Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Mayhem...

Not my finest hour. .. and I learnt a lot. I've done Mayhem six times now and this was, by far, the lowest ebb. We had a good team, but for the first time it was a team built to race, even though we knew there was no chance of getting on the podium. Unfortunately that means that when the race stops being a race and turns into a death march the reason for being there evaporates... which at 2 am leaves a big hole in the motivation!

Basically it turns this...



into this...



via this...



and this...



Not to worry, fortunately it's just a race...

Of course, lots of teams did finish (including great performances from The Incredibles and our own COB vets mixed team who clawed themselves up the leader board as others (like us) dropped out. A huge performance by Mark, Adam and Neil meant they finished despite only having 3 riders. Stu gets a big shout for being Mr Organised and sorting the tents, the stove, the generator and all the other stuff + being Mr Unlucky for getting stung for 100 quid after tearing off his rear mech. Anyway, in the end the strong survive... or something like that.

I do think though, that I am over 24 hr racing. 6 times, twice solo, 4 in rain & mud, 5 finishes (two 4ths, 1 3rd, two 1st) and one big fat DNF... and I hate DNF's. I think it's time to focus on the national champs (19th of July) and then stop for a bit... I'm looking forward to this. You keen?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Friday, 20 June 2008

Racin's Racin'...

It's Mayhem tomorrow... so it's 364 a year since I last did it solo, 364 days since I was 4th (again) and 364 days since I tuned my ankle into a balloon. This time there's been no desire to do solo and I'm in a team with P, Benny Boy and Andy Weaving. With P's elite status we're in the Expert Mixed category, with a shot at the £4K 1st prize... but somehow I don't think we'll be standing on the top step come Sunday, there's some fast competition with pound signs in their eyes.

The forecast is rain on Saturday (proper rain) and showers Sunday. I can cope with that.

I'm loving this... not sure Rabobank will be too chuffed though?



Not sure why it's funny? See this story.

Thanks to mudandcowbells for the link to the video.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Dusty Socks and the path to happiness...

As it happened a chilled weekend of riding was just what I needed. I spent the week struggling to focus my brain or my legs after the 100km. I was just toasted. However, after a relaxed couple of days I was feeling much more bouncy and ready for the last tough session before this Saturdays round of the National Series. As a 75kg 'solid' rider I can't say I fancy my chances for the hill-fest that will be Grizedale... but this Tuesday the 'sensations' (best ever Euro-cycling phrase) were tres-bon. We'll just have to see :)

Also, to get to the point, is there something a little obscene about the enjoyment that can be had in turning a pristine, brand-new pair of 'fresh out of the little plastic zip-lock bag' white cycling socks into these…?



Dust covered off-brown efforts. Yes… black would be more sensible but if you have to ask you’ll never understand… sometimes you have to wear them just to wash them.

Smooth as buttah!

Scream if you've been there. In a rush to get out the door on a sunny day so you grab the newly washed bike and get moving...

But the chain is as dry as a Pharaohs pocket and your bike sounds like you're smuggling a bag full of rapid hamsters.

Don't suffer needlessly, there is a solution... one I can personally recommend. It's a simple five stage process:

1) Stop at cafe.
2) Order food (must come with bread roll).
3) Leave pat of butter in sun.
4) Apply



5) Ride your way to happiness!

Size is relative...

and a big ride is a big ride... it doesn't matter how far you go.

It was great to have my sister, Beth, up for the weekend. She commutes 10 miles a day in London, everyday. That's proper cycling! She proceeded to make me proud by donning the lycra and bashing out a Hay-on-Wye cafe and return with little more than a "That was quick". Her longest ride and this was the expression for the entire trip...



Sunday we zoomed over to the Forest of Dean for the excellent Giant Dirt Demo. It was great to catch up with Neil, Robbie and Tug from Giant and bounce about on the latest full-sus technology. I spent as much time as possible on a Trance-X. You couldn't get more different from my XTC-Zero but if you want to have fun. Again, Beth illustrated the correct facial expression to adopt when cycling...



Result!

Monday, 2 June 2008

So much has happened....

What to start with? More evenings smashing it up and down the Malverns with Ben. Only this time I'm hanging after 3 hard weeks so I have to call it a day after the first session and go and play in the hills. So basically I sacked it and Paula didn't. This was the last i saw for the next hour...


After that was a couple of easy days then a mini-holiday in France at Chateau Goodie. Nice! Yes it rained (story of my life really :) but the climbs are always good... it's just the descents that are a little chilly. The sun did shine though...



And we got a few swims in, even if it did mean the odd changing session in a carpark...



Not sure about Goodies taste in skimpies though ~

So... back from France and two important things to get onto.

Bobbys stag... a photo here tells a 1000 words.



And the 100km National Championships. Again a photo is enough...



That would be enough for happy days! But, that + me in 11th = happy happy days!