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.

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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?


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.