Friday, 29 August 2008

A blast from the past....

Ahhhh, 1995. I was riding a Scott Team Racing fully rigid with cantilever brakes and toe-clips (I was a financially challenged late convert to Spuds). Mmmmm, soak up the retro feel and relive the days :)

Thanks to mudandcowbells for the vid.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Got time?

Sort of Ali-G-esq. But friendlier somehow :)

Been to France and...

wasn't very well. Had a good time though.

The plan was to do heaps of good road miles in the sun and set ourselves up for a good end of season/start of the cross season. P managed that, I managed some struggling, a couple of minor death marches (including a 4km middle of nowhere, not on the map, it's bloody hot, detour that I suggested etc)

At one point lines in the gravel were the only way to find our parched, dehydrated skeletons. Until we found the road again.

And what roads, wow! There are some thing's the French do brilliantly including (but not limited to!):

Road surfaces
A sensible attitude to risk (see below)

The roads were just perfect, no wonder the French economy is struggling... they spend all their money on roads (while we blow ours on 2012). Ribbons of smooth tarmac snaking through the countryside and seemingly closed to cars...

Nicely, when they combine sun, big hills and roads things get really good...

They are, however, crap at:

Litter (or, to look at it another way, they are great at dropping it everywhere)
Coffee (although it pains me to say this, we didn't have a single good cup in the whole week, Spain is so much better).

But... I was struggling. I mainly wore this face:

Which, carefully decoded, means "Yes, I am struggling, no I don't want to stop riding, yes I am going to go home and no I'm not going to smile" Well done P for putting up with me.

To be honest though, it was nice to have time to drive round and hang out in cafes and swim in rivers. Normally when I've been riding I'm too knackered to do much else.

Linking back to Health and Safety attitude in France, it's refreshing that people encourage their children to jump off cliffs into rivers and swim in rapids. Yes, there's danger, and no, I'm not sure if my child would be jumping... but it's nice to see that risk is not always managed out. Remember risk = reward (most of the time!).

Friday, 15 August 2008

Weddings, holidays and running...

It's been a while since we've looked like this...

And no doubt it'll be a while till we do again. It was all in aid of Bobby and Gill's wedding. Happy days indeed :)

Although these photos are mine, the photo credits for the wedding go to my sister, Beth... a super high-quality wedding photographer with a organised-but-friendly approach... if you're looking for one?

After the wedding it was a long, hungover and tortuous drive to Pembrokeshire for a few days of Moseley-Atkinson celebration's. Great to see the new generation arriving... babies and toddlers everywhere (photos soon). Brilliant!

As for running, the search for the goal continues. It looks like all my efforts to drum up a compadre for the Ben Nevis Half-Ironman have been in vain, and it's a long way to drive solo (esp. at £1.30 a litre and a saturday 8 am start!) so... the Cardiff half marathon is keeping me going (+ the bet i've made, running sub-1:24 might be a bit tricky!). Anyone in the mood for cyclocross?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

It's been ages since...

I properly bonked. You don't have to look twice at these photos to see who's crusing to 2nd and who's fighting off the shadow of 4th...

It was the regional (Midlands) champs and the course was sweet, lots of singletrack of varying speeds and flatish... just right for P and me.

For the first time in ages we were off at different times so it was great to be able to watch/bottle P and a good opportunity to chill in the feed zone and meet new friends :)

The bonk crept up on the 3rd of 4 laps when I missed a bottle (which unfortunately was my fault) and, instead of stopping for it, I cracked on. Not very wise. Although I got a full bottle at the start of the 4th lap I was already starting to lose the plot a little and within the next 15 mins I started to see stars, get tunnel vision, hit everything on the trail and go much much slower.

It's a horrible feeling when you know you are getting caught, and there's nothing you can do... but in some ways it was quite cool, it's been so long since I've felt like that it took me back to some the my most memorable 'death-marches' when I'd run out of water and food. At least this time I wasn't lost!

It was a huge relief to be able to hang on for the 3rd step on the box. Fortunately I had time to have a nap beforehand, else I wouldn't have made it :)

This is a late-night insomnia-fuelled post. Current question... this or this as the goal to fire me up for the remainder of the summer? Your thoughts please...