Sunday, 27 December 2009

Needing some quiet time....

The person in our lives who is at the beginning of the life cycle isn't being very considerate given the current challenges and keeps trying to throw a spanner in the works. So far this week we've visited H-ford hosp twice, once for an abortive effort by Charlie to appear 4 weeks early and once for Paula's 2nd intestinal obstruction. I would quite like all this business to end to be honest and to have a nice healthy Paula & Charlie... so please cross fingers. Each visit to the hospital leaves me grateful to live close to such a good hospital and to have the resources of the NHS to hand (Hannan you couldn't be more wrong)... and amazed how it can be right to charge £3 p.h. parking at a hospital.

Of course, the impending arrival of a baby gives people carte blanche to shop for incredibly cute clothes. Cue Bob's & Gills present for Charlie...

From Christmas at Rob and Gills 2009


Here's to a peaceful New Year. My mantra this week is 'spread the love' - do as you will.

Tough times...

I naively thought the end of the school year would bring a time of relaxation and reflection. I was only half right and instead of relaxing I've learnt that exposure to the opposing ends of the life cycle brings out not only the most sadness but also the best in people.

Sadness as Paula's father, Paul, took his own life on the 21st. He'd struggled with severe depression for much of this decade and this wasn't his first attempt at ending his life. His sense of isolation was always worse in the winter and perhaps this was one year too many. He certainly didn't suffer from lack of love or family support... although when someone's under the power of depression it is hard for them to realise this.

Such terrible news brings home how hard life can be and how often unconditional love isn't enough to help people see the best and the good in life. However, despite the difficult years Paul's legacy will be his three wonderful daughters. All are highly successful and happy women who have a positive impact on society every day through their work. That doesn't happen by accident, it takes hard work by two committed and loving parents and Paul will certainly be remembered by Paula as a loving and hard working father.

I asked Paula whether she would mind if I was clear about how Paul died. People seem troubled by suicide but I think it's very important to directly address the stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Depression has touched me in many different ways and since it works so hard to suck the love and light out of people it's the hardest of all diseases to fight. Having watched how Paul struggled with his illness, and what an effect it had on his daughters, I don't want to belittle his efforts and the efforts of his family by not talking about how he died. He wasn't a coward or weak, he was just someone who felt, wrongly in my opinion, that he was alone and that life was simply too hard to endure.

Paul will be remembered by us at his best, as a loving and committed father.

From paulas family, cross and track

Monday, 21 December 2009

You know it's cold when...

you are wearing not just glove, but winter gloves, on the turbo.

From turbo cold


But whatever the temperature it's good to be doing something again... having been struck down with an evil virus for the past week doing something, anything, it a bonus. Somewhat frustratingly one of my bodies pre-programmed immue defensive mechanisms is to consume my body weight in chocolate every day. I am pretty sure this is a vital fuel for my leukocytes but it doesn't help the 'body is a temple' plan!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Ever organised a race?

Yes? Then this will make you smile. No, marshalled? This will make you smile. Never been involved? Then skip it.



Vidcredit - Slayer. Thanks.

Friday, 4 December 2009

9 & 41

A beautiful frosty morning, but no proper Shepard's warning, so I used my new ninja rear light (bought in an effort to fend off the more proximity friendly cars) to make a little red glow all of my own.

From commute and p - bump

I'm aware that I'm in danger of becoming a little evangelical - but it was perfect to have the world to myself.

From commute and p - bump

In the bump department things are proceeding as expected. That is to say slowly and tediously (for P at least). All the women I've spoken to have split pretty much into two even Marmite camps, 'Loved it' or 'Hated it'. I think it's safe to say P is quite sure she is in the latter camp. Unfortunately there is pretty much nothing I can do or say to reduce the suffering, beyond the normal offering sympathy & support. If my belly looked like this I wouldn't be too chuffed either!

From commute and p - bump

Now I'm no doctor (medical :) ) but aren't normal bellies symmetrical? Charlie-the-unborn seems to be a bit lop sided. I hope he straightens himself out or we'll be entering him in the worlds first circle swimming contest.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I need a Shepards Warning...

Tomorrow will take me to 9 & 41. I've ticked off #2 on the list. I've getting there with #3 as I've hit 1:30's for 500m but only by breathing every 2 so that might be doable. However, I'm typing this at 10:55 so #1 is proving to be a bit of a struggle.

9 & 41 will leave me with 6 commutes to do in 2 weeks to hit #4. That, to be frank, is unlikely. But if it is going to happen I need motivation, and tomorrow should be frosty and, if I'm lucky, a 'proper' sunrise. It's what I need, even if I don't deserve it!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Busy busy...

Last weekend was the biannual COBCC challenge ride. Format was just like a mini-sportive without the timing (choice of 30 and 50 mile routes, excellent signage, free tea and cakes, insurance etc), all for a fiver. We had 105 riders so that means 105 quid to charity , and almost enough left after the insurance and printing etc for the club to buy a tea urn for the next one - happy days.

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009


Mega thanks to Deadly Nedly who lent us his tandem to facilitiate us getting in the mix. We had a great time and did a shortened route so 'Charlie' (the unborn one) didn't run out of gas. 7 months now and counting :) Notice P's slighty unsure expression... would you want to get on a tandem piloted by me?

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009


I'm now on 8 and 32. I've also been broken by this hill:

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009


Gears have been fitted and I hang my head in shame! Still, it doesn't matter what gear you ride, it's always worth it to see this at 7 am.

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009


Finally - nipped up to sunny Mansfield to get looked after by Gill + Rob & to get beasted by Rob's alter ego Bobby-J. He dragged me to the trails for a spot of night riding and it all came flooding back to me. It's been ages since I've ridden my mtb and even longer since I've ridden off road a night. What a rush :)

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009


In classic Bobby style, notice how the mud doesn't stick to him. Now that's Pro!

From communte, COBCC reliability and bobby night ride nov 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Non-drafting?

As I ponder the universe, and wonder about what to do with my time, Ironman often crops up as worthy of a revisit. It's just got a nice ring to it, everyone can identify with it and there's enough challenge to make it interesting. There's a good group to train with in Hereford and Bobby would be a mine of good info (if I could keep up).

A couple of things put me off though:

1) The commercialisation - M-Dot is a franchise akin to McD's. You know what you're going to get (says me who hasn't done an M-Dot race!), it'll be slick and efficient... but a little too 'American' for me. There are alternatives though which brings me to #2

2) The drafting. 1500 racers and one road? Result is...



As a biker that's not my bag.

vid-link credits to both Bradders and Bobby

Sunday, 22 November 2009

You heard it here...

Thinking of dripping some of your hard earned cash on a new steed?

Perhaps it's time to think again, Eddy "The Cannibal" Merckx - the man who could arm wrestle Lance for the title of 'worlds greatest ever cyclist' has fessed up.

He's just signed a deal for his bike company to provide Quick-Step with bikes for next season. His quote..? Well he started unsurprisingly with "I am proud to take the plunge with a top team like Quick-Step, our bikes are top and can certainly stand alongside the other brands. " (note excellent Euro use of the word 'top')

but then popped in the winner "But in cycling it is not like in the Formula 1, where the car makes the difference."

You speak the truth Eddy - you speak the truth.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

We all know...

That running can be painful. No more so than cross country. Forgetting my last experience I stepped up again - and hurt again. More climbing and more mud helped time pass a bit quicker so it panned out as easier this time. I was also a little wiser with my pacing strategy - 'start steady and contine' rather than 'belt off like a muppet and blow up'.

Also bonus was lots of Hfd Tri Club to share the pain/love with - impressed by the number of smiles in the photos!



If you can be bothered to watch the show you'll notice my look of discomfort upon finishing a milisecond before I adopted my preferred recovery position.

Photocredits - P Moseley

Done a turbo session today?

P (+ 7 months of Charlie to be) has... although apparently he/she didn't help much though!

From p preg on turbo

That can't be comfortable... and really makes your excuse for not training look a bit weak, wouldn't you say?

Need to lose weight?

Belly's gonna get you...!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Dangerous times...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



a lot of training needed though... would the legs stick it?

6 and 44

These posts may bore the pants off you... but that's not my issue. Sad as it maybe, at 6.20 am on a rainy Nov morning every bit of motivation is needed.

Once you're out the door it's always worth it though.

From commute and cycle to school


Stopped to take this photo and ended up standing there for 5 mins watching the sky change from red to pink (it had stopped raining by then). Totally peaceful. Perfect way to start the day.

44 rides left... 30 weeks of school till summer. As our American friends say, "You do the math".

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Pain...

Isn't always caused by injury.

You know when something is happening that is really uncomfortable socially but you are powerless to stop it? Not sure what I mean? Then imagine watching a friend doing a presentation unaware that they're flying low... or seeing your mate try their best chat up lines before you have the chance to tell them they have a big piece of brocolli in their teeth...

... or standing in shot while a really really painful and forced video interview takes place where the guest you invited is hit with questions that don't flow and where no one really knows what's going on...

I organised this, feel my pain...



At least I wasn't flying low... although my barnet def. needs attention!

5-45

Notched up another ride last week but there's no hiding from being well behind schedule on the '50 rides in a Yr' school commute. Must try harder.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Good week...

In lots of ways. Best to approach in traditional shopping list format.

1) Smashed #2 of the 'need a challenge' to-do list. Almost popped a hernia doing it, but did it nevertheless. 17%? Check! Singlespeed (38-16 FYI)? Check! Pink bike? Check! Grunting? Check! Zigzaging? Check!

2) Tracy Moseley (here) if officially really really nice. I contacted her to see if she was willing to officially open the new bike shed that I've been involved in constructing at school. She was nice enough to take time to come to school, nice enough to totally wow the kids and nice enough to sign autographs all while maintaining a big smile. She was even nice enough to smile all the way through a very painful interview with the local media. In my book she's a fantastic ambassador for our sport and our country :)

The added bonus was she donated a signed race shirt to school. How much self control will i need not to hang onto a world-cup-winning signed shirt with "Moseley" across the shoulders??????! Just gutted I was so busy making sure her visit went like clockwork I forgot to get a photo for the blog - apologies.

3) Got my x on to a reasonable level of success. Blackweir Pk - Cardiff. All good with great support from the family Grimes and Potter (all photo credits to I. Potter)

From blackweir park cross + crib + turbo t-shirts

I. Potter showed excellent lens skill for a first time x-snapper. I esp. like this one - making me look faster than I really was.

From blackweir park cross + crib + turbo t-shirts

I do need to work on my position though. I'm not sure a normal spine is supposed to bend like that? Any suggestions bike people? Morris?

From blackweir park cross + crib + turbo t-shirts

4) Got the turbo up and running for the winter. It's been so mild thus far that I haven't needed it. And no I do I've a sneaking suspicion it's talking to me:

From blackweir park cross + crib + turbo t-shirts
I'm not immune to these subtle messages... it's just that I'm not sure about their meaning. Will keep eyes peeled for more.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

moving... backwards...

a change to normal service this saturday as a late call from Bobby signalled a trip to Mansfield to help Gill and Bobs move. No problem there, a challenge for my not-so-mighty guns, but doable.

Unfortunalty Bobby needed me to step into his shoes as first runner for his local running club at the national cross country relay championships. He needed to do the serious moving but didn't want to let his team down. Admirable.

I think he thought i could still run. I can't. 18:09 for 5 km put me 100 out of 150. That would have been ok if I had started in 100th position. I didn't. 3rd row of the grid anyone? The first 3 km passed as though i was running backwards slowly through a large herd of thin, largely goateed, gazelles.

Lesson to be learnt... know your place :)

Oh - new hse is nice... just ever so slightly smaller than ours... only by a tiny bit though.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

need a challenge...

but what? Being a good father seems pretty reasonable but that doesn't start till Jan 2010 though (hopefully).

I need something to tide me over till then as little goals prevent staleness. I'm happy to go for little things.

So far:

1) Don't waste eyes open time. Watch less crap TV and resist the urge to stay up and do pointless things. Make sure time awake is positive (note that I am typing this at 11:45 pm, need to work on #1). Basically this translates as 'get to bed by 10'.

2) Get up Capler on the Pink Singlespeed by christmas (set of exercise books in panniers optional)

3) Hit 17 strokes a length in swimming and be able to swim a 1:30 hundred while breathing every 7 (Bobby - take me on!)

4) Stay on target on the 50 commutes challenge. Hit 15 by Xmas.

Anything to add? What's your micro-challenge? Want to throw down a mini-gauntlet?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Anything with cross in the title seems...

to be hard (cross dressing included I would have thought).

Bashed out my first running cross country for a while. As always, I'm not as fast as I think I was. I imagine that I will run like a Gazelle on speed, the reality is a Gazelle after an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.

From moor park xc run


Good fun though, once I'd engaged the diesel and realised that the speed I was running was the speed I was going to run... and nothing was going to change that.

What's nice about these events is the low-key nature of it all. Entry fee? Tiny. Equipment required? Total of about £50 if you get shoes on sale. Fitness required? Moderate. Welcoming atmosphere? Overwhelming :)

Recovered...

and ready to report.

The last week of term was brilliant, knackering, but brilliant! I managed it fueled on more than my normal intake of coffee, jaffa cakes and Frijj choc milkshakes. The resulting hyperactive state got me through 5 tricky days but generated so many positives.

Absolute number one was Alastair Humphries' visit to school. By random chance I picked up Alastair's first book (The Mood of Future Joys) in June, and being a sucker for stories of adventure and ever keen to embark on a bit of vicarious travelling I munched through it then chowed down on the sequel (Thunder and Sunshine).

Basically, round the world by bike, alone (most of the time), 46 000 miles, 4 years and £7000 quid. That makes him pretty unique.The best bits, in my mind, involve the excellent efforts Alastair went to make things hard (like the highest pass in S.America & Siberia in winter @ -40 C). It hit the spot for me as he does an great job of explaining why he felt it important to battle on and seek out 'not the easy way'.

So, having spent my summer reading and day dreaming about bike touring again I persuaded school to divert a bit of money to getting him in to speak to the students. Having done this, and despite having confidence in my assumption that someone who could do that and write two good books couldn't be a total muppet, I will happily admit to there being a significant amount of fear on the morning of his arrival. I'd spent ages and gone to a lot of effort to big up his visit, everyone knew he was coming and that I was responsbile... to make the potential disaster more interesting he was scheduled to speak 5 times, once to each yeargroup of 200 restless students... if he was crap, I was in trouble!

Fortunately crapness did not manifest itself and he was both inspired and inspiring. I lost count of the number of staff and students who made an effort to find me and say how great his talk was.

Double lucky was that he was also a really nice bloke (not necessarily a dead cert. if you imagine the type of person who might want to spend 4 years pedalling round the planet).

So... If you need someone to talk to your group or company look no further - great talk and great bloke. If you need a Christmas present then check out his books.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

2-9 4-46 120-1380

In a blatant copy of Mr Lance Armstrongs marketing campaign I have decided to brand my new plan using only a criptic series of numbers.

I could of course tell you what they meant, but know that to do this properly A-la Lance I should let clues out via Twitter. However, I cannot be arsed with twitter...

So... they represent my commuting challenge. 1 year, 50 trips by bike is the target for the year out of a possible 195. So far we've had 2 months out of 11 this school year and I've done 4 trips, so 46 left. 120 miles ridden, 1380 left. I am behind schedule... need to get the alarm set more often :)

I'm thinking this will be good for me in a period of reduced training and good for the planet... whether it'll be good for the energy levels is another thing altogether.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hard work...

Cross is hard work. Luckily for me i've put in a couple of sessions in... and so far they've been blessed with good evenings...

From paulas family, cross and track


Luckily I've also had great support, esp from P and, as a bonus for one week only Mum and Tim. This I needed as the zip wasn't there at Crickhowll (Rd 3 of the Welsh Cross Series), lack to zip combined with a strong field and my inability to stay rubber side down (exp. through the sand pit - whats with that!) meant I finished 6th. Good enough, but not fast enough.

Ben Simmons was largely responsible for my time in the hurt locker, pushing pushing!

From paulas family, cross and track


Best bit of the week so far has been the two velodrome trips that I've done with the school. It was fanstastic to watch their expressions as we walked up the tunnel and they saw the banking for the first time. Within 30 minutes they are all charging round... teaching can be great :)

From paulas family, cross and track

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Commuting 'n' Crossin...

Thursday was perfect. Dragging my carcass out of my pit at 6.30 was hard work but the reward was worth it and I was buzzing for the rest of the day. I've built up P's Pink town bike into a singlespeed commuter. I also picked the hilliest (& therefore the quietest) route I could find and cracked on. For the first time in about 15 years a road climb struck fear into my heart - brilliant. I had to get off and run (pride meant i couldn't walk up) but the view at the top was perfect.

From cyclocross oct 2009


Tell me you're not impressed by that Pink-Zebra-Singlespeed-Panniered-Moustachhandelbarred-mudguarded-ringmybell-20kg beast... go on tell me!

This week was also the first sight and ride of the new cross bike - happy days.

From cyclocross oct 2009


First race was today and it was an odd experience. I had the diesel to stay with the front four but every acceleration was blowing me out of the water. I resigned myself to 50 min of wheel sucking and a 4th place finish. In the end I managed to squeeze a mini-sprint out of my non-existent turbo and stiggle 3rd place (kudos too course designer and race organiser Andy Baum for stepping up and winning his own race). The new bike was spot on, I only hung on by being smooth in the corners and making time up by not braking - the Cube stuck like glue and it's given me heaps of confidence for when it starts raining the the fun begins.

I paid a big price for the 3rd place though... £1.85 at the drive through McD's on the way there for the coffee that fueled me through the rough spots. I know, I know but desperate times...

Good to race with the club too. Nedly & Martin smashed it up and P and Chairman Chris gave vital support.

From cyclocross oct 2009


From cyclocross oct 2009

Monday, 28 September 2009

There are so many things...

I should be doing that are probably more important than posting this video... but, to be honest, none are more worthwhile.

Watching this at the end of a long day turned my mood from s*it to hit... try it - it might work for you too!



All credit to Micky Le Peche for spotting and linking me into it - thanks!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tri and Cross...

A funny mix but certainly a good one. The cross season is firing up while the tri season is winding down.

It was great to be able to participate in both Bala and Ludlow Tri's. The nicest part of looking back is, to state the obvious, that the enjoyment came 1% from the race and 99% from the people who I raced with. Also, and this is somewhat new for me... a huge part of the satisfaction came from other peoples performance. Either those that I coach directly or those that I help on an informal basis and who improved and were kind enough to say I helped them. That's a mega buzz :)

The thing about tri though is you really need a slippery bike to hold your own - and slippery doesn't come cheap. Luckily for me Big Dave T came up with the loaner wheels and I rummaged around the spares bags in the garage to build a teflon machine. However the saddle wasn't designed for triathlon... yes it is as painful as it looks.

From bala and ludlow tri


Bala first... another perfect day. Early morning mist on the lake lifted to a blue-sky stunner. I held the same time as last year (due in no small part to the 2 weeks training in Provence) but had to go mega deep to do it... as rumour would have it 10th pace is the 9th loser but it's good enough for me :) Steve, Stuart and Marc all showed the way forward too.

From bala and ludlow tri


Ludlow today was totally different. A sprint+ distance (400m, 26km, 6.25 km), a pool swim and lots more friends competing.

From bala and ludlow tri


From bala and ludlow tri


It was tops to have P racing too (all on heartrate for those of you worrying about the future Mokes).

From bala and ludlow tri


P claimed 5th woman while 'Charlie' stood on the theoretical podium as 1st feotus. I squeezed every ounce of Ginger Power out of the legs and managed to hang on for the top spot - happy days.

Like I said this weekend is the watershed for cross and tri. Last tri today - first cross next Sunday (got a ninja bike coming from Climb On, watch this space). Cross practise sessions started last Tuesday (all COBCC club members welcome - give me a call) and the brave ones showed up to get their cross on!

From bala and ludlow tri


And of course Deadly Nedley had to go to the next level with his new cross shoes. "You can race in them and you can dine in them..." what else could you ask for?

From bala and ludlow tri

Saturday, 26 September 2009

I'm not a big fan of...

Rapha stuff. It's a bit 'too cool' for me. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be smooth enough, Pro enough and rich enough to afford their stuff (not to mention have a loyalty card at the local laundrette to get all the white kit they sell clean after i'd accidently looked at it the wrong way and made it dirty... you know what I mean... yes you do). But I'm not. So instead I scoff at people who have forked out for their kit, while feeling slightly jealous that I havn't made the lifestyle choices necessary to buy bib shorts at £145 quid a pop...

Anyway, mini-rant over. I do however like (and can afford to watch) this...

Col de Espresso Challenge from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Things move forward...

but stay the same. It's great to see the seasons change and frequent readers of this blog (and there may well be at least one) will know that autumn ranks with spring as the months of choice here at Chateau Mokes&P. The temperature drops, bringing relief to us Gingers and the chill in the air stimulates activity... a welcome contrast to the lethargy of summer.

Autumn this year means changes are afoot. 'Charlie' (unofficial name of our foetus) continues to grow in line with expectations which is fantastic.

From ventoux august 2009


We're also continuing to modify our lifestyles to accommodate the changes needed in response to Charlies existence. This is not easy, but every little adjustment leaves a nice feeling of preparing for something that we both want a great deal.

It also motivates us to look back on some of the fantastic things we've done, things that perhaps we won't do for a few years as we shift our foci onto being a family of 3 rather than a team of 2.

From ventoux august 2009


Like climb the Ventoux. P was awesome during our holiday. Super careful about moderating the intensity and happy to spin away and get up all the climbs. It made hitting the summit even better - big smile factor.

And as for sister Beth... wow. What a monster effort, it goes to show what fitness can be developed with regular commuting and a 'no car - no worries' attitude.

From ventoux august 2009


It was slightly odd doing tough rides by myself... missing my training-life partner while looking for a different perspective. The solo highlight? Getting our mega early when the rest of France was asleep and tempoing a 60 min silky smooth climb as the sun rose over the hills. Perfection.

From ventoux august 2009


And finally (there should always be an 'and finally') a photo to strike fear in every Wrangers (slang for Ginger... a bastardisation of Oranatang) nightmare. I applied SPF 50 to my back, but not my front, then swam for 60 min in an open air pool. I guess UV light can reflect off the bottom of the pool. This was not funny then, although it is now.

From ventoux august 2009

Monday, 14 September 2009

First things first...

I need to apologise on behalf of TalkTalk for the continued lack of bloggage. They are sorry... so they say. I'm not impressed. But that is water under the bridge.

Second thing is second... I need to post a photo-stream to thank those involved in the new Mokes&P garage... you may think Sad, but you just don't know :)

Many more catch up posts to come and heaps going on (Cross is upon us, Tri has been reborn and P is growing a mighty fine baby inside her!) - check back soon now normal service has been resumed.



You'll need Flash ;)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

So long...

to get internet connected! I have tried posting from various internet cafes and spent ages sorting the last post only for the crappy internet cafe to break (yes, the whole place broke).

So much to report. Did have photos but USB stick doesn't work here. Sorry.

London - Just got back from Biannual pilgrimage to the Big Smoke. Great to see family, and to be reminded of their importance (not that i'd forgotten, but it's nice to be reminded by the pleasure of spending time with them). As a unexpected bonus, arrived early in Hyde Park to meet up and, in wandering around, bumped into the Lido there. Brilliant. Open air, sun shining and 100m long. It's a fenced off area of the lake so take your thermal skimpies... but if you've got time to kill i can't recommend it enough (i suggest to do what i did and grab a double espresso from their little cafe before getting in, even in August it was a little fresh - after 30 mins i was proper cold... but happy!). Managed to bash our a couple of km in the mid morning sun - spot on :)

House - I am the king of mini-DIY. Had brilliant photos of a workshop build that Clive, Stu and Chris Egan helped with. Needless to say the garage is the first room to be finished, and finished in style.

Baby - still growing and we're still adjusting. I'm trying to get used to being slower, but it's not easy. Not a bad experience, but after 15 years of trying to get faster, letting yourself get slower is a challenge. To be honest though, much harder for P though - i don't have a leg to stand on there. She is being a hero and will make a fantastic mum :)

Coaching - getting back into it and loving it. It's fantastic to work with athletes who are as committed and enthusiastic as me. I've been reminded of what's important... that you and the athlete 'click', if that happens anything is possible.

Racing - nothing for ages then Bala tri coming up. I'm a little apprehensive, last year i had a great day. I'm not sure how to set my expectations in advance... we will see.

Photos will follow. Off to France for 2 weeks so have patience!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Moving...(2)




In an internet cafe so going to keep it brief.

New home


Is done. No internet at home (cheers TalkTalk - cheap, but rubbish service).

A week in wales with slayer, stu and viv. Good walking...




and swimming... not warm




and riding


part of a new home is a lawn... living the dream (note irony)


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Moving...

Is not fun.

I am weak - and I know it. I've had enough of packing and the light that is the end of the tunnel needs to get a little brighter :)

Fortunatley I can see into the future... tomorrow = new house. 8 days = 6 weeks off. 9 days = weeks holiday. I am Nostrodamas reborn!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Thanks...

... to everyone for the kind messages we received after this post. As you can imagine we are really happy :)

The adjustment to the news is taking us time though. After so many years of being racers who lived to train & exercise taking a step back has not been plain sailing. This is especially so when exercise represents you principle form of stress relief, it's our meditation. Nevertheless it's something we've got to do together and so we've sacked off thoughts of racing, stopped planning our training altogether and stopped recording our training. Changing your mindset it a little harder though and watching the national RR champs this weekend resulted in a little upsurge of 'I could have done that' (when I say 'done' I mean dropped after 50 miles, but I could have started!). Great to see Wiggins, Cav et al. riding not 50 miles from my front door!

From Joanne Moseley's visit JUne 2009


The best bit though was seeing Jo, our niece. Brilliant to spend the day with her - a wonderful girl :)

From Joanne Moseley's visit JUne 2009

Winter's coming...

OK so it's not coming very fast but it's never too late to be thinking about night riding and the lights you'll be needed to a) be seen and b) be seen.



Time to do some web shopping.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Summer's passing quickly...

and a lot has happened. Work is busy, but there's 4 weeks to go to an almost endless summer (6 wks off anyone?). The thought of that is enough to bring a smile to my face :)

But it's playing with my mind, some days are spot on... like last Tuesdays chain gang.

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

Others tease you with sunshine then pour on you before cooking you in steamy humidity. On days like that if you find yourself out running and 5 miles from home what you need is a clear path back.

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

It was Mayhem this weekend (the event not the verb) and Bobby and I went down to view. Mixed emotions. After 7 participations, inc 2 solo attempts, 5 podiums, 1 DNF and 6 mud-fests I vowed not to participate this year. Deep down I'm glad I didn't. But I'd be lying if I said that seeing Morris and 1000 others participating in a rare dry edition didn't stoke a little fire in the belly.

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

Instead P, Bobs, Gill and 10 COBCC riders hit the Shropshire Highlands Challenge sportif. You want 'grass routes'? Then this is for you. There's no hoopla, no big TV screen, no timing and no egos. It's £8.50 with 4 free tea/cake stops served by volunteers. 300 riders from full-carbon-shaven-race-heads to full-bearded-check-shirted-tourers. All types of rider are there. I'm glad I was too.

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

Not sure Ritchie was though... heal quick (and Gerald and Andy)

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

Of all the photos I took. This sums the day up the best...

From june 2009 rides and runs (inc shrop challenge)

Rollin'