog and freezing our butts off...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap


...made it better if anything since rising up out of the fog into the clear blue skies won't be forgotten quickly. Not a breath of wind :)

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

Ben tried his hardest to make every hill seem longer and steeper...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

While Mark showed a bit of the big 'W' (that's W for Weakness) for not big ringing it round the whole loop as promised. Not even up the 25%er...

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap

Happy days.

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap


The last good vibe came from marshalling at the Ludlow Tri. Having done a lot of races (certainly I've competed in more than I've assisted at) I reckon it's the ultimate in good karma to stand on a busy road junction for 5 hours on a freezing September morning. If I die tonight there's no way I'm coming back as a cockroach.

Stu did find it a little boring though :)

From evening cross session and Elan valley mtn lap